Tag Archives: Indian

An Emotional East Meets West Wedding: Aneesha & Ed

Back in February 2011 I was at exhibiting at the first Designer Vintage Bridal Show, Birmingham. Luckily for me the organisers plonked my stand right next to one of my ultimate besties, wedding photographer Emma Case. On the second day of the show in walked bride-to-be Aneesha, who had decided she wanted Emma to capture her 2012 wedding. After chatting about wedding planning, blogging and photography Annesha went upstairs to try on wedding dresses. Always one to get excited about this part of wedding planning Emma & I followed to see what the bride-to-be would pick. Aneesha & Ed were having a traditional Indian ceremony in the morning, but for the evening reception they wanted to change into western wedding attire. As soon as Aneesha tried on the slinky Yevonde by Jenny Packham the tears started to fall and we all knew it was the dress for her (photos nearer the end of this post).

I’m honoured that I was allowed to witness this experience and I’m even more thrilled that today I get to share their full wedding story with you.

The ceremony was held at Shri Ravidass Temple in Walsall, with the after party/reception going down at Berrow Court, Edgbaston, Birmingham.

“As our day was a mixed cultured wedding it was so important to us that our guests felt comfortable at all times”, Aneesha told me. “The only way I could do that was to keep them well informed. I did this by our wedding website, emails and Facebook messages. We also invited friends and family to the temple before the wedding day so they knew what to expect, I even had printouts made about what the meanings were was behind each parts of the ceremony.”

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A Two-Day Hindu & Catholic Wedding: Lucy & Vish {Part Two}

After the festivities of their Hindu ceremony, Lucy & Vish woke up on the Saturday morning ready to do it all again – this time in a Catholic church. The ceremony was held at St Patrick’s RC Church, Manchester, with the reception that followed back at St Peter’s Hall.

Their Catholic wedding has very British influences – from high tea to bingo! Lucy wore a vintage wedding dress from Elizabeth Avey. “I knew I wanted a vintage Betty Draper-esque dress, as the 50s is my style era! Elizabeth’s was my first stop, which was ideal as it was only up the road from where I live in Kentish Town. Although I didn’t find the dress straight away, Elizabeth knew exactly what I wanted and told me to return in a few weeks as she was due to get in more pieces. I’m so glad I went back as when I returned she pulled out THE dress, which was an original 50s number, fresh from LA! Although she needed a clean she was in pristine condition for her 60 years! It was originally a drop waist dress but the lovely ladies at Designer Alterations raised the waist to make it more prom style and lowered the neckline at the back, other than that she is exactly as she was the first time around!”

“I am obsessed with tea and cake, so my china tea-sets had to have a starring role, we had a tea-station serving masala chai, home-made cakes and Indian sweets on both days! We were able to supply all our own booze so we had a seemingly endless supply of Prosecco, which I drank from a tea-cup all night!  On the Saturday night, the wedding guests actually drank the bar dry twice which led to our caterers having to go out and buy more booze! This led to many, many drunken guests, which is exactly what we wanted.”

Apart from the flowers, we didn’t really need to do much to decorate the building as the space itself was so impressive. I did make a few meters of Bollywood bunting out of Indian sari material to hang and we used Indian flower garlands to decorate the tea and cake station. My Dad found the vintage typewriter in the garage and spruced it up so we could use it for a guest book. We hired the Neon Light from Neon Creations and Vish also bought a Carrom board, a Indian board-game crossed between drafts and pool which kept the kids entertained for the weekend!”

“Although all the details above were important, we tried not to get caught up in all of this,” Lucy concluded. “Quite a few things went wrong over the course of our wedding days, but tried not to let it get to us as they were only minor glitches that now make for funny wedding stories to be told in the future! The most important thing to us was that all our close friends and family were able to share in our special day(s)!, especially my Grandparents who are both in their 90s and we weren’t sure if they were going to be able to travel to Manchester or not. Thankfully both Nan & Grandad made it and were the guests of honour! We had the most amazing 2-days with all our favourite people so we couldn’t ask for more than that!”

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A Two-Day Hindu & Catholic Wedding: Lucy & Vish {Part One}

This afternoon’s wedding is being split into two parts. I’m not usually a huge fan of the two-parter, but there’s just so much going on in Lucy & Vish’s  weekend-long wedding I did’t want anything to get overlooked! On Friday 28th October they had a Hindu wedding ceremony and reception, and then the following day, they had a catholic ceremony and another reception! First up, the Friday…

The day started with a ceremony at St Peter’s Hall, Manchester. “We always knew we would have a wedding of 2 parts as we wanted to honour both of our cultures and religions,” Lucy told me, “so we chose to have a traditional Hindu Blessing on the Friday followed by a Church wedding on the Saturday, an epic 2-day wedding!”

“The first problem we came up against was finding a venue that could cater for both an Indian wedding and a big party! We needed a space to hold the Indian ceremony and reception, which would let us bring in our own Indian caterers, there are very few places that actually offer this and the ones that did were very traditional, very expensive, Stately homes or big hotels and definitely not the sort of place we had in mind for our wedding! Initially I started looking at marquees, but again, this was a very expensive option and we had the small problem of no land to pitch a marquee! This led me to go down the route of more alternative venues such as village halls, theatres etc, which is how I came across St Peter’s Hall, a former church in the Ancoats area of Manchester City Centre which has recently undergone a huge restoration project by the North West Development Agency. We live in London but decided to get married up North as it was close to both our families, it was just by chance that we found this venue and we liked the idea of an urban city centre wedding as we are a city girl and boy at heart!”

“As soon as we stepped foot in St Peter’s, we both knew it was perfect for our wedding, we instantly fell in love with the space. Inside was still unfinished so it was a little rough around the edges, but we liked the contrast of the unfinished warehouse feel with the beautiful church interior and stained glass windows. It also had an east-facing altar, which was perfect for the Indian ceremony to be performed! In our eyes it really was the perfect venue, but sadly our dreams were almost shattered when we discovered that the building was not going to remain empty for long and that the new tenants were unlikely to be in a position to hire out the space when they moved in at the start of November.”

“The only option was to get married before the new tenants moved in, but this was at the start of May so it didn’t exactly give us a huge amount of time! Could we realistically organise a 2-day wedding in less than 6 months? Everyone thought we were mad, but we decided to just go for it, we have been together for 10 years so we figured that we didn’t need a long drawn-out engagement!  We chose the latest possible date in October which luckily also coincided with Diwali (Indian New Year) which also meant it was a good/auspicious time for a new marriage to take place!”

For the Indian wedding Lucy wore a traditional sari which was a gift from Vish’s parents, “The Indian tradition is that the groom’s family buy the bride’s outfit and the bride’s family buy the groom’s. Vish’s Mum and sister went on a mammoth shopping spree in India to buy all the wedding saris and outfits. Thankfully they have great taste and came back with the most beautiful outfits, I felt like a Bollywood princess, especially when I was carried down the aisle.”

“I was carried into the ceremony on a traditional wedding Doli by my Uncles, my Brother and my Best Man. We actually had this made by Kirti (Vish’s sister’s) builder, Kirti and I decorated it with Indian material and flower garlands. You can’t tell from the photo’s but I was absolutely terrified that they were going to drop me, Thankfully they did me proud and got me to the altar in one piece!”

“As the wedding was held during Diwali the Indian festival of light, we decided that the theme should be a celebration of Love & Light,” the bride concluded. “This actually worked well as both the ceremonies involved elements of light, from taking 7 sacred steps around the wedding fire to the catholic candle ceremony. To keep with the theme we filled the venue with candles, we had tea-lights in jam jars on all the tables and gave personalised candles from mdb weddings and events on Etsy to guests.  We also released fire-lanterns and ended the Friday night with a firework display – a Diwali and Indian wedding tradition.”

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A Colourful Indian Engagement Ceremony: Yashwin & Avani

I’ve something a little different for you this afternoon in Yashwin & Avani’s engagement ceremony. In India, where the couple live, having an engagement ceremony is just as big a deal as the actual wedding. As photographer Kismet Nakai explained,

“What usually happens in India is that when the couple gets engaged, even if there is a sweet proposal in private, there is always a ‘formal’ engagement to announce it to the world. It’s almost like a mini wedding. In this case they had their engagement party on the same day as Avanis parents 25th anniversary so it was a combined party with like 400 people (imagine how big the wedding is going to be!!!).”

“The families said a few words about the bride and groom and then they exchanged rings, cut a cake and partied! Not very different from a wedding really! There was nothing very religious about it but our traditions such as the ring exchanging are very very important. People do combine all this into the wedding time (usually an Indian wedding will be a week long celebration, with all the different events, including the engagement ceremony, a few days apart, but these guys did it before – I guess just to celebrate!) Yashwin & Avani did have a religious ceremony for the engagement as well, at the temple but I wasn’t there for that. They also had a mehendi/henna party too! It might seem crazy that so much happens just for an engagement but India loves weddings!”

Avani wore a stunning patchwork dress by Masaba, a designer from Mumbai. “As I paraded around the studio, in my funny patchwork garb, Yashwin said I looked like a magician,” the bride laughed.  “See the love in that statement?! In fact ‘love’ has been our main inspiration throughout our wedding planning. Celebrating our engagement it on my parents 25th anniversary made it so much more special. We celebrated by being who we are – colourful, artistic and madly in love!”

“The day was a happy and shiny morning. We desperately wanted candid photos and pictures with our darling cat babies. So our photographer Kismet came over to my place first and we got some beautiful, deliciously random pictures. It was all the details, the tiniest ones didn’t escape her. At the ceremony, things were mental, a complete blur. We wanted a really low key affair which got blown out of proportion cause our parents are super social. However we made it work in the end. All you need is a close bunch of friends from all over and mad music. We were rolling in laughter and vodka and love. It was a glorious day.”

If this was just the engagement ceremony I can’t wait to see the wedding can you?!

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Shalma & Leo’s 1950’s Inspired Candy Anthony Wedding

Shalma & Leo are what I like to call friends of the blog. Not only did they find photographer David McNeil though a feature on Rock n Roll Bride, but I featured their gorgous A Bout de Souffle engagement session over the summer AND myself and the bride have exchanged regular emails ever since they got engaged about all things wedding! So when David asked if I wanted to feature them …well he didn’t have to ask twice!

“I am so pleased that you think my wedding is Rock n Roll enough for your website,” Shalma wrote. “I would love for you to blog it! I have to say this again, but your blog has been such immense help over the past year. When I got engaged every childhood dream I had of the full Indian wedding just wasn’t an option anymore. To find a wedding site which thrives on individuality and the boldness to do what you want is refreshing and fun.”

Shalma wore a Candy Anthony dress – the first one she laid eyes on! “My dress was the first one I saw in the shop and I knew that was the one,” she explained. “I tried on about 5 before hand (even the leopard print one which is gorgeous) but I kept going back to that one. They also made my fascinator in the same fabric. To keep with the 50’s theme, my Mother in law very kindly gave me her Mother’s vintage 50’s pearl necklace with a diamante clasp. It’s stunning I was really honoured that she wanted me to have it. At my hen party all the girls pitched in and brought me my Tiffany pearl earrings to match.  I was so touched that they all did that for me I couldn’t believe it. Luckily I had the shoes already which made the whole outfit complete!”

However for this Rock n Roll wedding it wasn’t just the bride who stole the show. The super stylish Leo was also certain that he didn’t want to look like every other groom. “Its so difficult for grooms to find something that isn’t your generic penguin suit,” Shalma said. “He also can’t buy anything off the rack so finding somewhere that does cheap tailor made suits was hard.  He wanted a herringbone textured 3 piece suit in a brownish colour. There’s a great website called A Suit That Fits. They are brilliant. You pick the fabric, style, lining, everything and its made to measure.”

The couple didn’t want an obvious theme for their wedding, they just wanted to keep it simple, beautiful and perfect for them. “We both wanted to do things our way. We had a small budget and we’re both very creative so a lot of the design work was done by us. We basically wanted to incorporate all of our favourite things. I made my own bunting and cushion covers out of Indian silks brought from Southall. That was so much fun. I love Southall. I probably made 4 trips there in total and brought yards of coloured fabric, ribbons, jewellery. It was an epic task and so much fun.  Leo designed our invitations and he also designed the cocktail menus. We made a photo guest book using funny pictures of everyone.  We gave the kids little party bags so they had stuff to play with on the day. We painted glass jars different colours which were used for the flowers and candles.  Leo’s sister made our red velvet wedding cake which tasted amazing! We had a playlist on our ipod made up of our guest favourite songs which worked really well. We only had 1 bridesmaid and groomsmen each. My bridesmaid’s wore a dress from Coast which matched my petticoat, shoes from Carvela and the sash was brought from Candy Anthony. The groomsmen wore his own suit.”

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Rotterdam Rock n Roll

I love these guys! Normen & Priya are from Holland and had their engagement shoot in Rotterdam with Tapas Maiti. This is just pure Rock n Roll and the couple have got a GREAT story. “I met Priya at the Asian Wedding Exhibition last November” Tapas told me. “It was an hour to go before closing and I was about pack up when she came to my stall and we got chatting. Priya & Norman are from Holland, her mother was a Hindu who arrived in Holland via Surinam whilst her father is a Sikh from the Punjab. Many Indian Hindu’s have settled in Holland by way of Surinam through the Dutch Indian Empire, its a fascinating story and shows the complexity of the Indian diaspora.”

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