Sejal and Suraj’s wedding was a multi-day affair in accordance with their Indian heritage. The couple had more than 400 guests at their Westmount Country Club wedding. Keep reading to see the bride’s five outfits and the pre-ceremony parade or Baraat.
By Jacqueline Larcara
When a first date lasts six hours, it’s probably a good sign. That’s what happened to Sejal Kapadia, 27, originally of Sayreville, and Suraj Shah, 31, originally of Old Bridge. The dating app Hinge brought them together in 2018. “We just kind of clicked,” says Sejal. “We’re really lighthearted, consistently laughing. We just don’t take anything too seriously.” Now, the couple lives in New York City.
In April 2021, Suraj got down on one knee at the fountain in Bryant Park in New York City surrounded by photos of the couple propped up on easels and block letters that read “Marry Me.” He threw a surprise engagement party with their friends afterward. “It was such a special day and more than anything I could have hoped for,” says Sejal.
Sejal and Suraj’s wedding was a multi-day affair in accordance with their Indian heritage. On August 14, 2022, their wedding day, the couple had more than 400 guests at the Westmount Country Club. “We wanted a party,” says Sejal. Plus, both of their families are very large, she adds. Sejal and Suraj chose the venue because, “the space itself is absolutely stunning, both the bridal and groom’s suites were enormous, and we loved that the ceremony and reception were held in different ballrooms,” says Sejal. “We had the entire venue to ourselves so, despite having 400 people, it felt intimate.” Their menu featured traditional Indian cuisine as well as other flavors, including Korean cauliflower bao buns, a Mediterranean falafel station and spiced chicken in a blanket. Their cake had a vanilla sponge base and three flavors for the filling: raspberry jam, lemon curd and chocolate mousse.
Sejal wore five outfits throughout the various celebrations. A sage green look wowed at the Sangeet event, where family and friends put on performances for the couple. This “mini reception,” as Sejal calls it, took place at Royal Albert’s Palace in Fords. A yellow outfit was perfect for the Haldi event, a tradition during which family and friends smear a turmeric paste on the couple’s face and body. On the day of the wedding, Sejal had three wardrobe changes: a white ensemble for the Baraat, a dark green gown for the ceremony and a red dress for the reception.
“Traditionally, there is a Baraat, which is a groom’s parade where the bride’s family welcomes the groom,” explains Sejal. Typically, during this event, the bride is in her suite waiting. But Sejal wanted to mix things up. “One thing I was adamant about from the beginning was having my own bridal Baraat. And not just a quick debut, but my own start-to-finish parade, because why do grooms get to have all the fun?” Suraj rolled up in a red Jeep and Sejal rode in a white Jeep. Their vehicles, playing music coordinated by the DJ, met by the entrance to the venue. Their 400 guests joined in the pre-ceremony celebration. “It was truly a magical moment seeing both sides celebrate together as one big family—exactly what we wanted our day to be about,” says Sejal. During the Baraat, Suraj also surprised Sejal with a choreographed dance with their entire bridal party.
Organize your checklist by “need to have,” “want to have” and “nice to have,” Sejal suggests. “By the time our wedding came, we didn’t even remember what the ‘nice to have’ items were. Focus on what you value the most.”
In May, the newlyweds spent two weeks in Italy visiting cities like Rome, Casa Turano, Tuscany and Florence.