That’s pretty much all I said for 5 minutes when Anika and Dan’s Jewish/Hindu (or HinJew) fusion wedding hit my inbox. These two certainly know how to throw a party. And throw a party they did — more specifically a big day that embraced a vibrant union of culture, tradition and romance, all beautifully captured by Aneta Mak.
I’m particularly impressed with the way that Anika and Dan intertwined two religions and both Indian and Jewish heritage into the ceremony. It’s a tricky issue for many interfaith couples but these two did it with authenticity and heaps of style and panache.
I almost don’t know where to begin telling their epic wedding story, but luckily for me Anika, the bride explains it a lot better than I ever could.
Anika, the bride: I think most couples want their wedding to be a true reflection of themselves. Dan and I were no different in this respect, we wanted our wedding to showcase our passion for food and how we love to throw a good party, whilst also reflecting both our Indian and Jewish heritages.
The Mandarin Oriental enabled us to do just this. They were super accommodating on the food front, creating a menu that was non-offensive to Jews and Hindus that was also distinctly fusion, and the ball room is stunning and was the perfect place for us party hard after the day’s festivities. It ticked all our boxes.
Style wise I wanted to keep it simple, the Mandarin Oriental is a beautiful venue so I opted for classic white, cream and buttermilk flowers. The table decorations had cascading orchids to add another dimension and soften the overall look. I didn’t have a colour scheme as I wanted the overall appearance to be natural and not too over stylised. Plus I had heard horror stories of brides being up all night ordering chair cover samples from China to ensure they were the same shade of duck egg blue as their bridesmaids dresses! I wanted to avoid slipping into this kind of bridezilla stress! The result was green bridesmaids dresses (they chose colour and outfits themselves), pink and grey straws, and neutral flowers.
PERSONALISED FLAGS AT THE ENTRANCE
My favourite creative detail were the personalised flags we had commissioned. These were life size photos of us hanging over Knightsbridge at the entrance to our wedding. In the future if we buy a house it must have two flag poles so we can hang them once more!
We wanted something quite neutral for the invitations so as not to offend either family. My favourite part of the suite was the envelope liners. They really made the invites ‘pop’ when opened.
A PRONOVIAS DRESS
I tried on 100s of dresses with my bridesmaids over a period of month’s. In the end I went shopping with just my mum and she picked it out, proving mum’s really do know best! It was from Pronovias.
ACCESSORIES THAT WERE PERSONAL TO ME
I wore the same earrings my mum wore on her wedding day. It was a lovely homage to her and my parents marriage. I also wore a bracelet that two of my bridemaids had bought me for my 21st birthday. My veil was from Mirror Mirror.
I opted for sparkly Jimmy Choo‘s! Something very classic, but also with an ankle strap so they were pretty easy to walk in.
HAIR + MAKE UP
I wore my hair down avoiding the traditional up-do. It may sound silly but I really wanted to look myself and not too made up. I wanted Dan to recognise me when I came down the aisle! By the same token Dan was also stubbly on our wedding day as he is very rarely clean shaven in our day to day lives.
A SUPER-STYLISH GROOM
Dan looked super handsome in his bespoke suit that was made by Dress2Kill. Prada shoes and Lanvin cufflinks provided the classy finishing touches.
UN-COORDINATED / CO-ORDINATED BRIDESMAIDS
I wanted my bridesmaids to wear all the same colour but to let them choose the shade and the outfits themselves. I don’t like things too coordinated so this worked well for me. Plus going shopping with the three of them and trying to find something that suited them all would have been an absolute nightmare…. !
A JOINT RELIGIOUS ‘HINJEW’ CEREMONY
We decided we wanted to have a joint religious ceremony rather than two separate Indian and Jewish weddings as we felt this would not be a true reflection of our future HinJew household, where both religions would be intertwined.
Our first task of finding a Hindu priest and a Rabbi who would be happy to work together was very difficult in itself. We then had to build our own wedding ceremony from Jewish and Hindu rituals. This was a political minefield to navigate: pleasing families, the priests as well as ourselves sometimes seemed impossible! We got there in the end however, and the result was a ceremony which incorporated both our cultures, families, and was completely bespoke to us.
A COMBINED CHUPPAH / MANDAP
We needed a chuppah that would also double up as a mandap. As a result we went for something very simple, with no obvious affiliation to either religion.
MUSIC FOR THE CEREMONY
I walked down the aisle to Hanz Zimmer’s ‘You’re So Cool‘. It’s featured on the soundtrack to ‘True Romance’ which is one of our favourite films.
Our flowers were done by Wildabout. I wanted blousy flowers and so the arrangements included peonies, hydrangeas and roses. The tall table decorations also featured cascading orchids.
AN OUTSTANDING PHOTOGRAPHER
Aneta Mak was a no-brainer choice for us. When we first met her we felt completely at ease and the albums she showed us blew us away. She has such a romantic style and using film really made all the colours so vivid.
I have to say working with Aneta has been an absolute pleasure and I would not hesitate to recommend her to anyone. She has been a consummate professional and looked after us every step of the way, from the initial meeting to helping us manage the post wedding blues by providing us with such stunning memories! On the big day her presence was so warming and natural which we valued greatly given all the chaos. And the photos speak for themselves – we will treasure them forever.
A DRAMATIC CROQUEMBOUCHE
Dan and I are big into our baking and so there were high expectations for our cake from everyone. We decided to go for a croquembouche that was a show-stopping 1.3 metres high! The pÃ¢tissier was Le Papillon Patisserie and they did a fantastic job.
Being keen bakers we wanted to create something delicious ourselves for our favours. At the same time however I did not want to give myself too many things to do at the last minute and so I searched for something that was freezable. In the end we made two types of Florentines, white chocolate with lemon and lime and a dark chocolate and peanut variety. By all accounts they were yummy but having made 300+ I am now thoroughly sick of them!
We had a band for the civil ceremony, garden afternoon tea and cocktail hour. Then after dinner we had a DJ to really get the party started. The party was one of the highlights of the day as we had Indian and Jewish dancing followed by some old school classics and of course a garage set! It was crazy! At the end of the night we were on such a high, we went to our room and ordered whiskey and room service and reflected on the day together.
ADVICE TO OTHER BRIDES
My advice for anyone planning a wedding is to try and not get too bogged down in the details and to focus on what really matters to you. We had a brilliant day but we acknowledge it’s hard to take it all in at the time. As my husband says, the prominence of that one day increases with every day that passes. It was the best day of our lives, we know it now but we will know it even more in 50 years time.
ANIKA + DAN’S LITTLE WHITE BOOK
Photography — Aneta Mak
Venue — Mandarin Oriental
Wedding Dress — Pronovias
Bride’s Shoes — Jimmy Choo
Groom attire — Dress2Kill, Prada and Lanvin
Flowers — Wildabout
Croquembouche — Le Papillon Patisserie
I love what Dan, the groom, says, that the prominence of your wedding day increases with every day that passes. What wonderful words and what a gorgeous, gorgeous wedding. A dashing bride and groom who really showed us that THIS is how you do an interfaith wedding.
Have you been to, or even had your own, fusion or interfaith wedding? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments section below!