C&I02 Jul, 2023
Our Real Wedding
Carwyn proposed to me on our 5th anniversary; it was a beautiful autumn day, and he took me to a lovely Welsh castle we lived near (Castell Coch). After a tour of the castle, we took a walk in the surrounding woods which were covered in bright orange autumnal leaves. There, Carwyn knelt down on one knee and popped the big question! He told me after he picked that castle so that every time I looked out the window from our flat, I would be able to see where he proposed; it was so sweet and thoughtful. That was in November 2020, so we had over 2 and a half years to plan the wedding!
We discussed whether we wanted a destination wedding or a wedding where all our loved ones could attend and, in the end, the latter won out. We had a sort of Romeo & Juliet love story as unfortunately some people tried very hard to keep us apart. We felt we wanted a wedding where we could celebrate our union and share it with everyone who supported our relationship.
The first thing we did was book the photographer as I chanced upon a competition from them on Facebook and absolutely loved their portfolio! We also knew we wanted to be able to fully capture to the day so also got a videographer for the day! Our photographer and videographer were from The Kensington Photographer. The photos are stunning, take a look for yourself!
Next, was the venue hunt! We discussed wanting to have a luxurious and classic style of wedding so looked at venues accordingly. We were in lockdown so actually did ALL of our viewings virtually. I made a MASSIVE excel sheet which displayed each venue and parameters that we wanted like if they had accommodation and if there was a bridal dressing room, etc. We compared over 40 venues then finally settled on the perfectly picturesque Holbrook Manor. Everything about it was beautiful and suited our needs perfectly. Their menu choices are impeccable, and the food was cooked expertly; we got so much positive feedback from our guests! Beth and Kate were real stars for pulling off such a perfectly executed day.
During this venue hunt, we put aside a whole day looking at different colour palettes to decide on a colour scheme. We wanted it to have that luxurious, regal vibe, and also pay homage to my Indian heritage, so we decided on the main colours of burgundy and gold with accents of blush pink, sage and white.
Despite the wedding being 2 years away, I still went ahead and went wedding dress shopping. My mother and I went to about 6 different boutiques and found the perfect dress from Envy by Phoenix; it was stunning, and I had to have it. My amazing seamstress made it fit like a glove and even sewed on extra crystal embellishments I wanted. I paired this with a custom-made royal length (145 inches) two tier veil with lace trim and a scattering of crystals.
My husband’s outfit was another story as he bought his suit before we fully decided on the shade of burgundy we wanted for the wedding. Then, 2 weeks before the wedding, we realised the shade of his suit did not work and in a panicked frenzy we bought another suit online! Thankfully, it arrived quickly with the express shipping, and he loved it. The colour and shade were correct, and he looked so handsome!
Next, we sorted our DJ (Retro DJ) and starlit dance floor, which added a touch of magic to the first dance and the rest of the evening! We also got our exquisite wedding rings selected early on from Laings Jewellers.
Our florist hunt took us a few months, but we got there in the end! We got our flowers from the highly skilled Bramble & Wild. I had a beautifully natural, cascading bridal bouquet created in blush pink and whites with pops of burgundy and the rest of the designs (bridesmaids bouquets, corsages, buttonholes, etc) followed this theme. Flowers included calla lilies, classic roses, tuberose, sweet peas, bouvarida and lisianthus with seasonal foliages and a sprig of myrtle (which is good luck in Welsh tradition!). The tricky bit was how we wanted our candelabras dressed. We did not want a ring at the bottom as my table settings had lovely large gold charger plates planned so that would overcrowd the table. So, I wanted the tops of the candelabras to be dressed which took time, so the Bramble & Wild team got to the venue early to make our imagination a reality. It looked absolutely gorgeous!
We went for a lovely 2 tier buttercream cake with an ombre effect decorated in gold leaf and fresh roses. The flavours were so suited to our personalities! Our top tier was piña colada sponge with pineapple jam and malibu buttercream and the bottom tier was a passionfruit martini cake. These out-of-this-world flavours were from The Cake Architect.
The last supplier I found was my hair and makeup artist; I was lucky to find such a high calibre HMUA given I left it fairly last minute! Hayley De Beers did a stunning job styling my long hair and sculpting my South Asian facial features. Having a HMUA who had worked on a diverse range of clients was important to me and she could do exactly what I wanted so I was very pleased. On the day, she got me into my wedding dress (a tough job with a corset back!) and did not leave until I was ready. She was an absolute gem! She also did my mother’s hair and makeup who looked positively radiant!
A gift from my mother was the amazing Bollywood dance performers she arranged for the evening entertainment! Our guests loved it, and it involved an interactive session which got everyone dancing and was heaps of fun! Now we get friends who want to come over to our place for Bollywood themed nights!
Before the wedding, I had a lovely set of acrylic nails done as well as traditional mehendi/henna on my hands. We wanted our Western wedding to have a fusion with my Indian roots and it blended together perfectly. To honour Carwyn’s Welsh heritage, we had a talented harpist, Hannah Williams, play our ceremony and drink reception. Plus, Carwyn served Welsh cakes along with the tea and coffee after the wedding breakfast! We are so happy that both of our heritages were reflected on the day.
One of my favourite parts of the wedding day was hearing the harp play the processional song. It was the instrumental to a Bollywood love song we love, and it fills us with such deep emotions. I walked in (with my ushers walking behind manoeuvring my very long veil!) and when I turned the corner and saw Carwyn, all my nerves melted away. I was so happy and excited! The moment Carwyn saw me, he burst out crying. He was so overjoyed and emotional, the registrar had to pass him a tissue! It really was the best day of our lives.
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