A navy blue and silver Sikh wedding at The Auction House, Luton

30 Apr 2019

Matthew Singh Atkinson and Mandeep Parmar’s ceremony was followed by a reception with 450 guests

How did you meet? 

We met in prison! We are both prison officers.

Tell us about the proposal. 

Matt took me to Manchester for my birthday and we went to Rossos, Rio Ferdinand’s Italian restaurant. This was where we had one of our first dates. After dinner he got down on one knee and proposed to me in front of a packed restaurant. 

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What was the theme for the day, and did you have a colour scheme?

Our colour scheme for the day was navy blue and silver.

What venue did you choose and why did you choose it?

We chose The Auction House in Luton because it is one of the very few in the area that caters for the large amount of guests we had – we had about 450 guests. I have attended many functions over the years at the venue and have always been impressed by the décor and the food there.

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When did you know when you’d found ‘the’ dress? 

It took me a couple of trips to Southall before I finally found my dress. It was bought from a shop called Traditions. It was actually my mum who found it for me and initially I wasn’t too keen on it. However once I tried it on I fell in love with it and it fitted like a glove.

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What did the bridesmaids wear? 

My bridesmaids were my sisters, Kiran and Jaspreet and my cousin, Rajdeep. They all wore matching pink and gold Salwar suits to the Gurdwara and navy blue and gold Lenghas to the reception.

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What did the mother of the bride wear? 

My mum wore a dark maroon and gold long sleeved sari.

Where did you find your suits? 

Matt: My Sherwani was also from Traditions and my suit for the reception was from Hugo Boss.

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Tell us about your floral arrangements. 

We kept floral arrangements to a minimum in the Gurdwara and had a small table decoration of fresh pink and white roses for our pictures. At the Auction House we opted for three different table centrepieces of white roses varying in heights to add the wow factor. These included halo centrepieces and Martini style vases. 

Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail – tell us about the details of the day.

We wanted to make the wedding reception fun for our guests so we hired a magic mirror which went down really well. We also hired illuminated letters of our initials which were visible as soon as you walked in. We also had a sweet table and chose to just have all different types of M&M chocolates. 

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How did you feel as you walked down the aisle? 

I felt nervous which was to be expected but it also felt very surreal.

How did you make the ceremony personal to you? 

We chose to keep the ceremony how the Giani (Priest) wanted it to be done out of respect.  However we made order of service cards which were given out with the wedding invitations. These outlined the ceremony process and what the guests should expect to see and happen. This was important to us as we wanted to make sure that all the guests knew what was happening so that they could share the day with us.

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What was your most memorable moment? 

Mandeep: The most memorable moment for me was when my parents gifted Matt with a Kara during the registry ceremony. This meant a lot to me as it symbolised that not only was Matt now a part of my family but also my religion. 

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Matt: When we walked into the reception venue to the music and saw all our friends and family there, that was the best moment for me. 

What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?

The most challenging aspect of planning the wedding had to be the seating plan. We went back and forth with the idea of having a seating plan and once we had finally decided to have one we were still amending it a few days before the wedding day.

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What was the most important investment for you?

The most important investment had to be the food and drink as it was the first time many of our guests were trying Indian food so we wanted to ensure that everyone enjoyed it. 

What song did you choose for your first dance?

Our first dance was Adorn by Miguel. This has always been our favourite song as it reminds us of when we first got together. 

Did you have any evening entertainment?

Our DJ was Ray from DAS Roadshow as well as the magic mirror supplied by Photobooth King.

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Tell us about your wedding cake. 

Our wedding cake was a four-tier cake with four different flavours. We did lots of research and wanted something modern and contemporary but that also incorporated our navy blue and silver colour scheme. Our top tier was plain silver and the next was navy blue with a silver and blue rose made out of icing. The third tier was silver with stencilling all the way around and the bottom tier was blue with a ruffle effect. The cake was made by a friend of my younger sister.  

If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?

There is nothing we would change apart from wishing we were able to spend more time with our guests.

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Did anything go wrong on the day? 

The day went as perfectly as we could have hoped for and we were in fact early for every part of the wedding which is a rarity for Punjabi weddings.

Did you have a custom hashtag for social media?

We did have a custom hashtag which was #MandM2018.

Was there anything you wish you’d known before?

We had both done so much research and planning for the wedding that nothing came as a surprise to us and we just took everything in our stride. 

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Where did you go on honeymoon? 

Our honeymoon was in Ibiza and we left the day after the wedding. We had everything packed so we were ready to go as we wanted to be able to relax straight afterward the wedding.

Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions or to chase things up with suppliers or the venue. It is important to be as prepared as possible to minimise the chance of things going wrong on the day so always clarify and double check with everyone you speak to.  

Steal their style:

Videography and photography: Abraxas Wedding Photography Video 
Magic mirror: Photobooth King
Illuminated letters: Light up Love 
Table decorations: Kanyadaan 
Reception venue and catering: The Auction House, Luton 

Click here to read the latest edition of Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire Bride magazine.

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