Unit 501 Flourmill Studios, 3 Gladstone Street 2042 Newtown NSW, australia
Phone: 61 2 9519 3901

Anna & Al-Karim's British & Asian Influenced Wedding

Posted on 30 Oct, 2015
Anna & Al-Karim's British & Asian Influenced Wedding


How did you meet your (now) husband? We met in my last year of school, I was 17 and he was 18.  He asked me out on the 5th November which is Guy Faulks night in England. I had always loved watching all the fireworks and it always made our anniversaries special. We never missed this event until the year we got engaged.

How long have you been together? Together for 9 years (married for 1 year) on 5th November 2015.

Do you have a proposal story? AK is not the romantic type but we do like to travel. So I didn't expect anything out of the ordinary when we arranged to get away for our 7th anniversary. We decided to organise a trip to Dusseldorf to visit some friends. It was November so it was very cold and very wet in Germany. On the evening of our anniversary AK arranged dinner at this beautiful restaurant called Im Schiffchen. Throughout the meal he kept on disappearing to the "bathroom" but I just thought that he wasn't feeling very well as he seemed a little flustered. After dessert, he disappeared once more but this time he didn't come back. The waitress arrived and asked me to follow her, I obviously thought this was a little bit bizarre but I followed her anyway assuming now that he was up to something. I followed her upstairs to another dinning room... The whole room was lit by candlelight with AK sat in the middle. He passed me a book and asked me to open it. Inside were all our memories and photos of the years we had spent together. After I had read the last message in the book, AK then asked me to marry him. I of course said yes, to which he surprised me with the news that we were off to Rome the next day spend the rest of our holiday there, very romantic. 

The Wedding

What was your wedding date? 5th November 2014 (official papers were signed) 8th November (Saturday) the main wedding ceremony and celebration.

Location (Ceremony and Reception)

Where?    The Ismaili Centre (South Kensington, London) for the ceremony and the Carlton Tower Jumeriah Hotel (Knightsbridge, London) for our reception.

What made you choose there? The Ismaili Centre meant a lot to AK and his family and it is a very stunning and special venue. The Carlton Tower was where we had been to on numerous occasions for dinner so it meant a lot to both of us.

How was the weather on the day? The weather was perfect. It was sunny in the morning and became overcast in the afternoon. We had planned for rain so it was such a bonus to be able to have some photos outside. As soon as we had moved to the reception it had started to rain but it was dark by then and actually added to the atmosphere of the room.

What made you decide to get married on this particular date? We wanted to keep the 5th November as our main wedding day because the date meant so much to us but we knew that it would be easier for all our friends and family to celebrate with us on the Saturday. So we picked the closest weekend to that date.

The Wedding Details

Theme? White, green and gold. AK family origins are Asian and mine are British so we wanted to have a mix of both cultures but keeping the element of a white wedding.

Bonfire night because of our anniversary. The cake was a customised bonfire themed cake!

Where did you draw your inspiration/ideas from? Pinterest was very helpful and my mum and I spent hours finalising all the details of the table and flower decorations. My mum was amazing at helping organise the whole look and bringing the style of the wedding day to life. Everything was stunning and perfect.

One of my main inspirations was for the table flower arrangements. I had found an image from Vera Wang where 3 cylinder vases were filling with flowers submerged in water. I loved this so much that I had to used this idea in my white and green colour theme.

Bridal Party

Bridesmaids – who/relationship? 5 in total: my girlfriends: Debbie, Kate, Rachel, Clair and Alice.

Groomsmen – who/relationship? 5 in total: My brother - Harry, AK's brothers - Aly and Zulfiqar and two of his friends - David and Giles his best man.

Wedding Gown (the most important part!)

Where have you seen our gowns (if at all) before? On Martin Charles website before I visited the store.

How many gowns did you try? 3/4 different KAREN WILLIS HOLMES dresses.

Where did you purchase your gown from (which store or stockist)? Martin Charles Bridal Gallery in Oundle.

What did you especially like about your gown? I knew that our wedding was going to be slightly different from your usual traditional wedding but the main things I really felt strongly about was wearing a white wedding dress but I was looking for something unique and striking.

I instantly fell in love with the Caitlyn gown the minute I put it on. I always thought it was a myth that you go for the first dress you try on but it was definitely true for my case. I felt like a mermaid with all the beautiful beadwork and the stunning long train that swirled around me as you moved. I felt elegant yet effortlessly comfortable, a huge plus for me because I wanted to be able to move around easily on the day without being restricted. All the KAREN WILLIS HOLMES gowns are stunning so it was difficult to pick just one of these beautiful creations but the Caitlyn gown made me feel so special on the day. It was perfect.


Who is your bridesmaid dress supplier? Virgo lounge - I wanted something colourful with an Asian element to it. Again something that was a little bit unique and elegant. Something that the girls wanted to wear rather than them feeling obliged to wear. I think they all loved them!?!

Where did you get the groom and groomsmen’s suits? From a traditional Asian tailor.

What accessories did you choose to finish your gown and also for those in your bridal party? The dress spoke for itself so I did not want to wear anything that would take the focus away from it so all I wore was a handmade headpiece which complimented the detailed motif on the back of the gown.

Where did you get your shoes from? Dune. I bought a simple pair of gold mid heeled sandals more for comfort of standing all day but they were still very pretty.

Did you wear a veil/headpiece? Where did you get this from? Handmade headpiece from Halo and Co.


What advice would you give brides organizing their wedding? Try to keep everyone happy and listen to your families thoughts and opinions. Of course the day is about you two but bear this in mind if you need to discuss particular things. It can be difficult to do but keep positive and never let it come between you and your husband to be. Get as much help from family and friends as possible. You will be surprised how much people want to help you.

What advice would you give brides searching for their wedding gown? Go with my your instant feeling but do try on different styles. You can never truly tell what a gown looks like until you try it on. But my real main advice about choosing your wedding gown is... Chose a KAREN WILLIS HOLMES gown!!! They are all unique, stunning, elegant, comfortable and a piece of artwork! 


Florist - Manna Flowers. Clare is a local florist near my parents home. She created the most amazing pieces and had a lot of patience while I kept on changing my mind! Absolutely stunning! www.mannaflowers.co.uk

Photographer - James Fear. One of the most charismatic and eccentric person I have ever met. He has an eye at seeing things differently to everyone else and is able to capture the moment perfectly without even knowing he is there. It was so much fun having him there. www.fearphotography.com

Videographer - Mitchell Brewster. Such a lovely and charming guy who created a beautiful memory of our special days. We cannot thank him and praise him enough.

Music - both the band and dJ were amazing. They kept the whole of the dance floor full from the being to the end. band - Monitor Music. www.monitormusic.com DJ - DJ Jaz.

First Dance - Jason Mraz - I won't give up

Stationery - Inkwell designs.

Cake - Tuck-Box Cakes (bonfire night themed wedding cake). Chris is one of the most creative people I know and his cakes are just awesome. Not only are they amazing tasty, with flavours ranging from the classic Victoria to a more unique sticky toffee apple and Rosemary (for a bonfire theme) they cakes are also a piece of art work! I would highly recommend everyone to take a look at his website and inspiration and of course orders!!! www.tuck-box.com

Hair - Maggie Forest - a London make up, hair stylist and friend. Maggie did an amazing job. I felt so natural and elegant on the day. 

Make up - Maggie Forest

Wedding Bands - Rachel Boston Jewellery. One of my very beloved friend, old flat mate and bridesmaid, Rachel. She is an inspiration to all women who are driven and creative business women. I have always admired her work and my collection of jewellery is forever growing. She has an amazing range of jewellery from fashion to fine jewellery to custom made wedding and engagement rings. www.rachelboston.co.uk