Elegant Indian Fête

Sangeeta Vaswani & Neil Chatterjee

September 5, 2010

My mom thought I was being ‘lethargic’ about finding a partner,” says Sangeeta Vaswani, 32, a Food and Drug Administration staffer. “So she put an ad in an Indian newspaper behind my back.” To execute the ruse, her mother bought a second cell phone and created a new e-mail account. She was flooded with inquiries—mostly from enthusiastic parents—and eventually narrowed down the pool to a few dozen “potentials.” Sangeeta wasn’t thrilled with her mother’s intervention but agreed to go on some dates, if only to “pacify” her. After twenty or so lackluster outings, Sangeeta finally met Neil Chatterjee, 34, at a restaurant. “The conversation flowed, and for the first time, we discussed topics other than our careers,” she recalls. Shortly after their second date, they met each other’s families, and five months later, they were engaged. Though they live in D.C., Sangeeta spent her early childhood near Gramercy Park, and Neil, a physician, completed his residency in Manhattan. He proposed in front of Sangeeta’s old home, so it was no surprise when the couple planned a splashy New York wedding, choosing Capitale for its grand architectural details. In the end, the bride says she is grateful for her mother’s meddling: “She didn’t force me into it; she just introduced us. Now all my friends want her to hook them up.”

The Details

Hair & Makeup: Malti Sompura
Caterer: Tandoor Restaurant
Music: Magic Mike Entertainment
Flowers: Elegant Affairs
Officiant: Pandit Mohanlal
Horse: KV Carriage
Belly Dancer: Shir-El Bellydance Entertainment

“We wear huge nose rings where my family is from in India, and it was the one thing I always dreamed of wearing when I was younger. My mom jumped through hoops to get it for me.” Photo: Naveed Khan

“In a Hindu ceremony, there are a lot of things that happen: You walk around a fire, you break a coconut, you put your feet on rice. The challenge [for us] was getting a horse. There are a lot of different permissions that you have to get.” Photo: Naveed Khan

“New York has been such a big part of our lives, we had photos taken in Central Park and other parts of the city a few days prior to the wedding.” Photo: Naveed Khan

Elegant Indian Fête