Oh the gorgeous Thubeena and Rhys! I have another delightful love story captured and submitted by the fabulous team at My Beautiful Bride to share with you today.
Meet Sri-Lankan beauty Thubeena and Welsh gentlemen Rhys, who met whilst studying at University and got engaged whilst walking along the beautiful Welsh seafront in 2014 . They wanted to get married in their home town, London and had both a traditional Sri-Lankan Tamil ceremony and western ceremony in Hackney East London. The Tamil ceremony beautifully symbolic with the use of delicious reds with symbolise purity and sensuality and the ceremony provides the opportunity through a number of traditions for both families offer their prayers to God for a peaceful, joyous marriage.
They had a London industrial theme with a vintage twist with vibrant blue and orange as their backdrop – they wanted something quirky to reflect them and boy did they. The beauty and calmness of the Tamil rituals, the juxtaposition of the quintessentially British top hats and the vibrancy and the backdrop of hipster East London is just brilliant.
The stunning and grand East London favourite, Hackney Town Hall played host to both their Sri Lankan Tamil ceremony and western ceremony with celebrations to follow at One Friendly Place which was the perfect backdrop for their industrial theme, to party into the night.
This is SUCH a beautiful and joyful union. I am delighted to share their colourful day with you.
Over to Thubeena and Rhys and delightful images from My Beautiful Bride
We wanted a wedding that represented our colourful and quirky personalities and one that could host our multi-cultural celebration.
Searching for a venue was tough!
We looked at over 10 in East London before being able to make a decision. Finding a venue for the Tamil ceremony was the most challenging part as flames and fire form an integral part of the ceremony, and of course you are not allowed fire in many Grade II listed buildings in London! We also needed the venue to be big enough for both the Tamil ceremony and our western ceremony. Two ceremonies and fire, not an easy combination to find! (Nu Bride; LOL! But you did it!)
Keeping costs down whilst trying to achieve quality was a real challenge but I think we achieved that and hosted a colourful, London industrial vintage themed wedding.
My two wedding saris were silk with hand-sewn embellishments which I found from shops in Alperton. I’d looked at quite a few dresses. Having chosen a vintage style to match our wedding theme it was then a case of finding a dress that didn’t cost the earth. Fairy Goth Mother totally came up trumps!
My western wedding dress came from Fairy Goth Mother I wanted something of a vintage style that would also suit the evening reception. It had a 1950’s retro vintage feel.
The Suit: My Tamil outfit and accessories came from Variety Silk House (www.varietysilkhouse.com) in Alperton.
It took me a while to get there, many shopping visits with a little bit of internet research got me to the end decision!!
We chose My Beautiful Bride to capture our wedding day, after meeting Michael at the Vintage Wedding Fair in Stoke Newington Town Hall (where he gave us a glass of Champagne in a vintage glass!), we arranged to meet up with him again at the Royal Festival Hall. Having spent an hour or so talking about the creative process of photography with Michael, we knew we had to have him as our photographer. It was fantastic to meet someone as excited as we were about our Tamil-Welsh wedding! (Nu Bride: Delightful to hear! )
The Tamil Ceremony
For the Tamil ceremony we had a Manavarai decorated with flowers from Party Paradise (www.ukpartyparadise.com). They also provided the Ganesh Statues and red carpets. It looked amazing with the vibrant colours and light coming in from the huge windows of the Town Hall.
One of my favourite moments for Rhys was seeing Thubeena looking stunning in all three of her outfits and then finally getting to be her husband.
The exchanging of the flower garlands symbolises the union of two becoming one and applying sindoor, a red cosmetic powder that also symbolises power and strength. The touch of sindoor makes the marriage auspicious and strong and is a blessing for a long and healthy life.
The favourite part for me was the most significant moment of a Tamil wedding, when Rhys tied the Thali Kodi necklace around my neck in the Tamil ceremony – the Thali necklace is known as the ‘guardian of the wearer’ symbolising that we are now married and at beginning of our union and ever-lasting love.
Nu Bride: Absolutely beautiful!
It is during the atchadhai – a tradition where guests present the couple with flowers and rice grains, which is as a blessing as we were announced as husband and wife as they exchange flower garlands.
For the reception we decorated with many festoon and fairy lights, along with family photos. We were allowed to move around all the furniture at One Friendly so this allowed us to create the various different feels that we wanted, from chilled to sophisticated to nightclub.
For our flowers we had a mix of David Austin juliet roses, peonies, garden roses, freesias, dahlias in vibrant orange/apricot with hints of white and red with eucalyptus foliage by Rebecca at Ivy Pip and Rose
Rhys made light up signs including table numbers, top table and the bar sign (which took days to make!) including table numbers, top table and the bar sign. (Nu Bride: These look fantastic!)
All the lights at both the ceremony and reception, along with the ceremony stage were provided by VNV Sounds. We worked very closely with Dean and his team to achieve our very specific vision. They were fantastic.
We collected together photos from old family weddings and from when we were kids and used them to decorate the venue. We got the idea from one of the other venues we visited.
Finally, we got our guests to draw their wedding day memories on small pieces of card and hang them up,
The night before the wedding we, together with about 10 friends and family, spent about 5 hours preparing the reception venue. It took ages but was well worth it. I ended up having a McDonalds with my Dad and Best Man Lawrence at 12.30am in the morning of the wedding after a long night of decorating! (Nu Bride: LOL!)
We are both quite arty people so we really wanted to come up with a collaborative art piece that everyone could contribute to. In the end our idea was to put an envelope on each table with felt tips and small cards. We invited everyone to open the envelope after the main course and to draw what he or she had most enjoyed about our wedding. Each card was then hung upstairs as part of the decoration. Everyone took part and we now have over 100 fantastic hand drawn images of our big day! Our plan is to put them all up at home in a massive frame.
We loved our cake! It was a naked Victoria sponge from Lauren at French Made. It was decorated with flowers and a Lego version of us!
Our first dance was to How Long Will I Love You by Ellie Goulding
Rhys: Our good friend Hannah is lead singer of Save The Last Dance (www.savethelastdancemusic.com). They were awesome and got everybody dancing. Who knew that Thubeena’s parents could dance like that?!
One Top Tip
Make what you can.
We are creative which helps. We were very keen to design and make our own stationery in order to add our personal touches and also keep costs down. The printing was done by Stephen Perrott of Perrott Bespoke Printing. They have really traditional printing equipment and presses which I love. They were also fantastic to work with!
Photography: My Beautiful Bride
Ceremony Venue: Hackeny Town Hall
Venue: One Friendly Place
Grooms Fashion: Western suit: Paul Smith and accessories came from Turnbull and Asser my top hat came from Lock and Co Shoes came from Church’s | Tamil outfit and accessories came from Variety Silk House
Cake: French Made
Stage Lighting:VNV Live
Printing: Perrott Bespoke Printing