Nikki and Josh Howard Clarke, Jai Mahal Palace, Jaipur
Paying homage to the Punjabi and English cultures, this fusion destination wedding overcame the boundaries of culture and the challenges of tricky weather!
UK-based couple Gurkeerat aka Nikki and Josh Howard Clarke’s wedding was vibrant, playful and a contemporary celebration that was purely desi at heart. Planning their union was WeddingSutra Favorite – Weddings By Abhishek who with their sharp planning skills, planned an array of stunning events. And, photographing the couple as they let their hair down was WeddingSutra Favorite – Shutterdown.
Abhishek Jain from Weddings By Abhishek shares, “The wedding was earlier scheduled in April 2021 but due to the pandemic it was postponed to April 2022 and after some visa issues to August 2022. However, the couple was persistent and we were finally able to orchestrate a four-day wedding celebration that honed English as well as Punjabi traditions. Right from the get-go, the weather was tricky with continuous rains that poured for almost four days. But our team is incredibly quick to adapt and the bride was also very cooperative along with our many vendors which led us to orchestrate some really memorable festivities.
Adding to the team was Shutterdown who did not let the weather bring them down as they captured some truly memorable moments. Right from spontaneous candids to artistic portraits, the team was with the couple every step of the way.
Abhishek shares, “The first day was a Sundowner casual welcome dinner and we managed the travel bookings of 200 people. At first, we were a bit apprehensive as it was raining the entire day and the event was slated to begin at six in the evening. However, the rains let up by five pm and we had to quickly deliver the setup.
It was a beautiful Sundowner event with the bride and groom arriving on camel’s back, which was a great attraction for all the other guests. With minimal decor and Rajasthani folk dance, the event was very well received by the guests who had mostly flown in from different parts of the world.”
Planning the wedding was not without its challenges. And, the biggest challenger of all? The weather as it started pouring almost a week after the very first event. Abhishek shares, “We did have an inkling about the turn the weather would take but we stayed resilient as the bride didn’t want to change the decor.
The Civil Wedding was planned along with a sitdown meal and the decor for both the events were parallelly erected. The event started with a gathering of guests in the afternoon and the groom arrived first with his best men and waited for the bride. The flower girls walked down the aisle to the background music and then the bridesmaids arrived. Thankfully, the event did not witness any rain! But, as fate would have it, the champagne reception that was to follow had to be skipped due to the rains. We had placed a big decorative seating plan for everyone, but it started raining heavily just after the civil wedding and we had to skip the reception and all the guests came inside the sit-down meal area. It was super chaotic for some time and the guests were not aware of the seating plan but thanks to the team it all got sorted in less than ten minutes as we had learned the names of 200 guests while designing and placing those name tags.
Later, after the meal was done, the event was swiftly transformed into a disco party which went on till the late hours of the night.”
Haldi and Mehndi
Abhishek shares, “The next day we had haldi followed by mehndi at the Poolside area and very elaborate decor was planned with Indian street-themed food for lunch and games. However, we swiftly had to move the setup indoors as it rained.”
Abhishek shares, “In the evening, we had a sangeet planned and we only had 4 hours for the setup. We took on a challenge to completely makeover the same hanger. Within these few hours, the complete venue was transformed into a magical sangeet night. The groom and his squad took the dance floor by storm with Bollywood choreography that they’d created themselves. This was a surprise for the bride and her reaction was priceless.”
Anand Karaj and Reception
For the final event, all stops were pulled for perfection as Abhishek shares, “The weather forecast showed a 20% probability of rain so we decided to go as per our original plan. We printed booklets that step by step explained the process of baraat procession, guidelines of gurudwara, the phere (with each phera explained), and kadha prasad. These booklets were distributed amongst the guests during breakfast so that everyone could understand these rituals and enjoy them.
The day started with the baraat procession and the Anand Karaj was peaceful, all the guidelines were followed, we had customized handkerchiefs for guests as it it was sunny. After three days it all went great, without rain.
In the gala reception, there was again a seating plan, with each chair reserved with the guest’s name and a magical decor with a fairy light ceiling.”
The Wedding Makers
Venue: Jai Mahal Palace, Jaipur
Wedding Planner: Weddings By Abhishek
Décor: Komal Ali
Makeup: Daniel Bauer Makeup And Hair
Entertainment: Tanishq Kaur (Haldi and Mehndi), A26 (Civil Wedding)
DJ: DJ Ganesh (Sangeet)