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This Multi-Day Indian Wedding at Cedar Lakes Estate Was a Tribute to the Couple’s Late Fathers

By Cathleen Freedman | Photography by 

Edward and Jules of READYLUCK 

|Planning by 

Amanda Savory Events

Rebecca Pleat and Aakash Dheri had no intention of attending a White Elephant gift swap party in Boston, Massachusetts. Aakash was only visiting the city, and Becky would normally never venture out in such wintry January weather. But at the behest of their friends, they changed their minds at the last possible minute.

At the party, Becky sat on the couch while Aakash entered. Their gazes met, and without even saying hello to anyone else at the party, he took a seat next to Becky. They spent the whole night on that couch, talking and getting to know each other. 

Three years later, the couple stopped in Mystic, Connecticut, on their way to Maine. Aakash took them to their favorite winery, Jonathan Edwards, to grab a few bottles of wine and sit by the water. The sun simmered down for golden hour, and a violinist appeared. In the distance, several artists set up easels to paint the landscape—as they normally do with a sunset. Aakash then said they should look at the nearby local artists’ canvases. Perhaps today would be the day he and Becky would buy one.

Becky looked at one of the paintings and discovered a beautiful landscape portrait—along with a painted version of Aakash on one knee, proposing to her. Aakash turned that piece of art into reality and asked Becky to marry him. After she said yes, his best friend sang Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect” while the violinist strummed and the newly engaged couple danced. The rest of their best friends, Aakash’s father, and his stepmother emerged from their hiding spots to celebrate the happy news. That painting now hangs on the wall in their home.

The couple enlisted Amanda Savory Events and Natalie Sanderson to plan the multiple-day Indian wedding. Aakash and Becky deliberated between venues that could accommodate all of the unforgettable events they wanted. Aakash’s father suggested Cedar Lakes Estate. “As soon as we visited it, we felt like we were at home,” Becky shares. “The owners, staff, and everyone we met was so unbelievably welcoming and accommodating. Once we saw the natural amphitheater that overlooks the lake, we both knew we wanted to get married there.” They also appreciated that the venue had accommodations on site for guests to stay on the property.

Becky had a vivid vision for her traditional Indian dresses: bright and vibrant for the Mehndi ceremony and Sangeet, dark red for the actual wedding ceremony, and Champagne for the reception. The bride’s wedding lehenga featured deep red velvet with beading. She paired her intricate outfit with traditional Indian jewelry like chura bangles, kalire, tikka headpiece, and elaborate henna designs on her hands by Monita Bijoriya. Evelyn Grossman from Perlei Salon applied her glowing makeup, and Daniela Zlatanovska of DIA Studio styled the bride’s hair. Becky’s eight bridesmaids complemented her in different colored lehengas.

The groom’s Sherwani coordinated in gold with deep red accents, and Aakash’s twelve groomsmen sported colorful Indian suits. 

The fall foliage just started to peak on October 16, 2021. The ceremony took place at the incredible natural amphitheater that overlooks the lake. Guests found their seats on either side of the Fresh Designs Florist’s flower-lined aisle, underneath flower-strewn trees. “It literally looked like you were walking into an enchanted forest!” Becky recalls. The mandap was decorated with bright florals as well where the bride, her mother, the groom, Becky’s cousin, Aakash’s mother, and his stepmother sat.

Portraits of Becky’s father and Aakash’s father were placed on the mandap as a touching tribute to their late fathers who passed away in the year leading up to the wedding. “Planning the wedding was hard and emotional, but also healing in many ways,” Becky notes. “We knew both of them wanted us to get married and throw the most epic party that we possibly could. The ceremony, and the wedding as a whole, is a tribute to them.” While the pandit performed a traditional Hindu ceremony, gentle breezes would wave through. Each one felt like a sign that the fathers were present in spirit.

Everyone met in the barn, which was re-imagined with white draping, greenery, soft lighting, and candles. A family-style dinner followed with Indian dishes and sea bass. Edward and Jules of READYLUCK photographed and videographers Melissa and Steve Neske filmed the events’ beautiful, tender moments.

The Infernos played music that brought guests to their feet. DJ Rishi interjected with fun, upbeat Indian tunes before the newlyweds shared their first dance. The couple’s two best friends sang the duet version of “Perfect,” while Aakash and Becky showed off their choreographed moves. Once they started dancing, Aakash and Becky never left the dance floor. That is, until the after-party at the Tree House began. The deejay stayed until 3:00 a.m., while the music blared and the espresso martinis flowed.

Aakash’s one request for the wedding was a Champagne shower. Guests grabbed ponchos, goggles, and one of the 100 bottles of champagne for a bubbly, celebratory spray outside. There could be no better end to the #DheriQueen nuptials.