By Namrata Arora Last Updated:
What happens when two people with different personalities, interests and ideals that are poles apart and who are miles away from their home in a foreign country meet? Well, that is something you will have to find out by going through this most beautiful, funny, light-hearted and refreshing love and wedding story of Prathibha Shankar and Ashwin Almeida. The two met in Melbourne where they were pursuing their masters and volunteered for the same social club at the Monash University.
Well, there was no looking back ever since!
So first, let us introduce you to the couple in each other’s words.
When asked to describe his lady-love, Ashwin very romantically quoted:
“Prathibha is a very strong, independent and level-headed woman. She can also be very stubborn! Her parents also confirmed that she was always a stubborn child and although I did not sign up for the stubbornness it was part of the package that is- Prathibha. She is however an equally understanding person with a friendly nature and will always do the best for her friends and family! She has been very supportive of me throughout my career over the past few years and been the rock in our relationship. She is the apple of my eye, the straw to my berry, smoke to my high, and the ying to my yang.”
And to such a lovely description, how could Prathibha not add in a few loving words for him, along with some funny leg pulling? So, she described him as being a:
“JACKPOT! That’s exactly what I hit with Ashwin. A man who can cook, bake, SING, jive, garden, fix anything that comes his way and makes the best Crème Brulee and Chicken 65. Talents and skills aside, he’s the most ambitious and patient person I’ve ever met, also someone who can strike a conversation with anybody – I mean absolutely anybody from a 2-year-old to a 92-year-old! That’s possibly because he can go from behaving like a two-year-old, to speaking as slowly as a 92-year-old– it tests my patience, this one! Our friends refer to him as the walking talking Google. If he doesn’t already have an answer to a question, he will make sure to give it to you after reading about it.”
It was when the two started hanging out, and spending quality time together that they realised that even though they are very different from each other, they are true companions. Soon, unlike in the usual love stories where the guy goes down on one knee and pops the question, here it was Prathibha who made the first move, and then they decided to get married.
In case of love marriages, it is usually seen that a lot of family drama, fights, convincing, etc. goes on before the family finally agrees to the relationship. But here it was totally the opposite. The couple was welcomed by their respective future in-laws with open arms. In fact, Prathibha’s mother couldn’t even believe her daughter’s confession.
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Her response to the revelation was:
“You’re joking, you lived with us for 22 years and with all the liberty we gave you, you didn’t have a boyfriend but 6 months away from home and you’ve found one?”
And, Ashwin’s aunt Anna actually thought that it was Prathibha’s roommate whom he was dating and not her! So all in all, the family’s acceptance was a piece of cake, a fun-filled experience.
Because the couple was living in Melbourne and the wedding was to take place in India, for them, it was more like a cool destination wedding with most of their close friends and other guests flying in from abroad. And so, they knew that hiring a wedding planner would be the best thing to do. With a fixed budget in mind, they finalised Bangalore’s popular 3 Productions whose work Prathibha had earlier seen online, and liked too.
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So, with their help along with their families’ support, they were able to put up a shaadi to remember for everyone who was a part of it. The festivities took place at the Taj West Ends, Bangalore from December 4-6, 2015.
Another interesting feature about their wedding was that it was in every sense- “the best of both worlds”, since Ashwin is a Catholic and Prathibha, a Hindu Kanaddiga. While Ashwin took care of arranging their Catholic-style after-wedding dinner, Prathibha took charge of the sangeet, and her mom coordinated the South Indian style wedding with of course, the tremendous help and support of the 3 Productions team.
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It was a night of fun, dance, food and Bollywood-style latkas and jhatkas. Prathibha’s uncle was kind enough to be the emcee for the night and kept everyone entertained and on their feet throughout the function.
Prathibha wore a golden-coloured lehenga with huge red floral motifs all over it, while her groom wore a light coloured kurta pyjama with a Nehru jacket, which somewhat matched Prathibha’s golden attire. A night full of dance performances by the bride, groom and their near and dear ones; it could not have been any better!
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The wedding was an intimate affair with only 200 guests that comprised of close family and friends. The décor was a very light and pastel one as the event was a day function in the Taj West Ends lawn.
For that added Catholic touch to a South Indian wedding, they added an aisle to the venue.
Prathibha looked gorgeous in a traditional silk saree in tones of pink, red and orange with flowers in her hair, whereas our rather unconventional groom was casually dressed.
Arranged and conceptualised by our talented groom, it was one heck of a reception party. In the words of the bride, full of praises for her hubby:
“The after-party was everything Anglo, from having Ashwin’s guitar teacher’s band from Coonoor playing on the night to the Grand March, from the vintage chandelier décor to the choice of bridal attire– it was exactly what we had envisioned.”
The night had a father-daughter dance, the wedding toast, the bride and the groom’s speeches, the speech by the maid of honour, and everything that completes an after-wedding dinner.
The bride looked breathtaking in a gorgeous off-shoulder white and black gown, which she bought from Australia itself, while Ashwin wore a dashing tuxedo.
Both Prathibha and Ashwin echo common thoughts when they speak about their wedding planners and photographers.
“A wedding is definitely a team effort. There were so many contributions by people that we’ll never forget or cease to thank. The team at 3P – Ann (fantastic listener and organiser), Sowmya (her enthusiasm, passion and sheer excitement of making weddings memorable is what impressed us), and Vijay, it was great fun working with a team that is top notch creative, and most importantly passionate about executing dream weddings. Sid Hiremath, what a guy! No, seriously– a beautiful human being, and an abundantly talented man who was so easy to work with. We would like to thank our parents and siblings, Prathiksha and Mark- for their endless support, love and encouragement not just for the wedding, but everything leading up to it. Our families and friends like family who made every event special just by being present and sharing in our moments of joy and celebration. To mention a few – Ankita, Saba and Aastha for executing the Sangeet, Deepak Anand for being a fabulous emcee, Manjula Dhanapal for the bride’s sangeet attire, Ivan Enos and his band, Vineetha Kottarathill at the Taj West End and last but definitely not the least– our fantastic photographer duo, Sudha and Mukesh from Pixel Story.in for being as good as family and capturing every special moment effortlessly. It was a ball working with these two- they are so fun-loving and mad that it did not surprise us when half our guests became friends with them during that weekend.”
Full of funny and memorable moments, this was an event that will always hold a special place in the couple’s lives. Here’s wishing them a happy married life ahead with new adventures to unfold every day.
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