Sonalee Kulkarni, a renowned star, discusses the significance of having an Indian cultural wedding at Essex, a popular destination wedding venue in London. Here is what he had to say.
Did you always wanted to have a destination wedding?
-All the items on my wish list were met when I wore my custom-made Sonalee Paithani wedding saree at Colville Hall for my Marathi-themed wedding ambiance: a unique wedding location, a traditional-style wedding, and a custom-made saree. I was certain that all the boxes had been checked when I walked into the hall and saw my beautiful saree for the first time.
Where did you finally decide to have the wedding?
-The wedding was held at Colville Hall, a picturesque venue. This venue has never before hosted an Indian wedding, much less a traditional Marathi wedding! Because of its historical significance and rural ambiance, Colville Hall is an excellent choice for events.
Please elaborate on the venue and how you chose it
-On my search for a novel setting brimming with culture and heritage, I was drawn to England’s countryside, which has always fascinated me. After doing some research and visiting Colville Hall a few times, I realised that it was the perfect location for my Maharashtrian wedding. Since they had never held an Indian wedding, I envisaged that it would be up to me to bring the flavour of India to the local community.
Any amusing stories about preparing for the wedding?
-The caretakers of the wedding venue were unprepared for a fire-pit (Havan-khund) or rice grains being used for a traditional Indian wedding meal. They initially declined our request. We met with the owners of a barn, an elderly British couple, to discuss Indian cultures and the significance of each item for a wedding. They were interested in everything we had planned for the wedding, but they were nice to help us organize everything we needed.
What was the theme of your wedding?
-We arranged a very traditional, Marathi-themed wedding. All the outfits at the wedding were traditional. We were so traditional that we celebrated all the Marathi customs and traditions. Even the decorations and atmosphere were meant to exhibit our tradition’s history in a modern way. My mother, who is Punjabi, donned a Punjabi bridal outfit for the first time. It was also the first time that a dhol tasha phatak, a Marathi recording of a drum song, was played at a British Indian wedding.
Did the wedding get cancelled because of the outbreak?
-The Pandemic in 2012 caused us to postpone our wedding, which we had originally scheduled for 2012. The second lockdown in 2013 prevented us from continuing with our plans, so we had to postpone the wedding once more. Fortunately, we got married last year, and we were able to arrange this pleasant occasion to bring together all our family and acquaintances and celebrate our marriage in the way it should be.
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