What Mahj Did… Planning an Indian Summer.

When I re-read my entry to become a ‘Rock My Wedding Bride’, I realised that I hadn’t done the best job of trying to explain what kind of wedding Martin and I were hoping (very hard) to have. And the route to that went something like this, during an email conversation with my very good friend Jo:

Me: “So I think I have a rough idea of the kind of ‘theme/colour scheme’ I would like my day to have”

Jo: “Go on then, I’m all ears…”

Me: “Well its important to incorporate my Pakistani heritage, but I love all the vintagey, English country garden stuff. So I was thinking of loads of really bright, bold colours like red, pink, orange, blues, greens, purples, yellows. Like a bag of Skittles has exploded everywhere. But I want to mix that with the birdcages on the table and the vintage flowers we are going to have and lots of other little ‘English’ touches. Sooo, whadya think?”

Jo: “So you mean like a vintage Indian Summer?”

Me: “YES! That’s exactly it. You little GENIUS! Why didn’t I think of that wording….”

Moral of the story is, whilst you have no idea how to concisely say what it is that you want, chances are your mate Jo probably will!

Now the ‘Indian Summer’ theme isn’t so strict that everything must match it, down to the last symmetrically tied bow, but we have found it very useful to have this as our cornerstone when we were picking stationery, deciding on table decorations and picking what to wear. If anything we have too much choice. All the colours of the rainbows and even some that aren’t in there? Yep, its a toughie!

*Stationery and image credits: Ditsy Chic

But maybe I should rewind a bit? Because by the time Jo was giving me my light bulb moment, a lot had been discussed, agonised over and argued about. Not because our impending wedding was unprecedented or anything, but because the fact that I didn’t agree and was arguing against all the families suggestions was. My family is used to attending 3 day – 2 week celebrations with 450 – 500 guests on each day. We are having 150 to the day (we originally wanted 80) which could be considered ‘small and intimate’. If I could insert a snort of laughter here, I would.

Another issue was how we would get married. Martin and I wanted a civil ceremony (neither of us are particularly religious). We felt this would suit us best as a couple. It was then suggested that if we didn’t have a nikkah (traditional Islamic marriage ceremony), then our marriage would not be recognised in Islamic Law and possibly by members of my family. Good job we had that trusty British Law that would recognise our civil ceremony. I have to admit that my bride-to-be feelings were really hurt when this was all being discussed, as it seemed like utter nonsense in my eyes. And then my knight in shiny fiancé armour rode to my rescue by declaring very quietly but firmly that a civil ceremony was our choice and that both of us would feel hypocritical going down a religious road. If our guests felt that strongly about our marriage being conducted in a certain way then they didn’t have to come. Love him.

Another obstacle we overcame was the question of alcohol at the wedding. Now Martin and I are in no way booze hounds (I have to tell you though, I’m addicted to cider at the moment. Kopperberg. A fruity one. Bloody lovely.), but we love a good drink just as much as the next couple. And let’s face it, one of the best things about any wedding is the lovely wine you get at the meal. Both my parents enjoy a drink as they aren’t as conservative as other members of my family. But they felt maybe it would be disrespectful or insulting for alcohol to be served? We personally felt it would be extremely respectful and non-insulting – but that’s just us! This thankfully wasn’t an argument that lasted long and it was one that was suggested, knowing that there was only going to be a small percentage of guests who don’t drink. Who by the way, will have an array of fruity and soft drinks at their disposal!

Very early in the beginning of our planning, I had no idea what I wanted to wear. I know that everyone else had decided for me, so I was sitting firmly on that fence much to my Mum’s annoyance! My mind would change on average every 4-5 weeks. Seriously, you should go back and read emails between me and my bridesmaid’s. That’s the proof right there!

First I thought I would stick to the traditional Pakistani wardrobe of choice: a lehnga. Then I thought that maybe an English wedding dress would be deeelightful – when would I ever get a chance to wear one of those? And then how about an amalgamation of the two? Best of both worlds.

*Both Images courtesy of Charmi Creations.

Faced again with far too many choices, I made an appointment at an English bridal shop near me (ssshh, don’t tell my Mum!) that I have often driven past and oooed and aaahed at. Armed with my two bridesmaids, off we trotted for an hour of pure, unadulterated squuuueeeeeeing over many a chiffon, silk and tulle creation. And damn I had some fun in there, swishing round and squealing some more! But leaving the shop I was more confused than ever. Why was it so flippin’ hard?

Around a month and a half later, we took a trip to Birmingham to check out some of the Asian bridal shops. Again cue more squeeeeeing, sighing and also groaning – some of the bridal outfits had so much embroidery and embellishments on them and were consequently so heavy, I was finding it difficult to actually walk. Which is just plain silly.

Then we had an appointment at a little boutique that looked so uber cool in the magazines, I was convinced I would look like a right dork in their clothing. Luckily for me this wee shop is owned by the nicest designer on the planet, who was honest in his opinions and also tres talented to boot. I had tried on a couple of outfits and asked on the off chance if he had an outfit in a particular colour that I was interested in. Turns out he had, it was one of his more expensive pieces (blooming typical) and from the minute I tried it on, I was smitten. I came out of the changing room with the world’s biggest smile on my face. The girls both started crying. And as I swished and posed and swished some more, I thanked myself for keeping an open mind and finding the The One that I would happily and proudly marry my Martin in. My Mum was dead chuffed with my choice too!

So there has definitely been some trials and tribulations, tears and tantrums, but ultimately I am marrying the man of my dreams, in the dress of my dreams, with slowly-but-surely the day of our dreams. And you really cant ask for much more than that.

Your Indian Summers Delight
Mahj xoxo

Author: Becky Sappor
Becky is at her happiest when dunking a slightly chilled chocolate digestive into a very warm, very milky cup of tea. She also loves her job and pinches herself every day to make sure that she isn’t in a graphic design dreamworld.

30 thoughts on “What Mahj Did… Planning an Indian Summer.

  1. Oh wow Mahj, loving this post!!! I have a confession to make though, I didn’t vote for you in your category *hangs head in shame* but I am soooo glad the wonderful RMW girls picked you as a guest blogger.

    Are those your actual save the dates? They are gorgeous and I love the bag of skittles description and I am intrigued about the dress you have choosen! 😀 xx

  2. Hey Mahj!

    I just wrote a comment but my PC ate it (ggrrrrr!) So aplogies now if they both come up

    I got so excited when your post appeared I nearly wet my pants (sorry tmi!)

    Brilliant first post, I just can’t wait to read all the skittle inspired posts still to come.

    Lots of Love from Jo (your Indian Summer Suggesting Genius mate!)


  3. I am SO excited to see this wedding unfold. Congrats on your first post. And those Save the Dates are so so beautiful – rushed straight over to the site.

  4. Mahj Mahj Mahj your writing is so wicked. I love it. Sounds like you have to both be massively gutsy to keep the day the way YOU want it, not the way your religion wants it, but it seems you have a man in your life who reminds you of what’s important, and you can’t ask for more than that!

    Vintage Indian Summer. I want a vintage indian summer. I want to look like a bag of skittles has exploded over me. What do you mean, that wasn’t the look you were going for?

    And I am. literally. salivating to find out what dress you picked. I may be looking forward to your wedding more than you! x

  5. Love it already, voted for you as really want to be invited to an asian wedding just for the colours and pomp and ceremony so thought this would be the next best thing!

    Just a mention, at our wedding we had a table of guests who were Muslims and so requested no alcohol at their table out of respect. It might be a thought to sit the non drinkers together and vice versa where possible?

    They really appreciated the thought and went on to have a really good time, they were also delighted to get a mention in one of the speeches saying that normally at asian weddings they eat and leave without even speaking to the bride and groom nevermind getting a special thanks! I bet most of your guests who are asian will be amazed at your “small and intimate” wedding!

  6. i didn’t wee myself but I am VERY excited about your first post!!

    very much looking forward to more on the skittles theme!

    r.now x x

  7. i loveee those save the dates they’re sooo pretty. i completely sympathise with the “family arguments” over the wedding. thats a hump i think i may have just about got over (fingers crossed).

  8. Loved your first post and like Anna K CANNOT wait to find out what dress you picked! I can sympathise with a few of your dilemas as I am a non-religious Welsh girl marrying a not-very-religious Afghani man…we’ve had the alcohol/nikkah discussions and the ‘only 200 guests?’ comments too!
    Really looking forward to hearing more of your planning journey.

  9. Amazing first post, loving your writing. You had me squeeling with you (boss raising eyebrows as to why im not working! eek) Soooo exited about your theme. I want to know what dress you’ve picked, why why why do we have to wait soooo long till the next post!


  10. Oh Mahj, this was so witty it had me giggling at my desk. I think you are so brave for not conforming to what your family expects. I don’t have that kind of pressure yet even the smallest ‘why don’t you do it this way’ comment gets me snarling! So hats off to you for sticking to your guns and keeping cool throughout!
    Can’t wait to see what the dress looks like – I am intrigued!
    PS I heart skittles.

  11. I loved this post! The vintage Indian summer vibe sounds so beautiful – makes me think of all the colours in my favourite book of all time – The God of Small Things. Save the dates are amazing, and I’m really feeling your excitment!
    Lush. x

  12. Also loving this! I would quite like to live in a vintage Indian summer in all its skittle-hued glory 🙂 Great writing style, really looking forward to this – I think it’s gonna be quite a ride! xx

  13. Yay! I’ve so been looking forward to your post and it hasn’t let me down at all. It all sounds fab.

    I wish I had a reason to wear a lehnga. I’ve been very jealous of my girlfriends who worn english and traditional asian wedding outfits for their big days! Can’t wait to finally see what you’ve gone for!

  14. Fab first post!

    Good for you for sticking to what you both wanted, not what others dictate. I love the idea of exploding skittles, makes me smile 🙂

  15. Fab first post (although I am pleased to report no weeing over here in West London!). Can’t wait to read more and see the dress. Though part of me wonders if you’ve missed a trick – surely you can wangle TWO dresses?! I bet what you’ve chosen is lovely. Can’t wait for the next instalment. x

  16. Mahj, I’ve been rooting for you ever since your first post and this is a CORKER! Out of all the RMW brides you stood out a Country (or should that be Vintage Indian?) mile. Think your writing style is wicked! Good luck with everything xx
    P.S I totally get the squeeeeeing- me and the BMs have practically shattered glass.

  17. Dear Mahj,
    I was really looking forward to reading about your wedding and it’s as detailed, stylish and interesting as I thought/hoped. Happy Indian Summer Wedding Planning x

  18. Aah ladies, you lot are making a wintery, bitterly cold day very bearable indeed. Thank you all so much for your lovely, well-wishing, wee-induced and skittle-tastic comments!!

    Roz – yeap those lovely beauties are my actual save the dates. Sometimes I get them out and just stare at them a while!

    Anna K – I reckon you’d look a beaut in a skittle dress!

    BrideandChic – we will be doing something similar.

    Sarah B – I considered the ol’ 2 dresses situation and then I may have blown my budget just a wee bit (read: a lot) and so decided that I would stick with just the one. Hee!

    Thanks again Lovely Ladies of the RMW Community.

    Big Excited First Post Love

  19. Sorry girls, I got a bit over excited with my wee comment earlier! (I wish there was an edit button! doh)

    When I saw my Mahj had mentioned a conversation we’d had on her first post I got all giddy seeing my name there and wrote something silly

    You’ll be glad to know I didn’t really!

    However, I am incredibly excited to see everything unfold over the next few months

    Jo x

  20. Okay you have made me want to get married all over again (don’t worry to the same husband). It’s just so exciting planning everything and your save the dates are beautiful really pretty, really love the theme too, inspired. If you do decide you need a wedding planner 🙂

  21. Hi Mahj, yay another Manchester bride, been looking forward to your first post! We had a look round Mottram Hall and it’s a beautiful venue, I can’t wait to see it on your Big Day!! I totally love your Save the Date Cards, I so wish we could have had something like that for our wedding but we made do with Truprint instead, they are gorgeous!! Loving the Vintage Indian Summer vibe, will be interesting to see how it unfolds as the months progress!! Great first post, looking forward to the next installment 🙂 x

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