The couple least expected their wedding photos to go viral. The groom Amit Shah was only too happy to inspire people through their wedding.
Like every other couple, Amit Shah and Aditya Madiraju wanted to take their relationship forward and cement their love and commitment to each other through the sacred bonds of marriage. And they did so in the most traditional way possible. The same-sex pair celebrated their union at a New Jersey-based temple. Of course, they had prepared themselves for everything except for the attention that their beautiful wedding photographs would have garnered on social media. According to a report by PEOPLE, Amit Shah told Gay Star News, "We had absolutely no idea our photos would go viral. In fact, we are still shocked now when news articles are written every day about us."
Shah who is the owner and creative director of AATMA Performing Arts, a dance company situated in LA and New York added, "I think most of the attention is coming due to the photos being so raw." The breathtaking pictures of their wedding were captured by a professional photographer, Charmi Peña while the henna and cocktail party was shot by Paulo Salud. "Both photographers know our aesthetic and the intimate vibe we were going for," revealed Shah. "We wanted the photographs to capture real moments, and they did exactly that." Emphasizing on the importance of holding this celebration at a Hindu Temple, Shah expressed that it was indeed a huge step for the South Asian LGBTQ community.
"The fact that the ceremony took place at a temple under religious observation is a huge thing for our community. I guess it is unheard of, and we didn’t realize the impact it would have," he said. So, how did these two lovebirds meet? Shah met his partner Madiraju back in 2016 at a friend's birthday party. The connection was instant and the two started their sweet journey of love. After two years, in January 2018, the couple tied the knot at a rather mundane City Hall in New York.
Even after their legal union, both wanted to have a traditional celebration which they could share with their close friends and family members. Speaking to Pink News Madiraju revealed how both their families were very encouraging since the beginning of their relationship. "Both our families have been supportive from day one," said the Madiraju who works for a wealth management bank. With their love for fashion, both styled themselves from Anita Dogra's ensemble. Shah said she's "a huge designer in India who has dressed the biggest stars around the world. We were honored to wear pieces from her new collection."
Speaking to the Gay Star News, he expressed how surprised by people's responses. "The response had been so overwhelming and we are honored to share our story with the world. It seems like people need to hear our story to feel empowered and we are excited to provide people with some inspiration," he said. When asked about the LGBTQ+ situation prevailing in India, Shah said, "We do follow the developments overseas, but by the stories we have heard over the last week from people messaging us, the issue is much bigger than we thought. There are still too many gay men and women afraid of coming out not only because of their families or society but because they fear the law. Aditya and I look forward to inspiring change and hope we can make a difference over time."
In another interview photographer, Charmi Peña expressed how important this wedding shoot was for her. "I knew I was documenting something big for the Indian community. And my gut feeling has been borne out in the tons of messages from LGBTQ people who have said that the images give them hope," she said. Peña's too is an Indian who thought she was going to be a doctor but wound up becoming a photographer. She added: "I’m excited of course — but mostly happy that people are seeing them." Charmi elaborated about how she felt about her photos going viral. "Representation matters, and knowing how seeing themselves reflected is helping people, is so fulfilling for me."