After almost 30 years, an Australian couple said ‘I do’ in Gulmarg’s oldest church in Kashmir on Thursday.

Tim Robertson and Kate Hamilton got married at St Mary’s church in Gulmarg. It was the first in over three decades at Kashmir’s oldest Protestant Church.

The couple donned traditional Indian attire, dozens of foreign skiers wearing Kashmiri Pherans were guests, local priests and snow all around. This was followed by Kashmiri music and food in the evening.

The couple was engaged for over a year and it took the couple six months to plan the wedding in Gulmarg. “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. A friend of Kate’s who organizes skiing trips to Kashmir was roped in and a year later, their wish was fulfilled.

But until Thursday afternoon, minutes before the ceremony the couple walked to the church as heavy snow swirled all around. “Until the last moment, we were not sure that things will happen smoothly. We were surprised to see the skiers at our wedding. I don’t think we could have done this ceremony the way it happened here at any other place. I am speechless,” said Kate.

National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah also congratulated the couple.

J-K Tourism Department officials say that the event is “of great importance”. “Destination marriage happening here after a long time is great news for everyone in Gulmarg?” says Nasir Mehmood, Tourism department’s senior official at Gulmarg said. 

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