Indian weddings are known for being full of tradition, super colourful and big! But today we’ve got a very contemporary Hindu wedding to feast our eyes on. Kaajal and Nilesh took a very modern approach when planning their celebration, and the outcome was a simply beautiful wedding day, complete with an Indian wedding ceremony, but it was done their way.
On March 19th, Kaajal and Nilesh, and their guests added a splash more colour, love and smiles to the streets of Leicester when they celebrated their marriage. All the outfits are stunning. In particular, Kajaal’s gorgeous lace, embroidered and stonework saree – the pink and gold combination is a beauty. The details in this wedding are divine – From the bride’s mehndi, the custom made jewellery and they even have a floral adorned tuk-tuk. I love tuk-tuk’s, given the choice I would forgo a car and forever travel around in a decked out tuk-tuk!
If you’re planning an Indian wedding and are looking to go down the almost-traditional-but-not route, you can take a leaf out of Kaajal and Nilesh’s book. This is the perfect example of a modern Indian wedding done so right.
Photography by Elizabeth Alice Holt Photography
How we met
Kaajal, the bride: Nilesh and I actually met on Linkedin! We’re both secondary school teachers of the same subject and Nilesh sent me a request in the summer of 2014. We decided to meet up for a drink and it went from there!
The beautiful saree
We were having an Indian wedding so instead of a dress I wore a sari, which I bought in Leicester. The first time I saw it, I was tempted to buy it straight away but as it was only the first shop I went to, so I decided to keep looking around. After a few weekends of visiting other shops and not finding anything that came close, I went back and got it.
My evening outfit was custom made from a shop on Leicester’s Golden Mile. My sister in law and I spent around 2 hours with the shop assistant explaining exactly what I wanted. It took around 3 months to make, but it looked amazing. I went to a shop called Vama on the Golden Mile and had custom jewellery made to match the colours of my outfits.
The groom’s outfit
On the morning of the wedding, I sent Nilesh a card for our wedding day. He sent me some lovely yellow roses and a card. During our ceremony, we exchanged prayer beads to incorporate our spiritual journey together.
I found inspiration on my Pinterest board! With over 6000 pins, my mind was overloaded with ideas on how to make our Indian wedding personal but also keep it poignant. In the end, we decided to keep it simple. We looked at ideas on making our own wedding favours, and timelines, as well as the table decorations.
There wasn’t a set theme, but we set out to keep it simple. Unlike ‘normal’ Indian weddings we didn’t want anything too busy or extravagant. I think we managed to do that by keeping the colour scheme to pastel colours which matched my wedding saree.
Modern Indian wedding ceremonies
We had our civil ceremony in the morning and afterwards had a spiritual modern Indian wedding ceremony at Chutney Ivy. We didn’t want to have a full Indian wedding ceremony, so we decided to incorporate the parts that meant the most to us. We exchanged personalised vows, lit of candles, exchanged prayer beads and the Mangalsutra which is an important part of the Hindu wedding ceremony and also wedding rings.
For the entrance music to the ceremony, we chose Latika’s theme from Slumdog Millionnaire. It’s a beautiful mellow piece of music and was the perfect way to start our ceremony.
We found Elizabeth Alice Holt Photography through my brother who used to work with her. We did some research into photographers but no one really stood out for us. When we looked at Elizabeth’s portfolio, we fell in love with her images and were really taken aback. The decision to book her was an easy one to make!
My wedding flowers were created by Flowers by Nafisa in Leicester. She was a friend of Nilesh’s family and had created the wedding flowers for my sister-in-law’s wedding. Nafisa put together some beautiful arrangements for us.
We decided on having a three-tier wedding cake for the day. We booked with Wendy at Skylark Bakery in Leicester who also used to work with Nilesh.
Nilesh came across Liam Beckett in Leicester when looking for engagement rings. We went back to Liam to create both our wedding rings from scratch.
Our daughter Sania chose our first dance song. It was meant to be a surprise but we knew what the song was going to be – Nathan Sykes, Over and Over Again.
Words of wisdom
1. Call upon friends and family to help, and always ask around to find vendors that they might know of.
2. Have a clear plan of what the important parts of the day are.
3. Don’t be afraid to delegate responsibility, you can’t do it all yourself!
We chose to visit Cambodia and Thailand for two weeks. It was an amazing experience. We started off in Siem Reap and then made our way to Bangkok, on to Koh Lanta.
How wonderful is this wedding?! I love the ways Kaajal and Nilesh included their daughter in the planning and doesn’t she look beautiful in her saree? A huge thank you to Elizabeth Alice Holt‘s for sharing (and capturing) all the wonderful details of this wedding.
Kaajal & Nilesh’s Little Black Book
Photographer – Elizabeth Alice Holt Photography
Ceremony and reception venue – Chutney Ivy, Leicester
Bride’s dresses – Sona Rupa, Leicester and Pehnava, Leicester
Bride’s shoes – Monsoon
Hair & makeup – Hair by Shabiha Master | Ruth Elizabeth Make Up, Leicester
Bride’s accessories – Vama, Leicester
Bridesmaid dresses – Pehnava, Leicester
Groom’s attire – Ted Baker
Flowers – Flowers by Nafisa, Leicester
Cake – Skylark Bakery, Leicester