I first met Keya and Vikash at Keya’s sister’s wedding that I shot last year (which coincidentally had been one of the most fun weddings for us) and since that day, we had developed a sense of respect for each other – like friends who do not keep in touch with each other regularly, but still know that we’re there for each other when needed. Fast forward a year almost exactly to the day, and Keya, Vikash and I are cussing ourselves at Neptune Paradise Beach Resort & Spa. We’re just about to start their pre-wedding shoot on the beach but unfortunately the tide had come in so far and so fast that there was no useable beach area. Whilst I asked them to wait, I scope out another bay-like area about 200 metres down the coastline but there was a slight problem – to get there, all 3 of us would need to clamber over coral walls taller than us – for those who know coral well, one swipe against it and you’re bleeding straight away. But, no pain, no gain, right? Upon asking Keya & Vikash, I was really surprised that they agreed to it, and within a few minutes, as we stumbled over across the wall, we were greeted with a view that consisted of low hanging palm trees, white sand, and rocky outcrops in the blue ocean. YAAAASSSSSSSS!!! The next hour was nirvana for us whilst we used this perfect setting as a playground for our shoot.
We heard slight varying stories of how Keya and Vikash met a few years ago – all hilarious and all with some element of truth in them. Despite Vikash’s very busy schedule as a pilot, they always made time for each other, and this showed during the wedding celebrations. The relationships they had forged with their friends and family were all on the same principle of being present in the moment and thus creating long lasting bonds. I cannot complete this blog entry without mentioning Ayden, who is Vikash’s nephew, and despite being only a year old, we got on like best buddies!
To kickstart the wedding, a ‘friendly’ volleyball match was arranged for the boys whilst the girls had their mehndi applied. A friendly match is never friendly, especially after a few cold Tuskers. At the girl’s mehndi, things were a bit more harmonious, with the henna being applied with expert precision – almost like moving art until it finally stops and settles. More beers followed for everyone in the pool straight after.
The beachfront wedding was epic. It was a relatively intimate Hindu wedding ceremony right on the beach. There were colours everywhere – the blue of the ocean, the reds of the sarees, the greens of the couples’ outfits, the orange of the fire – It was a joy to capture! April is generally known to be a very hot month in Diani, but no sign of that heat as the Indian Ocean breeze was extremely strong that day – huge relief for the guests and us. During the fiercely competitive traditional games that are played after the wedding, Vikash comfortably won – much to the delight of his friends and family!
Blurry memories for the guests at the Reception evening may have consisted of cocktails, very colourful bowties, cigars, tequila straight from the bottle, more cocktails, entertaining dancing (including breakdancing), more cocktails and pushing guests into the outdoor showers. And what a way to finish the wedding!
Thank you Keya and Vikash, and your friends and families for allowing us to create these memories for you. And thank you for your hospitality during the wedding. One love!