Ajit Singh Photography
Diya Wadhwa & Akhil Shah
September 15-18, 2016. New York, New York
The love story of Akhil Shah and Diya Wadhwa began when they were teenagers. While they officially met at a friend’s birthday party when Diya was 14 and Akhil was 16, the two youngsters already knew of each other through mutual friends and browsing through MySpace. They quickly became friends and spent endless nights talking on the phone, chatting on AIM, and posting silly things on each other’s Facebook walls.
As high school graduation passed and Akhil started school at the University of Michigan, he had lost touch with Diya until he logged into Facebook and found a message from her, saying she was accepted to Michigan and would be coming to visit. Coincidentally, they finally reconnected after running into each other at a friend’s house party, and the rest is history.
After dating for seven years and living together for one, Akhil decided it was time to propose. He knew how important it was for Diya to have her family there, so he planned an elaborate scavenger hunt after gathering her loved ones together. The day included brunch at a new restaurant Diya had been wanting to try, a manicure and pedicure, a ferry ride to Long Island City, and dinner at a waterfront restaurant. Just before dinner, Akhil concluded the scavenger hunt with the last clue, which was a private proposal along the waterfront with Manhattan’s skyline behind them.
What was meant to be a one-day wedding expanded into a six-day event, as the couple wanted to honor their culture and heritage. The bride and groom were married twice during separate Sikh and Hindu ceremonies, and everyone indulged on lavish spreads of Indian food. For the décor, the bride referred to their theme as “Namastic,” which included a rustic look that still captured the couple’s Indian roots. Overall, the wedding was represented by everything the bride and groom loved most – good food, short and sweet speeches, and an all-night dance party.
After a full week of wedding celebrations, the newlyweds jetted off to the island of Crete for some much-needed rest and relaxation. Three blissful days were spent there before moving on to Santorini, followed by Athens – their favorite party of the honeymoon, filled with history and unforgettable scenery.
>Written by: Lauren Malamala