The National Wedding Show Ticket Offer

Win White Hot Tickets to the Wedding Show of the Season!

26 – 28 February 2016 London Olympia4 – 6 March 2016 Birmingham NEC

The National Wedding Show | The Maharani Diaries

This spring sees the return of the UK’s biggest wedding show, where you can experience every element of your dream day unfolding before your very eyes. From discovering your perfect venue and trying on the dress of your dreams to sampling delectable delights, eyeing up fabulous floral creations and seeking out your idyllic honeymoon hideaway; The National Wedding Show is the ultimate one-stop-shop to discover the wedding experts in every field. Endless inspiration and countless shopping opportunities to try, buy, book and hire everything you can imagine for your big day, all under one roof.

Jenny Packham | The Maharani Diaries

Kickstart the day by taking a seat at the renowned Catwalk Show to see the latest trends for all the bridal party brought to life on the runway. A showcase of the hottest collections of the season from the nation’s finest designers, boutiques and retailers, provides invaluable inspiration for not only the bride, but also mothers and fathers, beautiful bridesmaids, dashing best men and ushers and not forgetting the man of the moment, the groom. The must-see line-up includes designs from the likes of Jenny Packham, David’s Bridal, Qiana Bridal, Alfred Angelo, Allure Bridals, Beyond Burlesque, Nigel Rayment, Debenhams, Moss Bros and Young’s Hire, to name just a few.

Get up close and personal with the all-important wedding dresses by hitting the designated Bridal Boutique and Designer Boutique to browse and try on an unrivalled selection of dresses under one roof. From high street to couture, short and sassy styles to long, glamorous, show-stopping numbers, there is something to suit every style, shape and budget.

Head to the Wedding Theatre to discover all you need to know about big day beauty, hair and style. The National Wedding Show’s glam squad will share their Top 10 Tips for achieving your perfect wedding day look through demonstrations and revealing trade secrets for brides, bridesmaids and mothers of the bride and groom. During each session, one lucky bride will be selected for a makeover live on stage and presented to the audience in a breath-taking ‘big reveal.’

TNWS | The Maharani Diaries

Hear first-hand from plus size model and TV Presenter Nina Blakemore, who will return to The National Wedding Show this season with her popular body confidence workshops which include essential advice on everything from how to hold your bridal bouquet and achieve the perfect pose for the camera to ‘how to work your wedding dress’, as well as offering advice for bridesmaids, mother of the bride and even the groom!

You’ve nailed the look for you and your bridal party, now it’s time to turn your attention to the all-important venue. Transform your wedding destination into a spectacular backdrop for your dream day by seeking inspiration from The National Wedding Show’s host of wedding planners and stylists. Create the perfect ambience through clever lighting schemes, stylish tableware and signage then get the party started by discovering the ultimate DJ or live band and top it off by ordering a must-have dazzling dance floor or perhaps ensure the night goes off with a bang with some top-class fireworks.

TNWS | The Maharani Diaries

Floral fantasies become a reality at the Designer Flower Market, where you will find inspiration-a-plenty from the show-stopping displays together with expert advice from a line-up of top florists. Whether you are dreaming of a big, traditional fairytale wedding or planning an intimate summer garden affair, there are stylish solutions for all themes and colour schemes.

If you’re looking for something a little more alternative for your big day, head to The Rock n Roll Bride Collection. Brand new for 2016, the Rock n Roll Bride Collection will feature everything from bridal-wear and accessories to flowers, cakes and stationery, to make your big day truly unique in every way.

The Rock n Roll Bride Collection will also play host to the The Rock n Roll Café, the perfect place to unwind during an action-packed day of shopping, wedding planning and inspiration.

Destination Wedding | The Maharani Diaries

Round off the day by registering for your gift list and perhaps even booking the honeymoon of your dreams. Your high-street favourites will be on hand to help, including John Lewis, Debenhams, Sandals, Thomas Cook and Turquoise Holidays.

After an action-packed day of shopping and planning, make a beeline for the Champagne Bar to enjoy a well-deserved glass of bubbly and raise a toast to your exciting big day ahead! If you appreciate the finer things in life then get ahead of the crowds and enjoy the show in style with VIP tickets. The exclusive package includes fast track entrance to the show, reserved seating at the Catwalk Show, unlimited access to the VIP Lounge, a complimentary glass of fizz and a goody box containing beauty products to pamper yourself in the build up to your big day.

The Maharani Diaries has teamed up with The National Wedding Show to offer 1 lucky reader and their ‘plus one’ the chance to attend the year’s most prestigious wedding event in London or Birmingham, absolutely free! Tickets are valid any day and are limited to one pair per winner. Head on over to our Instagram account for further details on how you can win! –>

Entries for the London show close Thursday 25th February 2016 at 6pm and Wednesday 2nd March 2016 at 9pm for the Birmingham show. So hurry! 

Don’t worry, if you are not a lucky winner, you can still book in advance and save up to £5 off the door price**. To book, visit or call the ticket hotline on 0844 874 0486.

**Advance ticket prices revert to the on the door price of £20 (London and Birmingham) at midnight the day before opening.

For more information visit The National Wedding Show website at – or Twitter – @nationalwedding / #TNWS and Instagram – @thenationalweddingshow

Pantone Colors Of The Year – Rose Quartz & Serenity

Pantone Wedding Inspiration | The Maharani Diaries

It’s reigning pale pinks and soft blues this year all courtesy of Pantone.

In an unprecedented move the institute have nominated not one but two colors this year; Rose Quartz and Serenity.

For those who have been hiding under a rock for a while, the Pantone Color Institute is the world’s leading authority on color standardization. Each year Pantone releases a color, which shapes forthcoming fashion, home décor and wedding trend forecasts.

The soothing pastel tones have been talk of the town in recent months with interior experts, wedding planners, stylists and fashion designers embracing the colors. Rose Quartz and Serenity are incredibly versatile and can be paired alongside other neutral pantone colors as well as metallics. The two shades when combined together are also so dreamy and romantic. As executive director of Pantone Color Institute, Leatrice Eisemen stated, Joined together, Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace.”

To see how these hues can inspire your wedding, we have scoured the internet and got our creative juices flowing to create elegant and romantic inspiration mood boards. Paint your wedding festivities with rose tones and tranquil blues and layer with antique golds, champagne beiges and muted ivories to give your wedding a luxe appeal.

For our rose quartz palette we have blended beautiful and chic wedding ideas that are glowing with elegance. Vintage touches with a hint of opulence.

Rose Quartz Inspiration | The Maharani Diaries

Place setting image courtesy of Pinterest // Bouttonniere image courtesy of Pinterest // Perfume image courtesy of Michael + Anna Costa // Shoes image courtesy of Silvana Di Franco //
Outdoor setting by Jeannie Savage, photography courtesy of Lin & Jirsa //Cake courtesy of Cakes by Krishanthi// Lehenga by Anita Dongre for Pernia’s Pop Up Shop //
Invitation suite by Ceci New York, photography courtesy of Thisbe Grace Photography // Ring courtesy of Trumpet & Horn 

Place setting: Add style to your wedding table with gold plated ornate china wear and cutlery. Infuse blush pink roses into your tablescape to create an eye-catching setting.

Boutonniere and tie: A mens boutonniere or buttonhole need not be over the top in this case. Inject some color and personality into the groom’s trousseau. Mix it up with a fun polka dot tie and one single pink rose. Accompany the accessories with a neutral shade suit and you have a classic yet simple look.

Perfume: Mais oui (but yes), Chanel! The beauty of this too is that the perfume bottle will look absolutely stunning in your photographs.

Shoes: These beautiful Badgley Mischka heels will add the right amount of color to your bridal trousseau and definitely won’t look over the top with your blushing pink toned bridal gown.

Outdoor setting: This isn’t a mandap, but just imagine! Something similar would make for a stunning backdrop. Adorned with luscious pink and ivory roses and complemented with metallic chairs, your wedding will be the talk of the town.

Cake: As Marie Antoinette once famously quoted, “Let them eat cake.” A standout wedding cake like this one from Cakes By Krishanthi layered with frosted pink and white petals and beautiful gold Victorian style details will stand out in any wedding venue.

Lehenga: Anita Dongre’s signature gota patti embroidered lehenga choli’s usually feature floral patterns and subtle gold foiling, hence the reason why we thought this gorgeous feminine outfit is perfect for a wedding of this style.

Invitation suite: Founder and stationery design extraordinaire, Ceci Johnson of Ceci New York believes that “Every legendary party begins with an unforgettable invitation.” This deluxe gold and blush invitation suite will add a lovely touch to the overall theme building anticipation for your guests.

Ring: Whether it’s the engagement or wedding ring, this one from Trumpet & Horn speaks for itself. An unusual art deco vintage ring with yellow, rose and white gold accents. Perfect!

Serenity Inspiration | The Maharani Diaries

Macarons image courtesy of Ana Grinets Photography for French Wedding Style // Invitation suite by Karli Noel, photography courtesy of Ivy & Stone Photography for Style Me Pretty
// Lehenga courtesy of Shyamal & Bhumika // Chandelier image courtesy of Pinterest // Chateau image courtesy of Wesley Nulens for Style Me Pretty // Ring courtesy of Eidel Precious for Etsy
// Shoes and bouquet image courtesy of Anastasia Belik // Place setting image courtesy of Anouschka Rokebrand for Style Me Pretty // Mehendi image courtesy of Pinterest 

Our serenity wedding color palette has been drawn from European influences (French to be exact) combining dreamy neutrals and creams offset with once again metallic and accents of rose quartz as well.

Macarons: What is a French inspired wedding without this delectable dessert? We love this striking macaron tower nestled next to vintage champagne glasses, sitting pretty on an antique sweetheart table.

Invitation suite: This stunning powder blue and cream Karli Noel invitation suite features hand written calligraphy with gold lettering. The perfect wedding invitation suite for your French destination wedding.

Lehenga: We love this luxurious, artisan pastel blue couture lehenga from designer’s Shyamal & Bhumika’s ‘A Little Romance’ collection. Create a statement with a gorgeous lehenga such as this one. Perfect for brides who love timeless and romantic looks.

Chandelier: An ornate antique gold chandelier such as this one will add opulence to your reception venue as well as your wedding photographs.

Chateau: A charming French chateau with all the trimmings is the ideal venue for a wedding of this scale and grandeur. This one looks particularly dreamy. Whisk your guests away to a European retreat for the ultimate destination wedding party.

Ring: A beautiful rose gold Victorian engagement ring featuring a blue pear cut sapphire will match beautifully with the bridal trousseau.

Bouquet and shoes: Go all out with your blue wedding palette. Pointy toed stilleto’s definitely add luxe appeal and once paired with the designer lehenga and a fresh bouquet of carnations or roses, your beau won’t be able to take his eyes off you.

Place setting: Gold candelabras, fine china and fitted blue linens add to the classic and timeless wedding setting.

Mehendi: Just when we couldn’t fall more in love with this inspiration board, we come across this stunning image over on Pinterest, featuring intricate mehendi work adorning a bride’s palms. Lovely details.

Even if you decide against translating these colors into your design concept, what’s important is to ensure that you communicate your color choices into your overall wedding theme. From the venue to your décor through to your cocktails and cake, everything should balance well.

What are your thoughts on this year’s Pantone 2016 colors of the year? Will you be incorporating them into your wedding theme? Let us know in the comments below.

A Guide To Planning A Modern Wedding – Part 2 – Wedding Styles


A little while back we shared our tips on basic rules for planning and budgeting for you impending marriage. Today we’re moving onto wedding styles. An obvious topic which is often ignored during the initial stages of wedding planning.

So, what’s your wedding style? Are you a traditionalist or perhaps you’re the fuss-free type?

For many, trying to determine the answer to these puzzling questions could mean turning to websites such as Pinterest. The truth is though you could spend hours pouring over thousands of pretty images that don’t even reflect who you are. Step away and take time out to find out what it is that you truly want in your wedding. Of course as we’ve mentioned in the past, there isn’t anything wrong with sourcing your inspiration from Pinterest, but just try and set realistic wedding goals. Trends come and go and you don’t necessarily need to stick to them.

There aren’t any hard and fast rules to follow when designing your wedding. The most important thing though is to keep it tasteful and timeless. Incorporate personal elements that both you and your partner will love. You need to feel comfortable.

To steer you in the right direction, we’ve made it simple for you by breaking down the most popular styles of weddings.



Photography courtesy of Edmund Leong Motion & Stills for The Maharani Diaries 

Typically, traditional or religious wedding ceremonies are held in a courthouse or a place of worship such as a temple, conforming to age old traditions. However, this doesn’t mean that you are restricted or can’t be creative. For instance if you’re having a mixed marriage, you could blend the traditions and add your own personal touches to the wedding. After the wedding ceremony you have free reign to do what you like with your reception party. You could stick with the traditional theme and mix up your décor. Think about using fresh colour palettes. After all, South Asian weddings are all about embracing colour.

Before your traditional wedding it is important to understand the rituals, blessings and cultural aspects. Customs play an important part in Indian weddings and there are many facets to each tradition.

If however you decide to choose a civil wedding, well you’re lucky because there’s very little paper work involved.

For couples who like to honour traditions, then a religious wedding is highly appropriate.


Cake by Cakes by Krishanthi // Tablescape by Joy Proctor for Burnetts Boards // Champagne glasses image courtesy of Pinterest 


Much like a religious wedding, classic weddings follow traditional formats with a large guest list, standard rituals, vows and declarations. Décor is elaborate for both the ceremony and the reception. Think clean lines and unassuming details with classic and fitted linens and chair covers, roses, black, white, or gold, candelabras, elegant centerpieces and ornate dinnerware.

Classic weddings are beautiful, timeless and understated and sophisticated to the core.

If this is the style of wedding you have been dreaming about since you were a little girl or boy, then this is the wedding for you. Keep it classy, elegant and refined. Your guests will thank you in the end.


Lantern and floral styling by Pearl Events Austin // Wedding Favours and Tablescape by Love Lou Collective for Green Wedding Shoes 


Informal weddings give you an opportunity to express yourself in whichever way you choose to do so. Couples who choose this style of wedding tend to have a carefree aesthetic.

Your festivities are likely to be free spirited but still manage to impress without compromising on style. Refined rustic, beach, barn or vineyard, the choice is yours. Be adventurous, but don’t let it feel contrived. Every little detail should reflect the theme, from the décor to the invitations right through to the menu. The table settings could include mix and matched jars with whimsical florals and lighting can be au natural.

Rediscover casual elegance with an informal wedding.


Photographs courtesy of Kismis Ink Photography for Strictly Weddings 


A destination wedding offers you a range of flexibility. Ask yourselves if it will be just you attending or close family or friends or more. These types of weddings are relatively stress free as most venues around the world offer a tailored package accustomed to your taste or liking. The package usually takes care of all your wedding requirements including the coordinator, the mandap, priest or celebrant, entertainment, cake and even accommodation. Just ensure that the location and backdrop reflects your personality.

Often a destination wedding can be more cost effective. Couples can also choose to have an all-inclusive honeymoon meaning that you receive more bang for your buck!

Turn it into a weeklong celebration with your closest family and friends. Remember that this isn’t your typical wedding, but if you want to feel relaxed and have a team organizing everything, then this is for you. It’s like one big long vacation for you, your family and friends. All the functions are held on site and you have free reign to choose whether you’d like to keep it intimate or OTT (over the top). 



Engagement rings image courtesy of Pinterest // Couple captured by Chris Spira Photography // Beach image courtesy of Pinterest


Are you just completely overwhelmed with the whole idea of planning a wedding? Then perhaps eloping is your best bet.

Eloping takes the pressure off planning a wedding you’re able to enjoy your ceremony more. Less planning and more time to focus on yourselves. Not to forgetting the fact that you have a lot more money to spend on the honeymoon.

The beauty of eloping is that you can avoid any family drama by calling all the shots. You have the freedom to choose the location and you can dress up or dress down for the occasion.

Also, just because you elope doesn’t mean you can’t have a reception party afterwards. Plan in advance and more importantly check that you have organised all the relevant paperwork. If you’re eloping abroad, contact the embassies and check the rules and regulations in that country.

Style is about who you are. Take this style and translate it into your wedding. Don’t try too hard and remember that you can’t incorporate every single design element into your wedding. Discover who you are as a person and take time to envisage what your wedding will look like and then commit. Best of luck!

What’s your wedding style? Let us know in the comments below. Keep posted to part 3 of our planning series where we look at roles and responsibilities during wedding planning.

Introducing ‘ Cuckoo For Colour ‘ – where fashion meets watercolour

Cuckoo For Colour | The Maharani Diaries

Self-taught artist, Aparna Ram had an interest in illustrating from a very young age. An investment associate by profession, she spent several years working in the traditional finance sector in London before moving to work abroad in India. Although this work was rewarding, she felt herself missing home and moved back in 2014. She returned to the industry but most recently decided to step back from the 9 to 5 routine to pursue her interests and focus solely on cuckoo for colour .

When we stumbled across her Instagram account not too long ago, we instantly fell in love with her work and commissioned Aparna to create some beautiful fashion illustrations for our Lakmé Fashion Week Spring/Summer features. Much to her delight, her work instantly captured the attention of well-renowned Indian fashion designers such as Anushree Reddy. Aparna has also been painting bridal portraits which we think make for such unique gifts for your friends or family members to treasure for a lifetime.

Now well and truly in the thick of the new year, Aparna is keeping herself busy with exciting new projects in the pipeline. 

We’re incredibly excited to be working alongside Aparna and are also pleased to announce that for a limited time only, Cuckoo For Colour are offering readers of The Maharani Diaries an amazing 15% discount off any order. Simply enter the promo code MAHARANIat the checkout. The perfect way to treat yourself for the new year.

Who or what inspired you to begin painting?

Aparna Ram | The Maharani DiariesDuring my childhood, my colouring books were my best friend. I remember having to spend summers at my grandmother’s house in a village in South India and there being not much in the way of entertainment. So I would bring colouring books and colour one or two pictures everyday. When I ran out, I would copy the pictures onto spare pieces of paper and colour those. So whilst my interest in colouring and painting had always been there, it wasn’t until high school, when my art teacher began to encourage me that I began to take it more seriously. Unfortunately I moved schools shortly after and the arts class was already full. Luckily my parents found me an after school art teacher in our local area. She was a sweet old lady and taught me to paint with pastels. I’ve painted on and off since then.

Tell us a little about the type of projects you work on.

I’m pleased to announce that I’ve officially signed a publishing deal with Rainy Day Reads Publishing who will be publishing my first book later this year featuring a collection of fashion illustrations inspired by Indian fashion and cinema.

When did you develop an interest in fashion illustration?

Even when I wasn’t painting, I was following fashion bloggers and illustrators online. I’ve always found fashion to be inspiring and a lot of fun to illustrate. I have been experimenting with my style since my twenties. I think it was only natural that when I started painting again, I leaned more towards fashion than any other subject.

Where do you find your inspiration?

Everywhere! I could be browsing through a magazine and find myself wanting to interpret an image using watercolour. I also find photography to be very inspiring and of course Instagram where I follow some brilliant photographers, trendy fashionistas, high end fashion designers, travel blogs and so on.  

Aparna’s India City Art Desk Calendar features custom illustrations of major cities in India.

What is your creative process when illustrating? How long does it take to complete one drawing?

I begin by warming up with some quick sketches to get the blood flowing to my hands. If I’m doing fashion illustration, I’ll look up some poses online and start by breaking it down. Once I have sufficiently warmed up, I’ll reference the outfit I’ve bookmarked and sketch out the illustration in pencil. At this point, it’s still rough, so I’ll trace it and then trace it again onto watercolour paper. Then I’ll go in with the paint. I don’t time how long it takes for each one, but 2-3 hours from warm up to scanned image is probably not far off the mark.

Aparna Ram | The Maharani Diaries

Are there any artists or fashion illustrators whose work you admire?

Katie Rodgers from Paper Fashion is someone who’s work I’ve been following long before I picked up painting again. I’ve seen her work evolve and like her, I’d love to be experimental  and try adding mixed media to my work. Megan Hess is another artist whose work I just love.

Who are your favourite Indian fashion designers?

It probably comes as no surprise but I’d definitely put Sabyasachi up there as one of my favourites. I couldn’t have been more thrilled when he signed my illustration at the recent Aashni + Co Wedding ShowSome of my other favourites coincidentally have names beginning with the letter ‘A!’ I love Anushree Reddy, Anju Modi and Anamika Khanna.  

Great taste Aparna! Your illustrations have received much attention and praise from the likes of fashion designers, Anushree Reddy and Nishka Lulla. How does it make you feel?

My first reaction is usually one of disbelief followed by screaming! Once I have calmed down, I begin to experience a number of emotions. Firstly, gratitude that they’ve noticed my work and appreciated it and a little pressure which in turn strives me to work harder.

I absolutely adore your bridal portrait paintings, invitations and the greeting cards you have created in the past. Will this be ongoing work for you? What are your future plans?

I love illustrating bridal portraits especially for brides whom I know personally. It’s such a unique gift to give and I love seeing their reactions. I recently worked on another Indian themed calendar which is currently available to purchase online through my website.

The next couple of months will be dedicated to working on collections of fashion illustrations. I’m also keen to work on more bridal portraits, so will be promoting that side of my business as well. 

Aparna, thank you so much for taking the time out to chat to us. We wish you lots of success with your future endeavours. What’s the best way for people to get in contact with you for custom designed paintings or illustrative work?

They can reach out to me via Facebook or direct message me on Instagram. Email me of course at

My work is available to purchase through my website or via Etsy at If you don’t find a print you like there, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Aparna has a beautiful range of photographs, illustrations, cards and a gorgeous Indian themed desk calendar available to purchase via her website, Cuckoo For Colour. Don’t forget to enter the promotional code at the checkout!

For further information, follow the links over in our vendor directory.

Aashni + Co Wedding Show 2016

Aashni Show - Designers | The Maharani Diaries

A few weeks back I was fortunate to have attended one of the biggest South Asian bridal fashion events in the northern hemisphere. Aashni + Co presented their second wedding exhibit showcasing the work of India’s most illustrious designers as well as eminent Pakistani designer, Faraz Manan.

Since its inception in 2012, Aashni + Co has fast become the one stop shop for luxury and tailor made Asian bridal fashion, meaning brides no longer need to make a trip to India.

Now in it’s second year running, the Aashni + Co Wedding Show has proved once again that there is without a doubt a demand for high-end bridal couture in the UK. Brides and grooms have the chance to purchase their entire trousseau with first hand assistance from the designer themselves.

On speaking about the success of the show, founder and creative director of Aashni + Co boutique, Aashni Anshul Doshi (Shah) expressed her utter delight officially announcing that it was a “tremendous success.”

We were conscious that we needed to surpass the high benchmark we established with the event in its debut year, 2015. I feel we’ve achieved that based on the response from the designers and visitors here today unanimously. We’ve brought a studied curation of luxe, South Asian couture and bridal wear to the UK’s doorstep, meaning brides and grooms to be and followers of Indian high fashion have been able to meet the designers themselves and shop entire bridal trousseaus or one-off pieces against a fittingly couture backdrop.” – Aashni Anshul Doshi (Shah)

Held at luxury 5 star hotel, The Dorchester, this year’s event drew in large crowds and featured exquisite designer wear from the likes of Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Manish Malhotra and Varun Bahl. Brides, together with their entourage were flocking to the stands throughout the entire day, picking up gorgeous one off lehengas, saris, gowns and the list goes on.

Upon entering the ballroom, The Dorchester’s Gold Room was transformed into enchanting woodlands with visitors taken on a journey through a magical forest filled with fresh blooms, berries, rustic bouquets and sparkling emeralds and rubies gracing the pathways. We were greeted with the harmonious tunes of birds chirping amidst almost bare trees and surrounded by beautiful couture from Faraz Manan, Manish Malhotra, Rimple and Harpreet Narula, Sabyasachi Mukherjee and Varun Bahl.

Zita Elze | The Maharani Diaries

As per last year, award winning floral artist, Zita Elze wowed with her creative design concept. The spectacular display left everybody in absolute awe including myself.

Aashni and Zita have collaborated on a number of projects now and have developed a wonderful creative dialogue.

Amazed by her floral mastery, I asked the gifted florist to give us a few thoughts about how the theme was conceptualized.

“Aashni gave me just a few words for the brief and I was very happy to interpret these into a narrative for the Gold Room at The Dorchester. The starting point was in her shop, with some of the beautiful dresses, picking out jewel colours. This combined with Aashni’s dreams of trees and birds brought about the design. I work instinctively so many of the finishing touches were decided on the day, although everything else was planned in great detail as we only had a few hours to create the whole room. The short lived ethereal nature of these creations is part of their magic – the show lasted just one day.” – Zita Elze

Amongst the designers I had the opportunity to chat with celebrated designers, Manish Malhotra and Sabyasachi Mukherjee. The two inimitable designers who have a strong connection with London shared fond memories of working and studying in the fashion capital, often referring to it in conversation as their second home.

I asked Manish about how he thinks the UK bride and differs to the brides in India.

“I feel in the past brides from the UK were not that aware and for those who didn’t travel they didn’t know that India is changing so much. But today thanks to social media, now they are aware and they know what’s going on. Events like these, where the originals come to you is a step forward. I think all Indian and Pakistani designers should take that step and go to different countries to make brides aware of what’s available.” – Manish Malhotra

Manish at stand Manish

Manish needs no introduction of course. Renowned for creating iconic outfits for Bollywood stars and beyond, this designer leaves no stone unturned when it comes to bridal wear. When questioned about replicas Manish expressed concern and went on further to say that through Aashni + Co, his work remains credible and international audiences can recognize the difference.

Sabyasachi | The Maharani Diaries

Sabyasachi | The Maharani Diaries

When one thinks of glamorous bridal couture and weddings, no other name springs to mind but Sabyasachi. I just couldn’t resist, but I had to ask the designer about how he feels the Indian wedding market is changing.

“Indian weddings are going everywhere. It’s almost become like the visiting card of India because Indian weddings talk about everything that’s beautiful in India. It talks about clothing, food, music, jewellery, textile culture etc. So basically if you want to know about India in that event, then the best way is to get invited to an Indian wedding. Indian weddings by themselves have become the cultural brand ambassador of the country.” – Sabyasachi Mukherjee 

What attracts many brides to Sabyasachi’s couture is his incredible knack of being able to fuse modern with traditional aesthetics. The designer is a purist and this sentiment is echoed in a number of his interviews. Once again he reinforced this theme with his latest collection and it was such a treat for me to see his beautiful couture in person.

I also had a brief conversation with Anamika Khanna about how instrumental she has been in re-inventing the way the humble sari is draped in today’s times and what her thoughts are on why it has been appreciated so well amongst brides and fashion bloggers alike. 

“I feel that the younger generation has stopped wearing saris completely. I was thinking one day.. without killing the elegance or essence of the sari, what can you do with it that it becomes more modern? That’s where I started and then I moved on and realised there’s a lot of potential. It’s not just for Indian girls. You can get away with it by not wearing a gown or a dress. Indian women can not wear gowns or dresses as well because our bodies are different.” – Anamika Khanna

The designers were thrilled with the response of the event and here are just a few of their thoughts.

Aashni’s show is terrific. She always manages to get an avalanche of people in. It was exhausting but it was very well organised and I think she has become the most important interface between Indian designers and NRI brides who don’t normally get to meet the designers face to face.” – Sabyasachi Mukherjee

“What a fabulous platform to show wedding clothes. Aashni has done a fantastic job and it’s well organised with lovely girls coming in to try on our clothes and making me feel so proud.” – Anju Modi

“It’s such a pleasure to be at the Aashni + Co Wedding Show. I am really enjoying it. It’s spectacular, it’s beautifully put together, it’s curated, the space is beautiful, and all the designers are here. The amount of people that were here today is overwhelming. Well done Aashni.” – Anamika Khanna

“The crowd here is great today. London loves to take risks in fashion, which is great for me. And what an incredible event. Aashni has done a wonderful job in putting this all together.” – Gaurav Gupta

“We’ve pretty much sold out in the first two hours, which is great, so I hope to be back next year and I hope that there are a lot more exhibitions like this from Aashni. She has a great eye for picking out the best talent from India and featuring a great mix of designers.” – Masaba Gupta

In terms of organization, the designer’s booths were very well displayed and it was incredible to see the amount of intricacy and detailing in every single gown or lehenga for that matter. Chatting with some of the bloggers, it was like as if we were in bridal heaven! A sea of elegant, bespoke, handcrafted wedding wear displayed ever so beautifully in one of the most luxurious event spaces.

Models looked graceful, sporting various outfits, jewellery supplied by Deeya Jewellery and statement hair and make up looks from Summaya and Shamalah over the course of the day.

Summaya + Shamalah | The Maharani Diaries

Elegant and Wild Wedding Photography set up a vibrant Indian themed photo booth featuring handmade paper flowers and gold bicycle, encouraging patrons to let their hair down during the event. Even the models and bloggers got in on the fun!

Bloggers at Aashni Show | The Maharani Diaries

From left: Vic from London Ki Ladki, Mandavi from The Red Notebook, Nazma from Asian Fashion Blog, Rabbia from Asian Wedding Ideas, Poonam from The Maharani Diaries, Safeera from Habibi Lifestyle and Arti from My Asian Wardrobe. Image courtesy of Elegant & Wild Wedding Photography. 

What sets this bridal exhibition apart from others is the fact that you have a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with the designers. Each designer has something different to offer and it’s so great to see so much depth and diversity in the collections.

The event featured work from established fashion houses to more up and coming, new-generation talent.

It certainly exceeded my expectations and I can’t wait for the 2017 show!

To get a true sense of what the event was like, check out the official film –>

The Aashni + Co Wedding Show was presented in association with Mustang Productions and official charity partner, The British Asian Trust.

Aashni + Co is a luxury multi-designer boutique situated in Notting Hill. Ever since it’s inception in 2012, Aashni + Co has carved a niche for itself as one of London’s most sought after destinations for luxury Indian fashion, garnering attention from fashionistas and celebrities in the UK and Continental Europe alike. For further information, visit

Model | The Maharani Diaries

Did you attend this year’s Aashni + Co Wedding Show? Would love to hear your thoughts. Let us know in the comments below. 

*Images courtesy of The Maharani Diaries, Adnan Qazi, Rona Wheeldon of Flowerona and Elegant & Wild Photography.