Neesha and Paul
City of Residence: Maple Ridge/ Richmond
Q: How did you meet?
Neesha: We’ve actually known each other for over 10 years. We were friends in our early 20s and used to run into each other here and there. After a couple of years of being busy in our own lives, we reconnected over social media in 2016 and then literally bumped into each other one night in 2017. From there we slowly but surely continued to talk and see each other more and more often. We took it really slow, but that made it easier for us throughout each step of our relationship. We always had a foundation to lean on.
Q: What do you love most about one another?
Paul: With Neesha, it’s her amazing capability in any situation to do anything and everything needed, while holding everyone’s concerns and importance at the forefront. She is the person I can go to with any idea, goal or challenge and can rest assured that she is going to find the best solution and way forward. She handles anything that comes in front of us with such grace and skill, I knew she would be the perfect match for my life.
Neesha: I’d have to say Paul’s warmth, huge heart and loving nature. I have always been so comfortable around him. Then there’s his always happy and fun demeanour. He’s a big kid at heart - he never ceases to make me laugh and we always have a good time together. Then on the other hand, he’s also still a truly chivalrous soul, which you don’t see as much any more. He’s always the first to be there to take my coat or grab the door, even when I don’t think it’s needed, he always wants to take care of me and those he cares about.
Q: Could you share your proposal story?
P: Planning a COVID proposal wasn’t easy with most venues and locations still being closed, so I had to think of something that could work given the circumstances. It was the day before Valentine’s Day and I was trying to make sure she thought I was going to do it on February 14th itself. We were staying downtown for the weekend and we left the hotel to head out to dinner. In the meantime, while we were at dinner, my friend and cousin took all the furniture out of our suite, and Vancity Letters brought in light up marquee letters that said ‘Be Mine’, flooded the ceiling with helium balloons and covered the floor with rose petals.
We walked in and she basically froze, and I slowly walked her into the room. Our photographer and videographer were already inside and were able to capture the moment. My cousin and sister-in-law were also hiding in the bedroom snapchatting the moment as I got down on one knee to ask Neesha to Be Mine forever!
Q: Describe your wedding day. What was your favourite moment?
Paul: Every moment of the ceremony went off without a hitch, for all the guests in attendance and for all those that watched our live-stream. There were actually viewing parties happening across North America and the world hosted by our family and friends, so despite covid-restrictions, we were able to share our amazing day with all of those close to our hearts, even if they couldn’t attend.
Neesha: There were so many beautiful moments throughout our wedding. We got married outside at Bancy Farms and it was just so peaceful. Honestly it was a beautiful day - it was bright but not too hot and there was just the slightest breeze going during the Anand Karaj. We were also super fortunate to have both Baltej Singh Dhillon Ji and Harminderpal Singh Ji (Ross Street) on site to officiate our wedding. Baltej ji’s officiating, translations and serene nature draped the ceremony in such a sense of calm and Harminderpal ji’s closing was so personal to us -- we truly couldn’t have asked for a better service. Personally I also loved my horse and carriage entry! I really did feel like a princess as I entered the ceremony.
Q: How did COVID affect your wedding planning?
Neesha: Planning a wedding, even though I am a planner, was super stressful. We were super fortunate to have our wedding in the portion of the summer where the restrictions had been lifted and even masks weren’t mandatory at private gatherings. We had struggled with the wedding date and planning because of COVID, so we had to hustle really hard to get our events organized in just a few short weeks after the restrictions changed at the beginning of July. We’re grateful for our friend and wedding planner, Pardip from Big Phat Indian Weddings who really stepped up in those last few weeks. Our wedding went from 50 people to being set up for somewhere between 250-300 and our reception venue changed twice in the three weeks leading up to the event. It definitely was a lot to manage at the last minute!
Q: Could you tell us about your reception?
Neesha: We ended up having our reception at Bombay Banquet Hall. It was an indoor/outdoor reception, where we held the formal part of the evening inside the banquet hall. You entered to live music, a black and white photo station done by the Portrait Story, followed by a 16 ft custom built champagne wall. And then after our first dance we did a rail gaddi moving our guests outdoors where we had setup a Miami style vibe with green walls enclosing the entire patio, cabanas with flowing white drapery, white lounge furniture and a full-scale dance floor setup with string lighting throughout the patio and multiple specialty bars. The formal part of the evening was so elegant and pristine and then we spent the night dancing away under the stars and the lights. The party went well into the early hours of the morning and I’m pretty sure Paul and I were on the dance floor for most of it!
Q: Can you describe your outfits?
Paul: I have always had a vision of my morning wedding outfit being inspired by images of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. That’s why I went with blue and red Angrakha style with a belt. I also wanted a nod to my love of superheroes, so the embroidery on the front is centred across the chest, a bit like a crest you’d see on a superhero. Reshu Auntieji and Arjun at Sunny’s Bridal were awesome at interpreting my inspiration images and helping pull it together. The look was finished off with a Custom Kirpaan made for me by Hari from Maharaja Pagdi & Swords. It has my Grandfather’s, Father’s, and my name inscribed on the blade, and is now a new heirloom to pass down in our family. For the reception I had a custom tux made by Kam at Singh Styles, which really allowed me to bring my sense of style to the night while complimenting my wife’s amazing look.
Neesha: I had a vision of something with contemporary white embroidery on red. I’d visited Sunny’s previously and Arjun was great about pulling potential outfits for me but two sessions later, we both knew we hadn’t found ‘it’ yet. So the next time I came in with a powerpoint presentation with my Wishlist! This helped us narrow it down and of the two items we narrowed it to, once we put them on, we found it. The outfit my morning lengha was modelled off of was all pearl work in a geometric design on a lighter tone and it was initially designed as a gown. We reworked the design into a lengha and changed the colour to a deep red. I was thrilled with the result. I’ve never seen a morning outfit with absolutely no gold or silver.
For the reception I wore a lengha with Davi from Armaan DBG. It was a stunning outfit with a criss cross rhinestone back, and the perfect emerald green colour. Davi went above and beyond to make it everything I dreamed of. She also indulged my request for two dupattas - one was a three tier ruffle dupatta that I wore for the entrance and early evening and then I switched into the other one later. For my Mehndi night, I wore a short lengha from Papa Don’t Preach and floral jewellery by Suki’s Flowers.
Q: Where did you honeymoon?
Paul: We haven’t gone on a honeymoon yet. With COVID restrictions throughout the world, and Neesha’s brother getting married two months later on the East Coast, we truthfully are only now just getting back to some semblance of normal. Our schedules are finally freeing up and international travel rules are a lot clearer now, so we’ve been talking a lot about that. We’re definitely considering one of the islands that are sinking away. It’ll definitely be somewhere warm!
Q: What are your goals as a couple?
We want to stay happy and growing - now, in this new chapter, and as our lives continue to evolve.
Q: What are the strengths of your marriage?
Our ability to work through any situation or obstacle as they come up to us, and our commitment to grow together in this new journey we are on. Every marriage has its bumps on the road, and whether its wedding planning during COVID, learning each other's habits and traits as a married couple, or even choosing the towels and bedsheets for the house, we have found ways to grow with each other through any hurdles, disagreements or misunderstandings and we’ve come out closer and better for it!
Q: If you could provide any advice to other married couples, what would it be?
Communicate! Regardless of if you’ve been together for what feels like a lifetime, or are just learning the path you’re now walking on, having the ability to communicate and keeping the space for each other to express your feelings, needs, wants, likes and dislikes will allow you to grow in joy together, and handle anything that comes your way!
Q: What were some of your favourite moments from throughout the week?
Paul: For me one of the most memorable moments has to be when Fin, the mascot for the Canucks, showed up at my maiyan party. I’m a huge Canucks fan and that was such a great surprise! The other would be our Jago night at home, where all my cousins and groomsmen wore Kurtas and Chadrraa, which really made for a great traditional Punjabi themed night!
Neesha: I really loved our sangeets. We had side by side sangeets at Aria Convention Centre, however when each family's events were complete, and it was down to the close family attendees, we opened the doors between the two halls, did a rail gaddi and collected all those who were left on to one dance floor allowing the two families to connect before the end of the night. We also crashed each other's sangeets earlier in the night and surprised both sides with dance performances. No one was expecting these performances at all and they especially weren’t expecting the other partner to be a part of it. Both of our families said that these two moments really made our Sangeet night special.