An Intimate, Colorful Beach Wedding in Long Beach, California

Vidya Kulavil (25 and an accountant) met Pinder Nijjar (29 and a soccer coach) on her first day on Tinder. “I literally matched and started talking to

Vidya Kulavil (25 and an accountant) met Pinder Nijjar (29 and a soccer coach) on her first day on Tinder. “I literally matched and started talking to Pinder on the one and only day that I was an online dater,” Vidya says. After the two bonded over common friends, similar upbringings and dreams for the future, they began dating and fell in love. “Pinder is truly my soul mate,” Vidya says. “He embraces my weirdness and loves me for exactly who I am.” Two years later, Vidya and Pinder exchanged vows at sunset on the Long Beach peninsula in an intimate California ceremony in front of 32 guests. “We wanted to have a simple, modern wedding while incorporating some of our Indian traditions into it,” says Vidya, who paired her cap-sleeve, floor-length Badgley Mischka gown with a bouquet of vibrant sunflowers; Pinder sported a blue Hugo Boss suit and a maroon tie. “Reds and golds and bright colors are usually a part of any Indian color theme, so we incorporated these colors in as much as we could," says Vidya, who enthusiastically encouraged couples to follow their hearts and make the wedding day their own. “Just go for it," she says. "Don't let the constraints of society and of marriage hold you back from doing something you want to do. All you need are what's important: friends, family and your love for each other. And having a great setting and a fantastic photographer wouldn't hurt either!” —Carolyn Meers

On the morning of the wedding, Pinder surprised Vidya with a pair of inscribed heels to wear that day. "He had written a message on the bottom of them: 'You are my love, my life and my soon-to-be beautiful wife. Love, Pinder' on the right shoe and 'I'll be there with you in life every step that you take! 4.30.16' on the left."
Vidya and Pinder's 32 guests sat on white chairs draped with bright red ribbon and twinkle lights as the couple traded vows under a custom white wooden arch. "We wanted our guests to know that we truly wanted every one of them there and that we were so happy to share that moment with them," Vidya says.
The beach and setting sun served as the primary backdrop for the ceremony. Though decor was minimal, handcrafted wooden signs helped lead guests to the ceremony site. "We wanted the wedding to have a close-to-home, DIY, made-with-love feel to it," Vidya says. "We barely had to decorate because the setting was so beautiful.”
Vidya and Pinder added some traditional Hindu elements to their largely nondenominational ceremony, such as the Brahma Vivaah blessing with Pinder, Vidya and their parents.
Guests tossed red and pink flower petals in the air as Vidya and Pinder took their first sandy steps (barefoot, of course) as husband and wife.
"We are also so very lucky to have the most amazing family and friends who made our wedding day so special," Vidya says. "They mean the entire world to us."
"Don't let the constraints of society and of marriage hold you back from doing something you want to do," Vidya says. "If you love each other and you want to be married, just do it!"