20 October 2013


It was a perfect day.

I mean, it was a crazy thing to even try.

Organise a wedding. In six weeks.

But, as Jonti always tells me, "We can do anything we want to do." I believed him. And we did it – with absolutely outrageous amounts of help from friends and family. Our plan was this: fun, informal, and lots of dancing. No matching outfits. We didn't want wedding brain, we didn't want to stress too much over it, and we knew we'd come out at the end of it loving each other more than ever before.

My dress took 5 fittings and insane amounts of work from the amazing women at Fable & Promise. Rachel and Charlotte made my dress special and unique and perfect. In only 5 weeks. It made me feel stunning. And it has pockets. I can't wait to wear it again in Atlanta!

Gem came over to help me into the dress in the morning. Brooke came over to do my hair and make-up, and I felt gorgeous. I loved the make up and hair-- and it held up all day, through hours of dancing. Let me know if you need an awesome make-up artist. I got her number!

I've never even slightly wanted a veil or a tiara. I'm not a princess, and I'm not in need of a lampshade over my face. Northern Flower were doing my bouquet anyway, so I asked for some to put in my hair – they wired fresh flowers into hair pins for me! I didn't want too many flowers for the wedding, but every piece of the flowers they created for us was perfect; my bouquet had mint and lots of green in it, the gents' buttonholes were classy and understated.

Neil, Gem and I got in a taxi to the Register Office. Doesn't she look amazing?
The photographer knew exactly how to make my best men, Neil & Geraint, feel super awkward. This photo encapsulates our friendship perfectly. They are weird and awkward & I laugh. 

Jonti walking up to the Register Office. By himself, because I think his friends forgot to grab him on their way in!

Sure the CD broke. Everyone came together to try to get us the music we wanted. I didn't expect to feel so overwhelmed at the ceremony. But as I heard that music, the first lines of Elvis Costello's 'I'll Wear It Proudly,' I walked in. And as I finally looked in Jonti's eyes, tears threatened. He asked if I was ok, and his eyes were welling up, too. I said yes, and took his hand, and we promised.

We had selected a beautiful Johnny Cash song to play while we were signing the papers- Laura and her laptop saved the day.

We booked MERCi, the Manchester Environmental Resource Centre initiative, for our reception. They're a charity, and the most sustainable building in Manchester, and they're based in a former silk mill in Ancoats. The venue was perfect for us; we love Manchester's old industrial buildings. It was MERCi's first wedding, and they did the most incredible job. Ingrid was a powerhouse of organisation and made sure we could have fun all day without worrying about everything happening behind the scenes. I hope they book more weddings after this, because it's a fantastic venue, with a garden and a roof terrace.

So many friends and family came for hours the day before to help us decorate. My mom & dad, jetlagged from Atlanta, Alan & Margaret, jetlagged from China. Tom & Richard, spent hours in the air, flying in from LA and Belfast, only to spend hours up a ladder hanging bunting and streamers. Katherine and Geraint, Emily & the other Richard, Philip and *just loads* of people came to help us get everything set up. 

Part of our "informal, fun" plan was to have street food at the wedding, instead of a formal sit-down thing. MERCi requires all food to be vegetarian & Jules and Bailey, of Arepa!Arepa!Arepa! sorted some amazing vegetarian fillings. It was their first wedding, and I feel so lucky that they agreed to do it, because everyone loved the Colombian cheesey bread and the delicious arepas.

In fact, we had way too much food. Massive delicious salads. My mother brought Indian sweets. Jonti & I aren't really big fans of wedding cake, so we just had lovely desserts instead. Jonti made Almond Polenta cakes and Margaret (his mom) and her friend made tiramisu (especially for me!). We still had a tower to cut, though– it was made of cheese wheels, because who doesn't want loads of cheese?


My friends told stories, lovely lovely stories. Alan, Jonti's dad, gave the world's best wedding speech ever. I had never thought getting married would be so fantastic. But it was just an incredibly happy day, fun hanging out with friends I love.

Jonti's friends Anthony & Richard were our band; they did a fantastic rendition of "Young American" for our first dance. Jonti and I had never danced together before, so it was literally our first dance. And I LOVE HIS MOVES.

The venue was magical.

Gem caught the bouquet. Jonti wanted to help throw it, but for reasons I can't explain or remember now, I simply wouldn't let him... so he's going to throw one in Atlanta!

Joe & Richard did readings at our ceremony; we were so honoured. Joe read an ee cummings poem (since feeling is first) and Richard read a V.S Ramachandran quote about the mystery of the brain.

Some of Jonti's friends said the sweetest things to me. I won't forget them.

Even the weather turned out for us. A Manchester October Saturday can usually be relied on for at least some good drizzle. We didn't have a drop, and we got this amazing sunset.
The reception ended with a stunning, unplanned, wildly fun finale, wherein Deepali & Tuheen stole Jonti's shoes, proper desi style. While Katherine tried to do her job as the baraat and find his shoes, Jonti made do with some cardboard boxes. He's definitely the right man for me.

We had set up a sort of 'photo-booth' in another part of the mill. This is one of my favourite pictures. Jonti's mom and great-aunt Florence. 
We didn't want a guest book. So we made some bottles that we'll smash open on future anniversaries and asked people to leave us messages in them. I can't wait for our first anniversary!

We were so happy with the day; we got to spend it with such wonderful people and they made it the best day we've ever had. We're so grateful, we've already started the thank-you cards.