shahana + russell | the hilton strathclyde

I was blown away when Jo Donaldson sent me this wedding for the blog, Shahana is just one of the most stunning brides in her traditional Asian bridal dress and henna. This is the first Scottish/Pakistani wedding I've featured and I am feeling very lucky to be able to show it to you, and I know Jo was delighted to be able to photograph it too, I'm sure you'll agree the love between Shahana & Russell shines through enormously here. Shahana & Russell were married on August 10th 2014 at The Hilton Strathclyde. They were planning their wedding for 10 months... "Yes it was scary."

"The Hilton allowed us to have external catering for our Asian menu. It was much more reasonably priced than most of the other venues and it was still pretty enough to have photos taken there. Also we could fit 150 guests in there."

Shahana & Russell's wedding was a Scottish/Pakistani wedding. Shahana’s family were hosting the wedding, and so it was mostly Pakistani. The day is called the ‘Baraat’, which is the Groom’s party! Traditionally the Baraat make quite an entrance to the wedding with a dhol drummer. Shahana & Russell had a dhol drummer and a piper for the entrance, how very cool!

"It didn’t take me too long to find my wedding dress – we got it in Glasgow, which was great because there is a very small Asian wedding market in Scotland. Only Glasgow has a few stores. It is beautiful – my dress was custom made from scratch and I couldn’t have been happier with it. It sparkles elegantly and was just the right colours for me and my jewellery." Shahana loved making the wedding favours... "I know it sounds silly but it was the most relaxing part of the wedding planning and the little details like that brought it all together – I felt like I had most control over the favours compared to the rest of the wedding! I also made the plates for confetti, which I thought were really cute."

"The culture of Asian weddings is that the brides side/grooms side do their own part of the wedding – he was responsible for making his favours which are called 'bidt', organizing the dhol drummer and piper, hiring the car and bringing all of his guests." "For both of us, our favourite moment was seeing each other arrive. Cheesy much? Russell’s entrance with the dhol and piper was brilliant."

The Rukhsati is the final part of the wedding, Asian women generally don’t move out of their home until they are married, and this is a huge deal for her parents as she has been with them right up until this night. This is why it gets very upsetting for them, as it is kind of like a goodbye.

Shahana has the most practical and useful advice for you guys in the midst of wedding planning... "Always keep written notes and agreement of every single booking and detail as on the day there is no time to deal with anything going wrong when the hotel or caterer hasn’t done something you definitely agreed to. We had some problems with our hotel room booking and the music system. That caused a lot of stress."

"Also, there are always gorgeous and fun alternatives to crazy expensive wedding things – take your time and research. Be creative."

Thank you so much to Shahana for her input and to Jo Donaldson for these images, the whole story of this wedding over on Jo's blog is really so emotional, check it out here. You can contact Jo through her website, Facebook & Twitter.


Venue: The Hilton Strathclyde

Catering and Décor: Millan Events

Make-up: Louise Dyet MUA

Hair: Kanwal Hair and Make -up

Stationery: Shaadi Cards Bradford

Photographer: Jo Donaldson with Gail Kelly as second shooter

Videographer: Usman Ghafoor Videography

"Jo Donaldson was everything and more we could have hoped for – she was exceptional. And everyone loved her."

"Millan events were also very good."