I absolutely love today’s wedding. I might be biased as it takes place in the area of London that I live in, but oh wow it’s a feast for the eyes too! Kevin and Sana live in East London and really wanted their day to reflect them and the part of the city they love so much. The ceremony took place at Stoke Newington Town Hall on the 24th March 2018 and they had a good old knees up afterwards at MC Motors, a fabulous warehouse venue with eclectic props galore!
There were also nods to both of their Indian heritage, one of my favourites being Sana’s incredible dress that she bought and had embellished in Mumbai, perfect for a March wedding with its long sleeves and gold hues. Her fur coat and birdcage veil just finish off the look perfectly. Kevin didn’t want anything too traditional for his outfit and plumped for an incredibly dapper Burberry ‘Ox Blood’ suit.
Juliet and Laimonas of LoveStruck Photography were on hand to capture all the special moments on the day. Thanks so much to both of you for sharing these wonderful images with us. I just love the pictures of Sana and Kevin on the skate ramps at Clissold Park, it’s my local park and has made for truly unique couples shots. Enjoy WWWers!
The proposal was a complete surprise. We had gone for a run in Victoria Park and due to Sana running a lot slower got separated. We met up again at the Chinese Pavillion to stretch. All sweaty, hoodie up, and listening to music, it took Sana in her exhausted state a good few minutes to realise that Kevin was on one knee proposing with a “placeholder” ring from a favourite jewellery store in Shoreditch – Comfort Station marked with the coordinates of their first date in Phnom Penh, Cambodia! It was undoubtedly a yes!
We both knew we always wanted to get married in London. Living in East London the more we thought about it, the more we wanted out wedding to be an homage to the amazingness and diversity that is the East. Both being of Indian origin, we also wanted to capture a little of the Anglo-Indian magic.
The Planning Process
We took a pretty relaxed approach to planning. Knowing that we wanted to keep everything within East London made it easier when it came to finding a registry office, as the area has so many beautiful places to choose from (we ended up going for the gorgeous Council Chamber in Stoke Newington Town Hall). The key for us was having an interesting reception venue that was ideally dry hire so we could personalize the space, and most importantly for us, the food and drinks.
As we began looking at venues we realized that the dry hire and a blank canvas was really what we needed, as we are complete foodies and really wanted to have more control over our menu and drinks. Our search online drew us to MC Motors and the first time we saw the venue, we were absolutely hooked. The space was so interesting, marrying industrial chic with quirky props that totally reflected our own aesthetic. We loved the history of the space, its industrial vintage feel, and felt it was somewhere that our very diverse guests would appreciate. And it was in East London! The decision was made all the more easier by the wonderful Jackie and Joyce, who manage the space. Their generosity of ideas, warmth and kindness made the venue for us. We could not have imagined a more perfect place to celebrate our marriage. MC Motors, coupled with our incredible caterers, FunThyme, that we mention more below, made the day magical.
Your Outfits & Accessories
Sana: I always knew that I wanted my wedding dress to represent two aspects of my life: my Indian heritage and my upbringing in Europe. The search was therefore to find something that was a cross between a traditional white wedding dress with Indian design, that was subtle, with a little bit of a vintage feel, ideally with sleeves given the uncertainty of March London weather. The answer came on a trip to Mumbai, India in November, when my mum found a ready to wear dress by Tarun Tahiliani, an Indian designer.
I tried it on more just as an Indian style dress to have in my wardrobe for a special occasion, but the more I looked at myself in the mirror and swirled around in it, the more I could see it as actually being my wedding dress. I was drawn to the champagne-like colour, the beautifully intricate embroidery work on the skirt of the dress, and the sheer sleeves and bodice that had a subtle shimmer. There was something missing though, but a quick trip to a seamstress recommended to me by my Aunt answered all my dreams. We decided to further embellish the embroidered flowers on the skirt of the dress with vintage cream pearls and a little bit of sparkle. She also designed a separate belt of pearls, silk and sparkles, that added an incredible textural element, and broke the design between bodice and the skirt perfectly. I nervously left the dress with the seamstress and we collaborated over whatsapp as the dress was being completed. It was nerve wracking not being able to see it, but I was delighted when it finally arrived in London in February, exactly what I had hoped it would be. With a high neck dress and sleeves, I focused my accessories on my face – with a bird cage veil and some very large vintage ruby and diamond earrings that together were the perfect balance of East meets West.
Kevin: I always knew I wanted a somewhat unusual colour for my suit. I really liked the idea of suit that was of the burgundy-esque hue. It felt like it was meant to be, when the Christmas sales came up with a Burberry mohair “ox blood” suit, that was exactly what I had been looking for. I teamed it up with a simple white shirt, that I got tailored from a place on our road, and an Ozwald Boateng tie, and Paul Smith shoes and statement socks.
Sana: With long sleeves and a high neck dress, I was keeping my jewellery to a minimum so wanted quite dramatic make up to lift the whole thing. For my hair, I was for some reason obsessed with wearing a bird cage veil to capture a bit of the vintage feel I was looking for, and thought my hair up would work beautifully. I loved the idea of my lip colour matching Kevin’s suit. I was very adamant that even with dramatic make up, that I still looked like me. I was thrilled when my wonderful cousin in law who started the mobile spa service company USPAAH recommended one of her make up artists to do my hair and make up. Tatiana was incredible. She came to the house the week before the wedding and we tried a couple of different looks, which looked great. On the actual day, she completely exceeded my expectations. The make up was flawless, and dynamic, and the addition of flowers in my hair, just added more drama to the back.
The Readings & Music
We were thrilled that one of our friends agreed to sing at our wedding. From the moment we got engaged, Kevin knew he wanted an alternative approach to music, to veer away from the usual. He was obsessed with having Goldie’s “Inner City Life” as part of our wedding, and our friend did the most amazing job with an acapella performance of the lyrics as Sana walked down the aisle. She sang “The Wedding Song” by Angus and Julia Stone while we signed the register.
We wanted our readings to focus on the journey we were embarking on both as individuals and as a couple, that balance of independence and intimacy. Sana’s brother adding humour to the events with a wonderful rendition of Dr. Seuss’s “Oh, the places you will go”. One of Kevin’s closest friends followed with Khalid Gibran’s “On Marriage”.
Neither of us are very comfortable in front of a camera – we do not like posing for photos and are not fans of any photos that are too posed for. We really wanted photographers that were able to capture the energy of the day, to take a more of a documentary approach, with a few of the compulsory family photos to appease the parents. We came across Juliet and Laimonas of LoveStruck Photography while looking at wedding blogs and were immediately taken by their aesthetic. We loved that their photos felt very natural, capturing unique moments in relaxed ways, with gorgeous colours. When we met up with them, we knew straight away that they understood what we were looking for. On the day, we could not have been more thrilled by their energy and ideas – we loved when they suggested taking some photos in a skateboarding ramp in Clissold Park while we were waiting for the bus to go to the reception venue. Some of the photos were a complete surprise, as we hadn’t even realised that they had been taking photos at those times. It just confirmed that we had made exactly the right choice, and we are thrilled with the beautiful memories of the day that Juliet and Laimonas captured for us!
We wanted our flowers to be vibrant but not overbearing, to be natural and in season. We tried to keep things local with East London suppliers wherever possible, and were so pleased we were able to do that with our florist, Rebel Rebel. We loved their interpretation of the brief of vintage with that Indian flair for colour in the forms of soft reds, oranges, yellows and pinks. We loved the addition of tulips as a nod to Sana’s childhood in Amsterdam, the Icelandic poppies, and gorgeous Juliet roses. We used Rebel Rebel for our table centre pieces and for the bouquet. We filled the rest of the venue with flowers in bottles and jam jars that we and our dear friends had collected over the months.
We decided early on that we did not want a tiered cake – partly due to indecision on flavours and not wanting to pile a bunch of different flavours on top of each other. Our weekend strolls by London Fields were never complete without a delicious slice of cake from Victoria Yum, and so it felt right to see if they could do some cakes for our wedding. Again, we loved the idea of using suppliers from the neighbourhood, with unique cakes that were beautiful decorated with flowers and fruits. We ended up with a gorgeous cake spread that included raspberry, rose and pistachio, an olive oil based mango, orange and passionfruit with coconut, banana salted caramel, and a chocolate fudge.
The Details & Décor
MC Motors has such incredible props that there was very little we needed to do in terms of décor. We tried to bring in touches of India with India paper as holder for our confetti, gold elephant table numbers, gold candles, and gold bags filled with homemade Masala Chai as our wedding favours.
The main detail for us was the food – and we could not have found a better partner in that with Matthew of FunThyme. From the first time we met Matthew, we knew we wanted to go with FunThyme. We had very similar food styles and restaurants that we liked, and we really appreciated his enthusiasm for what we were looking for in our menu – local ingredients with South Asia inspiration in homage to our respective heritages. The creative process of putting together the menu was so much fun. We loved the ideas that Matthew put forward for Anglo-Indian canapes like Mumbai Chili Cheese Toast, Kedgeree Arrancini, and masala fried chicken.
We settled on a menu of chai hot smoked salmon with nigella seeds and pickled cucumber to start, smoked Kashmiri chilli rack of lamb, green beans with pickled chillies, turmeric and cumin butternut squash and mujaddara for mains, and to finish cardamon pannacotta with chilli and mint pineapple. All our guests commented on the food. We had loved the food when we did a tasting, but Funthyme exceed our expectations. The food on the day was exquisite.
A special shout out for the team as one of our guests had a considerable number of allergies. Matthew took her to the kitchen soon after she arrived, explained all the cooking processes and presented her with her own plate of allergy friendly canapes. Our friend mentioned that this had never happened to her before and we were really touched by the level of detail and kindness shown by Matt and his team.
The whole day was so memorable, from entering into the Stoke Newington Town Hall to all our family and friends who had come from all over the world, to seeing our names in lights outside MC Motors. However, the speeches were particularly special. We decided to do our speech together (though Kevin stole the show with that, particularly when he realised he had lost a page of it and had to come back to it later during the dinner). We went slightly unconventional with a speech from the Mother of the Bride, that was all things humorous and emotional – a real highlight for us all. We both absolutely loved the music at our wedding, and where thrilled that two friends agreed to DJ for the evening – the music could not have been more suited to us, and made it the party that we always wanted.
Advice For Other Couples
Enjoy the preparation as well as the day. With a dry venue, there was a lot we needed to do ourselves which we couldn’t really delegate. It was so important for our own sanity to just take the tasks one at a time and to not fret the small stuff – it is amazing how fixated you can get over something small, which no one else will end us noticing. Most importantly, enjoy the day – it sounds so simple, and we thought that when our married friends said it to us, but the advice could not be better. We had friends, the wonderful people at MC Motors, and the incredible team at FunThyme who were responsible for the running of the day, and we completely trusted them, let go of control. It truly allowed us to enjoy every single minute of the day.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Wow! What an incredible love letter to your home city! Thanks so much for sharing Kevin and Sana. Rachel x