A finance class at Harvard University may not seem like a natural setting to spark a romance, but it was sharing that classroom that inspired Natasha Sarin to ask Vladimir Mukharlyamov about his experience in the PhD program. Her suggestion of coffee became a dinner date, when the two shared their first of many meals together. “I realized early on in our relationship that she was The One, and I knew I would propose eventually – at the right moment, when we were both secure and had time to plan our dream wedding,” reveals Vladimir. When that point arrived, he prepared a speech and practiced it before arranging a video call to obtain the blessing of his beloved’s parents. “I was so glad to see the smiles on their faces and love in their eyes when I made my case,” he reflects.
After a careful search to find the perfect diamond ring, it was time for Vladimir to plan a proposal that properly reflected the love he has for Natasha. Knowing that she would want her family around for the moment, he worked with them to arrange for a false family portrait session in San Francisco. “I should have known it was coming, because my mom spent the whole week before very stressed out about the weather,” Natasha remembers. After being convinced to get her hair and makeup done for the photo session, she was ready to pose when Vladimir suddenly left under the pretense of calling his parents. It was clear the day was not simply about a family portrait when a flash mob appeared dancing to the couple’s favorite Bollywood songs. Vladimir reappeared during the last number, dressed as a character from the Bollywood classic Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. “It was so us and perfect,” muses the bride.
The couple elected to host their nuptials in Washington, DC, where Natasha has spent nearly every summer since high school. “When Vladimir and I first started dating, we spent a week in DC, and that’s really where our love story kicked into high gear,” the bride explains. “When it came time to plan our wedding, we knew that we wanted to share this place that is so special to us with our friends and family.”
With Natasha’s Indian heritage and Vladimir hailing from Moscow, celebrating their multicultural love story was important to the couple. In addition to a sangeet and henna party the Friday before, the sweethearts were married in both a Western and Indian ceremony the following evening, and the festivities concluded Sunday morning with brunch at a Russian restaurant.
The bride was stunning in a deep emerald-hued lehenga with elaborate gold embroidery, as she and her groom – donning a complementary traditional Indian ensemble – were wed underneath a mandap with reflective gold posts adorned with vibrant fuchsia and purple blossoms. For the Western ceremony, Vladimir changed into a black tuxedo and Natasha wore a sleek, detailed off-the-shoulder gown. In front of a boxwood hedge wall accented with more bright blooms and candles, the lovebirds exchanged vows as a close friend officiated the second service.
Following both ceremonies, guests entered the luxe ballroom decorated in similar vivid hues to those incorporated in the décor of the Indian and Western services. Table settings designed by Maison de Carine featured green and gold placemats, which called Natasha’s lehenga to mind, topped with china in a striking blue, gold, and ivory pattern. The lush floral centerpieces showcased extravagant arrangements of purple hydrangeas, fuchsia orchids, and roses in both red and hot pink. In honor of the newlyweds’ beloved dog, Bufar, who sadly passed away a few months prior to the wedding, the bar cart was named “Bufar’s Spritz” and a video featuring the pup was made to welcome the attendees.
Natasha and Vladimir had already performed a choreographed dance for their sangeet, but that didn’t stop them from making their first dance a tribute to Dirty Dancing. “It was so beyond exhilarating to perform for all of our family and friends,” the bride shares of the iconic dance to “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes. The royal blue dance floor remained filled until 2AM, as revelers enjoyed the sounds of the live band. In order to better enjoy the party, Natasha changed into a chic sparkling mini dress with feather details and a pair of sneakers to celebrate with loved ones all night long.