Every now and then I’m lost for words when I try and introduce a wedding on the blog. Today I’m dumbstruck! I’ve just read through Kate and Jamal’s wedding report and scrolled through their gorgeous images – too many to choose from! Already I’m overexcited about showing you their English Asian wedding blog. This is Kate – isn’t she beautiful?
As with all Asian weddings there’s more exciting colour than the average vintage wedding, so it leaves me grinning happily at the prospect of showing you photos! The venues are sublime and add timeless atmosphere and contemporary chic to the story of Kate and Jamal’s day. Their wedding report is amazing – I love the bit about Jamal’s niece’s infectious belly laughs during the speeches… watch out for it!
It’s the images which leave a fabulous aftertaste for me though – the elegance of the wedding styling, the vibrance of the colours and the breathtaking venues. I just know you’re going to love this wedding blog. Huge thanks to lovely Peter and Sara from Pixies in the Cellar for submitting their images, and massive hugs and congratulations to beautiful bride Kate and gorgeous groom Jamal for the wedding report. Just brilliant, all of it… enjoy! Claire x
Kate and Jamal – a contemporary, vibrant English and Asian wedding blog
The bride and groom:
Kate Burslem and Jamal Benzafar
Peter and Sara at Pixies in the Cellar
How would you describe your wedding style?
Contemporary English city centre and vibrant Asian
Invitations and reception stationery:
Due to having a number of celebrations with guests invited to various different events we bought our invitations from ‘Light in the box’ and then printed and stuck down our own inserts so that we could customise each card for each guest. We also made our own table plan and table names via Powerpoint! Place cards were ordered from Jump Fox who provided fantastic service.
What did you both wear?
For the Mehndi the bride and groom wore traditional outfits – yellow dress and trousers for the bride and a white kurta for the groom. The bride accessorised with gold and green bangles and a yellow, green and hot pink dupatta (scarf).
On the wedding day the bride wore a Justin Alexander strapless sweetheart all over alencon lace A-line dress, with buttons the full length of the gown and chapel train. The shoes were flat lace pumps from Bhs, at £15 a bargain and excellent for dancing in! 3 freshwater pearl bangles, a beautiful diamond and pearl drop necklace bought the day before the wedding by her husband to be and a lovely pearl headpiece lent by a close friend proved to be the perfect accessories. The mother of the bride had found some lovely lace from which the veil was made by a dressmaker.
On the Walima the groom wore another custom made suit from King and Allen and brogues from John Lewis, whilst the bride wore a custom made dress in the traditional Walima colour of red which had been designed by her mother in law and made in Pakistan. This was accessorised with gold bangles and rings, lent by the groom’s mother and sister, a red dupatta pinned into her hair and matching jewellery set comprising necklace, earrings and tikka headpiece (like a bindi but larger and pinned into the hair).
A little about the wedding ceremony:
Due to neither of us being religious we had a civil ceremony at Manchester Town Hall for approximately 90 people. We wanted quite a traditional ceremony, that wasn’t too short (they can be over in 5 minutes if you don’t have any readings!) or too slushy! The key thing was that we could make a commitment to each other in front of the people that mean the most to us, and then have a glass of bubbly to celebrate afterwards!
We chose 2 readings. The first was a fun reading, ‘The Lovely Dinosaur’ by Edward Monkton, which we customised to make it personal to us, highlighting the groom’s love of cricket and the bride’s poor time keeping. This was read by the Kate’s friends, who got the guests (and bride and groom) laughing along. The second reading was read by a family friend of the bride, who had been bridesmaid at Kate’s parents’ wedding. This was ‘The Art Of A Good Marriage’ by Wilfred Arlan Peterson and more pragmatic in tone, but highlighting the commitment that marriage represents and responsibility that it brings.
Tell us a little about your wedding venue styling and details:
In respect of the Asian days the key element in making our choice was the food, and Nawaab has an excellent reputation for fantastic food, as well as being a great venue to hold larger gatherings. For the Mehndi the venue was styled with yellow and green chair ties and matching napkins, which are the traditional colours, and a family friend had made low flower arrangements for the tables. On the Mehndi the bride and groom sit at a table in front of all the guests and the female guests come up and dab a bit of henna on the couple’s hands, feed them some Asian sweets and circle them with money which is then given to the couple for a charity of their choice. We chose to donate to SALVE International, a charity set up by one of Kate’s close friends, which looks after street children in Uganda. On the Walima the colour theme was red and white, with there being a red carpet for the bride and groom to make their entrance to, surrounded by pillars of white flowers.
Manchester Town Hall and Room require very little styling, as they are both such stunning venues. Room has 3 amazing oversized red lampshades, but we wanted to inject some colour into the venue so bought 50 vases from Ikea and put single stems of hot pink gerberas and purple lisianthus in the vases which were scattered on the guests’ tables and around the room. The favours were little glass jars that we had bought from Wares of Cheshire which we filled with smarties, again, a colourful addition to the table. (The man at Tesco said they had never seen someone order 160 tubes of smarties before!)
Room provided the perfect location for some amazing photos, from being able to throw the bouquet off the balcony with the female guests waiting to catch it in the street below, to having a photo of the bride laid across an uplit bar!
Wedding music and entertainment:
On our wedding day we had a cello duo play at the Town Hall, as the bride and one of the bridesmaids played the cello growing up. They played a mixture of classical and contemporary music and matched the feeling of the venue and occasion perfectly. The bride walked down the aisle to Elgar’s Nimrod.
For the music during the day at Room we had made our own playlist on an iPod with tracks ranging from Nina Simone to Paulo Nutini. In the evening we used a DJ which was recommended by Room who were brilliant. We had given them a list of about 50 tracks we liked, some of which they played, and they added their own stuff too. They got everyone up and dancing, playing everything from The Lumineers, Ho Hey, which was our first dance, to Tenacious D!
Memorable wedding day moments:
- On the Mehndi having to Asian bhangra dance as our first dance, and only being able to remember one piece of advice – just pretend you’re screwing in a lightbulb.
- My dad stitching a lucky Churchill crown into my wedding dress as my something old.
- Entering the ceremony room to see all our friends and family – it was very emotional, in a fantastic way.
- Feeling overwhelmed by how amazing our bridesmaids and groomsmen were and that we were so lucky to have such wonderful friends.
- When we left the Town Hall to walk across town to our reception venue there was a big Sikh festival going on, with probably 1,000 people or so dressed in bright orange. Loads of people stopped to say congratulations, including a fair few policemen and a crew of builders. We later found out that one of the groom’s uncles had snuck off to get some free food from the festival before heading over to the reception.
- The best man’s speech, where he told a story about the groom persevering with jumping into a freezing whirlpool while coasteering on the stag do and the loudest laugh coming from the groom’s 5 year old niece, who wouldn’t stop belly laughing. It set everyone else off.
- Not recognising myself when I’d had my make-up done for the Walima.
- Kate’s 88 year old Nana Asian dancing in her heels at the Walima with the groom’s sister and aunt, and showing everyone how it was done. It put my attempt at dancing to shame!
- Our final dance to Coldplay’s Strawberry Swing. It rounded off a perfect day.
Wedding day advice:
- Don’t stress beforehand, it achieves nothing.
- Go with the flow on the day, no-one else knows if something doesn’t happen which ought to have!
- Get someone to take some plasters with them for you, just in case.
- Get the photographer to stay into the evening to get photos of the evening guests. Looking back on the photos has been amazing, and it was only a few weeks ago!
- Just try to take it all in!
Recommended wedding suppliers:
- Our photographers from Pixies in the Cellar were really personable and took wonderful photos which we will treasure forever www.pixiesinthecellar.co.uk
- Our place name cards were ordered from Jump Fox who provided fantastic service and personalised all the cards for no extra cost. You can find them on Ebay under jumpfox-invites.
- Room Restaurant couldn’t have done more to help us; they were excellent and all our guests loved the slightly different venue. www.roomrestaurants.com
- We made activity bags for the young children, including disposable cameras and activity books from www.2littleboys.co.uk
- My flowers were gorgeous and exactly what I was looking for. Sophie Barratt was really helpful and understood just what I wanted www.flowerbomb.me
- My hair, make up and henna for the Asian days was done by Marina Parvaiz and was fantastic. I would definitely recommend using her skills! Search Marina Parvaiz Make Up Artiste on facebook for contact details.
- The wedding cake was from Marks and Spencer, who provided great service, and it looked fantastic and tasted even better!