Real Couples // A Joyous Same-Sex Indian Wedding in Denver | Albertine & Monica

 I (Albertine) am thirty-three and currently live in Los Angeles, CA. I have twin half brothers who are 17 and walked me down the aisle :) I work as a paralegal at a divorce law firm (irony) and got my BA is English Literature from San Diego State. I'm obsessed with my dog Dexter and love photography, camping, hiking, baking pies, and as my degree suggests, I love reading. I probably read one book a week. I also long to Netflix and Investigation Discovery binge true crime dramas and documentaries. Born in Kentucky, grew up in California. I'm a romantic at heart.

Monica is thirty years old. She grew up in Agoura Hills, just outside of Los Angeles, and managed a motorcycle dealership for six years, then decided to pursue her dream of being a comedy writer. She currently writes sketch comedy for the YouTube channel Smosh. Along with making people laugh, Monica loves camping, hiking, and listening to true crime podcasts.

Albertine: We met on the dating website OkCupid.com. We went on our first date at a sushi restaurant and I talked so much the whole time, basically telling my whole life story that I was sure she didn't like me and felt so bad I paid for dinner. BUT then she walked me to my car and kissed me, so apparently she did like me.

Monica: After our first date, we immediately set a second date. We found that we couldn't wait four days, and had date "one point five" between the first two. A couple months later, we went on our first camping trip together. Despite being freezing cold in our tent, forgetting firewood, and burning the only food we brought, we had a wonderful time and I knew I'd found a partner in Albertine.

Albertine: Monica popped the question on the top of a big rock at Joshua Tree National Park. We went camping with our two buddies and I had no idea. We went for a hike, and Travis had to carry champagne in his backpack the whole way there and, because it had paper around it, was scared I would hear it. When she asked, I was so shocked I said, "wait no no!" and she was like "no?" and I said, "No, I mean yes! Of course." Then we drank champagne and had a great weekend camping.

Monica's engagement ring is three diamond triangles crisscrossing across a gold band, and her wedding ring is a gold band that matches and stacks under the engagement ring. Mine is a tear drop diamond with little diamonds on the bottom in gold, and my wedding ring is the "top" of the ring with little diamonds that stacks on top of the engagement ring.

We love the outdoors, mountains, and cold weather, and had been to Colorado on a vacation a couple years ago, so we picked our top ten venues in Colorado. We couldn't take time off work, but Monica's parents went out to view the venues, and Copper Mountain was perfect because it had a breathtaking view at 11,000 feet at Solitude Station and all our guests could stay at the resort. When we finally saw the venue in person, we were stunned.

Hardy Klahold was our photographer. I am obsessed with photography and wanted someone who took unique and beautiful pictures. I also wanted someone who had previously done Indian weddings so they understood the cultural significance of items and were used to a lot of bright colors and darker skin tones. I found his website and knew he would be perfect, and he was.

Lauren Smith was our wedding planner. We weren't planning on hiring a wedding planner until we found ourselves stressed out beyond belief just two months before our wedding. Luckily, we found Lauren at Hourglass Productions, and immediately knew she was the right fit for us. Her background as a paralegal (just like me) told us she'd be extremely organized, which proved to be true, but we had no idea just how easy she would make the entire wedding. Her positive attitude, organization, and quick thinking made her stand out.

Louise Denny was our venue coordinator. Not only did Louise somehow contact all of our guests and vendors to move our ceremony up almost two hours when the thunderstorms threatened to cancel the mountaintop wedding we had in mind, but she went above and beyond in every way. She adjusted the menu set by the venue, drove us across the resort numerous times, negotiated late checkout for our guests, and even got us a special personalized gift. We couldn't have asked for more.

For the ceremony, I wore all traditional jewelry, except for the finger rings and the nose ring because it was too much jewelry for me. I don't normally wear jewelry and they were a bit uncomfortable. I wore a maang tikka on my forehead, which I loved, a few heavy diamond necklaces and earrings, ankle bracelets, and red and white bangles, which are the traditional wedding colors. We exchanged not only rings but also Mangal Sutras (diamond and black onyx necklaces bought in India) during the ceremony. We also got wedding Henna or Mehndi done before leaving LA on our hands and feet. It took hours to be applied and we had to sit still and sleep without rubbing it off so it would stain as dark as possible, which was so hard! As is the tradition we got each other's first name initial hidden in our Henna and during the first look we had to find it on each other.

For the processional, Monica walked down the aisle to K-Ci and JoJo's "All My Life." The song is sweet, kinda funny, and reminds me of a middle school dance in the best way. I went traditional and came out to Chel le Chal's "Devangi Chopra"

For the recessional, we played Kendrick Lamar's L.O.V.E. feat Zacari. We love Kendrick and I really wanted to find a way to have that song in the wedding. Even though it was a traditional Indian/Hindu ceremony we were able to show our own personalities at the beginning and end of the ceremony.

Our Pundit, the name for the officiant which means "teacher," was Chetan Chavan and we flew him out to Colorado from Washington DC. We had a hard time finding a Pundit that was comfortable marrying a gay couple, so we were lucky to find him and he ended up being amazing. He had a friendly and outgoing personality and kept the guests laughing during the ceremony and wore a huge smile throughout the wedding. He altered the traditional ceremony so that it was gender fluid and fit with us and our relationship personality. He was truly the best and made our ceremony great.

There were 15 parts to our ceremony and there can be more depending on how traditional you want it to be, so I will name the important/ones I liked the best:

Pravesh — both of our matrons of honor held a cloth in front of our faces so we couldn't see each other while we held rose petals in our hands. The cloth was lowered and we threw the petals at each other. 

Gandharva Vivaha — we exchanged beautiful fresh flower garlands signifying our acceptance and respect for one another as partners in life.

Kanyaadaan — Both of our parents tied our hands together with a flower garland.

Exchange of Mangal Sutra and wedding rings.

Personal Vows.

Lajja Homa — Our brothers gave four obligations of popped rice to the fire for: righteous duties, economic development, satisfaction of desires, and liberation.

Saptapadi — We took 7 steps together to represent 7 vows to one another: 
1. share in house responsibility
2. fill our hearts with strength and courage
3. prosper and share wordly goods
4. fill out hearts with love, peace, happiness, and spiritual values
5. be blessed with loving children
6. attain self restraint and longevity
7. be best friends and eternal partners

Saath Phere — we walked around the fire in seven circles, Monica lead four and I lead three.

When we walked down the aisle together all the guests threw rose petals at us which made us feel truly loved and was my favorite part.

My dad made a beautiful toast about how my mother who passed would have been so happy to be there and be so proud of who I became. He cried during his toast and it was the first time I had seen him cry.

Our friends and cousins surprised us with a choreographed dance. It was super entertaining and so much fun!

DJ Vik was great at making sure people were dancing by switching up the songs based on who was dancing, and he played all of our requested songs. He was fantastic and played a mix of Indian songs with American music.

We love games so instead of a guestbook we had the guests sign Jenga pieces with advice, date night ideas, well wishes, etc. and we had a huge Jenga game for guests to play. We also had cornhole and tic-tac-toe for the kids.

Our favors were seed packets with California poppy seeds inside so people could plant them and "let our love grow." We chose poppies because they are from California like us and so the guests had something unique that would be easy to take home with them.

The night ended with a hotel party in one of our friend's rooms of course! There were so many people we could barely move but we felt incredibly loved and happy.

Words by Albertine and Monica, the brides, as told by Amber Marlow. Photos by Hardy Klahold.

 DENVER SAME-SEX INDIAN WEDDING TABLE WITH SMALL ELEPHANT STATUE AND FLOWER PETALS
 DENVER SAME-SEX INDIAN WEDDING HENNA BEING APPLIED TO BRIDE'S PALM
 DENVER SAME-SEX INDIAN WEDDING BRIDES OUTSIDE
 DENVER SAME-SEX INDIAN WEDDING MONICA SMILING FOR CAMERA
 DENVER SAME-SEX INDIAN WEDDING ALBERTINE AND MONICA
 DENVER SAME-SEX INDIAN WEDDING BRIDES HOLDING HANDS
 DENVER SAME-SEX INDIAN WEDDING DENVER SAME-SEX INDIAN WEDDING BRIDES SMILING AND HOLDING HANDS
 DENVER SAME-SEX INDIAN WEDDING BRIDES SMILING AT EACH OTHER IN FRONT OF LARGE ROCK
 DENVER SAME-SEX INDIAN WEDDING MONICA SMILING AT CAMERA WITH ALBERTINE IN BACKGROUND
 DENVER SAME-SEX INDIAN WEDDING BRIDES SMILING FOR CAMERA, ALBERTINE IN FOCUS
 DENVER SAME-SEX INDIAN WEDDING BRIDES HOLDING HENNA-COVERED HANDS
 DENVER SAME-SEX INDIAN WEDDING MONICA'S HANDS ON TOP OF ALBERTINE'S PALMS
 DENVER SAME-SEX INDIAN WEDDING EMBRACE ON MOUNTAIN PATH
 DENVER SAME-SEX INDIAN WEDDING SMALL DECORATED DRAWSTRING BAGS
 DENVER SAME-SEX INDIAN WEDDING GUEST DANCING
 DENVER SAME-SEX INDIAN WEDDING GUESTS DANCING
 DENVER SAME-SEX INDIAN WEDDING MONICA AND ALBERTINE DANCING
 DENVER SAME-SEX INDIAN WEDDING COUPLE AND PARENTS GETTING PICTURES TAKEN BY GUESTS
 DENVER SAME-SEX INDIAN WEDDING MONICA DANCING
 DENVER SAME-SEX INDIAN WEDDING GUESTS DANCING
 Denver Same-Sex Indian Wedding monica dancing
 Denver Same-Sex Indian Wedding albertine putting on bangles
 Denver Same-Sex Indian Wedding albertine's henna and bangles
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 Denver Same-Sex Indian Wedding monica walking down aisle
 Denver Same-Sex Indian Wedding matrons of honor holding cloth between brides  for pravesh
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 Denver Same-Sex Indian Wedding parents tying hands (kanyaadaan)
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VENDORS

Photography | Hardy Klahold Photography

Videography | Sun Prairie Films

Venue | Copper Mountain

Wedding planner | Lauren Smith of Hourglass Productions

Venue coordinator | Louise Denny

Event design | Pink Monkey Solutions

Pundit (officiant) | Chetan Chavan

Florals | Poppy & Pine

Mandap | Enchanted Celebrations

Music | DJ Vik of Norvan Massey Entertainment

Hair | Breckenridge Hair Company

Henna | Hummingbird Henna


 HARDY KLAHOLD

HARDY KLAHOLD

Hardy Klahold Photography stands for unobstructive, fashionable, storytelling Wedding Photography. I tell all my couples: “This is your day and I’m here to document everything.” I encourage them to enjoy their wedding day, to be who they are and let me be who I am. One of my former grooms told me after his wedding: “Looking at your photos showed me all the wonderful moments I wouldn’t have remembered.” I shoot weddings to ensure that couples never forget what made their day so special.