When two foodies tie the knot, it’s the ultimate wedding invitation to receive. As a guest you know you will be in for a tantalising treat, which is exactly what the lucky folk invited to share in the nuptials of Shami and Sandeep experienced. The love story, however, didn’t start in the kitchen. It is inspired by their other shared passion: history, as Shami explains…
Date: 12th November 2016
Venue: London Hilton Syon Park and Radisson Blu Edwardian Heathrow
Photography: Jay Dhillon
As seen in Asiana Wedding Magazine Spring 2017
A historic proposal
Call me an old-fashioned romantic if you like, that’s exactly what I am. Not just me though, Sandeep is too. We’re both fascinated by history: the tales, the legends, the romance…and that’s why The British Museum is our favourite place. When we were dating it was our go to place, to spend time together making new discoveries. Then one day, following a visit, Sandeep dropped down on one knee; on the staircase that leads to the entrance, and asked me to marry him. He chose this special spot because he knew it’s a place we both adore, and it will be there forever, a place we will revisit for the rest of our lives.
Weddings and food are very much a part of Sandeep’s life as his mother Pammy Prasad is Event Manager at Ragasaan Ragamama: the most prolific and luxurious Asian wedding caterer in the UK. With a plethora of experience in the field of event management, spanning over 20 years, it was an honour to have her plan ours. The celebrations begun with a sublime vintage style civil wedding and engagement at the Radisson Blu Hotel in January. We then returned in November for our Jago, Maiya and Sangeet which were based on a traditional Indian Village theme. The Big Day was held at Syon Park in mid-November. We had a regal wedding theme for our Indian wedding, combing our Gujarati and Punjabi heritages, attended by 450 guests
Every aspect of the ceremony went above and beyond our expectations and we have our wedding suppliers to thank. We opted for an elegant Maharaja look in the morning which contrasted beautifully with our peacock mandap, enhanced with bespoke lighting and flowers for the evening. Riki Bali from Ivy Designs, Chiraag Patel from Gayatri and Vinay Loi Director from Ritzy Entertainment worked harmoniously with Arun and his team at Ragasaan Ragamama. The glamorous evening reception had three table centrepieces including winter berries in tall vases with fresh flowers, surrounded by vintage gold candle holders and sequined rose gold tablecloths. The cake by Nealm Rattu was incorporated into the décor and presented on a floating table. Unconventionally, Sandeep bought his outfit first whilst visiting India from Manyavar of Delhi, so the search began to find something to complement him. Only an ornate Sabyasachi creation would do. Vikram from Safa 4 Weddings was on hand to tie tradition Punjabi turbans for the groomsmen, which added colour and vibrance. Mobile Moments decked up an autorickshaw for the all important lively Punjabi bharaat arrival, while for my all important make-up look, I chose Manny Sinha as my MUA.
We would have loved to have been a guest at our own wedding, there was so much to see, experience and taste. From the arrival of the bhaarat to the last song, the day was incredible. All our guests were a part of our ceremony which made it special and fun for them. Our Pandit Hemang Bhatt conducted a joyful ceremony, explaining it in English, Gujarati and Hindi, whilst his wife Tamanna conducted tailor made music in cue with the Hindu ceremony. Our Photographer the talented Jay Dhillon captured these moments and memories with his dedicated team, even though it was frightfully cold for our portraits. Ritzy Music, our chosen DJs played the night away. Jags Klimax, Vinay, Pupps and Harry, supported by Gurps our sound and lighting technician, handled the day playing a combination of Punjabi, Hindi and English songs, no one was left seated. Ragasaan Ragamama was, of course, a major highlight: the food and the service played a central role in all our events.
The Grand Banquet
Our wedding feast was overseen by Arun Luthra, Director of Ragasaan Ragamama. As foodies, the favourite part of the planning was the food tasting. Arun encouraged us to try new dishes and combinations. Set menus are not part of their gameplan! ~There were so many menu options from flavours, concepts and colours through to presentation. Our guests were in awe of the feast which was designed and fine tuned to meet their Punjabi and Gujarati preferences and they simply loved it; especially the presentation which included food served on slates, inside dainty shot glasses, served on banana leaves and in clay pots. Arun and his team went far beyond our expectations to bring ou dream wedding to life.
Highlights: Registry Menu
Live counters: Mini Dosas, Chaat counter, Pau Bhaji, fish and masala fries served in newspaper cones and muttar parantha with dhal and mango pickle. Live dessert station serving Bombay falooda and mango lassi in claypots
Evening: Thai & Lebanese
Thai style canapés – veg tempura, dumplings, spring rolls, spicy lychees, chilli and garlic king prawns
Middle-Eastern canapés – stuffed vine leaves, lamb kibbeh, baba ganoush
Live Lebanese counter – falafel, chicken or lamb sharwama served with sides
Live Thai counter – red and green curries, jasmine rice, papaya salad
Drinks: Champagne with strawberries, Pina Colada, Cosmopolitan and Pink Lady cocktails and passionfruit mojitos
Highlights: Jago, Sangeet and Maiya event menu
Indian buffet starters: fish tikka, achari chicken, chilli mogo, raj kachori chaat
Themed buffet counters: Indo-Chinese, Punjabi Dhaba and biriyani counter
Dessert counter: fresh jalebi, mango kheer, chocolate fountain, fresh waffles served with a choice of flavoured ice creams
Highlights: Wedding Day Menu
Breakfast: Traditional Indian Gujarati dhokla sambhol ghatia, Punjabi aloo paratha, fresh pakoras, dhai pickle
Lunch: Sizzling tava vegetables, fresh pooris, dhal makhani and tinda mulayam
Afternoon Tea: Assorted finger sandwiches, clotted cream scones, tea, coffee and fresh coconut water
Dinner: Indian feast with live stations including Goan fish curry, lamb karahi, chicken makhani
Dessert: Rasmalai, halva, profiteroles, fresh fruit display, live crepe station