Wedding photographers have the immense pleasure of chronicling one of the best days of a couple’s life together. These portraits are filled with love, friends, and family, and the images are often kept relatively private afterward. But for grooms Amit Shah and Aditya Madiraju, photos from their special day went viral. Photographer Charmi Peña documented the traditional Hindu ceremony at a temple in New Jersey where the men celebrated with “casually elegant” style. The day was beautiful, both in its aesthetics and symbolism. The choice of the two men to hold a traditional ceremony offers hope to LGBTQ people around the world that they will someday receive the same acceptance—especially as same-sex marriage in India is not legal at this time.
Including only their friends and family, the service included a puja (a prayer ritual), garland exchange, and pheras (rounds around a fire). During the ceremony, Shah and Madiraju wore complementing kurtas by designer Anita Dongre. Shah donned a suit that had lush garden motifs while Madiraju accented his groom’s pick with a salmon-colored selection. Set against a backdrop featuring monochromatic carvings, the two and their guests were a striking sight.
As special as the day was for Shah and Madiraju and their guests, the event was unforgettable for Peña, too. “The wedding was filled with love and support,” she tells My Modern Met, “and I felt lucky to be there.”