Pia and Chris met through their mutual love of Rock n Roll, when they were both using the same recording studio. Pia ended up joining Chris’ band and they’ve been playing together ever since.
They got engaged on Valentine’s Day and the very next day they found out she was pregnant! They began by trying to plan a big family wedding, with guests from New Zealand (where Chris is from) and the US (where Pia is from) travelling over to the UK (where they now live) but it all proved quite difficult and stressful with a baby on the way. In the end they decided to throw tradition completely out the window and to elope. This also negated the issue of having a religious ceremony. With the bride’s family being Hindu and the groom’s, Christian, they would have probably ended up needing two ceremonies to keep everyone happy, which they really did not want. So, with Pia seven months pregnant they flew to Vegas and were married by Elvis instead!
“Our wedding had a retro and 1970s feel with an old school Vegas vibe”, Pia said. “We are very inspired by the fashion, music and the general feeling of the 1970s so this inspired our wedding too. I love looking at old, classic weddings photos of Mick and Bianca Jagger, Priscilla and Elvis, John and Yoko and the final scene in The Graduate. I also love pictures of the Beatles in India and wanted to bring in some of those elements and my family’s traditions in with the Hindu garlands and the bindi.”
Their ceremony was held at The Graceland Chapel which they followed by taking photographs around the city with their photographer Ashley Marie Myers, ending the night with a private dinner for two at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant overlooking the Bellagio fountains.
The idea behind Naomi and Kuz’s August 2017 celebration was simple: They wanted their wedding to feel right for them. They had two ceremonies and two receptions; a British wedding followed by an Indian one the very next day.
“We wanted to make the day(s) about us”, explained the bride. “We love festivals, music and food so we included all of those things. We are not a traditional couple, we come from very different backgrounds and we wanted to bring both together. We had Indian food, a rock band, I wore a gold sequin dress, we did photos with smoke bombs, and had a fish ‘n’ chip van for dinner.”
The bride’s stunning dress was made for her by Linda Jane Doble who is based in Australia where the couple now live. Although getting a bespoke gown made might sound very extravagant it actually actually ending up being one of their biggest savings – getting something made for you doesn’t have to be as expensive as you might think!
Charlotte and Gian’s wedding was held in Chester Zoo, and it just keeps getting better from there. Their wedding was a perfect blend of British and Indian traditions – we’re talking henna and Battenberg bouquets here, people – for an animal-themed, colourful and creative day.
“We chose to get married at Chester Zoo as it was a place we’ve been too so many times that means a great deal to us,” Charlotte explains. We originally looked at venues where we live but there were so expensive, but a Google of ‘cool wedding venues’ lead us here and it was perfect! With it being a charity, all the money went back into the zoo, the animals and the conservation projects.”
‘We had exclusive use of Oakfield House (where the people who founded the zoo lived) all day and all of our guests got to wander around the zoo when there was any lulls in the day. We also had a tour of the zoo after closing which we kept as a surprise for all the guests, including a talk in the elephant enclosure, which was so lovely as we got to see the baby elephants settling down for the night.”
Jodie and Tom’s bright and beautiful wedding was totally magical – an “Indian evening under the stars” as they called it – set in Oakham. Jodie explains, “Our wedding was a fusion of inspiration from lots of different cultures, with Mexican burritos alongside Cornish pasties, Moroccan star lanterns and a British Bake Off table, but our main inspiration was India. We wanted the wedding to be about the senses, colours, textures, sounds and scents, which India is of course brimming with, and we just felt it captured our ideas for the day!”
“As part of my company, Hattie and Flora, we use so much colour and wanted to celebrate this. We dressed Kew Gardens for their annual Orchid Festival in 2017, which was a celebration of India,” She continues. “This got me thinking for the wedding and I was truly inspired by the floral displays the Kew team put together – they used dried flowers to make garlands hanging from the ceiling, and we made some smaller versions for the day from flowers my Mum grew in my parents’ garden.”
Jodie’s own bouquet featured breathtaking neon pinks and oranges and super interesting textures, to match her bespoke embellished wedding dress, and Tom’s party all had homemade pompom buttonholes.
Jodie and Tom also went to India for their honeymoon. “It was the first thing we decided once we got engaged,” Jodie recalls, “as it was somewhere we’d always dreamed about visiting since our days of sending each other love letters from our universities at opposite ends of the country. Ten years later, we were planning our wedding and booking our dream adventure together – it really did feel like a trip we were always going to take together. We went with a company called VegVoyages, a fully vegan travel company who pride themselves in off the beaten track adventures and focus heavily on cultural immersion.”
Katy-Jane and Alex met when they were 13 years old. Each other’s first loves, they split after just a few months together but remained friends. Then in 2009 they finally got back together and married seven years later. The day was hosted at the Rosliston Forestry Centre in Swadlincote and had an Indian style theme. The general vibe they wanted was relaxed and fun.
“Our wedding was inspired by our love of travel and our love of India”, said Katy-Jane. “From the fast-paced entertainment to the outdoor ceremony itself, everything was quite different and reflected us. I brought some packs of bindis with me from India and everyone was wearing one by the end of the day. We also had a balloon modeller who was a great alternative to sweets for keeping the little ones occupied!”
Oh boy, have I got a doozy of a wedding for you today. Prepare for your mind to be blown! Arjun and Azadeh travelled all the way over from Dubai to be married in the Black Rock Desert at Burning Man.
“The inspiration for our wedding was our cultures, and having travelled together across India, Iran and 21 different countries”, said the bride. “We used elements that inspired us in our travels so far. I am Iranian and my husband is Sikh and from Dubai.”
The ceremony was held at the Mazu Temple “It was emotional, spontaneous and luckily no one else had planned their ceremony at the spot and time we did! There were two other ceremonies in other parts of the temple though and one looked like a Dothraki wedding out of Game of Thrones!”
Lyndsay and Joseph went travelled for four months in India and completely fell in love with the country – the sights, the sounds, and even the smells. When they got engaged they initially decided that they wanted to go back there to get married. Although this couldn’t happen in the end, it did make picking a theme for their UK wedding a lot easier!
Lyndsay explains, “We wanted to get married in India but unfortunately Joseph’s grandma became ill and we realised we would never be able to get her out there. We then decided we would bring India to the Peak District, which is near where we’re from. We wanted to bring everything that we love about India to our wedding, including the relaxed atmosphere, the food and especially the colours.”
They were married at Standlow Farm in. They chose it because they could hire it for the entire venue for the weekend. “We wanted to have all of our guests there for the whole weekend”, she said. “The venue is just holiday cottages with no staff and more importantly no curfew!! We hired a capri marquee for the party.”
“Our ceremony was officiated by our best friend Coops. We went to the registry office with our parents the morning of the wedding and did the legal bit in jeans and T-shirts, then went back and got ready for the real (okay, not legal) wedding to start.”
Kiran and Josh had a two-day wedding on the 3rd and 4th of May. Their main aim was to throw a celebration that felt very ‘them’ and for everyone to have a great time. Big weddings can often cost a lot, but even with their two day event, this savvy couple only spent £8500! They called in favours, DIYed a LOT and made some clever and unusual choices in order to save money. Everything from the flowers, the cake, the DJ and the stationery were either DIYed by the couple or donated by friends.
“Our wedding didn’t have a theme or colour scheme,” began the bride. “We didn’t want to stress over little details and even the fancy dress party was theme-less. It definitely was an ‘anything goes’ kind of wedding. From the beginning we decided that we would only do or have things that meant something to us. We actually said early on that we felt that we didn’t actually need to get married but it was important to us to celebrate our love. We’ve been through a lot together, with amazing support from family and friends, so we just wanted to celebrate that. We also really wanted it to be enjoyable for our guests without the pomp, tradition and nonsensical things that weren’t meaningful to us.”
Describing their wedding as “Mod meets Moghul – a theme based on the sharpness of the Mod culture coupled with the glamour and colour from the Rajasthani era in India”, Aelia & Stuart were married at Kedleston Hall in Derby. They chose this space because it perfectly encompassed both of their cultures, which was really important to them. Aelia explains, “Asian weddings are notorious for being huge, but we didn’t want that. We wanted everyone there to truly feel part of the wedding. This was going to be a party for our nearest and dearest. We set out to find a unique venue to capture both our sides, tall order! We looked everywhere: gallery spaces, sculpture gardens, castles – the lot. We were losing hope until we came across a beautiful National Trust site in Derby. It was stunning and we fell in love with it straight away. Not only could we pretty much use the whole house for our ceremony, reception, dinner and dancing but it was closed to the public and it had a history steeped in the Rajasthani era as the owner was the Viceroy to India. Perfect! I had the Indian side covered and Stu had the design and architecture by Robert Adams covered. We couldn’t believe our luck.”
“Our inspiration stemmed from our two cultures: India and the Mod scene of the 60s”, Aelia continued. “Our profession as graphic designers also played a huge roll in making it a well designed wedding. My religion is Islam and Stu’s is, well… Jedi! We actually asked the string quartet to learn the ‘Ceremony Song’ from Star Wars so I could walk down the aisle to it! We both also have a love for geometric forms, and coincidently Islamic art is full of it so this naturally became the motif for all our stationery and paper goods.”
“Our next step was to secure the food. There was no question about it, we were to have curry for dinner. It was pretty much demanded by my friends and family. An Asian wedding isn’t complete unless you have a good curry. Five Rivers surpassed all our expectations. But this was a wedding of two halves, and instead of having canapés with drinks at the reception, we decided to have a tea party with copious amounts of cake, finger sandwiches and posh tea. This was kept a secret and I wish I’d been there to see everyone walk into the great kitchen to see a table running down the centre of the room with a mad hatter style party and a Choccywoccydoodah cake.”
Gosh where does one begin with a wedding like Bex & Piyush’s? This is pretty much what wedding bloggers dreams are made of… at least mine are anyway!
Bex & Piyush wanted to celebrate the heritage of both families in their wedding. The wedding was an Indian/Western fusion celebration at Heaton House Farm near Macclesfield. Unlike many mixed-background couples, they opted to have just one ceremony incorporating both a Western civil ceremony alongside Indian traditions. Bex & Piyush didn’t want to have two separate ceremonies, preferring to represent both their heritages together. “Our wedding was a bright, colourful, inclusive, multicultural and non-religious, light-hearted day, providing an alternative to the inherent narcissism of traditional wedding”, began Bex. “We had the wedding on an English farm, complete with views of rolling hills, wellies and rain showers.”
“We ate vast amounts of curry – South Indian during the day and North Indian in the evening. We drank tea (of the marsala chai variety), we had a traditional fruit wedding cake complete with slightly more exotic ingredients: crystalised pineapple, papaya and pistachio, and not very traditional icing. We tried to make it a financially neutral event for our guests by providing transport, camping and a free bar. Our inspiration was colour, lace, doilies, henna, jam jars, lentils, roses, daisies, tin cans, books, swans, ladybirds, drumming, postcards, Mills and Boon, stamping, candles, camping, singing, caravans, curry, friends, family and dancing…”
We don’t get to see a whole lot of alternative Asian wedding inspiration, so I was thrilled when I received this bridal shoot with an edge from School of Rock graduate Rabbia Ali Shah from the Asian Wedding Ideas blog.
“Seeing the same Asian bridal images can start to get a little repetitive”, wrote Rabbia, “and the idea of something a little edgier is one that I had been thinking about for a while. Getting people on board wasn’t the easiest of task but getting in touch with wedding photographer Priti Shikotra, changed all that. She had similar thoughts about a shoot.”
“So we both set about drafting some mood boards and Priti found a location that would give us a contrast to the usual beauty and formality of Asian weddings. The concept was to inspire modern Indian brides and to show that looking gorgeous, didn’t just mean following conventional styling.”
“We wanted to keep some bridal elements of course like the dress and the henna, but by hitting the grimy streets of Manchester and experimenting with the hair and make up we fused the traditional Asian bride with an urban element.”