The Offbeat Bride: Vrinda, Yogipreneur
Her offbeat partner: Michael, IT consultant
Date and location of wedding: Osgoode Hall in Toronto, a beautiful 170-year-old heritage building — May 13, 2014
Our offbeat wedding at a glance:
We were next door neighbors who fell in love. We saved ourselves and our families a fortune by foregoing an Indian and Italian wedding. The only way to avoid the wedding was to keep our engagement to ourselves and a few close friends in Canada. My parent's live in Dubai, and they were told about the engagement because they had not (and still have not) met Mike.
The day before the wedding, we ate shawarma with lots of garlic and had manicures and pedicures together, a first time experience for Mike. While we were getting the spa treatment, we thought it might be fun to get a bouquet for me. So we just mosied on over to the flower shop next door and put a little bouquet together.
The morning of the wedding, we went for massages, and thought it would be neat to buy a cake from the bakery next door. We didn't plan anything in advance except for the date of the wedding. Everything came together serendipitously!
We were married by our friend's mother's who is a very prominent Canadian judge in her private chambers. After a sweet champagne toast with Mr. and Mrs. mugs given to us by our awesome friend, we jumped in cabs and sped off to our favorite Pakistani restaurant, Lahore Tikka House.
Dinner was served in cast iron pans and eaten off styrofoam plates. It was so tasty and flavorful that our few guests didn't notice we were sitting on plastic chairs. The best kebabs and biryani were shared with lots of inside jokes from our maid of honour and best woman.
Since we were eloping, we wanted to be tanned and relaxed on the day of the wedding, so we opted to go on our Mexico honeymoon right before the big day. We arrived home two days before our ceremony, feeling fabulous.
Tell us about the ceremony:
Our energy during the ceremony was super excitable and we giggled all the way though our vows. We felt like we had been jolted with electricity and I even dropped the ring before it got on Mike's finger.
The engagement ring was a yellow sapphire bought in India and put into Arabic Gold in Dubai. We designed it together and chose the yellow sapphire because we had started dating in September 2013 and that's the birthstone of that month. Mike proposed in January 2014 (on my birthday) and we were married in May 2014.
It's special to us that this all happened within one year. It changed our lives and brought us joy like we never thought possible.
Our biggest challenge:
Mike's parents were a little upset that they missed out on our day because they only live an hour away. However, they were very happy to have a new daughter in their family of many boys.
We decided that it was an ALL parents or NO parents kind of wedding. If my parents were to fly down from Dubai, we would have felt obligated to have organised a reception. We like to have as little as we can on our to-do list so we opted for the simplest solution and eloped our way.
My favorite moment:
Mike: Seeing Vrinda in her colorful saree. I thought she was wearing white. I was blindfolded in the cab on the way to the ceremony hall.
Vrinda: Seeing Mike's face when he saw me after the blindfold came off.
My funniest moment:
The chocolate/vanilla/raspberry cake that we had bought from the bakery never made an appearance until much later in the evening, when our few friends had left and we were not sober (smoked trees). We sat around in our PJs eating cake and laughing at each other's jokes.
Have you been married before and if so, what did you do differently?
We had both been engaged before, so we had tried planning weddings and disliked the effort required. In week one of dating, Mike overheard me say to my girlfriend that the next time I was engaged, I didn't want a white gold and diamond ring. I'd rather have a grand piano so I could learn how to play it.
Mike remembered this and proposed to me with a mini grand piano that was handmade in Italy in beautiful wood. It had a gold plate on the inside that said, “You are the curry to my white rice, love always.” The grand piano box is also a musical jewelry box that plays Elvis' “Can't Help Falling in Love With You.”