Priya + Akash
by Savannah Saucedo February 11
Photos: MnM Photography
Priya + Akash
Hermann Park Engagement
We call it the creation of “PandA” — Akash & I met in 2012 while both were volunteering for a cultural event. The two of us couldn’t stop talking to each other during planning meetings leading up to the event (and nothing has changed since then). On the day of the event, I took part in the fashion show. As I exited the stage, Akash was waiting for me on the side of the stage and quickly asked me how it went. In the most Bollywood manner, I fainted and fell… and Akash? He obviously caught me, giving literal meaning to the phrase “falling in love.” We dated in secret for several years since we both were young, Indian college students who were only allowed to study (according to our parents). Once they found out, we had to constantly fight for each other since we were from different backgrounds, social statuses, neither of us was a doctor/lawyer (#Indianparentproblems), and they found out we had been lying for ages. It was easy to convince Akash’s parents to agree, but my parents? A total nightmare!! So what finally brought us and my parents together? COVID! Surprisingly, COVID was such a blessing for us. The lockdown forced us all to be home, including my party-animal parents. Akash and I made it a tradition to cook for my entire family every Sunday. So between the amazing food that we cooked, the great cocktails that we came up with, and the weekly Sunday family gatherings, they got to know us/our relationship better and finally agreed!
We had a religious engagement ceremony in September 2020 and an incredible proposal in November 2020. At our proposal, Akash surprised me in Hermann Park (where we have been going on dates for almost 9 years now) with a beautiful floral backdrop, a customized painting of the two of us sitting on the famous “Moonscape Bench” at the park, a jaw-dropping engagement ring, a tear-jerking speech, and a heartfelt picnic with our closest family/friends. Finally, 2020 got things moving in the right direction for us and we couldn’t have been more excited. We spent the next almost year planning an extravagant wedding and enjoyed every step of wedding planning together. Finally, after 9.5 years of blissful togetherness, Akash and I tied the knot on 10.01.21—a beautiful date for a beautiful wedding. It was nothing short of perfection. The décor, the food, the ambiance, the crowd—it was a true dream come true. And most importantly, we threw a big fat Indian wedding with over 700 guests in the midst of COVID and not a single person contracted COVID. That. That is the power of prayer. And that is the power of love. PS: In case you’re wondering where PandA came from– P(riya) and A(kash) = PandA