Joti & Shiva

We've been dating for 12 years when we got married and one can say it was a long time coming. We had literally spent half our lives together and we tried to call as many of our friends, family and community together for the entire occasion. A Hindu wedding is a reflection of the creation that happens in the cosmos and just for that day it is believed that we are the incarnation of Vishnu and Lakshmi. The more people that partake in the celebrations, the more auspiciousness is bestowed on the couple. Our ROM was held at Sree Narayana mission. Our wedding was at Perumal temple and reception was at Swissotel Fairmont. The priests were from Lakshmi Narayan Temple.

What was the most memorable part of your wedding?

After dating for 12 years, we had made many promises to each other and it was a good time to recap them for good one more time! We shared a moment on stage where it finally sunk in to us that this was finally happening. The fragrances, the fire, the commotion of a thousand of our loved ones will be etched in our deepest memories for a lifetime.

What were the biggest challenges planning your wedding? Or at the actual wedding?

Our biggest challenge was trying to bring the traditional wedding to 21st century Singapore! How can we make this event around a fire which is essentially the immediate family, pandits and couple more inclusive for the audience (many of whom are not Hindu and may not understand what was going on)? There is a stereotype about our weddings are ritualistic, long and not meaningful and we wanted to break that idea. Once you dive into it, it is so beautiful and enchanting, all you need is a bit of creativity.

How did your overcome the challenges?

We went through the procedure with our priests once before. Our priests really appreciated us taking the time to do so since most couples take it for granted and hence end up very frazzled. Once we confirmed the steps, we made print outs which our non-Hindu friends really enjoyed. One of our cousins also helped us translate what the priest was saying. The feedback was very positive. We saw many people sit throughout the ceremony and actually try to follow what was happening.

What was something you wish was done better?

Joti wishes her speech was as awesome as mine for the reception. I wish I looked more graceful and worthy of Joti while dancing.

Was there something unique or special you added to your wedding?

Joti had a Varanasi theme for the wedding so she had an extremely customised colour palette which Soundtracx did an amazing job in helping us fulfil. We even got a rangoli done with the ghats at the Ganges. This became a real focal point for selfies at the end of the night. Joti's wedding lehenga was silk sourced from Baneras and custom made in Delhi. This was since we wanted to fit our theme of Varanasi which is near where our families are from.