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Durga-Kali Inc

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Real wedding: Couple follows up Indian nuptials with a city ceremony

One couple shares their wedding story of a rooftop ceremony in Manhattan for TODAY's Real Wedding series.

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Durga-Kali Inc

Real wedding: Couple follows up Indian nuptials with a city ceremony

Durga Sundaram and Tom McCurdy lived on the same New York City block for months, but it took a birthday party on Manhattan’s Upper East Side for the two to actually meet.

In early 2008, Tom, an ER nurse, went to his former roommate’s birthday party, where he met Durga, a fashion designer.

“We ended up talking all night,” Durga said, but despite chatting for hours, the two parted ways without exchanging numbers. Tom later begged his old roommate to share Durga’s number, but it took him five months to hand it over. After calling Durga to ask her out on a date, the two realized they were never far apart.

“We lived literally on the same block,” Durga said.

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TV gets in the way

Three years later, in June of 2011, Tom planned to take Durga to Central Park for lunch at The Boathouse restaurant, followed by a ride in a row boat where he would propose. When the day came though, there was one problem.

“I couldn’t get her out of our apartment in time,” he said. “She was watching ‘What Not to Wear.’”

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Tying the knot

They didn't make their reservation, but the manager was able to get them a table and as soon as Tom ordered champagne, Durga knew something fishy was going on.

“I was a little nervous,” she said.

Just as Tom planned, he took Durga out on a row boat after lunch and proposed. “He actually did get down on one knee,” Durga said, impressed with his balancing skills in a boat.

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In for a ride

Because Durga’s grandmother lives in India and wouldn’t be able to travel to New York City for a wedding, the couple decided to have two weddings.

On January 17, 2013, Tom and Durga were married in India in a traditional ceremony, which included henna tattoos, sarees and customary Indian rituals. The newlyweds then planned to have another ceremony in New York City with the rest of their family and friends on September 13, nine months after their Indian wedding.

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Rooftop view

For the ceremony in New York City, Durga felt it would only be a city wedding if it was on a rooftop.

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Wedding party

She and Tom found Tribeca Rooftop, fell in love with the scenic venue and booked it for the ceremony and dinner.

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Lovely flowers

The couple had champagne, got ready and were on their way to Tribeca when they realized they forgot Durga’s bridal bouquet at the apartment.

“That was the most stressful,” she said, but thanks to a spare key and lenient doorman, Tom's parents were able to pick it up and get it to the ceremony.

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Smart gown

Durga founded the dress company Durga-Kali and makes reversible bridesmaid dresses so women can wear the dress more than once. With this as her profession, she was completely ready to deck her bridesmaids out in original, reversible pieces.

Durga took the same approach with her wedding dress. Designing it herself, she made it white on the outside and gray on the inside with detachable sleeves, so she could wear it after the big day.

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Down the aisle

Durga’s parents had both passed away, so her brother stepped in to walk her and for the father/daughter dance.

"He had really stepped up in a fatherly role. It was my time to thank him” Durga said. “But halfway through, my nephew got jealous and stepped in wanting to dance.”

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Keeping the culture

While they had an Indian ceremony, it was still important to the couple to have Durga’s heritage represented in their second wedding. “I still really wanted to incorporate a bit of being Indian in my wedding here,” Durga said. They decided to play some Indian music, use a silver Ganesha instead of a traditional cake topper and had Indian food served.

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Stealing a kiss

The couple break away from the part to steal a kiss.

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Tabletops

The couple’s good friend performed the ceremony, which only lasted 10 minutes. In that short period of time, he added a good dose of embarrassing stories for the couple. “They were family friendly but equally embarrassing,” Tom remembered. “But he talked about how our personalities shine in our relationship.”

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Wedding details

The two were pronounced husband and wife—again—and immediately headed into the cocktail hour and reception with their 160 guests.

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Saying hello

“The wedding is such a blur. You don’t get to spend that much time with everyone,” Durga said. “We tried to talk to everyone but we said after 10:30, we were just going to stop with the formalities and enjoy ourselves.”

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Dance all night

Durga did pause at one point during the night to change out of her dress and into an Indian outfit. “I wore that for the reception and had my bridesmaids reverse their gowns into the little black dresses.”

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A feast to remember

The party lasted until 4 a.m., making it a night to remember.

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Sweet seconds

“Even though we had already gotten married, it was pretty exciting to do it again in front of our friends and families,” Tom said. “And it’s still so exciting, just thinking about what the future could hold for us.”

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