What happens when you blend two beautiful, family-oriented cultures? The Jewish-Indian wedding of the year, that’s what!
Sharon and Simon took their favorite elements from their respective upbringings and brought them together for a gorgeous cultural fusion, celebrating their globetrotting history as a couple, and culminating in an epic party, led by our sensational Recommended Vendor, The Function Band. Check out their incredible dance floor-filling mashup in the video below!
Catering a Jewish-Indian wedding, of course, meant enough food to feed a small army – with a delicious ‘East meets West’ catering theme. We’re getting hungry just thinking about it.
Beautiful bride, Sharon, looked absolutely sublime in her traditional Indian dress, adjusted to incorporated western colors, adorned with antique-inspired accessories, against the picturesque backdrop of her blush pink, navy blue and ivory color scheme.
The inclusion of family was very important to the happy couple, with thoughtful groom Simon and his family performing a surprise Bollywood dance for his bride.
All of the action was captured by photographer, Ed Godden, and was written up below by Sharon herself. We’ll pass you over to her now for the full story!
An ‘East meets West’ theme
Sharon, the bride: We got married at Sopwell House in Hertfordshire. We wanted a venue that could accommodate 200 guests, and Sopwell House was perfect for us, as they are very experienced with dealing with big weddings and have different options of venue rooms, as well as beautiful gardens.
We also had in mind that we wanted the day to bring elements of both of cultures together. We had an idea that we would like to have an ‘east meets west’ theme for the food, and Sopwell House were amazing in creating a bespoke menu that added Indian elements to the dishes.
As we wanted the ceremony and reception to be held in one place, we were conscious that we didn’t want our guests to be confined indoors for the entire day. Sopwell House, as a venue, brings the perfect balance of luxury hotel with a country feel. The gardens were perfect for the drinks reception, and there were lots of great choice for the backdrop of our photos.
“The world has played the magnificent backdrop…”
Simon and I met working at British Airways Pensions, and one of our biggest passions is travelling. In the time we have been together we have travelled a lot; to quote Simon’s speech “…the world has played the magnificent backdrop to our relationship…”
Even though our wedding was big, we wanted our guests to feel like it was intimate wedding and understand who we are as a couple. So, it seemed fitting that the theme of our wedding would be ‘travel’. Each table was named after a place/country we had been, and on each table were framed pictures of us in that place.
Apart from travel, both the Indian and Jewish culture is rich with tradition. As much as our wedding was a celebration of the two of us coming together, it was also a celebration of our families and our cultures coming together. It was important for both of us to add elements of both our cultures on the day, and we did this by having a traditional Sikh drummer (dhol player) who did an amazing performance with our band (The Function Band), the highlight collaboration being Fresh Prince of Bel Air meets Punjabi MC. Not to mention the manic, traditional Jewish dancing, and Simon’s family surprising me with a Bollywood dance!
As we got married in April, we wanted to keep the colours in theme with springtime. Our colour theme was blush pink, navy blue, and ivory.
Pinterest was an amazing source for our ideas!
We wanted our invitations to be in keeping with our color theme, and decided to go with blush pink laser cut front with ivory insert card.
We ordered the same style for our place cards, table plan, table name, and menu. All our stationery was done by Cartalia who we cannot rate highly enough. Domencia was our contact at Cartalia and she was very friendly, quick to reply and a true professional.
A glamorous makeup look
I was looking for a makeup artist that could do a glamorous look, but still make me look like me. Boe Wright, who I found on Facebook, has the talent and versatility that I was after. She had experience in traditional English wedding as well as Indian.
A traditional Indian wedding dress
My dress was from Traditions, who specialize in traditional Indian dresses. I knew I wanted something that was Indian in style, but more western in colour. I was shopping for my cousin’s wedding with my mum and aunts, when I stumbled upon my dress.
When I tried it on, it fit perfectly, and I knew it was made for me (as cheesy as that sounds). It was the first dress I saw and tried on but brought it then and there!
As I kept my dress simple (in terms of an Indian bride), I wanted to dress my look up with my jewellery. I wore a headpiece, earrings, choker necklace, long necklace, and bangles (or in Punjabi they are called choora) and loved the antique style.
All my jewelry was from Bees (shop is in Green Street, East London). They do an amazing selection of jewelry.
A friend recommended the shoes I wore. She had worn these shoes to her wedding, and said they very comfortable. As my dress was long, I wanted something high but comfortable, as the last thing I wanted to be thinking about was my feet hurting. I cannot tell you how comfortable they were!
They were wedge heels with gold straps, by Russell and Bromley.
The handsome groom
Simon wore a blue suit from Reiss that was lighter than the navy colour worn by the other groomsmen. He also wore a watch and bangle bought by my parents and aunt respectively.
Let’s just say there were more than a few tears between our guests as soon as the waterworks had started between the bride and groom!
Bridesmaids in blush pink
I had three bridesmaids and four flower girls.
I wanted my bridesmaids to wear more traditional Indian dress, and we initially began searching the shops for dresses, but couldn’t find the right style or three of the same.
I decided to custom make the bridesmaids dresses. We picked the material, and we took them to a tailor to get made.
This meant I could get the exact look I wanted for my bridesmaids. Their dresses tied in with the blush pink theme, the gold in their jewellery and dress matched my outfit.
The flower girl dresses were bought from David’s Bridal in Vancouver.
A family-centric ceremony
We had my sister in law sing as I walked down the aisle.
I had my aunts read a poem for how I feel for Simon (Love by Roy Croft), and he had his uncle read one for me (The Bridge Across Forever by Richard Bach).
The Function Band burst into Bob Marley’s Is This Love at the end of our ceremony.
A surprise Bollywood dance
Simon walked down the aisle with his parents to Intermezzo by Pietro Mascagni (opening theme from Raging Bull). The bridesmaids, flower girls, and I (with my father) walked down to Turning Page — Sleeping At Last.
After ceremony, we walked down the aisle to Bob Marley — Is This Love sung by the Function Band,
We entered the reception to Maroon 5 — Sugar.
Our first dance was to The Lumineers — Dead Sea (this band hold significance to us as it was the album we listened to when we first started dating).
The last song with family was Al Green — Let’s Stay Together.
Fabulous floral arrangements
We sourced our flowers from Little Flower House (Hadley Wood). Sarah Southwell was great! I collected images of flowers we liked from Pinterest prior to our meeting and emailed them to Sarah. For our meeting, she had made us a demo centre pieces.
We had a meeting beforehand, where Sarah told us about what flowers would be in season around our wedding and the different options for flower arrangement styles. We decided on a bridal bouquet with large avalanche ivory roses, spray blush rose, ivory freesia, eucalyptus berries, silvery foliage and ivory ribbons.
The bridesmaids carried large sweet avalanche roses, spray ivory roses, freesia, silvery foliage tied and trailed ivory ribbons, while the buttonholes were blush rose with ivory spray rose heads and silvery foliage with magnetic fastenings.
As we did not have a chuppah, we had two urns either side of us during the wedding ceremony, which were then moved to the entrance of the ballroom for the reception.
The table arrangements were made in an oasis bowls so the flowers can be removed from gold vase and given away to our family and friends,
Our table centerpieces were blush and ivory, spray roses, lisianthus, trachelium, silvery foliage , eucalyptus berries , hypericum, eucalyptus all placed in a circular arrangement in a mercury gold bowl.
A variety of cake flavors
We used Rachel De La Fuente for our main cake — fruit cake and our mini cakes. The flavors were red velvet, carrot, Victoria sponge.
The Function Band is the best wedding band we have ever seen! They are driven, dedicated, and supportive, and will make the wedding party the one you’ve always dreamed about (and more!).
Kids’ activity packs
For the favors, we did kids activity packs, which include a cut out of a bride and groom to color in, a disposable camera with an eye spy game.
Including a big family
I have a lot of extended family: aunts/uncles and cousins who I am close to, and although I couldn’t give all my family a specific job at the wedding, we had Simon’s ushers, my brother, and my cousin brother wear navy suits, white shirts, and we brought them all the same polka dot navy tie to wear.
To set the best men, and our respective fathers apart, they wore the same silver tie as Simon.
We also had buttonhole flowers for all our close male family members.
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
I would say don’t stress the small stuff, as difficult as it sounds. No one will notice apart from you. This day is about you both and the amazing journey and life you are about to begin together, and when things get stressful, try to keep that in mind.
I think the only way to enjoy the day is go with it, and not try to control everything. Everything moves so fast, make sure you take moments throughout it to take in what is going on in that moment.
Sharon & Simon’s little white book
Photographer – Ed Godden
Entertainment, Production and Planning —The Function Band
Videographer – Shutterbox Film
Venue – Sopwell House
Bride’s accessories – Bees
Bride’s shoes – Russell and Bromley
Groom’s attire – Reiss
Flower girls – David’s Bridal
Hair + makeup – Boe Wright
Invitation – Cartalia
Cake – Rachel De La Fuente
Chair hire – YaHire