The Beatles’ classic refrain, ‘All you need is love, love, love is all you need’ sweetly rang through the air as Jai and Milan walked down the aisle.
As the children of first generation Indian immigrants to the UK, both sets of families have had personal obstacles to overcome. And so, as they stood facing each other ready to exchange vows, they knew that this was the perfect track to celebrate their union. “Despite having gone through the motions of coming out to our family and friends, there still remained the fear of what people will say and how it may still impact our families. However, there comes a point in your life where you have to stand up to the idle gossip, fear and put yourself and the person you love first,” says Milan.
Introductions with Family and Friends
“We’re incredibly lucky to have had such a supportive family. Through our relationship, they have been with us at every step of the way. Prior to the wedding, we faced several challenges with the community at large but our loved ones stood by us steadfastly,” Milan says.
“It was Jai who planned the proposal in Las Vegas. We were engaged for two years before we finally tied the knot.”
The Big Day and its Small Details
“Both of us were determined to have the wedding that we both dreamed of and not be afraid of the backlash,” Milan explains, “We were respectful of our culture and parents during the entire process. We chose not to have a Hindu ceremony though we did fly to India where we carried out prayers on the banks of the holy river Yamuna in Vrindavan, the city where Lord Krishna was born.
We got married on the 7th of September, 2019 in Banqueting House. We wanted to incorporate our Indian heritage into the design of the ceremony while ensuring that the execution was stylish.
As our guests arrived, they were greeted by royal footmen and a receiving line of our siblings. Then they were seated in the undercroft ready for the ceremony. Jai and I decided to walk down the aisle together accompanied by a dhol player. The moment we entered the nerves settled as we were welcomed by an eruption of cheers and applause. We were truly overwhelmed by the love in the room. The atmosphere was uplifting and there was a sea of smiles and tears of joy.
After the ceremony, we led our guests upstairs to the Main Hall where the royal footmen opened the doors to our guests, welcoming them into a celebration marked by magnificence. This was the perfect backdrop to incorporate majestic Indian elements offset by pops of color. The drinks reception resembled the luxurious palaces of Rajasthan with gilded poseur tables and bar stools teamed with bright cushions and stunning jewel toned flowers. We chose not to have a first dance, however, we were surprised when my siblings and cousins performed a flash mob which kickstarted the dancing for the night!
After the speeches, we made our way to the after-party where a range of entertainment options and a power-packed playlist including popular Bollywood hits and classic floor fillers awaited our arrival.”
Advice for all the LGBTQ+ couples
“Have fun on your day as it flies by so quickly. Soak in your surroundings and allow your guests to enjoy the venue and its history. We wanted our guests to enjoy the magnificent Ruben’s ceiling at Banqueting House. Therefore, we included elements such as mirror tabletops that allowed them to view the ceiling whilst enjoying their dinner.
Get to know your suppliers – they are there to help and support you during the planning stages. We met with our caterers Blue Strawberry several times to share ideas, discuss menus and of course, went for a tasting. When it came to the wedding day they knew every intricate detail of what we wanted.
Trust the venue’s events team. Jess Davies who was our event manager on the day helped us to plan every detail and worked with all the palace suppliers to coordinate the running of the day. It couldn’t have been smoother and we did not have to worry about a thing.”
The Wedding Makers
Venues: Undercroft, Banqueting House (Ceremony), Main Hall, Banqueting House (Reception)
Production: Wise Productions
Flowers: Simon Lycett
Catering: Blue Strawberry
Groom’s Outfits: Sonas Couture
Wedding rings: Tiffany & Co
Stationery: Serif London
Cake: Unique Cakes by Yevnig Davies
Entertainment: Prelude Entertainment / Musical Movements
Furniture: Great Hire
Photography: Nick Rose Photography
Videography: By Lumiere