Linda and Jöerg (pronounced like York) are both graphic designers based in Berlin and nothing about their wedding in Goa was ordinary in the way we might imagine it. When I came to meet them on the morning of the wedding the first thing that Jöerg had asked was if I knew of a place to buy cheap rings as they still did not have wedding rings. Cheap was not the idea of saving money but getting something authentic. “The rings should come to us” he said. I agree.
How do I start to tell a story of a couple who decided to have a destination wedding in Goa alone with only two guests; the groom’s mother and the bride’s grandmother? If a destination wedding in Goa is what you had in mind than check this one out.
Wedding or not, Linda and Jöerg had been considering to spend this year’s vacation in Goa as they felt it was time for a “real vacation on the beach”. They were missing India so ruled out a Mediterranean location and decided to come to Goa for reasons that could sounds like an advertisement from the Goa tourism board: “a laid-back beach break combined with incredibly good food and, of course, some India but not in such an extreme variation”.
Then there was still the wedding to be planned. It didn’t take them very long to decide that they didn’t want to go for the “classic all-friends-and-family-big-event” kind of thing with a long guest list. Since they opted for a very simple and intimate wedding with no-one but the two of them they thought it might as well be abroad. Having opted for Goa as a honeymoon destination, the idea was to simply combine the wedding and the honeymoon.
The idea of Linda’s grandmother and Jöerg’s mom joining came a bit later. Initially, they were thinking of doing the registration part in India as well but found out, not to their surprise, that this would have been quite a bureaucratic scenario. Among hundreds of other regulations they would have required two witnesses from Germany. There was a quick thought of slightly breaking the “no-guest-policy” and taking the two ladies with them, which then seemed rather illusionary and a bit too adventurous. They then settled for the legal registration to take place in Germany (on a small island by the baltic sea not far from Berlin, again with no guests) and just do the church ceremony in Goa.
However, the idea of this really special India experience with two of the most important people in their lives somehow didn’t let go. Just a few weeks before the wedding they decided to give it a final try and the two ladies actually liked the idea. Though rather doubtful in the beginning regarding what will expect them in India, they quickly became very excited and of course loved the idea of attending the wedding.
We all met at the fabulous Alila Diva hotel in South Goa and spent some fun time together as Linda was putting on her own make up. We then proceeded to the Bishop’s palace in Panaji not before stopping at the Panaji bus stop flower market to buy some flowers and in the main market for rings. Not like a regular Indian wedding, we were on time to the church for an intimate and emotional wedding.
The mass was over in the late afternoon and we went on for a short walk at the Portuguese quarter in Panaji for a fun photo shoot before heading out for a street food dinner of Pao Bhaji and Sev Puri on Miramar beach. Wonderful.
Sephi Bergerson is a destination wedding photographer based in Goa and available for assignments worldwide.