Saawani and Joseph’s multicultural wedding was a celebration of love and acceptance as the two families came together for a grand fiesta. With friends and family stepping in as hosts, singers and even officiating a ceremony, the wedding managed to be both intimate and grand.
Captured artistically by WeddingSutra Favorite – WhatKnot Photography, here are a few glimpses from the festivities.
How they met
On her first day in college in the UK at 18, Saawani crossed paths with Joseph and it wasn’t long before they realised there was something special between them. But after her education, her journey back home to move permanently to India was her real crossroad. She decided to move back to the UK where she’d left her heart.
“Jo planned a surprise proposal on a Paris getaway,” the bride beams, “Following a wonderful day at the Louvre and an incredible lunch, he insisted we visit this lovely park. As we sat, he popped the question and presented me with his grandmother’s ring! It was just a wonderful moment. The ring wasn’t my size so I wore it as a pendant until we bought another. We soon organised for our parents to meet and had a small engagement in the UK a few months later.”
“We knew the wedding was going to be big but we really wanted an intimate feel to it,” Saawani says. “Mr and Mrs Mulay are very old friends of my parents and we’re so grateful to them for allowing us to host our sangeet and Hindu wedding at their farmhouse, a gorgeous sprawling property that lent a personal feel to the events.”
“With Jo’s family in England and mine in Pune, the planning process was interesting to put it mildly,” the bride says wryly, “With all the international guests etc we needed bulletproof logistic planning.
We worked with several vendors but made sure we were present for every aspect of the process.
For our attire, we decided to celebrate traditional fabrics and weaving techniques rather than just buying designer labels. I sourced artisanal sarees from across the country, the most special being my handwoven Nauvari saree from Paithan made by one of the last two existing families who continue the tradition.
As for capturing every moment, we were focused on finding the right photographers – a team who could document everything without getting in the way of the festivities or making us pose constantly. Aditya and the team at WhatKnot understood our needs perfectly! They were also fun to interact with during the wedding, and did a marvellous job with the photographs!”
Held at the Mulay’s idyllic farmhouse, the sangeet was high on energy and very entertaining. The bride’s sister and other siblings performed a gorgeous choreographed dance that narrated the story of Saawani and Joseph’s love which was a surprise for the couple. Then there was a groovy performance of the Lambada followed by the couple’s performance!
The Hindu ceremony was conducted in accordance with Maharashtrian traditions in the morning. Dressed in her Paithani saree, the bride looked radiant! A wonderful evolution of the tradition meant that the family decided to switch the usual Kanyadaan ceremony with one that celebrated a joyful union of the two families where Jo’s parents accepted Saawani as their daughter and vice versa.
Later that evening, an ‘English’ wedding was held – a lovely affair in a palette of ivory and peach. The ceremony was made even more special as it was officiated by Luke, the couple’s best friend from college. The star attraction of the evening was a rendition of the Beatles’ “Here, there and everywhere” by the couple’s family and friends, with Saawani’s 11 year old niece playing the guitar.
Post wedding and Reception
The next day was all about relaxation and celebration of new bonds, with a day out at the Songbirds’ Club in Pune, where the couple and their families unwound after the hectic wedding with a bonfire, antakshari and an India vs. England cricket match. The reception was held the next day at the Oxford Golf Club.
Advice for Couples
“It is hard work planning a wedding, but once the wedding day arrives just let go and focus on savoring every minute. Don’t worry about things working out the way you want them to! It’s a crazy ride so just take every minute as it comes”.
The Wedding Makers
Venue: Chandani Lawns, NDA Road, Pune; Oxford Golf Resort Helipad, Pune
Wedding Décor: Genesis Inc, The Joysmiths
Bride’s Outfits: Anita Dongre (Sangeet), Michelle Rodrigues (White Wedding)
Groom’s Outfits: Raghavendra Rathore (Hindu Wedding), Shivani Khullar (Sangeet, Reception)
Makeup artist: Makeover by Amruta
Choreographer: Saaniya Chaudhari
Entertainment: Lambada Band
Cake: Simply Delicious
Caterers: InnVenue Hospitality, Poona Guest House
Logistics: Hotel Connect Pune
Photography and Videography: WhatKnot