A wish come true

A wish come true

Our fashion editor ties the knot in the glorious Kent countryside

ARTICLE BY : Abha Shah


We all grew up listening to fairytales as children, stories of princesses who were rescued by dashing Prince Charmings. Then we became adults and continued the search for our personal Happily Ever After, indulging in Hollywood love stories and hoping to find our soul mates, the one true love. Although such tales of all-conquering romance rarely happen in real life, for Parveen Sahota and Amar Upadhyaya, their wedding day was just that – an epic fairytale.
Parveen met Amar eleven years ago through friends in secondary school. Although they started off as friends, it wasn’t long before Cupid shot his bow and the friendship blossomed into love. Over a decade later, on a sun-drenched afternoon in late July, they became Mr & Mrs. ‘We used to talk on the phone every night about anything and everything. We became close friends, and then, before we knew it we fell in love and became a couple’ says Parveen. During their eight year relationship, Amar had always promised he would propose before he turned 26. And although it did slip her mind, Amar kept true to his word when he finally proposed to Parveen one day before his 26th birthday. ‘I was in complete shock!’ Say’s Parveen. ‘I couldn’t believe it, it was so romantic and one of the most cherished moments of my life.’

In that moment, the pages had turned to begin a new chapter in both of their lives.
The moment, when it did arrive, was like no other! On his aunt’s suggestion, Parveen arranged a special birthday lunch at her house for Amar. She opened the door to a very nervous Amar, who calmed his nerves by turning his attention to a football game - apparently it works as a great stress buster for most men. ‘I remember him acting very strangely that day; he was very secretive and wouldn’t allow me to go near his jacket. In fact, he kept his jacket on the whole time’, remembers Parveen. ‘And to top it off he watched a full 90 minute game much to my dismay as I was hoping for a romantic lunch. Of course, it all makes sense now because I know he was so nervous about proposing!’ laughs Parveen.
Amar finally managed to summon his courage and pulled out a ring box from an inside pocket of his jacket before getting down on bended knee while the couple’s favourite song ‘Cater to You’ played in the background. ‘I was in complete shock; I didn’t know what to say! I’d been waiting my whole life for this moment. I just cried my eyes out and gave him a big hug, managing to choke out a jubilant, if emotional, yes!’
The next step was to plan the wedding and reception of the decade. ‘It took us 18 months to plan our Big Day as we wanted everything to be exactly right. It was our special day; our moment and we wanted to share that with our guests. Like every girl, I wanted a true fairytale wedding where my Prince arrives in magnificent grandeur and promises to share the rest of his life with me.’ The couple held a series of parties in the run up to the wedding day, welcoming family and friends under huge marquees in their respective homes. Amar’s talented cousins put on entertaining plays and dances while Parveen’s family and friends danced into the evening in true Punjabi style while the bride-to-be had her hands and feet adorned with intricate mendhi and had tumeric applied to her face, enhancing her blissful glow.
The couple planned the wedding largely themselves, with the help of family and friends. ‘The planning was stressful, but as Khush’s Fashion Editor, I had the contact details of hundreds of suppliers at my disposal. After taking to the web for inspiration and consulting my married friends and family, I drew up a shortlist of companies that I wanted to make my wedding day dreams a reality.’
Parveen’s concept focused on romance with inspiration drawn from vintage trends. The couple knew the instant they visited Cobham Hall in Kent that they want to tie the knot in the spectacular manor and on the 150 acres of picturesque grounds that fitted their theme perfectly.
The couple planned three events all on the same day; the registry, the Hindu ceremony and the reception party. For most people such a schedule can be difficult to execute, but Parveen and Amar had industry leading experts at hand to transform the venue into completely different settings and a full team behind them to ensure everything was handled.
The registry was held under a clear July sky in the beautiful Lady Darnley Garden, where strands of ivy and pastel hydrangeas decorated the gazebo pillars for the civil ceremony. A gentle breeze cooled guests as they watched Amar and Parveen exchange vows and became lawfully wedded husband and wife, before Stevie Wonder’s ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered’ celebrated their union. Parveen wore a long ivory dress with sheer lace panelling along the back, designed by a French designer Ron Sax, which helped to elongate her petite frame. She accessorised  a stunning pair of Jimmy Choo’s from her brother and jewellery by Harriet.

Next was the Hindu ceremony in the magnificent Gilt Hall, dressed with a carved wooden mandap with antique gold leaf detail to co-ordinate with the handsomely decorated interior. ‘It also complemented my lengha, by exclusive designer Sabyasachi,’ explains Parveen. ‘Amar wore an intricate gold and cream sherwani from Ziggi Studio and we had a royal blue and red scarf made up for him to coordinate with my lengha’. The groom adorned the bride with the sindoor and mangal sutra as guests watched on, before the wedding party was ushered into the Grand Dining Hall for the Gujarati lunch. The reception was held under huge marquees on Cobham Hall’s grounds. Parveen’s vintage theme shone through here, with candles and tea lights suspended from gently swaying white willow trees, creating a magical atmosphere. It set the scene for one of the most touching moments in the day. While most daughters want to dance with their fathers on their wedding day, Parveen wanted to share the moment with her mum. ‘My mum has fulfilled the role of both parents so I wanted to thank her for her sacrifices and love over the years’, she explains ‘It was hugely emotional and we were both choking up, so I invited Amar and his mum and the rest of our immediate family to join us on the dance floor,’ recalls a teary Parveen.
Emotions may have been running high, but so were Parveen’s fashion choices.
For her reception outfit, Parveen donned a fabulous crimson fishtail gown paired with simple vintage – style jewellery to coordinate with her cherished theme. ‘People thought I was crazy to have so many dress changes squeezed into an already busy day, but my detailed itinery really proved its worth and I was lucky enough to have the Khush team by my side to ensure my looks, hair and makeup were all styled to perfection.’  
The fleeting moments of the day were captured by Oman Ghani. ‘Amar and I understood how important it is to choose the right photographer for our Big Day as these are memories we will look back upon forever. And with Osman’s experience and well-known reputation we were more than happy to rely on his expertise and have him do the photography’, says Parveen. She and Amar look forward to flipping through their wedding album when they return from their honeymoon, ‘I can’t wait to get my hands on the final cut!’

Advice to soon-to-be weds:
Hire a toastmaster. They’re brilliant at getting your guests’ attention for speeches.
Construct a detailed itinerary, we all know how chaotic Asian weddings can be!
Take inspiration from Khush Wedding and create moodboards for each of your looks and themes.


Tags : real wedding  fashion editor  kent  registry  reception  traditional  summer 
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