“We got everyone to send requests for the band and/or DJ on their RSVPs. It was amazing watching everyone we love come together… uncles sliding across the floor with air guitars, cousins, aunties etc bopping away happily to bhangra…everything we wanted had come together so well.”
The couple: Lisa Donohue & Lokesh Kaushal
Length of engagement: 16 months | Wedding date: 29th July 2015
Wedding location: The Village at Lyons, Celbridge, Co. Kildare
Photographer: Mark McGuire Photography
We met… We met at Hotel Perfect, Delhi, India in July 2010. We had both booked a five week tour of India that summer and that hotel was the meeting point. I had wanted to go there since I was a child and was fascinated by the culture. Kesh’s parents are Indian but he was born and raised in the UK. He had just spent a few weeks visiting family around Delhi, and wanted to see the country while he was there. Neither of us was looking for a relationship at the time, but we became friends instantly and would stay up late talking most nights. After a few days, we realised we were attracted to each other. I kept telling myself it was only a holiday romance, but we still could not stop talking to each other even after we got home. After several long Skype sessions, Kesh came to visit a few weeks later. We’ve managed to keep the conversation going ever since through Skype, email, WhatsApp, texts and our virtual sponsorship of Ryanair!
Our proposal… Kesh moved house last year, and there is an old tower on the top of a hill overlooking the house. One day, a few months before he moved in, he suggested climbing the hill to the tower. Unfortunately, the weather was rather mixed that weekend, and I only had light pumps on my feet and a springtime coat that was not at all waterproof. After battling showers and the wind, we got to the top and the rain stopped. Whilst I was having a great time, running up and down the spiral stairs in the tower, photographing the views on my phone, poor Kesh was politely trying to get me to sit still! When my phone died, he finally sat me down on a bench at the bottom of the tower, overlooking the countryside. We sat there for a few minutes, before he stood up, got down on one knee and popped the question. I said “Of course I will” and we spent a few minutes admiring the ring and taking pictures on Kesh’s phone. Every time we look out the window at the tower we are reminded of that happy day.
Our wedding theme/colours… The Irish-Indian theme was an easy decision, as we wanted to celebrate both of our cultures. Deciding on colours took a bit more time, but we eventually decided on blue (our favourite colour), purple and pink, with gold as an accent colour.
My hair and make up… The lovely Sarah of Angel Hair and Makeup did the makeup for my bridesmaids, my mother and I. We were delighted with our make-up on the wedding day and at the trial. Sinead of The Hair Mob, did our hair. We had an enjoyable trial at her house where she took time to try out different styles, even though I liked the first one! As a naturally curly haired bride, it was lovely to find someone who can work with curls so I still looked like myself! Two days before the wedding I had a Mehendi night, which is a bit like an Indian hen party where the girls get together and have their hands and feet painted with intricate henna patterns. I was incredibly lucky to have met the talented Yamini at the Diwali festival in Citywest a few years ago. The bridal henna involved painting the front and back of my hands and also my feet taking almost six hours, not counting the aftercare. She also did lovely Mehendi for all of my bridal party, aunt and cousin, working for ten hours and hardly taking any breaks!
My dress… I am a very lucky bride, because I got to have two wedding dresses! For the Hindu Ceremony I wanted to keep with something traditional which is why I chose a red lehenga, from Neelam Creations in Manchester but I also wanted to get the blue in there somewhere, which explains the trim. The tailoring was done in India. For the Humanist Ceremony, I also wanted something traditional, but simple. I chose a white Odessa Chiffon sheath gown, accented with a beaded lace appliqué waistband featuring Swarovski crystals, from Bridal Dreams in Swords.
We chose our venue because… From the start, we were on the lookout for a venue suited to intimate weddings. When we saw The Village at Lyons‘ website we had a really good feeling about it and could not believe I used to live down the road from it in Celbridge without knowing it existed! We went for a sneaky visit to it’s Canal Café for lunch to check out the food and service and were blown away, so we booked a viewing. The staff were really enthusiastic and accommodating at the prospect of hosting both ceremonies in one day so this really put our minds at ease. It also had beautiful accommodation for our guests and had full wheelchair access for Kesh’s father. Each time we visited the venue, we fell in love with something else – the beautiful waterfall you can see during dinner, the quirky chimney, a big gnarled tree in the garden, the doves nesting above the courtyard… it is just magical! The staff went above and beyond to make our day perfect. We cannot praise them highly enough!
What our bridal party wore… I knew from the start that I wanted the bridesmaids to wear saris for both ceremonies. I felt a little guilty that they didn’t get an outfit change too, but I love how they carried the theme of the first ceremony into the second. The girls were brilliant, as it is not easy to wear a sari, but I found a site online that had the pleats pre-stitched, so the only tricky part was pulling the pallu (the loose end) over their shoulders. Although, it turns out, most Indian clothes shops will pre-stitch the pleats into any sari! We found a great lady on Mary Street, Samia from Samia’s Clothing, who altered the blouses for the girls and even showed them how to wear them! With the men scattered across Ireland, England and Thailand we needed a suit hire company that would allow us to get measured for and pick up suits in England or Ireland and return them to Ireland so Debenhams was the most suitable choice. The Groomsmen wore navy Prince Edward suits with royal blue cravats and the fathers wore navy slim fit suits with purple cravats and ivory stripe waistcoats.
Our menu… Food was always going to be an important factor to us since we love it so much and because the venue was going to have to keep us fed for the entire day! For lunch after the Hindu Ceremony, we had a family-style buffet. We had channa-dahl with the most beautifully cooked Irish pork I have ever tasted! For the drinks reception following the humanist ceremony we had Prosecco with canapés and the reception dinner was yet another area where The Village at Lyons shone! We really wanted the Irish-Indian element to come through in the food, so the chef Martin, created a delicious Indian option that wasn’t on the menu just for us! He did an amazing job!
Warm Cured Duck Salad, Poached Pears, Rocket, Pomegranate Seeds
Rack of Kildare Lamb, Colcannon Mash, Green Beans, Mint Jus
Creamy Mildly Spiced Chicken with Raita, Sabzi and Basmati Rice
My favourite part of the wedding day… With so many parts to our day it is really hard to choose. I’ve only managed to narrow it down to three! 1. Hearing the harp music start up when my dad and I were outside the conservatory at the start of the Humanist ceremony. I walked up the aisle to the theme from the film “Up” but as soon as the music started, I was overcome with emotion. Thankfully my Dad was amazing, calming me with yoga breathing before we went in! 2. Spending time with Kesh during the photo sessions after each ceremony. He was so handsome in both of his outfits and it gave us the chance to chat, hug and kiss in The Village at Lyons’ beautiful surroundings. 3. Watching our families rock out on the dancefloor. We got everyone to send requests for the band and/or DJ on their RSVPs. I’m not sure we got them all covered as we ran over time with dinner and speeches, but it was amazing watching everyone we love come together, get on so well, and have such fun. At one point, we stopped for a drink and looked out to see uncles sliding across the floor with air guitars, cousins, aunties etc bopping away happily to bhangra and just feeling so happy that everything we wanted had come together so well.
We chose our photographer because… Mark McGuire Photography was our photographer on the day. We loved the dramatic skies, compositions and colours in Mark’s work so we knew we would have something both artistic and documentary. The fact that we had two ceremonies meant that our photographer would be extra busy, so we loved that he works with a second photographer, Sharon, who has a great eye for those important little details. Mark’s easy-going presence and humour meant we were confident he would put everyone at ease.
My piece of advice for other brides… My advice to other brides is to be organised, stick to the wedding you want to have and accept that there will be several bumps along the way. It may not seem like it at the time, but these bumps will strengthen your relationship. You won’t even notice the little things that go wrong on the day and all the effort will be worth it in the end, when you see how much happiness this special event brings to those you love.
Wedding venue: The Village at Lyons | Photographer: Mark McGuire Photography | Humanist Celebrant: Billy Hutchinson | Hindu Pandit: Dilip Trivedi | Mehendi (Henna) Artist: Yamini Kyshatriya | Harpist: Mary O’Donnell | DJ: DJ Ger | Wedding Band: Jungle Boogie | Dhol player / Indian drummer: Goldie from Shamrock Bhangra | Cake: Cocoa Moiselle | Florist: Carraig Flowers | Videographer: David Stokes Video Production | Hairdresser: Sinead Gaffney, The Hair Mob | Make-up: Sarah – Angel Hair & Make up | Celtic Om Symbol: Stewart Design | Bride’s Lehenga: Neelam Creations, Manchester | Bride’s Dress: Bridal Dreams, Swords | Groom’s Sherwani: Anand Fashions, Manchester | Groom’s Suit: By Eneroth, Sweden | Sari Alterations: Samia’s Clothing, Mary Street
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Former editor, current contributor, (she just can't let go!) Karen enjoys writing fashion but is known to dabble in decor from time to time. Her favourite section on the site is the Real Wedding section, followed closely by the Health & Fitness forums.