Posted Wednesday, Mar. 06, 2013
Manish Kotecha proposed to Amy Chappell with a Dairy Queen Oreo Blizzard in one hand and a sticky engagement ring in the other. His plan to present the ring atop the frozen ice cream backfired when the dessert melted during his mad dash to meet his unsuspecting girlfriend.
"I really thought the Blizzard thing was going to work," Manish says. "Then I panicked. I had Oreo all over my hands and it probably looked like I was trying to tear into the Blizzard like I was starving. I was just hoping she would say yes because that's all that mattered."
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Amy, a former county singer and Nashville Star contestant turned nurse, and Manish, a pediatric radiologist, grew up in small-town Kansas and once worked together at a DQ, hence the ice cream-inspired proposal.
During the couple's three-day wedding extravaganza, which blended Christian and Hindu cultural traditions, the Oreo Blizzard reappeared as a treat passed on trays at the reception, complete with faux engagement rings tied to the straws.
"The Blizzards were a hit," Amy says. "It was a fun way to share our proposal story."
Wedding festivities began Thursday when guests from as far away as London and India arrived for a casual, reunionlike Mehndi party at Amy and Manish's downtown Fort Worth apartment. Henna, a nonpermanent body ink, was intricately applied to Amy's hands, forearms and feet, and to anyone else wishing to partake in the artistic ritual.
"It took about four hours for the application," Amy says.
Following a rehearsal dinner at Joe T. Garcia's on Friday, Hindu and Christian wedding ceremonies were held back-to-back on Saturday, along with a Bollywood chic-themed reception. All took place at City Club, where more than 5,000 stems of red and orange flowers combined to create a festival of color.
The revelry began when Manish started his baraat, or ceremonial ride atop a white steed, and was followed by a Bentley booming hip Indian tunes through downtown. Guests lined the Sundance Square streets to watch the procession.
"It all seemed to happen so fast, even though that was the slowest horse I've ever seen," Manish says. "Once the music started, I went full-on maniac, shouting and dancing. I lost my voice by the end of the ride. I remember a group of random ladies came running out of a restaurant and began walking along with the parade. They begged me to let them come into the wedding."
The couple's traditional Hindu ceremony included the jaimala, or exchange of garlands, and the mangal phera, which required the couple to circle seven times around a sacred fire.
Amy's bridal lehenga was designed by Silk Threads in Dallas and was custom made in India.
Once officially declared husband and wife, Amy and Manish were showered with flower petals by their parents before quickly departing to change to Christian wedding attire in only 45 minutes. Meanwhile, guests enjoyed wine and champagne in the City Club's Terrace Room.
"With the help of my wedding planners, everything went off without a hitch," Amy says. "I was in nursing school at TCU during the planning, so we relied heavily on the expertise of the planners."
Amy's silk taffeta Enzoani wedding dress featured a beaded lace bodice and a scalloped train. The Christian ceremony, which took place in City Club's Oak Room, included a reading from The Princess Bride, a movie Amy and Manish watched during their high school courtship. After the second declaration of marriage, Amy and Manish shared a quiet moment alone before being presented to 200 guests back in the ballroom.
A belly-dancing Bollywood dance troupe performed upon the entrance of the bride and groom, and guests then enjoyed specialty cocktails and miniature entree stations dispersed about the room. Menu items fused American fare with Indian dishes and included lump crab risotto martinis, chicken tikka masala, chicken mulligatawny soup and steak Diane medallions.
"After all of the guests were ushered downstairs for our exit, we had the room and dance floor to ourselves," Amy says. "We shared one last dance before we left. We both felt so blessed and overwhelmed with gratitude. It was the perfect moment."
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