Neptune Paradise Beach Resort & Spa, Galu beach, Diani. 27th April 2018, 1am – Approximately 60 people on the dancefloor, most of them barefoot by now and also on their 2nd change of clothes due to the heat, and on their 8th drink. Some dancing very well, Some definitely dancing better than when sober ;-), Some with a drink in their hand, some without. But ALL of them smiling. HUGE smiles – most have travelled thousands of miles to see their friend/ cousin/ nephew/ niece/ uncle/ aunt – Risha & Mohan get married. This is only the first night of partying and I am impressed. The bride or groom’s parents have not even left the dancefloor. There is a huge uproar when the couple rejoin the dancefloor a few minutes later, and the DJ drops another tune. <Tonight’s gonna be a good night. Tonight’s gonna be a good good night!!!>
We met Risha a year or so ago when they had come to scope out venues on the beach however we’d never met Mohan until about 5 minutes before the pre-wedding shoot. Our 7 year old daughter Amaya approved of him straight away saying ”Dad, he’s a very polite boy and smart too!”. Winning! With his infectious smile and extremely photogenic hair, teamed up with Risha’s enthusiasm and their love for each other, we knew we’re in for a good time with this wedding. Despite this being their first ever shoot, they needed no posing, no props – they had some serious chemistry going on with the bare minimum of prompts. The pink and orange skies that evening were just a bonus and created a visually arresting backdrop for us to work with.
The wedding was held on the white sandy beach at a stunning setting with a 180 degree view of the calm blue Indian Ocean. The only time that the serenity and peacefulness of the moment was broken was when Risha’s army of umpteen cousins/ friends furiously descended on Mohan to steal his shoes (an Indian tradition) just after he had walked in. Risha 1 Mohan 0. I was speaking to one of the guests after the ceremony and he said that it was the most beautiful setting that he had seen for a wedding and I was not going to disagree with him. The close family bonds that Risha and Mohan share with their families and even extended families was so clear during the various ceremonies and this presented us with so many moments to capture.
Fast forward a few hours to the evening Reception, and the crowd was kept on the edge of their seats by a live performance by a friend of the couple, Maxine. Some deep and meaningful speeches followed, especially an emotional one by Kunaal, the groom’s brother. The dancefloor then opened, and it filled up pretty quickly despite the heat. Luckily, the hot humid weather was supplemented by a very welcome breeze from the ocean which counteracted the heat generated from the buzzing dancefloor. Uncles and aunties again outpartied (this also included some Michael Jackson impersonations!) the young guns that evening. Way to go!
Throughout the wedding, we were reminded over and over again what genuine unfiltered love between two people was all about. In those few days, the relationship between Risha & Mohan and our family turned from that of a client to that of close friends. For that, we will always be grateful. One love!