The wedding of Opal & Ollie in December 2015 was probably the one of the coolest and funnest ones we’ve seen. I got an email from her late one night, and three words from it imprinted themselves in my brain within seconds; Goa, Villa, sixteen people (including the bride and groom).
I’m sure we all have ideas of what a utopian wedding might be; A few close friends and family, a Pinterest-y dinner table, and a beautiful location. We’re terribly predictable like that. A majority of these ideas are immediately rendered useless once you realise you’re Indian and can’t afford to invite just fourteen people to your wedding. Even if you elope, there will probably be more than fourteen people who’ve come to see the action.
The two families travelled together for more than a month and ended their trip in Goa where Opal and Ollie got married- in a classy, subtle, gorgeous villa!
The girls were getting ready in a cottage with champagne and funny anecdotes from their travels. Opal, her sister, mom, mother-in-law, sister-in-law; one giant group of girls who seemed friends more than anything else.
I happened to look out the window, and this was my first introduction of the groom. I knew then that this had the makings of a crazy wedding.
When I saw Ollie here, I opened my big mouth and asked him when he is planning to get ready. As it turns out, he WAS ready. This ridiculously chill shirt and trousers is what he was going to get married in, and I sensed a hint of envy emanating from Pavan. What he would’ve given to be allowed to wear this at his wedding!
As if I wasn’t in love already with how personalised and fun this whole wedding was, the ceremony itself was conducted by Opal’s father! Let me tell you, no priest in the world can conduct a wedding as meaningful and tender as the father of the bride can. So many moist eyes, including mine.
I loved how she incorporated the Mehendi and Bindi in her look as an ode to India! They even had a Sitar player and classical singer perform for a while as the wedding took place. It made a huge impact in creating a wonderful atmosphere in that sun-dappled courtyard, under huge old mango trees.
The extent of their chillness was further made apparent when we realised their ‘Just Married’ ride was a rented Activa. With empty beer cans dangling behind. Well, what do they say- when in Goa!
Wedding speeches are absolutely amazing, and I’m liking how this small custom is seeping into Indian weddings nowadays. When else do people get such a legitimate chance to get openly emotional about the people they love? I cried a bit too. But before my mind could process this chance we get as wedding photographers, to be privy to extremely tender moments in families, Ollie jumped in the pool. Opal followed like a true sport, and then no one had any excuse to not jump in too!
After they came out of the pool, Opal mixed some brilliant Scottish gin cocktails for me and Pavan, and they all went and changed into ultimate Goa clothes. By then it felt like we were guests too. I played my first ever game of drunk twister here. Pavan performed a little bit of Poi that Ollie’s brother had gotten.
Music played in the background and the couples danced; there was a warmly lit table with fancy dishes spread out, and we lost track of when we stopped shooting and joined them on the table to share stories.