A mixture of cultures in every sense. That was the wedding of Shanu Rajput, a Rajasthani girl residing in Maharashtra, and Raitis Vaivods, a Russian male from Oslo, Norway, which took place on the seaside in Alappuzha here on Thursday.

The wedding, a combination of marriage rituals from the Rajputana traditions, south Indian and Russian customs, was witnessed by a few friends of the bride and the groom and invitees from the local area, including guests at the White Sand sea side heritage resort, the scenic venue for the event. The groom, Mr. Vaivods arrived at the ‘pandal’ on an elephant instead of the traditional Rajputana style of a white horse.

Talking to The Hindu later, Ms. Rajput said she had met Mr. Vaivods through common friends and that she was “impressed with his respect for and belief in Indian culture”. The duo had travelled across Kerala last year (2008), ending their trip in Alappuzha, which, they decided would be the place they would exchange their vows.

“The beauty of the place, its people, the food and the warmth from this resort in particular, made us decide that this was the place for our wedding,” she said, adding that it was Mr. Vaivods who decided that he would come on an elephant. “He said he would feel more like a soldier than a groom if it were a horse,” she said.

Ms. Rajput’s mother couldn’t undertake the journey as she is a heart patient. Similar was the case with Mr. Vaivod’s parents. However, the couple, after a short honeymoon here till November 23, will take her mother’s blessings and leave for Norway, for a traditional wedding in the church in true Norwegian style.