This fall wedding at Duke Gardens will go down in history as our most memorable by far — read on to see why!
We found out that we would have the honor of photographing Binata and Seth’s fall wedding at Duke Gardens just a few weeks before finding out that — just kidding! — Radhika probably wouldn’t be able to be there because we were due with our second baby a week later! Knowing that Everest arrived 8 days early, we knew that the smartest option would be to have an associate photographer in place to shoot the wedding. We immediately let our gracious couple and Stephanie at Viva L’Event, the amazing planner behind this wedding, know about our fun news, and were so honored to learn that they trusted us to take care of them with another photographer taking Radhika’s place. The lovely and talented Mina von Feilitzsch agreed to step in with Ian, and we are so grateful to her!
But, on the day of the wedding, Radhika decided that she did feel fine enough to come for at least the first part. So we packed our camera bags and headed to 21C Museum Hotel where Binata and her beautiful crew were getting ready for the day. The weather was cloudy and Binata and Seth got some lucky rain fall out of the way while they were getting ready, while the Viva L’Event team handled set up in crazy winds at Duke Gardens.
Radhika did make it a few hours, but exhaustion and contractions started hitting her as we were about to move to Duke Gardens for pre-ceremony portraits. She called Stephanie to see if it would be worth it for her to go to the gardens and grab some reception set up photos, but because of the wind and the rain, set up had to be redone, so she headed home.
We’re pretty sure you can guess the rest! As soon as she got home, labor progressed and during a check in with Ian after Binata and Seth’s ceremony, she told him to head home when he could. Ian talked with Mina and Stephanie about the flow for the rest of the night, and we’re so lucky that we hired an associate that we could fully trust to handle all of the fun reception events! Ian arrived home around 7 pm, and we headed to the hospital soon after to meet our baby. We love that we got to share such an exciting, momentous day with Binata and Seth, who had the time of their lives celebrating with friends and family!
As usual, we asked Binata and Seth some questions about their wedding planning process and plans for the day. Read their sweet answers below!
How did the two of you meet? Describe the proposal!
We met in business school in class about business and politics in Cuba and Panama— we got to travel to those countries together as well for 2 weeks. We became good friends from that class and started dating towards the end of business school. The proposal was in August 2020— I had taken a Friday off of work and Seth planned for us to bike ride to the National Cathedral where we had found a great garden to hang in during the pandemic. We played games and drank wine for a bit. It started to drizzle/rain— we were under a big tree so did not get wet but everyone else left the garden and we had it to ourselves when he proposed! We then celebrated on our roof with dinner from Bad Saint and some friends.
If you could give one piece of advice to a recently engaged couple about planning their wedding or the start of their marriage, what would you tell them?
Focus on why you are getting married and remember the big picture that it is about you two marrying each other (not what type of cheeses go on the cheese board :)). Practically, think of the top 3 most important things to you at the wedding and put your effort on decision making on those — there are so many decisions and only so much time to churn on those decisions!
How did you each know that the other was the right one for you?
Binata knew before Seth 🙂 He was such a unique mix of quirky, funny and smart — after leaving a 6 year relationship prior it was a clear view for me that this is someone I could spend the rest of my life with who would continue to challenge me, keep me on my toes, and be an amazing partner. For Seth, the hard things were easy and the entire relationship was a fun adventure with my best friend. Never a dull moment, and I think I knew prior to the pandemic, but during the pandemic, there was a moment that if we can get through this we can get through anything.
What has been the most fun part of planning for your wedding?
The most fun part has been the nights working on the “wedding project” together and picking out the things that will be more personal touches throughout the wedding (e.g., music pre-ceremony, cultural aspects of the ceremony, fun dessert surprises)
Did your wedding incorporate any history, hobbies, or passions that are special to this you?
Overall our connection with Duke is inherent to having the event at Duke Gardens — we also like that this is a public space that exists for the greater good and place we can always visit going forward with our family. The ceremony will have a number of cultural touches — we are doing a flower garland exchange in the ceremony for my Indian heritage and the Jewish tradition of breaking of the glass. We also tried to incorporate local vendors— we will be having some desserts (macarons and cake from Sweets by Shayda) and Locopops. Also having pizza late night, which pizza is my passion!
Thank you to these amazing vendors for your hard work on the day of, and special thanks to Mina for making this day go so smoothly for us!:
Planner: Viva L’Event
Florals: Wild Flora Flowers
Binata’s dress and shoes: Pronovias // Betsy Johnson
Seth’s suit: Indochino
Hair and Makeup: Meraki Salon
Cake and Desserts: Sweets by Shayda // Locopops
Catering: Chapel Hill Catering Company
Lounge Seating and Boutique Rentals: Greenhouse Picker Sisters
Tabletop Rentals and Tent: Party Reflections
Reception Chairs and Bar Glassware: American Party Rentals
Band: Legacy Band
Lighting: Get Lit
Transportation: Greenway Transit