Sometimes, all it takes to find love is a little spontaneity. In 2006, Salil Pandit and a friend were planning to drive from Washington state to California the week before Thanksgiving. The girl who lived across the hall, a friend of Salil’s, asked if she could tag along. “I love to travel but at that point hadn’t had many opportunities,” explains Jennifer Federico. Though she and Salil were already friends, it was that road trip that turned their friendship into something more.
The couple dated for eight years before getting engaged, but even after all that time, the proposal was still a complete surprise—and Jennifer’s spontaneity again played a big part. “Salil had planned to propose during a hot-air-balloon ride in San Diego after Thanksgiving with my family, but at the last minute I decided I’d rather head to Santa Barbara on our way home to Palo Alto,” Jennifer explains. Thankfully, the groom rolled with it, swapping the big event for an intimate proposal in front of the fireplace in their hotel room. “I was getting ready for dinner for our eighth anniversary, and Salil told me he had one more piece of jewelry for me to wear,” Jennifer remembers. When she turned around, he was holding a yellow-diamond engagement ring!
Salil is Hindu and Jennifer is Catholic, so they knew they’d host a two-day celebration, complete with two ceremonies. But with guests traveling from around the world, the question became “Where do we host the wedding?” “Salil’s family is in India, and mine is in the U.S., so we decided to meet in the middle!” says the bride. They planned an intimate and indulgent weekend—September 22 and 23, 2015—in a gorgeous château in the south of France, focusing on incredible food, local wines, and as much love as they could squeeze in. “We fell in love with Château de Grimaldi, near Aix-en-Provence, immediately. The house and gardens are immaculate, and Salil loved the ruins and rich history. It was the perfect blend of our styles,” explains Jennifer. Even more impressive? They planned the whole thing from California in just six months! O’Malley Photographers made the trip from Seattle to France to photograph this jaw-dropping wedding, combining Provence’s natural beauty, a comfortable and homey feel, and the bride and groom’s culture immaculately.
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