Anuja and Rafi
Fort Jadhav Gadh (near Pune)
Los Angeles based Anuja and Rafi dated for five years after which they decided to tie the knot. The creative duo (Anuja is a Fashion Designer and Rafi likes to describe himself as 'Jack of All Trades') wanted to have a grand wedding in a Fort, and so they decided on Fort Jadhav Garh as the venue.
Says Nayan Shah who photographed the wedding: "It was the perfect wedding-and one of my most memorable assignments. The couple planned each and every aspect of the wedding by themselves-with so much attention to detail on every aspect- the invitation cards, the color themes, accommodation and travel. After all the planning and hard work, they lived their dream, and this inspired me tremendously."
How they Met
Anuja was born and raised in Mumbai and then moved to San Francisco, California to pursue her fashion studies. Rafi was born and raised in Israel and later he moved to Los Angeles, California. He says: "Anuja and I met in Hollywood, in 2007, we were both in the fashion industry I had a clothing line called 'Lazy life Style', and she was working in another company, but we had common friends, and we'd hang out together. At one point I realized that I really like her and started pursuing her, finally after Anuja came to know that my intentions were serious, we started dating, very short after we fell in love."
Dream Wedding- in a courtyard of a dilapidated Fort
Since Anuja had a big family in Mumbai, they decided to celebrate the wedding somewhere closer to the city. Says Rafi: "Moreover most of our friends were enthusiastic about the journey and opportunity to visit India, and best of all experience a grand Indian wedding. Once decided we started exploring options, the fort fantasy was very basic. I felt it was a true manifestation of my first introduction to a fort ruins in Goa in 1992 (that obviously nested in my mind and heart)- the vision of a wedding in a courtyard of a dilapidated yet beautiful fort, with ivy creeping on the old stones, with white modern furniture and a big chandelier in the centre."
After a few months of online search, Anuja and Rafi shared their shortlist with family and friends. They were advised not to consider most of the options. Then, Anuja's parents heard through a friend about the beautiful Jadhav Gadh- about how its so comfortable to be at after its restoration, and the beautiful mountain views. "We looked it up on the web and loved it. Besides many other great things about the place, their food & service is amazing too. Highly recommended for to-be-weds!"
Anuja and Rafi state: "The wedding, and our stay at the Maharaja suite was a once-in-a-lifetime experience- we were King and Queen for a day, and I think that's something every bride and groom wishes for J"
Photographs Courtesy - Nayan Shah (http://nayanshahphoto.blogspot.in/)