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Joby John and Bindu Kallumkal

About the Couple
Joby John, son of Saramma John and John T. Varughese, was born in Kerala and raised in Orissa. He immigrated to New Jersey in 1990 during his teenage years after which he graduated with a B.S & M.S. in Chemical Engineering and then completed an MBA in Finance. He currently works for Infineum USA, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil as Section Head of Global Supply Analysis Group. He enjoys traveling, listening to talk radio, playing golf and collecting ethnic artifacts.

Bindu Kallumkal, daughter of Thresiamma and Joseph P. Kallumkal, was born and raised in New Delhi, until she immigrated to California in 1982 during her early childhood. She graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration and is currently pursuing her MBA. She enjoys traveling, dancing to cultural music, playing golf and researching cultural artwork and paintings.

How they Met
"Our friendship dates back nine years, to December 1995 in our sophomore year. By some rare chance we got introduced but never met. We heard each other's voice for the first time two days before Christmas 1995 and made an instant connection. During this time we were both in college and had other priorities in our lives. We continued to talk for three years as best friends, being there for each other through the good and bad times. We always knew we had a neutral person on the other side of the phone who could understand the other person and be objective about issues."

"For a brief time, we lost contact but when Joby graduated from college, he and his buddy decided to visit California. We met at his cousin's house and it was the oddest feeling; we picked up from where we lost touch and it was as though we had known each other our whole lifetime. We hung out for five days and were inseparable."

Says Bindu: "During this time, I felt as though I had butterflies in my stomach and my knees wobbled every time I was near him. We decided to take our friendship to the next level and see if this long distance relationship from California to New Jersey could work."

"So from May 1998, we stuck it out, helped each other through school, work, family, and stayed united. Although our parents were from Kerala, we realized their communities and sub-religions were different and we learned to inter-mingle our Catholic/Orthodox Christian faiths and sub-cultures in order to keep our relationship together."

Wedding Details

A Mehendi night on April 30, 2004 at the Saddlebrook Marriott. Payal Beauty Parlor arranged the mehendi that evening. --- The wedding was a one day extravaganza on Sunday, May 02, 2004 and took place at St. Leon Orthodox Church in Fair Lawn, New Jersey. --- The reception followed at the Wayne Manor in Wayne, New Jersey with over 400 guests

A multi-cultural Indian menu (provided by Chand Palace) with an open bar. The starters included Aloo Channa Papri Chaat, Paneer Chutney Pakora, Vegetable Samosa, Chilly Chicken (Tava), Seekh Kabab, Chicken Tikka, Mini Spring rolls, Mini Indian Chicken Quesadillas, and Dahi Vada. The dinner menu included Chicken Makhani, Lamb Roganjosh, Paneer Jalfrazi, Aloo Gobhi, Vegetable Kadai, Chana Dal, Vegetable Pulao, Regular and Garlic Naan, Raita, Rasmalai, and Gulab Jamun

Decor Elements
Favors: Brass plated seven inch Valaks (Diya lamps) Centerpieces: For the first few rows, two tiered flower arrangements with tall, dark brass, vine wrapped flower arrangement holder with six arched candleholders. For the other rows, low rise flower arrangements with candles surrounding the piece with vines stretching across the oval tables. The arrangement consisted of peach, red, and cream roses with stephanotis, pink and white mums, baby's breath, and hydrangeas Entertainment: DJ Manjith of Magic Mike played a mix of bhangra, South Indian, Indian remixes, along with hip-hop, house and techno.

The couple wish to thank
Sir Speedy of Anahiem, CA designed and printed the elegant wedding and thank you cards --- Exquisite Flowers, Belleville, NJ --- Chand Palace, Parsippany, NJ - Excellent food --- Wayne Manor, Wayne, NJ - Great management/ helpful team

The Engagement
Says Bindu: "We knew we wanted to get married so we decided not to worry about the whole American form of proposal. Joby suggested that I come up to New Jersey to look into some ideas for our wedding. On a sunny afternoon on October 25, 2003, Joby and I, along with his sister and brother-in-law went to New York City. We walked for blocks and stopped at a deli to grab a snack. Joby then suggested that we have our lunch at Bryant Park, We sat at a small round table, watching the children play in the yard, listened to the amateur band play in the background and munched on our sandwiches.

"During this time, Joby's sister shared some pictures from a prior engagement party she had attended and Joby's brother-in-law fiddled with his camera to take some panoramic photos. I flipped through the pictures and came across this black and white photo of a pair, the guy's hands holding a diamond ring with an imprinted "Marry me!" phrase on the photo. I thought it was cute and moved on to the next photo. Joby's sister kept bringing the picture back to indicate how wonderful the picture was. I continued to agree with her that the guy had come up with a very clever way of proposing.

Little did I know the guy holding the ring in the photo was soon to be my fiance Joby's brother-in-law asked me to look at the kids playing in the yard, and as I turned my head, there was Joby on his knee, blushing and nervously proposing to me. I told him I need a few minutes to think about it and said "YES" with a big hug!"

The official engagement was on November 15, 2003 in Los Angeles, CA.

The Wedding
"The wedding was a traditional South Indian Kerala Orthodox Christian ceremony followed by a reception. "Our ceremony was conducted in our mother tongue, Malayalam, which included the crowning of the couple, exchange of the rings, tying of the minne (mangalsutra), and covering with manthrakodi (sari). We also incorporated a western touch by having seven bridesmaids and groomsmen along with three flower girls.

The bridesmaids wore beautiful salmon color kanchipuram sarees with gold peacock embroidery and the groomsmen wore traditional hand tailored black Nehru suits. The ceremony lasted about an hour with the organist and choir playing sweet angelic Malayalam Christian hymns. Later we had the garland ceremony on the front steps of the Church and we rode away to Joby's house on a decorated Indian horse carriage."

Says Bindu: "At his home, we conducted the traditional rituals of entering the home and receiving blessings from his parents. I then changed into my manthrakodi that Joby gave me during the wedding and we both rode to the reception manor in a white limousine."

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The Bridal Party
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Bride and Groom leave in a horse carriage

The Reception
Our reception, once again reflected our traditional Kerala style gathering with Indian favors, food, music, rituals and setups. We had slideshows to give guests an insight into each of our lives. The evening continued with singing, a lavish dinner, picture taking and non-stop dancing.

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The Couple dancing at their reception

What the Bride and Groom wore
The wedding party's outfits were tailor-made in Kerala and Mumbai. For the wedding ceremony, Joby wore an off-white single-buttoned exquisitely designed Jodhpuri suit with a black brocade vest. For the reception, he wore a black Jodhpuri suit with a red brocade vest.

For the wedding ceremony, Bindu wore an off-white gold embroidered saree with rhinestones and a cathedral veil. For the reception, she wore a bright red and gold saree with rhinestones.

Wedding Planning Advice
"Plan the agenda out ahead of time, Make sure you have a budget to follow and stick with it. Try to get the major tasks out of the way to be able to take care of any last minute issues."