US boy weds Savusavu sweetheart

Kris and Bhavi as husband and wife. Picture: SUPPLIED

They say love has no barrier.

This adage rang true when two love birds, separated by the world’s vast oceans, came together to say “I do” in front of loved ones and friends.

Despite COVID-19 Krishnant Lal from Elk Grove, California in the USA (formerly of Labasa) came to Fiji and recently wed his Savusavu sweetheart Bhavishna.

The pair first met at the popular Copra Shed in Savusavu in January 2020 after both their families set them up.

Kris (Krishant) was visiting Fiji at the end of December 2019 when he made a four-day visit to friendly north.

“At first we were hesitant to even meet but when we did, there was instant chemistry,” Bhavi (Bhavishna) recalled.

The two were so engrossed in their conversation during that first meeting that they forgot to order food.

But Kris felt the connection straight away. He knew he wanted to pursue a meaningful relationship with Bhavi and eventually take her hand in marriage.

However, the Savusavu girl wasn’t sure whether “a guy from the US would commit to a long-distance relationship”.

Despite her initial skepticism, in a matter of time, they grew closer to each other and fell in love. The rest is now history.

The couple utilised Viber and Facebook Messenger to keep in touch after Kris returned to California.

“We video called each other every day and texted each other from the moment we got up to the moment we went to sleep.”

“We sent gifts and bouquets to each other randomly and on special occasions. We did not let the distance come between our love for each other.”

Amid the ravages of COVID-19 Krish and Bhavi’s love flourished. Though they were apart, they were committed to each other and nothing was going to get in the way.

One day Bhavi saw a post on the Fiji Airways Facebook page saying the airline was doing repatriation flights for Fiji citizens and a handful of U.S citizens.

NON-FIJI citizens had to request a special permit and bear all costs if allowed entry into the country.

The couple immediately applied for the special permit.

“Kris had a short time to prepare himself for the trip and our wedding,” Bhavi said.

“He flew from San Francisco to Los Angeles then to Nadi and spent two weeks in quarantine.”

Even though Kris came here specifically to marry Bhavi, she always joked with Kris that she would not marry him “without a proper proposal”.

“So while in quarantine, Kris co-ordinated with the manager at the Grand Pacific Hotel to set up a surprise proposal dinner for me,”Bhavi said.

“He proposed to me on the very first day he got out of quarantine, which marked the 14th month of our relationship.”

Kris and Bhavi got married at the beautiful Daku Resort in Savusavu. They chose the location because a majority of Bhavi’s family lived in Savusavu.

Because of COVID-19 none of Kris’ siblings or parents could attend.

However, close family, friends, and relatives were around to bless them. The event was also streamed live on Zoom for families abroad who could not make it due to the pandemic.

Kris tied the knot wearing a navy-blue suit and maroon bow tie which he brought from California.

Bhavi said “I do” in a beautiful reddish-maroon gown designed by Sugar Rose Fiji.

Her hair and makeup was done by Vicky Taslow who came from Suva. The wedding photographer was Shalvin Prakash of Shalvin Prakash Photography.

For their honeymoon, the Lals planned a Viti Levu round trip, which kicked off at Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay.

They spent time there in the presidential suite which was an overwater royal bure that had been largely closed since COVID-19 hit Fiji in early 2020.

It was during their time at Fiji Marriott Resort that The Sunday Times caught up with the couple over a few cocktails at the award-winning resort’s Fish Bar.

“We had a great time and given a spectacular welcome by the staff. We were also given a special invitation to attend their first sunset series event of the year, themed around Goa, where we met the general manager and his wonderful wife, who were very keen to know about our love story,” the couple said.

“We had great food, drinks, music and danced the night away. It was a night to remember and a great experience we will definitely revisit.”

Asked about what they believed was the secret to a happy marriage, the Lals agreed it was the values of trust, honesty, loyalty, commitment, and communication.

“No matter the circumstance or situation, it is always very important to talk and listen to one another. It has always been our philosophy that it is “us against the problem”.

For couples to be, they said dating was not a problem, but staying loyal and committed needed a lot of dedication and effort.

“So, if you are not ready to settle do not give high hopes to anyone. Look out for liars and cheaters,” they said.

“Give equal time and commitment to your studies, as it is very important. Keep yourself grounded and not let yourself get carried away with infatuations. Be ambitious, life has a lot to offer, do not settle at a young age and dream big for your future.”

Kris and Bhavi have no immediate plans to have children “just as yet”.

“Not in the next few years as we have plans to travel around the world once the pandemic is under control,” they said.

The Lals love and marriage are a great testimony that long-distance relationships can work. All that is needed is a commitment to each other.

“People say long-distance relationships are extremely difficult, but we believe if two people want to make it work and be together, they will overcome all obstacles,” they said.

“We have been waiting for our big day since December 2020 and as soon as an opportunity presented itself, we took full advantage of it. Even the global pandemic could not stop us from uniting.”

Cheers to a happy and lasting marriage to the Lals!

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