Real Wedding: A Traditional Tamil Ceremony in Hackney with a Blue and Orange Theme
The couple opted for a vibrant and unusual colour scheme of blue and orange, which was reflected in everything from the bridal bouquet to Rhys' bold and bright tie.
There were handmade decorations in abundance, with Rhys crafting light up numbers himself to create a day that was fun and colourful, in their industrial venue.
Photographer | Michael Clements at My Beautiful Bride
How they met and the proposal
Thubeena and Rhys met while studying at Imperial College in London, running into each other in the halls of residence in Notting Hill.<br /><br />After several years together, Rhys took Thubeena by surprise when he proposed.<br /><br />"Although we had talked about marriage the proposal was definitely an amazing surprise," says Thubeena.<br /><br />"It happened in Tenby in Wales in spring of 2014. We'd had an amazing dinner and we were walking along the sea front when he asked."
Rhys and Thubeena had quite a task on their hands looking for a reception venue, as they needed somewhere that could accommodate a Tamil ceremony.<br /><br />"Finding a venue for the Tamil ceremony was challenging as flames and fire are an integral part of the ceremony, and are not allowed in many Grade II listed buildings in London," says Rhys.<br /><br />"We also needed the venue to be big enough for both the Tamil ceremony and the wedding registration too. Finding a venue that can hold two ceremonies and accommodate fire was not an easy combination to find, and we looked for a few months."<br /><br />They eventually selected <a href="https://www.hitched.co.uk/wedding-venues/hackney-town-hall_5893.htm" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Hackney Town Hall</a> for the ceremonies and <a href="http://onefriendlyplace.com/zvx0j4mvlsnsmgmv052bqgj7p4mojk" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">One Friendly Place</a> for their reception. The Tamil ceremony took place in the assembly halls of the venue, and they decorated with a Manavarai adorned with flowers, Ganesh statues and red carpets.
For the Tamil celebration, Thubeena wore two wedding saris; both were silk with hand-sewn decorations of beads and sequins.
Tamil wedding suit
Rhys wore a Tamil outfit for the Tamil ceremony, which he changed out of for the legal wedding, into a Paul Smith suit.
The legal ceremony
Thubeena and Rhys held their legal ceremony in the registry office of the Hackney Town Hall.<br /><br /><a href="http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/planning/essentials/the-civil-wedding-ceremony---everything-you-need-to-know/52.html" target="_blank">READ MORE: The civil wedding ceremony - everything you need to know</a>
The wedding dress
Thubeena wore a lovely <a href="http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/dresses-and-style/wedding-dresses/short-wedding-dresses/18615.html" target="_self">tea-length wedding dress</a> from <a href="https://www.fairygothmother.co.uk" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Fairy Goth Mother</a> after changing out of her sari.<br /><br />"I'd looked at quite a few dresses, and I knew I wanted a vintage style, so it was a case of finding a dress that didn't cost the earth," explains Thubeena. "Fairy Goth Mother came up trumps with this 1950s vintage cocktail style dress with lace, floral and sequin detail and a silk bodice."<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
Unusual wedding transportation
Rhys and Thubeena ferried their guests from their ceremonies to their reception in a vintage style London bus - how cool?!
The reception decor
"We decorated the reception with many festoon and fairy lights, along with family photos," says Thubeena.<br /><br />"Rhys created light up signs (which took days to make!) including table numbers, top table and the bar sign."<br /><br />"Rhys is a particular fan of the vintage industrial look so we looked at quite a few warehouse type location before choosing our reception venue," she continues.<br /><br />"What was great about One Friendly Place is that the three floors allowed us to have a chill out floor, a bar and canapés floor, and a dinner and dance floor. I loved the fact that the venue zones could cater for everyone, whether young or older. We wanted it to be fun, different and relaxed."
Rhys and Thubeena kept their day very personal by decorating the reception venue with photographs from previous family weddings and snaps from their childhoods.
"We are both quite arty people so we really wanted to come up with a collaborative art piece that everyone could contribute to," shares Rhys.<br /><br />"In the end we put an envelope on each table with felt tips and small cards. We invited everyone to open the envelope after the main course and to draw what he or she had most enjoyed about our wedding. Each card was then hung upstairs as part of the decoration. Everyone took part and we now have over 100 fantastic hand drawn images of our big day! Our plan is to put them all up at home in a massive frame."
The wedding cake
Rhys and Thubeena opted to have a lovely <a href="http://www.youandyourwedding.co.uk/planning/cakes/lovely-naked-wedding-cakes-for-your-big-day/22192.html" target="_self">naked wedding cake</a>, complete with lego figurines of themselves on top.<br /><br />The cake was created by <a href="https://www.frenchmade.co.uk" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">French Made</a>.<br /><br />
Words of advice for grooms and brides-to-be
"Get involved, make whatever you can and ensure the wedding reflects what you're about as a couple and your personalities," advises Rhys.<br /><br /><br />