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It was love at first sight for Big Bang Theory star Kunal Nayyar and former Miss India Neha Kapur, who wed Dec. 22, 2011, in New Delhi, India. "[I was] overcome by this feeling of calmness," he told PEOPLE of their first meeting. "I just felt so sure and so comfortable. Not even poetry could explain how I felt about this woman."
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The day before the wedding, Kapur gets her hands painted with henna as part of a traditional ceremony known as Mehndi, while Nayyar stays by her side to assist. "The men feed the women because they have to wait for the henna to dry," he explains.
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While all the women in the wedding receive henna tattoos, Kapur's design is specific to her and takes nearly three hours to complete.
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"Until I go into the wedding venue, no one is supposed to see the groom," Nayyar says of the elaborate, beaded headpiece he wears during his arrival on horseback. The actor's friends and family follow along on foot.
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The bride and groom share a tender moment during the ceremony, which requires the couple to circle a fire seven times as a priest recites prayers. "Each circle symbolizes something about our marriage," he says.
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Afterwards, the newly wedded duo kick back and enjoy a quiet dinner with close family members. "In India, to get married is big for the families," says Nayyar. "They feel honored that families are coming together."
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"This was us, very relaxed after six days of partying," the actor says of their Dec. 23 reception, attended by 1,000 guests. "We were just having some alone time."
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