Thushan + Meera by Nisha Ravji

Thushan is an airport planning consultant and Meera is a lawyer. We met three years ago, with a little help from technology when I had just moved to London from Melbourne. What was meant to be one afternoon drink turned into a nine-hour date. 

We ended the night at a bar in Kilburn, but as soon as we sat down, I managed to spill an entire glass of water all over my lap. I will never forget trying desperately to dry my jeans under the hand dryer, and explaining to women coming into the bathroom, “I’m on a first date!”

We originally planned to have 80 people at our wedding, but Covid-19 restrictions left us with some tough decisions to make. We were initially thinking of doing the bare minimum — a quick ceremony and drink at a pub, but we didn’t want to celebrate our marriage as though it was something inconsequential. Our photographer, Nisha, helped us decide to turn it into a day focused on the things we enjoy — food and family — with plans for a postponed reception in 2021.

We chose local, low-key venues that oozed London: lunch at Cecconi’s Shoreditch and our ceremony at Stoke Newington Town Hall. We never imagined we’d be able to kick back with some banging pasta and cocktails before our wedding! I had already purchased a gorgeous wedding dress but it seemed inappropriate for a small civil ceremony, so I ordered a more modern look online. With the restrictions constantly changing, I was mentally preparing myself for the possibility of not being able to have a wedding at all. This meant I did nothing until the week of the wedding and ended up hurriedly ordering earrings off Etsy and rushing to Liberty’s the day before, to buy shoes.

What really made the day special was all of the ways our families contributed. Thushan’s sister surprised us with a delicious homemade nutella cake and his mum was a veritable Mary Poppins, handing out little love notes to all who attended. She also gave us a traditional kiribath (a Sri Lankan coconut milk rice dish) in a heart-shaped bowl to celebrate our next chapter in life. Love shone through every gesture. My parents live in Melbourne and sadly couldn’t be there on the big day so we arranged a Zoom call so they could watch the ceremony live. This meant my brother-in-law Rob is holding his phone out in all the photos, as that was the only way we could stream the ceremony for them.

I wore a diamond bangle my father bought for me when I was admitted as a lawyer and my mother’s antique sapphire ring for ‘something blue’. And our florist Catherine Short thoughtfully included Australian flowers in my bouquet, to remind me of home. I knew they were gutted to have missed the wedding but when I called them after the ceremony, it was brilliant to find them in their living room, fully decked out in a saree and veshti (traditional Tamil outfits). If you’re planning a wedding in a pandemic, it’s likely your carefully laid plans have been left in tatters. Don’t be afraid to overcome adversity with patience, communication and a good Excel spreadsheet. Throw out the rule book and focus on why you wanted to get married in the first place.

photographer Nisha Ravji / bride’s attire Undress / groom’s attire Edit Suits / ceremony location Stoke Newington Town Hall / reception location The Rose & Crown / fragrance Gucci Premiere by Gucci / celebrant Maddy Read Clarke / florist Catherine Short / bride’s shoes Kurt Geiger / bride’s diamond & sapphire ring Antique from mother / bride’s diamond bracelet From father / bride’s earrings Clip Clip Hooray from Etsy / groom’s pocket square Lindsay & Yoshi from Etsy / engagement ring Diamond Rocks / wedding bands Browns Jewellery