The stunning Anand Karaj, the Sikh wedding ceremony of Geetika and Jasjeet, photographed by Vinuthna Garidipuri.
How did the two of you meet?
"He was just a skinny, geeky little kid, and I was getting used to eating Indian food with braces. We met for the first time when we were 14, through my cousin who knew Jasjeet from high school. We infrequently ran into each other at the various family events held by the Indian community here, but that was about it. Not much was said beyond a "hi" or a "hello". It wasn't until almost 10 years later that we actually started speaking to each other. We began hanging out more frequently and eventually fell in love!"
Was there a formal proposal?
"Yes! And I can safely say I was so totally shocked, surprised and blown away. Jasjeet secretly spoke to my two best friends and cousins and tried to trick me into believing that he was taking me to a wine tasting. I recall not wanting to go, but my cousins managed to drag me out anyways. Little did I know that Jasjeet had booked a gazebo at a winery overlooking the hills and vineyards below. When I got out of the car, there he was, standing at the center of the gazebo. He poured two glasses of champagne, held my hand, shared his vision of our life together, and popped the question!"
Any anecdote or memorable moments from your wedding that you'd like to share?
"Well for firsts, my baraat was beyond epic! The groom's side walked on foot, all the way from the grooms home to the bride's home, colour-coordinated from head-to-toe. Shoes, sherwanis, turbans, you name it! Besides, the beautiful weather made it all the more a spectacular sight to behold. Everyone was dancing, super-hyped, while the white neighbours stepped out of their homes to record all the fun."
"For my doli, I went home in a gorgeous carriage and got to soak in the whirlwind of emotions, stepping into a new phase of life with Jasjeet. When we entered the venue together, Akshara sang a soulful rendition of 'Jashn-e- bahara' which instantly set the mood for a beautiful afternoon. I had a pretty fun-filled PJ party with close family members before the festivities; brimming with love and laughter. However, funniest of all was having to sneak tequila shots in at my sangeet, without the glaring aunties noticing!"
Any piece of advice for brides-to-be?
"You must understand that no matter how well you attempt to organise every aspect of your wedding, it will never go a 100% exactly according to plan. Instead of constantly stressing about every minute detail on your big day, embrace the love and blessings people have to offer. It's important that you shift your focus towards enjoying each and every moment, and truly be present."
"We were so very fortunate to have an amazing photographer like Vinu who captured some of the most soul-gripping, emotionally uplifting, happy moments of the wedding. I would recommend all brides to find a photographer who can bring alive the emotions of the day into pictures, rather than preset portrait poses."
"Most important of all, as a bride you will surely feel incredibly nervous on the day, but don’t forget to look at your partner and be reminded of why you took this step forward in life."
How are you and your partner spending time during the pandemic?
"While the initial lockdown was a mentally taxing and challenging period of time for many, I felt it allowed couples to be together in a unique situation and be more present around one another. A blessing in disguise, couples could take time out to do the simplest of things together, ones that they often forget to because of the daily grind! Jasjeet and I got back into reading for fun, took daily strolls outdoors and a lot more. One activity that we did frequently and I enjoyed the most was pouring a glass of wine each, sitting on the steps leading up to our apartment, and enjoying the breeze. Casually chatting about life amidst the sound of chirping birds, what more do you want?"