Shirelle Noble, the director of marketing for LIKEtoKNOW.it and the well-known blogger affiliate network rewardStyle, met Brian Poindexter, a freelance strategy consultant, at The University of Texas at Austin. “We were both in the Undergraduate Business Council—a student government group full of type A, nerdy students,” laughs Shirelle. “I almost immediately had a crush on Brian, who at the time wore Weezer-esque black frame glasses and had a nonchalant poet vibe. We were friends for two years and finally kissed at a Cinco de Mayo party. I now consider Cinco de Mayo our anniversary, and luckily, we got married in May as well!”
The two dated for 6 years before deciding to move to Australia together for a year-long job transfer. “My parents were not thrilled about the idea of us living together before a commitment, so they suggested we have a small traditional Indian ‘betrothal’ ceremony,” explains Shirelle.“This turned into a much bigger deal than we expected, with 100 people and both of our families in attendance. But, this worked to appease my parents and also bought us a little more time!” The couple now jokes that we had two proposals, two weddings, and two honeymoons.
Brian formally proposed to Shirelle a year later with a sapphire and diamond engagement ring, when they returned from their time in Australia. “We were back in Austin a few days before Christmas, and he surprised me with a horse-drawn carriage ride through downtown,” remembers Shirelle. “We ultimately ended up at the Austin State Capitol building. In college, we would go to the lawn there at night and dream about the future. We first said ‘I love you’ there, so it was a significant place in our relationship’s history.”
The two were wrapped up in blankets, sitting in their carriage, under the twinkling holiday lights when Brian popped the question. “It was all very magical and we were giddy with excitement,” admits Shirelle.
After the good news had sunken in, they got straight to planning. “We chose to get married in Bali because my parents have lived in Indonesia for the past 20 years,” says Shirelle. “We wanted the aesthetic to be fusion of all the cultures and places that had shaped our lives. Both Brian and I grew up overseas as young children—our families are from different parts of the world, and we wanted our marriage and wedding venue to bring everyone together for the celebration.”
They chose the Conrad Bali Hotel because it showcased the natural beauty of Bali, exhibited an easy elegance, and had plenty of space for the different ceremonies and parties the planned on hosting. They worked with with Innayat and the Innaz Events’ team, based in Jakarta to bring their vision for the wedding to life. “Innayat’s team usually produces fabulous Indian weddings for 1,000+ guests, so our ‘small’ group of 200 was a breeze,” says Shirelle.
As a first generation American, the bride wanted to blend her personal style and heritage together. There were lots of events planned during the course of the three-day affair, so she had the opportunity to wear many different looks. For the ceremony, she chose a traditional Indian lehnga (a long embroidered pleated skirt that leaves the lower back and midriff bare), custom made in Mumbai. “My mom and I went on a shopping trip to Mumbai and visited a staggering number of bridal boutiques there,” says Shirelle. “There are no rules in Indian bridal wear, so the choices, colors, and styles were endless. After a long day of overwhelming store visits, we stumbled upon a small shopfront and met a lady who custom designs wedding outfits. I fell in love with the intricate hand-done beadwork and breezy fabrics, so we quickly settled on a design.”
For her wedding ceremony, Shirelle wanted her makeup, hair, and jewelry to be understated and elegant. “My makeup artist used a soft gold eyeshadow and my favorite—and appropriately named—lipstick from Tom Ford, Indian Rose,” explains the bride. “And, my mom gave me a ruby and gold pendant to complement my outfit.”
After the ceremony and reception, Shirelle changed into a simple white lace dress from Australian based, LOVER, and nude YSL Tribute heels so she could dance all night. “I loved that this dress reflected my western aesthetic and the platform heels were perfect for the long night of dancing ahead,” says Shirelle. “They really were the best wedding shoes ever—and I did a ton of research as I don’t wear wedding shoes often!”
For her Sangeet night (the “musical” celebration the night before the wedding), Shirelle chose a voluminous red and gold lehnga from Indian designer, Rohit Bal. She paired this look with a headpiece, bold red lipstick, and a cat eye. Meanwhile, Brian wore an teal and gold Indian Sherwani jacket. “He has a great sense of style and was happy to embrace the Indian elements of our wedding.” For the ceremony, he wore a custom-made cream linen suit, which fit in with the fact that men traditionally wear white. And then for the reception and after-party, he changed into a tux from Suit Supply.
The ceremony took place just before sunset, underneath a beautiful rose covered awning and was a true fusion of Shirelle and Brian’s family traditions. “Following my family’s Zoroastrian tradition, we had our parents and aunts join us on stage to ‘tie us together’ with a string, while a priest blessed us,” says Shirelle. “Then, we had Brian’s dad lead us in reciting our vows to each other. I’ll never forget looking into Brian’s eyes and saying ‘I do.’”
The reception was held outside, under long strands of white twinkle lights. Shirelle’s sister and maid of honor, Tanya, works in hospitality, and she coordinated a delicious menu of traditional Indian wedding dishes, served on banana leaves. “My favorite was a delicate white fish, steamed in green coconut chutney,” says Shirelle.
During the reception, the father of the bride gave a beautiful toast to his daughter and her new husband. Shirelle’s sister also honored the couple with a few words. Shirelle and Brian then thanked their guests, many of whom had traveled from the United States, Europe, Australia, and India to celebrate with them
After the toasts wrapped up, the couple’s first dance was to the Black Keys’ “Everlasting Light.” “We had practiced our moves and the final ‘dip,’” says Shirelle. “The photo of this is my favorite from the whole wedding weekend!”
After the outdoor reception, guests were ushered into a ballroom, where there was a DJ, a bar, a hookah, and a drunk snack stations. “Our DJ played a mix of Indian pop songs and our favorite hits, and the party was incredible—we stayed out until 5:00 A.M., when the last-standing guests jumped in the hotel pool. It was ridiculous, but the most fun night of my life!”