By Rachel Jones | Photographs from Jorge Santiago Photography

Although they currently reside in San Francisco, Pittsburgh is a meaningful city for Preethi Raju and Ben Gotow. “He was born there, and it was one of the first cities I visited when I moved to America,” says Preethi, who met Ben when they attended grad school at Carnegie Mellon University together. “When it came time to decide where to have the wedding, we wanted to bring the party back to Pittsburgh.” The party accomplished the couple’s goals of being “personal but also really fresh” with a day at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens that beautifully combined their cultures and family traditions. Preethi and her bridesmaids wore saris in complementing pink, blue, and purple hues, while Ben and his groomsmen wore suits. “We both did what we were comfortable with,” she says. “We brought it together that way.” The couple celebrated with an Indian ceremony, then exchanged vows the Western way. To honor Ben’s Japanese heritage, Preethi handmade 1,000 paper cranes to fill the reception space, based on the tradition that doing so makes wishes come true. The crafty bride also laser-cut all of the table signs, and her friend illustrated the couple’s programs and SnapChat filter. The colorful celebration popped against the plum linens and light floral arrangements in the Tropical Forest Conservatory & Special Events Hall, as their 120 guests enjoyed a dynamic spread of Indian and American food stations and dancing to an eclectic playlist. “After the reception, we walked through the Tropical Forest Conservatory and all of our guests had sparklers,” Preethi says. “It was a great end to the day.”


Bride’s Sari & Bridesmaids’ Saris: Kumaran Silks
Ceremony & Reception: Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
Cake & Catering :Taj Mahal
Entertainment: DJ Nameless
Florals: Fragile Paradise Florist; Fancy Florist
Hair & Makeup: Angelina Mascarenhas of Flawless Bridal Beauty
Lighting: WE-EF Lighting
Linens: Lendable Linens
Planner: Divine Celebrations
Rentals: Peacock Creations Event Design
Suits: Hugo Boss
Videographer: Trillium Wedding Films

Preethi and Ben’s friend choreographed their first dance to a mix of “Hymn for the Weekend” by Coldplay, “I Can’t Feel My Face” by the Weeknd, “Brand New” by Ben Rector, and “Kabar Nahi” from Dostana.

The couple loved having Trillium Wedding Films capture all of the fun moments from their wedding.

Guests kept cool with fresh coconut water during cocktail hour.

The Indian ceremony, which involved both sets of parents, began with the couple’s guy friends lifting them up to exchange garlands.

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