Kirsty and Reshma: Hinduism-inspired city wedding

Kirsty and Reshma held their humanist wedding ceremony in the grounds of the V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green.  Image by    Lex Fleming

Kirsty and Reshma held their humanist wedding ceremony in the grounds of the V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green. Image by Lex Fleming

Kirsty and Reshma were keen that their wedding ceremony do three things: involve all their friends and family, incorporate Hindu marriage rituals, in a nod to Reshma’s heritage, and, most importantly, communicate the sense of fun that is at the heart of their relationship.

The two of them decided to celebrate their marriage with a humanist ceremony because they wanted ownership over their wedding to create something totally personal to them. They also felt it was important to be married by someone who they felt a connection to and could build a relationship with (moi!).

I worked with Reshma and Kirsty to create a fun and totally personal humanist wedding ceremony that told their story - and kicked their day off in STYLE! I have to say that this wedding was one of my all-time-faves (and I’ve been fortunate to have been a part of some bloody amazing weddings!), so let’s dig into their ceremony and see just what made it so fabulous!

PRE-CEREMONY DRINKS

I’m a big fan of a pre-ceremony drink to get everyone relaxing into the day from the off! Kirsty and Reshma held a cocktail tea party reception for everyone on arrival at the V&A Museum of Childhood, which meant that their friends and family were ‘well oiled’ prior to the big moment… and very much in the mood to party!

Wahey! Kirsty and Reshma OWNING THE AISLE in the best entrance I’ve seen yet!  Image by    Lex Fleming

Wahey! Kirsty and Reshma OWNING THE AISLE in the best entrance I’ve seen yet! Image by Lex Fleming

MAKE AN ENTRANCE!

Kirsty and Reshma chose to enter together, strutting down the aisle, hand-in-hand, to Ru Paul’s Cover Girl. I can’t explain to you how incredible this moment was.

Everyone was whooping and cheering, and the stage was very much set for what kind of wedding this was going to be! Full of fun and laughter and LOTS OF NOISINESS!

FLOWER GARLAND EXCHANGE

In our meetings, Reshma and Kirsty had spoken about how grateful they were to become a part of each other’s families and how they wanted to reflect this in their ceremony. Borrowing from the Hindu marriage tradition, we started their Humanist wedding ceremony with a Flower Garland Exchange (whereby Kirsty’s dad placed a garland on Reshma, and Reshma’s parents placed a garland around Kirsty) to symbolise the ‘official’ welcoming of each bride into the other’s family. *Also, gloriously, their surnames are ‘Flower’ (Kirsty) and ‘Patel’ (Reshma) so we wanted to incorporate florals in a meaningful way into their ceremony - more of this later!

‘WARMING OF THE RINGS’

Kirsty’s dad taking a short moment with their wedding bands during the Warming of the Rings.  Image by    Lex Fleming

Kirsty’s dad taking a short moment with their wedding bands during the Warming of the Rings. Image by Lex Fleming

Reshma and Kirsty wanted everyone at their wedding to feel like they were participants in the wedding, not just passive witnesses to the event. At the top of their ceremony, I explained how much Kirsty and Reshma valued everyone there, and that they wanted to incorporate the love in the room into their ring exchange. We then tasked the best man with the job of ensuring their wedding bands passed through the hands of every guest, to be ‘warmed physically with touch and metaphorically with good wishes’ while we continued with the rest of the wedding. (This is a great ritual to include if you have people with a religious faith attending your wedding ceremony, as it’s a quiet, private moment they can take for a short prayer if they should wish to do that)

GROUP SING-ALONGS

Like me, Reshma and Kirsty are huge fans of a group sing-along and took absolutely no convincing to include a couple of pop songs in their ceremony, to really lift the energy of the room and, again, make everyone feel like they were part of a shared experience. They went with two songs: near the top of their ceremony, we had Kate Bush ‘Hounds of Love’ (‘ooh ooh ooh ooh oooooh'!’), and we finished the whole ceremony with Fleetwood Mac ‘Everywhere’ (‘Oh IIIIIIIIIIII, I wanna be with you EVERYWHERE’ - what a message to end on!).

Reshma doing her best to hold it together (and failing!) during the personal promises.  Image by    Lex Fleming

Reshma doing her best to hold it together (and failing!) during the personal promises. Image by Lex Fleming

THE PERSONAL PROMISES

Reshma and Kirsty were both keen to write their own personal vows which they wanted to keep secret from each other until the big day. Personal promises are always the best bit of every ceremony - it’s when everyone gives up on any pretence of holding it together, and this moment was no exception: tears all round, which, to be honest, is what I’m after (your wedding is the ULTIMATE PDA. Roll with it!).

THE SEVEN STEPS

Another Hindu ritual X flowers mash up was our humanist twist on The Seven Steps which is a key feature of Hindu weddings. After Kirsty and Reshma had exchanged their personal vows, I asked seven of Reshma’s friends to line the aisle with seven flowers, which Kirsty and Reshma then stepped over, one at a time, as they answered ‘we do’ to seven commitments . These were an adaptation of the commitments couples make in Hindu ceremonies.

The theme of florals ran throughout Kirsty and Reshma’s ceremony.  Image by    Lex Fleming

The theme of florals ran throughout Kirsty and Reshma’s ceremony. Image by Lex Fleming

 With the first step, do you promise to provide for and support each other?
With the second step, do you promise to develop mental, physical, and spiritual strength?
With the third step, do you promise to share your worldly possessions?
With the fourth step, do you promise to acquire knowledge, happiness, and peace?
With the fifth step, do you promise to raise kind and virtuous children?
With the sixth step, do you promise to live in harmony true to your personal values and joint promises?
With the seventh step, do you promise to always remain friends and cherish each other?

THE PRONOUNCEMENT + BIG EXIT

After all that excitement and emotion, the Exit had a lot to live up to - and Reshma and Kirsty didn’t disappoint. As I was building up to the big pronouncement, the thrums of Azaelia Banks ‘212’ could be heard on the sound system and, as I invited everyone on to their feet to ‘GIVE IT UP FOR KIRSTY AND RESHMA’, the two of them turned on their heel and sashayed down to those hard-hitting BEATS with everyone following behind them, dancing in the aisle!

Kirsty and Reshma, thank you so much for inviting me to be a part of your fun, funny, GLAMOROUS CELEBRATIONS! I had the best time. Let’s go back and do it all again, YASSSSSSS!

The laughs! The singing! The perfect timing of the ring warming! The advice and support in the vow writing. Lots of people there asked if Katie were one of our friends because she knew us so well, and delivered the ceremony with such sincerity. We could not have asked for anything more. Everything about the ceremony fit us so well, and people recognised and related to the words she delivered so wonderfully. WE CANNOT RECOMMEND HER ENOUGH!’
— KIRSTY AND RESHMA