Today I have the lovely wedding of Anneka and Lewis who got married in Twickenham before moving back to Sheffield. Their wedding was a combination of an English countryside wedding with an Indian twist. It’s exactly how you should approach your fusion or multicultural wedding – incorporate the traditions of what are important to you both. Over to the bride and groom:
How they met
We met in a bar in Sheffield when Anneka was finishing her A-Levels and Lewis was a university student. We exchanged numbers and met up but then Anneka left Sheffield shortly after to start university in Manchester. When Anneka came back to Sheffield for Christmas, they met up again (with a proper first date at the cinema to see ‘Brokeback Mountain(!)) and decided to try a long distance relationship between Manchester and Sheffield.
After 8 years of dating, Lewis whisked Anneka off to Bruges (their favourite holiday destination) after getting permission from her dad. One night he suggested a walk (in the rain!) and took Anneka to the bridge famously entitled ‘Lovers’ Bridge’. He knelt on one knee and pretended to take a photograph from the bridge but wasn’t expecting Anneka to ask to see the photograph he took. He mumbled that it wasn’t a good photo and then pulled out a ring! He asked Anneka to marry him and the rest is history!
We looked for venues for quite a while but finally settled on Northbrook Park in Farnham in Surrey, which was in a remote location but not too far from London. We loved the English countryside setting with peacocks roaming the gardens and really loved the Orangery. We wanted to have the ceremony and reception in the same venue as this was most convenient for guests. The venue was also able to accommodate about half of our guests in modern flats overnight, which was ideal given we wanted people to drink as much as they want and stumble back to their accommodation!
The bride’s outfit
The groom’s outfit
Lewis and groomsmen wore three piece grey morning suits with cream waistcoat, yellow cravat and gold cufflinks from Dapper in Surbiton.
Groomsmen & bridesmaids outfit and accessory details
Groomsmen wore three piece grey mornings suits wth matching cream waistcoats, yellow cravats and had white and yellow spray rose buttonholes, with matching silver cufflinks.
Wedding theme or colours if any
The wedding was an English countryside wedding with Indian ‘twists’ including Indian caterers, Indian sweets as favours, a sitar player as Anneka walked down the aisle and a bhangra section during the dancing. The colouring was mainly yellow with green features.
Food and catering (including drinks)
The catering was provided by Premier Foods and we couldn’t recommend them highly enough. The canapes were beautiful Indian treats and a selection of curries on a lazy Susan for main. We also had a trio of Indian desserts at the end of the meal. The evening buffet included chicken and paneer tikka wraps. Premier took charge of the whole organisation and were absolutely fantastic on the day. We even paid a small fee per person for unlimited drinks, including wine, beer and spirits!
Rather than a cake, we had an amazing croquembouche made by Le Papillon Patisserie.
We hired a sitar player for Anneka’s walk down the aisle.
For the evening entertainment, we hired Flood the Floor – an absolutely incredible band who got everyone up on their feet. They even instigated numerous dance offs between members of each family.
After the band, we had a DJ (Steve Lewis) play classic tunes which kept the party going into the early hours.
Mike Judd acted as toastmaster to add some formality to the day.
Instead of a photo booth, we had a ‘video booth’ from Wish You Well. Guests could leave messages on the video booth, and these got more drunken throughout the night!
We used Daria Nova as our photographer. She was absolutely brilliant at capturing the emotion of the day. We loved the fact that she stayed the entire day and so was able to get some fantastic shots of the dancing. We also had an engagement shoot with her and she used the shots to create a wonderful guest book, which included questions that the guests had to answer, such as, what advice would you give us, what reminds you of us and what has been your favourite part of the day?
We used Lavender Hill (Farnham) for our flowers. We were particularly impressed with the mantle piece display for the ceremony.
The ceremony and traditions (if any)
Anneka had henna before the wedding, which was still visible on the day.
We had a lovely civil ceremony, with little twists including writing our own vows and making the guests sing along like a congregation to ‘You’re My Best Friend’ by Queen.
Favourite part of the day
The moment we got married was very emotional (we were both sobbing!).
We also loved the evening as nearly every guest was on the dance-floor, getting involved in the dance-offs.
Easiest part of wedding planning
The catering – Premier Rouge was so fantastic and made everything feel so easy.
Hardest part of wedding planning
Making the stationery ourselves. Luckily, Lewis’s mum was extremely helpful and created all the table name cards. The tables were named after each year that we had been together and Lewis’s mum painted a picture depicting an important event from that year for each table.
Is it harder to plan a wedding when the couples are from different faiths/culture etc
No. To be honest, this made things more interesting and allowed us to be more creative.
We suppose, however, we had to have a conversation with Anneka’s parents that we didn’t want to involve religion in the day and didn’t want to invite hundreds of guests!
Advice to give to other multicultural couples
Enjoy it! It’s lovely to pick and choose aspects from both cultures and we loved integrating Indian themes into our wedding. We think our English friends and Lewis’s family really loved the Indian bits and bobs and everybody complimented the food!
Videography: Flood the Floor
DJ: Steve Lewis
Photography: Daria Nova
Flowers: Lavender Hill Flowers
Toastmaster: Mike Judd
Video booth: Wish you well
The Dress The Dress
Head lace: Gillian Million
Accessories: Olivier Laudus
Venue: Northbrook Park
Shoes: Jenny Packham
Croquembouche: Le Papillon Patisserie
Catering: Premier Rouge