Neil and Prabh met in Melbourne, Australia. They were both living there at the time and were friends first for about a year or so and then it sparked into more! Neither of them had any family in Melbourne, so they became very close very quickly. “We became each other’s support network. We are the opposite in so many ways, which is why we work so well together as there is a great balance. He is the type of person that can make anyone laugh without even trying.”
Neil and Prabh had never dreamt about a wedding day in any detail whatsoever so neither of them had any significant ideas on what they wanted on ‘the big day’. They both knew they wanted a simple wedding and “whenever any of our suppliers would ask us what theme we were going for, we would both laugh and say our theme is for people to eat, get merry and have fun!” Prabh never once picked up a bridal magazine or visited a wedding show as she had no interest in seeing what was fashionable for weddings. She did however spend some time on Pinterest during her Christmas holidays before the wedding in February, but soon realised it was becoming an unnecessary addiction so she deleted all her boards!
“Being a teacher, I’m used to a lot of planning; I love lists and being organised. Neil is the opposite of me in that sense: he lives for each moment and has no interest in planning for anything! He made it clear to me at the beginning of our engagement that he wanted nothing to do with wedding planning. He said to me that if I tell him the place and time, he will show up and that is all he needed to know! I remember early on, I loved two designs for wedding invitations and I held one in each hand asking for his advice, he was so busy playing his PlayStation, he didn’t even look up and said ‘the left one’! I actually really enjoyed him not being interested in wedding planning – it meant I didn’t have to check all the small things with him and I could do whatever I wanted!” Wedding planning was described as mainly fun and easy for the couple, they booked the only venue they saw as Prabh fell in love with it instantly. One thing Neil kept saying to Prabh when deciding on things was that if it wasn’t going to make a difference to us or to our guests, then it didn’t actually matter. “For instance, the design of the invitation wasn’t going to add any overall enjoyment for our guests so it didn’t really matter what they looked like!” They ended up going with a small vintage inspired invitation that was green and floral and stayed away from the traditional Indian designs.
Choice of food was an interesting topic for Prabh and Neil. They always knew they would have Indian food as Neil loves Indian food and the majority of their guests were Indian. Neil had about 40 people at the wedding and Prabh had about 140! Neil, Prabh and her family went to several different food tastings and struggled to find one that they all loved. Prabh had a firm favourite and absolutely loved an English caterer who designed an Indian menu for them called Tapenade. “The food and presentation was absolutely amazing! The issue with them is that all the guests would have had to choose what they wanted to eat beforehand, and I thought this would be fine but my family were not so keen on this idea. They didn’t like the idea of having to ask guests prior to the wedding what they wanted to order as well as guests only being restricted to one plate of food.” In the end they went with La Freshco as this was the only Indian caterer who really stood out to Prabh and Neil. “The food tasted amazing and the presentation was awesome.” We actually received so many compliments about the food and as far as we know, nobody could fault them.” For the guests who were not keen on Indian food, separate English dinners were organised.
Prabh loves afternoon tea and it was one of her musts for the wedding. After the ceremony, during the drinks reception they had canapés and had an afternoon tea setup. Prabh collected lots of mismatched vintage china and ordered all the food from M&S. “It all went down a treat! We had both sandwiches and samosas and a whole selection of cakes and pastries. We also had mulled wine being drunk out of tea cups as well as a selection of teas.”
“I’m one of those people where detail really matters. Neil on the other hand doesn’t notice the small things. I remember lots of our friends and family after the wedding saying the wedding was so me in terms of all the bits of detail and thought that went into it. They all knew Neil had very little part to play in that sense!”
For the ceremony itself, Prabh did all the décor herself as opposed to using an external company. She wanted an afternoon wedding and decided to get married at 3:30pm. This allowed the guests the whole morning to get ready and it allowed Prabh time to set up the venue. With the help of a few friends and family members, they had petals and lanterns down the aisle, handmade all the confetti cones the night before and made all the signs which Prabh produced. She decorated the fireplace with mismatched candles and a love sign. For the head table, Prabh purchased all the items herself, as she wanted to personalise as much of the wedding as possible.
Prabh kept it really simple and had mints with a sticker on that said ‘mint to be’. They chose mints as they thought it would be practical after all the Indian food! Prabh also handmade matchboxes for their smoking guests that said ‘the perfect match’. Prabh thought they were cute, Neil thought they were lame!
For their guest book table Prabh and Neil made ‘he’ and ‘she’ signs where they wrote all the amazing things they appreciate about each other!
Prabh wanted to surprise Neil with the cake so she chose quite a traditional vintage cake and to mix it up, she had a whole marvel section going down the back of the cake. He loved it!
Hot chocolate bar
As the wedding was in February, Prabh decided to have a hot chocolate bar with a sign saying ‘baby it’s cold outside, warm up here’. For guests who needed something a little stronger to warm up they had some cute shot jars with a sign saying ‘We’ve just tied the knot, now take a shot’.
Prabh and Neil both wanted to keep their outfits quite traditional. They didn’t want to look back in ten years and regret their choices! Neil’s outfit was easy. Prabh suggested two options for him: either a classic black tux or a winter tweed suit. It took them a while to find the right tailor who had the colour and material Neil wanted but eventually they found a tailor who designed and made his suit and it came out perfectly!
Finding an outfit was the only part of wedding planning Prabh didn’t initially enjoy. Prabh knew she didn’t want to wear an English dress as this wasn’t something she ever imagined herself wearing, however she didn’t want to wear a traditional Indian outfit either. It took her a while but she ended up finding a designer who she absolutely loved. “I really enjoyed going to visit her. I ended up designing my outfit with her and she wouldn’t stop until she thought it was perfect and she knew that I loved it. I tried to design an outfit that would fit both cultures and I think I ended up doing it really well; the lengha made it Indian and the top had lots of detailed embroidery . I had buttons going down the back, which I loved, and a train. I only wore stud earrings for jewellery and I know that’s not very Indian but it’s what worked with my outfit. My outfit was from Areya London and I cannot recommend her highly enough, she is a perfectionist in the most amazing way!”
Favourite part of the day
It’s actually really difficult for me to think about my favourite part of the day. Before the wedding, I hadn’t given the ceremony a lot of thought. I ended up loving the ceremony though, it was so beautiful and it meant so much to me. There are a few moments that really stand out for me, as I walked down the stairs with my Dad I remember pausing and thinking ‘oh wow, all these people are here for us’ and I genuinely felt overwhelmed with the love. It’s a feeling I know I will never forget! I also enjoyed when Neil and I spent about 20 minutes together taking our photos. He made me laugh so much!
Pre wedding party and Sikh ceremony
“About a month before the wedding, my Dad told us he wanted us to have a Sikh ceremony. He had said previously he was happy for us to not have one but then changed his mind. When my Dad expressed that he would like us to have a Sikh ceremony, we were both happy to have one but tried to explain that we wanted it to be small and intimate. We ended up having the ceremony inside our home and it was very small, only immediate family. We both wore traditional outfits which I know meant a great deal to my Dad. The ceremony again ended up meaning a lot to me, I cried so much throughout it as I realised I was leaving the family home and that was something I didn’t want to do. It’s not something I realised was happening until that day and I was again overwhelmed with emotion! I felt so close to my Dad that day and felt so happy we had done this for him.”
“We had a pre-party at our house the weekend before to do all the traditional Sikh customs and for that we chose not to have Indian food. Neil loves pizza and so we hired a vintage pizza van! For snacks we made cheese boards and had pretzels.”
“In terms of the multi-cultural wedding, Neil and I are both really flexible people; we are always both happy to go along with anything and open to new experiences. Neil’s family were amazing as they were actively taking part in the pre-party with all the sangeet stuff and his family loved wearing traditional Indian outfits. It was lovely for us to see them embrace the culture and traditions with genuine interest!”
Advice for other multicultural couples
“My advice to a multicultural couple planning a wedding, and to any other couple really, is to be open. Be open by listening to what is important to each other and their families as well as listening with an open mind. A wedding day is so special as it brings together two families in the most special way. It is a family event and therefore it is important to include the customs of both sets of parents and how they’ve always dreamed their child would get married. You’ve chosen to embark on this journey together so it is important to begin it respecting the culture of that person and embracing all the beautiful things that come along with it! In terms of any couple, we are proof that wedding planning doesn’t have to be stressful. I personally really enjoyed most of my wedding planning and didn’t allow it to take over our lives. I feel like a lot of couples get caught up with the planning and stress, so they don’t always end up enjoying their own wedding: it is important for you to enjoy your hard work! It is one day you will never experience again so enjoy every part of it. I know it is cliché, but I will forever remember every minute, and every feeling of the day I married my best friend!”
Caterer: La Freshco
Décor and Flowers: Blooming Events
Photographer: M&R Photography
Videographer: London Lighthouse
Makeup Artist: Annie Shah
DJ: Massacre Sounds
Harpist: Absolute Harp
Wedding Cake: Navjot Dhatt
Prabh’s outfit: Areya London