A Colourful Happy Multicultural Brighton Wedding

Brighton wedding

Noy and Hugh tied the knot in Kolkata back in February and wanted to have a second wedding in their home town of Brighton in June. It was important that the celebration was colourful, loud and happy. There were a combination of Scottish and Bengali cultures, with live streaming to loved ones that couldn’t make it.

I am so head over heels for this fun day. Noy drove herself to the ceremony, wearing a gorgeous Monsoon dress and some super cool sunnies. Hugh went for his trusty Kilt ensemble with quirky buttonhole.

There are too many things to mention about their wedding, from the gorgeous blooms, to the home made touches and visit to the beach. Immense.

Thanks so much to the brilliant Michelle Turnbull for sharing her images with us today.

 

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The Proposal… We met at a mutual  friend’s leaving do in 2007, shortly after both moving to Brighton. Just before Christmas 2010, we started things in earnest with a kiss, a chat and things went from there. In October 2012, Hugh went for it as we were walking along the beach to town discussing how to transform me into a portrait of Dorian Grey and Hugh into a zombie . He wobbled down on one knee on a narrow groyne and gave me the ring he had made – a micromachine (a replica of our blue van) mounted on a ring, coloured blue with our van’s touch up paint :) He knew he’d swept me away as I lept onto his knee, and babbled out the affirmative!

The Vision for the Day…  loud and happy, beach and ceilidh, colourful, with lots of friends and family to make it awesome, online streaming of the ceremony as we couldn’t fit everyone in and that’s how I (Noy) keep in touch with my parents in india, so it felt right!

The Planning Process… I am awful at planning, but like having blue sky ideas and Hugh is dreamy but is very good at making dreams come true. He is Scottish, I’m Bengali, so the budget was very important. My parents gave us an unforgettable and pretty extravagant Indian wedding in Kolkata in Feb 2013 with 40 UK guests and about 800 (!) Indian guests. Our UK do was going to be much smaller. We emailed invites which made things less stressful but might not be everyone’s cup of tea. We confirmed the ceremony at the town hall and the reception venue in December, 6 months in advance and the rest between Feb and May, we also booked a parking space for our van through the council which was useful and spoke to the carousel owner in advance. Hugh’s cousins Roz and Nick who live near us were instrumental in guiding us, making decorations and giving us their studio and home as a workshop for the magic to unfold and our friends all contributed with their time and enthusiasm.

Budget… £15,000 including honeymoon for a wedding with 130 guests.

The Venue… Ceremony for 50 close family and friends at Brighton Town Hall, streamed live online to the reception venue Fabrica to remaining 80 guests, an ‘interlude on the beach’ for bubbles and canapés and a carousel ride for all.

The Dress + Accessories… The necklace and bracelet were those worn by my Ma on Ma and Baba’s wedding day, earrings given to me when I was bridesmaid for my mate Becci, the dress was from Monsoon, shoes from La Redoute, fresh flowers in my hair.

Finding the Dress… I was definitely not going to bust my budget on the dress but wanted it to feel special and be ceilidh friendly. Hugh seemed to hint that he would like it to be white and I was happy with that. My mate Louise and I loved it while we were browsing on the Monsoon website so I ordered two sizes online, one of which fitted just right. Carlotta from Monsoon, admittedly, my mum’s jewellery is worth a bit more ;)

Groom’s Attire… He looked a treat! We bought Hugh’s posh white shirt before the India celebrations from Jermyn street and the socks were new too. He bought the silk tie in India. His clan kilt, the belt, the waist coat, the kilt jacket and the sporran are his long standing, much-loved wedding attire for many (!) years, and the sgian dubh is his ‘kukri’ knife from Darjeeling when we went travelling together.

The Readings + Music… We enjoyed choosing these together. Hugh was reading the translated works of the famous Bengali poet and author Rabindranath Tagore so we chose the poem  called ‘Light, my light’ which Hugh’s sister Kirsty read for us. The second reading was done by my two oldest friends Nayana and Neha, who I know from when I was 5 years old. It is about learning to balance in a relationship, and is called  ‘Dance’ by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, perfect as my hobby is lindy hopping. Hugh waited for me to Moroccan music by Ali Farka Toure, who he discovered on his multiple surfing trips to Essouaira and who he listened to while waiting to see me in India. I walked in with my Baba to ‘Hoppipolla’ by Sigur ros and we exited to ‘Bathtime in clerkenwell’ by The Real Tuesday Weld. My cousin Anamika sang the Scottish song ‘Wild mountain thyme’ beautifully while strumming on the guitar as we signed the register.

Beautiful Bridesmaids… no official bridesmaids, but obviously my little sister, my family, my childhood friends and our close friends were all unbelievably helpful on the day!

The Flowers… The bouquet and 9 buttonholes were made by Amparo and her team at Ginger lily florist. Hydrangea is one of my mother’s favourite flowers, lily of the valley is my mum in law’s and the thistle and yellows of craspedia and daisies represented Hugh and I. I bought the thistle, baby’s breath, white astilbe and solidago for the venue and tables from the local flower wholesale market with my mum in law. Then she, and my two friends Claire and Monique arranged them beautifully into jamjars and nutella jars that I had gathered over the months and we tied raffia to make it pretty.

The Cake… Hugh’s cousin Becky made our fabby delicious Elephant cake which was carrot cake , and Hugh’s mum made a gluten free fruit cake. We also had a collective pudding table with fresh fruit, baklava, meringues, cake pops, rocky road, , rhubarb fool, lemon tarts, brownies, red velvet cake, choc biscuit cake, muffins, jelly, cheesecake etc etc, all made by friends and family – it was amazing! We also had amazing British cheeses , fruits and crackers.

Your Photographer… Super dooper Michelle Turnbull from Michelle Turnbull photography. She was wonderfully enthusiastic and bent over backwards for us! I was introduced to her through one of our friends and we loved her portfolio. She was bubbling with excitement for us, having just got married herself and gave us lots of insight into what to expect, and on the day,  was calm, organised and captured the memories in a way we will enjoy forever.

The Details + Decor… A lot of our requirements were dealt with by our cousin or family. Practical equipment like PA systems, mikes, PAT tested extension leads, Ethernet cables for the live streaming of the ceremony and disco were begged, borrowed or bought. Our cousin Doug organised our chosen lists of music perfectly and the ceilidh band proved to us that we had chosen well.  Our friend Richard did the lighting and completely transformed the venue with festoon lights and highlighted the best of Fabrica, the decorations and even programmed our festoon lights to become disco lights!

Onto decorations then, my sister Sreeja fused celtic and Indian symbols including a dragon from hugh’s kilt belt to produce the design that we laser engraved inside hugh’s ring and printed on our order of ceremony and menu cards.

Our caterers Simon and Karen were lovely and indulged our various requests for shared meat and veg platters on wooden planks placed on tomato cans, with delicious focaccia as well as delicious tagines, pomegranate jewelled couscous and salads of broad bead and feta and Moroccan argan oil seasoned tomatoes. Our cheese tower was awesome, and even had british caboc which we love and the seating arrangements were exactly as we had hoped!

Planning decorations was our cousin ros’ and my effort, and she borrowed a lot of equipment for us. We used a lot of yellow as I love that colour. We had lots of pompoms as that’s my nickname at home and ros helped us and our friends make a production line of boats, kites, fish and elephants from willow withies and kite paper in a series of workshops. The confetti was a mixture of chopped up remnants of kite paper in one basket and flowers given by hugh or from my bridesmaid bouquet dried over the months in another (some of our friends brought their own too, just in case I forgot!).  We bought the 600 metres of colourful bunting from the streets of Kolkata when we had our India celebrations in feb. Our cousin also hand painted a photo booth for us – me as an Indian princess and Hugh in his kilt on a surf board with the brighton pavilion and sea gulls behind us – just amazing! I blew a conch shell which is a lucky sound in India at the reception. We had lots of shark-shaped extra large bubble wands at the beach which were good fun too. Our table plan was a large hoola hoop (my hobby) with ropes tied by my sea faring husband and wooden washing pegs with names on them. My parents were absolutely wonderful to us and travelled from India with 130 comic books on their suitcases, each about a Hindu god, goddess or famous literary figure, all of which I used to read as a child. We handed out these out as favours with a little leaflet explaining how our Indian ceremony unfolded. My final favourite touch was placing my Indian wedding veil and his Indian wedding robe on our chairs, with the sacred knot that was tied in India joining the two.

The Honeymoon… Thanks to the generosity of our family and friends, we went to Sardinina – which was totally magic! We hired a car, drove round the island for 12 days, mixing awesome boutique hotels with wonderful rustic farm agriturismos, eating to the brim, seeing flamingos, turtles, wild horses, roman ruins, quartz and wild beaches, walking in canyons and scrambling up rocks, drinking fresh spring water, bandit museums, classic sailing boat trips, sea kayaking, natural swimming pools, sea urchin’s eggs picked off rocks, wine, cheese, meats, gelato, sun, great people, the trip of a lifetime!

Memorable Moments… umm… the whole 10 days leading to it, the day itself and the lunch hosted by Hugh’s cousins the day after were all unforgettable (I was too excited for alcohol, so everything is crystal clear). Eg driving with my dad to the ceremony in our blue van covered in bunting, Hugh at the ceremony, everyone beaming, Hugh replacing the words ‘I do’ at the town hall with “all of the above”, having our rings presented on Hugh’s late granny’s quaigh in remembrance of her, seeing the guests on the carousel, our 85 year old great aunt catching my bouquet as I threw it from the carousel, the collective pudding and cheese yumminess, having my childhood (from age 5) friends from India, America and Amsterdam there and the wonderful speeches from my Baba, the best men, and of course Hugh (I chose to forget my blabbering!) Oh and most recently, using the name pegs from the table plan to hang our washing after the honeymoon! And so on, the moments just keep coming : )

Advice for Other Couples… Think ahead, (excel spreadsheets help),  be level headed about the budget , get others involved as it doubles and triples the fun, and be prepared to be flexible. Then immerse yourself completely and fully into celebrating the wonderful day with your family, friends and of course, your lucky selves!

Credit Where Credit is Due…

Ceremony and online live internet streaming |  Brighton Town Hall

Reception | at (the beach) and Fabrica 

Catering | Food Solutions Partnership and equipment from Hire-All

Printing | 4 Print and Design and Staples

Rings | Exclusive Jewellery

Flowers | Ginger Lily

Hair and Makeup | Powder Beauty

Decorations | A medley of Indian street decorations and our cousin Roz’s art direction at [email protected]

Lighting | Rich Gilson at [email protected]

Artwork for ring and order of ceremony by my sister Sreeja Basu at [email protected]

Ceilidh | Ceilidh

Photographer | Michelle Turnbull Photography

Now that looks like a wedding anyone would want to be a guest at! Thanks so much to Noy and Hugh for sharing their beautiful wedding with us today XOXO Lou

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6 Comments

  • Your wedding looks so special. We are based near Brighton and it is so lovely to see all your wedding celebrations around the city. Congratulations to you both!

  • One word…FUN! I’m loving this rainbow trend in colours, and this wedding and couple fit so well with the theme – beautiful!

  • The colours are refreshingly beautiful and the flags are great fun – looks like a lovely day!

  • thanks so much guys, i love this fun wedding :-) Xx

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