The Colorful Wedding Show takes place Sunday, March 27 from noon to 5 p.m. at the Essence Event Center in St. Paul.

ST PAUL, Minnesota — Reena Maheshwari has always enjoyed being involved in weddings. Even as a child, she would help her mother cook and decorate for Indian weddings in their Twin Cities community.

In 2019, Maheshwari was preparing for her own wedding.

“My marriage was Indian and Nigerian. My husband is Catholic and I’m Hindu. We were really trying to bring different elements from our cultures and really combine them in one day,” Maheshwari said.

But as she was planning her wedding, she noticed something while attending bridal shows.

“I just felt like they weren’t suitable for me. It’s very geared towards a white American…and Christian wedding. Everything from the venues to the caterers to the photographers, you don’t see each other not represented,” Maheshwari said. .

It was then that Maheshwari started her business around the same time she got married.

Kahani Events and Design offers everything from rentals to design and decoration for cultural or multicultural weddings.

“I see a trend in people wanting to mix customs. First, to save time and money, but more simply to create a very unique and personalized celebration for themselves.”

But Maheshwari said there was still a gap in helping couples find the various providers they were looking for.

Referring to his own marriage, Maheshwari said: “One of the things I really wanted to do was try to find African-owned businesses to support and give a touch of understanding of his culture. It was really, really hard to find them just because we weren’t involved in those communities.”

In December, Maheshwari launched “Colorful Weddings”. The Twin Cities Wedding Collective connects couples with BIPOC vendors and those who specialize in cultural or multicultural weddings. The collective will also focus on professional development.

“It was such an overwhelming response from many vendors that ‘we want it and we need it,'” Maheshwari said.

The collective will also focus on professional development. A colorful wedding fair is taking place Sunday, March 27 from noon to 5 p.m. at the Essence Event Center in St. Paul. The fair will feature approximately 25 vendors. Attendance is free, but Maheshwari asks people to register online, here, to get an idea of ​​how many people will be attending.

“We’re trying to really form a community that’s focused on really colorful weddings,” she said.

Know a local business we should feature for our Behind the Business segment? Email Heidi Wigdahl at [email protected].

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