Nisha, from California, USA and Kieran from Omagh, Ireland met the old fashioned way, a chance encounter in person. It was at a pub (The Hawley Arms) in Camden, London in December 2011. Over to Nisha to tell us all about her multicultural Irish-Indian wedding.
My parents were in London visiting us from San Francisco in November 2014, and Kieran popped the question in front of them at the beginning of a lovely lunch at one of our favorite pubs in Belgravia, the Thomas Cubitt, a special place for our family. I was completely surprised, as was my mother, and we were immediately in tears! I was so overwhelmed; it actually took me a few moments to say YES! Even more surprising, I found out later on that Kieran had actually pulled my dad aside after we had breakfast earlier that morning and talked to him about our future plans and asked permission to marry me, and my dad had of course wholeheartedly supported him. Very traditional guy!
We got married at Lough Eske Castle, Donegal, Ireland in July 2015. A beautiful, romantic setting, and the sun came out just in time for our wedding allowing us to get married outside in the Rockery!
My dress, called a Bridal Lengha, was custom made and designed by Asha and Heera at Sari Palace in Berkeley, California (my mother helped of course, she had the idea for the colours). The skirt and top were hand beaded and embroidered in India. The fittings were a bit tricky to organise as I live in London, but we made it work. The final finished dress was shipped back to San Francisco, and then my mother carried it on the plane when she flew to Ireland. Truly an international effort!
My wedding jewellry was also from Sari Palace; I wore a traditional tikka (headpiece) with bangles on my wrists. I also wore anklets that I have had since I was young, so that was my ‘something old’.
The groom’s outfit
Dark blue 3-piece suit from Moss Bros. in London, with a teal green tie that actually came from a couture store in Dublin.
Groomsmen & bridesmaids outfit and accessory details
The bridesmaids wore custom made salwar kameez in cream and teal green variations, made at Sari Palace (same place as my bridal gown), and the Groomsmen wore Moss Bros. suits from London.
My most special accessory was my henna. My sister in law actually learned how to apply henna a few months before our wedding, and she came to Ireland prepared with drawings and henna paints. She applied henna to all of my bridesmaids, and then spent 6 hours applying henna to my arms and feet! Her patience was incredible, and it meant so much to me that she not only took the time to learn how to apply henna, but that she spent so much time actually planning the drawings and applying it. She integrated both hindu and celtic designs, and it turned out beautifully!
Wedding theme or colours if any
Our wedding colors were based on cream, green and gold tones.
The nearby lake provided an ideal setting for our photographs, as well as a perfect area for our guests to walk around and take in the lush Irish countryside.
Our wedding style was a fusion of Irish, Indian, and American traditions. It was so important to us to reflect our love of diverse culture and our love of our big families. Lough Eske in the summer provided the perfect backdrop, so it was easy to keep the decoration simple and just focus on flowers to enhance the rustic natural beauty.
The wedding flowers were provided by Donegal Flowers. Geraldine created my bridal bouquet which consisted of blush roses and greens. She made us our garlands as well!
The ceremony and traditions
As we had a multi-cultural wedding, we chose to honour some traditions from both Indian and Irish culture. Our ceremony was truly special and was the most significant part of our day. The ceremony consisted of 4 elements, 2 from Indian wedding tradition (mangal sutra and exchanging flower garlands) and 2 from Irish heritage (candles and hand-fasting with ribbons).
As we come from different parts of the world we wanted to feature our different backgrounds while also expressing the merge of our cultures and future lives. Our friends and family had never been to an Irish-Indian wedding before, and they were so thrilled to be a part of a diverse and exciting wedding!
Easiest part of wedding planning
My mother was the ultimate wedding planner, we couldn’t have done it without her, she made the entire process so easy and seamless for us – we were lucky.
Is it harder to plan a wedding when the couples are from different faiths/culture etc
We found the multi-cultural aspect to be the most exciting, we were thrilled to be able to create a unique wedding and merge our cultures.
Advice to give to other multicultural couples
Go for it an embrace each other’s differences, your life together will never be dull 🙂