Cultural Weddings/Real Weddings

A Jubilant & Colorful Three Day Wedding In Punjab, India

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I’ve mentioned before what a sap I am. I’m the stranger photographing a wedding that cries during first looks, vows and most of all – any father-daughter moment.

So it brings me SO much joy to share this wedding that incorporates an impressive father feat: welcome to Gurpreet and Shivraj’s colorful & joyous three-day wedding celebration, largely planned by Gurpreet’s father in Chandigarh – Punjab, India.

“Impressive” is a word that does not properly encapsulate the wedding planning put to work at this incredible wedding. Five events (even more if you count the many stages of their wedding day!) spanning over three days with gorgeous clothing changes, incredible decor & what looked like amazing food.

There are so many details to ooh & ahh over but we are particularly captured by the pink-hued wedding outfits against the setting sun for their nature-filled wedding portraits. It’s oh-so-dreamy.

“It was a crazy, jam-packed holiday with lots of shopping and planning” says bride Gurpreet, who while living in Australia left most of the planning to Dad on the ground in Chandigarh. When the wedding day approached Gurpreet landed a few weeks prior to finalize clothing, jewelry, decor, dancing & tasting – I hope this gives all of our current destination brides out there that, yes, you can get it done!

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Our Love Story

Some might say it was the universe planning to unite two strangers who happened to land in Sydney at about the same time, we were establishing our fledgling careers and were not actually looking for romance. The first meeting was a chance encounter when we both entered at the same time for dinner at Shiv’s cousin’s place. The family had got together from different corners to celebrate Shiv’s grand aunt’s 90th birthday in Australia. We spoke briefly and at the end of the dinner, Shiv’s cousin asked him to drop me home. Unbeknownst to the family, this young bachelor was taken in by this pretty, vivacious and intelligent girl, much as he tried to conceal his excitement.

On the drive home, we engaged in light-hearted banter while discussing the show suites (Shiv has a law degree). Shiv didn’t waste time in getting my phone number. However, life got in the way and it was only after a couple of months when Shiv got back from a family trip from Hawaii that we finally caught up at an idyllic beach in Sydney. We were only meant to have lunch but ended up spending many hours together. Fast-forward to August 2019 when shiv and I were on a holiday in New York, he surprised me with the most beautiful proposal on a rooftop bar.

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Gorgeous and Joyous Traditional Indian Wedding – Beginnings For You Photography – The Sangeet

The Sangeet

We wanted this function to be really fun with lots and lots of dancing. The event flow had some dance performances, poems and games followed by plenty of dancing.

I wanted to look really glamourous for my Sangeet, I chose a nude pink and red outfit. I went for big curls and bold red lips.

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Gorgeous and Joyous Traditional Indian Wedding – Beginnings For You Photography – The Haldi

The Haldi

The Haldi function was a morning function just after morning breakfast. It was a small cosy ceremony with close family and friends.

I wanted my Haldi look to be really fresh and colourful. I choose a lemon-yellow skirt and top with colourful flowers and a net cape.

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The Destination

The destination for the wedding had to be Chandigarh (Punjab, India) as my parents currently live there. Shiv’s family lives in New Zealand and Shiv and I live in Australia. So, Chandigarh was the obvious as my dad was going to plan and coordinate the wedding.

We wanted a residential wedding where we could have all our functions and put up all the guests. We wanted to have all our functions together (all combined ceremonies). We wanted the Mehendi function to be by the pool and the main wedding in the garden. Shiv and I both like natural beauty and wanted a venue surrounded by nature. We knew we had to do lots of ceremonies and wanted the wedding to not be a hectic affair. We both had one agenda – we wanted to have a blast and the wedding was planned accordingly.

We made a trip to India for 10 days to shortlist the wedding venue, our clothes and other details for the wedding. It was a crazy, jam-packed holiday with lots of shopping and planning. Most of the planning happened remotely with my father being the only one in India to help convert our wedding vision to reality. I landed in India 20 days before the wedding and that’s when the real madness started with finalising all the clothes, jewellery, decor, dance practices, food tasting and so on.

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The Mehendi

This was one of my favourite functions, I wanted it to be loud, full of colour and have as many Punjabi elements as possible. We organised folk singers for this function and it was a riot of colour, fun and laughter.

For this look, I wanted to look my Punjabi best and I wanted to wear a sharara. I really wanted to wear red for one of my functions and I chose a red sharara for this function.

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The Jagoo & Chooda

We had so many functions on this day so, we wanted the Jagoo function to only have live dhol and family members singing. We lit some born fire and the scene for this function was very chill and cosy. We decided not to have a DJ for this function and that was great as we got the time to spend some personal time with all our guests.

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The Wedding & Reception

We had a beautiful Gurdwara wedding with all our close family and friends followed by a reception. Shiv came to the Gurdwara in a very cool vintage car and I entered the Gurdwara holding my daddy’s hand.

Post-wedding ceremony Shiv and I went to the reception in an open-top vintage car and it was a great feeling to have time alone after the wedding. The venue was surrounded by lots of natural beauty and we wanted a very open layout. For the first part of the function, there was a Jazz band playing some which were followed by a DJ for all the dancing.

I wanted my wedding look to be timeless and I wanted to wear pink. I am not too big on jewellery and wanted to wear minimal jewellery and keep my makeup natural.

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Favorite Details

1. All the personalised boards for our wedding – they were just so cute

2. The rickshaw at the Mehendi and the Manji’s to give the Punjabi touch to the event.

3. Personalised shoes for Shiv for the Sangeet with the date of our wedding.

4. Our personalised ring box with the wedding date and our initials.

5. My personalised wedding robe I wore getting ready.

6. The vintage car – it just added the royal touch to Shiv’s overall style.

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Favorite Moments

Though a lot of planning went into getting this day together, at our wedding we just let loose and had a lot of fun. We took out time for each other and the ride back from the Gurdwara in our vintage car all by ourselves as Mr and Mrs was indeed a keeper.

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Advice to Other Couples

I think it is really important to enjoy your own wedding and step back from any planning. We handed over all my planning activities two days before our wedding.

Make sure you keep time for your couple shoots for all functions – in the end, it’s the photos and videos which speak about your wedding date.

It is important to choose an outfit that brings out the best of you instead of what’s trending.

Always carry an extra pair of comfortable heels – trust me you will need them.

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