This just sums up what an incredibly fun couple these two are....the lovely Hiral and Nick. From the first time I met this lovely pair we instantly gelled, and they fell in love with Minley Manor and the possibilities it offered for their Autumnal Winter wedding.
Although their first visit to Minley was a brief and rather drizzly one back in December 2020, it was an absolute joy to meet a couple that were so very passionate and excited about their wedding day. Despite the huge amount of uncertainty around large events; (they knew they wanted to invite 200 guests), their smiles were infectious, and positivity was sky high.
The months that followed during the roadmap out of lockdown, we talked almost weekly as it was so hard to make decisions with many compromises to their original ideas. Over our regular zoom calls we became great friends, and as much as I could see their vision, we did not want to take a booking for a wedding that could potentially not live up to their expectations. So they booked a revisit when we were open to viewings in March for a second walk round the venue with Hirals family. I remember first meeting them to this day, such wonderfully warm people.
Hiral had a wonderful imagination of how she wanted their day to look and feel, and we endeavoured to be as helpful as we could suggesting different options for the outdoor Winter ceremony they wanted (brrrrr!) and the additional 'chill out' spaces that were so important also. Fast forward to May and they finally decided that Minley was their wedding 'Wonderland', as Hiral referred to it, and set their date for 20th November 21 - just 6 months time.....Cue mad planning!
It was a real pleasure being able to provide help and advice for Nick & Hiral, as living in London, I became the local supplier liaison; from marquees and suggestions of bands and music agencies to book their entertainment, to assisting the florists in quoting Hiral's floral vision, and creating various table layouts to get the best out of the space. Over the planning months we enjoyed a great relationship and our frequent emails were full of banter and appreciation, which always made me smile.
"Thank you SO much for all your time and help so far - we honestly don't know where we would be without you! "...You ARE a Queen! of the highest regard!"
They also asked our assistance to find a further venue locally for their Mendhi the day before the wedding. Minley sadly wasn't an option as set up for the wedding would have prevented use of The Orangery the night before, but they needed somewhere local for their 150+ guestlist and they needed help. Living in the area, I was able to suggest a vast list of options from hotels and halls to golf clubs and community centres. Advice in all areas of the planning is all part of the extra service I like to provide for our couples.
The week of the wedding soon came around and the days prior were chilly but glorious. While the couple were in full flow of their celebrations, Minley was a hive of activity with the marquee being erected over two days and suppliers coming and going. Hiral knew her dream of having an outdoor ceremony in the open air was always a bit of a risk in November, so the marquee, from All Events Marquees, also doubled as a bad weather back up plan. We sent regular update photos of set up to the couple to allay any worries and keep them updated, and secretly kept our fingers crossed hoping for the same beautiful weather for the Saturday.
The day of the wedding finally arrived, and alas, we were not to get the turquoise blue skies of the previous days. However, a cloudy day is a photographers dream, so at the very least their memories would be captured perfectly by Carrie Lavers Photography. Suppliers started arriving from 7am to set up the Orangery and ceremony on the Wellingtonia Avenue. With the talents of Lesley from Velvet Broon Classical Flowers, the mandap was an explosion of autumn colour against the giant Sequoia trees.
Smiles all round! The stunning bride tribe were dressed in coordinating jewel coloured sarees to compliment beautiful Hiral in her custom made lehenga with the most intricate embroidery detail, designed by My Saree Shop.
Despite a bit of early morning drizzle; not unlike the day when they first visited; as the weather improved, the couple made the call to go ahead outside, so all 170 chairs were moved from the Orangery lining the aisle of rugs with rich, jewel toned organza sashes. Their guests' comfort was a high priority for and they had thought of everything to keep the cold at bay, offering hot drinks, handwarmers and blankets as their guests took their seats.
The ceremony commenced with The Baraat, where the Groom, accompanied by his male friends and family (Baraati's), danced in procession from the Manor House to the Wellingtonia. The sound of the drums and guests clapping along resonated around the estate, while the men danced jovially. It was great fun to watch them all getting into the spirit. The ceremony, led by the wonderful Brahmin, was an emotionally charged celebration of love, with laughter and happiness keeping the guests warm in the November chill.
The wonderful newlyweds - Hiral Got Her Nick
After the ceremony the guests made their way to the warmth of the marquee for reception drinks served by the catering team, while the couple had their photographs in the grounds before the daylight faded. Entertained by the soulful jazz duo Hulos, guests mingled and relaxed on sumptuous blue velvet chesterfield sofas, provided by Furniture Hire UK.
The Orangery was set for dinner, catered by Allium Events, and followed the same autumnal theme with a huge floral pillar greeting guests as they entered. The couple had opted for long banquet tables, with foliage garland runners and candles, abundant with rich warm colours, golden leaves, waxed apples and pine cones. Delightful little jars of homemade Mango Chutney were a lovely touch as delicious guest favours, and dried orange slices were an original idea as place cards.
The speeches were hilarious and heartfelt and Hiral herself picked up the microphone and worked the room like a professional. There was a lovely emotional reference to her amazing parents and incredible sister Bijal that was truly touching and brought a tear to the eye. Cue cutting the cake, and while the Orangery was turned around for the evening party, guests were invited to retire to the marquee for after dinner cocktails under the fairy lit canopy.
As darkness fell, the evening lit up further with sparklers, firepits and Smores before the dancing commenced. A party of all parties was the prerequisite for Nick and Hiral, "we love to party" I recall Hiral telling me all those months prior....and boy was she right!
As they danced the night away to the many talents of Joe from Soho: DJ Live, who provided a dance floor packing DJ set, and then surprised everyone with a saxophone interval and an impressive vocal solo. Nobody wanted the party to end and to the familiar chants of "one more song", the music played on into the early hours.
One of the most beautiful, colourful and energetic weddings we have had the pleasure to host so far, and it was a pure joy and honour to be a part of Nick and Hirals' incredibly special day.
All credit to
Catering: Allium Events
Photographer: Carrie Lavers Photography
Marquee & Furniture: All Events Marquees
Mandap: Taj Events
Florist: Velvet Broon
Musicians: Hulos Duo
Evening DJ: DJ Soho via Tailored Entertainment
Videographer: Paragon Productions
Sofa Hire: Furniture Hire UK