by Coleen McKay. Luxury Destination Wedding Planner. Scotland Wedding Planner, and Indian Wedding Planner.

As a destination wedding planner, planning a multi day Indian wedding is one of the most exciting weddings we can plan.

The planning and design process is key with various pre-wedding ceremonies taking place in the lead up to the wedding ceremony itself. Design is a key focus in the planning process with the Mandap taking centre stage during the wedding ceremony and reception.

Indian weddings exude colour, glamour and of course tradition.

In April 2021 Ankur Rathee & Anuja Joshi chose to host their wedding celebrations in the UK away from the prying eyes of the paparazzi and the glitz of Hollywood. They both wanted to capture their love for one another privately, in a rural, secluded setting where they could really enjoy their wedding celebrations with family and friends.

Ankur and Anuja chose one of the most picturesque and mesmerising locations in rural Shropshire, England for their super private and exclusive 3 day Hindu wedding celebration with 200 of their dearest friends and family.

Planning the fairytale wedding for Ankur and Anuja was simply a dream come true for me and I would love to share with you a little extract from our planning journey.

The Welcome Evening

Most couples who choose a destination wedding will usually always opt for a welcome evening to set the tone for the forthcoming days. A welcome evening is just that. A chance for the couple to mingle and spend time with their loved ones before the wedding commences, as well as allow the guests to relax and re-charge often after a long haul flight.

With an array of delicious food trucks, wine and prosecco bars, outdoor mingling and heart felt speeches from both fathers, our guests were treated to a special welcome to England.

The accommodation was split with 100 guests residing at Hawkstone Hall, and 100 guests residing at the equally stunning and beautiful Mercure Albrighton Hotel, Shrewsbury.

Guests living at Mercure were treated to a luxury check in experience with a private check in area, complete with packed lunches & water on arrival. Shuttles were provided to chauffeur guests to and from Hawkstone Hall for each wedding event throughout the week.

Once the welcome evening had come to an end, shuttles were on hand to transport guests back to the Mercure Albrighton for an early night ahead of the festivities the following day.


Turmeric, referred to as Haldi in Hindi, is a common flavour in Indian cooking and also a significant ingredient in the pre-wedding Hindu event known as the Haldi, or Pithi, ceremony.

Known to possess anti-inflammatory, healing, beautification, antiseptic, and purification properties, Haldi is essentially a cleansing procedure for the bride and groom to be. It’s beautiful mustard yellow hue is auspicious in Indian tradition representing a life of prosperity for the couple about to begin their new life together.

Haldi is most commonly found in powder form, however for this particular ceremony is was necessary for it to be made into a paste to apply on the bodies of both the bride and the groom. A common tradition is for the couple and their guests to wear orange and yellow tones, and wow, everyone looked beautiful.

The Haldi ceremony was held on day 2 from 11:00 until 14:00 with an outdoor street food buffet catered by the wonderful Payal Events. The stage was set and Kudos Music created the afternoon vibes with their array of Bollywood tunes to get the party started.

Our couple were treated to an afternoon of song and dance, stories and laughter as both families came together to celebrate the marriage of Ankur and Anuja.


Among the many pre-wedding events that occur prior to the Hindu, Punjabi, and Gujurati wedding ceremonies, the Sangeet is where the party begins. The word Sangeet translates to ‘sung together’ from Sanskrit. ‘Gaun’, another word used to describe the event, means ‘songs’ or ‘to sing’ in Hindi. Traditionally celebrated in the Punjab regions of India, this ceremony has been adopted by many other regions as a form of celebration for the wedding to come.

The event is formally known to comprise of only female attendees from both sides of the family, however modern times allow for men to join in on the fun too. Unlike religious ceremonies such as the Haldi or portions of the wedding ceremony, the Sangeet is solely conducted to relish in the happiness and joy surrounding the couple.

Once the afternoon Haldi celebrations were over, shuttles were on standby to chauffeur our guests back to the Mercure Albrighton to swiftly change outfits and freshen up ahead of the evening’s Sangeet extravaganza.

The late evening summer sunshine allowed us to create a spectacular evening event, the stage set against the backdrop of the venue whilst both families entertained with dancing and singing through the night. Payal Events and Brijwasi provided the sumptuous evening buffet and cocktails.

Wedding Ceremony

The wedding ceremony was beyond beautiful. The Mandap was expertly designed by Springbank Flowers who worked with Conifer Events, Ankur and Anuja to create the most dreamy and spectacular Mandap completely dressed in fresh florals. The ceremony lasted almost 2 hours with guests creating a magnificent confetti throw as the couple exited the chapel. Guests were given a 2 hour window to change and get “evening ready” for the magical wedding reception that awaited.

Wedding Reception

Planning a destination wedding, or an Indian destination wedding? Get in touch with me today and let’s discuss how we can work together to create the wedding of your dreams.

With thanks

Venue / Hawkstone Hall & Gardens

Guest Accommodation / Mercure, Albrighton Shrewsbury

Photographer / Ad Media

Wedding Planner / Conifer Events Coleen McKay

Catering / Payal Events

DJ / Kudos Music

Violinist / Pete Hartley

Dhol Drummers / Baja Beats

Horse & Carriage / The Ostler

Mehndi / Manii Basran

Pundit / Ram Damle

Master of Ceremonies / Rik Holmes

Floristry / Springbank Flowers

Drinks & Bar / Brijwasi Events

Decor / Springbank Flowers Payal Events

Transport / Minsterley Motors

Turban Tie / Turban Maharajas

Staging & Lighting / Stage & Studios

Wedding Cake / The Sugar Cart

Wedding Nanny / Shropshire Nannies

Stationery / Dimitria Jordan

Food Truck / Cheshire Vintage Fair

Food Truck / Wild Oven

Food Truck / Pietanic

Food Truck / Ted’s Tacos

Prosecco Bar / Fabulous Fizz

Trash / AR Richards

Generator / Wilds Plant Hire