• Photography By:

    Braja Mandala Photography


    June 10, 2017. San Diego, California

    Anjana Pottathil and Sami Hymeti met through a mutual friend in August of 2011, when Sami flew from New York to spend his birthday in sunny San Diego. There were immediate sparks, and the two couldn’t seem to stop joking and laughing with each other. “It just felt natural to be around one another, like we had known each other all along,” Anjana describes.

    Shortly after, Anjana and Sami started a five-year long-distance relationship; and despite living in different bicoastal cities, they found time to embark on adventures together and never missed a birthday or anniversary. Six years later, Sami took Anjana to her favorite lookout spot in Dana Point, California to pop the question at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve.


    The wedding planning process was nothing short of a whirlwind, but the couple knew their roster of talented vendors would bring their wedding vision to life. Anjana wanted an indoor evening wedding with candlelight, and immediately fell in love with the Crystal Ballroom at the U.S. Grant, as it embodied both Indian and European architecture – perfect for the Indian-Albanian couple.

    As a beautiful touch of symbolism, the bride and groom chose to be married on June 10th to commemorate Loving Day Weekend. This celebration is held on the anniversary of the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Loving v. Virginia, when the Court in Loving declared all laws prohibiting interracial marriages to be unconstitutional. 

    The wedding ceremony was magical in every way. Decorator Jennifer Cole used white hydrangeas and gold hurricane candles to perfectly accent the traditional gold items used in the wedding mandap for Kerala weddings, and scrolls detailing each part of the wedding were handed to guests, so they could understand the significance of each custom they witnessed. The following reception was an incredible party that started with choreographed dances by the wedding party, games, and a nonstop dance party.

    Friends and family showered the couple on their wedding day with love and happiness that they will cherish forever. By the end, the bride and groom felt grateful to their loving families and friends “for their incredible generosity and kindness without which the wedding would not have been so magical.” 

    The newlyweds set out on a belated but epic honeymoon months later to Israel, Jordan, Egypt and South Africa. They had spent months planning this dream trip and it could not have been more perfect.

    Sami and Anjana immersed themselves in the culinary and cultural magic of Tel Aviv, the impressive historical sites of Jerusalem, spent time floating in the Dead Sea, rode camels to the Pyramids of Giza, had a private tour through the lost city of Petra, relaxed at the luxurious Arathuza resort in Sabi Sands near Kruger National Park where they spotted all five of the most dangerous animals to approach on foot, and saw four Great White sharks while cage diving in Capetown.


    Wedding Dress: Sabyasachi