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From India, with Love

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Geetanjali and Kunal Saini

Geetanjali and Kunal Saini were married in a traditional Sikh ceremony in Fairfax, Vt. in September 2010.

Geetanjali and Kunal Saini were married in a traditional Sikh ceremony in Fairfax, Vt. in September 2010. Jeffersonville photographer Kim Martin captured the images of their beautiful, five-hour ceremony, which was followed by a reception at Parima Restaurant on Church Street in Burlington.

The couple met in person in India in October 2009, in what Geetanjali calls the “semi-arranged Indian pre-wedding tradition.” They had previously spoken on the phone and online, but when they met face-to-face, they “went crazy for each other” and decided to get married. One month later, they had a traditional engagement in India, after which Geetanjali returned to Fairfax – where she has lived for 10 years – to wait for Kunal to be able to come to the United States. “A long and grueling 10 months” later, Kunal was in the U.S. and the couple was ready to start their life together.

Geetanjali says they were meant to be married on Sept. 18, “a day with the sun shining down on us, and the graces of god, with family and friends surrounding us; it was a perfect day.”

The ceremony was filled with tradition and religious symbolism. The groom wore a turban to symbolize the tradition of the bride and groom and Sikhism. He also wore a “Sehra” to hide his face from the bride until the wedding ceremony was over. The bride covered half of her face with her “duppata” (scarf), because she is not supposed to show her full self before the wedding ceremony. In addition, Geetanjali’s hands were covered with intricate henna designs to symbolize the happiness and beauty of the bride.

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