Leeds is a city the pair hold close to their hearts, as it’s here that Sunita completed her postgraduate studies, where she was living when they met, and where they went on their first date. Life had moved on after three years as a couple, and they decided
they’d like to return for a day out together. After lunch, they went for a romantic walk in a nearby park and Simon produced the most beautiful emerald cut diamond ring Sunita had ever seen, as he got down on one knee to propose. “I simply couldn’t say
no to that,” she says.
While Simon’s family hails from Yorkshire, Sunita’s live in Kent, so it was important for the bride to have the wedding close to them. She explains, “We’re an intercultural couple it was of utmost importance to me that I have a Buddhist priest bless our
union.” So, once ceremony arrangements were settled, the venue
search was next on the agenda. The bride says, “I absolutely fell in love with Chilham Village Hall. It’s a listed building with a black and white interior, which really appealed to me. What’s more, we could hire the entire premises from Friday for my
Mehendi, through to Sunday for the wedding.”
We were excited to find out more and caught up with Sunita for all the details of the big day…
The bride wore a stunning red and gold saree purchased at the bazaar in Kathmandu, Nepal, for the ceremony. This was paired with a tailor-made green blouse, and accessorised with a red embroidered velvet belt, also from Nepal. For the reception she changed into a white Lehenga Choli with a red velvet shawl to symbolise the fusion of Nepali and English tradition.
Simon also had a change of looks from the ceremony to the celebrations. For the "I dos" he wore a traditional Nepali Daura-Suruwal, with a tweed jacket, green and yellow belt, and a black hat with a Khukuri knife pin to symbolise the father-of-the-bride's service in the British army. For the reception he wore a navy suit with burgundy tie.
The bridesmaids looked beautiful in coral sarees complemented by potli bags in a matching hue. Following the vows, they were given the option to change into a more comfortable cream gharara suit, lest their dance moves be impeded later on in the evening!
Red is an auspicious colour in Nepal, so it was important for Sunita that it should be included in their wedding palette. The bride describes their theme as, "bright and colourful with red and green accents."
The altar was put together according to tradition, with a beautifully decorated arch of voile, flowers and greenery. "I absolutely loved planning the wedding and the DIY projects inspired by Pinterest," Sunita says. She even attended a modern calligraphy course by Sally Jane Calligraphy, so that she could self-scribe the invitations.
The pair chose luxury bouquets, arranged in carafes for the centrepieces. Both Simon and Sunita's father are whisky and bourbon fanatics, so she'd accumulated an assortment of cute bottles that the pair had polished off over the previous six months, and used them to hold additional blooms and greenery for the tables.
The big-day bake boasted three tiers in different flavours including vanilla, lemon, and Belgian chocolate. Sunita remembers, "It was a beautiful cake, decorated with a ruscus garland, and sat on a wooden stand atop a whisky barrel."
The morning of the wedding, guests were served tea and coffee with butter croissants in the venue's small hall. There was no formal seating plan as the wedding breakfast was buffet-style dining, catering for all dietary needs. The couple's nearest and dearest helped themselves to an array of traditional Nepali food laid out in the servery, before heading into the main hall to tuck in. Sunita recalls, "It was such a lovely sight to see loved ones from both sides ofthe family striking up conversation, and bonding over the meal." For starters guests were treated to vegetable pakora, vegetarian spring rolls, chicken tikka masala, chili chicken, aaloo ko achar (spicy potato salad), sel roti (rice flour doughnuts), and tomato chutney. For the main course they enjoyed a feast of basmati rice, chicken curry, mutton curry, muttar paneer (paneer with peas), tadka daal (lentils), aaloogobi (cauliflower and potato curry), naan, poppadoms, tomato chutney and mixed salad. Gulab jamun with vanilla ice cream was served for dessert.
Violinist Amanda Wyatt played classical and contemporary pieces prior to the ceremony, as guests awaited the bride's arrival. Sunita says, "I loved walking down the aisle to my brother playing Canon in D on his acoustic guitar."
The bride and groom were lucky to be joined by friends and relatives who'd travelled from far and wide to be there. Having an opportunity to catch up surrounded by the beautiful Kentish countryside was entertainment in itself. ADJ played a mix of Nepali and English music in the evening, which was enjoyed by all.
"We have numerous email accounts in this day and age, so I allocated my icloud address to wedding planning exclusively, which helped me keep track of everything." Don't forget to stay hydrated, especially at a summer wedding. Assign a bridesmaid or a friend to help you out.You get so busy, that hours pass by before you realise you've had nothing to drink. When a friend offered me a drink, I was extremely grateful – even more so when it turned out to be prosecco!"
Hair and make-up