Tell us about the proposal…
Sonny and I had been together for 5 years, on our dating anniversary, there was a hand-written riddle inside my card that explained I needed to book some time off for a trip and that it was going to be special, but that I would have to guess the location from the riddles I would receive every week up until we went away.
They kept coming and talked of toasting our future, explaining what I needed to pack. I am terrible at trying to find out surprises, so I kept asking things like whether I need my passport which he was adamant I did not. He knew me so well, that I would be checking to see if he had taken my passport! At the time I was living with my parents and made sure the night before, my passport was still with their passports, and he snuck it out in the morning.
He did not make it easy for me to guess the location of our trip as I had to take each first letter from the riddles and then work out the two clue words. Miraculously after a strop I was able to guess Julius Ceaser – and that we were going to Rome!
It was such a beautiful place and when we went to the Colosseum he became a bit edgy and a part of me thought he was going to propose, but he didn’t, so I told myself off! When we got back to the hotel room he asked me to hold his hands and said he had not just brought me to Rome for our anniversary, but that he wanted to ask me a question and got down on one knee. It was lovely it ended up just being the two us.
Where did you get married and how did you pick the venue?
We got married in Edinburgh. My husband is Hindu and initially we had planned on a big fat Indian wedding. However, the longer we were together and more weddings we went to, he decided he wanted something more intimate and traditional. We thought about some of our favourite weddings and the ones where we had to travel and stay over meant the wedding lasted longer and everyone got to spend more time together. A bit like with Indian weddings, I loved that a destination wedding meant everyone was well acquainted before the big day.
We had taken a trip to Edinburgh and spoiled ourselves and stayed at the Waldorf Astoria, the Caledonian that overlooks the castle. It was beautiful and I suggested we get married there. It gave us an excuse for another trip and we met with the events team and were sold!
We had our ceremony in a separate room to the reception, both are hand painted with beautiful designs that are listed and have very different feels.
How did you find our Boutique?
I have driven past the boutique as a little girl in the back of my parents car on our way to Stratford and then later admiring the window every day on my way to college and to visit my late grandparents. My sister and I would swoon over the beautiful window dressing. It seemed the perfect place to go and also to ask my friends and sister to be my bridesmaids and maid of honour.
What I did not know at the time was how amazing Madi and her team were!
What made you decide your dress was the one & what did you love most about it?
When I arrived, I had been to a couple of shops with just my best friend and close family and had been paranoid about seeing myself in photos where the dresses looked bad. Madi advised against photos and that it would complicate my judgement – this was great advice.
I told Madi my budget and had my bridesmaids pick out suggestions. I then spotted a long-sleeved lace dress (Jesus Peiro) that Madi advised was out of budget, but I said I would try just for ideas…..
We had so much fun in the boutique, Madi made it really special and had a really good instinct for what we all liked, I feel in love with her a bit! I was surprised how quickly we whittled it down to two very different dresses. The lace-sleeved one I had picked up and a satin ballgown which would have looked great in the venue. Final call came to my dad. ball gown – he simply said “no”, lacey number – “wow”. He had us all welling up. He then proceeded to haggle with Madi and sealed the deal with some pork pies and bread (he had his own bakeries and knows what he is doing in that department!)
I thought the accessorises could really change the style of the dress, so I was keen to go for something classic but also a tad princess vibe – so a detailed headpiece and a simple veil. There is such great choice at the boutique, it was tough. But nice to have an excuse to go a couple of times and see Madi and the team, it is all part of the special experience!
When I came to have my fittings, I started to think I wanted something extra with the dress when I took the jacket off for a different look on the night, as my husband was changing into a Tuxedo. We then looked at some sparkly belts and found one that had been discontinued missing a few jewels that Abi the seamstress said she could replace. After splashing out on the dress, this meant an affordable option that added the much needed sparkle to the evening. It looked fabulous when she had worked her magic.
I had four bridesmaids and my sister as maid of honour. My bridal party all have their own styles and have different hair colour and skin tones so I wanted each to have their own style that they picked and loved. We also got their dresses from the bridal boutique and it was as, if not more, enjoyable watching them pick their dresses as picking mine.
I had initially thought a mix of green and blues. Madi advised me on picking one and going for different shades of the colour. She put the swatches together and I could see she was right and it would not work as a mix of the two for the look I was going for. I also decided against mixing materials, and went for shades of green and left the girls to pick their styles! My maid of honour had the darkest colour and then two sets of two bridesmaids in the other shades. They all looked stunning and super confident as they had picked their own dresses that suited their style and figures. I also bought ties and pocket squares via the boutique and seamstress in matching material for the groomsmen, which bought the theme together with my green flowers and eucalyptus.
What did your groom wear?
For the ceremony, he wore a traditional morning suit from Gieves and Hawes. a black morning coat, dove grey waistcoat, white shirt, grey/pale blue patterned tie and grey pinstripe trousers.
In the evening he changed into a tuxedo from the same company, with a matching waistcoat, very handsome in both in my opinion!
It was the most special weekend. My dad has been very poorly over the last few years and I was terrified he would not be here to walk me down the aisle. I was emotional but elated he was able to come to Edinburgh and enjoy the magical city it is, when he arrived at the hotel with my mom, my heart burst. Getting messages the day before and seeing friends arrive from all over the world also made me emotional to think of the efforts people had gone to. There was a real buzz at the hotel and I had a lovely impromptu dinner with a number of friends and family the night before.
On the morning of the wedding I was nervous, but we had so much fun getting ready with my makeup artist and hair stylist, photographer and videographer. Everyone involved was fab and made it the most special day, and lots of laughter and smiling, joyous faces. I was really looking forward to seeing Suraj.
I have so many favourite moments, but I think the standout moment was the Dhol drummers I had organised as a surprise for my husband to play us into the reception. He looked so surprised and happy, and I was keen to incorporate something from his culture. It was so special, as we started to walk into the reception, my father in law was up dancing straight away, everyone started to follow us clapping and waving their hands, by the time we reached the front of the dance floor all of our guests were up and joining us and we went straight into dancing to bhangra music – it was an amazing atmosphere.