Exotic and Meaningful Destination
After the whirlwind romantic and stylish wedding day in Paris, Diane and Francois whisked their guests off to the airport to head directly to Goa, India! The disparity of locations between the colorful, sunny, exotic India and the cool, chic, structural ceremony in Paris may seem curious, but knowing Diane and Francois, it couldn’t have been any other way. I loved that they chose a place that is so personally meaningful to them.
Diane, a Paris native, spent the better part of a year working and traveling in India a decade ago. Francois is French, but was adopted from India when he was a baby. They first became a couple when they backpacked together on the sub-continent. It really is ‘their’ place. India will always hold a special place in their hearts, so it only made sense to celebrate their big day in this beautiful destination.
Planning from afar
Destination weddings are some of my favorites, but the logistics and organization can get a little crazy. Can you imagine planning a multiple-day wedding in a country that doesn’t speak your language from 4,000 miles away? A HUGE challenge, obviously.
Luckily Diane and Francois were up to the task, along with Catherine from the Paris-based wedding agency Jules & Moi. Lots of research went into choosing the best location, the right local vendors and making sure all the guests arranged transportation to and from. Although India is the couple’s special destination, neither had traveled there recently – so having help with the organization and choices was a total must.
Sun, Sand, and Love
The ‘big day’ in Goa was actually 3 big days! They spent the first day flying from Paris to Delhi and then (narrowly missing) a hop to Goa. Nearly all the guests came together from France, so having everyone arrive together (albeit slightly jet-lagged) meant for a fun, relaxed afternoon and dinner under the coconut palm trees at the gorgeous beach resort Leela Cottages.
The day of the wedding ceremony was spent in leisurely preparation and donning custom-made colorful saris for the ladies and kurtas for the gents – the customary local dress for weddings and a wonderful personal gift from the couple. The traditional Hindu blessing ceremony took place on the soft, white sand beach at sunset with guests seated on cushions or standing to participate in the many rites of the ceremony. I’ve shot beach weddings before, but this was my first in India!
Dinner and dancing on the sand culminated with releasing glowing paper lanterns into the warm night. Absolutely magical. The next day, everyone gathered for a final meal together on the beach for the ‘white-party’, and some split off for more travel Indian adventures in Rajasthan and Agra, while some went back home.
All in all, shooting Diane and Francois was an absolute treat and I am so happy to see their vision of their wedding come together in such a joyful, colorful way.
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Sebastien Bicard is a fine art wedding and portrait photographer based in California. He specializes in international travel and intimate weddings worldwide.