Indian Wedding in the UK
Indian, Summer, Intimate, but loud!
Cameron and Anjali
I am over the moon to be joined by Cameron and Anjali today who were married in the West Midlands; they had a three day Indian wedding celebration and it was fantastic. It was all so beautiful, filled with vibrancy, love and an intimate atmosphere.
On the 18th July 2019 they held their Mendhi at Anjali’s parents’ house, with their Hindu wedding ceremony held the following day at Balaji Mandir and their wedding reception was on the 20th July 2019 at West Midland Safari Park. The three days were so full of joy, with music and dancing all round. I just adore all of their outfits too. Cameron and Anjali had different attire for each day; Cameron wore a Kurta Pyjama at the Mendhi, a Sherwani at their ceremony and a pink Nehru jacket for their reception. Anjali meanwhile donned a pink and yellow Lengha at the Mendhi, a red and gold Lengha for their ceremony and a pink ombre Lengha for their reception. They both looked so gorgeous! Be sure to look out for colourful flowers, a fun photo booth and the Lions Bhangra troupe, what fun!
Laura May Photography thank you ever so much for sharing these utterly stunning images of a really memorable and special wedding.
It was the 2018 World Cup 3rd place play off, England had just lost against Belgium – it was not the most romantic backdrop! I (Anjali) don’t really know what happened, but I was just dancing round the flat, and I imagine the ring that Cameron had apparently picked up earlier that week was burning a hole in his pocket so he proposed that evening! It was perfect, low key and private.
Apart from wanting a Hindu ceremony I (Anjali) didn’t really know what I wanted! Cameron had even less of a clue. Somehow we muddled through all the planning making one decision at a time based on what we liked the most. One of our main aims was to make sure everyone felt comfortable, and that they had a good time.
The Planning Process
Both of our families are based in the Midlands and so we knew this was where we wanted to get married. We started off by coming up with a rough budget and looking at venues accordingly. Once we found the venue everything else fell in place around it – we booked the caterers, the temple, the décor, the entertainment etc. We made all of the decisions together and only if we both liked it did we book something.
The first thing we booked was our reception venue, and once this was done we were able to send out our save the dates. This was the event which most people were going to, with the Mendhi and wedding ceremony being much, much smaller affairs.
About £20,000 for all 3 events.
Mendhi – Anjali’s parents’ house.
Wedding – Balaji Mandir (Tividale)
We had a look at a few temples in the Midlands, but this one was by far the most beautiful. It was clear they had great experience in hosting weddings, and this meant we were able to have the religious and legal ceremonies on the same day.
Reception – West Midland’s Safari Park
We both love animals, and had planned to go on safari for our honeymoon. As such we had gone to see WMSP almost as a joke, an excuse to see some giraffes on the way back to London. We were so pleasantly surprised! Most of the venues we had seen were blank canvases that we would have had to do a lot to in order to get them to point where you could host a wedding, but Spring Grove House in WMSP was ready to go! It was a beautiful house in beautiful surroundings that required no decoration or planning! This suited us massively, but I appreciate that other couples would want more control over their venue. A real perk was the animal meet and greet at the beginning of the evening!!
Your Outfits & Accessories
Anjali – Shreeganesh (235 Soho Rd, Birmingham, B21 9RZ). Pink and yellow Lengha. This was just a small boutique shop in Birmingham, but the staff were very helpful and keen to find exactly what I wanted. I picked a brightly coloured lengha, which was light so that I could dance as much as wanted! I picked a cheaper outfit for this event so I could splurge more on the others!!
Cameron – Lal-Kurti (Tooting). Navy blue and gold Kurta Pyjama. Another small boutique shop, but this time in Tooting, London. This outfit was actually bought for our engagement party the year before the wedding – technically the boys weren’t invited to the mendhi and were supposed to be setting up the Temple for the wedding! They gatecrashed and helped finish off the food.
Anjali – Monga’s Southall, Traditional Red and Gold lengha. I went into this shop knowing it was pretty fancy, I had planned to just get inspo from here and see if I could find something more reasonably priced elsewhere, but managed to stumble into a sale! Most wedding lenghas are custom made, and have a price tag to match! As I got something off the rack (I assume ex display?) I was able to get a real bargain. My cousin came along with me and I bought my reception outfit from the same place so she was able to haggle a bit of a discount too! Mongas are extremely experienced in wedding clothes and it was evident they knew exactly what they were doing. I was pleasantly surprised that all the fittings were included in the price even though I didn’t get a custom made outfit.
Cameron – Bina Arts (273 Green Street, London, E7 8LJ). Gold and Red Sherwani. Cameron didn’t want anything too over the top so this shop was very helpful. We tried on a few different Sherwani’s and found a shape we liked, we were then able to pick everything from the fabric, to embellishment (or lack thereof!), to the buttons. It was all very reasonably priced, and we picked up the finished article a few weeks later.
Anjali – Monga’s Southall, Pink ombre lengha. I bought this at the same time as my wedding lengha. I was blown away by this design, and thought it was very special so immediately knew this was what I wanted.
Cameron – Shalini’s (Unit 10 East Shopping Centre, 232-236 Green Street, London, E7 8LE), Pink Nehru Jacket. This place was an Aladdin’s cave of menswear, thankfully we were able to design our own jacket. Cameron wanted something quite understated, so this was going to be difficult off the rack! We picked a pink similar to my reception Lengha and had a jacket made up. This was teamed with a comfy pair of navy chinos, and a collarless shirt to wear underneath.
@gorgeoushairandbeautywb – This beauty salon in West Bromwich was my (Anjali) one stop shop for everything that I needed prior to festivities – they did my very intricate mendhi (henna) on my hands, arms and feet, this did my nails, mani/pedi, and I had a facial. It was a fun day out with my Mum before the craziness of the days ahead!
While I did my hair and makeup myself for the Mendhi, I had a wonderful MUA (Fozia), who came to do my hair and make-up for the wedding and reception. I wanted an Asian hair and make-up artist who was familiar with draping lenghas and positioning jewellery. Fozia was really lovely, and listened to what I wanted – which was a relatively neutral look, but with such bold outfits it was important not to get washed out. I really think Fozia achieved a really good middle ground!
Cameron – bar a small amount of henna on the night of the mendhi, everything else was his own!
Groomsmen & Bridesmaids
We didn’t have specific groomsmen/bridesmaids. Everyone came wearing whatever they felt comfortable in – this was our main aim!
Made by Cameron’s mum and grandma! They also made all the cakes for the mendhi.
We actually made different Spotify playlists for different events! We had a cheesy 90s/00s/Bollywood mix for the mendhi, traditional Shenai music which was played once the wedding ceremony had finished, and Sitar music for the meal at the reception.
We didn’t have live music so that we could get the Lions Bhangra troupe to perform at the reception – a real highlight! They also provided Dhol players who accompanied both of us ‘down the aisle’ for the wedding.
We had a DJ for the evening after the main meal had finished.
We had speeches by my (Anjali) grandad and Cameron’s brother.
The Flower Shop (15 Cross Green, Rothley, Leicester, LE7 7PF). They made us flower garlands for the wedding and provided the beautiful roses for our centrepieces. The flower petals for the wedding confetti were all from Cameron’s parents’ garden!
The lovely Laura May! We wanted someone who had a relaxed style, but still up for the mammoth task of a 3 day wedding – we were very lucky that Laura ticked all our boxes! We found Laura online. We had a few Skype meeting set up for photographers, but after meeting Laura we knew we didn’t need to speak to anyone else! She really put us at ease for our engagement shoot, so we felt much more comfortable in front of the camera when the big day came around!
We had a rickshaw photobooth at the reception as well which was a lot of fun! We had our own little album created where everyone left messages, so this is what we used instead of a guestbook.
The Details & Décor
We decorated the garden for the mendhi ourselves – aiming for a Rajasthani vibe with lots of bright colours and patterns, mixed with a traditional British wedding. We had beautiful patterned umbrellas, flower garlands and bunting!
The décor/mandap for the wedding day was all done by Suhaan Mandap.
We made the centrepieces for the reception ourselves, roses in water vases with a candle. Other than this the venue was so nice we didn’t think we needed anything else!
We were lucky enough to go on a 2 week safari in Botswana! A once in a lifetime trip which we thoroughly enjoyed.
The song/dance performances by guests at the Mendhi.
The dholi entrances for the bride and groom at the wedding.
Our friends serenading Cameron with “Hey Deansy, I think I want to marry you” to the tune of the Bruno Mars song!
Advice For Other Couples
You will enjoy your day regardless of what happens so there’s no point sweating the small stuff!
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Laura May Photography
West Midland Safari Park
Groom’s Mendhi Outfit
Bride’s Wedding & Reception Outfit
Gorgeous Hair and Beauty
Wow, how very wonderful?!
Cameron and Anjali thank you so very much for sharing your incredible wedding story with us xo Lou