I chose to share this wedding today because it’s the couple’s first anniversary! Happy anniversary Shreya and Brook! One year ago today, these two tied the knot with a beautiful London rooftop wedding ceremony – their third and final celebration.
Shreya and Brook had a relaxed wedding but still paid great attention to achieving an authentic look and feel for their day. I love that the groom actually created all the floral arrangements for the wedding – how super talented! The Netil 360 and the glorious weather was perfect for the British Summer in India London rooftop wedding vibe these two had in mind.
Shreya’s bespoke Indian lengha is absolutely stunning, and Brook is so suave in his tailor-made three-piece suit. The traditional and classic colour scheme of red and gold will never go out of style and this wedding shows how it can look incredibly contemporary. Fingers crossed your reading this in the sunshine, and if not it’ll hopefully make you feel all summery.
Photography by Lily Sawyer
Knowing that I would be wearing a lengha for the Hindu ceremony that we were having a week before our wedding on July 4th, I was in two minds about wearing a traditional wedding dress or another Indian one. In the end, I decided on an Indian lengha – in white and gold. I bought both my wedding dresses with my mother in a beautiful boutique in New Delhi. The dress for the big day was hand-made with gold thread work on Dupion silk.
My parents and grandmother bought me my beautiful wedding jewellery. This was a gold necklace and earrings set with diamonds and rubies, and diamond bangles.
Brook wore a pocket watch – which was handy as the bride arrived a little late! He also had a last minute wardrobe disaster, losing the Brioni tie that he had planned to wear. He ended up going open collar, but it was fine because we had an incredible summer’s day wedding.
Because the décor and the wedding dress used neutral colours, we wanted the flowers to be bright bursts of colours and decided on red and orange.
The day before the wedding, along with the chief bridesmaid we drove to New Covent Garden flower market at 4am and bought hundreds of roses and tulips. Brook put together my bouquet of 30 or 40 red roses, as well as the bridesmaids’ bouquets of orange roses. He also created the table centrepieces.
How we met
Brook and I met at university. We shared some classes together in our second year and our romance blossomed from there.
Our three-tier wedding cake was designed and made by Brook’s brother and sister-in-law. Each tier was four layers of chai-flavoured sponge, with a white chocolate ganache and chai-flavoured frosting. The cake was decorated with white icing and hand-made icing-roses tipped in gold foil.
London rooftop wedding
Our theme wasn’t too specific. The venue was a London rooftop bar with an amazing skyline so the backdrop was already set.
We played around with the idea of a hill-station in India as a theme – somewhere like Darjeeling. Our main colours were gold and red, which we used in decorations such as tea boxes, rolls of silk fabric, trinkets, etc. to capture the idea of a British summer in India.
Brook wore a made-to-measure suit from Suit Supply, shoes by Loake and shirt from Charles Tyrwhitt. His accessories included gold Alexander McQueen cufflinks and a pocket square made by his mother using silk purchased I had bought in India.
Bridesmaids & Ushers
We wanted everyone to feel comfortable. The ushers wore their own suits – one even made his own linen jacket from scratch! Similarly, the bridesmaids were free to wear a dress or Indian attire, the only things we specified was that it should be gold or red. My cousins were my grown-up flower girls, and they walked down the aisle before me wearing assorted white dresses.
I walked down the aisle to ‘You and I’ by John Legend, and we left the ceremony to ‘XO’ by Beyonce. They’re both songs that combine fun and emotion and importantly are songs that we love.
We put together our own playlists (nothing fancy – just on iTunes!) of our favourites and some crowd pleasers for good measure! It meant we could be a bit selfish in picking our favourite songs. It took some effort to make sure it sounded slick, but meant we had peace of mind that we’d like every song that would be played on the day!
Our priority was to invite as many people as possible to celebrate with us – family, friends from school and university, and abroad. We also wanted to have a relaxed day. In total, we had about 350 guests.
We used our common history and interests as inspiration – Shreya was born in India and Brook had visited, and we both liked the idea of getting married in the summer. We thought a garden-style party would be perfect and the London rooftop venue looking over the skyline was wonderful. Instead of a sit-down meal, we decided on a standing reception with food stalls and drinks served throughout. Right up until three days before the big day we were ready to order marquees in case it rained, the one downside of choosing a London rooftop wedding ceremony! We decided against it at the last moment, and fortunately, we had a perfectly blue sky the whole day.
Three wedding ceremonies
First, we had a Hindu ceremony the week before at my parents’ home, and to make our marriage legal we had a ceremony in between. But the 4th of July was the big day and the day we consider our anniversary. On the day itself, we had a Christian ceremony, where we made our vows to each other.
Brook chose my engagement ring, a round diamond solitaire set in platinum on his own, from a jeweller in Hatton Garden. We went back to the same shop to buy our wedding bands – a plain 2.5mm platinum band for me, and a 5mm white gold band for Brook.
We were planning and hoping for a very sunny day for London rooftop wedding and in case it got really warm (which it did – it was 30 degrees for most of the day!) we had bought white paper fans for guests. They came in handy, were practical and looked great.
Lily Sawyer Photography
Lily Sawyer is an old friend of Brook’s family, and we had lots of her great work. She took us on a fun and glamorous engagement photo shoot through Brick Lane and St Paul’s in London.
For the wedding day itself, Lily’s colleagues shot our day. They captured us getting ready and everything detail of the ceremony and reception. They both did an amazing job.
We chose a Bollywood song for our first dance. It’s a song called Kyon from a Hindi film called Barfi. This was one of the first Hindi films we watched together. We only practised the dance together once or twice in the week running up to the wedding. We didn’t take it too seriously and it turned out great on the day.
Despite planning so many details of the wedding(s!) ourselves, by far the best use of our time in the run up to getting married was preparing for marriage itself. Our biggest piece of advice would be to make sure you take time out, and if possible, at least once a week talk about life after the wedding. It’s a welcome break from the stress of planning, and a much-needed opportunity to prepare for married life. If possible, it’s worth doing a marriage preparation course or something similar.
The other bit of advice that served us well is to share the wedding planning process with each other. In our case, Brook got as involved in planning the details as I did. It made the whole process exciting for both of us.
We spent a few days in Barcelona after the wedding, to soak up some sun and relax after a hectic few days! Later in the summer, we went to India for another wedding reception. Brook’s family came with us for a week of sightseeing and we travelled on to Bangkok for a few days before returning home.
Once again happy anniversary you two, I hope you’re doing something special to mark the occasion.
Shreya & Brook’s Little Black Book
Photographer – Lily Sawyer
Ceremony & reception venue – Netil 360, Netil House, Hackney, East London
Bride’s lengha – Frontier Raas – Delhi, India
Bride’s shoes – Russell and Bromley
Bride’s jewelerry – Mehrasons Jewellers, Delhi
Groom’s suit – Suit Supply
Stationery – Indian Wedding Card – Jaipur, India
Catering – Clifford Brown Catering