A Whimsical, Vintage Feel Multicultural Wedding

Oh how i love Meena and James, who were married back in July. They combined their cultures beautifully, with Meena looking stunning in a traditional saree, followed by an elegant gown for the latter part of their day.

Meena used wedding blogs as her main source of inspiration {yay!} and her creativity shines through, using antique books, rustic flowers and oragami birds in their wedding decor…. LOVE!

Thanks so much to the amazing Newport based wedding photographer, Eleanor Jane Photography for sharing her work today, here is what she had to say about the day;

“Happy Birthday wedding to me! I turned 26 eating honey on toast in the conservatory of a pretty little b&b in Nottingham, watching the rain run down the conservatory windows and drown everything in the garden. Oh dear. Rain. I needn’t have worried though – the skies cleared at all the right moments and this stylish, vintage wedding was my birthday present!

Meena & James were so sweet and welcoming and have incredible taste. They live in a beautiful flat near the arboretum absolutely crammed full of vintage treasures… I could have happily photographed the entire wedding in their living room! Meena wore a stunning cream & gold sari for the ceremony and later changed into an Alice Temperley gown (which I have since been trawling ebay for! Take the hem up a foot or two and no-one would ever know it was a wedding dress… maybe!). James was also looking swish in a tweed suit and tan brogues – no traditional morning suits here!

The ceremony and reception were held in a village just outside the city at the 17th century Woodborough Hall. Big thanks to the wonderful coordinator Doug who didn’t have a smidge of evil dragon about him (hooray!) and even helped rearrange the furniture for a photo. The details and décor were fabulous and Meena had collected the most beautiful second hand books & glass wear for the table pieces. In fact, editing this wedding was almost too easy as everything was already perfect (if I do say so myself!) so it was extremely tricky to narrow the selection down to include here.”



Names…. Meena and James

Wedding Date…. 16th July 2011

The Proposal…James proposed in London, where I grew up. It was on the Southbank on the Thames, surrounded by street performers, breakdancers and people painted in gold. He proposed with a ring made of a paperclip shaped into a ring and wrapped with string. I was really shocked although we had been talking about marriage before. My parents knew he was going to do it as he’d asked my dad’s permission that afternoon. It was followed by champagne and chips by the river.  We then had a fun trip to the Birmingham jewellery quarter to buy our engagement ring. And then wedding planning began…

The Vision for the day….The wedding was my hobby for 8months. James said he was happy for me to plan most things but wanted to be able to veto things he didn’t like. We found it really hard to find a venue. It wasn’t until we found it that we could start to visualise the day. I had really wanted to get married in London but we couldn’t find the right venue. We did see a beautiful restaurant in Oxford which is called Gee’s-if you live near there, check it out. I loved it but it was just too far from both our homes. I’m really glad we didn’t go for it in the end as it’s so much more convenient to live near the venue. The venue we ultimately chose was actually in James home village and when we looked round, it felt perfect for us. It was a small manor house which felt intimate. And they had a lovely conservatory for the ceremony. We wanted something whimsical and colourful with a vintage feel. Music and good food was essential.

The Planning process… Blogs were a massive source of inspiration for me. Wedding magazines struck me a quite samey and too pastel. We spent the months prior scouring charity shops and eBay for vintage glass vases, old books and candlesticks. It was really cheap but it took a lot of searching. I love eBay so this was fun for me. James designed the invitations at home and we printed them out. We wanted them to look like a vintage bookplate. James has good IT skills so that helped. If you know someone good with a computer, befriend them now.

Everything kind of started to fall into place about 2 months before when we had our outfits and all the decor.

Budget…. We definitely wanted to be strict about this. We managed to save a lot of money by using eBay and charity shops. The things we didn’t want to scrimp on were food, good wine and outfits. The venue had terrible chairs and I don’t like chair covers so chairs were an essential cost!

The Venue…Woodborough Hall in Nottingham. An intimate country house with a gorgeous conservatory and lovely gardens to wander around in-as long as it’s not raining. Lovely decor, no bad carpet or chintz..Bad chairs though..

The Dress + Accessories….. Coming from a Sri Lankan background, I knew I wanted to wear a saree. We went on a trip to India and bought the saree there. It was fantastic to go to the saree shops and look at all the beautiful materials and colours. Then I wanted something more relaxed for the rest of the day. I found a gorgeous Temperley dress and purple Miu Miu heels. My hairband was from an Etsy shop called Whichgoose, which is in the US. She does the most gorgeous whimsical woodland style headpieces which were reasonably priced. A good option if you don’t want something too blingy.

Groom’s attire… When thinking about a suit, we weren’t keen on morning suits. We loved the idea of a tweed three piece suit. It suited the country style of the wedding and it felt more relaxed. His suit was from Gieves and Hawkes.

The Readings + Music…. James had played me the Beatles song called ‘I’ve just seen a face’ when we first met and I thought it was the sweetest song.  We walked out to The Ronettes ‘Be my baby’. Our readings were a Pablo Neruda poem and readings from a great little book called ‘Don’t for wives’ and ‘Don’t for husbands’ which are funny little 1920s advice for married couples. We wanted something romantic but also something light hearted.

One of the best finds for the wedding were our french gypsy jazz band called Manieres des Bohemians from Nottingham. They entertained everyone throughout the day young and old. We’ve been to see them play twice since -check them out!

Beautiful bridesmaids….. My best friend Grace and James’ sister Karen were our beautiful bridesmaids. They wore red and pink sarees. Big thanks to the tailor in Leicester who made our blouses, what a pro..

The Flowers… I was initially determined not to have a florist and do the flowers myself.  We found it hard to source flowers. In Nottingham, there weren’t any flower markets that sold to you unless you were a florist. In London, great places are Columbia Road and Covent Garden market but cheapest is by far the Western International market near Heathrow. You need to try and get there at 4-5am but it’s worth it. We didn’t regret having a florist. Her knowledge of flowers and her creativity was fantastic. We wanted a real mix of flowers and lots of colour. The florist really used her vision for the day. I gave her all our vases and I just said we wanted them to look wild and colourful. She had to reign me in a bit and said we should try to have a some theme so we went with the colours of the bridesmaids sarees. We were so happy with the result.

The Cake… The chocolate extravaganza that was our wedding cake was made by James’ mum. It was a Mary Berry recipe. His mum really enjoyed making it and it felt really special to have something made by her.

Your Photographer… The Faaabulous Eleanor Jane. Such a fantastic photographer who has a real eye for picking up on the details. She was organised and relaxed. We were delighted with the photos!

The Details + Decor…. I enjoyed just picking up things which I liked and wanted, not particularly caring whether they matched-sounds a bit mad but it works.  It’s nice to see the couple’s personality come through that way. I felt our decor was very much us. We displayed the antique books, vases and candlesticks on the tables. We used pretty vintage style wallpaper as table runner. My sister bought our lovely guestbook in Paris and our cake topper was from Melabo.

The Honeymoon…. A week in cottage beside Loch Tay in Scotland. It was nice to have a restful break after the wedding train left town. Just our own company and the neighbouring chickens. Mmm eggs and soldiers.

Memorable moments… Panic in the morning when the rain POURED down, and then joy as the sun started to break through just as we were pronounced husband and wife.

Advice for other couples… Be creative and have fun. Enjoy the day. There is bound to be a few things that might not be perfect but don’t fret, you’ve worked hard to organise it so just enjoy the day.


Thanks so much to Meena and James, what a beautiful way to combine two cultures, and i love Meena’s advice to be creative and fun… my kinda bride ;-) xoxo Lou

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