by ASJAD NAZIR

Bonded for a lifetime.

ABHINAV SHUKLA AND RUBINA DILAIK DESCRIBE THEIR SUMMER WEDDING AND TIPS THEY WOULD GIVE OTHER BRIDES AND GROOMS.

THE wedding of talented Indian television stars Rubina Dilaik and Abhinav Shukla lit up
the summer.

The long-term couple turned their unbreakable bond into a lifetime commitment at the
plush Woodville Palace in Shimla in the presence of close family and friends. The fairy-tale
wedding at a historical setting in the hometown of the actress was two days of romance.

The celebrations began with a mehndi function, which saw Rubina wear a pretty pastel outfit paired with fresh floral jewellery as the couple exchanged rings.

This was followed by the fun sangeet, for which Abhinav opted to wear a blue kurta and a white turban with floral details, while the bride dazzled in an asymmetrical hem green skirt paired with an ornate blouse of the same colour.

The fun-filled night saw numerous energetic dance performances.

The next day the couple exchanged vows at an outdoor ceremony with the bride looking ethereal in a white lehenga with colourful embroidery and the groom opting for a pastel blue sherwani with a duppatta in the same shade as the embroidered flowers on her outfit.

The couple observed both Himachali and Punjabi rituals at the ceremony. They later had a wedding reception for friends in Mumbai, which was attended by a number of celebrities.

Eastern Eye caught up with the loved-up couple to talk about their unforgettable wedding and the joys of being married.

When did you know you wanted to marry Rubina?
Abhinav: (Smiles). I had known for a while, about two years into dating her. It was just a matter of when it happened.

Tell us about your marriage proposal to her?
Abhinav: My proposal was totally non-Hollywood style, where a man goes down on one knee and asks her with a rock-size solitaire in his hand. I think that is clichéd and overdone. And I was against a diamond as I believe there are blood diamonds and feel strongly about that.

So it was a simple ring at the bottom of the glass from which she was sipping her drink. I said, ‘At the end of the drink, there is a surprise’.

How did you feel when Abhinav proposed to you?
Rubina: Actually, I was calm and very composed because I had prayed for that moment earnestly. And I was somewhere sure that my prayers would be answered. At that very moment they were.

How did you decide on the wedding destination?
Abhinav: As we planned on getting married in peak summer, I think a natural choice was the scenic hills. And Rubina knew I love hills and picturesque surroundings. So she proposed we have the ceremony in Shimla and it was a great choice.

What did you like about the venue in particular?
Abhinav: It has got history, is beautiful and surrounded by trees.

Rubina: I adored the vintage beauty of it. Woodville Palace is a heritage property since the time of the British rule in India. Kunwar Uday Singh was kind enough to open his palace for our wedding as a gesture of respect as we belong from the same region. Both of us are really thankful to him.

Who took charge of the arrangements?
Rubina: (Laughs). It was me as Abhinav let me decide everything for our dream wedding and silently supported me in every step towards it.

Abhinav: I was involved in looking at her amazing enthusiasm. (Laughs) She was a like a missile homing on to a target and it was a sight to behold. So, yes, she did take charge completely. I helped by staying out of her way.

Did you two have any differences of opinion and how did you get around that?
Abhinav: Of course we did, but I realised that it would be better to let her do much of the decision making as she was just brilliant at organising the entire event.

What was the biggest challenge of putting together the whole wedding?
Rubina: I think bringing two cultures together seamlessly was our biggest challenge. Finding mutual ground on every decision was quite a task as we wanted both our families to feel equally valued and customs to be equally fulfilled.

How was the guest list decided?
Rubina: My family, relatives and our contacts are widespread and so are his, but we wanted to have our near ones and friends to be a part of our auspicious day, so we
decided to have only our common friends and close relatives.

Tell us about your outfits?
Rubina: My maid of honour and very dear friend Keerti Kelkar put her heart and soul into making me look like a million-dollar bride, as they say. I just can’t forget those sleepless nights and arguments we had over picking designers, looking up colour co-ordinations and browsing a number of sites for inspiration. But, in the end, it was all worth it.

Abhinav: Rubina got it made from our dear friend Tina Darira. She carefully and  meticulously crafted it keeping in mind my taste and the theme of our big day.

Rubina, how did you decide the looks you went in for, in terms of make-up and hair?
Rubina: I wanted to keep it simple and minimalistic because Abhinav has always adored me with less make up and looking natural. As he usually says, less is more.

What was the ceremony like and how did you feel while it was happening?
Abhinav: Our wedding was a memorable event in its entirety. I was impressed by the hospitality of the pahari (hill) people and loved every moment of it. The priest explained to us the entire meaning of pheras (ritual of walking around the fire), which indeed had lot of meaning and logic to it and I was very much impressed by our culture and religion.

Did you have to deal with last minute emergencies?
Rubina: (Laughs) Me and my sisters were battling until the very last minute for things to go smoothly. Managing a destination wedding was a huge task. Ironically, my sisters
enjoyed my farewell party (bidai) more because that was the last ceremony of all.

Did you have to deal with lastminute emergencies?
Rubina: (Laughs) Me and my sisters were battling until the very last minute for things to go smoothly. Managing a destination wedding was a huge task. Ironically, my sisters
enjoyed my farewell party (bidai) more because that was the last ceremony of all.

What was the most memorable moment of the
day for you?
Rubina:
The whole day was memorable and magical, but if I had to single out a moment, it would be the vows that we exchanged in the presence of our family and our close friends.

Abhinav: For me it was Rubina gifting a song to us. She sang, wrote and conceptualised the song.

What tips would you give to grooms?
Abhinav: My advice would be, don’t follow the typical Hollywood textbook wedding. Be creative in the way you propose to her, perhaps during a boat ride or a hike up the mountains. Use your imagination. Humans tend to enjoy experiencing special moments and not material possessions as much. Hence, if you can’t afford a diamond, don’t shell out your savings to prove a point. It is love that matters.

What tips would you give brides?
Rubina: My advice is simple. Never take your marriage for granted.

Has your approach to work changed now you are married?
Abhinav: Nothing has changed, as we have always been very supportive of each other.

Rubina: Not really. Abhinav has always been encouraging as a partner, especially when it comes to professional aspects. In a true sense, he is the wind beneath my wings.

What is the best thing about being married to each other?
Abhinav: (Smiles). It would be that we are married to each other.

Rubina: It’s an honour to be wed to an incredible
man like him and raise a family together.

Finally, Abhinav, tell us why you feel like the luckiest man in the world? 
Abhinav: (Smiles). Because if it wasn’t for Rubina, I wouldn’t have been married. I am lucky to have met her and feel blessed.