Gilded shoes, gorgeous gowns, and pretty pops of color, this Aynhoe Park wedding is literally filled with all of my favorite things. Add a completely in love (and completely gorgeous) couple, and gorgeous photography by Ann-Kathrin Koch, and we officially have a winner on our hands. See it all here.
From Ann-Kathrin Koch…Amrita and Adrian had an amazing celebration of their love with two ceremonies, a visual feast of colour and a whole lot of glamour with golden tones everywhere. Aynhoe Park is one of the most eccentric but still elegant venues in the UK and with a bright sunny day in July this was the perfect backdrop to photograph this truly fantastic day.
From the Bride…During a trip to New York in October, Ade woke me up at 5.30am and told me to put on something prettier than my threadbare pyjamas. A blindfolded cab ride and a narrow lorry miss later (turns out NYC roads and blindfolds don’t mix so well), he sat me down on a sunlounger on the deserted Highline and asked me to marry him.
The fact that he listened so well to my offhand comment many years ago that I’d be mortified by a public proposal and went to such lengths to make sure we were alone (again, no mean feat in NYC) bode pretty well for matrimony. We’d been together a while and saw the wedding more of an affirmation of what we already had – the things that mattered to us were a ceremony that felt like “us”, to have all our favourite people there together and to give them a fabulous party while fitting in as much pretty as we possibly could. Aynhoe Park was one of the later venues we visited, but we loved it straightaway. It was quirky, with bedrooms and bathrooms to lust after, and quintessential English countryside views. Now we just had to hope the English weather behaved itself so our guests could make the most of the grounds – at least if not there were enough stuffed lions, giraffes, polar bears and risqué pictures of Kate Moss to keep them bemused, if not entertained. We wanted a wedding that would reflect our mix of cultures and our personalities, so we decided to have three ceremonies: a civil ceremony, a blessing by Ade’s mother (who is ordained), and then, following lunch and an outfit change, a Hindu ceremony. We spent a long time agonising over the readings for the civil ceremony – thinking we’d got it sorted and then changing our (my) minds as to whether to even have them. I am so glad we did; the ceremony was without a doubt one of our favourite parts of the day. The ceremony took place in Aynhoe Park’s beautiful orangery, and under the watchful gaze of a unicorn I walked down the aisle to Bright Eyes “First Day of my Life” – one of our long time favourite songs. Our readings were “Us Two” by A.A Milne, “i carry your heart” by E.E Cummings and an extract from Truman Capote’s “Other Voices Other Rooms”. My friend Alix sang “The Book of Love” by the Magnetic Fields absolutely beautifully, accompanied by the ukulele, and one of my bridesmaids, Cong, played Salut d’Amour by Elgar on the violin while we signed the registrar. We couldn’t have been luckier with the weather, and the Hindu ceremony took place outside in an elegant white mandap. Both dressed in gold, we exchanged garlands and said our second lot of vows for the day while walking around the fire.
Art has always been important to me and my family – my mother would rather have no card than a shop bought one. So it was important to me to make as much as possible myself. Ade was silently cynical about the mammoth task I’d set myself, but was very supportive when bottles of calligraphy ink, embossing powder, old books and nibs kept coming through the post box – and even helped with painting. I was lucky to have so much help in the form of friends and family, without whom the creation of hundreds of hand painted origami butterflies wouldn’t have been possible. These were used for the invites, and, for the place names, each person had a painted butterfly with their name calligraphed onto it. The table names were places we’d been together, from the beautiful Jodhpur to the slightly less exotic Eccles, where my grandparents live. I drew cityscapes of all of these, and then we made papier mache frames from old books to frame them.
There was no set colour theme – though there was more than a touch of gold. The feel for the flowers were parchments, champagne, pinks and gold tones with a focus on blousey (Ade refuses to accept this is a word) flowers. Our wonderful florist, Vic, created dramatic urns for the ceremony. My bouquet was a fluffy peony heaven, and my bridesmaids carried similar bouquets in colours to match each other’s dresses. The table flowers were mixes of peonies, hydrangeas and other delights, arranged in jam jars so that guests could take them home with them. Our favours were little clay tea cups shipped all the way from Kolkata (I spotted them while shopping for our Indian clothes and am luckily enough to have family who play along with my more ambitious ideas), in which both our mothers grew small plants.
To us, photography was one of the most important aspects of the day, especially with my dad being a professional photographer who’d be robbed of his camera for the day. We fell for Ann as soon as we saw her portfolio – she has an incredible attention to detail and it seems she has the ability to bottle light and tell it exactly where to go. We felt instantly at ease with her bubbly personality and she captured the essence of the day perfectly.
We had the most magical, delicious day. It was crazy how quickly it flew by – naturally in one big, beautiful whir of hugs, dress changes, giggles and dancing.
Floral design: Scarlet and Violet | Cake: Caked in It | Bride's shoes: Tory Burch | Bridesmaid's dresses: J Crew | Catering: Indulgence | Make up: Julia Wren | Hair: Carl Fisher | DJ: Henry at Stylish Entertainment | Groom's Suit: French Connection | Venue: Aynhoe Park | Bride's dress: Sarah Seven | Ceremony and Reception: Aynhoe Park | Girl's robes: Good Morning Beautiful | Groom's kurta: Manyavar | Ice cream tricycle: Cotswold Hills Ice Cream | Invitations, place names, table plan, table names, programs, men: Made by Amrita | Usher's suits: ASOS | Wedding Photography: Ann-Kathrin Koch