In the past year, I have been shooting mostly multicultural weddings. This is of great personal importance to me. Despite the fact that I very much value tradition and find it a beautiful addition to life, it seems wrong to me when people misuse it to create even more barriers and obstacles between nations and religions. I believe that true Love and Beauty starts with accepting the difference of another person and allowing him/her to be oneself before and after marriage. All my happy interracial, inter-religious and inter-ethnic couples act as tremendous proof of this.
I like the vibrations of joy and openness and the humorous exchange of traditions because, at a wedding, they manifest themselves in all their glory. When I shoot a Catholic wedding where half of the church are Sikhs, when the bride’s family is dancing in lungi, meeting the groom’s Baraat, when a white woman is dressed in traditional indian clothing, and the groom offers her Sindoor in the presence of the whole family – at moments like these my heart tells me that we are all one, because in the end, all that each of us truly needs is LOVE.
Look into this beautiful story we have shot in Kerala. Gayatri belongs to malayalam family, while Japtej is true Panjabi. At wedding they had mixed up two cultures, and it was absolutelly stunning.
– Tell us a little about both of you. How and where you first met?
Both of us met at our work place in Chennai.It was not really love at first sight but more like friendship turning into love and now life long companionship.
– Tell a little about the wedding
We Had 3 events. Mehandi,cocktail and the wedding. We were clear from the beginning that we do not want heavy decor as the venue itself acted as the perfect decor. At mehandi as it was a day event we played around with lots of colours. So hundreds of multicolored carnival flags and drapes. Evening cocktail had a lot of play with fairy lights and candles. The wedding itself was 15 steps away from the beach so it had the most perfect back drop and apart from that, we added few quirky elements.
– You planned the wedding yourself, what is your experience? Will you advice to the brides to get a wedding planner or to get it done themselves?
I would advise to do it yourself.It feels a lot more personal and intimate.Obviously its not easy , but it certainly is a lot of fun.
– You come from different cultures/traditions/states. Can you share some memorable moments / funny incidence / dramatic conditions you faced coming from two different backgrounds?
We have been in a relationship for 8 years before getting married.So both the families knew about us. However, they only metup when we decided to tie the knot.Over the 8 years we had many memorable moments so hard to pick up one.Being from a typical large Punjabi family the women from South do not realise how overwhelming it can be to always be surrounded aroundlot of noise and opinions about everything.So that was new for Gayatri. Also, the fact that my dadi is not fluent in english meant that the conversation between her and Gayatri is extremely hilarious and adorable at the same time.
– How did you managed to get your families agree? Was it easy going or difficult?
Families had no qualms about it what so ever.We dated for a long time 8 years before we decided to get married.I guess it was like any other relationship with its ups and downs but all is well that ends well.
– How you felt when performed rituals of another tradition? Was it same for you as you own?
It was exciting and fun.The mallu wedding is really short.It felt like i had just got onto the stage and still waving to friends and the ceremony was over.The sikh wedding after an hours break and once that was done it was over.We did a small shoot and headed for the best part of the afternoon…the traditional sadhya.
-How do you feel after marrige, us two persons from different cultural background, living under one roof?
Its not different at all.Have been together for 8 years.The only thing we don’t fight now about is that when are we getting married 😉