Deepika Puri & Benjamin Blackwood
6th June 2021
Ben would have been happy eloping to Las Vegas, but I’m Indian and have always dreamt of having a traditional wedding with all the customs, from the ladies’ sangeet to bridal henna. Accordingly, we originally planned for a big bash with 350 of our loved ones in May 2020.
Initially, we pushed our date back to October last year, but in the end, it wasn’t possible for us to get married until June 2021, with 46 guests. To us, the most important thing was that we were finally able to tie the knot and everyone could have a great time.
Our venue, Ingliston Country Club, is in a beautiful setting, and isn’t your everyday wedding locale. We used the Connemara Suite, but they also have a lovely marquee which would have fitted our original guest list.
Indian brides tend to wear traditional clothing, so getting to wear a white dress instead (and wear it all day!) was lovely. I had a fantastic experience at Wed2B – the staff made me feel very special and encouraged me to be more adventurous. I picked my dress there and then.
We also wanted to incorporate Scottish traditions into our celebration. Ben and his groomsmen wore kilts, and we had the bagpipes playing for our guests’ arrival. Of course, like most Scottish couples, we had to have Loch Lomond as our last song – although, with everyone seated – it was much tamer than it would usually be!
Neither of us are particularly religious, so we opted for a humanist service. Celebrant May Hill made it bespoke to us: for example, I love candles, so we included a candle-lighting ceremony. Our videographer, Strangeworx, also live-streamed the service for guests who couldn’t attend.
Exchanging vows was a real highlight. We expressed to each other and everyone else how much we loved each other and why we wanted to get married. The fact we’d had to rearrange so many times made this even more meaningful. However, the flowers fell off our backdrop during Ben’s vows, which got a laugh from everyone in attendance!
Our photographer was Grant McKelvie at Dream Day Photography. His portfolio was great, and he was very approachable. On the day, we loved the finer details he captured, without us even requesting them, turning insignificant moments into fantastic memories.
The cake was our biggest bargain. We got a 24-hour deal from 3D Cakes, and snagged a four-tiered beauty for around £250.
Although our loved ones told us how much they enjoyed the intimate feel of the day, we still wish more could have been there. I made a video for Ben with messages from those who couldn’t come, and sent it to him the day before. Little did I know, he had exactly the same idea!
We added little touches throughout the event to make it unique to us. For example, we gave our guests little wedding bells to ring as we walked back up the aisle, and commissioned a personalised backdrop for our ceremony and top table. We tried to keep the day light-hearted and fun to reflect who we are as a couple.
Planning a wedding during Covid was one of the most difficult life events we have been through. A lot of tears were shed, and it was much more stressful than we could have ever anticipated. However, even with all the restrictions, it was still amazing and emotional.
We made a lot of changes, but in a way it didn’t matter much – I got to wear my white dress all day, I still got my bridal henna done, and we walked away as husband and wife. However, since I’ve always wanted my Indian wedding, Ben and I compromised and will be holding that part in June 2022 – watch this space!
Celebrant May Hill, Scottish Humanists
Bride’s dress Wed2B
Bridesmaids’ dresses David’s Bridal
Groomswear Slater Menswear
Cake 3D Cakes
Flowers Buds ‘N’ Blooms
Stationery Purely Bespoke Designs
Venue decor Big Days Wedding Services and Blue Parrot Events
Hair and makeup Tina Kelly Beauty
Filmmaker and live stream Strangeworx Productions