Akhilesh + Sharanya

Shree Swaminarayan Temple,

Indian Wedding Photographer | Shree Swaminarayan Temple | Photographed by Amber

Akhilesh and Sharanya’s wedding was quite a journey.

Their original celebration was planned for India, but when COVID threw a spanner in those works – they decided to pivot to a New Zealand celebration instead. As we moved cautiously forward, cue spanner number two late in August – lockdown v2.0. They pushed their celebration out by a couple of weeks to wait and see what would be happening, but a week out it was still looking like they’d be going with a much smaller version of Plan C (or are we up to Plan D at this point?)

What sounds like a series of compromises – turned out to be the perfect recipe for a whole bunch of silver linings.
Traditional Indian weddings are intricate and involve multiple ceremonies, outfit changes and participation from many more people than just the bride and groom. Akhilesh and Sharanya decided that if they were going to do this – they were going to do it properly.

Silver Lining #1 – On their original wedding date – it completely poured with rain. Their postponed date couldn’t have been more magical. Soft overcast light gave way to bright sunbeams right at the perfect moment. Scroll to the end of day one to see what I mean.

Silver Lining #2 Because their entire guest list was limited to 10 guests – everyone became involved in the ceremony itself. Instead of having spectators – everyone was a part of the day. It became instantly more personal and intimate.

Silver Lining #3 Without a reception to rush back to, after their wedding we were able to go exploring. I’ve wanted to head out to Hunua Falls for years and this was the perfect opportunity. We were kindly allowed to take some photos in the forest at Hunua Falls camp, which fitted perfectly with the dramatic falls just a few hundred metres away. Even more serendipitously – during their wedding ceremony their priest presented them with some homework. The seeds and sprouts that represented new life were to be placed into open running water so their prosperity could spread and new life could grow. Hunua Falls was the perfect place!

Akhilesh and Sharanya – we were always very honoured to be chosen to be a part of your wedding day, but we are even more excited to have been one of the select few who got to witness your marriage first hand.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for trusting us.

Day one – Engagement ceremony and Muriwai Beach

Day Two – Wedding Ceremony and Hunua Falls

If you’ve enjoyed Akhilesh and Sharanya’s wedding photos – just wait until you see their video! Watch it here.

And if you’ve found us here because you’re planning your own Indian Wedding – You check out more of our Indian Wedding Photography here.

Wedding Venue: Shree Swaminarayan Temple – Papatoetoe
Wedding Videographer: Perspectives Photo + Cinema
With thanks to Hunua Falls Camp