In Brides of Long Island’s monthly “Miss” series, we profile some of our members’ incredible bridal showers! This month, we talked to Dhalia Puri Ortiz about an Indian inspired shower that both celebrated her present and honored her roots.
If the past two years of pandemic wedding planning have taught Brides of Long Island anything, it’s that some traditions are ready to be broken.
So when it came time for Dhalia Puri Ortiz’s bridal shower (who like many COVID brides had to postpone her events from 2020 to 2021), she wanted on a day that was free from the typical conventions and represented the love she felt for her fiancé, John-Carlos (JC), and all of their friends.
She got that in stunning form: her Indian-inspired co-ed shower was held on September 25, 2021 at K. Pacho.
“I never wanted something so traditional,” said Dhalia. “I wanted something that was more fun, where there was more dancing.” Her mother Jyoti, who helped plan the affair, encouraged Dhalia’s ideas and took it a step further. “Originally, we were going to have just girls. And then my mom said, ‘let’s not leave out JC, let’s make it co-ed.’” While it wasn’t initially what Dhalia had envisioned, she was incredibly thankful for her mother’s input. “I loved that it was co-ed. It was so nice to have both of our families there, and having our whole entire bridal party there, it was so lovely.”
While Dhalia’s mother suggested a break from traditions in one aspect of her daughter’s shower, she fostered a return to tradition in a few others. “We’re Indian, my mom and I, but my mom remarried when I was younger. So I wasn’t celebrating Indian holidays or anything like that,” Dhalia recounted. “My mom never really instilled those things in me, but then when I got engaged, she said, ‘would you ever wear an Indian outfit for your shower?’ And at first I thought, ‘yeah, maybe.’ Then she brought it up again and I said,
“ ‘okay, obviously it’s something that’s important to her.’”
Deciding to choose a wardrobe that honored her heritage inspired Dhalia even more. “I was thinking about it and I said – why don’t I have my bridesmaids wear the Indian outfits [called Saree and Lehenga] too? I told my girls, and they were so excited. A few months went by and I thought – why don’t we make the whole shower Indian themed? It’s different, it’s not something that everybody does, and I think that a lot of people would have fun with it.”
Dhalia and Jyoti worked together planning the decor for the day, incorporating an innovative idea to a truly gorgeous effect. “In the beginning, my mom said something to me about using umbrellas, but I kind of blew it off,” Dhalia remembered. “And then as we were looking on Etsy, we saw them and I thought ‘oh, these are so cute.’ I laughed because in the beginning I was like, ‘oh, do we really need umbrellas?’ And it was probably one of my favorite parts of the decorations.”
Dhalia gave her mother credit for the idea, with gratitude for K. Pacho event coordinator Bill Xikis. “It all looked gorgeous, they actually came from India. My mom told Bill, and he’s the one who put the umbrellas on the ceiling and on the table and on the floor.”
Another decor favorite came with a little help from a friend. “One of my bridesmaids, Angel [a fellow BOLI], made the backdrop,” Dhalia mentioned. “She said, ‘let me show you what I’m thinking.’ She showed me a picture, and I totally just let her do it. That was so nice because it was something that I was completely not involved with. She came up with the idea, she did it, her parents came and set it up with her and it was just so nice to have that. And it was more meaningful because one of my bridesmaids made it.”
Accompanying the gorgeous setting was a delicious collection of desserts, with cookies by You Need Cookies, cake pops, chocolate covered graham crackers, and chocolate covered pretzels by Gourmet Goodies NY, italian ices by Dolce Bella, macaroons by Macaron 5 Chic, and a cake by All You Knead bakery.
While many bridal showers include interactive games and opening presents to fill the time, Dhalia longed for a different vibe. “I would describe it more as a cocktail party,” she observed. “There were special hor d’oeuvres, there was a buffet, there were drinks, there was dancing, and it was just so fun to be able to dance and hang out with everybody, especially right before the wedding. Because we know our friend group, and for us, we would so much rather hang out and dance and talk versus play a game and open gifts.” In addition to tearing up the dance floor with DJ Jarrett providing the soundtrack, guests could also get Henna tattoos provided by Kritika of Long Island Henna.
Dhalia’s advice for fellow BOLIs is to plan ahead. “I think it’s important to tell the people who are planning to plan early and not wait until the last minute, because that’s when things get stressful.” She also emphasized the importance of being surprised. “I am a very type A person and I do like to be involved, but I also think that it was nice to let my mom come up with the decorations that she wanted. Because it’s nice to be surprised and not be so involved at the same time.”
Lastly, she stressed staying present and appreciating everyone in the room. “I think it’s important to stay in the moment and enjoy it, versus getting caught up on something that may have gone wrong,” she advised. “ I think that it’s really important to just take a step back and just remember that all these people are there to celebrate you, and celebrate your love, and to just embrace that.”
*Dhalia’s shower was held at K. Pacho in New Hyde Park on September 25, 2021
*Photography by Jean Nicole Photography
*Dhalia’s outfit by Karigari by Pinky Chopra
*Bridesmaids’ outfits by Chahat Couture
*Dhalia’s hair by Hair by Miftar
*Dhalia’s makeup by Color Me Stunningg
*Cake by All You Knead
*Cookies by You Need Cookies
*Cake pops, graham crackers, and pretzels by Gourmet Goodies NY
*Macarons by Macaron 5 Chic
*Henna tatooing by Kritika at Long Island Henna
*DJ services by Jarett
*Decor by family and friends via Etsy and Amazon