An international celebration
When Megha Gupta and Jamie Whiteman married, they knew they would have two celebrations: a Hindu ceremony in India, where Megha grew up, and a Christian one on the East Coast, since Jamie is from Virginia. “It was important we did both ceremonies traditionally, as they were meant to be,” Megha says, “without having a mix-and-match-type approach.”
After a February 2011 trip to India for the first wedding, Megha and Jamie, who live in London and work in finance, planned a second, stateside affair. The Vineyard was an easy choice. Jamie grew up visiting his grandparents at their family home in the West Chop area of Vineyard Haven, and despite never having visited the Island herself, Megha felt it was the perfect place.
“It was interesting planning a wedding from London,” Megha admits, but says Jamie’s Island connections helped. Though his grandparents have passed away, Jamie’s aunt and uncle own a home on West Chop and are active members of the West Chop Club. The venue was set.
Megha and Jamie, working with Hollis Starks, a Kentucky-based wedding planner and Whiteman family friend, settled on a nautical theme, carefully selecting decorative details to reflect the Vineyard’s maritime culture. Gift bags, including goldfish crackers and cookies baked by the groom’s cousins, added a personal touch.
The week before the wedding, Jamie showed Megha his favorite Island spots, and the early June weather gave the couple no cause for concern. “It was literally seventy-five degrees, sunny, and perfect,” Megha remembers. But the morning of the wedding was a different story. “It started raining and never stopped!”
The ceremony was planned to take place outside overlooking the ocean, but the West Chop Club’s covered porch proved a worthy backup location. “Although it was somewhat stressful at the time,” Megha says, “in the end, it worked out great.”
The reception was held in a tent to accommodate the couple’s seventy guests. After dinner, guests danced well into the night to a mix of oldies and pop music played by Philippe Borde of MVDJS. “He was so amazing,” Megha raves. “He even left his equipment with us so we could carry on partying and hanging out long after he went home.”
Though the ceremony in India was meaningful, the couple appreciated their second one on the Vineyard in English. “Saying those vows out aloud, in front of our family and friends, was just so special to me,” Megha says. “I was trying my best to not cry but had a tear roll down my cheek, despite my best efforts.” Jamie agrees, listing the vows among his favorite moments of the night, along with “that famous tear.”
Megha’s first visit to Martha’s Vineyard will most certainly not be her last. “It was just the most romantic, beautiful, and perfect setting for the wedding. I always knew I would love the Vineyard, but I loved it even more once I arrived!”
[Originally published in the 2012 issue of Martha's Vineyard Magazine's Island Weddings.]