Cultural Weddings/Real Weddings

Gorgeous Gold Roka Engagement Celebration With Retro Bollywood Vibes

Pre Wedding Roka Celebration with Kerala Traditions – Claude Loren 18

The more parties the merrier, we say! And we’re thrilled (and jealous) to see what a stylish & fancy event couples like Mehal & Jophy make of their Roka celebration.

What is a Roka? It’s a pre-wedding celebration in Indian weddings – call it, an engagement party! It’s an official declaration in front of family and friends, and to the world, that they’ve ‘stopped’ looking for others and will marry each other. The day includes a ceremony, and if you’re Mehal & Jophy, plenty of fabulous food and dancing, too.

Mehal being Hindu & Jophy being Christian, we love this first chance for the couple to marry their cultures together and introduce each other’s family members to this new fused family dynamic. Featuring tantalizing cuisine from Kerala, retro Bollywood dancing & gold decor & fashion to match, this Roka celebration is nearly as fancy and cool as a Palm Springs wedding, if you ask me.

Pre Wedding Roka Celebration with Kerala Traditions – Claude Loren 8
Pre Wedding Roka Celebration with Kerala Traditions – Claude Loren 4

Our Love Story

It’s been eight beautiful years of togetherness. We started out as little school kids in whites (at DPS Bangalore school) exchanging English notes, pens, preparing for exams & exchanging our lunch boxes. While he was the lead drummer of our school and & I was on the prefectorial board because of constant coordination, we started to interact a lot & felt this almost powerful attraction towards each other & confessed our feelings.

It then spiraled into seven years of long-distance because of our colleges & businesses in separate cities. Distance did make our bond incredibly strong.

We reached a point where we said enough! We just want to start living with each other & finally broke the news out to our families. While my family was shocked to hear it – because they always saw Jophy as my good friend – his family already had a hint and were very welcoming.

Today, we both sit back & see both families bonding as friends & my parents treating Jophy like a son they never had, while his parents pamper me. It fills our hearts with gratitude.

Also, being Hindu (me) & Christian (him) there was a little bit of a filmy twist when the news broke out, but it now feels like a movie with a happy start (and no End).

Pre Wedding Roka Celebration with Kerala Traditions – Claude Loren 7
Pre Wedding Roka Celebration with Kerala Traditions – Claude Loren 10
Pre Wedding Roka Celebration with Kerala Traditions – Claude Loren 9

The Planning & Decor

We were particular to keep it intimate but celebrate it with all heart.

From the start, I knew I wanted to do a pampas grass setup. Since my garden was filled with lush tall trees, keeping the benches white with a dash of dull gold & browns would create a romantic setting for the night.

This was all then brought to life when we jazzed it up with retro Bollywood, a few dishes like Appam & Stew from Kerala to fresh hot jalebis, a dance for my man on Mere Sohnya. Meanwhile, he also surprised me with his dance performance with my sister on Koi Mil Gaya (romantic Bollywood songs).
There was alcohol flowing which led to the families letting loose & dancing their hearts out.

Pre Wedding Roka Celebration with Kerala Traditions – Claude Loren 3
Pre Wedding Roka Celebration with Kerala Traditions – Claude Loren 12
Pre Wedding Roka Celebration with Kerala Traditions – Claude Loren 19

The Fashion

Little about the outfit: It’s a saree (or draped fabric) which is made by stitching metal wires so as to give it a wavy stiff aesthetic look. The garment was super heavy but somehow still so comfortable. It felt more like wearing art.

Pre Wedding Roka Celebration with Kerala Traditions – Claude Loren 5
Pre Wedding Roka Celebration with Kerala Traditions – Claude Loren 6

The Photography

Claude was chosen because he knew exactly how to capture moments & memories, not just poses.

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Pre Wedding Roka Celebration with Kerala Traditions – Claude Loren 14
Pre Wedding Roka Celebration with Kerala Traditions – Claude Loren 15
Pre Wedding Roka Celebration with Kerala Traditions – Claude Loren 23
Pre Wedding Roka Celebration with Kerala Traditions – Claude Loren 17

Favorite Moments

Two special moments in particular:

1. When Jophy & I hugged for the first time as soon as the ceremony got over! It was surreal. We had goosebumps & I was so emotional because we were now officially each other’s.

2. When my dad and I danced together. Though it was for a minute, both of our hearts were pumping so loud & we were just oozing with emotions. I’ve attached a picture of the moment too – the handsome man in a red waistcoat is him.

Gold Roka Wedding Celebration – Claude Loren
Pre Wedding Roka Celebration with Kerala Traditions – Claude Loren 20
Pre Wedding Roka Celebration with Kerala Traditions – Claude Loren 21
Pre Wedding Roka Celebration with Kerala Traditions – Claude Loren 22

Advice to Other Couples

Make sure your engagement is fun event too. Though it’s a short ritual, have your friends & cousins dance, play some goofy or naughty games, dedicate a dance or song (or anything) for your spouse – I mean, go all out! It’s not about the food, decor & outfits.

At the end of the day, you should be loaded with memories even if it’s an intimate function! We had tons of dances, a couple of speeches and lots of moments of laughter. Believe me, it was all that mattered in the end!

Pre Wedding Roka Celebration with Kerala Traditions – Claude Loren 16
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