Real wedding: An English/Indian fusion wedding at Merriscourt
Emma Pumford and Jat Singh's spectacular spring Cotswold wedding celebrated a fusion of Indian and English cultures, with the colourful ceremony and reception held in the stunning surroundings of Merriscourt.
The happy couple: Emma Pumford, 35, who works at Monsoon Accessorize Ltd, and Jat Singh, who works for CHANEL, both living in London.
Wedding date: Saturday 16 May 2015
Ceremony and reception venue: Merriscourt
Wedding theme: English/Indian fusion barn wedding
Photographer: Louise Bowles
Flowers: Wild Lily Flowers
Dress: Annasul Y
Bridesmaid dresses: Monsoon
Groom’s outfit: Ted Baker
Cake: Made by friends
Entertainment: Disco Wed, Oxford
Favours: Homemade chilli jam and mini succulent plants in terracotta pots.
Hair and beauty: Make-up by Verity Samson, hair by the bride.
Rings including engagement ring: RING jewellery, Brighton
When and how did you first meet?
We met at The Surrey institute of Art and Design in Epsom where we both studied fashion design and were living on the same street.
Who popped the big question and how did they propose?
Emma explains: ‘Jat proposed in August 2014 on Brighton beach with a ring he designed and had made featuring my birthstone. The ring is white gold with a garnet in the centre and two diamonds either side. I love the sea so it was a perfect place for him to pop the question. We went for a lovely dinner afterwards and finished the evening with a cocktail in the Shard when we returned to London.’
How long did it take you to plan your wedding?
It took us nine months.
Why did you choose your venue?
We had always wanted to have a Cotswold wedding and we liked the idea of having the ceremony and reception at the same venue. The location was also convenient for everyone and was between us in London and both of our families.
The venue itself ticked all the boxes for us; it was surrounded by beautiful countryside and was stylish and relaxed and there was also a lovely cottage on-site which meant the family could stay together. We also had exclusive use of the venue for the whole weekend which made it all the more special.
Was there an inspiration or theme for your wedding?
We wanted to incorporate subtle elements of Indian culture into a traditional English wedding. During the ceremony we exchanged flower garlands and we walked out to a traditional Bollywood wedding track called ‘Dekha Hai Pehli Baar’ which translates as, ‘for the first time with true love in their eyes’.
The signs and labels were all written in Punjabi script as well as English and the food was a mixture of both English and Indian. We served chai tea at the drinks reception as well as prosecco, and canapés of samosas and chicken tikka alongside smoked salmon blinis and walnut bread croûtes with stilton and fig.
Traditional Bollywood music was played through the reception drinks and we also played Bhangra tracks at the evening party together with a real mixture of music through the decades. Jat’s auntie handed out traditional Indian sweets after the ceremony and all of Jat’s female relatives wore traditional Indian outfits.
What made you choose your photographer?
We found Louise online and loved the pictures from her gallery. They were natural photos which documented the day, there weren’t too many posed photographs which was what we wanted. After meeting Louise we booked her straight away. She also offered a pre-wedding shoot as part of the package to get us used to having our photos taken which put us more at ease on the day, plus we have some lovely casual shots too.
How did your wedding photographer capture your big day memories?
We were blessed with the weather on the day and Louise captured some beautiful photos at sunset. The photographs from our wedding are beautiful, Louise was with us all day and she was an absolute professional throughout.
Did you hire a wedding planner or was it a DIY affair?
It was DIY and was so nice to plan everything ourselves.
Did you make, design or create anything yourself?
Emma explains: ‘I made all of the wedding stationery myself and I made the chilli jam for the favours for the men and mum helped plant lots of succulents into mini pots for the women. Dad helped source the wooden logs for the table decorations and I made the wreath above the ceremony table.’
Tell us about the wedding dress
I got the dress from a boutique in Wimbledon called Teo Kath, which is near where we live. I wanted a lace dress and I wanted something elegant and slim in shape, with a long floor-length veil. The instant I tried the dress I knew it was the one, it felt amazing. Mum came with me to make the final decision. It was by Annasul Y, it had a vintage look with cap sleeves, a delicate illusion boat neck and mermaid shape, with all over beading.
What did the groom wear?
Traditional tails in mid grey. Jat always wanted to wear a three-piece suit and he chose the ties which were grey/ivory paisley.
Did you incorporate any special family details or heirlooms, for example?
I attached my late grandmother’s wedding ring with a blue ribbon to the inside of my dress and I used some money she left me to pay for the dress, so in a way she was part of our day. I also chose freesias for my bouquet because my mum and grandmother had these for their wedding flowers, plus they smell amazing. We used family wedding photos to decorate the cake table for some nostalgia.
Did you have something old, new, borrowed and blue?
My something borrowed was a gold leaf shaped brooch from my mum, my new was my dress, and the blue was the ribbon around my grandmother’s ring which was also the old. I had a silver sixpence in my shoe that my friend, Mel, gave me on my hen weekend.
What song did you walk down the aisle to?
Bach’s ‘Suite No. 3 Air’.
Did you have any special readings during the service?
We had ‘This is what love is’ by Louis de Bernières from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. We chose this reading because Jat and I both felt that after 16 years together, this is what love meant to us.
What did you have for your wedding breakfast?
Grilled halloumi and pomegranate salad, with mint and coriander dressing or shredded duck brioche toasts with redcurrant and sweet onion chutney to start. Corn fed breast of chicken with wild mushrooms, green beans and Madeira jus or spiced butternut squash ragout baked in aubergine with a nut crust for main; and a mango and passion fruit posset, with cardamom shortbread for dessert.
What kind of cake did you go for?
We had a traditional three-tier fruit cake, which was a wedding gift from my bridesmaid and school friend. It was decorated with peonies and roses to match the wedding flowers.
What was your first dance song?
John Legend’s ‘All of Me’.
What was your favourite part of your wedding day?
Oh that’s hard, I loved it all but I think the ceremony was our favourite. We decided to have a celebrant and it was a very personal and emotional ceremony. It meant so much to declare our love for each other and say our vows in front of all our nearest and dearest.
Did everything go to plan?
Pretty much, although my mum missed the cutting of the cake because she went to change her shoes and the best man forgot to hand out the order of service so everyone got it as they left instead. Also my bridesmaid stepped on my veil just as I was about to walk down the aisle but I managed to stop walking before it was pulled from my head! So nothing major but all these little funny stories make it all the more memorable and made us giggle afterwards.
What advice would you give anyone planning their big day?
Enjoy every moment of the planning, be organised from the start and do a little bit at a time, so you’re not rushing everything at the last minute. Listen to each other and make sure the wedding is what you both want.
And finally, where did you spend your honeymoon together?
We went to Hong Kong to visit friends and we also had a pre-moon to South Africa. Our official honeymoon is still to be planned after the arrival of our baby in August this year.
Wednesday 18 May 2016
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