A Taj Mahal replica went up in Los Angeles this week—but not for a new blockbuster hit. In fact, not for anyone remotely associated with Hollywood or fame or glamour. Instead, the tiny Taj Mahal was built by one man, Jose Deza, a private contractor who wanted his only daughter to have the beautiful wedding she deserved.
The recession hit Deza hard, and when his daughter, Sara, became engaged in 2008, he knew it would be difficult to give her the dream wedding he wanted her to have. “I want to do as much as I can, but not I can’t afford it,” said the 59-year-old. So, using what he does have, skills and artistry, he decided that the backyard barbeque wedding would be as special as possible.
Without telling his daughter of his plan, Deza looked for inspiration in Sara’s photographs. Searching through pictures of her 2006 trip to India, he saw the Taj Mahal, and that was instantly his muse. Located in Agra, Taj Mahal was built almost 400 years ago out of love; it was the grief-stricken emperor’s dedication to his dead wife. Now, sections of the iconic monument have been built again in Redondo Beach—by the love of a father for his daughter.
The red sandstone side gateway of Taj Mahal with softly curved archways and ornamental embossing is what now covers Sara’s backyard. The bride-to-be said, “He just started working. He did not want me settling on a backyard wedding.”
In order to get the details as perfect as he could, Deza held a magnifying glass to Sara’s photo. The intricate details, such as the number of scallops over the archways and the engraving of the tile, were all observed and matched as closely as possible. Sara’s fiancé, Jason Rojas, commended Deza by saying, “The detail is pretty insane. It’s incredible how exact to detail he got it.”
The work began back in February of this year and the couple has been engaged since March 2008. When Sara became ill with a serious autoimmune disease, the wedding was postponed. Most of the couple’s savings was used for her medical bills, and as the economy sank, her father’s livelihood was limited, as well. After delaying the wedding for months, the couple decided to have a simple backyard barbeque wedding with about 70 guests. That is when Deza began his mission. He would spend his evenings and weekends’ building pieces at his home and the transfer his work to his daughter’s rented home about a mile away.
As Sara’s health improved, so did Deza’s. Suffering from depression due to lack of work, he suddenly felt lighthearted and optimistic again. By building the miniature Taj Mahal, he was able to exercise his passion and give his daughter the wedding he always wanted to.
With a handmade gown sewn Jason’s mother, an aunt providing flowers, friends running the music, and an authentic, slow-cooked, Argentinian barbeque, this backyard Taj Mahal wedding is sure to be special.
The soon-to-be bride with two men who absolutely adore her said, “After being sick, nothing got saved. But now it’s more special.” Deza couldn’t agree more, “It’s special,” he said, “It’s my only daughter’s wedding.”
Via: The Daily Breeze