Bride & Groom: Sharad Protiti & Hasnat Khan
Wedding Date: 22-Aug-2020
Photographer: Woodgate Photography (woodgatephotography.com)
Original Guest #: 1000
Original Budget: $40,000
What was your original plan?: “Our original plan was to get married in Bangladesh on 1st January 2021. The whole arrangement would have 3 parts: A turmeric ceremony, a wedding ceremony, and a reception.” – S & H
Ceremony & Reception Location: Family residence
Colour Palette: “A lot of traditional golden. No specific theme, but our traditional Bangladeshi wedding ceremonies usually have lots of red and golden.” – S
Tell us your story!: “Our parents had been planning our wedding for over two years. A venue was booked in Bangladesh for 1st January 2021. With the arrival of COVID-19 and given the pattern of spread, both our families concluded that we would eventually have to call the January ’21 plan off. It was simply not possible to go back to Bangladesh with the risk factors involved. So, we started thinking about Plan B in mid-May.
My then-fiancé had moved to Ottawa from St. John’s, Newfoundland in January this year for work. I was studying on-campus at Memorial University of Newfoundland until mid-March–and after the sudden rise of COVID, my university switched to remote learning. I quickly decided to move to London, ON to my sister’s place.
Luckily, we somehow both ended up in Ontario in mid-March, and so, thoughts about the wedding frequently crossed our minds. It was fairly easy to eventually decide on a short and simple wedding at my sister’s residence. We all figured that a summer wedding would be a good idea, instead of waiting till January next year. Besides, we never knew when COVID would end anyway!
We weren’t expecting much with the wedding, really. The world had come to a standstill, and a full-blown celebration was not really what we were going for. We decided on 20 people in an indoor setting. Maintaining COVID restrictions, we shopped online and gathered a handful of traditional stuff we found here and there (there are really not many!). It was difficult to constantly look up wedding items online while studying remotely. My friends and family were super-excited, albeit sad to not be able to attend, and called me every now and then.
On my wedding day, I somehow missed my alarm and woke up really, really late. I rushed to put on my makeup, jewelry, saree, and veil–all on my own–and somehow managed! With endless efforts from both sides, we made it with almost no external help. We had the most wonderful wedding ever! Erin Woodgate’s brilliantly shot photos wonderfully reflect our happiness and joy.” – S
Final Budget: Around $8000
How did you find your photographer?: “We chose Erin Woodgate based on my sister’s newborn photo session. She was friendly, understanding, and efficient. We had hired her for a 2-hour coverage for the wedding ceremony, and we are extremely happy about how everything turned out. My favourite part was the outdoor shoot–there is a pond behind my sister’s house, and we decided to take a couple of shots by the pond. The weather was great, and everything was just perfect!” – S
Biggest Challenge: “It might sound like I am lying, but my husband’s outfit was the only one that fit his size in the small basement store he visited before our wedding–and that was the only shore he visited to minimize exposure. I had to choose my saree out of the 3 wedding sarees he had found at the same store. Some of the jewelry was also picked up from there. At that time, I was a little underwhelmed; but now when I think about it, I can assure you that I wouldn’t want to have it any other way. The biggest challenge was to find traditional Bangladeshi wedding items online. All day, I would just switch between amazon.ca and my remote-learning tab for university work.” – S
Best Memory: “After the ceremony, my husband and I drove to Niagara Falls. And well, I always ride on cars… but that drive was just… different!” – S
Any advice for couples planning their wedding?: “Just do it! Planning too much can raise expectations and make you nervous, so keep your plans to a considerable minimum. Just keep calm and enjoy the day! In the end, it’s all about memories–how you want to remember your day.” – S