photo: Mari Harsan Studios
Pooja and Phil’s Polyrhythmic Fusion Wedding at Arena Stage
It was a real treat for us to work this event! Few combinations of bride & groom, guests, decor and dining can match the architectural grandeur of Arena Stage. Fortunately, a beautiful assemblage of folks celebrating Pooja and Phil made it happen, with the fantastic Rachael Keyl and her team at Engaging Associates at the helm. This was a smoothly-run production filled with wonderful, eye-catching details everywhere. This charming and super-fun couple gave me a set of musical directives that had me rubbing my hands in anticipation of a good night. You can get a taste of my South Asian/Latin/American mix in this excerpt from my wedding reception set. Listen while you read along and admire the photos from Mari Harsan Studios.
While the ceremony took place in the Kogod Theatre, DJ D-Mac and I put our final touches on our full sound and lighting rig in the Grand Lobby. Our LED uplights added the right amount of color to highlight the dramatic architecture of the lobby. And our pinspotting brought out the brilliant verdure of the amazing centerpieces by Jeff Johnson and Blue Vanda Designs. I was curious how a new speaker setup would sound out on the Arena Stage terrace which is a striking space for a cocktail hour. A summertime R&B playlist of D’Angelo, SWV and Zhané sounded delightful out there while guests sipped and snacked on small bites by Spilled Milk Catering (who naturally provided dinner in the Grand Lobby as well).
Once the proceedings moved back inside, we had a bit of a party before the party. Phil’s sister, niece and Pooja’s brother started the fun coming in to “Here Comes Trouble” by Chronixx. Phil’s parents boogied down to “Love Train” by The O’Jays. Pooja’s parents entered to “Tune Maari Entriyaan” from the film Mardaani 2 and that got everyone hype. Pooja and Phil entered to “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” by Sly & the Family Stone and went right into their first dance to “Ginza” by J Balvin. It was then that the pre-party popped off. I had to run a few Bollywood jams before we settled down for the speeches and delicious cuisine. Yo Yo Honey Singh helped me get the job done.
After the speeches, a couple of family member dance performances had folks wanting to hit the floor again. And after Pooja and Phil cut their cake (courtesy Buttercream Bakeshop), the party rocked non-stop from Nicky Jam to Cardi B, with some Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg as an encore. In between we kept the fusion wedding theme going throughout, from “Morni Banke” by Guru Randhawa and Neha Kakkar to Jay Sean and Sean Paul. “Bom Diggy” by Jasmin Walia was a great setup for V.I.C.‘s “Wobble”. From Usher to Sukhbir, we racked up a lot of musical frequent flyer miles partying to songs across continents.
Even more of Mari’s fantastic images are available in this Washingtonian feature.