Has your wedding day been affected by Corona? Or a wedding you were due to attend?
Did you know that due to lockdown, this has affected a staggering 73,600 weddings and civil partnership ceremonies across England and when they did return it meant ceremonies were to be dramatically reduced in size?
I am a multi-award-winning wedding planner with over 25 years’ experience in working within Events and specialising in weddings for the last 8 years.
I am an industry expert who has run/managed and planned over 50 weddings and specialises in Asian, dry hire and marquee/outdoor weddings
I'm here to tell you that if you feel your day will be too different from what you wanted if you did go ahead, I don't believe you will be disappointed as you think, and my latest wedding is the reason why I say that.
I apologise now for some of the grainy photos that I took, but when you are on the hop running around, you take what you can when you can, and I'm no David Bailey and my iPhone is no Cannon.
So last Saturday saw my first wedding of the Covid season and I wanted to share Nisha and Neel’s special day. I was chosen as their preferred #AsianWeddingPlanner to manage their small and intimate wedding day.
We were only contracted back in February, less than a year before their wedding by our lovely couple, to manage their celebration at Poundon House in Oxfordshire.
They needed the help of a Wedding Planner that was familiar with Hindu weddings to orchestrate their dream multi-ceremony wedding of around 300 guests so they contacted BusyBrides Wedding Planners.
We are known for our robust Wedding Day Management service and being a multi-ceremony day we knew it was going to be complex, but as a self-confessed Indophile, I also knew it was going to be a fun day regardless of how complex the wedding was going to be with moving around guests from one place to another. Then Covid struck and we were all set to postpone their date to May 2021.
Then the couple had decided to have their multi-ceremony now with a larger celebration next year. However once the bride visited her venue and walked through her day with the owner Esmond, she soon realised that it was just as complex post-covid with 27 guests as it would have been with a full guest count, so with that we were bought back on board within 10 days of the wedding.
With that, I flew up to Oxfordshire the very next day to meet my lovely Bride and walk through their day to understand how they wanted their day to run. We soon fully understood what was included and where all the various Hindu ceremony and rituals were going to take place around the venue and once we had done that we were then able to plan a dry and wet timeline, and a good thing we did as we did see some rain.
I was certainly kept on my toes during their day with some chair shenanigans along the way and having to consider the social distancing and individual household bubbles throughout on top that, but I just loved every minute of their wedding.
I won’t lie I have been disappointed with the figures allowed for weddings by the government (albeit I do understand why) and I was feeling sad for those that have had to dramatically reduce their guest list but having now had this wedding of only 27 last weekend, It was incredible. I just can't see anyone really being disappointed.
The wedding was so intimate and felt so personal. I have never experienced such togetherness not to mention great banter between everyone. Every guest was included in every moment. It was like being in the moment, the here and the now, and even I felt many times that I was part of the wedding party, not to mention part of the banter. To call that work when the entire day was a sheer pleasure for me is just incredible. I feel so blessed.
We started our day with the Barrat from the gates of the venue down to the house. This is one of my favourite parts of a Hindu wedding, as it is such a fun experience with music and dancing. However, this time, due to Covid we couldn’t have the music, but still enjoyed seeing some of the groom’s family “twisting some lightbulbs” enjoying the procession with a little dance with their fabulous Dohl Player, Amit!
For those that don’t know, the Barrat is a large gathering of family and friends. It represents the arrival of the Groom on the day of the wedding. The Groom can arrive on horseback or in a vehicle of his choosing. Not only does the Baraat begin a couple’s wedding, but it also begins their happy life together!
On Saturday our Groom was in this gorgeous highly decorated sparkly Bollywood bling Indian Ambassador wedding car from Kushi Cars. www.kushicars.co.uk
If I can just intervene in my own blog here, that Kushi Cars is run by the gorgeous Suzie who provided the most fantastic service by going over and above. She took the time to drive out around Oxfordshire to find some places around the countryside that she thought would be fitting for some photos for the couple after their Vidaai.
An amazing unexpected service that I felt shouldn’t go unnoticed here as I so appreciate suppliers going over and above.
From the Baratt we went on to a traditional Indian breakfast and shortly after I ushered the Brides family only over to the house for the Puja, another traditional ceremony that is an intricate part of their day.
The Puja involves offering light, incense, flowers and food to the gods. During Puja the worshippers will chant mantras, which are prayers and verses from the Hindu holy books
Whilst their Puja ceremony did overrun, once this was finished we could move on to their second smaller Baraat with their Dohl Player leading my Groom and his family to the Mandap.
Then we started with the various Hindu rituals followed by their ceremony. So much banter and fun was had during this entire time from when the Groom was tied up with string right through to the end walking around the ceremonial fire. Despite seating everyone in their own specific bubbles, everybody just felt to be so together, so to speak.
One of my favourite images from the wedding is the absolutely gorgeous backdrop of Poundon House that goes on for miles with a beautiful net of flowers at the back of the Mandap and once the vibrant colours of my Bride and Groom and their families arrived, it was truly a visual delight!
Nisha looked sensational in her gown, so intricate and beautiful and her Henna was to die for. I wish I had got a photo, it had a stethoscope to relate back to her being a Doctor, and a pair of virtual goggles for Neel to represent him, plus it had both their names written in her Henna, that I could just not see for love nor money until she pointed them out. Very clever henna work and she looked incredible. Don’t get me wrong, Neel looked equally amazing in his outfit too wearing a burgundy and cream Hindu suit and matching shoes, that he found very difficult to keep hold of during the day and had to pay a hefty sum to get them back!
As a #weddingplanner that does many Asian weddings, you come to expect the unexpected but compared to many, their day actually ran like clockwork with minimum lateness. If you know Asian weddings you will know that lateness is part and parcel of the day, but we didn't do too bad at all.
The day wouldn’t have been as perfect without the amazing suppliers we had the pleasure to work with. The venue was showered with stunning flowers by the Cotswold Flower Company who did an amazing job of her bouquet and decorating the cute Mandap that was perfect for dressing, by Mandap for Hire.
The lovely venue of Poundon House that has more rooms than we even knew what to do with and lovely views across the countryside. All these special touches were captured by lovely Kat of Bond Photography, who from what I have seen so far, has taken the most wonderful photographs for the couple.
Following welcome drinks after the Hindu Ceremony, we then had their civil ceremony. We had a very tight turnaround to ensure all the flowers were relocated and upcycled where necessary, the live stream was removed and Mandap and staging dismantled and all signs removed, plus all the chairs that were labelled needed to be mirror swapped around to face in the other direction for the civil ceremony.
We follow all the relevant guidelines to ensure we were Covid compliant again and put all the chairs back in their bubbles and it went very well without a single hitch. The ceremony was fairly quick and whilst it was a shame not to see an entrance or exit procession the closeness of the families right there made up for any loss of other elements.
After this, following a confetti gauntlet, as much as I could plan one with only 27 people, we had the Vidaai.
A Vidaai is when the Hindu bride leaves her home to start a new life with her husband, the goodbyes are heart-warming and tearful. Nisha walks away spreading happiness and prosperity with handfuls of rice which is normally thrown over the brides head to show her appreciation and love from her parents and family. It sees her get into a car and drive off with her new husband.
This was also Nisha & Neel’s opportunity to spend a little time together and go off to have some photos.
When the couple returned we were due to have their grand entrance as husband and wife, their cake cutting and evening reception. Nisha got changed into a stunning emerald green dress, she looked incredible, whilst Neel changed into a lovely blue suit.
Now I know they say blue and green should never been seen unless there is something in between, but between them was so much love and romance that day, they would be forgiven for that!
They had planned a lovely sweetheart top table for two to continue that romantic intimate feel and enjoyed all their guests in front of them for their delicious wedding breakfast.
The couple and guests truly relaxed and enjoyed the day as every detail was taken care of. By choosing the right wedding planner that is familiar with their culture, they knew their entire day would be managed professionally and with military precision.
BusyBrides does all the legwork taking the stress of coordinating the different suppliers. We deal with caterers, the florists, photographers, staffing and venue owners etc. and we are the central point of contact between you and suppliers ensuring that you and your family are not disturbed throughout their day. With my day coordination service, you can enjoy the run-up to your wedding day in matrimonial bliss.
We are professional and experienced wedding planners for Asian and all styles of weddings so you can rest assured that you and your wedding is in safe hands.
There is only one thing left to say and that is Nisha and Neel were an absolute pleasure to work for and their families too were also such a pleasure to spend time with. I guess the apples do not fall far from the trees. Just a beautiful bunch of people together. It was a real honour to have been able to manage their intimate and romantic day and be a part of their wedding journey.
Due to postponements, we are very busy for 2021 now, but we do have some dates left so drop us an email here if you think you may need Wedding Day Management for your special day and take away all the stress of dealing with multiple suppliers so you can focus just on you. You don't want to run the event of your day, you should be the VIP on your wedding day.
You can also check out the blog from Poundon House on their take on Nisha and Neel’s wedding day. https://poundonhouse.com/blog/micro-weddings-at-poundon-house/
Event Décor https://www.mandapforhire.co.uk
Dohl Player: Amit 07894200928
Live Streaming: https://www.danlambournephotography.com/live-streaming-weddings
If you would like a smaller event, then why not pop over to our blog on how to reduce your guest list
during covid, or our blog to keep the invite list lean in general if you are having a regular-sized wedding, but need to keep the headcount in check.