Real New England Weddings: Anita Nathan & Rishi Shukla

BACK BAY RESIDENTS Rishi Shukla and Anita Nathan needed a venue that could accommodate a full-blown traditional Indian wedding, not to mention 340 guests. They found it at the Seaport Hotel in Boston – big enough to house the huge group, and flexible enough to allow an outside caterer to provide top-notch Indian fare.

Like many Indian weddings, the Shuklas’ event was a multiday affair: The celebration kicked off Thursday night with a mehndi ceremony (in which a henna artist decorates the bride, family, and friends) and ended at 1 a.m. on Sunday in the main ballroom. "The whole Indian ceremony is like a play. There are so many symbolic steps to watch," says Anita, who incorporated as many customary elements as possible.

Between Rishi’s grand entry to the ceremony (he rode in on a white horse) and a big party (called a sangeet) at Mantra restaurant the night before the wedding, the couple managed to bring a bit of India to Boston, and made it a weekend they’d never forget.