These newlyweds tied the knot with a civil and Hindu wedding ceremony before partying the night away at a stylish manor house…

Archana and Pras’ paths first crossed at university. “We shared quick glances at each other and cheeky smiles as we passed through the corridors,” says Archana. “However, we only spoke years after we graduated. Pras decided to reach out and one thing led to another. Daytime texting led to evening FaceTime calls, as I was based in London and he was working overseas in Denmark."

"After few months, thanks to Covid restrictions, we were finally able to have our first date at Swings Mini Golf and a yummy meal at a Thai restaurant before heading to a bar. We live nowhere near each other but he insisted on dropping me home... extra brownie points!”

A surprise proposal

“Knowing me inside out and listening to the things I’d said, the proposal was perfect,” says Archana. “Pras hired a fancy boat on the River Thames in October 2021. To keep it a surprise, he got my best friend to help plan it as her 'birthday party'. As the boat set off I had a glass of bubbles with my girlies. Then Pras appeared from a hidden room with a bunch of red roses. As we approached parliament he popped the question and asked me to be his wife."

Shopping for the dress

“My sister bought her dress exactly 10 years ago at the Kent branch of wed2b,” says Archana. “My experience at the central London store felt magical and I want to relive that moment. I loved every second of it and the service made it all feel real.”

Archana bought Kelsey, a lace mermaid design with striking illusion back and train, by Viva Bride. “I saw it on the mannequin and knew that was ‘The One’,” says Archana. “I loved the fit, the way it made me feel and the train was just wow. To make the dress pop, I also bought a blingy belt, too.”

A Bridgerton-style venue

“I discovered our venue, North Mymms Park, in Hertfordshire, many years ago, when I was in my teens,” says Archana. “I came across it as I was watching TV but I was unsure of the name. A year before my November wedding, I attended my friend’s wedding and got a surprise. It was the venue I saw on TV! I just knew it was the one. It wasn’t too far from London and the two hotels nearby made it perfect for our guests.”

The big day

“I stayed the night as my sister's mother-in-law’s house, as it wasn't too far from the venue,” says Archana. “Vithya, my makeup artist, helped me get ready for my civil ceremony and my Hindu wedding ceremony. The weather was a little cold and annoyingly it started raining."

"During the civil ceremony we had songs from the show Bridgerton, as it fitted perfectly with the theme and mood (some of the show was actually filmed at the venue). We also played ‘Stand by Me’ by Ben E. King, as I walked down aisle.”

A civil and Hindu wedding ceremony

“Straight after my civil ceremony there was a rush to get ready for the Hindu wedding ceremony,” says Archana. “Before the first ceremony we served tea and French pastries and before the Hindu ceremony we served Sri-Lankan themed small bites.”

Brilliant blues

“Both Pras and I love blue, so the colour theme was a no brainer,” says Archana. “We wanted light soft colours that were dreamy. I made the seating plan, guest name tags, seating numbers... the list goes on. We also had a DJ during our reception who is well know in the Tamil Sri-Lankan community.”

The best bits

“The most memorable moments of the whole day were seeing my husband and families from overseas and also everyone having fun together,” says Archana. 

My top tips…

“Be yourself and enjoy your night,” says Archana. “Plus, it's your special day, so what you say goes!”

Archana and Pras’s Dream Team 

Photographer: Jeyash Luxmanan Photography

Venue: North Mymms Park

Wedding dresses London: wed2b

Caterer: Hyper Events

Decorations: Wed In Style

Videographer: Emboss

Cake: Leaves and Cocoa

Caterer: Elaya Events

DJ: Rxfine

Makeup: Vidhiya MUA