We held our wedding in Mysore, India, where my father is from. Mysore holds a very special place in my heart as I grew up spending a lot of time there, and since we had guests from Australia, America, Wales, Africa and everywhere in between, we thought it would be amazing to have them all experience an Indian wedding in India. We held the first night of the wedding (the Mehendi) at my grandmother's house, which was built by my great-great-grandfather 110 years ago, and has been occupied by my family ever since. The evening was magical, and welcoming everyone in the garden amongst century-old mango trees was something we'll never forget! The wedding ceremonies and reception were at Lalitha Mahal Palace - when my grandfather was alive he loved bringing us here for weekend lunches, so not only was the venue spectacular in its own right, but it was also very sentimental, as was the whole weekend (the family home was built by his grandfather).
My getting ready morning was actually two separate getting ready sessions, as we had two ceremonies in one day! The Hindu ceremony was first, and required me to be up for hair and makeup at 5:30 AM, which was no easy feat as I'm not a morning person at the best of times, let alone when there is a party the night before (the Sangeet, a night traditionally filled with lots of singing and dancing, wrapped up at midnight the night before). It was just my MOH and myself for the first few hours (she stayed with me to ensure that I woke up on time - I certainly wouldn't have without her!), and then my other bridesmaids joined at the more reasonable hour of 7:30AM. After the Hindu ceremony, it was back to the hotel for another whirlwind 2 hours of getting ready for the Western ceremony and reception. This was much more relaxed - we ordered Indian food from the hotel restaurant (my favourites - bhindi masala, paneer makhani and chicken tikka all served with butter naan) and drank champagne which my now sister-in-law graciously brought over duty free from Singapore, as it's quite difficult to find champagne in Mysore! My parents gave me a beautiful aquamarine (my birthstone) and diamond necklace as a wedding present, which my entire wedding look was built around, so putting that on as the final piece of the puzzle was extremely special.
The entire weekend was a magical whirlwind, and it was just so incredible having all of our loved ones from all over the world in one place, for what will likely be the first and only time. I'm first-generation Indian raised in America, and Alex is first-generation Welsh raised in Australia, so our family backgrounds are very diverse, which was amazingly represented at the wedding. Everyone got SO into the Indian aspect - some of our guest's outfits gave ours a run for our money! Another big reason we did the wedding in Mysore was because of my grandmother and her two sisters, who all live in the family home together - they're 85, 87 and 89 and having them at the wedding was undoubtedly the most special part, as they're all a massive part of my childhood and influences on the woman I've grown up to become.
That being said, the weekend wasn't without its bumps - what wedding is, much less one that goes for three days?! Having two ceremonies in one day was seriously exhausting, and we were delayed in getting to our second ceremony because my dad left the rings in their suite, and had to double back for them - whoops! The bumps were all minor though, and all forgotten about as we danced the night away under the palace lights!
Another potential disaster came a few months before the wedding, when we were told that because our wedding was outdoors, we'd have to turn the music off at 10:30PM. There was no way Alex and I were going to let our wedding weekend wrap up that early, especially because the Reception was our time to finally relax! We had the idea of a silent disco, and asked our wedding planners about it, fully expecting it to not be possible in Mysore. They worked their magic and got in headphones from Bangalore, and it was AMAZING. Every wedding should have a silent disco, if not for the fun of participating, than for the hilarity of observing it. Watching our nearest and dearest sing their hearts out after several drinks to the likes of Enrique Iglesias, 'NSYNC and Lynyrd Skynyrd (Sweet Home Alabama) was hysterical, and something we'll never forget.
Shop the looks:
Photographer: Denim and Boots
Venue: Lalith Mahal Palace, Mysore India
Dress: Suzanne Harward
Bridesmaids dresses: Jenny Yoo
Hair & Makeup: Hair and Makeup by Bharathi
Videographer: Moon and Back
Wedding Planners: Designing Vows