This English/Indian fusion wedding at Northbrook Park looks like an absolute riot of fun and colour, with truly beautiful coral flowers by Jenni Bloom tying both ceremonies together beautifully. From the English ceremony mantle piece to the Indian altar, and not forgetting the gorgeous top table arrangement, your eyes are going to be dazzled by the mix of peonies, roses, ranunculus, stocks and eucalyptus. Bride Riya looks unbelievably gorgeous in both her gowns too, meaning there's double the inspiration, and Groom Rich looking equally dapper in his attire enters in the most fabulous way. RMW fave Lemonade Pictures has captured all the pretty, all the love and both elements of this fusion wedding perfectly. Enjoy.
The DressRiya the Bride: I loved my Catherine Deane dress for its vintage style but modern and elegant feel. It was also comfortable to wear, dance (and eat) in! So I was completely relaxed in it. I went to a few boutiques but much preferred going to Catherine Deane’s studio in Wapping where you can get a sense of her process and influences. I bought my Indian bridal outfit (lengha) online at Omsara.co.uk and had it tailored by Manoj Makwana, who was so kind and professional. I loved that it had a traditional, almost old-school Bollywood style with long decorative arms. It is coral rather than deep red which gave it a bit of a modern edge.
Grooms AttireRichard is from Nottingham so I think he always had a suit by local legend Paul Smith in mind for the big day. We thought blue would suit his slim build and look modern and classic. The accessories from Reiss were perfect, we went to a few branches while looking – the staff were really helpful in each one. Richard’s Indian wedding outfit (sherwani) came from a shop in Leicester, it was great value and only a couple of alterations had to be made.
The VenueNorthbrook Park is within an hour of where I grew up, is reachable from London where we live, but on the edge of beautiful Surrey. We were really impressed with how well the venue caters for Asian weddings. Most historical-style venues we looked at demanded that we have the fire required for the Indian ceremony in a marquee or outside, rather than in the venue. Northbrook were really relaxed about our use of the venue and were prepared to accommodate two weddings and a reception in one day!
Colour Scheme/DecorWe wanted a mix of a rustic English country garden and an “Indian Summers” style outdoor party. Something very classic and traditional with an exotic spin. We had both a civil wedding and a Hindu wedding on the day and wanted to do something that reflects both our cultures. Our look was understated (Indian weddings can get quite glitzy!) still with some vintage glamour and style. The rooms the ceremonies would take place in (the Vine Room and Orangery) were really appealing and not the usual characterless function rooms that usually accommodate bigger weddings. We’re both from design backgrounds so the character of the rooms really mattered to us. The peacocks that live on the estate were also a bonus! They made the venue stick out in our mind and perfectly suited our Indian Summers theme.
FlowersOur florist Jenni Bloom designed a beautiful scheme that would suit our “fusion wedding”. She mixed scented florals such as Garden Roses, Peony, Stocks, Ranunculus, Foxglove, Jasmine buds and foliage, Eucalyptus and seasonal foliage. The bright colour scheme of coral, apricot and peach tied together the civil wedding and Hindu wedding beautifully. The venue has stunning gardens and the rustic arrangements helped to bring the outdoors in. I always wanted our wedding to be in Spring and involve plenty of lush flowers and a garden setting. Fresh flowers are also hugely important in the Hindu ceremony, Jenni created a beautiful arrangement to adorn the Mandap (sacred altar) under which it all takes place. For the centerpieces, we used small Morrocan lanterns surrounded by floral wreaths. My Mum, Sister Neena and I strung Jasmine, Roses and Carnations together to make the garlands for the Indian wedding, and a few hanging decorations for the venue with the leftovers. It was a nice personal touch to the day, a very traditional part of the Indian wedding, and the smell of Jasmine was incredible.
Wedding Party FashionMy Bridesmaids were my Sisters and knowing how strong-minded ladies in my family are I let them choose their dresses themselves! I didn’t give them a colour scheme or a criteria as I really just wanted both to be comfortable and feel elegant on the day. Sunita chose a dress from Hobbs that was understated but fit her beautifully, and Neena went for a similar style from Monsoon. My flower girls (Nieces) were in dresses from Marks and Spencer. Their sarees were bought on a previous trip to India. Again the groomsmen were in their own suits as we wanted them to be relaxed. We bought their Indian outfits in Leicester where there’s tons of choice, and found traditional shoes online (diyaonline.com). We went for a mix of bright colours.
CeremonyRichard’s Sister Ruth read a poem in the civil ceremony, but it all got a bit emotional. I think her crying set Richard off! It was otherwise very joyful and our registrar kept things upbeat. The Indian ceremony was a bit more serious, but it was lovely to have everyone involved at the different stages. The ceremony is very much about uniting two families and everyone has a role to play. After the Indian ceremony, the bride says a final goodbye to her family. I’m not too emotional, but it was the one part of the day that brought it all home to me.
EntertainmentThe Goodfoot Band were absolutely amazing on the night and made the perfect joyful end to the day. We’d seen them at Alex (Richard’s best man’s) wedding and were so impressed by their performance and their ability to get everyone on their feet! We’re big music fans and knew that a funk and soul band would hit the right note with all generations without getting cheesy. Alex (aka DJ Realtime, at least when we were at Uni) spun us some great mixes for after the band. We also had traditional Dhol (Indian drum) players who brought Richard and his procession to the wedding in loud and traditional style!
FoodThe cake was made by Little Bear Cakery. I knew I didn’t want something traditional here and came across the idea of a Persian Love Cake somewhere online. Clare made us a delicious wedding cake with pistachio sponge and layers of Fortnum and Mason rose jelly and cardamom infused buttercream. The cake wasn’t iced but decorated with pistachio meringues and rose petals. It was the perfect Eastern twist on a wedding cake that matched our theme. We served it after the civil wedding as a kind of afternoon tea as I couldn’t bear to see it potentially wasted after the main dinner! There were three meals in total, so the day was a bit of a food-fest! But since we had different guests join us during different parts of the day, we did it that way to make sure everyone was fed. After the civil wedding, we had a mix of sandwiches and Indian snacks. After the Hindu wedding, we had a traditional vegetarian meal with a spread of curries, salads, breads and snacks. Appetisers for the reception drinks were kebabs, chicken, and vegetarian bhajis. For the main meal, we had chicken tikka masala, lamb curry, paneer with peas and hot fresh naan. Dessert was fresh fruit and rasmalai (a milk-based pistachio pudding) Food is a big deal in my family (as you might tell!) and Preeti really delivered on getting everything served beautifully and bang on time. She was a lot more than just a caterer, she personally helped plan and run the day. Food and staff came part of the package, which we found helpful in knowing there wouldn’t be any hidden costs after the event.
PhotographerAs soon as we met Nichola, I think we knew we needed to look no further. Her work is stunning and she has such an eye for detail. She’s also incredibly funny and friendly which put us at ease and made us feel like we had a good friend doing the job for us rather than a professional. She was also a pro at not being too bossy or obtrusive, and magically managed to be everywhere just at the right time to take the perfect snap.
Dress Designer & Boutique: Catherine Deane | Indian Gown: Omsara | Tailor: Tailoring by Manojmakwana | Bridal Shoes: Anthropologie | Headpiece: Zara | hair & Makeup: Blow Ltd | Venue: Northbrook Park | Styling: Arabian Tent Company | Caterer: Pretti Catering | Cake: Little Bear Cakery | Florist: Jenni Bloom | Entertainment: The Goodfoot Band | The Dohl Company | Bridesmaid Dresses: Monsoon | Hobbs | Grooms Suit: Paul Smith | Grooms Accessories: Reiss | Flower Girl Dresses: Marks and Spencer