About the Couple
Aparna Mukherjee, 29 is a member of Bloomberg News in New
York, where she coordinates "The Bloomberg Forum," a series of multimedia
interviews with CEOs, analysts, politicians, sports heroes and authors. As a Robert Bosch Fellow,
she is preparing to go to Berlin in the fall to examine recent immigration initiatives and
their effect on the German information technology industry.
Growing up in
Greenwich, Conn., Will Swarts, 32 never imagined he'd live his life with such a wonderful
connection to Indian culture -- he's very happy that's the case. He is now the managing
editor of HedgeFund.net, a Web site for the hedge-fund industry.
"After more than four years together over several time zones, we decided to take the
next step together. Will made it official on Sunday, December 23, 2001, with his
grandmother's ring, which fit me perfectly."
On the afternoon of May 11, 2002 they had a Bengali
wedding ceremony at The Hyatt Regency, Princeton, NJ. It was followed by a cocktail
reception, dinner and dancing with a live Indian band and DJ. On Day two the two exchanged
vows. It was followed by an afternoon champagne tea reception accompanied by poetry
readings and classical music at Bryn Mawr College.
The Decor/ Theme
All the Indian decorations came from Elegant Affairs, an Indian wedding decorating
and floral company run by two sisters, Sharda Shenoy and Shobha Rao. The couple visited
their showroom near the border of New York and New Jersey on the recommendation of the
wedding coordinator at the Hyatt, who works with them frequently since the hotel hosts
more than 20 Indian weddings a year! Shobha took them through dozens of options before
they settled on "Golden Eye," which they used for the mandap, the doli and
pillars along the aisles.
Says Aparna: "For
centerpieces, we used a combination of burgundy gerbera daisies and ivory roses next
pillared candlesticks. We purchased the wedding favors, small, stackable brass pots in
velvet pouches that symbolized the role of water vessels in the Bengali wedding
"The next day, we
relied on the natural, Gothic beauty of Bryn Mawr College, my alma mater, as well as help
from my sister who arranged the flowers and decorations. She and a friend did an amazing
job with gardenias that we ordered online. We also borrowed a typically Jewish or Quaker
tradition by having a wedding certificate designed and created for us by a calligrapher--
our guests then signed it. On it we included Indian design elements as well as the
Scottish thistle to represent Will's Scottish heritage. Likewise, we had a bagpipe player
in full kilt and dress play to greet our guests -- the other music was provided by a
After exchanging vows they had
friends do readings, including a song by Yeats and a poem one of the maids of honor wrote
about the bride.
Says Aparna: "For catering, we used The Palace, a
restaurant/catering service that is owned by an old friend of my parents. The menu was
extensive and received rave reviews from everyone. One of the special desserts was created
by the Hyatt's on-site pastry chef: chocolate raspberry with sugar-gum flowers. For the
afternoon tea, we had traditional treats -- tea sandwiches and pastries -- as well as more
chocolate-based delicacies such as as hand-dipped strawberries." The bride designed
the cake herself, using the mehendi theme and the filling was mango.
The guests came from all over the country and beyond: U.K., Canada, India, Bahrain, Spain.
Among the many journalists in attendance as guests, there was also one Dianna Marder, who
covered the wedding for "In Love," a column which runs in Sunday magazines in
Knight Ridder newspapers around the U.S. (It was in the July 21 issue).
At the reception, the band
Bojango Poonj - a quartet composed of two Indian American medical students, a pharmacist,
and an equities trader - played old Hindi film songs interspersed with American