“Pune was where we realised that we were in love.”
Roka, a traditional pre-wedding ceremony in Indian weddings, symbolises the union of the couple’s families.
It is the first of many other rituals to come, and usually involves an exchange of presents and gift money.
More and more couples hold the roka in lavish venues, like hotels and banquet halls.
Ishan and Sweta prefer to mark their engagement in a simple and close-knit ceremony with around 180 guests.
Born and raised in Kolkata, the couple organise the event at the beautiful resort, Vedic Village.
Sweta, a fashion entrepreneur, stuns in a bright yellow lehenga embellished with gorgeous floral prints.
She tells us about meeting her handsome fiance and fellow entrepreneur: “Sharing mostly the same gang of friends in Kolkata, it was Mumbai where we crossed paths.
“I was there struggling for work and Ishan was just on a vacation with a mutual friend. The mutual friend asked me to join him for the party that night. It was that very first night when we met.
A month later, they met up in Mumbai again before making their relationship official during a weekend trip in Pune.
Sweta continues: “We met and spent a lot of time with each other here. I had also travelled back to Kolkata with him.
“Back in Kolkata, we spent a week together eating, drinking and talking. Until we decided to fly to Pune for the weekend.
“Pune was where we realised that we were in love and wanted to take one step forward from being friends to being in a relationship.”
Caring and thoughtful, Ishan swept her off her feet with countless ‘little emotions’ and ‘loving gestures’. It was not hard for Sweta to see he truly is the one.
She says: “Even though we hadn’t started dating then and we didn’t know each other well enough, Ishan’s caring little gesture of bringing me to Kolkata along with him from Mumbai was the most special thing he has ever done for me.
“It was that day in Mumbai when we were sitting together and he had his flight back to Kolkata in the next few hours.
“I had just told him once ‘I wish I can also fly back home and meet Dad. I miss him badly’.
“I went to the airport to see him off. He excused himself while I was waiting for him at the gate.
“To my surprise, I saw him walking with a ticket towards me and told me ‘let’s go home’. I flew back with a smile and this person who is now my life.”
Their roka takes place in an outdoor theatre and garden, with a theme that combines both quirky and traditional elements.
Yellow and orange garlands, vintage props and colourful flowers fill the venue with a shabby chic feel and relaxed atmosphere.
Photographing the event is Amborish Nath of Axis Images. Leaving university with a Mechanical Engineering degree, he finds joy in creative work instead.
Speaking exclusively with DESIblitz, he tells us more about Ishan and Sweta’s roka ceremony:
“We were truly impressed with the way the whole place lit with beautiful decoration. One of the best minimal yet classy designs we have seen in Kolkata.
“Light is everything in photography. We prefer a much-controlled lighting setup to keep lighting even.
“Outdoors is much more challenging as lighting changes all the time. We have to keep an eye on exposure, white balance regularly which can be quite exhausting.”
Keeping it simple and natural is indeed the way forward for wedding photographers, as many young Indian couples nowadays favour an authentic approach to record the happiest day of their lives.
Amborish delivers exactly that and more, through various ways of framing to give his objects the focus they deserve.
See more photos of Ishan and Sweta’s roka in our gallery below: