One and Only

One and Only

A classic white wedding in stunning Oxfordshire

ARTICLE BY : Abha Shah


Preet Bal married Paul Dhillon on 14th September 2014. She says: "We were dating for just six months when Paul booked flights abroad for New Year’s. I had no idea  he had something special up his sleeve! He continued to keep the true reason for jetting off under wraps, saying we were heading to India to bring in the New Year.

We spent three wonderful days in Amritsar and on January 1, visited the Golden Temple. We were by the Sarovar (the holy lake) when Paul asked me to marry him. His timing was perfect; we were in a holy place on the first day of the year, and my favourite person just asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. 2014 couldn’t have begun more perfectly.

The Venue
We booked the stately Eynsham Hall for me and my bridesmaids to stay in the night before the Big Day and Blenheim Palace for our civil ceremony. The Palace won us over immediately. We knew within moments that this was where we would make our vows.
We had access to three separate spaces within the venue and chose to hold our ceremony in the light-filled Grand Orangery. Paul and I were very hands-on with the wedding, planning the entire event, décor and the order of the day ourselves. Our goal was to hold a wedding our guests would enjoy and remember for years to come.

The Registry
The Orangery is an elegant room with high ceilings with ornate chandeliers, huge arched windows and a glass panelled roof. The ceremony was scheduled for 1pm and I remember thinking I was walking far too quickly, grinning as I raced up to aisle to Paul’s side. I remember how elated I felt and how I kept asking my bridesmaids "Is it normal that I'm not nervous?" I must have been a little nervous but not as much as I thought I'd be.  
One of the reasons I felt so at ease was because we kept our civil ceremony to a guest list of 70 family and friends. I knew every single person there. This allowed us to relax and be ourselves.

The Décor and Food
I've always adored the classic pink and gold palette and knew this is how we would colour our wedding. However, when we looked into décor firms we found things weren’t what we wanted or it cost virtually the same to buy as to hire the props. That's when my entrepreneurial fiancé decided to set up a décor company called Event Surgeons and source the goods we liked for the Big Day before hiring them out in the future.
Our wedding turned out to be as magical as we hoped it would and we're now working to make other people's Big Days are just as beautiful - alongside our day jobs of mending bones and pulling teeth!
We wanted to make sure the food was just as impressive as our grand setting. Searcys the caterers have a royal warrant, so they were at the top of our wish list. The chef devised an amazing fusion menu, which included tandoori fish and chip canapés and Rogan Josh lamb shank as one of our mains.

The Reception
We were so lucky to have beautiful weather on the day and our wedding managed to go without a hitch - and that’s without the help of a wedding planner! One of the nicest surprises was the reaction from our older relatives, some of whom had never been to a civil ceremony before or danced to old school R’n’B tunes. They loved it; at one point Paul’s grandfather was on the dancefloor sipping straight from a bottle of Ace of Spades! It was lovely to see everybody enjoying our special day as much as we did.

The bride: Preet Bal, 27
The groom: Paul Dhillon, 28
Married: 14th September 2014
Reception: Blenheim Palace
Photography: Didar Virdi

Tags : Blenheim Palace  Didar Virdi  Sikh Wedding  Registry  Traditional 
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