Raha and Matthew had a fabulous summer real wedding with a blue theme, inspired by music: the food of love… in May 2010. Read on to find out all about it…
WHO: Raha and Matthew
WHERE: St Nicolas Church and Taplow House Hotel, Bucks
WHEN: May 2010
PHOTOGRAPHER: Source Images
Raha and Matthew met on New Year’s Eve 2005 at the Elbow Room in London. “I thought he was gorgeous, and we ended up chatting, laughing, singing and dancing our way into 2006 together,” says Raha. “He arranged to phone me the next day, and although we were both slightly the worse for wear, we met in the pub that afternoon and talked non-stop. It was perfect.”
Two years after their first meeting, Matthew proposed to Raha at the Top of the Rock observation deck at New York’s Rockefeller Centre. “By the time we got there, it was dark, and the view out across the city lights was amazing,” Raha remembers. “It was very romantic, but I didn’t suspect a thing until Matt got down on one knee and I saw the ring sparkling in his hand. He’d smuggled it all the way from home without me knowing a thing; thank goodness the airport metal detectors didn’t go off, or he’d have had to propose at Heathrow!”
“The memory of taking my vows in front of my family and friends is one that I’ll cherish for the rest of my life…”
The bride’s real wedding outfit
The bride lost count of how many dresses she tried on before finding the real wedding gown of her dreams. “I wanted something that was elegant and slim-fitting, but also a princess dress,” she explains, and was eventually won over by Maggie Sottero’s ‘Summer’ gown, which she found at Miss Bush, Ripley, Surrey. The Bordeaux taffeta dress featured an asymmetrically pleated bodice and a bustle embellished with handmade rosettes. It also had a detachable rosette shoulder strap, which she wore for the evening reception, once she’d taken off her veil. “It felt like it was made for me,” she remembers.
Raha wore pearls and diamonds to complement her beautiful summer gown. “My Dad gave me an amazing pearl necklace with diamond detail as an engagement present, which I kept for the big day. On the morning of the real wedding, the best man delivered a stunning pair of diamond earrings from Matt,” she says. Raha wore a statement tiara with pearl and crystal flowers from Polly Edwards and silk shoes from Filippa Scott.
Raha chose her two best friends as bridesmaids, with her cousin’s little daughter as a flowergirl. The adult maids wore striking kingfisher blue full-length fishtail dresses from Kelsey Rose, teamed with strappy gold sandals from New Look. “Their dresses set the theme for the whole day,” explains Raha. “I’d been searching for the perfect blue for ages, and we used it on everything – I even hand-painted blue roses on to the invitations”.
The groom’s outfit
In a team effort, Raha and Matthew chose traditional black morning suits with ivory cravats and taffeta waistcoats for the groomsmen, from Windsor Formal Hire. “Matt looked so handsome in his morning suit, he blew me away,” says proud wife.
Raha’s Dad flew over from Los Angeles especially, just to walk his daughter down the aisle to the Grand March from Aida by Verdi. “Our real wedding ceremony included a reading called A Lovely Love Story by Edward Monkton, and three hymns: Lord of all Hopefulness, One More Step along the World I Go and Jerusalem,” says Raha. During the signing of the register, the church choir sang For the Beauty of the Earth by John Rutter, and the newlyweds walked out to the Wedding March from A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Mendelssohn.
“I had over two years to plan my summer wedding and definitely needed every single day!”
The happy couple hosted their real wedding reception at Buckinghamshire’s Taplow House Hotel, a stunning Georgian country mansion. “We viewed about 10 venues before we made our decision, but Taplow House was perfect for us, with six acres of beautiful grounds and Europe’s largest tulip trees,” explains Raha.
Music lovers Raha and Matthew hired both a band and a DJ for their evening reception. “The band, Soul Avenue, played three 40-minute sets of soul, funk, disco and rock, and got everyone grooving,” says Raha.
The stylish three-tier fruit cake was made by the groom’s father, John. “Once I’d tasted his Christmas cake, I knew he was the man for the job!” laughs Raha of her real wedding cake.
The couple gave each guest a CD of their favourite songs, with covers featuring Raha’s hand-painted blue rose image. A fab idea for a musicmad pair!
The happy couple travelled to the magical Maldives resort of Huvafen Fushi for their sun-kissed honeymoon together.