Why our gay Desi wedding went viral

Why our gay Desi wedding went viral

Amit Shah and Aditya Madiraju held a stunning traditional Indian ceremony in New Jersey (Photo: Charmi Pena)

Photos of two beautifully-dressed and perfectly-poised grooms in a traditional Desi wedding went viral this week.

Amit Shah and Aditya Madiraju formally married earlier this year in the US.

But, they wanted to hold a wonderful Desi, or South Asian-style, ceremony for their friends and families.

The stunning photos of the pair in complementing kurtas surrounded by family and friends have stunned netizens in the US and in India.

Gay Star News spoke to the pair to find out more about their big day:

How did you two meet?

I (Amit) am the owner and creative director of AATMA Performing Arts, a dance company based in New York and Los Angeles. I also have a touring production called Mystic India: The World Tour. Aditya works for a wealth management bank in New York. We met a mutual friends birthday party in 2016.

Tell us all about your big day?

We wanted a celebration with our closest family and friends around. We already got married at City Hall in New York in January 2018, but we wanted to do something traditional and with our families when the time was right.

Amit Shah and Aditya Madiraju held a stunning traditional Desi ceremony in New Jersey (Photo: Amit Shah and Aditya Madiraju held a stunning traditional Indian ceremony in New Jersey (Photo: Charmi Pena)

Amit Shah and Aditya Madiraju held a stunning traditional Desi ceremony in New Jersey (Photo: Charmi Pena)

Aditya and I styled our clothing ourselves, because we’re both into fashion. For our henna party, we wore linen kurtas from Bohame, a sustainable fashion brand in India. For our wedding, we chose Anita Dongre. Anita Dongre is a huge designer in Indiaa who has dressed the biggest stars around the world and we were honored to wear pieces from her new collection. The floral kurtas we wore fit perfectly in the temple we picked for the ceremony. For our cocktail reception, my company, Andaz Design created our custom looks.

Amit Shah and Aditya Madiraju held a stunning traditional Desi ceremony in New Jersey (Photo: Amit Shah and Aditya Madiraju held a stunning traditional Indian ceremony in New Jersey (Photo: Charmi Pena)

Amit Shah and Aditya Madiraju held a stunning traditional Desi ceremony in New Jersey (Photo: Amit Shah and Aditya Madiraju held a stunning traditional Indian ceremony in New Jersey (Photo: Charmi Pena)

The wedding photographs were taken by a Charmi Pena. The henna party and cocktail party pictures were taken by Paulo Salud. Both photographers know our aesthetic and the intimate vibe we were going for. We wanted the photographs to capture real moments, and they did exactly that.

Overall, the events were intimate and we didn’t overthink anything.

Why do you think your photos have gone viral?

We had absolutely no idea our photos would go viral. In fact, we are still shocked now when news articles are written everyday about us. I think most of the attention is coming due to the photos being so raw. Also, the fact that the ceremony took place at a temple under religious observation is a huge thing for our community. I guess it is unheard of, and we didn’t realize the impact it would have. The response had been so overwhelming and we are honored to share our story with the world. It seems like people need to hear our story to feel empowered and we are excited to provide people with some inspiration.

Why was it important to have a traditional Desi wedding?

I think the wedding is described as “very Desi” because it took place in a temple and we wore Indian clothes. We also performed the religious ceremonies and I guess that was not as common in same-sex marriages (at least to the general public).

What do you think about the LGBTI rights situation in India?

We do follow the developments overseas, but by the stories we have heard over the last week from people messaging us, the issue is much bigger than we thought. There are still too many gay men and women afraid of coming out not only because of their families or society, but because they fear the law. Aditya and I look forward to inspiring change and hope we can make a difference over time.


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