"Gagan and I dated for six years before we were able to finally get married and live together – though it was frustrating at times spending so much time apart, we wouldn’t change it at all because it offered both of us an opportunity to grow as individuals while not having to deal with the pressures and expectations of a married couple."
Photo Credit: Amrit Photography
Q: How did you meet?
Shalu: We technically first met on a cruise eight years ago that both of our families were on. Though our families would never believe it, we didn’t speak much on that cruise and it wasn’t until a few years later where we started talking after Gagan came to my birthday party in Gastown. Shortly after he asked me out on a first date and the rest is history.
Q: What do you love most about one another?
The ability to make each other laugh no matter what the situation. It really helps put a perspective on our daily lives and gives us the ability to handle anything that comes our way.
Q: Could you share your proposal story?
Shalu: It’s quite funny because he’s actually proposed to me three times and each time I’ve said yes! The first time was in March of 2018 when Gagan and his family came to my house and together asked for my hand in marriage, it was very sentimental and sweet. The second time was a few months later in September when we were doing our ‘Save the Date’ photoshoot, he took me completely by surprise. The third (and final) time was in India when we were wedding shopping. We all headed to Udaipur for a couple of days where Gagan had set up a “family photoshoot” at the Oberoi Udaivillas. Gagan proposed with both our families there and it was a moment I’ll never forget.
Q: Describe your wedding day. What was your favourite moment?
It’s hard to pick out one single moment from the wedding day. I’m sure most couples have said in the past how things go by so fast on your wedding day, but both of us did a great job on checking in on each other throughout the day to make sure we were appreciating the moment.
Our favourite moment was probably after the fourth and final lavan when the photographers caught us fist-bumping each other. After six years of dating (four of which were long-distance with an eight-hour time difference), it was amazing to finally be able to solidify our relationship and start the next chapter of our lives together. We couldn’t be happier to finally be able to live in the same home in the same time zone and not having to rely on FaceTime so often.
Q: Could you tell us about your reception?
Shalu: After 10 days of festivities, the reception was the grand finale that both are families enjoyed to the fullest. The decorations turned out exactly as we envisioned (thanks Décor By Polly!) and it was amazing seeing so many of our family and friends share our excitement about the wedding. Gagan himself had at least 150 friends there from high school, university, and medical school at the reception and it was so much fun to celebrate with old friends and new alike.
Q: Can you describe your outfits?
Both of us had a very specific idea of what we wanted to wear for throughout the week – traditional yet regal. Even though it wasn’t planned, for our wedding day we both ended up gravitating towards Rimple & Harpreet because their designs incorporated the traditional looks we were hoping for, while still giving off a very royal look.
Q: Where did you honeymoon?
Shalu: Due to Gagan’s work schedule, we were only able to escape for a few days to Hawaii after the wedding. We went on a few hikes, ate our weight in food, and drove around the island in our zippy Mini Cooper convertible – it was perfect. It was really nice to enjoy some sun and get a break before getting back into our daily routines.
Q: What are your favourite quotes?
Shalu: We don’t necessarily know where the quote originated, but Gagan often says that we “shouldn’t compare our insides to other people’s outsides,” and this really resonates with both of us.
Q: What are the strengths of your marriage?
Shalu: Both of us are very cognisant of the fact that we are very early on in our marriage so it wouldn’t be appropriate to identify what our strengths are at the moment. That being said, after being together for so long we are definitely going to integrate some principles from when we were dating to make sure our relationship brings out the best of both of us.
One of those principles is the importance of having dedicated time for activities throughout our weeks that are not necessarily together – we found that not only does this give us an opportunity to socialize with our friends, but it also “energizes” our relationship because it offers us an opportunity to talk about something new on a regular basis. For Gagan, these activities usually involve playing some sort of sport (especially ice hockey), and for myself it is often trying out a new spin studio or workout class.
Q: If you could provide any advice to other married couples, what would it be?
Shalu: At this point, we should be the ones receiving the advice! That being said, I do think the one piece of advice we can offer to young couples is that every relationship is unique in its own way and has it’s own special circumstances with its own natural course. Gagan and I dated for six years before we were able to finally get married and live together – though it was frustrating at times spending so much time apart, we wouldn’t change it at all because it offered both of us an opportunity to grow as individuals while not having to deal with the pressures and expectations of a married couple.