Real Weddings

Georgina + Depak \\ Captured By Chasewild

A modern cityscape wedding infused with culture, vibrant colour and the most beautiful Hindu wedding celebrations for Georgina + Depak which features in our 2019 Wild Hearts Magazine.

Captured perfectly by Chasewild, this Auckland wedding stayed true to Depak’s cultural heritage and took place over five days and included all of the couple’s nearest and dearest. “In Indian culture, a wedding is a celebration for the whole community rather than just the couple – this is a huge part of what makes Indian weddings such vibrant occasions”

The first of the big celebrations was a ‘Sangeet’ night (a giant party evening with music, dancing and street food – all vegetarian and no alcohol!) at a stadium in Kohimaramara. This was followed the next day by a traditional Hindu wedding ceremony which took place at the beautiful BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha temple. Georgina looking absolutely stunning in her traditional Indian red and gold wedding gown, was carried in on a golden ‘Doli’ (a large throne) by eight male relatives and friends. Celebrating love and the joining of families.

With days filled with colour and beauty, the final soirée to finish off the celebrations was an intimate after-party at Saan, a beautiful Asian-fusion restaurant in the heart of Ponsonby that refined simplicity and elegant minimalism. Ending the night with the most divine vegan cakes by The Caker, the perfect end to five days of joyful celebrations.

How long have you been together? 

Our first date was in 2016… and the rest is history. 
In the many speeches throughout our wedding our friends confirmed what we had both suspected all along – it was game over at the first date.  While we both thought we were playing it cool (or at least Depak did) we were not fooling anyone.

Tell us a little bit about the proposal and your engagement?

Georgina: We got engaged at Lake Tekapo on the first night of a two week campervan trip around the South Island. It was low key, very private, and completely magical all at the same time. In true Depak style he played the fool for most of it. 
A few weeks after we got engaged I travelled to India with Depak’s parents (without Depak) to India to receive a blessing and travel to the village where his father was raised. 
It was an incredible experience to travel through such a vibrant place and a very special opportunity to start understanding Depak’s family and his cultural heritage. In between visiting family and lots of stunning temples we made a few detours to clothing markets, fabric warehouses, and dress makers. Clothing and fabric are a weakness of mine so it was like being a kid in a candy store – thankfully my mother in law has the patience of a saint.

Tell us about your wedding style. What influenced your planning for the day?

Depak: We had an epic five day Indian wedding celebration surrounded by all our friends, family, and the community. The celebrations started with a small ‘Mehendi’ night (where the bride and family get Henna). This was followed by small ceremonies for the bride and groom held individually with their families. The first of the big celebrations was a ‘Sangeet’ night (a giant party evening with music, dancing, and street food – all vegetarian and no alcohol!). This was followed the next day by a traditional Hindu wedding ceremony in a temple. Finally, we wrapped up the celebration with a small ‘after party’ for our immediate family and friends. 

Georgina: In Indian culture, a wedding is a celebration for the whole community rather than the couple directly – this is a huge part of what makes Indian weddings such vibrant occasions. 
Trying to find the time to fit a week-long Indian wedding into our calendars proved a little tricky – after a year of being engaged, we realised we had to just make the time and, and set a date for 12 weeks away. Having only 12 weeks to organise a multi-day wedding required a lot of support and we were incredibly lucky to have Depak’s parents who did most of the organisation with the help of family, close friends, and the wider community to bring the day together. 
Being an Indian wedding it kind of ‘styled’ itself – and with the short time frame, it meant less time to fuss over decisions.  Multiple events meant multiple costume changes. It was great fun choosing, designing, and wearing so many incredible and vibrant outfits. My time in India provided most of the inspiration for this.

Why did you choose your destination? 

Depak and Georgina: Having busy careers in medicine and law we are both time poor and we thought very seriously about eloping, or having a small destination wedding with our closest family and friends. 
Ultimately though we decided to have our wedding in venues across Auckland because it is the people around us that make life so special and we wanted to celebrate with all of them. With over 500 people attending the main wedding celebration days we needed to choose venues and vendors who could not only cater for such a big group of people and were super professional but knew how to go with the flow. 
For the dancing and music night, having a stadium allowed us the space to party, and the freedom to use caters of our choice who could make a huge variety of Indian street food from different regions across India. 
Depak’s family temple in Papatoetoe was where we had some smaller ceremonies, and would have been our first choice for the wedding ceremony but it is currently in the middle of construction to add more space and facilities for the community. While not quite as close to our hearts we had our wedding ceremony at an equally beautiful temple in Avondale. 
We chose Saan restaurant in Ponsonby for our after-party because of our shared love of fabulous Asian-fusion food, the stunning space (which needed absolutely no styling), and the epic staff. 
In Indian culture a wedding is about family and the wider community, as much as it is as a couple. The events leading up to the wedding are often therefore focussed on various extended family members who have ‘senior’ roles in the family dynamic that ultimately welcome the new bride into the family.

What was your favourite detail from the days? 

Georgina: The ‘transport’ on the wedding day.  Depak arrived on a horse with his ‘Jaan’ for a ‘Barat’ (a procession of the Groom’s family and friends and a whole lot of music and dancing). I was carried into the temple on our wedding day in a ‘Doli’ (a large throne) by 8 of my male relatives and friends. 

Depak: I enjoyed the lead up to the wedding as much as the days itself. The time I spent with Georgina around my closest family and friends, for nearly an entire week, dancing, laughing, crying, made the whole process so rich. I would have it no other way and without doubt it bought Georgina and I even closer together as a couple. 

What was your favourite moment from the days?

Depak: My nephew and niece were the ring bearers and they mixed up the rings! They gave me my wedding ring (which was also gold like Georgina’s) and I couldn’t tell the difference. 
Georgina: We are very lucky to still have five grandparents between us and looking out and seeing the joy on their faces throughout our wedding ceremony was incredibly special.

What does marriage mean to you?

Depak and Georgina: Love, sacrifice, and working hard. Loving each other in the easy times is easy, but loving each other the difficult times is what defines a couple. Marriage to us is working through the little challenges and growing constantly. 

Advice for other couples planning a wedding?

Focus on the bigger picture and sharing the celebration with those you love. 
Pick a couple of things each that are really important and allow the each other to prioritise those things. Make everything else negotiable.

Who were your stand out vendors?

We were incredibly lucky with all our vendors – they were all stand out. 
Eva Choy who styled the girls hair and Abby Black who did our makeup were incredible – patient, calm, and seriously cool women who really pulled things together multiple days in a row.  
Ianthe and the incredible team at Saan restaurant in Ponsonby gave us one hell of an after party– at very short notice, with the utmost professionalism, and some seriously delicious food and drinks. 
Chasewild photography – totally captured the essence of the wedding. 
Shivani restaurant for their incredible street food catering, and Soni from Mandap Events who provided all the decorations for the main events.

|| CREDITS ||

Photographer: Chasewild  | Videographer: Blank Canvas Productions | Sangeet Venue: Barfoot and Thompson stadium Kohimarama | Ceremony and Reception Venue:  Baps Swaminarayan Temple, Avondale | Party Venue: Saan Restaurant, Ponsonby Road | Event Planner / Stylist: Grooms family and bride | Florist: Family and friends  | Cake: The Caker (One GF Vegan chocolate cake and one GF lemon and raspberry cake) | Bridal Gowns: Wedding outfit: Made in Mumbai, India | Sangeet and after-party: Designed by bride and made in India | Hair: Eva Choy | Makeup: Abby Black | Veil: Made in Mumbai, India | Bridesmaids: A collection of different shops: Walia Jones (Sydney), Namaste (Auckland) and some designed by bride and made in India.  Gooms Attire: Suit: Sangeet and wedding ceremony: Khazana (Auckland) | After party: Barkers  | Tie: Working Style | Shoes: Sangeet and wedding ceremony: Roop Darshan and Khazana  | Groomsmen: Sangeet and wedding ceremony: Roop Darshan (Auckland) | After party: Groomsmens own suits and shirts and Barkers bow ties. | Rings: Bride – Mothers ring. Groom – Walker and Hall  | Prop or Furniture Hire: Soni Mudaliar, Mandap Events and Hire | Photo Booth: Snapclick  | Stationery: Produced by family and friends | Celebrant: Puspa Lekinwala | Catering: Sangeet Night: Shivani Restaurant | Wedding Reception: BAPS Swaminarayan Temple | After Party: Saan Restaurant Ponsonby

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