Modern Multicultural Wedding

Packed with vibrant colours and textures Sunayna and Matt’s wedding was all about bringing Indian and Scottish cultures together. A tapestry studio in Edinburgh’s old town proved the perfect setting for their party. We are loving their use of bolds and brights…

How did you meet and become engaged?

We met on our first day at University College London, as we were next-door neighbours in halls of residence. We were good friends for six years, and realised we felt more for each other travelling around India and Sri Lanka during our medical electives.

We got together just after our medical school final exams and got engaged four years later in a beautiful, deserted garden on a hillside in Barcelona.

Our wedding day was inspired by…

We were really inspired by our beautiful wedding venue Dovecot Studios. We knew we wanted to get married in central Edinburgh, and when we saw Dovecot we knew it was absolutely perfect for us.

There is also a family connection, as my dad (Sunayna’s) used to swim there as a boy when it was still a Victorian bath! We loved the modern conversion of such an amazing building, and were especially delighted with the pops of bright colour from the spools and tapestries against the white walls.

The focal point of the venue is the converted swimming pool itself, which is now the huge weaving floor, with a surrounding viewing balcony. This is usually occupied by several large tapestry looms, which are cleared to the side for weddings. The walls of the weaving floor are lined by shelves of bright spools of wool, and there is a tapestry exhibition on the gallery above. There are also two gallery spaces downstairs, one used for events and the other for rotating exhibitions.

The venue has lots of colourful and quirky features, such as a intricately woven mesh of rainbow colours spiralling up the space within the staircase, and the bath’s original sign and turnstile.

We continued this colour theme, naming our tables as colours on our seating plan, and choosing bright flowers. I (Sunayna) am half Indian, so we used colourful saris to decorate the screens at the ends of the weaving floor that block off the tapestry looms.

We also chose an Indian inspired menu for our wedding meal, ending with spiced cupcakes decorated in beautiful bright colours. It was lovely to bring an element of my Indian culture to the wedding.

Tell us more about your flowers…

Because our venue Dovecot Studios is accented by so many bright colours, we knew that we wanted to feature bright flowers too.

Our ceremony was held in the South Gallery against a plain white wall. Therefore, to provide a pretty backdrop, we found a joiner to build us an archway modelled on the tapestry looms used in our venue.

Our florist Mel did a fantastic job covering it in flowers and foliage, which formed a gorgeous frame to get married under. Mel also did our bouquets and buttonholes, and provided flowers for our hair. We loved Mel’s use of colour, preference for using local flowers and her quirky style.

The flowers were sourced from Mill Pond Flower Farm in the Borders. It was great fun working with Mel and Paula Baxter at Mill Pond to work out what would be flowering on the day. We were really lucky to have some early peonies and late ranunculus, as well as roses, sweet peas and lupins in our arrangements. Mel did a fantastic job; we were delighted with all our flowers, and she brought a lovely personalised booklet detailing all of our varieties as a keepsake.

We created our own wedding centrepieces using buckets of flowers delivered to us by Paula at Mill Pond, doing small arrangements in conical flasks on each table.

How did you find your photographer?

We absolutely loved working with Lindsey, and are over the moon with the photos! Lindsey was recommended to us by the events coordinators at our wedding venue, who said she had shot weddings at Dovecot before and was great.

We were especially drawn to her modern style and eye for colour when we checked out her website and Instagram account. The fact that she is also an architect really shows in her pictures, she is so good at capturing the little details.

We first met Lindsey for an evening engagement photoshoot on Arthur’s Seat in April. After a very wet day, we were so lucky that the sun came out just as we set off up the crags; the evening light lit up the surroundings beautifully, making the crags look almost pink! Lindsey was so lovely and friendly, putting us at ease from the moment we met her.

We were really delighted with the pictures, which show off Edinburgh at its best. We would definitely recommend an engagement shoot to other couples getting married. Your photographer is such an important person on the wedding day, so its great to have time to get to know them before, and to get comfortable having your photos taken together.

Lindsey was fantastic on the wedding day itself; she was very organised about getting all the group and couple shots we wanted, without us spending too much time away from our guests. She has really captured the wonderful atmosphere of the day, as well as lovely photos of so many of our friends and relatives. We can’t sing her praises highly enough, and are so glad that we found her!

We love your dress. How did you find it?

The dress had beautiful pearly beading around the neckline, with a dramatic low V in the back and pretty detail around the cap sleeves and bust. It was covered in delicately sequinned lace, was fitted through the bodice and had a small train. I loved the art deco feel of the dress, and thought it worked really well with our venue. The team at Emma Roy was lovely; they found the perfect dress for me and did a great job on the fitting in a single day.

And Matt’s Outfit?

Matt had a three piece suit tailored for him at Beggar’s Run in Shoreditch, East London. He is very tall and long limbed so it was great to have something that fit perfectly! He chose a dark green wool as something a bit different, but still in keeping with a modern Scottish wedding.

What did you do for music?

Music is really important to both of us, so we wanted it to be a big feature at our wedding. We are incredibly lucky to have family friends who play in the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, who very kindly played the violin and viola for our ceremony.

We then had the Frazer Mitchell Jazz Trio playing during our drinks reception, who did a lot of Sergio Mendes and Nina Simone tracks.

Our first dance was to “For the Love of You” by the Isley Brothers. I (Sunayna) have grown up listening to that song which is my parents’ favourite, and knew that Matt was the man for me when he told my dad the Isley Brothers were his favourite band on their first meeting!

Any surprises?

We were amazed by our guests getting stuck into the ceilidh from the first dance! Most of our guests were from outside Scotland and many had never been to a ceilidh before, so we were worried they would need a lot of encouragement.

It was fantastic to see our friends and family members of all ages and from all over the world coming together. The band Sporran Again were absolutely brilliant, nobody wanted the ceilidh to end, even after several encores!

Johnny did a great job calling the steps which was a big help as many of our guests had never been to a ceilidh before. They also DJ’ed for our disco.

Any advice for future brides and grooms?

Enjoy the planning process! We absolutely loved it from start to finish. We have come across so many fantastic people, and have been so touched by their kindness and generosity. The wedding planning really brought our families together, and we had the time of our lives on the day. Hold onto your mementoes – we have a wedding box full of treasures which we will cherish forever.

Why Scotland?

I (Sunayna) grew up in Edinburgh, and my parents still live there. Both of us absolutely love the city, and knew we wanted to get married there from the moment we got engaged. We definitely wanted a ceilidh, and were really keen to have a Humanist wedding, to be able to plan a ceremony with lots of personal elements. It was also lovely to get ready for the wedding in my own house!

What’s the one truly unforgettable thing about your wedding day?

Our wedding ceremony was really special and personal. We had a Humanist ceremony performed by the celebrant Candice Dillen from Humanist Society Scotland. She helped us to strike the right balance between formality for such an important event, and lightheartedness to make it appropriately celebratory. We especially liked the way we got to involve all our family members in the ceremony, with mums as witnesses, dads taking part in the quaich ceremony, and sisters acting as bridesmaids and doing the reading. We are so pleased that we found Candice and had a humanist wedding – we would recommend her highly to anybody considering it!

I love the family connection with Dovecot Studios. Anyone else picking a wedding venue with family tie? Alie x


VenueDovecot Studios, Edinburgh
PhotographerMack Photo
FloristBriar Rose Designs
Hair StylistCaldow Salon, Edinburgh
Make-up artistCat Robertson
Wedding dressMaggie Sottero from Emma Roy, Edinburgh
ShoesNine West
Groom’s outfitBeggar’s Run
Bridesmaids’ dressesAdrianna Papell at House of Fraser
StationerySkinny Malink Bespoke Stationery
Caterer – Barry Bryson at Catered Edinburgh
Wedding TransportCentral Taxis
BandSporran Again
Additional MusiciansThe Frazer Mitchell Trio
PhotoBooth Odd Box Photo Booth

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