Photos by Eunice Flanagan of E. Noemi Photography
Ashli Collins and Ganesh Rao tied the knot on May 27 in a ceremony at Whitehall House & Gardens. The estate served as the perfect backdrop as they officially became husband and wife. We spoke with Ashli to hear all about the romantic day that blended both their families and their cultures.
When and how did you two meet?
We actually met when Ganesh was a resident and I was a medical student 20 years ago. We ran into each other once or twice since then, but in September 2016, my father got sick in Lexington, where my parents live, and were told they needed to follow up with a urologist. My mom asked if I knew anyone in Louisville, and I reached out to Ganesh (who is a doctor with First Urology). He saw my dad in his office the next day. We started talking after that and then started dating.
What’s the story of your engagement?
I am really big into planning elaborate scavenger hunts for my kids on Christmas Day. Last year’s hunt lasted about six hours and took them all over Louisville. The hunt ended at Bombay Grill for dinner. As dinner was ending, Ganesh handed me an envelope that started a scavenger hunt just for me to several places that were important to us. Friends were scattered along the way to help with the hunt, and it ended at our home with a crossword puzzle asking me to marry him. My parents, our kids and some friends were hiding in the basement, and we had a small party afterwards to celebrate.
How did the planning process go?
The planning process went fine. This was our second marriage and had initially planned on a very small ceremony and reception. As we talked more, we decided we wanted to include a lot of the people that had been important to us through the years. It turned into a fusion-type ceremony with mostly Hindu elements and a few more traditional American elements. Planning it was fun for us. We had my best friend’s two children narrate the whole thing to help those in attendance understand everything as a lot of it was said in Sanskrit.
What was your favorite part of the day?
I really enjoyed getting ready with the girls (we only had our children as attendants) and we had each of them give a speech at the reception. They were all very unique, very funny and very heartfelt.
Did everything go smoothly or were there hiccups along the way?
It all went smoothly! But we also were pretty laid back about everything.
What advice would you give to couples currently planning their big day?
Do things the way you want them done. Use the colors you like and include the people who mean the most to you. Have some special times set aside for just you and your significant other during the weekend so you can catch your breath and really focus on the importance of each other and what you are doing. VT
Attire: Sahil of Chicago, Illinois
Makeup: Denise Cardwell with ImageWorks
Hair: Jennifer with Vertu Salon
Decorations, Tents and Tables: Reliable Rentals
Flowers and Centerpieces: In Bloom Again
Catering: Ramsi’s Cafe on the World, Bombay Grill and Steel City Pops
Cake: Kelly Pringle
Photographer: Eunice Flanagan (E. Noemi Photography)
Transportation: Xtreme transportation
Venue: Whitehall House & Gardens
DJ: Tim Murphy
Officiant: Rajendra Joshi
Rings: Royal Jewelers
Invitations: Julie Diamond