We asked Neetal and Apruva a few questions about them and the planning of their special days
- About your first date
We’re both from Northampton, growing up here our whole lives and so naturally our paths had crossed a few times, but we were quite young and literally only exchanged a sentence. We didn’t know each other at all, nor did we ever think we would meet again and ultimately fall in love and get married. We ‘officially’ met in our final year at university, introduced by a mutual friend we were buddied up to go to lectures together as it turned out we were on the same course. It wasn’t quite love at first sight, but we definitely hit it off from that first lecture and our friendship quickly grew. Our first ‘date’ you could say was on a lunch break, between lectures, in a small restaurant near our campus, whilst it wasn’t romantic at all it’s still a great memory. We actually re-visited the café a month before our wedding to have lunch and marvel at how far we had come from our days in university.
- The proposal
We had planned a trip to New York, I had been dying to go there for years and was incredibly excited. Unknowingly, my now husband, had planned to propose and saw this as a winning opportunity. He was all set. As soon as we had landed and checked-in to our hotel. We freshened up and headed straight to Central Park to begin our trip. We had the whole day, the sun was shining bright and it was strangely warm for October. He suggested we get a rowing boat in the lake, I sensed something was going on as he was eager to get there and worried about the boat availbility. But, it still caught me off guard. Whilst out on the large lake, he read me a story – it was about us and how he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, with a question… “will you be my player 2?” Not the question I was expecting, I must’ve looked confused. He quickly realised he forgot something, reaching into his bag, he pulled out a brand new PlayStation controller and presented this to me. Whilst I was looking at this, I noticed a ring attached around the center button, I looked up and he asked, balancing on one knee, “will you marry me?”. I cried, happy tears of course and replied yes. Just to give context, my husband is a huge gamer – buying me my very own controller was big for him, I knew he was ready. We celebrated with some drinks, took a carriage out of the park and enjoyed a lovely dinner at Nobu in the city. All the details had been taken care of, ending the day with a huge surprise bouquet of flowers ready for when we came back to the hotel that night. I think every girl pictures this day and how it would happen, whilst it wasn’t how I’d imagined, it was honestly perfect.
- The dress was...
I was very particular about my dress, I knew exactly what I wanted. I did try on a few other styles just to be sure, but I knew they weren’t me. I’m not a very blingy or girly person, but I love nature, flowers and especially leafy vines and botanicals. I had the theme, so the dress had to compliment this. Simple yet sophisticated. It wasn’t long after I started looking that I found a dress I liked on Pinterest, it was a 1765 Kenneth Winston wedding dress. I was in luck, I managed to locate the dress in Northampton, it was in my size and on sale! I’m obviously biased, but the dress is beautiful. Full length sleeves with lace all over, an illusion neckline, short flowy train and an open scoop back. With approval from my mum, sister and best friend I purchased it then and there. A huge tick off my list.
- The suits were…
I am usually a very conservative person when it comes to purchasing a suit, I tend to go with something that does not stand out too much and usually a mid-range budget, this time on the other hand as the groom I had other plans in mind. Heading into Moss Bro’s in Northampton I booked in for a “Tailor me” fitting where I tried on a number of different suits until I settled on a very nice navy suit with an ever so subtle beige/gold cheque pattern, this was customisable through the lining, buttons, button hole thread trim and also a personal message on the inside pocket which had our names and wedding date. Well worth the money and a great suit which I can and will definitely wear again.
- The budget was spent on...
The majority of our budget was spent on catering, we had contracted them for both the Indian wedding and then again on the following day for canapes after the registry and the evening reception meal. Followed by this it was spent on the venue for both days and then the decoration across all three events. We saved a lot of money making some décor pieces ourselves, using local suppliers for things like flowers, cake, photography etc, but the beauty is we don’t feel like we compensated by doing this. There is a lot of local talent in Northamptonshire and they’re great at what they do and reasonably priced.
- Planning is the key to a stress free wedding
We both work in project related jobs, so planning is natural to us. We had 16 months of planning starting with dates and booking the venue, which is the most important thing. From there we worked through a list in priority order, big expenses like catering and large décor hire like the hindu mandap. We knew these would be in demand so wanted to secure suppliers we liked and knew wouldn’t be available for long, especially as we had picked a busy weekend to get married on – Easter Bank Holiday weekend. Have a list and work through these, then for the day(s) it’s worth having a itinerary pack for your bridesmaids, groomsmen and all your key suppliers so they know what is happening, who to talk to and what everyone’s roles are. Ours was 6 pages in the end and included floor plans, it doesn’t need to be this detailed, but having something everyone can refer to on the day is handy for you both to stay stress-free and enjoy your day!
- The idea/plan that really worked for us was...
We are both quite simple people and believe less is more. We had a theme – simple, sophisticated and botanicals. Sticking to this worked, both in final output and our budget. I love being creative, so where I could, I made a lot of the smaller wedding décor. Cards post box, floral letters, floral hair comb, flower girl bouquets and button holes, photo montage display, bar menus, the top table centre piece and the photobooth backdrop. I’m also fortunate to work in design and marketing so have designer friends who could make our monogram and design all of our wedding stationery exactly to our theme and how I wanted, printing these at a local printer and being able to choose the paper I liked. This meant we could allocate more budget on key things that would make your wedding shine. We knew we wanted an open bar so secured a great, fixed deal for the night, we hired a magician for the canapes as entertainment for guests and purchased a foliage arch that could be used as a backdrop for both our registry ceremony and our reception top table. These all made a lasting impression on our guests, was a treat for us too and in our eyes an investment for the wedding.
- The important things you were looking for in choosing your wedding venue
We needed a venue that would be big enough for a small, but still large Indian wedding at a max of 300ppl. It also hard to work with the theme of nature and foliage and not be too far for family and guests to get to. Whittlebury Park ticked all of our boxes. The Atrium was big enough to host our Indian wedding and reception, but was flexible to create a more intimate registry. We had the same room for all three events, but all of them used a different layout – hence the floorplans, but each layout created a different look and atmosphere for each of the events. The grounds around Whittlebury are all luscious, green and beautiful and made for the most picturesque backdrops. The green and woods can be seen by the balcony windows, that our guests made use of and the terrace on the ground level kept our guests close and again provided a great area for the canapes and entertainment whilst the rooms were switched. Last but not least, as we had planned to have an open bar for our reception we needed a place for us and our guests to stay, with the hotel a stone throw away and a discount code for guests, we could rest assure our guests would have a great time but would also be safe that night.
Wedding specialists we chose to complete the look and our ideas were...
Dj: TooHot Entertainment
Photographer: Gemma Willis Photography
Videographer: Floodgate Films
Mandap and reception décor: Swaarg
Close-up Magician: Lewis Joss – Fine Entertainments
Make up: @Amirasbyzoya
The best Part of the day was...
It sounds cliché, but saying our vows to each other and finally being legally married was the best part of our weekend. A sigh of relief and happiness that we finally did it. Everything after that was genuinely magical, celebrating our wedding with our loved ones over food, drink, dancing and enjoying the jaw-breaking and astonishing magic entertainment with our guests. We are still pondering at his amazing tricks.
If we could give one tip to other couples it would be...
Don’t worry about anything that goes wrong or not quite to planned on the day, your friends and family will take care of it and the rest of your guests will be too busy enjoying the day to even notice.
Whittlebury Park Atrium, was the perfect venue choice for our wedding. Great venue spaces, an on-site hotel, beautiful grounds, sufficient parking and helpful staff. We were lucky enough to have stunning weather and we made the most of the terrace and grounds around the venue for our photoshoots – these came out beautiful. We also could not be happier with the Wedding team, including Kate, who were there every step of the way in our planning and available on hand on the day. Kate was immensely helpful in planning the days including timings and providing contacts for suppliers, we were unsure how confident WPA would be with Hindu weddings, but we were put at ease from our first meeting with the level of knowledge Kate was able to provide and advise us on – things we didn’t even know ourselves. We could not recommend WPA enough to anyone looking for a venue in Northamptonshire, it does not fail to deliver for the perfect wedding.
Name: Neetal and Apruva Modessa
Date of Wedding: 20/04/19 & 21/04/19