November 18, 2017

The Society Room of Hartford

Heather of Powerstation Events Photography

When Jessica Breen and Himesh Sheth got engaged, Jessica, who was born in Quincy, Massachusetts, and Himesh, who was born in India and moved to the U.S. when he was 17, knew they wanted a wedding that would “honor the cultures and traditions of both our families,” Jessica says. The result they came up with was a day that included two very different ceremonies, one Hindu and one American, and one stunning reception, all of which took place at the 19th-century bank-turned-reception venue known as The Society Room of Hartford.

Many women look forward to donning a wedding dress; Jessica got to wear two: a classically beautiful Stella York looker for the American ceremony and reception, and a dazzling red and gold saree that her future mother-in-law had made for her in India for her Hindu celebration of marriage. “I never thought I’d wear something this elaborate and sparkling, but I felt awesome in the saree,” Jessica says. “Like a princess!”

The opportunity to wear such a spectacular garment along with jewelry that the women in her husband’s family had worn before her, “was very special,” says the bride, who adds, “I know it meant a lot to Himesh, too.” In support of their daughter and future son-in-law, Jessica’s parents, as well as the bridal party, also donned Indian attire, and, in keeping with tradition, the women on the bride’s side were given the opportunity to have intricate henna designs applied prior to the wedding day.

Highlights among the prayers and rituals of Jessica and Himesh’s Hindu ceremony included when a varmala was placed around the couple’s necks by their parents to unite them and protect them from evil influences, and the saptapadi, or seven steps, during which the couple made seven promises to one another, for example: “Let us take the seventh step to remain lifelong companions and love and support each other in sickness and health, and in happiness and sorrow.” (Sounds rather familiar, doesn’t it?)

For the American ceremony, presided over by an interfaith minister, Jessica descended the grand staircase leading to the Society Ballroom on her father’s arm, the eyes of her groom (looking as dapper in a tux as he had in his Indian kurta) and their more than 170 guests gazing upward.

In terms of decor, The Society Room, with its soaring marble columns, gold fresco ceiling and accents of bronze and brass, is already pretty spectacular as is, so the goal for the day was to simply “amplify the beauty that was already there,” Jessica says. Since both have busy careers (Himesh is finishing up his residency in internal medicine at St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury and Jessica is a physician assistant who specializes in family medicine), for this “we looked for the right team to put things together,” Jessica says — and found it in Powerstation Events, which coordinated everything from flowers to music to lighting, resulting in a day that the bride deems “flawless.”

The best part? That’s easy: “Getting to see how happy our families were to be together,” Jessica says. You certainly can’t ask for more than that.

officiant  Mary Coburn

dress designer  Stella York (American Dress)

dress boutique  The Wedding Embassy, Oakville

shoes  Elegant Park

bridesmaid dress boutique  David’s Bridal

tuxedos  Joseph Abboud from Jos. A. Bank

dj + lighting  Powerstation Events, Cheshire

caterer  The Society Room of Hartford and Namaste India, Southington

Florist  In Bloom Event Florals, Powerstation Events, Cheshire

cake  Creative Cakes by Donna, Haddam

hair + make-up  Jessica Mansfield

invitations  Custom Ordered in India