Lately I’ve been craving colour. I’m not sure whether it’s the influence of Spring with her purple hyacinths, sunshine yellow daffodils and girly pink cherry blossoms but frankly I just can’t get enough of a bright hue.
So Harriet and Mishal’s colour pop affair is the perfect way to satisfy my cravings on this overcast morning. Set amidst possibly the most perfect backdrop I’ve ever seen at Sefton Park Palm House in Liverpool, these two married amongst the palms and exotic blooms.
I particularly love Harriet’s dad’s souped up Lagonda which looks a little as if it’s come from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – what’s not to love – and the EPIC dancing that took place once the sun went down.
Honestly folks this is a venue and a half.
Let’s check it out…
Harriet The Bride: Our wedding was in July in the middle of a heat-wave. We were so lucky with the weather – overcast all morning (which was fortunate as the venue was effectively a greenhouse), then at 3 o’clock when the guests arrived – beautiful sunshine! We got married in the gorgeous Palm House in Liverpool – we knew we loved the venue as we’d been wine tasting there as students, and had always wanted an outdoor wedding, but weren’t willing to take the risk of relying on the British weather.
Our philosophy while wedding planning was that we were throwing a huge party for all our favourite people. For us, this meant plenty of food, cocktails and dancing!
As my family is English, and Mishal’s family is Indian, we had a civil ceremony then a Hindu ceremony with a cocktail and canapé interval in-between. We both initially wore Indian dress – from Mishal’s school friend’s wonderful Indian clothes shop in Manchester, Alankar, then got changed after the Hindu Ceremony.
Mishal wore a Hugo Boss suit and shoes with a Paul Smith shirt and Armani tie, while I wore Jimmy Choos. They deserve a mention first as they cost more than my dress! I found my beautiful sequin dress in the high street shop Phase Eight.
It was perfect having the wedding in the middle of a park as it’s traditional in Hindu weddings for the groom’s side to arrive as a Bharat – a dancing procession making as much noise as possible! They all danced behind a Dhol player down a sunny tree-lined avenue.
I arrived in my Dad’s Lagonda which he’d restored from an old wreck he found in someone’s garage, into a beautiful unique vintage car – one of the few super charged Lagondas left today.
We wanted to make things ourselves as much as possible. The cake was a daring four tiers made by my Mum and me. In hindsight we probably shouldn’t have left the icing until the day before the wedding! The layers were fruit with marzipan, carrot with cream cheese frosting, Victoria sponge with buttercream and raspberry jam, and Mishal’s favourite, chocolate ganache. We decorated it the morning of the wedding with sprays of rambling roses.
All of the flowers were from my parents’ garden in Anglesey. We couldn’t plan too far ahead which flowers to use as we didn’t know what would be in bloom at that week due to the cold spring, which didn’t matter a bit as our wedding theme was ‘bright and colourful’. We ended up with dahlias, sweet williams, cosmos, lacecap hydrangeas, lavender and alchemilla mollis, amongst others!
We made some beautiful silk bunting which decorated the stage for the Hindu ceremony, and 100 meters of paper bunting which hung above everyone’s heads. The table decorations doubled as favours, which were tissue wrapped Paan masala from India and salted caramel chocolates, tied with antique twine (only for the chocolates to melt in the heat!). We also had cardboard ‘Build your own Taj Mahal’ kits on every table and seeds harvested from my parents’ garden, in little envelopes designed by my Mum, along with the invitations, menus, place settings, and a beautiful hand-made silk-covered guest book.
The food was so important to us and had to be perfect. After a lot of food tasting we finally found the caterers for us, Payal. They provided a limitless supply of wonderful Indian canapés, and in the evening we had Chaat Masala in martini glasses, and an array of incredible curries, followed by a trio of Indian deserts. Dinner was served with carefully chosen wine from The Wine Society. Payal also provided us with a cocktail maker, Rob. We had Kir Royals, ginger Mojitos, elderflower fizz, coconut Cosmopolitans, and Pimms. It felt like an extravagance while planning it, but so many people have complimented us on the cocktails since, it was one of the best decisions we made.
One thing Mishal was adamant about was having a videographer. I wasn’t convinced that we even needed one, until we found Aaron from Reel Weddings. I can’t believe we almost missed out on having the most perfect record of the most amazing day. We have watched it literally hundreds of times! It brings back all the emotions of the best day of our lives and is the perfect way to share the day with people who didn’t make it.
We were so lucky to find Wookie Photography to photograph our wedding. Amy and Frank made everyone feel relaxed, hardly anyone realised they were professional photographers! As a result, they captured every moment in the beautifully sunny, natural, vintage style that we fell in love with.