What a colourful treat we have in store for you WWWers today. A multicultural affair, with Greek and Sri Lankan food, paper lanterns adoring the ceiling and a whole lot of love and laughter!
Selena and Ramesh wed at Trinity Buoy Wharf, London on 11th February 2017. One of my favourite venues; you really can make the space your own and Selena and Ramesh absolutely went to town! The ceremony took place in the candle and fairy lit Electrician’s Shop, which is just so atmospheric. The reception was quite the contrast with light bright walls covered in gorgeous florals and a fabulous scheme of oranges and pinks. Both of our lovely couple’s cultures came into play with Greek evil eye charms and a streaming multicoloured ribbon backdrop.
Selena looked stunning in her Sassi Holford dress and I’m just in love with the accompanying cape! The beautiful bridesmaids’ blush dresses complement her just perfectly. Ramesh is equally dapper in his Reiss suit, which he decided on rather last minute!
Aren’t the images from Supplier Love members Babb Photo really something special? Thank you ever so much for sharing them with us Laura. Plus on hand to film their day were WWW faves Kitebox. Dream team!
THE PROPOSAL | Let’s put it this way, I knew Ramesh was up to something months before and at the best of times I know what my husband is thinking so it’s not really his fault. He proposed on Formentera Island on the 1st July 2016. Knowing my love of the sea, Ramesh took me to Europe’s highest voted beach where perhaps he thought it would be romantic or just plain funny to immerse us in it’s freezing waters, there he sheepishly sank to his knees & popped the question through chattering teeth & a goofy smile…I laughed, said yes & got out pronto!
THE VISION | Bright & very colourful, quirky, fun, something a little different, an amalgamation of our Tamil/Greek & British cultures, we wanted our guests to be well looked after, our core values observed & thereafter nothing too serious, oh, and a short engagement!
THE PLANNING PROCESS | Soon enough after the proposal it became clear that Ramesh wasn’t into the creative side & instead excelled himself at the monetary side of things. This considered along with just under 5 months to plan a big wedding in London in a way that we felt was meaningful, meant we needed help – a lot of it! After doing some research, I came across Liz Linkleter & team who thankfully took us on & helped us enormously with the high level of detail required as well as keeping me relaxed, it felt very reassuring to have professionals in charge who understood our vision for the day. Another reason for having Liz on board, is that concurrent to planning this wedding, preparations were being made for our next wedding, an even larger Hindu ceremony taking place just weeks after this one.
BUDGET | Over budget!
THE VENUE | Trinity Buoy Wharf, both the electrician’s shop gallery for the ceremony & the Chainstore for the reception thanks to it’s unique urban setting. We heard about this place via friends who had attended a wedding there, it was perfect location & venue for us being London/City based. After falling in love with the venue, the only availability they had was on Ramesh’s birthday or later the following year, we weren’t prepared to wait that long so we went for Ramesh’s birthday – it was also the anniversary date of our meeting so it felt special.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Sassi Holford dress made to measure 2017 line & cape, evening beaded cape Eliza Jane Howell. shoes – Emmy London, earrings – accessories – can’t remember but I didn’t wear them in the end!
FINDING THE DRESS | Was challenging at the start, as I don’t fit into a ‘type’ which could have helped narrow down the search. I had visited various places gradually becoming more despondent as the days went by, also I was cutting it fine in terms of having any dress made in time. A friend was married in Sassi earlier in the year & an appointment was made though I needn’t have worried as a simple but punchy column dress from her next 2017 line caught my eye – with an incredible cape which softened the look for the ceremony. It was meant to be, in my younger years I had dreamed of wearing a cape on my wedding day, it’s impossible to articulate how I felt wearing them! Later on I removed the cape and wore a shorter Eliza Jane Howell beaded cape for the dinner/evening, kindly lent to me by Zara of Portraits Bridal.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | In typical Ramesh fashion, the suit was purchased at the last moment & tailored a couple of weeks prior to the wedding from the helpful staff at Canary Wharf Reiss – we joke this is his pheasant hunting costume (FYI we do NOT pheasant hunt)!
THE READINGS & MUSIC | 1st reading consisted of a few verses taken from an ancient Tamil Scripture, the Tirukkural which Uncle Dani Kumar & Ramesh’s sister Shankari were kind enough to read in Tamil/translate in English.
2nd reading – The owl & the pussy cat for it’s comical/ hedonistic meanings which resonated with us both. Read by my hysterical sister Lorraine, who took great delight at annunciating certain elements of the poem!
3rd Reading – Marriage by Anon, because this is what we feel is the reality of marriage. Read by close friend of Ramesh, Ivor Gibbons.
At the end of the ceremony, both our Mothers took part in the lighting of a family unity candle, which was symbolic of both families becoming one.
Ceremony & Reception music by Pianist Cat Wright
Aisle song, cover of Drum and Bass duo Fred V & Graphix, One of a kind
Register signing song, cover of Chase & Status Blind Faith
Exit song Rudimental, Can you feel the love.
Cat played an upbeat set with her band for the reception including singing happy birthday to Ramesh & his niece.
Evening DJ, Ed from the wedding smashers, he specialises in many genres but in particular Drum & Bass which we loved at the end.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My sister Alexia, my friend Ashley who is entirely responsible for our meeting & Ramesh’s sister Shankari. All of whom looked truly beautiful.
THE FLOWERS | Rebel Rebel
My Bouquet was a delicate assortment of pastels featuring Icelandic poppies I have no idea what the rest were, some eucalyptus maybe with a small framed photo of my Dad at the front.
The girls had scaled down versions of my bouquet.
Button holes were a pleasant surprise on the day by Rebel Rebel.
The reception venue required bright colours to correspond with the décor, table flowers consisted of bright pops of colour from again mainly poppies.
I had hoped we could be married in-between two gnarly old olive trees but the reality of getting them in to the electrician shop gallery wasn’t going to work, so Rebel Rebel cleverly created a large arrangement in a Greek urn full of olive & bay branches.
Large colourful arrangements framed the venue, I was so happy with it all!
THE CAKE | Simply a white iced Madagascan vanilla sponge 4 tier cake with a champagne jam filling, embellished down one side with Meringue girls bright multi-coloured meringues & edible flowers.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | The best of the best Laura Babb! Those who know me know how fussy I am and the photography style for our wedding was up there at the top of the fussy list! After choosing our venue, I stumbled across Laura on the TBW website and instantly knew she was going to photograph our wedding. Ramesh’s attention span with pictures is limited, thanks to the way Laura planned the photography on the day, he wasn’t subjected to hours of face-ache plus we weren’t away from our guests for too long. Without a doubt, she’s one of the best decisions we made.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Where to start!
The ceremony was in a dark space, exposed brick walls/steel beams?. We kept it simple & moody using panels of fairy lights, a few candles, a Greek earn stuffed with cascading olive branches & bay, hurricane lamps along with photos of my father & grandparents.
The reception venue – a large vibrant ribbon backdrop behind our seats was the focal point of the room along with a horde of multi coloured lanterns, this was the biggest lantern installation requested at TBW yet – in some cases more is definitely more & everybody loved the impact they made!
The table layout was simple, white tablecloths with fuchsia napkins, enamel blue rimmed plates (no plate smashing at this wedding) & random pops of colour from tall poppies. Favours – Greek evil eyes as a table nametag along with a red heart pin in donation to the BHF in memory of my Dad.
We served Greek & Tamil light bites at the reception then traditional curries for our wedding meal and finished with baklava imported from Athens for the occasion! Evening snacks were Greek spinach/feta pies. We had a Giff/photobooth which proved very amusing judging by what our guests were getting up to!
A Greek bar surrounded by an Olive branch arrangement, more fairy lights, barrels of watermelons, lemons & herbs served our favourites tipples as well as Fix Hellas beers & of course Ouzo for the brave! Our wedding quote was on the wall which I loved, arrangements of bright flowers adorned the archways!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Firstly, it snowed…. well briefly, how many people can say they had a white wedding these days!
Ramesh winding up the guests during the ceremony by instead of saying “I will”, at the crucial moment, he broadcast “NO”……………….(a huge pause) “DOUBT”, an in-joke between his friends that snuck it’s way into our wedding! It was received with a mixed response, clapping from his friends & gasps from others!
Both my sisters’ father of the bride speech, it was genius, absolutely the best men speeches, my god they had a hard job & not forgetting Ramesh’s speech, so touching and heartfelt in particular as he addressed his close family. Also, seeing our families happy….
The first dance – a tradition we chose to ignore in place of an idea that was floated to perform a family first dance, safety in numbers! To this end we owe a huge thank you to my wonderful Sister in Law Shankari, for the effort she put into pioneering this from an idea to reality. She chose a few of the family’s favourite Tamil dance songs, created a mash-up, sourced the garlands & sticks, choreographed it all, we had one practice session and a bit of time to learn it beforehand; I wondered if we’d pull it off and we were still practising on the morning of the wedding yet it went so well!
Finally seeing the incredible décor which Liz/I had worked so hard to achieve, it was SO incredible and exceeded my expectations. TBW you have never looked so good!! Haha!!
THE HONEYMOON | Well the mini moon came first, Belgium – it started by us missing our Eurostar! Thereafter we ate, drank & loitered in the hotel bar for most of it, still so exhausted from the wedding & after party. The actual honeymoon hadn’t been arranged at this point & we decided to wait till July.
Being enthusiastic animal lovers, keen explorers & having had plenty of exposure to Attenborough documentaries; it had to be Madagascar! The first week was spent exploring the national parks/reserves of the north and the second was spent relaxing on Tarabanjina Island, the most beautiful place we have seen yet! Our thanks goes to our wonderful guests for their generosity, which enabled us to have such a remarkable trip.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | If you’re planning a wedding of our size in very little time AND you’re a stress head, I’d advise a wedding planner immediately. No matter how organised you both are going to be, you’ll need coordination on the day and experience plus access to some great ideas/contacts. The lead up to finding Liz was very stressful; Ramesh & I both agree we should have acted on this sooner & enjoyed the lead up a bit more.
Mingle with your guests but stay together, it’s your day & in our case it felt surreal, experience this madness together!
Of a day with so much detail, be prepared that things may not go to plan. An example, when we emerged from the ceremony elated only to find we had to be hurriedly married all over again but this time in the reception venue with just our witnesses and bar staff (registrars put the wrong marriage venue on certificate – so we weren’t legal yet). At the time I felt a bit disappointed but in retrospect it wasn’t a huge deal, we got to say our vows again albeit in a bemused rush!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Dress | Sassi Holford and her wonderful team, in particular Jo and Grace, nothing was ever too much trouble, service on another level and excellent management of my sometimes frazzled nerves!
Planning | Liz Linkleter and team, thank you for making the wedding of our dreams come true.
Hair & Make Up | Portraits Bridal, thank you Zara and Holly for being so patient with me, for allowing me to change my mind endlessly, for your support and kindness, for letting me wear your Eliza cape Zara! I loved working with these girls ☺
DJ | Wedding Smashers Ed, thank you for allowing my husband and friend to MC!
Shoes | Emmy London – wonderful service.
Groom | Reiss Canary Wharf thank you for turning the pheasant-hunting suit around so quickly!
Music | Cat Wright – this lady is an incredible pianist and so lovely too. Book her now!!
Bridesmaids | Coast
Drinks | IG wines, Jon Hirsch – Cannot thank Jon enough, he made so many good things happen for us.
Flowers | Rebel Rebel
Catering | Hungry donkey Liverpool St – Impeccable service from the Greek guys. You need to eat here at least once in your life!
Caravan Greek Bakery Athens – only the finest baklava for our guests.
Rubys Catering. The best Sri Lankan caterer!
Arena Greek Restaurant for light bites at reception.
Photobooth | The Photobooth Guys – for giving us what we wanted at such short notice.
Selena and Ramesh, thank you so much for sharing such a fabulous, colourful day with us! Rachel x