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First of all congratulations on getting married! Your lockdown wedding will inspire a lot of couples that are unsure to proceed with the wedding or wait for the pandemic to pass…
Back in November 2019 we had been together for about 1.5 years and we decided to take a trip to India and toured around North India. I have always wanted to visit all the palaces that Rajasthan had to offer; not to mention the iconic one of all love stories the Taj Mahal. So we set off for 3 weeks to India embracing all its history and love stories that came with it. Unknowing that our love story was going to become an ever lasting one. After visiting one of the most famous palace in Jaipur; City Palace and a long day of touring we went back to our hotel, tired and ready for food. Once back at the hotel we got ready and went down for dinner, and straight after went for a long walk around the hotel grounds. The Hotel we stayed at was called Shiv Vilas and had the most beautiful architecture I had ever seen and in the evening it was even more beautiful, all lit up. It was then when wondering around he got down on one knee and asked me to Marry him!!!!
Tell us about your proposal and initial wedding plans?
As soon as he proposed I was already planning our wedding for February 2021 for that, a destination wedding too. On our trip we could see how romantic and beautiful India was which made our decision to get married there easy. Originally we had decided on a wedding in Udaipur as it was known as the ‘city of lakes’ for a perfect wedding and a back drop that immersed our love story. However after visiting Goa for my cousins wedding we decided that Goa was the perfect location; sun, sea and sand and also mimicking the Raja’s palaces we found Resort Rio, which had everything we wanted for our perfect destination wedding, with a intimate civil wedding back in the UK.
What was your first reaction when you found out about the lockdown? What encouraged you to go ahead with the wedding plans?
Unfortunately our plans soon came to a halt when COVID-19 struck the UK and the rest of the world stopping travel, weddings and other gatherings. We were so disappointed and upset but still optimistic that everything will be okay, and so we decided we would postpone the wedding to allow us to carry on our plans. Again our plans were interrupted by COVID-19 and this time it seemed that planning any kind of destination wedding would be impossible.
How long did it take to organise a lockdown wedding? What were the challenges you faced?
Due to all the delays and the uncertainty of COVID we decided we ‘just wanted to get married’ simply for the fact that how long do you wait? How long do we keep waiting to do all the things that come after marriage. Getting married and planning a wedding is only a small part to what is the beginning of a life time together. As the guidelines changed and 30 people were now allowed to attend weddings, we immediately jumped to do our ‘Legal’ wedding simply as we do not know when we could do our Hindu ceremony and didn’t want to wait any longer for the things that were actually in our control. It was all a bit of a spare of the moment decision, and so I called the registry office. Again we hit a stumbling block many registry offices and venues were fully booked after calling several places around Manchester….. We finally managed to secure a date in Crewe, only one problem, we now only had 4 weeks to plan the civil wedding and after party!!!
What did you love most about your dress? How did you choose the ‘THE ONE’? Did you have a colour theme?
My Dress- the one thing I could have a little control over when everything was going pear shaped! Originally I had decided I wanted a white wedding dress with a Indian fusion twist. With limited time and many places not open or open by appointment only, I came across Payal and her couture shop in London! She was amazing immediately made me feel comfortable and looking around her shop I was totally in love with the design and detail of all the dresses that were on show. I tried on about 5 dresses; when my sister and bridesmaids pointed out a sparkler, a fully embellished dress which was the total opposite of the ones I had in mind. I immediately tried it on and completely fell in love. I felt (sorry for the cheesy quote) but truly like a princess! It actually fit like a glove, like the dress was made for me, the only thing was it wasn’t a one piece which is what I originally wanted. Payal did not hesitate to offer suggestions to make it perfect and so we decided to make a belt which made the dress complete and also offered me alternative ways to wear the dress! The dress I picked wasn’t even my colour scheme of a traditional white wedding dress but a champagne dress with a Lillic mesh blouse and scarfs completely embellished. Luckily this all matched the outfits I had picked for my bridesmaids, Mum and Aunty!
Who was actually present at the wedding ceremony in person? How did you manage your guest list?
I decided to go with local vendors and friends who have hidden talents, as we only had 4 weeks left and many people especially the wedding industry have been hit hard by the pandemic. My Family and I got to action in booking a restaurant for the wedding breakfast, flowers, table decorations, the cake, photographer and of course sorting out the guest list of 30 (which did not include vendors and the bride and groom), the most important thing above all this was where was I going to get my dress and will I get one in time!!! Low and behold much to our surprise we hit another stumbling block when guidelines changed and only 15 people were now allowed to attend the ceremony and the uncertainty if our wedding on the 10.10.20 would go ahead. All vendors had to go on standby, but they were all so understanding. The guest list had to be changed at the last minute and so we decided to only have our immediate family present and 1 friend each (this included parents siblings and our aunties, uncles and grandparents) luckily this made the 14 people. We also had around 70 groups of people from around the world join in on a zoom call so they could watch the ceremony! Which made it even more special!
What was the most memorable moment of the day?
The most memorial moment of the wedding was seeing his face when he saw me in my dress and the sparkle in his eyes, which made all the stress and uncertainty go away. In my head I was like we made it we are getting married, and actually it was not what we had wanted but it was still perfect, everyone we wanted was there either in person or virtually no one really missed out!
Tips for brides to be in lockdown, what one thing would you recommend?
I would say COVID isn’t going away so instead of letting it ruin plans and lives I would say just go for it, no matter what you plan it will be perfect for you! And getting married isn’t about pleasing everyone its about making a promise to be with someone for the rest of your life. Planning and having the civil wedding during COVID actually was less stressful then what I had originally planned and we actually remember it, there was no hustle and bustle worrying about if you had spoken to that aunty or remembering that uncles name. It was just so nice to be able to do such a intimate wedding!!!
What are you both up to now, what are your plans for the future?
Since our wedding we have now decided we will now be doing our Hindu Ceremony in the UK and use the lessons learnt from our civil to make it a small and intimate using local vendors who have suffered through this pandemic and they are much more understanding! I will be doing my outfit shopping through Payal too. We are also hoping once COVID allows we will be able to do our honeymoon. We are currently just settling in to our home as a new married couple.
Photographer: Gurveer Birdi Photography and Lucy Robyn Photography
Venue: Crewe Municipal Building
Restaurant Venue: K2H Creative Indian Kitchen (Sandbach)
Florist and table decorations: Beautiful Creations by Kanta
Make up and Hair: Sujata Patel MUA