Gay Couple’s Traditional Indian Wedding at New Jersey Temple Goes Viral: 'It Is Unheard Of'
Amit Shah and Aditya Madiraju wanted a traditional Desi wedding to celebrate their union in New Jersey, but the same-sex couple hadn’t a clue how much attention their beautiful wedding photos would garner.
“We had absolutely no idea our photos would go viral. In fact, we are still shocked now when news articles are written every day about us,” Shah — owner and creative director of AATMA Performing Arts, an L.A. and New York-based dance company — told Gay Star News after the couple’s wedding on July 18.
“I think most of the attention is coming due to the photos being so raw,” he added.
The stunning images were taken by Charmi Pena, who shot the wedding, and Paulo Salud, who covered the henna and cocktail parties.
“Both photographers know our aesthetic and the intimate vibe we were going for,” said Shah. “We wanted the photographs to capture real moments, and they did exactly that.”
Shah said that their wedding was also major step for the South Asian LGBTQ community, as it took place in a Hindu temple.
“The fact that the ceremony took place at a temple under religious observation is a huge thing for our community,” he told the Gay Star News. “I guess it is unheard of, and we didn’t realize the impact it would have.”
Shah and Madiraju met in 2016, when they hit it off at a mutual friend’s birthday party. Two years later, they tied the knot at City Hall in New York in January 2018.
The couple wanted to have a traditional celebration surrounded by their closest friends and family members, as Madiraju told Pink News that their families had been supportive of the relationship from the start.
“Both our families have been supportive from day one,” Madiraju, who works at a wealth management bank, told the outlet.
They decided to have a colorful Desi, or South Asian, celebration, complete with traditional kurtas, a Mehdni party and the traditional religious ceremonies.
The couple styled themselves, as they both love fashion, and wore pieces from Anita Dongre, “a huge designer in India who has dressed the biggest stars around the world,” said Shah.
“We were honored to wear pieces from her new collection,” he added.
They wore kurtas from Bohame, a sustainable brand in India, for the Mehendi party, and later rocked custom looks created by Shah’s company, Andaz Design, for the cocktail reception.
The newlyweds said the outpouring of support has been incredible.
“The response had been so overwhelming and we are honored to share our story with the world,” Shah told Gay Star News. “It seems like people need to hear our story to feel empowered and we are excited to provide people with some inspiration.”
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