Rosalind & Ravi… Axnoller… Dorset

This weeks wedding blog is all about a fusion wedding… East meets West with Shakespeare’s Rosalind, and the true romantic Ravi… Roz talks about their journey, planning a two wedding weekend, with a Christian wedding on Saturday, followed by a Hindu wedding on the Sunday…

We met Ten years ago on the second day of our graduate scheme. There were seventy graduates who joined our department at work that September,and as Ravi and I have surnames starting with the same letter,we were in the same training classes. We developed a strong friendship and love blossomed over the years… Ravi proposed in Capri as the sun was setting. He had wanted to go to a particular spot to watch the sunset, but I railroaded his plans and made us go to another part of the island! When we were alone in the pine trees looking out to sea he proposed. We celebrated with pizza.

Once engaged I knew planning two weddings was going to be full on… as The Christian Ceremony was on the first day of our celebrations, I started looking for this dress first, and I ended up buying the first I tried on. Some brides have a strong idea of what they want in a dress but all I knew was that I wanted something plain-ish. I visited a number of other shops to try on different styles but I was drawn back to the Cymberline dress I had originally tried on. It had a plain top but magical 3D flowers on the over skirt which danced as I walked along, and gathered around my feet in a circle.

My outfit for the Hindu wedding came from a shop in Ealing Road in Wembley. Ravi’s mum and sisters came with me and my family, we really needed their guidance as this was a whole new experience for us, we had such an amazing day looking at all these amazing fabrics, so bright and colourful. I knew I wanted something quite traditional and I found the perfect one from Rangoli, they were so helpful and made me feel amazing. The outfit was made for me in Mumbai and was a complete contrast to my Christian wedding dress, I looked and felt so different in both…

We Fell in love with the tree-lined drive towards Axnoller, it’s enchanting and wonderfully secluded, but offers big, wide, open Dorset skies. When we thought about what atmosphere we wanted to create at our wedding, Axnoller was perfect as you can stay for the whole weekend, which meant we could have our two weddings on one site and so it acted as a way of unifying the two very different celebrations. There was also opportunities across the barn, marquee and outside space to allow us to have different parts of the wedding in different spots. Axnoller had the added bonus of allowing our families to stay on site which made it very relaxed for us all. Nadia and Sheryl at Axnoller were wonderful to work with too, the icing on the cake!

Having two weddings gave us lots of opportunities for flowers. To give a contrast we chose a very natural white and green theme for the Christian wedding, filing the church with beautiful garden flowers…then vibrant pinks and oranges for the Hindu ceremony.
The Hindu wedding ceremony takes place in a Mandap and one of the reasons we chose Clair as our florist was that she was so excited about creating one for us. Together with the silk I had bought from travels with my parents in Rajastan, Clair decorated the Mandap beautifully with flowers garlands and vibrant floral arrangements. It was a big task but she took our brief and did such a wonderful job. It cleverly combined vibrant India with wild Dorset and wowed us all.
We were really pleased with the table decor at our reception. We made giant table runners using more of the Indian fabric, which Clair adorned with gold jars packed full of flowers. Lots of gold and silver candlesticks and tea lights were added, creating a super cosy atmosphere while we dined from huge sharing bowls of curry and breads…

At times during the planning I questioned why we had decided to have two weddings, however, looking back I was so pleased we did. It was essential for us that the Christian and Hindu weddings were on equal footing and that all guests were invited to both. Our families and friends loved learning about the different cultures and we were so impressed with how both sides embraced it all.
Looking back there are so many wonderful memories, from the happiness we felt walking out of the church after the Christian ceremony… to Ravi and my Dad’s speeches. What was also wonderful was seeing all our friends and family making such an effort to wear India clothes for our Hindu ceremony. They went to such a lot of trouble and it really showed how much they cared. Our hearts just felt full the whole weekend.

Tackling a two day wedding isn’t for the faint hearted, and we couldn’t have achieved it all with out our team of helpers. From our families to the staff at Axnoller, the photographers and videographers, hair and make up, and of course Clair and her team. We put our trust in them to create our vision and were thrilled with how they brought it to life. Thank you for everything.

Venue – Axnoller Weddings

London Wedding Photographer – Weddings by Nicola and Glen

An excellent creator of floral masterpieces

Clair instinctively knew what flowers to use based upon my brief... She is calm, relaxed, professional and discrete... An excellent creator of floral masterpieces which brought tears of joy to my eyes.

She is an extremely talented artist

Even after my own wedding over a year ago I still follow Clair on all her social medias... seeing her new work with other brides and feeling like she keeps re-investing herself, nothing is ever alike! She is an extremely talented artist.

We met Clair and clicked immediately

We met Clair and just clicked immediately with her. She had prepared ideas based on our description of the wedding and she was one of the few suppliers we met who genuinely tailored her approach as soon as she got the brief.