Stephanie & Tirupa’s Queer Hindu Wedding

After nearly ten years together, this lesbian couple tied the knot in a Hindu ceremony that blended their cultures, Indian and French.

How long have you been together, and how did you meet?

We will be celebrating ten years later this year! We don’t know where the time has gone! We instantly met in London, clicked instantly, and were hooked after the first date! 

Tell us about the proposal in Mauritius.

We don’t remember all the words that were said. There was so much emotion and so much to take in. There were tears mixed in with our champagne. We then had a gorgeous dinner by the sea. It was surreal and beautiful.

Why did you choose to get married at Chateau Les Carrasses, in the South of France?

We had been to the South of France before and always imagined being there with our friends and family. We really wanted to find a place with a character where all our guests could stay overnight.

After some research, we found Chateau Les Carrasses and went to see it the following week. The drive down was lovely, and as soon as we entered the region, the landscape changed, fields turned into vineyards, and the roads became lined with tree alleys.

We had to drive through a vineyard to get to the Chateau, and as soon as we stepped foot there, we knew that was where we would get married.

The energy of the entire place was just so peaceful and romantic, the grounds were beautiful, and there were vineyards in every direction you turned.

Tell us about fusing your Indian, French and English cultures and values into your Hindu wedding.

We wanted a wedding that fused our cultures and values. The result of this was a combination of Indian, French and English-inspired events. We had a mehndi (henna) night which is a customary Indian pre-wedding party where as well as enjoying food, drinks, and music, guests can also have mehndi applied to their hands.

We also had a full Hindu wedding ceremony with all the typical customs. A drinks reception with Pimms followed this as our cocktail of choice. After this, we had an outdoor reception on the Chateau grounds with delicious French food.

How did you incorporate LGBTQ+ pride into your Hindu wedding?

We wanted to create representation for same-sex Indian weddings, so we created our own same-sex Hindu ceremony program detailing all the rituals and how they apply to a same-sex couple. We did this with the help of our priest, Chanda, and with the help of a graphic designer, Sanno, who helped to create bespoke icons to go with each ritual in the ceremony. We were thrilled with the result! 

Talk to us about your experience finding the perfect lengha’s.

This element was so important to us because Indian wedding outfits usually have matching or contrasting elements. We found it challenging to find same-sex Indian bridal inspiration. We eventually found a designer who was willing to create outfits in the spirit of what we were looking for.

For the Mehndi night, we wore contrasting colors with the outfits connected using the same embroidery and small mirror pieces known as mirror work.

Our designer made a beautiful fuchsia lengha for the ceremony and a gorgeous cream wedding dress with exquisite antique gold embroidery. The outfits tied together with the same detailing in the veil/chunni. Both outfits were in royal blue, Steph’s favorite color for the reception.

We decided to match for the evening to show our union after marriage. Our designer did a great job at getting the matching elements while ensuring the two outfits maintained their individuality.

We were thrilled with the outcome because it allowed us to create representation in same-sex Indian bridal clothes, an area in which we found very little respresentation.

Talk to us about the big day!  

The Chateau grounds came alive from early in the morning, with our guests waking up, going for breakfast, enjoying the pool, vineyards, and surrounding areas. Hair and make-up started early, our hairdresser, Vlad, is such a rockstar. He worked closely with us in the lead-up to the wedding and did a brilliant job on the day. The Jaan/procession was incredible, the dhols/Indian drums beating through the Chateau grounds, and our family dancing with us up to where we had the ceremony will remain a lifelong memory. 

The ceremony itself was a dream come true. A same-sex Hindu wedding at one point seemed like a dream that was out of this world or an event that could only happen for someone else. Living that was a spiritual and beautiful experience. Walking around the fire, receiving blessings from our family and friends, and marrying under the eyes of God meant everything to us. 

After this, we had a drinks reception on the Chateau’s panoramic terrace, the views were just sublime, with vineyards all around, and we had a pianist playing covers of famous songs. The dinner followed after this. The evening was perfect, and this part of the celebration was completely outdoors. We were treated to (surprise) fireworks, then the DJ and saxophonist who had us partying until the early morning hours.

Tell us about your favorite moments.

The Jaan/procession was one of the most incredible parts of the day. We could hear our family and the dhol players gearing up for our arrival from the other side of the Chateau. It made us breathless with excitement. Arriving there, seeing everyone with the pride fans and whistles, and dancing altogether down to the mandap/ceremony structure was magical, a memory we will cherish forever.

Another moment happened after dinner and just before the party kicked off – Steph surprised Tirupa (and almost all of our guests) with a fireworks display that was out of this world. It was spectacular and definitely got everyone’s adrenaline pumping right in time for the dhol players to come back and play a set, after which we had the DJ and saxophonist take over for the night, it was magnificent, and the party went on until 4 am!

Photographer Sophie Stacino

Cake Les Gateaux D’Estelle Narbonne
Caterer & Venue Chateau Les Carrasses
Celebrant Chanda Vyas
Dj Wildfire Djs
Dress Designer Seema M 
Florist Le Coeur Savage, SDSQCréations
H&MU Svp Geneva
Graphic Designer Titbits Of Art
Videographer Des Image Et Vous

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