Sandeep and Gurtaj
Sandeep and Gurtaj were married on November 17th, with a ceremony at Carteret Gurdwara and a reception at the Knoll Country Club.
The biggest thing that I saw in this wedding was the influx of love and support from their friends and family. For example, Sandeep told me that her sister and brother-in-law in particular had been a huge help to her both during the wedding and in preparation for it. The day before the wedding, she had been looking for something to do and decided to start vacuuming. As soon as she started working, her brother-in-law literally grabbed the vacuum away from her to start cleaning for her. All while carrying a 6-month-old baby and playing with his 4-year-old son! That’s one dedicated brother-in-law.
Sandeep’s brother was also a hilarious presence. At one point, when he put the kalira on Sandeep, neither of them could keep a straight face looking at each other! Sandeep told me that he also got a little emotional on the ride home after drinking a bit too much during her sangeet. He insisted on sitting by her and cried with her.
Gurtaj’s friends and family were also so wonderful and supportive. He was thrilled when his Billa Chacha was able to get a visa from India at the last minute to come, so he could tie the perfect pagg on Gurtaj with his Rana Mama. And then there was his mother, who was full of energy and excitement. His friends even put on a surprise Bhangra performance at his sangeet!
Gurtaj had also asked one of his friends, Lon, to be a groomsman, so of course, that meant he had a pagg. But even though his friend Lon was white, people kept thinking he was Punjabi! His friend Usman saw him and said, “Sat Sri Akal, uncle,” to him—which became a running joke as Lon said it back to people.
It was also amazing seeing Gurtaj relax after arguing with Sandeep’s sister and cousins during the ribbon cutting ceremony. They clearly enjoying the chance to laugh with each other, and you could see the stress melt away as they got to goof off a little.
And it was hilarious to see Sandeep’s competitive side come out during the shoe stealing. Apparently, she has a reputation of stealing shoes for all her jijus, so she was proud of her cousins when they snagged Gurtaj’s shoes. And when the dance-off came around, of course, she couldn’t be prouder of her side winning.
Some of my favorite photographs from the wedding are of Sandeep with her umbrella—which was so heavy and took a lot to hold steady—and of her with her family. Like I said, it was obvious family meant the world to these two, and one of the most touching moments was when Sandeep said goodbye to her father and family.
Sandeep & Gurtaj, thank you for letting me be part of your wedding celebrations. I know that you two will be loved and supported in all that you do!