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Payal and Pushkar wanted to have their big day exactly the way they had imagined it, so they found another way to declare their commitment to each other: a delightful at-home Roka.

Holding out for the dream wedding This couple did a lockdown-Roka to cement their loveImage: Ankur Kumar, Pexels
Wednesday, October 21, 2020 - 10:52

This article is a part of the Muhurat At Home Series, brought to you by Kalyan JewellersPlanning a wedding? Book a Live Session here for an exclusive session with Kalyan Jewellers’ executives.

“Our names start with the same letter, that would make for an awesome wedding hashtag! I’m not giving up on that,” Payal laughs, “I want to wait until we can have the wedding we’ve been dreaming of, with everybody who we love present, with all the dhoom-dhaam celebrations that both our families love.”

Payal and Pushkar were family friends for years before they realised they wanted to be together. Their parents secretly hoped that the two would find love in each other, since the families were already so close. In their hometown of Lucknow, their relationship deepened and matured - from graduating college and beginning their careers, until finally, Pushkar proposed to Payal in February of this year. They launched into wedding plans, hoping to get married in June.

Then, like so many other couples planning a wedding, they were confronted by the lockdowns. They had to decide whether they wanted to rework their plans to do a smaller, restricted wedding sooner, or to wait until the lockdowns fully lifted to have the wedding they wanted. “Everything changes. I suddenly had so many questions,” Payal explains, “Where will I have the wedding? How will I shop for my bridal outfits and jewellery? How will we cut our loved ones off the guest list?”

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Intimate leap into wedding journey

“These days, a Roka ceremony is not something that every couple does. If you’ve already had an engagement and have a date set for the wedding, the Roka isn’t always necessary. But for us, it’s going down in history as one of our most memorable days!” Payal exclaims.

The Roka ceremony fits well into the restrictions of the lockdown, since it is typically an intimate affair, with a small guest list of only core family and friends. It’s essentially a way to announce that a wedding is around the corner - which suited Payal and Pushkar who are firmly holding on to the plan of having their dream wedding as soon as they can.

Payal recalls feeling extremely emotional on the day, watching her mother and to-be mother-in-law set up the house with lights and flowers, and run the cooking of the food. “I was just overwhelmed by how much they loved us. I could see how they wanted to do everything they could to make sure me and Pushkar are happy. What else can I ever ask for?”

A chance to focus on the little things

The ceremony does not typically require much in terms of preparation. Payal’s ancestral home - where the ceremony was taking place - already has a beautiful antique wood-and-brass vibe. The families simply added colourful cushions, lights and flowers everywhere to give it a cheerful, ceremonial glow.

“We kept it low-key,” Payal says. “We just wanted to focus on the spirit of the ceremony - two families coming together to pledge their commitment to each other.”

Even for their outfits, Payal and Pushkar didn’t go for something too grand. Payal got a new jewellery set that she picked out herself - something elegant and not over the top, she says. She was gifted an embroidered lehenga set by her mother in law. And her father gifted Pushkar a silk sherwani and jacket.

“Our families have already been close for so long, and still that day became a special one for us all to bond as one family,” Payal says with a smile. “It was also very intimate and full of joy. The puja, the ring ceremony, and the sharing of gifts. My mother in law fed me my first bite of food when we sat down to eat. It really was a day of beautiful memories.”

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This article was produced in association with Kalyan Jewellers.