This super fun wedding is the perfect way to kick start the week. Susi, our bride is one-half of the wonderful Wilma Event Design team (who also styled this glorious wedding) – so you know the details of this celebration are going to be amazing!
Susi and Anand’s colourful vintage Indian wedding is guaranteed to make you smile. There was lots of oohing and ahhing at the incredible details on my part! They filled their day with a gorgeous colour palette of colours, wonderful personalisation – I totally want my face on a Bollywood poster! and still managed to include all the traditional and ritual aspects of a Hindu wedding.
If you’re looking for beautiful styling inspiration or modern day Indian wedding ideas this one is definitely for you.
Photography by Chris Parkes
How we met
Susi, the bride: Anand and I met through online dating – using a very embarrassing well-known dating website! Anand was living in London and I had just moved back to Birmingham. His parents and family live close to Birmingham so he came up to meet me one weekend. We went bowling and out for drinks and just clicked straight away- we had so much in common. Near the end of the night, we randomly ended up sharing a table with another couple who had been together for years. They didn’t believe us when we said we’d just met. We were always just very relaxed in each others company!
I ordered my wedding lengha from an Indian dress shop on the Soho Road stretch of Handsworth in Birmingham. It took me a REALLY long time to settle on a style as I felt completely overwhelmed with all the options. Even picking the right colour seemed difficult! In the end, I decided to go with a classic Indian wedding Lengha, with colourful red silk and heavy antique gold embroidery. I went to the shop with an idea of a design I found on Pinterest and we took it from there! It was handcrafted in India.
Anand wore a traditional Indian Sherwani for both ceremonies. He found this from The Sherwani Company. He changed for the evening.
Our bridesmaids were our two lovely nieces. We wanted them to feel relaxed with what they were wearing and we discussed a colour together. They both went shopping and picked matching purple and silver Indian suits.
Anand bought me a little gold bracelet to wear on the day. I bought him a pair of up-cycled Indian postage stamp cufflinks for his evening suit. It was a little nod to the Indian vintage aspect of the day. You can find something similar on Etsy.
Colourful vintage Indian wedding
I’d looked at so many weddings on Pinterest and read so many blogs to get ideas! Most of all we wanted to look back at our pictures and see our friends and family together, enjoying a colourful fun wedding in the sunshine. And we wanted to make it as personal to us as possible.
It was a big task, but we also decided to hold both our Hindu and civil ceremonies on the same day. Because of this, we wanted the day to have elements of our Indian heritage whilst also representing our British roots. The venue was a modern hotel, with a huge rolling green garden and a private woodland island. The Hindu ceremony took place inside and the civil ceremony happened on the island.
The venue was decorated in vibrant colours that reminded us of our family trips to India. We settled on pinks, oranges and some pops of purple in the form of colourful garlands around the venue and outside.The marquee was filled with huge colourful paper honeycomb balls and pinwheels to help tie in all the colours. Luckily for us the weather was amazing and the bright colours worked really well in the sun! We’re also both fans of everything vintage Indian, so we added aspects of this into the decoration as well.
Wilma Event Design, my now full-time job began when Anand and I were planning our wedding. Jane, Anand and I worked to create all the bespoke elements and details that we struggled to find elsewhere. Together we designed and printed all of the stationery and designed and hand painted a vintage Bollywood card box. We also created flower jars for each of the tables and tied each one with colourful vintage Indian sari ribbon.
We created a Spotify list of music to play for various parts of the day. It was all music and songs that we love and enjoy! And we threw in some old school Bollywood classics into the mix for good measure.
Our Hindu ceremony took place first. We hired a mandap from Mayur Art Mandap Company – it was a gorgeous wooden carved Ganesh mandap. Straight after we had our civil ceremony outdoors on the wooded island. We’d held off confirming this bit until the very last moment as we weren’t sure if the weather would hold out for us! Luckily it did and it was a really relaxed ceremony.
Chris Parkes, our photographer was simply amazing. He was recommended by a friend, and we couldn’t have hoped for more. He captured so many moments that we missed and he made everyone feel really relaxed. It’s great to look back at the photos and see everyone have so much fun, that was really important for us.
The flowers were designed by The Flower Centre, Birmingham. we asked them to mix in orange marigolds, which are associated with good luck and love in Hinduism. I asked them to make all the flowers as vibrant as possible to go with the Indian feel. Anand’s sister Tina is really creative with flowers and she put together the buttonholes using flowers from her own garden.The Wilma team designed and created the flower jars for each table setting.
Making sure our guests had fun was really important to us, so a lot of our budget went towards entertainment. We had a bubbleologist to keep the children entertained – but to be honest the adults seemed to love him too! For our guestbook, we hired a vintage photo booth from The Vintage Photo Booth Company. I couldn’t have predicted how popular it was going to be! They gave us lots of props and even threw in some Indian themed ones for us too! Our guests left us a picture and message which was so much fun to go through it afterwards. We used the image from our original wedding invite on the photo booth picture template so it tied in with the design of the day.
Our first dance was a rather awkward one to Stevie Wonder, ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered’. We’d been so busy in the run up we hadn’t properly thought about practising, then all of a sudden it was too late!
Team Wilma sourced and designed the wedding favours, they were miniature gold Indian tiffin tins. These were made to order especially for our wedding. Wilma also designed the guest name tags to accompany them. Each one was filled with sweets and Indian treats.
Wilma designed all the bespoke stationery – from the invites, table names, venue signage to the Bollywood posters and table plans. The table plan was a map of India and represented our honeymoon trip and stops along the way. Each table represented a destination along the route.
Traditionally, an Indian groom is expected to arrive on a white horse, but we felt a vintage Indian Ambassador car was more fitting on this occasion! We were so lucky to find Kushi cars, who supplied us with the most wonderful Indian Ambassador car. It was beautifully decorated inside with Indian fabrics and floral details. Anand arrived in the car with his sisters and mum squeezed in so they could take part in the ‘Milni’ welcome ceremony outside the venue with my close family.
Hair & makeup
My hair and makeup lady Preeti Bains was super. I was really worried because I didn’t want to look overly made up like a lot of Indian brides! Preeti helped me feel comfortable and happy, she was ace!
Words of wisdom
1. Make your day personal and unique to yourselves.
2. Delegate jobs so that you can relax and enjoy the day
3. … And maybe try out your first dance before the big day!
4. The day goes sooo quickly, I would suggest maybe bringing everyone together a couple of days/week before or even doing a lunch the day afterwards.
We’d talked about doing a huge trip to India together for years, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. We took three months out and our plan was to visit all the parts we’d never been to – Mumbai, Goa, Kerala, Rajasthan, the Andaman Islands and lots of places in between! It was an exciting start to married life and I’d thoroughly recommend it.
Susi & Anand’s Little Black Book
Ceremony & reception venue – Hogarths Hotel, Solihull
Shoes – Roland Cartier, Debenhams
Hair & makeup – Preeti Bains
Accessories – Bee’s Jewellery
Groom’s attire – The Sherwani Company
Sitar player – John Sterckx
Flowers – The Birmingham Flower Centre
Stationery & styling – Wilma Event Design
Catering – Five Rivers
Transport – Kushi Cars