Kenny is an Englishman from Bournemouth and Gita was from London, from a Mauritian/Irish background. At the time of the wedding they had just bought their house together just outside the New Forest. Kenny was brought up in the Christian traditions, but it not a strict follower. Gita was brought up in Hindu and Catholic traditions and tends to follow Hinduism culturally and spiritually. Kenny was a friend of Gita’s brother who lived in the same apartment block in Bournemouth. She ran into Kenny some years ago when visiting her brother from London and that’s how they met.
Kenny and Gita were due to be bridesmaid and usher for a friend’s beautiful Scottish wedding. Beforehand they took a trip to the West Coast of Scotland. Kenny proposed overlooking a beautiful loch, though indoors due to the typical Scottish weather! Love was in the air that week.
The couple had their civil ceremony at the quaint and lovely Swanage Town Hall. Afterward on to Wilkswood which is a beautiful outdoor venue in the rolling hills of the Purbecks. Essentially a field! Camelot Marquees put up two amazing marquees to house the 220 guests, plus a break out area for the kids. The kids had a bouncy castle, space hoppers, popcorn & slushy machine. Also enjoyed by some of the adults!
Ahem, three outfits. All were ordered online from India. The registry sari was from the Meena Bazaar brand. The Hindu ceremony and reception saris were real indulgences from Indian designers. The red, pearl and antique gold sari for the Hindu ceremony was by Mahogany by Maitreyi and the Ivory and gold cocktail sari for the evening was by Nakul Sen.
The groom’s outfit
Kenny was very excited about wearing Indian clothes for the wedding, even down to the head gear. His main sherwani and accessories were from Laadki, Ealing Road, Wembley. The more casual evening Kurta were from Prachy Creations in Tooting.
Groomsmen & bridesmaids outfit and accessory details
For the Groomsmen (and 1 woman) they chose simple cream and gold kurta with red scarves. All except Gita’s brother were English and they were surprised and delighted when they realised how comfortable they were with no tie required! The bridesmaids were in fuchsia and gold sarees for the adult bridesmaids and churidar for the little ones.
Wedding theme or colours
Lots of colour. Reds, pinks, purples and gold. 90m of sari bunting was draped around the marquee along with multi-coloured pompoms and fans.
Food and catering (including drinks)
Catering was by Fishface in Dorchester. They did their best to research Mauritian food to create the menu. Guests drank pink cava after the ceremony, Argentinian merlot or chardonnay with dinner and prosecco to toast. Extra Mauritian rum was purchased to keep the bar well stocked.
Luckily Gita is well connected for entertainment with friends in the business. Chief bridesmaid Pritee Almeida (aka Big Mama Funk) sang the first dance. She then duetted with fellow singer Dave Barnes (aka Dave the Bear). The multi-talented Dave then spun some tunes until the early hours.
A real highlight was the amazing flowers arranges on the wedding mandap and arch by the supremely creative Sarah and Selina of Corbin Florist in Brockenhurst, Hampshire. They wove in exotic hues, foliage and even passion fruits for a breathtakingly colourful display.
Favourite part of the day
There are 2: (1) Driving around Swanage in Kenny’s father’s 1931 Morris Minor that had the “Bollywood treatment”. Jaws dropped and people waved. (2) Kenny and Gita surrounded by friends on the dance floor while DJ Dave Barnes dropped “Sorry Miss Jackson” by Outcast.
Easiest part of wedding planning
Having great wedding planners help. Melanie from Bellissimo weddings had the perfect mix of efficiency, calm and enthusiasm. Also, Kenny and Gita were delighted with their choice of photographer. Weddings where the pack of photographers block out the view for the guests and dominate proceedings miss the point. Yes, the important moments must be captured, but not at the expense of the natural flow of emotions and the enjoyment of the beloved guests. They were hugely lucky to have the wonderful Rekha Damhar. She blended into proceedings effortlessly, was extremely respectful of what was occurring and captured the emotion and quirks so beautifully. Looking at her photographs now evoke the feelings of the day, not just the look. There’s an important difference.
Hardest part of wedding planning
Numbers. Kenny wasn’t prepared for the sheer size of Mauritian families/community. The balance between being surrounded by those you love most, not offending those with looser connections, and affordability is a real juggling act.
Is it harder to plan a wedding when the couples are from different faiths/culture etc
It wasn’t difficult for Gita and Kenny. Kenny was very excited and embracing of the different traditions of a Hindu wedding. Being mixed race, Gita was able to anticipate elements that may have been overwhelming for Kenny and his family. They decided to simplify some of the ceremonies e.g. have the Haldi ceremony together with all friends and family the day before. It meant Kenny could participate and take on board the meaning of the ceremony plus it was a lot of fun.
Advice to give to other multicultural couples
It’s about the joy of understanding even more about what makes your other half tick. Go through the proceedings early and ask lots of questions of each other. Be enthusiastic about learning about their culture and respect that some of the various aspects are very important to them even if you can’t quite see why. It’s about embracing, it’s about inclusion and luckily it also a lot of fun.
Wedding Venue: Wilkswood
Wedding Planning: Bellissimo Weddings
Flowers: Corbin’s Florist
Photography: Rekha Damhar
Makeup: Anita Kaur-Simon
Bridal henna: Shabika Mia
Hair: Clarence’s Hair Dressing
Shoes: Vivian Westwood (morning and afternoon) | Melissa (evening)
Cake: Made by dear friends Joe Buttell and Giancarlo Marcolini.
Catering: Fish Face Events
Wedding singer: Big Mama Funk