Date: 22 February 2014
Venue: Hilton, Terminal 5
Photography: Rashpal Photography
Proposal and Planning
It was in the city of love, Paris, that my real-life fairytale moment took place. Harpal had whisked me off to France to celebrate my birthday. I was blown away that he had gone to so much effort but I soon discovered I had even more surprises in store. We were enjoying a wonderful romantic stroll around the sights, then all of a sudden while we were outside The Louvre Museum, Harpal jumped up on a podium and asked me to marry him. I was totally shocked especially as I had no idea he had been carrying a ring with him. I was so surprised that I couldn’t speak, but then I realised this was my magical moment: I burst into tears and replied ‘yes.’
Despite our different backgrounds, (I’m Hindu and Harpal is Sikh) our families were so supportive of our union. To show our appreciation we opted for a grand affair inviting 600 guests; it meant we would be surrounded by all our friends and family – one of the most special feelings in the world. Our first point of call was picking up Asiana Wedding Magazine for inspiration which helped us decide on our theme: elegance and class. The Hilton, Terminal 5 ticked all the boxes for the wow factor wedding venue we desired; we fell in love with it on our first visit. We liked the openness and ambience and having such an enormous amount of space allowed us to accommodate our wishes, such as booking live entertainment and having a guest’s photo booth.
The hotel’s main hall gave us a blank canvas, where we could personalise the venue with ornate décor. Our colour scheme was incorporated into every aspect of the day from the exquisite centrepieces comprising vintage silver candelabras topped with flowers and draped pearls, through to the delicious cake table. For the finishing touches we chose personalised favours; rose and vanilla macaroons – one of my favourite treats and a reminder of our romantic French proposal.
Harpal and Dipa's Big Day
It’s true what people say about weddings – the day flies past! We had an adrenaline-filled, emotional morning. From getting ready, to having photos taken and finally leaving my parents house was a whirlwind, but such an amazing feeling. As I’m Hindu, the Gurdwara ceremony was new to me but I embraced it fully and received so many good wishes and compliments that I was made to feel truly welcome. The evening reception was the icing on the cake. We had a great time seeing our vision come together; from the decoration to the entertainment; every moment was perfect.
There were so many aspects of our wedding that we were happy with but one feature that stood out was our guestbook area created by Rashpal Photography. Not only did we have an exquisite guestbook made with the photos Rashpal had taken from a pre-wedding shoot we did in Paris, he also set up bespoke photo displays. Our guests wrote on these photos so that we have lovely messages from everyone; which we can cherish forever. The speeches too were a magical moment; especially Harpal’s, which made everyone laugh. Our fondest memory of the day however will always be when we saw each other for the first time in the Gurdwara and sat down next to one another; that feeling and moment will never be forgotten.
It was important for us to bring our two cultures together to show the strength of our bond, and we were able to do just this with thehelp Ragamama. As well as taking care of our catering, Ragamama managed our event, taking away much of the stress. Pammy Prasad was our Event Manager while Pankaj took on the role of Operations Manager; both were saviours. With Pammy’s vast experience of wedding planning, we knew we could trust her to help us create our perfect day. Her organisation skills and attention to detail meant we could relax knowing our evening would run smoothly while her personal and friendly nature made it easy for us to communicate our ideas. While Pammy went the extra mile to ensure we were happy, her colleague Pankaj ensured everything was delivered as promised on the day – choosing Ragamama was one of the best decisions we made.
We visited them two weeks before the event to finalise the menu, which involved one of the fun parts of wedding planning; the food tasting. Head Chef Raman prepared many of their signature dishes for us to try and suggested variations. Raman even consulted us on spice levels and explained how he could fuse together Punjabi and Gujarati flavours to keep all our guests happy.
The menu served up was bespoke, designed just for us, adding another level to the wedding day; it wasn’t just another banquet; but one that was personalised and best of all; tasted divine! As Pammy knew the venue really well she was also able to make suggestions about how we could best use the space, which was a much appreciated gesture. All our guests raved about how good the
food and service was; we felt really proud, but of course had Ragamama to thank for it.
Our wedding was the best day of our lives; we loved every minute of it. We’ve only been married for a couple of months but we know in our hearts that being together has made our life complete and having such wonderful memories of our wedding day makes our commitment to one another even more sacred.
Dipa & Harpal’s bespoke menu
Floating canapés: lamb kebabs, mini chaat baskets, chilli mogo
Starters: Raga chicken, chilli paneer, amritsari fish
Main: chilli lamb, butter chicken, palaak paneer, daal makhani
Dessert: gaijar halwa, gulub jama, rasmalai, vanilla ice-cream