New York Inspired Cheltenham Racecourse Wedding | Salshan photography

Meet the very gorgeous Sharn and Darvinder.

Sharn and Davinder wanted a wedding celebration that was both traditional and modern in equal measure.

Sharn and Darvinder chose to have a traditional (and incredibly emotional) Sikh wedding ceremony at the Guru Nanak Sikh Temple in Swindon, followed by a modern luxurious New York inspired reception at Cheltenham Racecourse.

Planning a wedding for over 700 guests over 3 days is no easy feat, from quality control concerns, to time management, but Sharn managed her wedding like a pro and intricately fused tradition, with western modern influences and personal touches. It was no surprise that after planning her own wedding, Sharn got the bug and started her own business with a bid to bring glamorous and unforgettable weddings into the Asian wedding market and Desi Bride Dreams was born.

Captured by Salshan photography and Epic Media, over to Sharn and  to share the story of their day.

The Proposal

BJ EnrightDarvinder in action! Photograph captured by BJ Enright 

Darvinder surprised me on my birthday with a luxurious New York City getaway. As you can imagine I was over the moon! But I had no idea what he was planning.

It was a crisp cold afternoon in January, we had a breathtaking day riding around snowy Central Park in a horse and carriage. (Nu Bride: How gorgeous!)

After we walked back to our hotel, Darvinder insisted we enjoy a drink at the bar. When we missed the floor the bar was on while riding the lifts, he asked if I wanted to see the rooftop instead. I happily agreed.

When we reached the rooftop, it was every girl’s dream. We could see the famous New York skyline and the iconic Empire State Building. I suddenly noticed it was empty except for a small oak table holding champagne. Darvinder got down on one knee and asked me to marry him, whilst presenting the most beautiful tanzanite deep purple ring. As a photographer captured every moment, I was truly lost for words. (Nu Bride: Perfection!)

Coming Together

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As I recounted my engagement, I realised I had the perfect theme;  New York City.

Because our wedding was a 3-day extravaganza, I had to ensure every detail was planned to perfection. Planning for 720 guests was no easy task, (Nu Bride: Oh my word!) especially when there were no RSVP’s involved! (Nu Bride: Currently experiencing heart palpitations)

It was glamorous but personal and I felt that the theme really was us as a couple through and through as it was a mix of tradition but of course it was modern and luxurious.

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Sometimes a lot of Asian weddings can lack the personal touches as you are catering for such large numbers but I tried to ensure that the personal touches weren’t overlooked in our wedding.

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My favourite tradition in the lead up to the wedding was definitely my pre-wedding events. Every Indian wedding always has pre wedding events and mine was no different. For each of my pre-wedding events we hired the same venue for ease and we were so fortunate that we belong to a very strong Sikh community in my hometown so for each of my pre-wedding events there was at least 200 guests! There was lots of singing, dancing as well as games and everyone had a lot of fun. I will always be eternally grateful to the people who made both our pre wedding events and our wedding day special.

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The dress

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I knew I wanted to wear a traditional Indian outfit. However, traditional Indian outfits consist of red and me being the modern Asian bride I really didn’t want to go for red and opted for coral and gold outfit along with hues of mint green. My outfit was made in Delhi, India. I think the reason I was so drawn to it was because I had never seen anything like it before, it was original and very unique and a step away from what a traditional bride wears.

Ceremony

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Our morning began with a traditional Anand Karaj (meaning blissful union) ceremony at the Swindon Gurdwara. This for any Asian bride is the most nerve wracking part as both the bride and groom have to walk around the Guru Granth Sahib and its difficult for a bride to keep getting up in her wedding outfit, but I was so pleased as it went really well and there were no hiccups!
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Reception

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While planning, I struggled to find the perfect decor and styling team. I wanted a decor company that could take my vision and execute it seamlessly. Amit from Maz Events was that décor company. He completely transformed Cheltenham Racecourse into a glamorous New York themed evening.

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I worked tirelessly alongside Maz Events to ensure that this will woven through the entire reception. Our centrepieces consisted of 6ft hanging chandeliers, gorgeous crystal candelabra’s and a head table which had a waterfall behind it. Even the dance-floor had the iconic New York skyline designed onto it. Guests were lead into the reception and a Statue of Liberty greeted guests, the walkway was based on Central Park.

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We even had New York themed cookies! Plus, stilt walkers showered everyone with rose petals whilst the beat of Frank Sinatra “New York, New York” played. The legendary Jazzy B also performed alongside Ritzy music. Jaws dropped throughout the night!

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Though we loved every moment, the happiest memory for both of us was our spectacular family entrance. The band Baja played live, and our families joined us as we danced together. The speeches touched our hearts, especially my cousin’s and Jazzy B’s performance was extraordinary, the energy on the dance floor was insane. Our wedding was a dream.

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One of the most memorable moments for us were when the guests were greeted to the beat of Frank Sinatra’s “New York New York” when they entered the venue, as well as the string quartet. Our lovely guests said that they were speechless when they entered the venue. The theme was actually a secret and only me and my husband knew about it as we wanted to keep it a surprise.

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Challenges and Triumphs

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It was definitely the guest list!

We catered for 720 guests which needed a lot of planning and execution involved and because traditionally Sikh weddings don’t have RSVP’s, so it was very difficult to know how many guests would actually attend on the day. Luckily our guest number was just below 700 so there were enough seats!

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The triumph was that historically Indian weddings are notorious for running over time and the groom’s side being late but I knew that we had too much at stake and if the groom’s side was late it always impacts the reception time. I was so pleased when the groom’s side arrived on time which meant our ceremony was on time and we had plenty of time for the reception! The wedding day ran like clockwork and having a strong team of hard working and talented suppliers is the reason why.
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The hardest part for me was when we had to go back to my parents house after the reception and my parents as well as my whole family gave me away. This is always a very emotional part for any Indian bride as she is leaving her parental home and starting a new chapter with her husband and in-laws as well as their family and I guess it symbolises a Indian bride becoming a woman in another family. This was extremely emotional for me.

One Tip for Other Couples

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Be organised and where relevant, always hire wedding professionals who understand your religion and/ or cultural traditions. Do your research and ask for testimonials or references where you can.

Try and plan well in advance, so you aren’t feeling stressed during the end of the process. This is when you should be enjoying it! If your budget allows then consider hiring a wedding planner or a very least a coordinator. They will ensure your wedding day runs smoothly and above all is stress free so you can concentrate on the important part, getting married!

The Video

Beautiful Sharn and handsome Darvinder , thank you for sharing such a special day with us! 

The Talent

Photographer: Salshan

Cinematographer:  Epic Media 

Venue:  Cheltenham Racecourse 

Wedding Planner – Desi Bride Dreams 

 

Bride’s Fashion:  Asiana Couture // Accessories & Jewellery: Avaari  Couture//

Shoes:  Jimmy Choo // Makeup: Ravita Pannu //  Hair: Ravita Pannu 

 

Groom’s Fashion: Suit & Shoes Reiss  / Traditional attire: Delhi inida

Bridesmaid Outfits: from India

 

Personal Touches: 

Cake:  Swarn Cakes // Flowers and Décor:  Maz Events // Bouquet: Floral Creations by Reena  Food:  Five Rivers 

The Entertainment: Jazzy B and Ritzy Music// www.jazzyb.com 

Light up Letters – Aisle Hire It

 

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