Khrisha & Mayur – An Intimate Indian Wedding | Harrow, London
There was something extra-special about Khrisha and Mayur’s intimate wedding. It may have been the fact that there were only twelve guests (when Indian weddings can see upwards of 300). It may have been that it was hosted in the bride’s gorgeous home. Or perhaps it was the fact that it took place before the outbreak of COVID-19, and so photos of Khrisha and Mayur’s lovely day remind me of a simpler, happier time.
The Coronavirus crisis means that small weddings such as this one are likely to become the norm in the next few years, as couples navigate how to celebrate with their loved ones safely. As Khrisha and Mayur’s wedding proves, intimate wedding ceremonies can be just as beautiful and unforgettable as larger and more traditional Indian weddings. Just because fewer people are in attendance, that doesn’t mean you have to skimp on food, décor, or details – as demonstrated by Khrisha and Mayur!
Their wedding took place in a marquee in the garden, with a simple and elegant Mandap. Because there were fewer guests, Khrisha and Mayur were able to personalise everything, from the individual snack buckets (filled with chocolate, sweets and popcorn – genius!) to thoughtful poems carved on pieces of wood. The wedding favours had also been laser-engraved, and each guest received an envelope containing scratch cards and other treats. These little details made the wedding feel even more personal and touching.
Khrisha and Mayur also chose to have a live painter, Stephanie (who is a friend of mine and a fellow vegan). Stephanie is seriously in demand, and for good reason: she starts painting at the beginning of the day after watching the ceremony, and then presents the couple with one of their special moments transformed into a stunning, inventive piece of art for them to cherish always.
The couple chose to have a traditional Gujarati Vedic Hindu ceremony. It is customary for a cloth to be placed in front of the groom while the bride walks down the aisle and takes her seat in the Mandap. Following a ritual and blessing, the cloth is dropped, and the groom gets the first glimpse of his beautiful bride in her wedding sari. Mayur played a trick by pretending to be snoozing when the cloth was dropped – so the first thing Khrisha saw was her new husband sleeping instead of gazing at her in awe! It was a simple joke that summed up the joyous, fun-loving – and yet deep and respectful – nature of the bride and groom’s relationship.
The ceremony was one of the most intimate I have intended, and I felt honoured to be a part of it, especially during the Kanyadaan when the bride’s father places her hand into the groom’s. This marks the giving away of the bride and effectively kicks off the rest of the ceremony. Next up came the Pheras ritual, in which the bride and groom walk around a holy fire (Agni) and recite their vows as family members throw a cascade of fresh flower petals.
There were plenty of wedding games, such as Koda Kodi. The bride or groom’s wedding band was placed in a bowl of rose milk, petals and pebbles, resulting in a competition to see who could retrieve it first. I love how competitive this game gets – it always makes for amusing photos! Especially as whoever finds the ring is said to set the rules in the relationship.
Then it was time for the couple’s portrait session. I felt it was important to take some of the photos inside the bride’s house – the home she would be leaving to begin a new chapter of her life. I loved capturing the emotion of the day by the staircase, in the living room and inside the marquee, too.
Finally, it was time for the Vidhai, in which the bride bids goodbye to her family. I often say this is my favourite part of Indian weddings, and this Vidhai definitely had a profound effect on me. As you can see from the photos, there was a beautiful and emotional rawness to the way the bride embraced her family before leaving to embark on her new life.