When you look back at your life, how do you most want to remember the moments? Close your eyes and think of late nights spent playing board games with family or telling hilarious stories with friends. Think of goofy faces, happy dancing, quoting your favorite movies, and hosting gatherings filled with loved ones. Think of your cousins and children and the cute things that kids say (and how they express their thoughts so loudly!). Think of hugs, and smiles, and genuine joy as your parents watch you with pride.
These are the moments and memories that Shonu and Julio spoke of as they shared their vision for their wedding film with us. After looking around for the best wedding videographer, they firmly decided that they preferred a wedding video keepsake that would capture their family, their friends, and the kids they loved in a way that helped them to re-live their wedding weekend. Julio spoke of wanting to remember the voices and conversations in a natural and authentic way. Capturing voices and personalities on camera is one of our strongest values as keepsake cinematographers, so we were excited to hear how committed Shonu and Julio were to having that element play an important role in their wedding film.
“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing
There is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
The world is too full to talk about.”
Shonu and Julio met working on a campaign together and their shared passion for civic service soon blossomed into an affection for one another. Now settled in Austin, TX, the couple’s cultural fusion wedding was a genuine reflection of who they are, including traditions celebrating their heritages from India and Mexico and their deep delight in hosting evenings filled with good friends and good conversation.
Each wedding venue was selected with the utmost care in order to give their guests a true taste of the vivid South Austin vibe. The Mendhi began on Friday afternoon at Hotel Saint Cecilia. Located just off of South Congress, the canopy of a towering live oak tree offers shade to the entire lawn of this eclectic hotel, which is well known for its neon “Soul” sign that overlooks the pool and the amazing retro-chic décor gracing its interiors. Rustic wooden farm tables were laid with exquisite bright garlands and surrounded by modern brass chairs. Plush lounges were set up across the lawn so that guests could enjoy lunch and visit while local artists applied beautiful henna to the hands of guests, including many happy children!
Later that evening, the families gathered for the Sangeet at Shonu and Julio’s favorite local restaurant - Sway. As guests arrived, they were greeted by beautiful visuals of greenery draped across low hanging chandeliers presiding over large family style tables. They were served an exquisite array of appetizers and foods, including pineapple miange, satay grilled eggplant, and tom aha gai. Dinner included green curry with tofu, pad thai jay, miso sweet mash, and charred asparagus with harissa. The night was full of many delightful moments, like heartfelt speeches from the Bride’s relatives and a surprise dance performance in honor of Shonu and Julio.
The wedding day was cheery and bright, and as cars busily bustled by along the South Congress Hotel, Julio and his baraat (wedding party) arrived to the ceremony on a scooter for the traditional Milni. Greeted by the bride’s “sisters,” Shonu’s dearest friends and female cousins escorted Julio carrying pots on their heads and Julio’s family was greeted ceremoniously by Shonu’s family.
Mayor John Destefano (at whose campaign the couple met) gave a moving welcome to the gathering, and later that evening, he treated the crowd to a hilarious toast that recounted the political and romantic journey of the couple. Their Hindu ceremony was conducted both in the sacred language of Sanskrit and English for the attending crowd. The Mandap was decorated with beautiful garlands and stood tall throughout the entire evening - a reminder of the ceremony that linked Shonu and Julio to one another.
As guests entered the reception, they walked through a psychedelic video wall that featured Julio’s spirit animal, a wolf. The groom’s cake was that of a large snake, based off of a traditional Southern American artifact that Julio had seen - and connected with - in a museum on his travels. Guests heard more beautiful speeches from the couple’s family, and our favorite highlight of the evening was watching Shonu and Julio cheerfully dance to “Me and Julio down by the school yard” in front of their family and friends.
Witnessing such pure moments of joy, love, and celebration in the lives of others is one of the biggest perks of this job, and we are privileged to be reminded weekly of the best parts of humanity.
Shonu and Julio,
Thank you for the way you cherish one another and your community. Your compassion, generosity, and joy are obvious proof of beauty in the world, and gives those who witness your lives one more reason to believe in love.
The Mason Jar Team
Event Planner + Designer: The Whitt Experience: @thewhittexperience Photographer: Q Weddings @qweddingsphotography Kurant Events @kurantevents Wedding Venue: South Congress Hotel @southcongresshotel Sangeet Venue: Sway @swaythai Mendhi and brunch venue: Hotel St. Cecilia @hotelsaintcecilia DJ Chino Casino @scullytime Band: Sauce @wearesauce Bakery: The Cake Plate @cakeplateaustin Photo Booth: Capture Photo Booth: @thecapturephotobooth Late night desserts: Voodoo Donuts: @voodoodoughnutaustin Lighting: Ilios @ilios_lighting Henna artists: Nisha Henna Arts Rentals: Loot Rentals BBJ Linens Premiere Marquee Birch and Brass Flowers: Margot Blair Florals: