Jessica and Pav's Boho chic meets luxury microwedding at Forest of Arden Marriot Hotel

Friday, April 16, 2021

Mr + Mrs Paul 

Forest of Arden Marriot Hotel | 5th September 2020 | Guests: 25

Your Instagram: @j.essica.__ | Photos: Unity Group

After already postponing once, Jessica and Pav chose to bring their October wedding forward and were married just before guest restrictions were reduced to 15! They held their ceremony at the beautiful Forest of Arden Country Club, and followed with a reception at their family home. The garden was completely transformed by adding a marquee and decorating into an amazing Boho Chic inspired space. The couple are now planning to have their traditional Sikh wedding once restrictions are lifted. Jessica talks to us all about their wedding, and how they adapted to the restrictions and still included the important and traditional elements of marriage to their special day... 

Tell us all about your wedding theme...

The theme was totally last minute and done within a week because of restrictions due to COVID-19 we had postponed our original April 2020 date to October 2020. However, with the predictions of the R rate rising in Autumn/Winter we did not want to risk by waiting. So we decided to bring this forward during the guidelines of 30 guests allowed at the time. This served us well because a week later they changed this to 15! Due to the restrictions, we opted for a beautiful intimate at home event. I transformed my garden into a rustic barn which still had a luxury feel. I was inspired by couples who were doing intimate gatherings in their gardens and I loved the Boho Chic vibe where my events specialists incorporated dried florals, pampas and vertical structures. I sent a few ideas to my event specialists and left it to them as I was super stressed with the last minute changes and they really brought my vision to life, it was whimsical and perfect in every way. I am so grateful to them!

What kind of ceremony did you have?

We had a Civil Ceremony where we exchanged vows with a registrar present, and we were allowed 1 reading. We still plan to complete our Sikh Wedding Ceremony in the gurdwara; however this was postponed to later this year due to COVID. We decided to precede with our Civil Ceremony before our Sikh Ceremony and Celebrations so that we could at least start our lives together. Being in a long distance relationship during lockdown was quite tough, especially with my relocation planned for after the original wedding dates. All of this was put on hold and further delays for us moving in together wasn’t an option. COVID really turned the order of events on it’s head, also being from a Sikh background, this caused some turmoil with traditional elements. In the end we adapted to the times to suit us both practically and logistically too. We were able to bring some traditional elements forward like the Chura and Chuni Ceremony to coincide with our practical plans and we were able to still have the best day ever!! Thank you to our amazing parents and families who were adaptive and supportive the entire time. 

What was your favourite part of the day?

The moments I had with my family during traditional ceremonies was really special and important to me. I was really glad they got to give their blessings even if it were in a different way to what we had imagined.

What was the most emotional moment of the day?

Walking down the aisle and seeing Pav was the most emotional because we had both been through a rollercoaster journey with our wedding planning process. In the end, everything had built us up to that one exact  moment which was perfect and exactly how it was meant to be. We were so grateful to put our marriage at the forefront and not let all obstacles get in the way. 

Advice for future brides…

I understand just how frustrating it is to plan a wedding in a pandemic and everything you had ever dreamed of may seem impossible right now… but don’t compromise on what is important to you. You can still make your visions happen with a bit of adaptability and open-ness. A bridal support group really helped me connect with other brides and bring back the exciting elements I thought I was losing during wedding planning. It was so reassuring to be able to relate to other brides going through the same thing.

Song you walked down the aisle to: Kina Grannis – falling in love, the lyrics of this song are so unbelievably emotive that it had both me and Pav in tears the moment we saw each other for the first time. 

Song for walking back up the aisle as a married couple:  Sam Smith – Latch Acoustic and L.O.V.E – Gregory Porter

First Dance: Tere Bin - Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Pav proposed to me in Dubai on a yacht with this song playing in the background and it’s one that carries a lot of emotion

Did you make any Wedding DIYs?

Due to the pandemic I wanted to make it as safe as possible and so I created mini anti-bacterial bottles with personalized stickers that said “Spread love not germs”. It is now a keepsake memory and reminder that we were able to safely complete our wedding during a pandemic and they were really appreciated by our guests on the day. They even took them home as a wedding favour. 

Did you have have anything unusual at your wedding?  

The most unusual thing was having only 30 guests, even thought my partner and I didn’t feel it on the day, both mine and Pavs parents certainly felt the absence of their siblings. Also the intimate at home celebration was unusual because we had to improvise with my garden which most people thought was a venue because of how unusual the layout was of the marquee across the decking. In the end it really looked professional despite it being my parent’s back yard! 

Is there anything you wish you'd done differently?

I don’t have any regrets as in the end I accepted that due to restrictions there was nothing else I could do. It was difficult having to chose who would be a part of our day as we both have very big families and in the end a lot of key family members were missing on the day. Despite it all being a compromise to what was originally planned, in hindsight everything was perfect and most family were truly understanding. We hope to share our Indian celebrations with both immediate families a part of that auspicious occasion. 

Worst wedding planning moment:

When my original wedding was cancelled due to the first lockdown in April it was quite stressful being one of the first brides to experience this I found it tough trying to liase with all suppliers for a new date in very uncertain times. My partner and I would clash in opinion and emotions and tensions ran high with loved ones. It’s not the best memory we have however the actual beauty of the wedding day trumps those moments for sure. 

Tell us about your Honeymoon: 

We planned to jet off to Santorini for a Mini Moon following all of our wedding events. However this was cancelled and so we found a beautiful Edgecliff boutique in the UK with stunning floor to ceiling panoramic views of the sea right from our room. It was surreal and were still able to relax and took time to soak in all of the memories from our wedding. We hope to still complete our honeymoon at a later date when it is safe to do so. 

What was your wedding budget – and did you stick to it? 

Our wedding budget for the English Civil was £6,000. With COVID restrictions we ended up saving because the number of guests was reduced from 120 to 30. We didn’t mind putting more towards décor and food because it made the day feel that bit more special. 

Watch their wedding video below:

Photographer: Unity Group

Videographer: Unity Group

Venue: Forest of Arden Marriot Hotel and Country Club

Cake:  Pretty Fancy Cakes

Décor: Vermillion Events Specialists + Two Peas in a Pod 

MUA: Anu Malhi

Hair: Anu Malhi

Dress: Miamor Boutique

DJ: Kyle DJK

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