Summer Wedding Dress Codes Decoded


Your summer calendar is packed with weddings, but figuring out what to wear for each one can be daunting. Whether it’s traditional black tie or an out-there theme, you want to look good but not upstage the bride. What’s a girl to do (and wear)?

“The invitation is the first look into the wedding and can be more telling than you think, even if it doesn’t specify a dress code,” says Amanda Savory, owner and principal event planner of Bespoke Moments. The location is another good tip-off for how to calibrate your style. Tracey Lomrantz Lester, senior brand director of Intermix, explains, “In New York and the Northeast, formal and cocktail attire still seem to reign, but we’ve seen some more creative dress codes elsewhere.” For example, a West Coast wedding is likely to be less formal overall than an East Coast or Southern bash. Make sure to check if there are multiple events in the evening that you need separate outfits for (like Pippa Middleton’s recent request for a change of outfit).

At their core, the dress codes are there to help you feel appropriate within the overall formality and vibe of the event. But there are some baseline principles to adhere to, regardless of what’s printed on the invite. Han Chong, founder and creative director of Self-Portrait, counsels, “Finding the right dress for a wedding requires the right balance. It should be sexy, but not vulgar, classic but not boring. You want attention but not to steal focus away from the bride.”

Image result for Summer Wedding Dress Codes Decoded

Black Tie/Formal
Perhaps the most classic wedding dress code is black tie or its twin, formal. While men get off easy with a tuxedo, women have to decide if they want to go traditional with a long gown or take a more modern approach. “We love the idea of moving away from a traditional dress and embracing a chic jumpsuit or even sleek evening separates instead,” says Lester. “Wide-leg silk or crepe pants look so modern right now—Jonathan Simkhai and Cushnie et Ochs are both doing incredible iterations for us this season—and when you pair them with ‘wow’ heels and a pair of architectural earrings, the effect is just formal enough.” Chong, who is known for his wedding-ready creations, echoes the sentiment: “I think a modern way of approaching black tie doesn’t always mean having to wear a dress. I think a very chic look can be a jumpsuit with the right accessories.”

If you have to go with tradition because of the bride’s wishes or family demands, find a creative spin with the fabric choice. Emily Holt, owner of Hero Shop in San Francisco, gravitates toward “something colorful with personality, even if it’s a simple silhouette.” If you have a plain gown that you plan to re-wear to multiple weddings, create newness by accessorizing. “Accessories are always the answer when looking to dress up your look and separate your ensemble from everyone else,” says Rebecca Resnick-Gick, a bicoastal stylist and personal shopper.

Cocktail Attire
You are good to wear a short dress or pants for cocktail attire, but you can push that too far. “If the dress code requests cocktail attire and you opt for a short dress, don’t go too short!” advises Savory (see: not angering the bride). Holt suggests looking beyond the classic cocktail sheath to something “short, fun, and flirty, or a great fluid pant and top with heels.” Lester points to the little lace dress from brands like Nicholas, Zimmermann, and Self-Portrait as a go-to that can be dressed up with “massive party earrings and strappy metallic sandals. Then put it in low-key mode with delicate gold jewelry and flat slides.”

Many of us panic a bit at an invitation for Moroccan-inspired nuptials or the ever-dreaded and murky word festive. Resnick-Gick has a client with “a three-day celebration in Majorca this summer that calls for a different theme every night.” As much as you might want to slough off the request and stick to a LBD for ease of packing, Savory suggests trying to adhere as much as you can: “A wedding takes an enormous amount of effort and time to plan. Every detail is thought out, including the dress code.” But she cautions that it doesn’t mean you have to turn it into a costume party: “If a wedding calls for festive or a theme, you don’t want to go overboard or borderline tacky. Simple is better in this case.”

For festive, stick with an outfit that could realistically work for any dress code short of black tie. Lester advises, “You can never go wrong in a simple cocktail dress—something that really walks the line between casual and dressy, which feels particularly appropriate for a summer wedding.” Try to look at strict themes as an opportunity to experiment with a style you would normally never try. If you aren’t in the market for a full theme look, you can pick a simple dress that fits with the event’s overall color palette and add clever accessories. And after all, as Holt points out, “Dressing up adds to a party’s atmosphere, and it makes it stand apart from any other night.”

The photos of a beach or garden wedding are inevitably stunning, but how to dress for humidity and uneven terrain, especially if it’s still a formal occasion? “In Miami and the Southeast, our clients are coming in for ‘Black Tie Beach,’ which we’re really advising is a stunning dress in a bold print or color, with sand-friendly shoes, of course,” says Lester. An embellished evening slide is a perfect way to maintain the occasion’s formality while keeping your balance.

Think through your dress choice as well. A maxi dress may sound like a perfect pick, but a tea-length dress will avoid dragging in the sand or dirt. Focus on breathable, natural fabrics and lighter colors to fit in with the environment. And don’t forget a top layer for when warm days turn into cooler nights. Chong recommends a tuxedo or leather jacket for a modern take.

“Informal definitely doesn’t mean don’t try,” says Lester. And while not every bride wants a gala wedding, it doesn’t mean that you can’t be chic in celebration of the big day. Resnick-Gick defines informal for her clients as “a great-fitting trouser, a sandal, and maybe a blouse or camisole. It’s effortless, yet still put together.” Or wear a pretty day dress with a fun flat instead of a heel. “It’s a great opportunity to wear the 2017 version of an easy summer dress,” suggests Lester. “Something in a pretty print with a cool detail, like a cold shoulder or an asymmetrical hemline.”

What to do when the invitation says the time and place and nothing about a dress code? Start by doing your research. Savory suggests checking the wedding website for more information or searching the venue on Instagram. “By searching the venue’s profile or geotag, you will get a good idea of the style of the venue and be able to see what other guests have worn to past weddings. If you want to dig further you can search the various hashtags from [other] weddings.”

But if you truly can’t figure out any further details and the bride gives you the old “wear what you want” line, Holt says, “You can’t go wrong with a simple tailored dress and a classic heel or nice flat.” The slip dress is a favorite for this summer for its simplicity and versatility; pack a few accessory options and decide once you’ve arrived how flashy or understated you want to make your look. Resnick-Gick counsels, “You’d always rather be a bit more dressed up versus too underdressed for an event.”

This Bridal Lehenga Has Wedding Vows Ingrained On It

Indian brides have always been very creative with their lehengas, be it a Mehendi lehenga, or a bridal lehenga. Indian brides always win in standing out their lehengas.

They always inspire us with their choice of lehengas. Their creativity is a product of the traditions, modernity and their emotions.

One such bride is Nindiya, a Mumbai-based designer. A designer by profession, Nindiya designed her own lehenga for the Mehendi function and added a personal touch in her wedding attire too.

Though we have seen flowers being used in Decor in every function and also now floral jewelry has become quite common but a floral lehenga, have you ever thought of using the real flowers in the bridal attire. Yes, Nindiya used real flowers in the lehenga that she wore for her Mehendi function.

It was a lavender-coloured off-shoulder lehenga with real flowers knitted on it. With her open hair, she reminded us of Princess Jasmine. The different color of her lehenga made the flowers more beautiful and elegant.

But Nindiya didn’t stop here, she went a step ahead and personalized her wedding lehenga as well. On her beautiful red wedding lehenga, she got the wedding vows embroidered in between the designer panels.

The red lehenga embroidered with gold was a perfect example of a traditional and modern wedding attire.

Scroll down to get a glimpse of this bride’s creativity.



5 Superb Beauty Remedies for the Wedding Season

5 Superb Beauty Remedies for the Wedding Season

Weddings mean festivity, and festivity means celebration. So the great Indian wedding is all about celebration and the madness that comes along with it. In all this chaos, one has to stay focused, balanced and multi task with everything and everyone – friends, relatives, colleagues and guests.

Most Indian weddings start September onward. In fact, it’s almost as if we have an additional season to our annual cycle and that is the wedding season. A hectic flurry of activities never seem to end from venue selection, decorations, outfits, jewellery, grooming, gifts, catering, guest lists, pandits, themes, mehendi… and the list goes on. Stress levels are at its prime too, in anticipation of that perfect Indian wedding.


I believe that if you are about to get married, you need to plan in advance and work towards tying up everything well before time. This way you’ll be able to enjoy your wedding too.

Simple Tips to Keep in Mind


To look good and get that natural glow, you need to eat healthy and keep your skin well looked after at least six weeks before “D day”. Yes, your diet plays a crucial role and you mustn’t neglect it. Here are a few tips –


– Be conscientious about your liquid intake. Avoid alcohol and increase natural drinks like water, chaachlassi, fresh fruit juices and nimbu pani.

– Add at least five pieces of fruits daily to your diet and that does not mean a bit of each but a whole piece – 1 full apple, 1 full orange, 1 bowl of pomegranate, 1 bowl of papaya, etc.


– Lots of salads and freshly made soups are highly recommended.

– I commonly find to-be-brides and grooms suffering from dark circles. It is inevitable due to stress, chaotic lifestyle, hectic schedules and late nights. But it is a must to relax and sleep on time (it is not without reason that we call it ‘beauty sleep’), as well as take out “me time” for a little pampering.


– Exercise regularly to help improve blood circulation, tone up the body, get rid of those extra kilos and prevent a sluggish looking skin.


– I would even suggest practicing meditation to calm the nerves and relax the wound up mind which very often buzzes with a million thoughts at this time. You can start with just 5 minutes a day and you will see the difference.

Recipes for Super Skin and Hair


Here are time tested recipes for super skin –


1. For Dry Skin 


Take 1 tsp oatmeal, add 1 tsp of honey, milk and the paste of 5 almonds. Mix well and apply on to the skin. Leave on for 10 minutes and scrub off patting with just a wee bit of milk. Wash face with cold water.


2. For Combination Skin


Take 4 ground green olives, 1 tsp fresh aloe vera gel, 2 tsp orange peel powder and 2 tsp yoghurt. Mix well and apply to skin and leave on for 10 minutes. Pat with rose water and scrub off.


It should be done only 3 times a week.

3. For the Body – Ubtan


I have tried this wonderful recipe – Ubtan – on several brides and grooms and it has had fabulous results for clean, exfoliated and super soft skin ridding the skin of all dead skin accumulation.


Mix 1 cup oatmeal, 50gm almond powder and 50gm rice powder. Take 4-5 tsp of it and mix it with 2 tsp honey and full cream milk to make a thick pakora-like consistency. Apply all over body and leave it on till semi dry. Dab with milk and scrub in a rotating manner, especially on the neglected areas like elbows, knees, buttocks, back, etc. Wash off with water.


4. For Gorgeous Hair


Do have regular oil massages followed by steaming, preferably with a good quality Mahabhringraj oil (the king of hair herbs) or Brahmi oil.


Another incredible hair paste that can be used once every ten days is –


1 mashed avocado mixed with a little milk and 1 tsp pure desi ghee. Apply all over hair and cover with a shower cap for an hour. Shampoo with a mild herbal shampoo.

5. Scrubs


Body massages and body scrubs are not mere pampering before a wedding, but an essential part of grooming. Have one every 10 days at least 2 months before the wedding date.


With simple, planned out grooming schedules you’ll be able to reduce your stress and look your best for that special day which comes once in a lifetime. So all the best!

A Tale Of Two DWTS Weddings: Julianne Hough Vs. Peta Murgatroyd

They may compete on the dance floor but clearly the competition doesn’t stop there. Over the weekend, Dancing With The Stars hunk Maksim Chmerkovskiy married the beautiful Peta Murgatroyd at a breathtaking castle out on Long Island. Unfortunately, dancing co-star Julianne Hough didn’t RSVP “attending” because she was a little busy getting married to Brooks Laich, Canadian ice hockey player. Let’s take a walk down the aisle and decide who wins the Mirrorball Trophy this round.

Location! Location! Location!

Max and Peta opted for a fairytale wedding and tied the knot at the beautiful Oheka Castle. Julianne and hubby Brooks decided to keep it nice and intimate out in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

Verdict: Max and Peta’s Disney movie wedding wins in our book! Because you can never go wrong with a castle.

The Dress

The Dress

Julianne wore a custom Marchesa gown at the altar while Peta WOWed guests with her off-the-shoulder, multi-tiered Karen Sabag Couture ball gown.

Verdict: Custom Marchesa for the win here!

The Groom

The Groom

Brooks decided to leave his gear at home and went with a classic black and white tuxedo. Maks thought the bride shouldn’t be the only one wearing white at this party and went with a slimming white tux.

Verdict: Both men looked so dapper but we love a traditionalist – Brooks!

Squad vs. Squad


Julianne’s squad pre-gamed with the couple in Lake Couer d’Alene, while Peta and Maks threw a pool after-bash. Needless to say, both events made some waves.

Verdict: Both bashes required inflatable swans, but lakes are gross. Maks and Peta!

The Winners

The Kiss

The final score?! It’s a tie! Both brides looked as gorgeous as ever and did their big days their own way.

Because when it comes to weddings, it’s never a competition!

‘Indian packages’ let more South Asians opt for destination weddings

When Sabrina Sandhu and her fiancé Kultar Rai first told their families they wanted a destination wedding, their Indian parents didn’t understand the concept.

“Or how we could possibly carry out each event without losing the integrity of the traditions,” Sandhu tells Global News. “Once we explained the benefits, and the fact that would mean less work for everyone, they were fully on board.”

The couple got married in September 2016 at the Hard Rock Hotel in Riviera Maya, Mexico, with 150 guests in attendance.

kultar and sabrina

Sabrina and Kultar at their reception.

Courtesy of Sabrina Sandhu

“It was a simple solution to the challenge of hosting a wedding in Toronto where we would have expected over 800 guests,” the 26-year-old continues. “We wanted our parents and immediate family to enjoy the wedding festivities versus spending the week hosting and cooking.”



But part of the rise can also be linked to the challenges of hosting a wedding at home.

In large South-Asian populated Ontario cites like Brampton and Mississauga, securing a large venue for up to 1,000 guests can take two years, experts say. And instead of hiring planners or caterers, many families pick up the work for the multiple events leading up to the wedding — leaving little time to enjoy them.

Hindu and Sikh weddings also come with several components, for Sikhs in particular, a Sikh Granthi (a Sikh official) and the Guru Granth Sahib (religious scripture) both need to be present at the traditional ceremony.

Kultar Rai and Sabrina Sandhu

But not only are some hotels offering officiants because of high demand, Sandhu says the one who officiated her wedding, Sat Purkh Singh, lives in Mexico City.


“We wanted to get married and enjoy the process of planning the wedding, while also doing something that was different, memorable and meaningful to us,” Sandhu says.

Kultar Rai and Sabrina Sandhu

Hotels targeting South Asians

Both the all-inclusive Hard Rock Hotels and Palace Resorts offer Indian wedding packages for countries like Jamaica, Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

Cessie Cerrato, a spokesperson for Palace Resorts, says out of their weddings so far in 2017, 20 per cent are Canadian, and 20 per cent of those couples have Indian ceremonies.


“All 10 of our Palace Resorts all-inclusive properties offer Indian weddings, and our most popular among them is Moon Palace Cancun,” she tells Global News. “Brides have been incorporating ‘traditional [Western]’ decor details to their events such as the sweet tables, and many are now doing two ceremonies, the Hindu/Sikh and a symbolic ceremony.”

Moon palace Resorts

A couple getting married at Palace Resorts.

Courtesy of Moon Palace Resorts

The package, which has been offered since 2012, features Indian catering, fireworks, drummers, mendhi (henna) artists, and a mandap (wedding stage).

Frank Maduro, VP of marketing for AIC Hotel Group of all-inclusive Hard Rock Hotels, says the hotel’s Indian wedding package, “Ishq Rocks,” launched in 2015 for couples who wanted to personalize their traditional matrimonial experiences.

“We have local in-house vendors for decor, entertainment, flowers, make-up, mendhi, and catering,” he tells Global News.

hard rock resorts Indian wedding

Venue space at the Hard Rock Resort in Punta Cana.

Maduro says there are also out-of-the-box things couples are adding to their destination wedding packages, including drone cinematography, acrobatic performances and lavish grand entrances for the groom on either a horse or yacht.

Mixing the old with the new

But the true beauty of destination South Asian weddings is being able to mix both traditional aspects of a religious ceremony with modern wedding trends. Mahal says couples still take part in traditional ceremonies like the sangeet and mehndi night, but have many of their events outdoors.

“All old traditions are kept,” Mahal says. “It comes down to a beach/resort versus local banquet halls.”


Ashna Tanna, who tied the knot in May 2016 at the Moon Palace resort in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, says when it came to the Hindu ceremony, they were able to do all of the components they could’ve done in Toronto.

south Asian destination wedding

Ashna Tanna and her husband, Rikesh Shah, at their Jamaican destination wedding.

Courtesy of Melanie Gillbrand

The 26-year-old, who now resides in London, England, had 120 guests — one-third of the size her wedding in Toronto would’ve been. And with family from Toronto, London and Dubai in attendance, it made sense to choose a location everyone could fly to.

Indian destination weddings

“It was important for my family to have the priest who has married many of my family members be the person who married us, so we decided to fly him out,” she tells Global News. “Everyone was also dressed in Indian attire on three of the ‘Indian events’ and for the wedding lunch, we were able to have Indian food.”

The cultural divide

But for some couples, there’s always the initial hesitation from family members. Preet Kala and Aman Saini got married in January at the Moon Palace Resort in Cancun. For their 50-person Sikh wedding, Kala says the couple flew out a priest from Toronto for the ceremony.

Preet Kala And Aman

Preet Kala And Aman Saini

Courtesy of Preet Kala

“Both our families were mainly concerned about the religious aspect of the wedding,” Kala tells Global News. “It was more about having the Guru Granth Sahib Ji present, and to take the four lavaan [four hymns]. Once we introduced our families to the priest and had him explain how the wedding would take place, they were much more comfortable.”


She adds that for Canadian South Asians, it’s also about educating older family members about these types of weddings as options. And with so many customs that have been ingrained in families for decades, it’s just as important to start new ones.

Aman Saini and Preet Kala

“The entire family gets to be together. It not like the bride side or the groom side, everyone laughs, stays, and celebrates together.”



City seeks to cut the cost of weddings

A PROPOSAL to bring down the cost of weddings in Tongxiang, a city in east China’s Zhejiang Province, has sparked a debate.

It called for newlyweds to restrict the cost of wedding meals to no more than 1,500 yuan (US$220) per table, which can usually accommodate 10 guests.

The proposal also sought to end long motorcades, expensive gifts, and large hongbao (gift money).

Expensive wedding ceremonies are still common in some parts of China, with many believing that the bigger the banquet, the happier the marriage.

Chen Liang, 26, had just such a wedding. He earns 4,000 yuan a month but his wedding cost the family over 470,000 yuan. Almost half the money was borrowed.

Chen’s story is fairly typical. The reason for spending tens of thousands of yuan on a wedding is sometimes surprisingly simple — to save face.

Chen Miaolin, chairman of New Century Tourism Group said his hotels tried to introduce a wedding meal consisting of six dishes and one soup per table, but customers insisted on double the number of dishes.

“About one-third of the food usually ends up wasted,” Chen said.

The Tongxiang proposal suggested that gift money from relatives and friends should not exceed 600 yuan and that the red paper cuts of the Chinese character xi, or happiness, should be pasted only in the couple’s own houses and yards.

The move met with mixed reactions online.

Cao Yongping wrote that the eradication of old, rigid ideas in wedding and funeral ceremonies needed the participation of everyone, while Chen Feng suggested holding ceremonies in village halls to save money.

However, others questioned the effectiveness of the proposal and said that some of the regulations were too detailed and rigid.

An official at the local ethic enhancement committee office said the proposal was aimed at relieving the heavy financial pressure caused by expensive wedding and funeral ceremonies.

“Such ceremonies were meant to maintain close relationship within a family, but have become a huge burden for relatives and friends and should be changed,” the official said.

How to pull off the ultimate festival themed wedding

Festival style weddings have become a massive trend in recent years, with couples looking to recreate the carefree atmosphere of a music and friend-filled weekend for their big day.

Photo by Darek Novak

And the good news is, as a wedding theme, they’re fun to put together and fairly simple to pull off! Here are some top tips on how to make it work.

Tin Hut Accommodation at Mount Druid, County Westmeath66
Tin Hut Accommodation at Mount Druid, County Westmeath

The Venue

A festival theme hinges on the venue, and once you find something that reflects that understated, cool and carefree vibe you’re looking for, the rest should fall into place. Opt for a venue with a good outdoor space for the drinks reception, and make sure when you speak to the coordinator that they are open to the idea of adding decor such as festoon lighting, signs and outdoor games. Ask to see a few example of where a “chillout area” set up or lighting has been used to good effect, so that you have some inspiration of the venue itself to build on.

The gorgeous Loughcrew House in Oldcastle, Meath has been the setting of many a gorgeous festival themed wedding before, and with its beautiful open courtyard and garden marquee, it makes for a fabulous backdrop for wedding receptions. Boutique wedding venue Mount Druid in Westmeath offers the additional “glamping” experience for guests, who can stay in playful yurts or shepard’s or tin huts to really get into the festival spirit – but a far more comfortable one than you may be used to!

Photo by Darek Novak | Venue: Loughcrew House66
Photo by Darek Novak | Venue: Loughcrew House

If you’re DIYing your big day, Ireland now has lots of great suppliers of unusual marquees, tents and teepees that will make for a dramatic setting for your scene. For something guests won’t have seen much of at other weddings, The Outdoor Wedding Company based in Dublin have some amazing stretch tents which set a cool tone and allow you to have an outdoor event without worrying too much about the weather. They also provide loos, heating, furniture and bar units to complete the look.

The Style

We are all pretty much au fait with festival fashion – it’s the time to break out the serious glitter-based war paint, don some Daisy Dukes and top it all off with a cute rain jacket.

Photo by Darek Novak | Venue: Loughcrew House66
Photo by Darek Novak | Venue: Loughcrew House

Of course you could get away with that as the happy couple in question, but the safer bet is to go for the softly-softly approach instead. Fresh flower crowns, although declared “over” by contributors to Vogue earlier this year, are still a stunning option for brides looking to feel a bit Woodstock on their big day, and going for a floral print for bridesmaids should instantly establish a relaxed boho vibe.

Think boho designers such as Temperly London, Rue de Seine or Irish designer Emma Manley for the wedding dress and the groomsmen in cute bowties, cool hats or unusual colours and fabrics for suits (stripes, Tweed?) could work really well to give off that cool festival vibe. Wellies have almost become a wedding staple as much as a festival staple these days, and you’ll be thankful for them when you’re mucking around the grounds of your venue trying to get ‘the shot’ with your eager photographer!

Photo by Darek Novak www.photosligo.com66
Photo by Darek Novak

The Details

A new idea for marquee and outdoor weddings is the idea of the “chillout area” to create a backstage-at-the-festival-feel. This space can come in lots of different forms with hay bails doubling as couches, swing seats, mix and match tables and lots of cushions and bean bags to make the area feel comfortable and ‘zen’. To set the tone outdoors, pop up some bunting or festoon lighting around trees and over courtyards. Make sure to discuss the ins and outs of this with your coordinator before; some will need to check insurance for hanging electrical items which you don’t want to find out about it on the day itself!

Signage is such a big wedding decor trend at the moment that you can even find it in high street stores like Penneys, but there’s nothing wrong with creating some yourself if DIY is your bag! Think bar directions, photo booth signs or use an old window or mirror for the menu of schedule or events – take inspiration from some of the amazing instillations at festivals such as Body & Soul and let your mind run free with ideas.

Photo by Darek Novak www.photosligo.com66
Photo by Darek Novak

When it comes to after-hours, glowsticks will always  go down a storm with guests on the dancefloor, as will props like inflatable instruments, sunnies or hats – just give everyone an excuse to get posing!

The Food

Think festival, think food trucks. But don’t think those dry burgers or questionable hot dogs you might find yourself chowing down on at ungodly hours; Irish food trucks have come a long way since the unmentionable goings-on in The Van. With options like Canadian dish poutine – a delightful mix of chips, cheese and gravy – from Lala Poutine, crepes from The Crepe Box, wood-fired pizza from The Dough Bros and plenty of other amazing mobile chefs doing the rounds, you have plenty to offer hungry guests besides the traditional sausage sambos before midnight.

The Music

Of course when you declare your wedding a ‘festival wedding’, you better have the tunes to back it up. Put plenty of thought into your entertainment and curate a gig list that really works from the ceremony right through to the dance floor. If you’re having a non-religious ceremony use song lyrics as your readings, and for your entrance and exit songs, think bigger melodies to get your guests involved – you could even print the lyrics to your exit song on your ceremony booklet to make sure everyone joins in! For the drinks reception, look for a cover band with a difference – Trio Royal, a trio jazz and swing band who do unique takes on contemporary tunes and cool lounge music influenced by the old crooners, could be just the ticket.

Palm Beach Party

We chose our venue because we spend family time at The Breakers every year – Ben has also visited Palm Beach during the Easter holidays since he was a boy. It seemed like the obvious choice for our special day.

My ’20s-style engagement ring provided a lot of inspiration. I opted for a Gatsby-esque theme with ivory and yellow gold, and my dress was influenced by Grace Kelly and Zelda Fitzgerald (the wife of writer F. Scott Fitzgerald).

We wanted the ceremony to incorporate our different cultures, and had a great priest who officiated during the Persian and Italian parts. During the Persian ceremony, the priest asked all the married women to hold a cloth above their heads and rub sugar cubes together, symbolising love and sweetness for the future.

I chose florals that looked hand-picked and garden-like – on our reception tables, we had candelabras filled with trees of gypsophila.

We wanted the food to represent us both, so we designed a menu that offered pass-around appetisers including mini tacos and mac’n’cheese. But we were so busy on the day that we didn’t even taste a mouthful!

For a playful vibe, we also provided a Cuban cigar bar, an ice sculpture and a ring-toss game.

Our biggest extravagance was a five-tiered wedding cake flown in from New York – it was a work of art, with edible flowers.

It was wonderful to be able to spend the entire week with our families and friends. Ben put together a full itinerary, including a golf tournament, to keep guests entertained.

Instead of favours, we made a donation to the American Cancer Society in honour of my mother, who recently passed away.

My top tip: If you’re going on honeymoon right after the wedding, allow yourself a day or two to rest before you hop on the flight.

Graphic Design

Our vision was to create a day that combined the Scandi aesthetic that I love – very minimal and graphic – with my Scottish roots. Our palette was very clean – light pinks and greys with hints of lemon yellow – to reflect that.

For contrast, my dress was created using delicate Spanish lace and silk tulle. I also borrowed a simple silver bracelet from my maid of honour.

We had a children’s corner complete with a monkey piñata and craft table, and created a special pop-up ‘sweet shop’, with oversized glass pick’n’mix jars. Personalised glass Coke bottles also went down very well with our younger guests.

The bridesmaid dresses were a steal. All three of my ‘maids wanted mid-length gowns, which were surprisingly tricky to source. We eventually found them at Warehouse for just £75 each.

Everyone pitched in on the day. My mum and ‘maids stuffed huge, clear balloons with confetti and filled them with helium to float above each table.

Russell and I bonded over our shared love of dachshunds! Our own sausage dog, Bruce, looked amazing in his bow tie. He kept all of our guests entertained!

My top tip: If your mum really has a strong opinion on something, listen to her. She probably does know best!

"We Made Trad Look Relaxed"

“We wanted a wedding that combined a traditional ceremony with a relaxed and lively reception. In the end, we decided on a garden-party theme to make the most of Larmer’s gorgeous grounds.

As we’re not religious, we opted for the venue’s Lower Indian Room instead of a church. It’s a small colonial-style structure set back into the gardens – it reminded us of the houses in Singapore where we live.

Our colour palette consisted of yellows and navy blue. The sunflower fields in Toulouse inspired the yellow – it’s where we stayed before Ben proposed in Barcelona.

We hung yellow and ivory paper lanterns in the pavilion and jam jars filled with LED lights on the trees surrounding it.

The personalised save-the-date tea towels were a real hit with our guests – we held a few back to keep for ourselves.

One of my favourite bands growing up was The Bluetones. Ben thoughtfully organised the lead singer, Mark Morriss, to play an acoustic set during cocktail hour.

Our ‘flare mixologist’ (think Tom Cruise in Cocktail) served Dilpa’s Gindian Sling – a take on the Singapore sling – and Ben’s Highland Fling, a whisky-sour cocktail.

My top tip: Take a step back if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Sometimes just stopping for a breather makes you think differently.”