Shrinka Ghosh (36) is a Client Partner, working in the Luxury Advertising industry. And Wes McCranor (38), is Head of Protection working in the insurance industry.
They met November 2018 through Hinge. Their first date was a unique one, spanning over four days. The initial date was sushi and cocktails at Sushi Samba followed by a live orchestral rendition gig of Notorious B.I.G at XOYO ending with a boozy bar crawl in Shoreditch. The next few days and dates included a (failed!) trip to London Zoo in Regents Park, a boozy session on Old Marylebone High Street, dinner at Gaucho, Sunday Roast on Bermondsey Street and an evening of Attenborough!
Finding out how much they enjoyed spending time with each other and how much they had in common, a connection was made instantly.
Following the most magical trip to The Retreat at The Blue Lagoon in Iceland after a couple of months of knowing each other, Wes had planned to propose in Iceland, but the pandemic decided to cancel all travel plans. Wes eventually proposed, over a Saturday date night at home, November 2020. The last place Shrinka would think for it to happen, it couldn’t have been more intimate and personal.
The best part of our day was….
This is so difficult to pick one!
I had the best time relaxing and getting ready with my four bridesmaids (our wedding was at 5pm so we had time to get ready at our own pace) knowing everything had been done, and a lot of champagne and room service at The Rosewood. There were no pre- wedding nerves with the girls around me!
Walking down the aisle to a live strings performance of Pachelbel Canon was a dream come true. Father of the Bride was one of mine and my father’s favourite films when I was a little girl, and for us to walk down the aisle together to the same song they did in the film was an emotional moment. Seeing Wes break down in tears when he saw me made the moment even more special. When I got to the front, I saw my mother’s personal memorial arrangement on the registrars table, filled with her favourite flowers, yellow tulips alongside white blousey roses and powder pink tulips. Bud Flora did a beautiful arrangement for her.
We wanted to make our ceremony incredibly personalised, so this included having a strings trio play our favourite songs for guests, very Bridgerton vibes! We decided to also deliver personalised vows to one another. There was not a dry eye when these were read, including us!
As it was a black-tie wedding, seeing everyone look so elegant and sharp in their tuxedos and dresses was incredible to see.
Finally, seeing our absolute closest friends and family be in one room together at our reception. Guests had travelled from all over the world- Canada, US, India, New Zealand, Italy, and to see the love and happiness for us was a moment we will never forget. Their white napkins in the air when Bruno Mars 24k Magic came on to our arrival for dinner was a real pinch me ‘lets’ have the best night’ feeling!
We chose to get married at…
From changing plans – Italy to UK, city or the countryside, we chose to have a modern, timeless, stylish black tie city wedding in London in Spring. Having both lived in the city for a number of years, we wanted a cool, effortless city vibe that suited our personalities. After my bridal lunch at Cecconis in Mayfair, the girls made me realise why wait another year to get married! So a drunken decision ended up being the best one! We knew we wanted to focus on quality across every touchpoint, so we scaled our guest numbers and brought our wedding forward 6 months.
As we now had smaller numbers, we pivoted from shortlisting venues like Kew Gardens, Wilderness Reserve and Oakley Court, to smaller, exclusive spaces in Central London. This included The Ned, The Rosewood, to viewing a few private dining rooms within Caprice Holdings, at Scotts, The Ivy and 34 Mayfair.
The guest experience was a very important priority for us. What would our wedding look like from the guests POV and what would the takeaways be for them. This helped us narrow down the venue with this in mind.
With guests coming from abroad and using London as ‘the destination’, we split our wedding and reception venues to see different parts of the city and have each part of the day have its own ‘moment’.
We married at Old Marylebone Town Hall as Marylebone held a close connection for us from our first date, plus I adore the architecture and grandeur of the building with the majestic white pillars and history. It’s an iconic venue, so photography also played a big part in what would be the most beautiful backdrop.
We followed this with our reception at 34 Mayfair, taking over their beautiful private dining room, The Emin Room, one of the best private dining venues in London with a baby grand piano, private bar, Tracey Emin modern installations and a beautiful art-deco romantic design, full of marble and wood detailing. 34 Mayfair has a flamboyant exterior with an abundance of colour and florals, so we knew this would also be a perfect photo opp. We hosted a champagne and canapé reception, with a live jazz trio, who went against the grain and played all our favourite hip hop and rnb tracks, from Drake to H.E.R, to Justin Bieber and Kanye West. We then followed up with a luxurious three course dinner and then an open bar fueled party to let go!
Afterward, we had a cheeky afterparty at Sexy Fish organised by the Caprice Holdings team, to keep the party going till the early hours!
I knew I found ‘The One’ when…
As we had originally planned to get married summer 2023, I started the dress process 12 months in advance (as per friends advice!). I knew I wanted a showstopper. As there was so much choice, too much choice in fact (!), I reached out to PS Bridal
Styling. Their free consultation to narrow down designers based on my needs and wants began the dress journey.
My first stop was Pronovias for two hours with one of my bridesmaids. It was the perfect first experience, as I got the chance to try on a number of styles, shapes, looks to expand my original thoughts. As a highly organized person, I already had my Pinterest board full of inspiration and styles to show them (Advice: have some designs to show the dress consultants. It will help you and them to get these designs to start shortlisting).
After this first appointment, I got the bug for dress trying (!), and went to Morgan Davies in London for my second appointment. I visited them the morning of my bridal lunch in September with one of my bridesmaids and a close friend who had travelled from Oz.
From the first appointment at Pronovias, there were modern elements I wanted to incorporate if I could – oversized sleeves, pockets, a long train, a luxurious material. I knew I wanted that ‘cool girl’ modern dress but one that was timeless and a real ‘bride’ moment.
At this point, I knew the wedding would be in London so I did have this in mind- something stylish, city specific with a ‘wow’ moment.
After a number of dresses were given for me to try on (the girls definitely pushed the boundaries on style and price!), I came across a Jesus Peiro dress. It ticked a number of boxes, and helped to benchmark it as the number one dress when I went to the next appointments after!
After Morgan Davies, I was on a real “try everything” mode to eliminate. Visits were made at Halfpenny London, Grace Loves Lace and Sarah Seven. I now gave new dresses tough love, weighing out real pros and cons to eliminate dresses quickly. I eventually came back to the Jesus Peiro dress. It was the perfect dress that exuded my personality, my style and that ‘bridal’ vision, with the best support from Laura, one of the bridal consultants. Following the purchase, I then went to Morgan Davies recommended dress alterations service, and the magic happened! We turned the dress into a truly bespoke design, changing the material, the shape, adding features and altering original features to fit my luxurious vision. The number of appointments and fits was worth it in the end, as the dress was a definite talking point on the day! After my wedding, I plan on re-selling it to another bride to have their memories. The sustainability of the dress is important for me and hope it goes through many cycles of life.
It was important for me to commemorate my mother and so I had her favourite blue sapphire and silver angel brooch in my bag and I wore her diamond bracelet as my “old”. Complimenting this was my “new” jewelry gifted by my father, a pair of beautiful
diamond drop earrings and a classic tennis bracelet. I wanted to have jewelry that I can wear again and hopefully pass onto my future children!
Shoes- I had my heart set on a pair of yellow Manolo Blahnik Hangisi sandals, to compliment my canary yellow engagement ring, but in the end, I wore a pair of Aquazzura crystal slingback sandals. As my dress had a long split in the middle, it was
important to wear a pair of ‘wow’ shoes and that I could wear for over 12 hours, and they did not disappoint!
Veil- my veil was a classic cathedral length single tier, with pearls scattered all over. I wanted the veil to be simple with a touch of elegance to not distract from the dress but give the look drama. Similar to my jewelry, this will be a keepsake for me.
Perfume- It was important to me that we had a little keepsake, so both my husband and I had our own wedding scent from Diptyque, I chose Do Son and his was Fleur de Peau.Now, whenever we wear it, the smell takes us back. A small detail but brings back memories!
With the bridesmaid’s dresses, I knew immediately that I wanted their dress to compliment mine, and feel sexy, not frumpy. I shortlisted a few dresses and gave them the choice as their input was important for me. We ended up choosing a Galvan inspired black halterneck floor length dress with an open back detail from Six Stories. With their overall look, I wanted it to feel contemporary and sexy. Their hair and make-up had a red carpet feel, a dark, smokey eye and tousled, textured hair. As my ride or dies, I wanted them to look and feel their best, than a ’cookie cutter’ bridesmaid!
The most enjoyable moments of planning were…
Getting to enjoy the creative process with all the suppliers! As my background is creating beautiful ad campaigns for luxury hotels and brands, it was something I took real pleasure in doing. Working very closely with my suppliers gave me a great education in what they do. I had a very clear vision of what I wanted it to look like and exude and bringing their ideas to my vision elevated the whole experience.
As I decided to not have a traditional Indian ceremony, I knew I wanted to blend my Indian culture into the overall vision- lots of rich colours, scents and aromas, with a lot of twinkle. We filled The Emin Room with hurricane vases and pillar candles across the windowsills, with so much soft light on the tables having both tapered candles and tealight candles to provide the romantic look. Wall lights were beautifully dimmed to give drama and allow the tables to be the center point.
The food and wine tasting was a particular highlight! We knew we wanted the food to represent us and our personality. Having our reception at 34 Mayfair, we knew we were in safe hands. Their food is high end, luxurious and real crowd pleasers. On the menu for guests to choose included Puglian Burrata, Fillet Steak with Truffle Confit Potato, Devonshire Crab and Wagyu Croquettes, with espresso martinis and wedding cake for dessert! Having an open bar was our way of giving back to our family and friends, and to let them enjoy themselves with no restrictions! We created a bespoke bar menu for the party, with a Bride cocktail, a Lychee Martini, and a Groom cocktail, an Old Fashioned which went down a treat.
From the beginning, I had a very clear brief. I wanted my black-tie wedding to represent the following across every touchpoint- Modern, Elegant, Stylish, Chic, Romantic.
Pink Palms who I appointed to design and plan my wedding understood this vision from the beginning. As I love to stay in control (!), I had already found the suppliers who best demonstrated this and they worked spectacularly with each other. I realised after my wedding that I had a real girl boss team, with all my suppliers being female and owning their own businesses. They did me proud and I could not have done it without them!
The hardest part of planning was…
Chasing guests for information as our deadlines were tight!! I hate bothering people but when you have stationery deadlines for items to arrive on time (the postal strikes almost delayed getting our invites sent), or meal information to confirm dishes, you just have to take the bull by its horns and ‘pester’! Luckily everyone understood.
Cutting down the guestlist! From changing the wedding to be more intimate and focus on quality, we built our dream guest list of our ride or dies. The people we genuinely believed would be in our lives forever.
The best accounts to follow on Instagram for big-day inspo are…
The best person to follow on Pinterest for bridal inspo is…
@thebridaljourney gave me so much inspiration for the look, feel and aesthetic for my wedding but also provided related images. It definitely opened up a rabbit hole!
@gigiandolive – I’m lucky to know Georgie, the founder and she has done a stellar job inspiring future brides!
My top three tips for any couple would be…
Keep everyone in the same room all the time than splitting the spaces up. Having a large private dining room kept the evening close knit, and the best opportunity to be with everyone at once all night.
Have a wedding planner/ on the day coordinator. They really are worth every investment to look after and manage all your suppliers in the run up and on the day so you don’t lift a finger, to making you feel like a true guest from start to finish. Their behind-the-scenes co-ordination and experience to manage all situations made the day so seamless for us, and our guests. We knew from experience, we didn’t want any of our guests to lift a finger!
Don’t lose sight of your vision! It can be easy to be swayed but you are ultimately the one in control. Even though people say not to sweat the small stuff, it was in fact the small accents and details that mattered. From the perfect burgundy colour velvet ribbon bows, wine choices, to all our personalised stationery, the Vetiver and Blood Orange scented candles in the bathrooms, down to a specific amount of bud vases, candle holders and specific candle colour! I had guests admit they did take some of these small details for their own home decoration (!) and request our wine choices because it went down a treat. I’m a perfectionist, and I didn’t want any ‘what ifs’ or regrets!
If I was able to do it all over again, the one thing I would change is…
Nothing! The day was the most perfect day filled with so much love, happy tears, emotion and laughter. I married my best friend and everyone shared with us that our wedding was the most beautiful they had been too which made all the hard work and long hours and nights worth it.
List of suppliers:
Cake: The Pink Cooker @thepinkcooker
Related Article: Inside: A Spectacular Wedding In West Sussex