Neerali and Ketan, Davenport House, UK
From the wedding venue to the events, this couple kept their guests in suspense by keeping their plans secret!
Neerali and Ketan surprised their families and friends with their stunning country house wedding in the UK. The couple exchanged wedding vows at the surprise location which they had previously managed to keep secret from their guests. It was a wonderful white wedding held in July (the duo had already officially tied the knot in a traditional Indian wedding the September before). Here are the highlights from the magical occasion.
How They Met
Neerali says, “Ketan and I met at work. We are both dentists and he was appointed to be my mentor when I started out. We spent a lot of time after work looking through cases together and quickly realized that we were both interested in each other. As we were in a professional environment, we had to tread carefully. It took a few months before we met up outside of work. Our excuse was that he wanted to watch an Indian movie as it had been years since he’d seen one and, as I’m a diehard fan of Indian cinema, I offered to go with him. Of course, it would have been a sin not to have dinner before! It ended up being a great first date. Unfortunately, we missed more than half of the movie but as they say, ‘the rest is history’.”
“Ketan asked me if I was interested in going on an all-paid dental course to Europe with him as his business partner backed out. A week later, I received an email from the course coordinator who asked for my dietary requirements and shared a detailed leaflet of what the course entailed. A few days before the course, Ketan suggested I pack some nice clothes because the last time he went there everyone went for dinner in the evening. He also told me that the company’s headquarters were getting redone and that the new venue was just outside Paris. The night before heading to Paris, Ketan told me that he booked an excellent place for breakfast with an early reservation at 7am. I was ready, in a pretty dress bought by my mother. On the way, Ketan said we might be a little early and suggested we stop at an excellent viewing point for the Eiffel Tower. I stared daggers at him thinking, ‘you woke me up this early to tell me we are now too early!’. But I agreed and I’m so glad I did. Like a tourist, I quickly got my phone out to take lots of pictures. Ketan then asked someone to take our photo in front of the Eiffel Tower. The next moment he was down on one knee,” says the happy bride.
NeeraIi says, “I’ve always loved the idea of a destination civil wedding – quality time away with your nearest and dearest while making a lifelong commitment to someone you can’t live without. Ketan and I first thought of Italy for our wedding, however, when we looked into it, the legal side of it was far too complicated. One day, while driving to work, the idea suddenly came to me to look for a venue within the UK – somewhere where we could go for the weekend. That’s when I found Davenport House, situated on top of a hill, this house is majestic and rooted in history offering a beautiful view of Shropshire. The first time Ketan and I went to look at the venue, we fell in love with the place. The owners and the manager, Nikki, were so welcoming and accommodating. The day we got married, it felt like we were exchanging vows in our own home with all our loved ones.”
Over the phone, the couple got in touch with all their vendors and shared with them their plans for an English-themed day at Davenport House. They made sure that all the guests, including their family and bridal party, would not know anything about the big day; not even the venue. They had plans for summer garden games, English afternoon tea with scones and sandwiches, a gin bar and, later in the evening, an acoustic bhangra band. We chose Laura of Laura May Photography to capture the moments from our big day, the photos were just stunning and we will treasure them for life.
Wanting to keep the venue fresh and lively, they chose flowers to enhance the beauty of the place. Denise, the florist, decorated the venue in lavender, pink, peach and white blooms. The colors chosen were all soft and romantic, with beautiful white elements to tie in with the bride and bridesmaid dresses. Ketan waited for his bride at the altar in a navy blue suit with a grey waistcoat by Hugo Boss, while the beautiful bride walked down the aisle in a sweeping peach gown by Shantanu and Nikhil, which she paired with a veil by The Wedding Workshop, Ampthill. After exchanging wedding vows, the couple and their guests celebrated the day by playing fun games together. Later in the evening, they ended the celebrations on a high note by dancing the night away.
Advice For Couples
“Enjoy every moment of planning your special day. There will always be ups and downs and sometimes it can become incredibly stressful, however, try to remember your reason for doing it in the first place. You’re doing this so that you can have an unforgettable day marrying the man or woman you love unconditionally, with the people who care for you the most.”
Venue: Davenport House
Florist: Ginger Lily Florist
Groom’s Outfit: Hugo Boss
Bride’s Outfits: Shantanu and Nikhil (Gown), The Wedding Workshop Ampthill (Veil)
Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Makeup: Rekha MUA
Entertainment: Ben Drummond (Day), The Acoustic Bhangra Duo (Night)
Invitations: Liz & Faye
Cake: Cakes by Sian
Photography: Laura May Photography