Much like her chance stint with modelling when looking for a job in Mumbai, fashion design graduate Monica Tomas’ first acquaintance with her now-husband, model-cum-photographer Adhiraj Chakrabarti, was a serendipitous affair. Despite being models at the same agency (Anima Creative Management), the pair initially met at a 2014 shoot for Miss Vogue. “We became good friends instantly,” recalls the Coonoor-born Tomas. But this wouldn’t be the only time the duo would bump into each other. “We would meet each other at different jobs, at different places, with regards to work,” Chakrabarti adds. On May 10, 2019, the couple got married in Tomas’ hometown, and held a small celebration in a private estate-turned-hotel that dates back to 1888.
From friends to lovers
“After being in touch for a year, we realised that we liked each other,” Tomas said about how their friendship turned into romance. The couple was traveling and working in different cities at the time, “which made meeting each other relatively rare,” she explains. But like most relationships in the digital era, the smartphone came to their rescue. “Most of our relationship was on FaceTime and phone calls,” laughs Chakrabarti.
Three years into their relationship, the couple decided to seal the deal. While love and respect for each other made the decision to walk down the aisle easier, “what further strengthened our mutual understanding was that we both practice Falun Gong (an ancient Chinese meditation). Through all this we found that we’re each with the right person. Getting married became a very natural yet conscious next step. We took things forward by visiting our families, and letting them know about our intentions,” said Tomas.
Eschewing the norm of ring selfies in the digital age, Tomas and Chakrabarti kept their engagement announcement away from social media. “We express ourselves in unconventional ways. We don’t have much expectations as to how things have to be done. We simply made our engagement official by telling our parents about it,” Chakrabarti revealed.
The intimate wedding and family get-together
Considering they come from the world of fashion, a grand celebration was expected, but the couple decided to stay true to themselves instead. “We wanted it to be as simple and straightforward as possible—a celebration of two people coming together in a humble manner with close family members,” Tomas disclosed. “We had nothing major planned other than working on a date for the court registration.” The two legally tied the knot in a court in Coonoor on May 10, 2019.
The next day, on May 11, the couple’s friends and family hosted a small party to celebrate their union. The celebration was held at the LA Maison in Coonoor, a colonial-style private estate built in 1888 that also served as their pied-à-terre for the weekend. “It was a beautiful resort in a secluded location, perched amidst lush verdancy and hills. The picturesque surroundings were one of the main reasons of choosing the place,” explained Chakrabarti.
Giving elaborate occasion wear a miss, the couple wore the outfits their parents gifted them. The bride was dressed in a coral kurta with an orange dupatta, and a choker-style necklace, jhumkas and a maang tikka made up her wedding jewellery. Chakrabarti matched the bride’s low-key approach in an ivory silk kurta. “Since we wanted to keep things as simple as possible, there neither was much thought put behind the outfits and accessories, nor did we call for any hair and makeup artists,” disclosed Tomas. “Our family understood that it was a special moment in our lives and accepted our modest ways.”
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