I think that if I were to ever meet today’s bride and groom – Anugrah and Edward – we would get on enormously! For a start they chose possibly the most epic wedding decor theme that I’ve ever come across – in fact I’m massively in awe at their immense creativity. I’m not going to say too much more now – instead I’ll leave it to Anugrah and the photos to do the talking. More on that in a minute…
Secondly I absolutely and wholeheartedly agree with their recipe for a great party; serve good food (and lots of it), don’t run out of drink and make it easy to hit the dance floor. Yep, yep and yep! Adhere to these basic tenets and you won’t go wrong.
Lastly Anugrah is breathtakingly beautiful in her ivory silk saree complete with gold embroidery; I’m so pleased she decided to wear traditional Indian attire on her wedding day because she looks flipping amazing. Come and see for yourselves…
Anugrah The Bride: You don’t know us but if you did, you wouldn’t at all be surprised at the theme. From the off, we wanted some element of fusion in our wedding, but Bollywood just isn’t us. So, our dear friends Tess and Rob (Art directors at Parable) stepped in with an idea. Warm breezes fragranced with spices, sipping loose leaf tea from bone china tea cups and the distant calls of peacocks roaming around the mango trees. The British Raj. Of course! The classic and elegant style of the era suited us perfectly.
This was such an easy decision, I’ve always wanted to get married in the garden of the house I grew up in. The fantastic folks at Mudford provided us with our marquee, furniture and lighting. Surrounded by cherry blossom trees and wild flowers, the garden needed very little decoration. When darkness fell, we burnt fresh sage in fire pits and lit paraffin lamps hung on shepherd’s crooks to light the night.
We are firm believers in the ‘beg, borrow or steal’ philosophy…and if that fails then make it yourself! Due to the unique theme, very few items were bought for our wedding and instead we took the opportunity to enlist some of our very talented family and friends.
We’d decided to recreate the Viceroy’s House within the marquee and as such had sections for the baroness’ dressing room, the study and the gymkhana. Think Secret Cinema does EM Forster’s A Passage to India and you might come close to the amount of detail and heart that went into the decor.
There is just too much to describe in such a small space but some of my favourite ‘steals’ are the dark oak furniture shamelessly plundered from my parents, the cut glass centrepieces collected from endless trips to charity shops and the hundreds of bone china teacups kindly donated by a family friend.
We spent months brainstorming décor ideas and so if it looks handmade, it probably was. Everything from designing old maps, book covers and colonial photographs to creating taxidermy butterflies in frames (don’t worry – they’re just paper!) to folding table numbers into vintage books. A special thanks to the groom’s mum, Sally for making punkahs to hang from the ceiling – it was these thousand little details that helped to make the marquee feel genuinely ‘lived in’.
Food & Drink & Merriment
Basic principles of a great party. Serve good food (and lots of it), don’t run out of drink and make it easy to hit the dancefloor. A wedding is just a party on a bigger scale, so the same rules apply. We love food and so it was so important to us to have a great tasting menu. In keeping with the theme (and because it’s awesome), we opted for curry. My parents found a local caterer, Aziz who was up to the challenge. Slow cooked lamb, creamy butter chicken, spicy lentils, fragrant pulao rice…the man did not disappoint and the supply was endless.
After that kind of meal, it’s only right to allow guests the opportunity to work it off by making some shapes on the dancefloor. Our band, The Flavours were excellent. They were so good that the dancefloor was packed within seconds of them starting the sound check. The ushers then had to forcibly remove our friends so that we could do the first dance!
The Cake & Pork Pie
I remember asking my mum, Bela one rainy day in October if she would be able to make our wedding cake. Having never made a big cake before, she hesitantly replied, ‘Are you sure?’ The result was a four tiered white wedding masterpiece, which incidentally tasted marvellous.
After the ceremony, we held an afternoon tea at the church. A few months before, I had joked with the groom’s mum, Sally about her making a four tiered pork pie to match the cake. Not one to shy away from a challenge, that’s exactly what she did. It was a firm favourite amongst the guests. Hooray for Mums!
Bride & Bridesmaids
Although I’m not a habitual wearer of Indian attire, I thought I’d make an exception on my wedding day. Fortunately for me, last year the groom’s brother got married in India and it was whilst I was there, that I found my saree. Ivory silk with gold embroidery. Very simple, but very beautiful. My bridesmaids wore jade green sarees with bronze embroidery. The bouquets were peonies and white roses, fresh from Leeds market and lovingly made by our friend, Rachel.
Special thanks to bridesmaid Luca, who walked down the cobble stone church aisle in high heels and a saree whilst playing the violin. I do love a dramatic entrance!
Groom & Groomsmen
Our British gents wore three piece tweed suits, with knitted mustard ties. However, the real stand out items were the handmade peacock feather button holes complete with Indian militia buttons, which matched the feathery head pieces worn by the bridesmaids. Simply magnificent. Thank you, Tess.
We found Sarah and fell in love with her fine art style. The beautiful photos really say
more than we ever could.