Real Bride, Ashika Patel: Countdown to the 15 Person April Wedding, Ahead of the Big Indian September 2021 Wedding

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It seems crazy that had things gone to plan in 2020, I would have been coming up to a year of being married now!

Although, at the same time if things had gone to “plan”, my fiancé and I wouldn’t have purchased our second home last year, I wouldn’t have set up my Instagram page to share ideas with other couples, I wouldn’t have learned to appreciate the extra time working from home has given me and I wouldn’t have completed a beginners Spanish course last summer.

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What I am trying to say is that I know at times it is tough, but where possible if we try to spin the “negatives” into other things we can be grateful for, it can help to give us a different perspective. When people have asked me how I stay as positive as possible when wedding planning and dealing with all the postponements during this pandemic, that’s the answer.

Of course, it hasn’t always been that easy and other things I would suggest when the planning process / postponements is getting you down are:

  • Take a break from wedding planning – it’s sometimes necessary to switch off from wedding mode for a bit.
  • Talk to friends & family – I am grateful to have a great network around us that have been so supportive.
  • Postponed not cancelled – your day WILL happen, and it will be truly amazing when the time comes.
  • Celebrate your to be wedding day – whether it is hosting a date night (even if virtual), going for a long walk, spending the day together watching Netflix or if you really want to try something different, having yourselves a Hawaiian themed games night (options are endless really).

Since writing my last (first!) article, I have a few updates to share on our wedding plans after the roadmap was announced. Unfortunately, we made the decision to postpone our Indian ceremony and reception to September this year. We came to the decision that we just wouldn’t have been able to have the day we pictured if we went ahead in May.

However, although gutted to be postponing this aspect, I am so excited to say that we have decided to go ahead with our civil wedding at the end of April with 15 guests. As the Indian ceremony doesn’t constitute a legal marriage, we had always planned to have a separate civil wedding (originally with 70 guests) at a registry office in Leicestershire.

After discussing all of our options, we both decided as a couple that we didn’t want to push this date back, we just really wanted to be married! It seemed like a compromise we could make to be able to have this intimate ceremony now, with (hopefully) a bigger party to follow in September.

This all means that at the moment, it is all systems go for the civil wedding as the countdown is on! I am sure others can relate when I say that it has been so difficult at times to stay excited about wedding planning over the past year, the unpredictability of it all has really taken that away.

By trying to keep focused on the things that are in my control, I can honestly say I have that excitement and buzz back for our wedding day (which is just as it should be).

Yes you may have to adapt with certain things – I would have liked to purchase my shoes, jewellery and veil in person for example. However, we also live in a world where we have SO much at our fingertips that has made the process of buying these items online so much easier than I could have expected. You can have virtual zoom calls with retailers, message people directly through Instagram / email to ask for advice and pictures and usually have the ability to easily return items if they aren’t quite right.

We will be having our small ceremony at a registry office followed by lunch at a local pub. According to the guidelines, we are able to have an outdoor lunch by the end of April (really holding out for some good UK weather)!

Read all our 2021/22 ‘real bride’ articles here

I know guidance is constantly being reviewed and updated at this stage (especially for stage 1 and 2 weddings as lockdown starts to ease) so if you are getting married during this time I would really recommend keeping an eye on this, and keeping in constant contact with your venue and suppliers to see what restrictions / rules are being put in place.

We really wanted to have an outdoor area for our lunch where even though we would be have to be sat on three tables of 5, we could still have an area to ourselves for those three tables and be under some kind of cover if it does rain. So do make sure to check these things and ask the right questions depending on your criteria.

Lots of suppliers and venues are just in the dark as much as us at the moment as they are also keeping up with changing guidelines, but most are more than happy to try and be as accommodating as possible.

The final thing I wanted to address here was whether I am worried about the ceremony feeling restrictive due to covid. Of course we know that there will be guidelines in place, and in a way I suppose we are kind of used to that now! I’m not worried about these aspects as I know that ultimately we want to make sure that everyone feels as comfortable as possible. After nearly 12 years of being together, Niraj and I will finally be getting married in front of our closest people.

I am certain that in that moment, we won’t be thinking about covid or anything else. We will be consumed in the wedding day itself and enjoying every single moment of it! I hope that gives some reassurance to other Spring 2021 couples too.

Ashika Patel

Ashika Patel
View all Ashika’s articles

Ashika is a 2021 bride to be. Originally from Leicester, she now lives in Birmingham with her fiancé. She was due to have her big Indian wedding in the summer of 2020, which has now been postponed to May 2021. She works full time as a Solicitor, but is in her element planning her wedding and sharing all things organisation on her Instagram page.



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