Devika and Rajiv, Outdoor Wedding at Hagley Hall, Stourbridge - My Sister's wedding...
My sister had always wanted an outdoor wedding since she had started planning. Going abroad wasn't working out logistically for us so Devika and Raj booked Hagley Hall, Stourbridge for an outdoor ceremony. The weather on the day was warm, overcast, just perfect for an outdoor wedding as no one was too hot, or baking in the sun or having to squint. Sapphire Weddings, were great during the time of booking and also on the day of the wedding. It was their first outdoor setup but done so perfectly.
Our day began at 7am where the Bride, my sister Vidya and mum arrived at Hagley Hall to start hair and makeup. We opted to get ready there as I've always found with my other brides its relaxing, and there is lots of time and opportunity to have photos done. As I was doing makeup for myself, my sisters and my mum I was up at 5am and did my makeup at home so that I could concentrate on the ladies at the venue. I did look around for makeup artists for me and the family (not the bride) as I wanted to be relaxed as possible and also wanted to be sure everything would run on time. Running late in the morning would have a knock on effect on the rest of the day, and I didn't want this happening as we only had a 2 hours turnaround time inbetween the wedding and reception. I started inquiring with makeup artists a few months ahead, some were booked and some weren't taking occasional makeups which I completely understand. However I was shocked how much chasing I had to do with artists and in the end I thought it would be better waking up a little earlier. I'm glad I did as timing worked out perfectly and everyone looked great! Devika's makeup was done by the time Aamir Naveed arrived to create her bridal hair. Aamir created a soft hair do on Devika just like she wanted, keeping the hair textured.
For Devika's makeup, we had previously had a trial, she knew she wanted a red lip and I created a traditional kajal lined eye to complete the look. Obviously all products used were vegan and cruelty free. Her look was finished off with Jasmine Blooms from Blooms By Vanita. Her outfit was picked from Raas in Santa Cruz, India, and Mehndi by Bharathi Sanghani. So glad we were able to get Bharathi booked for the Big Day. Even though mehndi was applied on Wednesday and the wedding was on Saturday, the stain was immense! Still waiting for the day that I can get henna'd by Bharathi! I managed to book Amita for our mehndi and she was so fabulous! She was easy to book and great fun on the day and created really beautiful designs for us!
For the rest of our makeup I created something that was soft, enhanced our features and something that would last us through the evening as we only had time for a hair change in the evening. Marlena created styles that complimented our outfits and style. I love a simple hair do that's not too busy. All our shopping for outfits was done in India, however we decided not to get our jewellery from there. Instead we booked a consultation with Sokora Jewels a few weeks before the wedding, (I would recommend arranging an appointment a few months in advance) and Sonn advised us on what would look good on us according to our bodies, neckline on outfits and personality. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience and so so so glad that Sonn was able to help us sort this at such late notice! Vidya wore a necklace from Anayah Jewellery which she had previously won, paired with custom made earrings and tikka from Sokora Jewels.
Devika was the first one ready as her and Raj really wanted to do First Look (Bride and Groom's reaction of seeing each other is documented) images before everything kicked off. This was a great idea and worked really well as it meant they didn't have to worry about allocating time for couple photos later. Once they were done we joined the Bride and Groom for family portraits in case we didn't have time later.
Daksha from Paradigm Events had helped create our itinerary and coordinated the day so perfectly. We literally turned up and then waited for instructions on what to do next. This made the day super relaxed and stress free. We can't thank Daksha and Kiah enough. (Highly recommend these guys).
Our Mahraj, Sundar Madhav Das, beautifully conducted the silent ceremony, explaining each part of the ceremony and rituals to the congregation, with music from Funk Asia DJ's. Having a good mahraj was key as Devika and Raj knew they wanted a silent ceremony, but also wanted to be able to understand everything they were doing. Sundar Mahraj joined us for a few skype meetings prior to the day to explain what will be happening as was sure to include and family traditions and rituals we had. Devika wanted me and Vidya to walk her down the aisle, which is traditionally done by the Bride's Maternal Uncles. It was a special moment and glad our Mahraj said it would be fine to do. The music for Devika's entrance was composed by our friend Shammi Pithia, which made the moment even more special!
Whilst all this was going on we had Stephanie doing a live painting of the wedding. Again highly recommended if she is available. This was a wedding present from us to the couple. Stephanie paints the requested part of the wedding from the Bride and Groom and captures the moment beautifully. So glad we were able to get her booked for the day!
Generally the day ran on time because of Daksha's coordination and great time keeping from our Mahraj. we finished a little early so Devika and Raj had extra time for photos which is always a bonus. Indian weddings are so quick that I feel Bride's are usually only in their outfits for 5 hours if they're having a second event on the same day.
For my wedding (7 years ago) we had booked Sanjay Foods and knew we wanted them again. The taste and the service is what made us go back to them again 7 years later! (Brand loyalty I know!) We had a full gujrati meal which we were all looking forward to and were able to sit and enjoy it rather than rushing. My favourite was the sweetcorn and patra shaakh which we also had at my wedding. Thank you to Lei and her hardworking team!
Lunch was followed by Koda Kodi organised by our Mahraj followed by Vidaai.
Our top guys, Indy, Marina and Robert were fabulous capturing the day for us. Indy knows our family really well so it felt like a friend shooting the wedding. I've worked with Robert before and love his documentary style captures and calming nature. We're excited to see what Robert creates, however the video from the Civil was breathtaking. Indy and Marina are super fun to work with and just get it. So glad they were all available and couldn't asked for anyone better!
We spent a year planning the wedding and it went by so quickly, but because we had great reliable suppliers booked we were able to enjoy and soak up the love and joy on the day.
Here are some of my favorites from the day!
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