Fun for Days

November 2022 View more

This Hindu couple celebrated their union with a joyous weeklong celebration 

When Akshara Damidi and Sid Seelam happened to sit down at the same dining-hall table at Iowa State University, they became fast friends. Both immigrants from Hyderabad in the southern Indian state of Telangana. They spoke the same language and bonded over their shared love for movies. Months later, their relationship turned romantic. “When I first met Akshara, it’s like I knew her for ages. She just made me feel like I could share anything with her,” says Seelam, a 29-year-old data and analytics manager. 

“Sid always puts other people before himself, and that’s definitely a quality that I wanted to find in my partner,” says Damidi, 25, a Neuqua Valley High School grad who grew up in Naperville and now works as a tech consultant. Though they went their separate ways for a couple of years when Seelam moved to California for work, they later reconnected. “She texted me out of nowhere, and I called her and we spoke the entire night,” Seelam says. “A few days later I booked a flight to Iowa and showed up at her doorstep.” 

They got engaged in 2021, and facing the daunting task of planning their traditional Hindu wedding—which would span 10 events over six days—they hired Naperville-based planner Victoria Schultz of the Wedding Whisperer, who specializes in South Asian celebrations. Their wedding week kicked off in July with a number of events in the Damidi family’s backyard in Naperville, including a Mehndi party and a Haldi, a ritual holy bath. “It’s a literal wedding shower,” Damidi says. “The couples in the family pour cold water on you … and then we broke out into a water-balloon fight.”

Then the festivities moved to the Sheraton Lisle Naperville Hotel for the Sangeet—a dance-centric soirée with lavish pastel decor inspired by Damidi’s favorite TV show, Bridgerton—followed by a Hindu ceremony and reception the next day for 250 guests. With dancing and drinking stretching into the early morning hours every night, the couple ended their wedding week short on sleep but long on merriment and memories. They’ve just moved to Fort Worth, Texas, and are settling into a new apartment with their miniature shih tzu-poodle, Roger, and cat, Whiskey. They hope to honeymoon in India and Bali in 2023.  


Venue Sheraton Lisle Naperville Hotel, Lisle

Catering Cool Mirchi, Roselle

Wedding planner Wedding Whisperer, Naperville

Bride’s jewelry Emerald and diamond jewelry custom-made in India

Henna artist Nausheen Ajmeri, Glendale Heights

Cake The Baking Institute, Northbrook

Ceremony and reception decor Ovation Decor, Elgin 

Entertainment DJ Prashant, Schaumburg

Photos courtesy of REM Photography