Let me tell you about my friend Payal. I've known Payal since I photographed her best friend's four day insane Hindu/Muslim wedding in Bahrain in 2014. The other friend is also called Payal Patel. I'm so lucky to have both Payal Patel's as friends. Since the start of our friendship, Payal [the one here] and I have travelled to Dubai and Abu Dhabi to attend the Formula 1, she's listened to my talks about photography in Stockholm & Copenhagen. It was on our trip to Madrid that I remember her mentioning Vishal as a guy she liked and thought was absolutely hysterical. It was only after I met up with Payal in Milan later the two became an inseparable couple. I couldn't travel with Payal alone ever again...

The story of their romance came from one of the most unlikely first encounters. They met through mutual friends on a night out in London, whilst Vishal was on a date with another girl. Unbeknownst to him, Vishal’s friend was chewing off Payal’s ear with how unbelievably amazing his friend Vishal was. Having barely acknowledged each other that night they parted ways not expecting to cross paths again. However, the modern miracle of social media meant they managed to strike up a conversation many months laters and ended up chatting long into the night. 

As the two first met in a nightclub they wanted their four day Indian wedding to end with a club theme. Her family home in Hampstead, London turned into an elegant venue for the ceremony and a lively club night the next. Friends and family from all over the world attended and we all danced to celebrate the couple’s love…… five years after their initial meeting.

Thank you Shahed Hussain for being a wonderful partner in covering and photographing the wedding and to Mick Shah for the beautiful video. I couldn't have worked with a better team. Payal and Vishal - photographing your wedding brought me so much tears of joy. You are both the most fun and genuine friends and I look forward to your daughter taking my name. Time to bring a Tasneem to the Patel clan!

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video by www.mikistudios.com