Until now I've not had the opportunity to work on an Asian wedding although I've researched weddings from other cultures and their traditions. Now the opportunity arose for me to learn more.
Sabrina needed someone to oversee the day itself and to have a consultation as she was struggling pulling her ideas together. She had quite strong ideas about how she wanted her wedding to look but not sure on how to do it. She wanted to break from tradition and have something very striking. We did have a consultation where we went through the budgets and also ideas for the designs. Originally, she wanted to try and get away from the traditional red and wear a green or blue dress and have a turquoise colour theme which is what we worked on, using turquoise lighting to light the room, but this soon changed and she did have red as one of the main colours.
Sabrina chose to have red and turquoise as her colours. Now this isn't a combination I would usually recommend, especially as the main hall in Cardiff City Hall in Cardiff is gold, but the carpet was red and she really wanted it to be striking and chose turquoise as this featured in her beading on her dress.
She chose to have red chair covers with turquoise sashes, turquoise tablecloths and red napkins. Her centrepieces had turquoise water and red flowers. She also added in gold flowers to pull some of the colour from the room into the design. As you can see it was a very bold effect...
Sabrina had hired seperate companies to provide the food and to provide the waitering staff so there were lots of different elements to pull together for this wedding. Andy Mousoulou was the organiser of the waitering staff and covers most of the functions at City Hall. His staff were fast and efficient at setting up the tables, so my assistant Deanne and I were able to finish the tables with the table names and favours relatively quickly. Which was just as well as the florist accidentally broke one of the goldfish bowls on the table and I had to strip the tablecloth, napkins, crockery, cutlery and chaircovers and get them dry. Wasn't an easy task with only a weak handdryer in the toilets to use! However, of course we got it done and it wasn't noticed on the day.
The stage (Mandap) was already in place by the time we got there and looked stunning set high on the stage for the ceremonial proceedings later on in the day.
Something I could not prepare myself for were the delays. I was warned that Asian weddings very rarely run to time, which for me is just something I'm not used to. Maybe overrunning by 1/2 an hour but the groom and his family were travelling from Birmingham by limosine and coach (all 130 of them). They were due to arrive at 1pm and due to them leaving very late and traffic into Cardiff they finally were in the room at 2.15pm. As you can imagine, there was a lot of changing to the schedules.
Once the groom and his family arrived, the wedding could take place. It was fantastic to watch a wedding from a different culture and understand the emotion of the day too. It's customary for the bride to be slightly shy/forlorn. The wedding itself was a Muslim wedding and as opposed to say a Hindu wedding where there is lots of music and celerbrations, a Muslim wedding is a sombre occasion as it signals the daughter leaving her family.
The bride herself isn't in the room for the Nikkah, which is the ceremony and she enters the room once the ceremony has been conducted and sits at a seperate table to the groom.
Sabrina looked just amazing in her gorgeous dress and amazing makeup and Mohammed looked very handsome too.
Her henna on her hands were something else too.
It was great to see the different style food served which although being very behind schedule went down very well. The groom was presented with special ceremonial food which was amazingly presented.
At one point I was helping the catering staff to hand out the dates which the groom's family bought to all 370 guests, that took some time!
Once the food was consumed, it was time for the bride and groom to come onto the stage for the ceremonial part of the wedding were they exchange milk, sweets and water. It was lovely to see Mohammed and Sabrina together for the first time.
Everyone came up to take photos of the couple at this point.
Shortly after the ceremonial activity it was time for the couple to leave. This is a very poignant part of the day and is very emotional for the bride's family. Sabrina and Mohammend left in a wonderful procession which was a lovely send off for them into their new married life
I would like to thank Sabrina and Mohammend for letting me be part of their big day and for giving me the opportunity to learn more about Asian weddings and their customs.
I wish them the best for their future together as husband and wife.
If you woud like to find out more about how I can help ensure your wedding day runs without any stress to you and your family then have a look at my 'There on Your Day' service on my website.