A WEDDING WITH NO GUESTS IN ANDAMANS THAT GAVE US THE WARM FUZZIES
It was a beautiful beach day with just the right amount of sunlight filtering through the sky. The sky was clear, the light is great for some amazing Insta-worthy pictures and there were hardly 5 people sunning themselves on the sand. It was just another regular day on the beach. Only, for two people, it wasn’t. For two people in love, Akanksha and Manoranjan, it was a day they knew they’d never forget - it was their big fat wedding day with no guests except for an enthusiastic pandit, a minimalistic mandap and me, the wedding photographer who needs to capture these precious moments.
What was it that made these two lovebirds do this all on their lonesome, you ask? Circumstances and love. But these Bravehearts knew how to navigate difficulties, an occasional snag and got to work on their relationship. Even though there was no big fat family attending it, these two managed to have a big wedding in their hearts - it’s always the thought that counts and theirs was a larger-than-life, bigger than their dreams.
So off we went to Havelock Island, Andamans, a unique place for a destination wedding. The simple set-up was put up at the Munjoh Ocean Resort with panditji giving them oodles of gyan and lots of advice, much to the chagrin of the onlookers. A pastel pink mandap stood beautifully at a distance, almost calling out their names, adorned sweetly by the hotel staff with marigolds - bright yellow, festive and auspicious.
The bride wore an unusual lehenga - a grey and peach concoction that gave out island feels while the groom walked in with a muted gold kurta and a silky dupatta coiled around his neck. Both of them wore a smile as large as their hearts. And you know, what makes a wedding your own? Having the courage to do something hatke. The bride walked in with a bunch of wildflowers in her hands and boy, was it a sight. It’s the details that make this wedding, most worthy of our time. As the sun hit the high notes, we hurried up with our rituals. Panditji said all that he could, gave his blessings, performed the rituals and smiled as he gave his blessings. The couple were immersed in the rituals, smiled coyly at each other and closed their eyes in prayer. It was a sight like no other - so much purity, devotion and love in one frame.
The truth is, this wedding wasn’t just a wedding for these two - it was their 5th wedding anniversary. They had done their court marriage on the same day five years back. It was an inter-caste love marriage, which was definitely not acceptable in the beginning to both their families. Soon, families accepted them but there were still some tiny conflicts among families, so a real wedding could never take place. That’s when the bride came up with this idea - a 'Just Us' wedding in Havelock where they had come a month before their court marriage 5 years back. That was the foundation and Havelock, once again became the stage for their new beginnings. “We are very happy that everything happened so smoothly that day and the day was so beautiful with the presence of people like you, panditji and others. We were sad a while ago that we did not get to have that regular wedding like everyone else, but we have this moment now and happy to have each other as life partners,” explains Akanksha.
And as photographers, we couldn’t ask for a more authentic story, an intimate setting to pave the way and an interesting anecdote to tell our grandkids. Soon, it was high noon and the rituals ended - it was at that moment, under the mangrove shade that we watched the couple become one - a ceremony that bonded them in a big way. That’s why, it’s a big fat wedding, for us as it is for them.