Me & My Wedding: A Blend Of Cultures In London
Me & My Wedding: A Blend Of Cultures In London

Me & My Wedding: A Blend Of Cultures In London

From the proposal to the cake, the flowers to the dress, we love hearing what goes into making someone's big day their own. If you're after some inspiration, look no further – this is where we shine a spotlight on some of the most stylish weddings out there. For Yande and Mo, celebrating the best of both their cultures made their day extra special…
Photography: KATE VICTORIA

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The Proposal

Mo and I have been together for five years. We met at work and, after a few interactions and words from colleagues about how we would be great together, he added me on Facebook. After a few days of talking, we exchanged numbers, and he asked me on our first date. The rest is history. As we both live and work in Liverpool, our relationship blossomed there. On the day of our engagement – 16th July 2022 – Mo told me he wanted us to plan a date day, which we do from time to time. I was given a vague plan – we were going to do some kind of activity and dress for dinner. Last minute, Mo said he needed to pop out and to meet him at a local escape room. He loves puzzles, chess, quizzes – all the things I am rubbish at – so this wasn’t too surprising. When I arrived, a member of staff gave me an envelope. Inside was a laminated card with clues as to where to go next. Turns out it was a treasure hunt around all our memorable places. The last stop was at my favourite hotel in the city, and I was taken up to a room where Mo was waiting, in a tuxedo and surrounded by candles. Then he got down on one knee…

The Ring

Mo found a jeweller in London to design the ring. He had casually asked me about a year prior what kind of ring I liked, and I helpfully sent him several – none of which had any similarity to this one! My ring is perfect, though – it is exactly what I wanted.

The Planning

Navigating the planning process was difficult initially. We follow different religions and have different cultural backgrounds. I am originally from Zambia and was raised Catholic, while Mo is of Jordanian Muslim heritage. We had to create a celebration that kept everyone happy, so we decided to have two events: a pre-wedding celebration and the wedding day itself, to allow us to cater to those who don’t drink alcohol and those who do. 

The Venue

I stumbled across our wedding venue, Ashridge House, on Instagram. We both knew it was the one when we visited around a year before our wedding. We wanted a different vibe for the pre-wedding party and loved the idea of having a black-tie event. With Ashridge House not being too far from London, it gave us access to several great venues. Searcys at the Gherkin was an easy win, and it has incredible views of the city. In the end, we had around 150 at the pre-wedding party, and 120 on the wedding day itself.

The planning process was difficult initially because we follow different religions – I was raised Catholic, while Mo is of Jordanian Muslim heritage – so we had to create a celebration that kept everyone happy.

The Décor & Flowers

Styling for both days was done by Syreeta at the Luxury Hire Co. She was an absolute dream to work with and created exactly what I had visualised – a clean and classic white aesthetic with some black accents. On the Friday she was in charge of flowers and candles – there was no sit-down meal, so we didn’t need formal crockery. Jo Malone London also helped to scent that night. On the wedding day, Tanya at Apple Blossom Flowers decorated the staircase where we had the ceremony, and did the bridal party bouquets and buttonholes for the groomsmen. My bouquet was a mix of white hydrangea and hypericum berries with some white roses mixed in. The bridesmaids had stripped-back bouquets of white roses, which were stunning. Syreeta styled everything else. 

The Dress

Funnily enough, I’d seen my dress on Instagram many months before I eventually tried it on and thought, “That’s the one.” In between, I tried on lots of different dresses at various bridal boutiques, the majority of which I hated. When I went to the flagship Suzanne Neville showroom in London, I knew the ‘Amber’ was the one. The corsetry is second to none, which was vital for me due to my bigger bust. After a last-minute veil disaster, I managed to get one from Rebecca Andrews Bridal. She was amazing – especially as I only gave her a lead time of about two weeks. For the Friday, I wanted something more glam and found my Rebecca Vallance dress on NET-A-PORTER. 

The Hair & Make-Up

My make-up for both days was done by Zakiyah Shani who is just a dream – I gave her little to no brief and she made me feel like a princess. My hair for the pre-wedding party was done by Deborah Lola at DL Bridal and for the wedding day by Cleo Stoute Artistry, who has done my hair for years. Due to having such a big bridal party, I had a number of people help us on the day: Nicola Hood and a member of Cleo’s team did the hair for my bridesmaids and my mum; Anouska Bloom and Cleo did the make-up for them, too. 

The Bridal Party

I had eight bridesmaids. I really wanted them to be comfortable in their dresses and for them to have something that they could wear again. Everyone was thrilled when I suggested black. Everyone had a different dress and chose them completely independently from a range of high-street brands – CoastASOSOasisMeshki and Club L London to name a few. Everyone had gold/pearly earrings from Orelia which I had gifted them, and wore matching PJs on the morning of the wedding from H&M.

Mo had a best man and two groomsmen. The boys were in tuxedos on the Friday, so Mo wanted something different for the wedding on the Sunday. They wore lovely moss green suits from Ben Sherman with black bow ties and pocket squares.

When I went to the flagship Suzanne Neville showroom in London, I knew the ‘Amber’ dress was the one – the corsetry is second to none.

The Photographer & Content Team

Our photographer was Kate Victoria, who truly was the best. I found her on Instagram and loved how she captured weddings. I knew from speaking to her over email that, personality wise, she was a great fit. We also had a content creator, Beth, from Content & Confetti. This was a relatively last-minute decision, but we are so glad we did it. She captured all the important moments for us in a candid but professional way, as well as the really authentic moments that made the day. The two of them made the best team.

The Food & Drink

Both venues catered for us and we had tastings for both events. Friday was all about casual small plates served with English sparkling wine, then the venue did some more formal, hearty food later on – things like butter chicken, slow-cooked beef and Thai fish curry. For the wedding day itself, we had crispy goat’s cheese with a beetroot purée, red onion and fig parcel to start. The main was roast sirloin of beef, braised cottage pie, seasonal greens and Madeira essence. Vegetarians got double-baked cheese soufflé, chive lemon butter and seasonal market vegetables. For dessert, we had vanilla-pod creme brûlée with chocolate caramel cake and crispy apple nougat. We didn’t think we’d bother with a cake, but in the end we decided to order a red velvet one from Hummingbird Bakery.

The Entertainment

We knew from experience that entertainment can really make a wedding day. LDN Entertainment performed at both events, with a trio on the Friday and an eight-piece band on the Sunday. They were better than I ever could have imagined, and everyone commented on how great they were. Joe, who started the company, was excellent to work with and gave us lots of helpful advice. We also had a DJ on the Friday – Reggie Styles – who Mo approached at a festival when we saw him play. 

For our ceremony and reception, the Halo Strings trio performed. I walked down the aisle to them playing ‘Until I Found You’ by Stephen Sanchez – there were lots of tears. As is traditional in Arab culture, we had a Zaffa band perform on the wedding day – for rhythmic drums, singing and dancing, I can recommend Zaffa Entertainment. It was a magical addition to the day. Speaking of which, we also had a magician, Matthew Le Mottée, Master Of Mystery™️, and a photobooth from Event Rhino.

Planning a wedding is stressful and chaotic, but I’d tell other brides to really soak it up – it really is a special time.

The Day Before & After

We had a day in between the two events, as we knew the pre-wedding celebration might be a late one and people needed time to recover. We had dinner with my family the night before the wedding day, and the day after we had breakfast with both our families. It was so special because many of them had travelled from Dubai, Zambia and Canada to be there.

Advice For Other Couples

Planning a wedding is stressful and chaotic, but I’d tell other brides to really soak it up – the engagement, the planning, the lead up to the day, and of course the day itself. It really is a special time. Take the time to pick suppliers that make sense for both of you, and only work with people who truly care about you and can add to the celebration. You don’t want a personality clash. If budget had allowed, I’d have definitely hired a planner. Because that wasn’t in reach, I made sure to find a venue with good co-ordinators. It’s impossible on the day for you to do everything, so do your research – look for couples who have held a wedding there and see how the day went for them. 

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