My 5 Bridal Looks: Zeena Shah
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The Mehndi Party
“At a Mehndi party – an event that happens before the main wedding day in Indian culture – the bride is traditional covered in turmeric, so I knew yellow was going to be a good theme for what both Zack and I would wear. This dress came from Stine Goya’s ‘Showpieces’ collection – it was the last one left in my size at half price in the NET-A-PORTER sale! It didn’t bother me that it was a Scandi brand as opposed to an Indian one, as I find so many designers often take inspiration from Indian clothing and traditions. It was the perfect fit for our day – especially as our wedding was Anglo-Indian (Zack is British). I love that Zack chose to wear a traditional sherwani though – it was so reflective of our two cultures coming together. He also made the flower crown I’m wearing, my shoes came from Gucci and my bag is Lulu Guinness. The jewellery all came from an Indian retailer in Southall.”
“For our main ceremony at Elmley Nature Reserve in Kent, I wore a pink ombre lehenga and Zack wore a green sherwani. We both leaned into the Indian side of our wedding for this part of the day; I’m also wearing a dupatta on my head and lots of traditional Indian jewellery again. Our English heritage came through in my Jimmy Choo shoes and Shrimps bag. It’s traditional to wear red for an Indian wedding, but I’m a big pink girl so it had to be this colour. Given this was at the tail-end of the pandemic, I was lucky to have been able to go to a real shop to find it – Frontier Raas in Southall, again. Everything there is made bespoke in India and they ship it to the UK. Rather fortuitously, if we’d gone through with our original wedding date at the beginning of June as opposed to the beginning of August, it wouldn’t have made it here on time.”
The First Change
“We both changed for our reception. Zack wore a white tux (which had our incorrect wedding date embroidered on the inside pocket!) and I wore a dress by Charlie Brear. We worked together on this bespoke piece. She’s so clever; all the pieces in her collection are designed to layer together so the look is totally customisable and versatile. It started with a simple deep-V bodice as the base. For this first look, I added an ostrich-feather skirt with my same Shrimps bag and Jimmy Choo shoes. I just slipped it on and did it up with the poppers – it was so easy.”
The Second Change
“This is the second version of my Charlie Brear look. This time, over the same simple bodice, I added a three-tier skirt made up of layers of a sequin tulle, a feather tulle and a heart-print tulle. The straps were also made from that same heart-print tulle, as was the cape. The cape was so fun – I really need to wear that again this Christmas. It was like having four dresses in one and so many of the separate parts you could wear again. I could even shorten the main bodice dress and dye it a different colour.”
A Year Later
“We’d originally booked our legal ceremony to happen before our Indian ceremony, but this was cancelled – a mix of the pandemic and staff shortages. We went through with the Indian ceremony and put off rebooking the legal part for a long time – until Zack had the thought that we should mark our one-year anniversary (paper) by doing the ‘paperwork’. Genius. So, we booked at Hackney Town Hall (close to where we live) and I bought a dress from Ashish that I’d seen on the runway via MATCHESFASHION. That was another stroke of luck – I’d missed out on it the year before, and then it just appeared last October, one left in my size on sale. Sometimes I do think dresses find you. My Jennifer Behr headband was the closest I ever really got to a veil, but I loved how simple it was and my shoes were Louboutin via Selfridges. I also used my same Shrimps bag as my ‘something old’. We had a small reception afterwards at The Marksman, which is where we went on a lot of our early dates, so it felt really meaningful.”
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