A Traditional Indian Dress For A Country Farm Wedding with Colourful Paper Cranes

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I’m so happy for our couples when they plan a summer wedding and Mother Nature plays ball. Today’s bride and groom were one of these lucky twosome’s and were able to take full advantage of last years heat wave and the grooms parents farm in the beautiful Dorset countryside.

The day was full of colour and fun, and the bride took inspiration from her mothers Indian heritage when it came to her dress, which turned out beautifully, I think you’ll agree. So let’s meet the happy couple, shall we?

Lighting designer and programmer Cat, and lighting technician Tom wed one sunny summers day on 21st July 2018, at Tom’s parents farm; Manor Farm in Silton, Dorset.

Images by Photography34

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On hand to capture the day on camera and do the beautiful farm venue justice was Tony at Photography34, who Cat discovered via Love My Dress.

“Tom and I aren’t too keen on having our photos taken and purposely have chosen careers backstage. As a result of this, we were really keen that if we were going to have a photographer, then it would be someone who didn’t really do posed photographs and would blend into the day. I found Tony through a feature on Love My Dress and loved the tonal quality of light in his shots straight away. His style really appealed to us and he made everyone feel so at ease. We are still amazed at the shots that he managed to capture on our day.”“Tom’s parents own a farm in Dorset and Tom couldn’t imagine having a wedding anywhere else. We had held various weddings, parties and events on the farm before and we didn’t want to be tied to a venue package and were keen to choose all our own suppliers.”

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“This meant we started out with a field with power and toilers and did the rest ourselves. We’re now venturing into making it a real venue for anyone to hire! Quite early on I found a brilliant white round scalloped tent from Smiddereens and that provided a perfect elegant background and shape for everything else.”

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“When it came to my wedding dress, Tom and I felt that a white dress wasn’t really me and I wasn’t really keen on a western style, but was keen to give a nod to my mum’s Indian heritage. I purchased the dress from Variety Silk House in Wembley. This shop produces one-off Lenghas so although it wasn’t made for me, I believe it’s the only one in existence.”

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“I loved the botanical themes of the traditional metal embroidery (zardozi) which caught my eye straight away. It wasn’t anything like what I would usually wear, but it felt like the right decision when I tried it on. The muted pink wasn’t the traditional Indian colour of red, but also wasn’t the traditional white colour that I was keen to stay away from.”

“We were planning on using Tom’s grandad’s 1910 Maudsley to drive me the short drive around the corner from where I was getting ready on the morning of the wedding to the venue for the ceremony. My bridesmaids got to the venue in the car, then the tyre popped meaning that I actually ended up arriving in Tom’s dads Landrover Discovery!”

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Going down the more traditional route for her bridesmaids, Cat chose beautiful full-length navy blue dresses from ASOS for them, as well as a silver paper crane necklace each from Etsy. The groom wore a 3-piece navy blue suit with grey waistcoat from Hawes and Curtis, a pink tie from Mrs Bowtie and shoes from Clarks.

The best men complimented his style in their own mismatched suits, with ties from Hawes and Curtis gifted to each of them (with only one making it to the right person in the end!).

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“I wore Nina by Nina Ricci as my perfume. It’s what I usually wear and I didn’t want to wear anything different on the day. I also wore a necklace that Tom had bought me for my first birthday after starting dating and a pair of earrings, also a gift from Tom, from Australia.”

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“Tom and I met at a country house opera festival in the summer of 2014, which had quite a few problems that made it easy for us to bond over. On a blisteringly hot day in Australia in March 2017, we were walking on a remote beach in the Daintree rainforest and I wondered why Tom was dithering so much – it turned out he was about to propose!”

“Once I’d said yes I promptly got heat stroke! We got married 15 months later on our 4th anniversary of being together.”

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The couple chose Helen Baker as their officiant, following a recommendation by a family friend, and wrote their own vows independently of each other.

“My dad accompanied me down the aisle and we walked down to Hoppipolla by the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. I didn’t know until after I’d chosen the song that it’s one of Tom’s favourites. We had 3 readings and we wanted the people we asked to choose the readings themselves, so we heard them for the first time during the ceremony.”

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“Tom’s sister read the same reading that he had read at her christening, my mum read The Art Of Marriage by Wilfred A Peterson, and Tom’s aunt read an extract from the Velveteen Rabbit, which was a favourite book of mine as a child (although she wasn’t aware of that beforehand).”

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“We got all our rings from Flawless Fine Jewellery in Hatton Garden. We chose my engagement ring together a few months after we got back from Australia, and it was lovely shopping for something so personal together. We went back for our wedding bands and Tom designed mine to fit around my engagement ring.”

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“For the catering we used Hungry Mule, who are based in Bridport. As I’m vegetarian we were very keen for everyone to have a similar meal regardless of various dietary requirements. We had scotch eggs for starters and pies with a mixture of veg for our main, with the cake as the dessert.”

“Hungry Mule delivered on every aspect of the meal. They were amazing at dealing with all the different dietary requirements (which there were a lot of), but yet everyone had the same style of meal. Chris from Outside Bars Dorset was fantastic at providing the Pimms table, table wine and a wide selection of drinks behind the bar.”

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“My sister very kindly agreed to do my hair for me on the morning of the wedding, and everyone did their own make up themselves.”

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“We purchased our flowers from Charlie at the Real Cut Flower Garden and members of the family had fun arranging the table centre pieces, which were apple box style crates, and the button holes for the men. My bridesmaids and I had a fun hour or so arranging our own bouquets.”

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“We didn’t really want to be limited to one colour palette on the day, but the idea of paper cranes as a centrepiece came to me quite early on and evolved into an elegant white with flashes of colour. We also knew we wanted festoon and giant tungsten light bulbs as that tied into us both being in lighting.”

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“I designed all of the stationery myself including save the dates, invites, menus, table plan and place cards. The save the dates we emailed out. The invites we got printed with Moo and the rest we printed on thicker card and paper on home printers.”

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“Other decor included the paper cranes which were the central theme, and as well as a giant mobile over the dance floor, we also used them to hold everyone’s place names on the tables. The light bulbs and festoon lighting provided a warm white light and everything was white or silver with the paper cranes and flowers providing the colour.”

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“I was very particular about the band we hired and I had my heart set on a 9-piece jazz orchestra, which would have totally blown the budget. We actually ended up with a 5-piece band from Bristol called Silver Souled. They surpassed any expectations I had and were fantastic!”

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“For our first dance track we chose Grow Old With Me by Tom Odell, which Silver Souled performed for us. It was something that felt so appropriate to us now, and our future together.”

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‘”I couldn’t pick one favourite moment from the day – it was all of it! From the moment I arrived at Tom’s side at the ceremony I felt so at ease. It was so beautiful to be surrounded by all of our friends and family. People had come from all over the UK, Australia, Zambia and the US to be with us.”

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Words Of Wedded Wisdom

“If you’re planning to do it DIY, then make sure you’ve got people around you that will be willing to help you out. We had friends arrive from the Wednesday before the wedding to help us fit out and decorate the tent with lighting and cranes. We had the tables up with chairs around them before the delivery man had even left the site! We really couldn’t have done it without all the help. My mum and I spent 2 days or so stringing cranes together, which took a lot of determination to get through!”

“I chose my dress in January but I didn’t really consider the weather in July when buying it. The zardozi was heavy to wear and a few weeks before the wedding, when it was clear the heat wave was going to continue, I was running around Regent Street trying to find an alternative skirt to wear in the evening!”

“Work as hard as you possibly can in the run up to the wedding, but when it comes to the wedding morning, just let it all go. Really enjoy the day. It’s probably the only day where it really is all about you and your partner, and it’s important that you focus on your friends and family being present and supporting you.”

“Don’t feel like you have to blow the budget and spend money on everything! We chose 3 or 4 things that we wanted to spend money on – food, a free bar, a live band and a photographer – and everything else we were willing to compromise on.”

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What a fabulous day! And how special to be able to spend it on Tom’s parents farm with incredible weather to boot. A big thank you to Cat and Tom, as well as Tony at Photography34 for sharing the fabulous day with us.

Until next time…

Much love,

Holly x

Credits & Thanks

Holly Grocott

Holly Grocott View all Holly's articles

Holly loves nothing more than getting her fill of beautifully styled weddings and couple's individual stories. After living in London for 6 years, she's now moved back North and settled in the leafy suburbs of South Manchester with her husband and much-loved pet pooch. You'll mostly find her reading in a corner, writing or creating a moodboard (or five).