Fernanda and Toby's real wedding took place in Italy with a beautiful Tuscan theme, at St Mark's Anglican Church in Florence on 20th June 2015, photographed by Sean of Perfect Day…
Written by Sahdia Qayyum Last updated: December 1, 2014
This week’s real wedding is a stunning fusion of east and west! We’ve never seen a more beautiful fusion of the two cultures. Everything from Francesca’s stunning bespoke gold dress to the English-Indian designed wedding decor, is a beautiful reflection of our couple, cultured, colourful and fun.
Bride and Groom… Francesca & Arun
We met… On Match.com
The proposal… Our first date was at the Tate Modern, so he took me back there. There is a restaurant at the top where he got down on one knee. He had arranged a surprise party afterwards, so he was obviously pretty sure I was going to say yes!
We knew it was ‘the one’… As we had an instant connection on our first date and saw each other every single night afterwards.
Length of engagement… 11 months.
My dress was… From State of Grace. It was something of a challenge to find as traditional white would not have been right for our wedding. In the end a fantastic company called State of Grace made a bespoke dress for the occasion. The brief of Tudor castle meets Indian fusion was no easy brief but I was utterly impressed with the end result.
Our wedding ceremony was… An Indian fusion wedding at St Andrew’s Church, Buckland Monachorum.The Ceremony was incredible. My sister sang, which had everybody reaching for the Kleenex, it was a very special moment.
Our wedding photographer was… Andy Green from Harrera Images. He came recommended and was excellent, did well to keep a unruly bunch together and we enjoyed some time on the lawn, allowing Arun to make his first costume change from suit to Indian sherwani!
Our wedding reception was held at… Bickleigh Castle, Devon. We knew we wanted a venue that was quintessentially English but would allow us the freedom we needed to ensure that our English-Indian fusion wedding could be brought to life. We knew we wanted a colourful and vibrant setting where we could enjoy an extended weekend that would give us time with all our family and friends from all over the world. Bickleigh was perfect. A relaxed and beautiful setting with room for everyone to make it home for the weekend. The gardens were spectacular and I loved the sense of history you had from just walking around. Arriving at the reception was excellent, our Bickleigh toastmaster Nigel had everything timed to perfection and we were greeted by showers of rose petals as we stepped out the rolls Royce. Bickleigh had helped us locate top quality Indian caterers who had prepared delicious and inventive canapés, that were served by their charming staff and accompanied by harp music.
Our wedding theme was… English Indian fusion, so we went for as much colour as we could find, using marigolds and traditional English garden flowers.
Our first dance was… Only love by Ben Howard
Our wedding was unique and special because… Of the fact it was a fusion wedding, we wanted an explosion of colour and we certainly had that, our guests did us proud with their outfits!
What is your advice for other brides? Know what matters to you the most and try not to compromise on them. Remember it’s about the coming together of two families and try and be relaxed about that. Remember that your parents have been planning this lot longer than you!
Our honeymoon was to… Tanzania and Zanzibar, we went on Safari with Amani Afrika. It was absolutely exceptional , everywhere we stayed we got upgraded and made to feel so incredibly special and well looked after. I couldn’t recommend it any more!
Wedding Dress: State of Grace | Wedding Suits: Paul Smith | Wedding Bridesmaid Dresses: Venisans | Wedding Flowers: Dartmoor Flowers and Polly | Wedding Photographer: Andy Green , Harrera images | Wedding Cake: Honey’s bakery | Wedding Make-up: Rosie Finnagan | Wedding Transport: Bickleigh Castle Rolls Royce | Wedding Venue: St Andrew’s Church, Buckland Monachorum | Ceremony Venue: Bickleigh Castle | Wedding Catering: Mint and Mustard