Inside a lavish week-long Hindu ceremony

Shaelyn Fitzpatrick, a 27-year-old registered nurse and well being educator, met Krunal Kanani, a 28-year-old company improvement supervisor for a veterinary firm, when he slid into the DMs of her journey Instagram in 2016. A number of shared journeys later, on a trip to Cape Breton Island, Krunal proposed. The couple had been wed over every week of multicultural celebrations this Could. Right here’s the way it all got here collectively.

Shaelyn and Krunal talk playfully at the Hindu Temple where they were wed

Krunal: Within the fall of 2016, I used to be scrolling via Instagram and Shaelyn’s journey account popped up on my feed. Along with the pictures of her on holidays along with her pals, there have been images of her taking solo journeys. I’d all the time wished to journey alone, so I figured I’d attain out to be taught from her expertise. I believed she was actually fairly too.

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Shaelyn: At first, I believed Krunal was some random individual messaging me from midway the world over. I ignored it, however then felt a bit of responsible. I figured there was no hurt in replying. We rapidly realized that we truly lived only a few hours away from one another. I used to be finding out nursing at Brock, and Krunal was on the College of Toronto finding out commerce.

Shaelyn receiving a bindi during the week of their wedding

Krunal: I used to be residing in Brampton with my mother and father on the time. Shaelyn and I ended up messaging forwards and backwards for a few months, simply speaking about our completely different journey experiences. We realized that we had plenty of related pursuits, particularly mountain climbing and outside actions. Over Christmas break, we each had a while off, so we made plans to satisfy up within the new 12 months.

Shaelyn: I used to be with my mother and father in Hamilton, so we determined to go on a hike someplace between the place we had been every staying. We selected Mount Nemo, close to Milton. I wore a very gentle leather-based jacket—I used to be attempting to impress him—nevertheless it was freezing out, so our hike ended up being fairly brief. Then we bought takeout from a Chinese language restaurant close by and ate it in my automobile.

Krunal looking out the window on the day of his wedding

Krunal: I’d not too long ago learn an article that had 40 inquiries to ask once you need to get to know somebody, so Shae and I labored our manner via a few of these. We described our preferrred days and picked one individual we’d need to invite over for dinner.

Shaelyn: A number of the questions had been fairly private, however each of us had been very open with our solutions. It type of fast-tracked our connection.

Krunal: Shae and I saved in contact after that. I actually preferred that there have been no video games between us. It wasn’t like Who’s texting first or How lengthy ought to I wait earlier than I reply? That by no means even crossed my thoughts.

Shaelyn and Krunal looking at one another, with the sun peaking in behind them

Shaelyn: Inside a few weeks of relationship, we determined to run off to Quebec collectively for studying week.

Krunal: We did a bunch of hikes and adventuring, and it was on that journey that we each realized this wasn’t only a friendship.

Shaelyn: We had kissed earlier than, however that was once we determined to make our relationship official. After that, we did long-distance whereas we had been ending up college. We normally noticed one another as soon as each two weeks. We’d go on numerous hikes or go skating within the wintertime.

Shaelyn and Krunal in front fo the procession that took place just before their wedding

Krunal: After I graduated, in 2017, I bought a job in downtown Toronto as an funding analyst and commuted there whereas residing with my mother and father in Brampton. Typically, Shae would trek all the way in which from St. Catharines or Hamilton to make it downtown for five:30 p.m., which is after I completed work, so we might have dinner collectively.

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Shaelyn: I graduated in 2019 and bought a job as a registered nurse at a hospital in Toronto. I moved right into a rental house in North York, which closed the space between us. Now that the commute was solely half-hour, we noticed one another much more. However then Covid hit, which was actually tough. Krunal and I went virtually two months with out spending any time collectively. I used to be manner too scared of creating Krunal or his mother and father sick.

Shaelyn and Krunal kissing on their wedding day, after exchanging their vows

Krunal: After some time, I began driving to Shae’s home in North York to sit down within the automobile whereas Shae stood exterior the passenger seat window. We’d speak like that for half-hour. In between, we did plenty of FaceTimes and exercises collectively, which helped. Ultimately, because the lockdowns lifted, Shae might take some days off, and we’d do brief highway journeys collectively, like a canoe journey in Killarney and a highway journey to Mont-Tremblant.

Shaelyn: The truth that we had been in a position to get via the pandemic and discover other ways to remain in contact undoubtedly made our relationship stronger.

Krunal: One other huge milestone for us was introducing Shae to my mother and father. I had met Shae’s mother and father very early on, however my mother and father are very conventional. I used to be fearful about how they’d react to me relationship somebody exterior our tradition and faith. I’d slowly been telling my mother and father bits of details about Shae over time. In the meantime, I’d been sharing my tradition and traditions with Shae. They had been excited to satisfy each other, so in February of 2021, I organized it. I attempted to maintain it as low-key as potential.

Shaelyn adjusting Krunal's clothing in advance of one of their wedding-related ceremonies

Shaelyn: By this level, I had switched to a public well being job, so I used to be working from house. We determined that I’d go over to Krunal’s home and we might make money working from home collectively. His mother was house, however his dad was out working throughout the day. After he got here house, Krunal’s mother cooked and all of us had dinner collectively.

Krunal: My mother and father liked Shae’s persona and the way unbiased she was. She was put collectively, and he or she demonstrated that she understood and accepted our faith.

Shaelyn: I used to be keen to participate in several Hindu traditions and rituals and was respectful of them. Historically, once you first meet elders, you bow down and contact their ft. A easy motion like that demonstrated to them that I used to be accepting of their tradition.

Krunal twirling Shaelyn outside the Hindu temple where they were married

Krunal: Seeing my mother and father be so welcoming of Shae made me excited to take the subsequent step in our relationship. I had all the time been head over heels for her. I actually loved spending time along with her and wished to maintain doing that for the remainder of my life.

Shaelyn: Krunal has so many wonderful qualities. He all the time made me imagine in myself. The truth that he’s such a non secular and devoted individual actually conjures up me.

Krunal: So we began looking for an engagement ring collectively. I knew she wished a easy solitaire—a single oval diamond on a yellow-gold band.

Shaelyn and Krunal running across a field towards the camera

Shaelyn: Then, in August of 2021, Krunal and I purchased a home in Brampton.

Krunal: Earlier than we bought the keys, we went on a highway journey out east. I believe Shaelyn had a hunch that I’d be proposing, however I used to be ready for the proper second. Sooner or later, in Cape Breton, we went on a hike to Blueberry Mountain. It was attractive, and once we bought to the summit, there was nobody else round. I knew that was my probability. So I arrange my telephone by a rock whereas Shae was admiring the views, then bought down on one knee and stated, “Shae, let’s do that.”

Shaelyn: We’d been speaking about it for some time, nevertheless it was nonetheless a tremendous second. He couldn’t have picked a greater time. I all the time wished the proposal to be extra personal. Once we bought again to Toronto, I moved into our new home in Brampton. Krunal would transfer in with me after we bought married.

Shaelyn and Krunal participating in a Hindu ceremony

Krunal: A month after that, in November 2021, we did a conventional Hindu engagement ceremony at my temple in Etobicoke. It’s principally a mini wedding ceremony. Then the marriage planning began. My mother and father guided us via what would occur within the Hindu ceremonies, which included 5 occasions over the span of every week.

Shaelyn: There may be a lot to an Indian wedding ceremony. It was all new to me. I used to be fairly open to following the traditions, however I put in a number of requests. I wished to have personal vows with Krunal in some unspecified time in the future, I wished our reception to be extra Western and I didn’t need to have two separate wedding ceremony ceremonies. I wished to have our Hindu wedding ceremony ceremony and Western reception on the identical day.

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Krunal: In January of 2022, Shaelyn, my mother and father, my brother and I went on a two-week journey to India to buy every part we wanted for the marriage. That included all of the outfits and jewelry, aside from Shae’s reception costume.

Shaelyn in the two-part outfit that she wore on her big day

Shaelyn: Krunal purchased six outfits in India, and I purchased 5. My favorite one was my wedding ceremony ceremony outfit, which known as a lengha. It was truly the primary one I attempted on. It’s a darkish maroon, and it has a lot element to it, like little embroidered timber and leaves. It’s a short-sleeved crop prime with a giant skirt. It weighed 30 kilos due to all of the detailed embroidery. We FaceTimed my mother, although it was 3 a.m. in Ontario, so we might present it to her. She liked it too.

Krunal: Historically, the bride finds her outfits first and the groom will get issues that complement her. So I ended up with a sherwani, a protracted prime with pants beneath, in a cream color with little specks of maroon all through, plus a maroon scarf, referred to as a dupatta, and a maroon hat referred to as a pãgh. I additionally bought a tuxedo in India. One among my favorite fits is navy blue, so I knew I wished my tuxedo to be navy blue too.

Krunal wearing the navy blue tuxedo that he bought for his wedding

Shaelyn: Since my mother couldn’t come to India with us, I knew I wished her there after I purchased my reception costume again house. We went purchasing in Hamilton, and once more, the primary costume I attempted on was the one. It had spaghetti straps and a lacy, embellished prime with a deep minimize down the entrance. It wasn’t too extravagant, which is what I wished. I already had 5 different outfits I’d be sporting that week.

Krunal: The occasions began every week earlier than our wedding ceremony day. First was the vana rasam. Our officiant went to Shae’s mother and father’ home in Hamilton and had them fill out a conventional wedding ceremony invitation for my mother and father, then all of them travelled collectively to my mother and father’ home and Shae’s mother and father handed them the invitation. Then all of us ate some meals and frolicked.

Shaelyn's hands, which were covered with henna

Shaelyn: The following occasion was the mehndi and sangeet, which befell on the Thursday earlier than our wedding ceremony at Krunal’s mother and father’ home. It’s when the bride and different feminine visitors get henna accomplished. I bought designs all up my arms and a bit on my ft. Our visitors additionally had some meals and did a conventional dance referred to as garba.

Krunal: Friday was the puja, which begins with a conventional prayer within the morning. Following that’s the pithi ceremony, the place visitors rub a yellow turmeric paste on the bride and groom. That additionally occurred at my mother and father’ home. Some days, throughout our wedding ceremony week, we had 100 or 2 hundred individuals on the home. We arrange a tent within the yard to host everybody.

Shaelyn and Krunal after their families put tumeric on their faces

Shaelyn: On our wedding ceremony day, Saturday, we had near 500 individuals on the Hindu ceremony at Krunal’s temple after which 250 visitors at our reception, which was at a banquet corridor in Etobicoke. I needed to stand up at 2 a.m. to get my hair and make-up accomplished. It was an excellent early begin, nevertheless it’s as a result of I used to be so insistent on having the ceremony and reception all on the identical day. Each of our mother and father had been married on the twenty seventh, mine in June and Krunal’s in February, so it was a particular date for us.

Krunal: All the pieces must occur inside an auspicious time based mostly on the Hindu calendar, so meaning there are particular time frames when the ceremony has to happen. On our wedding ceremony day, that point was earlier than midday. Therefore the early morning.

Shaelyn: Sometimes, the Hindu ceremony begins with a baraat, which is a procession for simply the groom. I actually wished to be part of the baraat, although, as a result of I believed it appeared like a lot enjoyable. I’d’ve been unhappy to overlook it. Fortunately, everybody was okay with that. After the massive procession, with us and all of our visitors, our mother and father welcomed each other and all of us entered the temple for the ceremony, which took about 90 minutes.

Shaelyn participating in the procession that took place before the wedding ceremony

Krunal: There are virtually a dozen steps that make up the central wedding ceremony ceremony. Shae’s mother and father began on the mandap, which is just like the altar, and after I arrived they welcomed me. Then Shae arrived, they usually held up a bit of curtain to separate us from one another. Everybody sang some hymns earlier than they eliminated the curtain, to represent the primary time we see one another. After that, Shae’s mother and father gave me her hand, and we made our vows collectively. The final step is the circle of fireplace, the place we recited vows round a sacred fireplace. Then we turned married. After that, we had a kanku pagla at my mother and father’ place, which is when the bride first enters the groom’s household house.

Shaelyn entering Krunal's family home for the first time after they were wed

Shaelyn: My mother and father had been overwhelmed at occasions by all the traditions, however they had been pleased for the 2 of us and had been keen to go together with all of it. After the kanku pagla, all of us bought modified for the reception. I had my hair and make-up redone and become my reception costume.

Krunal: After we bought prepared, Shae and I met for a primary have a look at the conservation space behind my mother and father’ home. That is the place we did our personal vows to one another, which was a very vital and particular second for us.

Shaelyn and Krunal exchanging their vows privately

Shaelyn: Our reception was extra Western. We did a conventional cocktail hour with hors d’œuvres for our visitors. Krunal and I didn’t have a bridal social gathering or groomsmen, so our mother and father did entrances after which it was simply us.

Krunal: There was a cake-cutting, our first dance after which some speeches. One spotlight was doing a choreographed dance with our pals, which is frequent in a contemporary Indian wedding ceremony. We did two Indian songs with Bollywood-style dance strikes, then we did two songs in English.

Shaelyn: I’m a giant nation fan, and I’ve all the time had this imaginative and prescient of our family and friends line-dancing, so the final dance was to “Footloose.” After that, we opened up the dance flooring.

Shaelyn, Krunal and their friends doing a Bollywood-style dance at their wedding reception

Krunal: The dancing was an effective way to let unfastened and revel in ourselves. By 12:30 a.m., I went as much as Shaelyn and requested if I might inform the DJ to chop it off on the subsequent tune. We had been each so exhausted. Most of our visitors had been up with us for the reason that early morning.

Shaelyn: I used to be drained too, however nonetheless on a excessive. All the pieces we’d spent such a very long time planning had occurred so easily. I used to be in disbelief. After the DJ stopped, Krunal and I headed to the Radisson Blu for an evening.

Shaelyn dancing at their wedding reception

Krunal: We spent the subsequent day at Elmwood Spa, which was very a lot wanted. Then we went straight to our Brampton home and I formally moved in. It felt fairly surreal to go from our wedding ceremony to shifting in with Shae. I’d been ready for that second for therefore lengthy. I don’t assume it hit me immediately. All of it took a few weeks to sink in.

Shaelyn: It’s been wonderful residing with Krunal. It’s so good realizing that you simply get to return house to your finest buddy every single day.

Krunal: We haven’t gone on our honeymoon but, however we’ve booked it for Could 2024. We’ll be going to Norway. It’s principally going to be a giant highway journey with numerous hikes and tenting.

Shaelyn: I’m excited for our subsequent steps collectively as husband and spouse. And particularly for all of the travels and new adventures to return.

Shaelyn and Krunal with flower petals being thrown over them

Cheat Sheet

Date: Could 20 to 27, 2023
Hindu ceremony venues: Groom’s house, BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
Reception venue: Woodbine Banquet Corridor
Images: Ever After Photographers
Videography: QT Movies
Florals: B-H Flower Wholesale
Floral garlands: Aishwarriam
Decorations: Akshar Mandap, Diamond Decor
Catering: BAPS Shayona
Bride’s hair and make-up: Ambreen Kaur
Bride’s henna artist: Parita Patel
Bride’s costume: Bought in Gujarat, India
Bride’s reception costume: Finest for Bride
Groom’s outfits: Bought in Gujarat, India
DJ: Empire Leisure
Automobile: Attract Limo

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