Ellen and Prince Sharma met in 2013 while both were attending dental school at the University of Washington. After being engaged for nine months, they married on May 21, 2016, at the Des Moines Yacht Club.
Both of their families are from Washington state, and they wanted their wedding ceremony and reception to be convenient for their families and friends. He hails from SeaTac and she’s from Tonasket.
VENUE: The couple married in a traditional, yet modern, Indian wedding ceremony on the Des Moines waterfront. They had planned to marry outdoors, but it rained that morning, so the ceremony was moved indoors at the yacht club.
Before the ceremony, Prince dressed in his ceremonial attire, a red-and-gold sherwani. He wore a traditional Indian headdress with beads covering his eyes, so that he wouldn’t be able to see his bride when he arrived at the ceremony site. Once dressed, he traveled by car with a procession of family and friends and made a grand entrance at the ceremony venue. There he mounted a white horse as drummers regaled him. In traditional fashion, his family followed the drummers and danced around him.
Ellen, who wore a traditional red-and-gold lehenga, stayed indoors while Prince was on the horse and his family was outdoors. Soon after the outdoor parade, Prince and Ellen met for their first look at each other in their wedding apparel.
VISION: “We wanted to keep our ceremony somewhat traditional, with pieces of our personalities,” says Prince. “We wanted it to be new school, not completely old school. Our vision was to make it a wedding that was enjoyable for everyone and one that represented our personalities.” About 200 family and friends witnessed the three-hour ceremony beneath the mandap.
In planning the wedding, the most important elements were different for the bride and groom. “For Ellen, it was important to her to experience a really positive environment because it was the last time, for a while, that she’d see her friends and family, because we were moving to Texas,” explains Prince.
“For me, [it was important that] the wedding and reception were done how we wanted it done,” says Prince. “Secondly, the music was important to me.”
The wedding ceremony and reception capped a three-day weddingcelebration that involved many traditional Indian rituals, including a henna ceremony for Ellen. When her henna application was completed, Prince had a henna heart dyed onto his hand.
After the wedding ceremony, the couple took time to rest. In the afternoon, they changed into other outfits for more photographs along the beach in Des Moines.
RECEPTION DECOR: The wedding reception began at 7 p.m. at the Kent Event Center, where 500 guests dined on Indian food. The reception colors were purple and green. A sofa and flower-filled arches served as a stage for the couple, as is traditional at an Indian wedding. Ellen and Prince sat there while they listened to speeches and enjoyed a performance by the University of Washington’s Bollywood dance team, called Kahaani. “It was awesome,” says Prince. “They are well known and compete on a national level. We were fortunate to have them at our reception.”
SPECIAL MOMENTS: Ellen’s favorite memory from her reception was her first dance with Prince. “My favorite memory was seeing her for the first time at the wedding,” says Prince.
Soon after their wedding, the couple graduated from dental school, on June 4, 2016.
Ellen is a captain and dentist in the U.S. Army, and Prince is also a dentist. They make their home in Texas.
This wedding was featured in South Sound Wedding & Event magazine 2017.
CEREMONY VENUE: Des Moines Yacht Club
RECEPTION VENUE: Kent Event Center
CATERER: Maharaja Restaurant
CAKE: Crème De La Crème
DECORATOR: Universal Decor
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