True Love & Pet Love Come Together in This Unforgettable Wedding

Anyone who’s gotten married post 2020 knows that weddings as we knew it are a thing of the past. Conventional, physical, mega affairs are no longer possible or feasible and that’s something Nikita and Alistair too realised when they planned their wedding in summer of 2020. Due to travel restrictions and a raging pandemic, the couple had a small virtual civil ceremony at their home in California and only got to celebrate with their friends and family in India in December 2021! 

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The couple, both of whom work in Silicon Valley, had a small celebration in Bhubaneswar and Kolkata last year, and knew that they wanted their wedding to be different. “Sustainability is incredibly important to both of us. While weddings can be an incredible celebration of two families coming together, there is a considerable amount of expense and effort involved. With our wedding celebrations, it was important to us that we be thoughtful and give something back for all the love, blessings, and effort that went into putting together a beautiful celebration for us,” says Alistair. 

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The couple decided to do a charity gift registry where all the proceeds went to Welfare of Stray Dogs, an organisation they both strongly support. “We feel very grateful and humbled to live comfortable lives and wanted to use our wedding celebrations as an opportunity to give something back. As we planned our wedding, we let friends and family know that their blessings for our wedding were more than enough and that no gifts were required. However, if they still wanted to bless us with a present, we requested that they consider donating to help stray dogs in India, a cause which we both deeply care about,” says Nikita. 

After a lot of searching, the couple found the perfect platform with WeddingWishlist.com, which already had a tie up with WSD. “We could set up a charity registry and invite family and friends in India to easily contribute instead of bringing gifts to the wedding,” she adds. 

Couples can choose from an exhaustive list of causes and NGOs with Wedding Wishlist based on what they support. For Nikita and Alistair, it was pet love all the way. “In 2013, when we were working in Hyderabad, we grew very fond of a street puppy who’d regularly come up to our house. We found one day that she was very unwell and needed medical treatment. Multiple trips to the vet later, she survived and eventually became a part of our home and family. When we relocated to the U.S. in 2015, we took her with us and Cotton has now spent the last 7 years really enjoying life here in California. Growing up, Nikita has looked after stray dogs and cats before but the journey with Cotton made us very aware about street dog related issues and since then we’ve always tried to volunteer and contribute to help stray dogs and organizations like WSD that support them. Nikita remembered WSD from her college days in Mumbai and so when we found them listed on Wedding Wishlist, the charity registry idea came together really well,” says Alistair. 

While the couple has raised a significant sum towards WSD, you too can create a charity registry with Wedding Wishlist and support a cause you believe in. To know more, log on to stg.weddingwishlist.com

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Tanvi Saraf

Tanvi Saraf is a writer, editor and traveller who's recently moved to the south. Having worked with the country's leading publications, including Marie Claire, India Today, Harper's Bazaar Bride and L'officiel, she now heads marketing for WeddingWishlist.com & CherryTin.com. Her life's philosophy and choices are guided by her motto, "Enjoy it. Because it's happening", and with both our websites, she's all set to bring the joy back to gifting.

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