FOR Emily Young and Steve Garrett, Cycle India 2012 wasn’t just a life-changing experience
… it was a whole new beginning.
After taking part in five days of cycling through the stunning scenery of Kerala, then
visiting several HEAL projects, including the Children’s Village in Guntur, Steve and Emily
said their farewells to the rest of the Cycle India group before heading north to Mumbai.
There, in early February, the couple were married in traditional Indian style, the bride
wearing a beautiful red and the gold lehenga and the groom a smart fawn kurta for the happy
Ahead of the ceremony, Emily was also decorated with a mehndi, a traditional form of henna
skin decoration, which took five hours to apply, and afterwards it was champagne and pizza,
followed by chocolate cake!
“The big day turned into an amazing ray of colour, everything was perfect,” beamed newly-wed
Emily, back at home in the Chilterns.
“We had pictures taken on the local cricket pitch and I even managed to impress Steve (a big
cricket lover) by hitting a cricket ball in full wedding outfit and make-up in about 30
degrees of heat – watch out England!
“But what made the wedding for us were the street children who watched and threw rose petals
as confetti. The children being at the wedding made it complete for us; they had very little
but were so happy to join in and smile.
“The adults congratulated us in a happy marriage and the children danced and had fun … we
made so many friends and we count ourselves very lucky.”
And Emily, who works in IT financial software support, and bank worker Steve even returned
home with their own instant ‘family’.
The couple were so moved by their visit to the HEAL Children’s Village after the cycling
that they decided to sponsor two children – and had the joy and pleasure of meeting them for
the first time before they left for their wedding.
Horse-lover Emily, 29, says she is happy to make a small personal sacrifice each month in
order to sponsor a child.
“I normally make it a rule to have a sausage sandwich every day,” she explained, “but I
worked out that all I have to do is give up four sausage sandwiches a week!
“Although I love my sausage sandwiches, it really is a very small sacrifice to make to help
provide a home, food and an education for a small child who basically has nothing.
“We hope it won’t be too long before we return to see the children at the HEAL Village
To see Emily and Steve’s wedding video go to http://vimeo.com/37927032