Kashmir: Wedding bells ring at historic Gulmarg church after 30 years

SRINAGAR: After almost 30 years, marriage has taken place at St Mary’s church – Jammu and Kashmir’s oldest Protestant Church on Thursday.

According to The Indian Express that broke the story, it was an Australian couple Tim Robertson and Kate Hamilton in Indian wedding attire who walked down the aisle as heavy snow swirled all around.

With dozens of foreign skiers as guests wearing Kashmiri Pherans and local priest, the ceremony concluded with Kashmiri music and food followed in the evening.

“That day (last year), we were snowboarding back home and we decided to get married. But then Kate wanted a white wedding and in the mountains,” said Tim.

Rev. Vinu Kaul (Associated Priest), one of the priests told the newspaper that it was an “emotional” ceremony for him.

“This church is like 100 years old and our sentiments are associated with this church. So when I came to know that a marriage is going to be held in Gulmarg, I was very happy,” he said. “It was the first such ceremony since 1990.”

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah congratulated the couple for their marriage.

Taking to social networking site Twitter, Omar wrote: “30 years since the last one, Gulmarg’s historic church plays host to another wedding. Congratulations to Kate & Tim. Here’s wishing you both a lifetime of happiness.”

“More from Kate & Tim’s Gulmarg wedding. A destination wedding with a difference. Nice to see some of the wedding party on skis,” Omar tweeted.