A luxurious ivory and gold wedding in Hampshire
20 Mar 2019
Palvi Makwana and Viran Pabari tied the knot at Froyle Park in Alton, where they invited a total of 350 guests to share in the celebrations
How did you meet?
Viran and I had always been under each other’s noses as he went to university with my cousin, although we always missed seeing each other on nights out...a bit like Sliding Doors. We finally met in 2014 on my birthday and had a whirlwind romance.
Tell us about the proposal.
Ten months into our relationship Viran took me for a romantic getaway to the luxury beach resort at The Shore in Thailand where he had something extra special planned for me. We had always talked about going to Thailand on holiday. On the second day, on the gorgeous island of Phuket, Viran took me for a stroll down the moon-stroked beach where he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him with a 1.25 carat solitaire engagement ring. He had designed the ring with the support of his diamond connoisseur uncle and proud owner of Silk Diamonds. It was all incredibly romantic.
We were engaged for three years before we started planning our perfect wedding in 2017. Viran and I agreed from the outset that we would not have a traditional Indian wedding, but we wanted to combine our Indian and British heritage with a civil ceremony and Indian reception party.
What was the theme for the day, and did you have a colour scheme?
Given the beauty of this venue, when it came to making it our own both Viran and I wanted to keep it simple. We created two distinct décor looks with the help of the highly creative and award-winning décor specialists Wed-In-Style. The civil ceremony took place outdoors in the garden pagoda dome and the theme was inspired by enchanted gardens with an afternoon tea.
To achieve this look we draped the pagoda in blush curtains which were held together with blush, nude and ivory rose floral wraps. The aisle chairs included matching small fresh floral arrangements and the walkway was finished with scattered clusters of ivory lanterns and cylinder vases with ivory candles which rested on rose petals. We finished the entire look by decorating the outdoor swing with green ivory and champagne flower heads. I recall taking in the décor when walking down the aisle in the backdrop of the string quartet, Quattro String Quartet, playing John Legend's All Of Me and seeing Viran waiting for me at the end. It was the perfect moment.
For the evening reception we went for an Indian theme in-keeping with our heritage. We opted for bold blues and gold for our indoor evening reception with a head table featuring orchids within a Perspex table. Given the beauty of the Grand Ballroom we decided to opt for simple centrepieces of glass trumpet vases with floral arrangements combined with large glass candelabras.
What venue did you choose and why did you choose it?
Viran and I decided to host our gorgeous wedding day at Froyle Park Country Estate in Hampshire because we both love the countryside. We fell in love with the beautiful gardens and outdoor dome with the far-reaching views of the countryside as the backdrop.
Within the traditional Georgian mansion we were blown away by the Grand Ballroom with its Grecian leading hall way, ivory ballroom boasting large chandeliers and detail finished in gold. We are big animal lovers and the free frolicking white and brown peacocks were the finishing touches which sold the venue for us. We visited a number of country venues and nothing came close to Froyle Park.
When did you know when you’d found ‘the’ dress?
Choosing my wedding dress was a great experience as, while shopping with my mum, I fell in love with this beautiful Martina Liana wedding gown at Angelica’s Bridal. By this time I had visited at least eight bridal shops and tried on more than 20 dresses. My heart was set on the Martina Liana dress and I ventured back a few months later with my maid of honour and bridesmaids to finally buy it. I paired this with a beautiful 17" inch ivory veil for that additional wow factor and diamond accessories. I graced my wedding day in a pair of satin ivory Jimmy Choo sandals and added that additional personalised factor by adding our wedding date on the sole. I also carried a beautiful bouquet of hand-tied ivory roses with hints of baby's breath.
To celebrate my Indian heritage I opted for a navy lengha from the beautiful Indian outfits at Monga’s which was embellished with gold embroidery throughout and made me feel every inch the Indian princess for my evening reception. I completed the look with Swarovski encrusted bespoke jewellery which consisted of a necklace, earrings and hairclip handmade by Kyles Collection. I paired my lengha with bespoke navy satin dyed shoes from Harriet Wilde, finished with delicate gold leaves and small, pretty cherry blossom flowers with Swarovski crystals on the spins of the heels. I also customised the soles to ensure I entered the evening as the new Mrs Pabari.
Who were your bridesmaids and what did they wear?
I chose five bridesmaids for mine and Viran’s wedding day. I couldn’t have anyone else as my maid of honour other than my best friend, my older sister. The other four girls were my childhood friends and cousin. It was also such an honour to have my childhood friend’s children, beautiful Phoebe and Mason as my flowergirl and pageboy.
I really wanted my bridesmaids to feel comfortable and confident in their dresses and was delightfully surprised when they chose the same dress from David’s Bridal. I knew I wanted them all in floor-length dresses in champagne gold and between them they opted for a sleeveless sweetheart neckline dress with a ruched waist and leg with a slit. The bridal party all had their hair and make-up done on the morning of the wedding and were over the moon with how they looked ahead of what was going to be such a gorgeous wedding day.
What did the mother of the bride wear?
For the civil ceremony my mother opted for a champagne colour lengha from Southall, Omega. The lengha featured gold throughout, in-keeping with the colour theme. The top was encrusted with beautiful diamonds which was paired with beautiful crystal earrings and necklace. She also wore customised bangles in champagnes and golds to match her outfit.
Where did you find your suits?
For our civil ceremony Viran opted for a grey skinny fit suit from Hugo Boss with a champagne floral print tie and pocket square. For the evening Viran opted for a navy suit with black lapels from Suits Supply which he wore with a black satin cummerbund, black bow tie and patent black Hugo Boss evening shoes. He accessorised this with his silver Tag watch which was gifted from my parents on our Indian gifting ceremony. Our gifting ceremony took place with our immediate family in London at Chutney Mary’s private dining in London.
Viran and I agreed on the style of suits beforehand and he kept his groom’s look a secret until the day of the wedding, as did I with my wedding dress and evening lengha. Viran and I saw each other dressed to the nines for the first time at the altar which was incredibly emotional but the happiest moment of our lives.
Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail – tell us about the details of the day.
Viran and I really wanted our wedding to include pieces of our story to give guests a real opportunity to really celebrate us as a couple. To achieve this we worked with the renowned Doves and Peacocks to design bespoke wedding stationery. This included a welcome sign which depicted a personalised sketch of Viran and I inspired by our love for art deco illustrations. Our signs were finished with fresh flowers for that additional wow factor.
We transformed our stationery in line with our evening look of blues, gold and ivory by designing a suitably coloured seating plan which included tables named after all our memorable dates and an additional sketch of Viran and I in our evening attire. This sketch was also transposed onto our guestbook sign. We opted for an additional bar sign which celebrated all our favourite cocktails/ drinks throughout the years from our open bar. We also dotted 28 personally designed signs of our pictures and trips throughout our relationship enclosed in Perspex frames across the mansion house rooms. We also placed large hanging pictures from our pre-wedding shoot at Durdle Door in some of the rooms.
Other small details also included our own personally designed guestbook, individual foil printed ivory and gold menus and ivory dancefloor with our initials with the support of Ritzy Music.
We ensured that we included a variety of entertainment on the evening such as a caricaturist. To really make guests feel a part of our day Viran and I designed our own free wedding website on Getting Married and Instagram wedding page which not only helped with the organisation of the day but also gave guests a sneak peek into what to expect. This all added to the suspense and excitement of the day.
To really take away the pressure of the day, we designed a very comprehensive briefing pack which was shared with our suppliers and wedding family; this allowed us to step back on the day.
How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?
I recall being struck with nerves in the first few seconds of walking down the aisle, trying to take in all the décor as it was the first time I saw it. When I saw Viran I was overwhelmed with happiness; it was if everyone else disappeared and it became a private moment between us both. It was hard holding back the tears of happiness.
How did you make the ceremony personal to you?
Viran and I have always joked about why we never met before and how we missed each other when we had mutual friends and attended the same events. When we met it was as if we had always known each other and on our wedding day my sister-in-law read the poem Soulmates by Lang Leav which captured this. This made the ceremony very personal for us.
What was your most memorable moment?
One of my most memorable moments was the night prior to the wedding before arriving at the bridal suite. Viran and his best man had decorated the suite with helium metallic heart-shaped balloons with a matching bridal metallic balloon sign above my bed. He paired this with pictures of us on the bedside tables, 'his and hers' mugs in the kitchen, champagne and roses throughout and gifted me with my favourite Louis Vuitton perfume and Gucci bag with a hidden romantic love note which brought a tear to my eye. It wasn’t so much about the things, but that it reminded me that Viran always thinks of me and puts me first.
What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?
Both Viran and I work very busy jobs so the most challenging part was finding the time to plan the wedding. We became wedding planners by night and spent a lot of time pulling together mood boards and colour schemes to bring it all together.
Another funny challenge was asking our stationery lady to draw us in our wedding clothes and checking proofs without revealing to each other how we would look.
What was the most important investment for you?
Viran and I are big foodies and in-keeping with our own expectations we served our guests with a true feast for our afternoon tea, evening reception and dinner filled with all the food we love. This was with the support of La Freshco, premiere Indian wedding caterers in London. To start, the afternoon tea invited guests to indulge in a selection of freshly prepared finger sandwiches, cakes and pastries and macarons. We included additional Indian high chai foods of vegetable cutlets, Dhokla and masala chai.
This followed with the reception drinks which included a selection of six beautifully crafted Indian canapés inspired by our favourite traditional street foods of chicken tikka, cauliflower manchurian, papdi chaat, seekh kebab, mini vegetarian burgers and pizza samosas.
If our guests weren’t already full, this was followed by a five-course sit-down dinner of spicy traditional lamb curry, chicken tikka masala, spinach paneer, potato curry and urad dal which was all accompanied by cumin infused rice, cucumber yogurt and naan cooked in a tandoor. We finished the menu with dessert - traditional Indian desserts of Gulab jaman with vanilla ice cream or strawberry cheesecake.
What song did you choose for your first dance, and why?
We chose the song Perfect by Ed Sheeran because it captured the growth we have both felt over the course of our relationship.
Tell us about your wedding cake.
Our gorgeous wedding cake was made by Asian Wedding Cakes. We had a five-tier ivory cake, decorated with ivory flowers between the tiers, our initials on the middle tier and damask print on top. Our beautiful cake floated on a ghost table and rested on a beautiful bed of wisteria and orchids. The bottom tier was our traditional favourite of Victoria sponge. The cake server was engraved with our names and our wedding date.
If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?
Viran and I joke that if we could go back the one thing we would change is how much we ate...which wasn’t enough! We spent a lot of time picking the menus and canapés but just didn’t feel we had enough time to enjoy it.
Was there anything you wish you’d known before?
The amount of time it takes to plan a wedding around your day job. This is something Viran and I massively underestimated and how much time can be taken looking at the details.
Where did you go on honeymoon?
Three months after our wedding, Viran and I moved out into our own new build two-bedroom flat in North West London. To manage expenses we plan to go on our honeymoon to the Maldives and Dubai later this year. However, my brother and sister-in-law were kind enough to gift us a mini-moon to Rome which we enjoyed over the New Year’s period.
Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?
I think it’s important to communicate and ensure couples make decisions that represent them. We experienced a lot of our family wanting certain things for our wedding where they shared their opinions and sometimes imposed these. We stuck to what we felt was right and the day turned out exactly as we wanted.
Steal their style:
Venue: Froyle Park
Photography: Anthony Chok Photography
Toastmaster: Guy Boyling
Indian bridal outfit: Monga's
Wedding dress: Angelica Bridal
Bridal accessories: Kyle's Collection
Shoes: Harriet Wilde
Hair and make-up: Jawaad Ashraf
Bridesmaids' hair and make-up: Sonica MUA
Bar: White Truffle Events
Cake: Asian Wedding Cakes
Civil ceremony music: Quattro String Quartet
Reception music: Ritzy Music
Videography: H.O.M Productions
Catering: La Freshco
Caricaturist: First Choice
Stationery: Doves and Peacocks
For more Hampshire wedding inspiration, pick up the latest edition of Dorset, Wiltshire & Hampshire Bride magazine.