A Not-So-Fat Indian Wedding
Khushboo Chaudhary was just stopping by a friend’s party in the East Village in March 2019 when she spotted Param Gupta, the man she had been talking with on Hinge.
They had first matched on Coffee Meets Bagel in January 2019, and shortly after, on Hinge. After they matched for the second time, he reached out to her and they started chatting — if you could call it that, since each would take “a business day,” he said, to respond. Additionally, they never had the chance to meet in person because, at the time, he was traveling a lot for work as a consultant at Deloitte.
A good conversation at the party was the push they needed, so they made brunch plans for the following week at Citizens of Gramercy.
“She loves to brunch,” Mr. Gupta said. “It was really close to her place, so she was like, ‘If I don’t like the guy, I can just go back to my apartment really quick.’”
They quickly realized that they had a lot in common — including that they both graduated from the University of Delhi in 2014 with bachelor’s degrees in commerce, though they attended different colleges under the umbrella institution.
They also realized that they were both supposed to go on a trip to South Africa in December 2013 through the university. Ms. Chaudhary opted out last minute to attend her sister’s wedding. But Mr. Gupta went on the trip and met her close friends there.
“Destiny made us meet in New York” six years later, Ms. Chaudhary said.
Together, they watched Bollywood films and spent time with their friend groups, which have “become one big common group in the last three years,” she said.
“We just really connected because of the shared upbringing,” in addition to their experiences as two people immigrating from Delhi to New York in 2016, Mr. Gupta said: Ms. Chaudhary for a master’s degree in public relations and corporate communications at New York University, and Mr. Gupta for his role at Deloitte.
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Ms. Chaudhary, 29, is an account director at Actual Agency. Mr. Gupta, also 29, graduated from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University with a master’s degree in management. He is now a vice president at J.P. Morgan.
Since the start of the pandemic, they have made over 25 trips together, including to Yellowstone National Park, Hawaii, Portugal and Paris.
On March 19, 2022, he proposed to her on her birthday in front of the Eiffel Tower. The trip to Paris was a surprise — she thought they would be going to India to visit family and meet each other’s parents for the first time in person, but he secretly, after securing her parents’ blessing, planned stops in Paris and Amsterdam first.
On Feb. 23, the couple were wed by Shri Mahadev Shastri of NDRI Shiv temple in Karnal, India. The wedding was in Ms. Chaudhary’s childhood home in Karnal, which is two hours north of Delhi.
Originally, they were planning on getting married in Dubai in January, but after booking the venue and sending out invitations to 300 guests, they decided to call off the wedding.
“It was just not feeling right,” Ms. Chaudhary said. “When we thought about what we really want, we realized we want an intimate affair with just closest family and friends.” They decided to get married in India, and Shri Mahadev Shastri recommended the date — which was just three weeks away.
The couple had a relatively small ceremony for an Indian wedding, with 50 guests. They also did not have the various events that traditionally surround an Indian wedding, like a mehendi (henna night) or sangeet (music party). They decided to only have the wedding ceremony, followed by two receptions — one held in Karnal for Ms. Chaudary’s relatives, and one in Delhi for Mr. Gupta’s relatives.
“We didn’t want a big affair for three to four days,” which is also typical of Indian weddings, and what they were planning to do in Dubai, he said.
“Doing it in a backyard with the people we care about most was the most brilliant thing about it,” Mr. Gupta said.
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