Mrija Gupta, 26, married Hamish Gibberd, 26, at Quinta de D. Carlos in Portugal, on 1st May 2018. She says:
Our ceremony was something my family, Hamish and I created together — spearheaded by my uncle (my mother’s brother), who I had asked to be the master of ceremonies. We wanted it to be representative of the influences in our lives, which are cultural as much as they are religious. We're a very international family, and we’re lucky to have been exposed to many different beliefs and lifestyles. This sentiment was central to our wedding.
For our ceremony, we asked friends and family to recite poetry that was geographically or linguistically connected to places Hamish and I grew up in. My Maid of Honour, Sugandha, performed Erik Satie’s Je Te Veux on the piano. Members of my family performed verses in Sanskrit from the Vedas (Hinduism's holiest texts). Hamish’s aunt read The Bargain by Sir Philip Sidney on the behalf of his grandmother, who chose this sonnet for us. My friend Hibaq read Words by Syrian poet Nizar Qabbani, in Arabic and English, and my childhood friends from Vietnam read advice from Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Thích Nhất Hạnh, in both Vietnamese and in translation. My sister-in-law, Josie, read Scotch poem A Waddin Toast ('A Wedding Toast') by Sheena Blackhall, in Scots and English. We were concerned that having so many readings, languages and influences would be a bit much. But, in fact, we came away feeling that everyone fully understood what we were trying to do and they experienced all of the emotion that went into it. The ceremony ended up being our proudest moment.
My parents wanted to include lots of Indian elements in the celebration, and brought lots of fabric and lanterns to add colour to our venue. To get guests involved, my aunts also gifted all the men lapel pins and scarves, while women were given rings and purses. All of them were made with traditional Indian motifs and colours. Guests loved them!
I wore three different outfits by a number of Indian designers, including Anita Dongre and Nidhi Tholia. Indian brides typically wear red, but I knew from the start that I wanted to wear a peach or pink Indian wedding dress. I felt it suited our vibe and venue perfectly.
Hamish wore a kilt of Sinclair Ancient Hunting Tartan (from his great-grandmother's family). It was made from Braeriach Tartan 13oz medium weight from Lochcarron Mill and we had it handmade by The Kilt Store on Haymarket Terrace in Edinburgh. All our Scots guests' kilts looked fantastic on the dance floor when we hosted a Scottish ceilidh in the evening.
Our menu was made up of traditional Portuguese dishes — albeit adapted due to the large number of vegetarian guests we had! One of the main reasons we chose Portugal was because of the country's delicious cuisine – and our guests raved about it afterwards.
Photographs by Bernardo Gouveia