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A Hindu Humanist Fusion Extravaganza

Hello everyone! Here I am, writing my first post to all you wonderful RMWedding-ers!

I am totally thrilled to be joining this rather fantastic blog and giving you all an insight into my engagement, through to our weekend wedding bonanza, but more importantly giving you my professional advice, top tips & thoughts on planning your own day. I’ll start with a little bit about myself…my name is Sundari and I run a creative business called The Wedding Stylist. I offer couples that added vision to their day by helping it come to life through intricate detailing, thoughtful décor & above all lots of love!

So, I’m here to talk you through a huge range of topics which you might be going through or have yet to over-come over the next few months leading to my own wedding. I’ll dish out ideas on how to pick your suppliers, add detail to your wedding along with tonnes of other things that maybe you didn’t know about planning your day. But today, lets just start with enjoying being engaged…Congratulations! No matter whatever stage you are in your wedding planning, I always think you should be celebrating.

The Proposal

I don’t know how he did it, but somehow, as you can see Andy pulled off a surprise proposal in Rome whilst also having it all secretly captured by Andre Matone. I guess it’s tough planning something unique for someone who works in weddings & he did it spectacularly.

The pictures speak mountains more than what I could ever describe. I was simply in awe of the care, love and planning that he had done. We forever now have images capturing those moments that are now just a lovely blur. We were then given 3 whole hours of an engagement shoot where it was only the two of us (& Andre) in the entire world that knew we were engaged. Just simply magical! To top it off, Andy had one of my closest friends, Gemma Milly, create beautiful calligraphy signs for us to use during engagement shoot, a stylist’s dream!

Being Engaged

Engagement is that wonderfully soft cushioned middle space between being “girlfriend” or “boyfriend” to being a “wife” or “husband”, you get to be in this special bubble of weddings, dreams & romance. Isn’t that just fantastic?

I’m getting ridiculously excited to be Andy’s wife but I also know how much I’ll miss being a “fiancée” – that awfully fancy word that suddenly has become my title. I feel privileged to be in a community of people still enjoying those months of planning pretty basically.

For a newly engaged couple, I would always recommend only answering one first question in the first few weeks of being engaged, rather than steaming ahead with all your ideas – for me it’s also the first question I ask my couples…WHERE?

This can either be a long conversation or it could be the simplest of them all! I think Andy & I took only half a day to decide, we both immediately connected on the WHERE and the WHEN was also something that we both agreed on as well. As we knew we had to have two separate weddings, one a traditional Tamil Hindu ceremony, in honour of my heritage, we also found it even more important to have a ceremony, which represented us as a couple & his family, which is in the form of a Humanist wedding with a traditional English style. i.e. the bride in white, bridesmaids, groomsmen, etc etc.

We didn’t really agonise over too many details in the first few months but I guess we knew we were going to have a long engagement…

The Importance Of Marriage To Us

For me, growing up I was obsessed with LOVE. Yep, romantic films, love novels, poetry, Romeo & Juliet…yada yada yada…I thought that love was something so fiery and passionate that it was just mind boggling for the people so in love *play ‘crazy in love’ in your mind please*

It was only after I met Andy, I truly understood what love is. It wasn’t about fireworks, butterflies and sparklers (though they did appear often) it was about meeting someone who finally understands you. Someone who appreciates every little bit of you, who you can envisage your entire life at every stage, to share all your values, passions & dreams with as well as learning more about theirs. Obviously as I grew up obsessed with love, I did dream about my wedding, but my thoughts always ended up on the man I was going to marry. I dreamt of someone kind, funny, handsome (thanks Disney) and caring. Of course I found all of that with Andy but I got a whole person as well, all his perfections and imperfections, it made him so real & utterly irresistible.

It just suddenly all made sense to me one day. I wasn’t a “crazy in love” girl, I was “calmly, deeply and entirely” type of girl. Andy showed a side of me that I never knew existed, in fact, I would say he helped me become the person I always wanted to be and for us without even talking about it Marriage it was always on the cards for us.

Marriage played a major part in our up bringing and therefore was secretly but deeply important to us. Our parents were both such great teams in raising their families so strong; it made that not even a question in either of our minds. We love the solidarity that marriage brought for two people, making us feel we’ve made a public declaration to each other, the world and in every physical way tying one another to each other to create this unbeatable team.

Final Thoughts

Make sure you really celebrate this short period of fuzzy-ness for the two of you, enjoy telling your friends & family, plan a knock-out engagement party, make it as special as you can & never stop celebrating it. In fact, we all might as well make badges to wear proudly because life now is simply awesome.

A wise friend once told me that being engaged was the best time of her life and she was 100% right. This time couldn’t be anymore precious or exciting.

I would love to know why marriage is for you two? How did you both fall in love? Please do comment below & tell me all about it!

Photography by Andrea Matone
Author: Sundari Uthayakumar
Sundari is getting married in 2016 with not one, but two ceremonies over two days – a Tamil Hindu ceremony & a Humanist ceremony. As one of the UK’s top wedding stylists – you just KNOW it’s going to be an extravaganza of pretty’
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