Real-life or fairytale?

I realised I haven’t updated you guys about the actual wedding last weekend… Partially because I don’t even know where to begin…

Shraddha and Naman tied the knot at the beautiful Udaivilas by The Oberoi – a property pretty much made for magical wedding ceremonies. I was running really late, but luckily the bridal party was too!

From the moment of walking to the lobby of the hotel, moments before this stunning bride walked down the ‘aisle’, to the final moments of the ceremony, many hours later… It was one of the most memorable, beautiful ceremonies I’ve been a part of in India.


Shraddha was looking like a dream, dressed in a lehenga by Sabya… We started the evening in the lobby with the bride and her family. I managed to capture a couple of special moments of the bride with her sisters and their father—everyone was so emotional, I don’t think an eye in that room managed to stay dry. Especially not my eyes, being the most emotional person on the planet…


Shraddha with her two sisters, Vidhushi and Nidhi…


Although weddings are obviously always emotional (especially for me considering I cry just thinking about these things), many Indian weddings are a huge deal for both families, much because both men and women often live with their parents until they get married. On the wedding day, the family “gives away” the bride, and she becomes the daughter of the groom’s family too. In many cases, the bride moves in with the family of the groom instead of moving into their own home (although its slowly changing, the way India is changing).


As anyone would imagine, the moment of getting your daughter married is incredibly emotional. In any part of the world! There are a lot of opinions and thoughts on what it means to “hand over” the bride to a new family. Coming from a country where its culturally considered ‘wrong’ for a father to even walk his daughter down the aisle to “hand over” the bride to her husband-to-be, it does make me think twice about what it means to be a woman in a society where we’re (often, hopefully) considered equal, yet have our entire life paths defined by the gender were born into. Its an interesting difference between traditions, and I equally see the beauty of both cultures through their different views on marriage and the wedding process.


Then, it was time for the big entry. Saif and three other men whom the bride considers her brothers hold what is similar to a roof over the bride while she walks towards the groom. I’m not sure what this symbolises, but it’s an incredibly sweet tradition if you ask me.


The wedding ceremony began with a short ritual where the bride throws rose petals on her groom, along with four of her unmarried girlfriends. There’s a lot more that goes into it, but that’s pretty much all I know. The ritual ended with sparkling (silent) fire-crackers all around the property. Definitely a highlight—the entire crowd went, whoaaaahhhh.


The wedding guest list reached exactly 899 people…


…that’s a lot of people eager to get a glance/take a photo of the beautiful couple…


After the initial ceremony, there was a few hours of break before the ceremony began…


…Shraddha and Naman walked around the venue saying hi and thank you to hundreds of guests who had made their way to Udaipur for their big wedding weekend. It must be tough to take it all in!


Before the actual wedding ceremony began, dinner was served. The dining area was filled with Michelin-star awarded chefs, serving Indian and Italian. Remember how I said that a French Fry and Taco stand would be mandatory at my future wedding? Well, I take that back…

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Because, there was a Truffle Bar at the main wedding night, where fresh black and white truffles were served on everything from fresh spaghetti to creamy risotto, pumpkin soup and mashed potatoes…


Definitely the most luxurious thing I’ve ever eaten at a wedding. Fresh truffles for somewhere around 900 guests! Hello! I think I had two or three plates of fresh pasta with truffles to myself. I’m not sure about Saif, but he definitely beat me to it… Unfortunately the camera died, so I didn’t get a chance to document it.


After heading back to our room for a bit to charge all our technology, we were seated for the wedding ceremony. Shehla was looking stunning in her new lehenga, also from Sabya…


It was a ceremony that stretched over a few hours. Saif and I grabbed some homemade dark hot chocolate to not let the cold get to us. Although I wasn’t cold in 21 degrees–a few older people came up to me and asked if I wouldn’t consider wearing a jacket over my sari. I’m from Scandinavia, I don’t freeze, was my response. At least not in anything above 15 degrees!


In all the beauty, luxury and flare, Shraddha and Naman make the most genuine, humble, intelligent and down-to-earth couple, with big hearts and smiles to everyone, everywhere and always. I’m blessed to have such people in my life, and grateful to have been a part of their gorgeous wedding weekend. Now I’m just trying to figure out how to thank them… I have a few ideas—more on that, later.


And hats off to Mahesh, Alisha, Kunal and the entire Tamarind team. It was such a well-executed, thought through, organised and top-class hospitable weekend, and I’m so impressed by their hard work. Having worked in the wedding planning space, I have a lot of respect for this field—especially when they also managed to keep such a calm, in the midst of 900 guests and four (five?) luxury properties. When my big day comes, I’ll know who to call!


At 7am, I got up and left for the airport to head into office for a full day of meetings. Not on many hours of sleep, but who cares when you’ve just come back straight from a real-life fairytale?

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