Saturday, 7 May 2022

A little bit British, a little bit Pakistani, a little bit Quaker, a little bit the night before and an awful lot… AMAZING.

There were so many facets and features and glorious goodies about this two day gem… 

To start, a little warm-up with a Mehndi the night before. Full of colour and celebration, incredible outfits, delicious food and lots of dancing… namely the Mehndi dance! I think every wedding should insist on it because it is, quite frankly, wonderful, and a joy to watch. The next day it was off to Fulham Palace again and this time, my first mention must go to the intensely moving and unique ceremony. Fashioned on a Quaker wedding, Layla and Tariq had everyone sitting in the round, and their guests were invited to stand up and offer words of love, good wishes, and regale funny stories of the couple. There were no readings, there was no exchange of rings or traditional ‘service’ so to speak, but there were lots of happy tears, thoughtful moments and the essential, laughter! The couple offered heartfelt vows, and their two friends Surabhi and Aman did a fantastic job of officiating. It was so beautifully moving I shed a tear and at times I was so engrossed in all the wonderful dedications I almost lost track of my purpose - taking pictures!

When Layla originally described it to me, I was unsure how it would work. I worried that shyness would prevail, tumble weeds would achingly pass through and we’d all look at our feet. Oh me of little faith! Words! So many beautiful words kept coming, and everyone raised themselves a little higher that day in honour of two people, and the desire to love and commit their lives to each other. 

There is a stillness and serenity to both Layla and Tariq, but never have I noticed it more in Layla than seeing her as a bride. I first met her when she was 16 and so of course it was an enormous privilege to be asked to shoot her wedding. She’s grown into such a graceful, and elegant lady with the sweetest nature who looked effortlessly and breathtakingly beautiful. What a lady and what a dress! To see the pride in dad Andy’s face and the love in Tariq’s was extremely touching. Tariq talked about ‘punching above his weight’, but what a handsome and clever groom and such a fascinating individual. They seem destined to have found each other. Yoga retreats are clearly very good for you in more ways than one! Not only do you find stillness and serenity, but if you’re as lucky as these two, you find the ‘one.’ Big ups to Yoga then! 

Both their speeches were hilarious, intelligently penned and perfectly executed. After Layla’s I thought, ‘wow… that’s a hard act to follow.' But follow it he did. Witty, self-deprecating and adoring, Tariq nailed it with excellent comedic delivery. Both did themselves very proud. As did Andy, who welcomed everyone in with an ever-so-proud dad-speech, filled with love and admiration for his daughter and new son-in-law. Nothing beats the pride of a father on his daughters wedding day. It’s magical and always makes me want to call my dad! And ooh… the best men did a little speech or two and as all ‘good’ best men do, they skate daringly close to the edge, but hey, friends will be friends and clearly they can’t resist.

There were so many wonderful suppliers too, but a big old mention must go to Layla’s bridesmaid Jordan who did a superb job of the flowers. They were delicate and romantic and just utterly delightful! It was also amazing to see videographer Ben Foster again. Not only have I worked with him before, but he also shot my very own wedding. Layla and Tariq, you are in for a real treat I promise you! 

From the dress, to the venue and their fabulous staff, to the stunning food, the beautiful bridesmaids, the glorious guests and the glamorous Grannies, it was certainly a wedding full of all things wonderful and one I won’t forget in a hurry.

I could go on and on, but to finish, I would like to say a big, huge, enormous مبارک ہو !

What a couple and what a wedding! I hope your photos will bring back many beautiful memories of a truly remarkable and joyous day. Thank you for letting me be part of it and here’s to years of happiness, health, love and life’s wonders… you deserve the very best and with all your friends, family (and kitty cats!) supporting and loving you, I have no doubt that you will lead nothing short of a magical life together. The universe totally has your back!

Go forth, strike a pose, love, laugh and most definitely, dance!

My love, hugs and best wishes to you and all your lovely guests.

Loukie x 

The Fab Suppliers:

The Venue: Fulham Palace
The Dress: Caroline Castigliano
The Suit: James Palombo
Hair and Make-up: Pam Wrigley
The Caterers: Bovingdons
The Cake: Jack & Beyond
The Videographer: Ben Foster
The Flowers: Jasper & Quinn
The Music: Truly Medley Deeply

And a little snippet from the night before....