Nimisha Shah and Neal Patel’s Cultural Oklahoma Wedding
Nimisha and Neal met at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign through various college gatherings and a mutual class. Their love ignited when Nimisha invited herself to Neal’s backpacking trip to Big Bend National Park for spring break. The two spent ten memorable days camping in the woods together, without any communication with the outside world, and were able to get to know one another deeply. On the last night of their adventure as they lay beneath the stars, Neal asked Nimisha to be his girlfriend.
On their six-year anniversary, Neal surprised Nimisha with a spontaneous backpacking trip to Argentina to hike Southern Patagonia, a vacation the couple had dreamed of experiencing. During their trip, the couple hiked the Perito Moreno Glacier and Neal proposed to Nimisha atop the glacier. Of course she said yes!
The couple’s wedding ceremony conveyed a “Secret Garden” theme with their reception explicitly including their icy blue glacier proposal. Their ceremony included traditional Hindu and Indian aspects with modernized elements. The celebration consisted of five days of events including a Mehndi party where the bride and friends painted henna on their hands, a large Sangeet dance party for guests as well as the wedding ceremony and reception. During the Sangeet party, friends and family created unique skits and choreographed dances to perform for the bride and groom.
Hindu wedding tradition does not involve a kiss of the bride and groom after vows are exchanged. Despite this, when Nimisha and Neal stepped off the altar, known as the Mandap, the officiant teased Neal to kiss Nimisha. As Nimisha looked at Neal not knowing what to do, Neal slipped his arm around Nimisha’s waist and kissed her on the forehead! Their guests laughed and applauded and the couple described the moment as their favorite moment of the day!
Nimisha and Neal ventured to Australia and New Zealand for their honeymoon. After their honeymoon, the hardworking couple got back to business. Nimisha owns Galaxy Home Recreation, a home recreation retail store. Neal owns a business that manufactures and distributes massage chairs and arcade games. The couple resides in Brookside and plans on going on many more adventures in the future!
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