Monday, May 8, 2017

Dream wedding, dream photographs

http://edmontonjournal.com/life/fashion-beauty/wedding-tale-rustic-farm-delivers-laid-back-vibe-for-edmonton-couples-nuptials

Wedding Tale: Rustic farm delivers laid-back vibe for Edmonton couple's nuptials

Published on: May 7, 2017 | Last Updated: May 7, 2017 7:00 AM MDT
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Patel Wedding Tales
Prasann Patel and his wife Aasttha Khajuria, were married in British Columbia last summer in a Hindu ceremony. Video by Shaughn Butts
Four years ago, Aasttha Khajuria was on Pinterest when a random wedding image popped up. She recalls that the groom was Indian and the nuptials were rustic. It just stood out.
“They got married on this beautiful farm with the sunflowers in the back, so I just saved it. I didn’t even know where this farm was … I thought it was in the States somewhere.”
At the end of 2015, when Aasttha and her groom, Prasann Patel, were planning their wedding, she sent that photo as inspiration to their wedding planner, Jennifer Bergman.
Then, seven months before their destination wedding in Pemberton, B.C., the manager of Aasttha and Prasann’s venue cancelled on them. They’d already booked their photographer and videographer based on the date, and it was getting late in the game.
But as it turns out, that inspiration photo was a lot closer to home than Aasttha had thought. North Arm Farm, Bergman discovered, was in Pemberton as well, nestled at the foot of Mount Currie. And, it was available — though they’d have to get married on a Thursday.
“That was the very first thing I pinned for wedding inspiration,” says Aasttha. “And it ended up being the place.”
Ceremony done! The couple’s pandit (priest) declares Prasann and Aasttha married according to the ancient Hindu ceremony. TOMASZ WAGNER
Prasann is from Edmonton, and Aasttha was born and raised in Jammu and Kashmir in northern India, and moved to Canada with her mom when she was 12.
The Edmonton-based couple — who now run a video production company called Baat Cheet Films — met in 2011 when Aasttha was teaching at the same South Asian dance studio as Prasann’s sister, Shrina.
Aasttha and Shrina became very good friends and eventually Aasttha and Prasann’s relationship developed, too. In the early stages, Prasann offered to look after Aasttha’s beloved puppy, Pablo, while she was on a short trip to Banff. By the end of the year, they were spending so much time together, he had more or less moved in.
But even though they started talking about marriage fairly early, there is no big engagement story, says Aasttha.
“We had already lived together, we have a business together, we have a dog together, we were pretty much married, we just needed to sign the paper.”
The only thing Aasttha was adamant about was that her mom — who was living in New Jersey where she’d moved for her career as a clinical chemist — be involved in the planning process.
To that end, in 2015, when Aasttha’s aunt was also visiting from India, they took a trip to New Jersey and brought Prasann’s mom along, too.
“My auntie was super excited because in India, you don’t live with the person five years prior to getting married,” says Aasttha. “So for her it was like, ‘When are you getting married? When are you getting married?’
“She said, ‘Why don’t you get married next year?’ And I was like, ‘Sure — let’s get married next year. Whatever!’ ”
The couple wanted that same laid-back vibe on their special day.
The bride and groom — in their traditional Indian wedding clothes purchased in New Delhi — have their first look.TOMASZ WAGNER
“We wanted to do a destination wedding, but we didn’t want to go too far away,” says Prasann. “We’ve gone to B.C. quite a few times during our relationship and we just really like the energy. Whenever we drive through the mountains or go to the coast, we always love it.”
Aasttha adds that they wanted to get married in nature. “It’s not like we’re hikers or ‘nature people,’ per se,” she says. “But we really wanted to get married in a place that represented the kind of people we are — laid-back with the sun in our faces.”
North Arm Farm also reminded the bride of where she grew up — in the mountains of northern India.
Typically, modern Indian weddings have bridesmaids and groomsmen, but the couple wanted to keep it simple so they eschewed a bridal party.
The couple wanted an Indian ceremony, but with a few adjustments.
“During the ceremony, there’s a part where your parents give you away to your new family,” says Aasttha. “So my mom did that part, but we had talked to the priest and explained to him our dynamic — that we’re not very traditional people. There’s no such thing as my mom ‘giving me away.’ So, we sort of refreshed some of those ideas and conveyed them in a very different way, still holding on to the traditional format of the wedding.”
Much of the ceremony focused on partnership.
“We had the fire ceremony where the bride and groom walk around the fire seven times, and after that, there’s the seven steps,” says Prasann. “The bride and groom take seven steps forward, and each step represents something in terms of what you’re committing to in each other and your life goals together.”
They wore traditional Indian wedding clothes they purchased in New Delhi during a trip to India in April 2016.
Their ceremony was at 3 p.m. when the sun was at its peak. Right after, their guests transitioned into cocktails and the couple changed into what Aasttha calls their “fun, snazzy outfits.”
Prasann bought his suit in India and his shirt and tie back in Edmonton at Simon’s, and Aasttha’s dazzling two-piece, sparkly outfit was from an Indian designer named Payal Singhal.
The couple arrive at the reception in new duds. Aasttha’s outfit is by the Indian designer Payal Singhal. TOMASZ WAGNER
After cocktails, guests dined on long tables in the barn, and the couple’s families toasted them with speeches. Their caterers, from Bearfoot Bistro in Whistler, had never cooked Indian food before, but came up with a fusion menu that satisfied both the Indian and non-Indian guests, and which Aasttha calls “the best Indian food I’ve had.”
Leafy greenery covered the tables, twinkling lights hung from the ceiling and — most stunning of all — Mount Currie provided the backdrop out the open-air side of the barn.
When the official wedding business was over, the rest of the night was reserved for dancing.
“My favourite moment was dancing under the stars with 100 people,” says Aasttha. “It was probably the best moment of my life — and my dog was there — and it was all good.”

Making choices

Wedding date: Aug. 25, 2016
Location: North Arm Farm, B.C.
Wedding planner: Jennifer Bergman
Photographer: Tomasz Wagner
Guests: 110 (including vendors)
Reception dress: Payal Singhal
Catering: Bearfoot Bistro
Aasttha and her cousin, Eishita — who she grew up with in India — walk down the aisle together. TOMASZ WAGNER
Wedding guests get some shade on a sunny afternoon. TOMASZ WAGNER
Prasann walks down the aisle with his sister, Shrina TOMASZ WAGNER
The barn at North Arm Farm housed long tables where wedding guests dined on an Indian fusion menu by Bearfoot Bistro. TOMASZ WAGNER
Leafy greens adorned long dinner tables in North Arm Farm’s spacious barn. TOMASZ WAGNER
The bride and groom — in their traditional Indian wedding clothes purchased in New Delhi — have their first look.TOMASZ WAGNER
The bride and groom — in their traditional Indian wedding clothes purchased in New Delhi — have their first look.TOMASZ WAGNER
Aasttha — in her traditional Indian wedding clothes purchased in New Delhi — during the first look. TOMASZ WAGNER
Aasttha shows off her mehndi (henna) done by Angela Komarnicki (Henna by Ang). TOMASZ WAGNER
The bride and groom’s nephew, Chetan, stands at the entrance with his mom as Prasann tries to bribe him to let him into the ceremony space. TOMASZ WAGNER
As the bride and groom leave the ceremony space together, Aasttha throws puffed rice behind her. TOMASZ WAGNER
It was very important to the couple that their dog, Pablo, be present on their special day. TOMASZ WAGNER
The couple greets each other with carnation garlands that were prepared by Prasann’s mom. Aasttha’s jasmine flower hairpiece was prepared by Prasann’s aunt. TOMASZ WAGNER
The couple arrive at the reception in new duds. Aasttha’s outfit is by the Indian designer Payal Singhal. TOMASZ WAGNER
Twilight shoot. TOMASZ WAGNER
A family friend from Winnipeg performs a semi-classical Kathak dance piece. TOMASZ WAGNER
Dancing under the stars with 100 of their favourite people. TOMASZ WAGNER
Wedding guests take advantage of the swing set. TOMASZ WAGNER
Aasttha and Prasann dance with their mothers. TOMASZ WAGNER
Speech time, with Mr. Currie in the background. TOMASZ WAGNER
Twilight shoot. TOMASZ WAGNER
Twilight shoot. TOMASZ WAGNER


Julie Ali · 
What gorgeous photographs and wonderful memories! Congratulations.
LikeReply2 mins
Allan Mott · 
Speaking as someone who attended this wedding, the pictures don't even do it justice. Also, it was very, very hot.
LikeReply35 hrs
Jonina Weir
Attractive couple, attractive setting!
LikeReply2 hrs
Jessica Johnson Behiels
Beautiful ❤️
LikeReply1 hr
Joannie Halstone
Beautiful!
LikeReply12 hrs

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