Real Couples // An Indian Wedding with Nods to Filipino Culture: Ronjay + Sonia

 Ronjay:

I first saw Sonia at work in 2014 and instantly found her beautiful. I started conversations by asking questions to see if Sonia was single, and once I found out she was, it was a done deal. Our first date was to the movies, and we and found we had a lot in common.

Once I told Sonia she looked like Jasmine. She looked puzzled, thinking I was talking about another girl, but really I was talking about Princess Jasmine. She later found out from a co-worker that I wanted to marry princess Jasmine, and on June 10th, 2017, I did marry the princess of my dreams. 

Sonia:

When Ronjay and I first met, I thought he was a weirdo and could only see him as a friend. The reason was because during our first few conversations, Ronjay used to scare me by telling ghost stories, which really creeped me out. At that time I was really debating if I should pursue this, or cut the conversations short. I am also Indian, and because of my culture, I was hesitant to date Ronjay because I wasn't sure what my parents and family would've thought.

As time went on, I started to see how caring and respectful Ronjay was and, regardless of what I was going through, he stuck by my side. I didn't really care what anyone thought and wanted to be with Ronjay. But to my surprise when I told my parents, they were so supportive and really loved Ronjay when they met him. Ronjay really turned out to be my soulmate, best friend, and Aladdin.

He proposed to me inside St. Joseph's Cathedral Basilica in Edmonton. He got down on one knee and told me he loved me, couldn't imagine a day without me, and that he would cherish me for the rest of his life. He then asked me to marry him. Those words he spoke were so meaningful and sentimental, and I said yes!

We purchased all our rings (wedding bands and ring) from Charm Diamond Centre in West Edmonton Mall.

Our ceremony was held at Nanaksaw Gurudwara, which is our biggest temple in Edmonton and resembles our temples in India. It's a beautiful temple inside and out. Ronjay wore a traditional Indian groom's outfit handmade in India for the ceremony, and changed into a traditional black suit with a white printed dress shirt, black tie, and black shoes for the reception. I wore a traditional red Indian skirt and top with beautiful flower embroidery hand made in India for the ceremony, and another handmade cream/white coloured skirt and top from India, with gold Jimmy Choo shoes.

For our reception, we celebrated at the Shaw Conference Centre. My husband and I could not have been happier with the choice we made with this beautiful venue overlooking the River Valley. From the authentic Indian food to the beautiful layout of the venue, our family and guests loved it all! I could not have asked for anything more. We knew as soon as we saw it that it would be the perfect place to host a intimate reception for our guests. To our surprise, the pricing fit within our budget, and when we went in for our taste test the food was amazing.

Our DJ for our reception was great! Shout out to DJ Joshan! He played everything from traditional Punjabi/Hindi songs to more modern and as well as R&B and hip-hop. Our entrance song was "This is What You Came For" because usually all eyes are on the bride but I wanted to share the spotlight with my handsome husband. We walked into the hall was the lyric line "when everybody's watching her but she's looking at you." My husband is a big Elvis fan, so for our first slow dance song was "Can't Help Falling in Love". For our entertainment, I really wanted to incorporate my husbands traditional cultural background, so found an amazing Filipino dance group known as the Pacific Island Dance Troupe.

We had a traditional Indian wedding. Growing up I always dreamed to have an Indian wedding, wearing the beautiful dresses and having beautiful ceremonies. I didn't realize what extent these traditions went to, which got frustrating at one point, but it was all worth it at the end! As the bride, my wedding time frame with all the ceremonies (Jagoo, Miyan and Henna night) consisted of four days in total, where some brides celebrate anywhere from four to seven days! I was happy with just four days.

My cousins made Ronjay and I play the shoe game, where they would ask us a question and raise the either the bride of grooms shoe as the answer eg. "Who's funnier?" We both raised our own shoes for that one... but we all know I'm the funniest.

We wanted a red and gold theme reception, and Ava Sophia Weddings exceeded our expectations. As little gift take-aways we made little gold boxes filled with red Lindor chocolates mixed with gold Werthers candy, and on the box we placed a sticker that said "Love is Sweet R+S June 2017."

Our party didn't end until 2am, and everyone danced the night away!

Words by Ronjay and Sonia, the couple, as told to Amber Marlow.
Photos by Daphne Chen.

 edmonton Indian and filipino wedding bride's hands covered in henna tattoos
 edmonton Indian and filipino wedding bride in wedding attire
 edmonton Indian and filipino wedding bride portrait
 edmonton Indian and filipino wedding bride's jewelry
 edmonton Indian and filipino wedding bride from behind
 edmonton Indian and filipino wedding bride's jimmy choo shoes
 edmonton Indian and filipino wedding rose bouquets
 edmonton Indian and filipino wedding bride and bridesmaids on staircase
 edmonton Indian and filipino wedding bride and grandmother
 edmonton Indian and filipino wedding groom's sherwani
 edmonton Indian and filipino wedding groom's shoes
 edmonton Indian and filipino wedding groom and groomsmen
 edmonton Indian and filipino wedding ceremony
 edmonton Indian and filipino wedding ceremony
 edmonton Indian and filipino wedding bride entering ceremony
 edmonton Indian and filipino wedding bride and groom at ceremony
 edmonton Indian and filipino wedding couple holding hands outside doors
 edmonton Indian and filipino wedding embrace by blooming trees
 edmonton Indian and filipino wedding bride and bridesmaids walking with arms linked
 edmonton Indian and filipino wedding bride holding bouquet
 edmonton Indian and filipino wedding bride and groom's hands
 edmonton Indian and filipino wedding couple by fountain
 edmonton Indian and filipino wedding groom's arm around bride
 edmonton Indian and filipino wedding bride posing
 edmonton Indian and filipino wedding groom posing
 edmonton Indian and filipino wedding couple holding hands near fountain
 edmonton Indian and filipino wedding reception
 edmonton Indian and filipino wedding bride throwing rice
 edmonton Indian and filipino wedding bride hugging father
 edmonton Indian and filipino wedding groom in suit
 edmonton Indian and filipino wedding groom sitting on couch
 edmonton Indian and filipino wedding bride in white dress on couch
 edmonton Indian and filipino wedding bride in front of window
 edmonton Indian and filipino wedding couple by blossoming trees
 edmonton Indian and filipino wedding couple's shoes at park path
 edmonton Indian and filipino wedding couple walking down park path
 edmonton Indian and filipino wedding couple in park
 edmonton Indian and filipino wedding couple with linked arms
 edmonton Indian and filipino wedding embrace
 edmonton Indian and filipino wedding table setting at reception
 edmonton Indian and filipino wedding chocolate box
 edmonton Indian and filipino wedding women dancing
 edmonton Indian and filipino wedding women dancing
 edmonton Indian and filipino wedding couple in chairs raising one shoe

VENDORS

Photographer | Daphne Chen Photography

Videographer | DC Brandon Films

Designer and Planner | Ava Sophia Weddings

Ceremony venue | Nanaksar Gurdwara

Reception venue | Shaw Conference Centre

Catering | Dil-E-Punjab Sweets & Restaurant

Wedding cake | The Art of Cake

Makeup | The Henna House by Angela | SEN Studios

Dancers | Pacific Island Dance Troupe

Music | DJ Joshan


 daphne chen

DAPHNE CHEN PHOTOGRAPHY

Daphne Chen Photography is an Edmonton based wedding photography company. We are a husband and wife team and we have been in operation for 8 years. Our work has been awarded at the national level and has been featured on popular publications such as The Knot, Catalyst, Style Inspired Weddings, Ultimate Wedding Magazine, Brown Sparrow Weddings, Elegant Wedding, The Inspired Bride, Modern Weddings, Chic Brown Bride and Style Inspired Weddings.