July 28, 2020
Lush green background, the calming vibration of temple bells and the mountain breeze, this was exactly what I wanted and nothing like what we planned for our big day, 27th June 2020, this is when I officially became Mrs. Ankita Jaiswal Rawat and we were officially allowed to spend our lives with each other.
One year back when we started planning, no one knew that the world would flip 360 degrees and that too exactly 2 months before our big day. The venue was done, decorator, caterer, guest list, shopping, photographers, everything but all for nothing. Our big day 4th May 2020 was just like any other day, staying at our home away from each other. We would still talk about how life would be when we will be married but all those conversations didn’t feel real not knowing when we will be able to see each other next. The ray of hope came when the lockdown was eased by individual states (Uttar Pradesh and Uttrakhand) but we didn’t have a date yet and doing it without our close friends and family knowing that most of them won’t come because of safety reason, we were not very happy but things fell in place and we tied the knot in a small temple ceremony with family.
Now, cut to the chase. We decided just a week before on 19th June that we have a date (27th June) and if we get the permissions from Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh then we will proceed with it. Within 2 days, we had the permission from state government for the wedding in the presence of 12-15 people max. A week is too less of a time to prepare for a wedding, but we did it.
I started with my packing (its not easy to pack your whole life in 3-4 suitcases, but I tried and failed), we assembled our looks (Mom and me) but half of our stuff was with tailor so my bridal outfit was a total mix and match. I wore a blouse from a different saree for my lehanga and tried to hide it with double dupatta so it is not too much visible. I mixed my jewelry of two different events to create a look and after several trials I was happy with the final outcome. None of my friends could attend my wedding but they stayed up late at night to help me with my look.
The biggest challenge was, it wasn’t possible for me to take my makeup artist to Uttarakhand and in that remote location of Bhimtal, finding a makeup artist that would do what I want was impossible, so I did my own makeup and I learnt how to make bun. (I had no idea there is a donut for hair too). We were shocked to see that we were done with all our preparations in just 6 days and we left on 26th for Uttrakhand via private vehicle. All the hotels are closed until 31st March 2021 in Uttrakhand, so we stayed in a small cottage in Bhimtal for a night and left for Ghodakhal Mandir the next morning for our big day. It was a struggle to reduce the puffy eyes and then get ready and do the self makeup all on time and to make sure my mom is looking good so getting her dressed and her makeup, everything happened in 3 hours. Since it was a temple wedding so we were not too fuss about making a makeup transformation.
With the grace of God, the weather that day was just perfect, not at all humid, cool breeze and thank God it didn’t rain. With perfect location, all the rituals took place in an intimate manner with all the necessary precautions. This lockdown temple wedding was full of adventure just like our work life and we were glad we get to do it in this simple way. And we ended up saving on a lot of money, so it was a win-win situation.
It took me a month to write down my feelings of that one week before wedding and the night before the big day. The excitement, the unknown rush, its a different feeling. I am grateful to share my life with the person I love the most and can’t live without. I am beyond happy to have found a person who loves me for who I am and now its the journey ahead that counts.