Bride’s Maiden Name: Mita Bijlani
Occupation: (Optional) Human Resources
Groom’s Full Name: James Walker
Occupation: (Optional) IT Professional
(Please advise us if you did not take your partner’s surname) – I haven’t yet
Wedding Date:2 day event- August 7th (Church, signage of papers and Cocktail Reception), August 8th (Hindu Ceremony and Dinner Reception) 2018
How many guests? August 7th: about 50. August 8th: about 110
How did you and your partner meet?
We met on an online dating app in Hong Kong. We had our first date after about 2 months of chatting online, and finally ended up meeting at a bar close to where we lived. After chatting for about 4 hours over drinks and realizing we had quite a bit in common, we exchanged numbers and met up soon again for date #2.
How did he propose?
He made reservations at Sevva, which is a classy fusion styled restaurant, and alsoour go-to restaurant for special occasions (many a 3 month, 6 month, 1 year anniversary and birthdays have been celebrated here). This was close to Christmas and there wasn’t a particular milestone coming up, so when he mentioned he had dinner reservations for us- I just assumed he was super excited for the Christmas season approaching us!
I arrived a little late for the date as a hair appointment ran late and as I arrived, I was addressed as “Mrs Walker” and was ushered to the outside rooftop overlooking the city where James had booked a table with 2 glasses of champagne. I walked over and started going on about the hair appointment while he had a goofy smile on his face the entire time. Before I knew it, he got down on one knee, and while he reached into his pocket, I heard a few gasps around me from other customers watching the scene and that is when I registered what was happening! When he asked “will you marry me?”, I felt tears in my eyes, said yes, and shortly after, some staff came out to take our picture and open the champagne. It was incredibly magical!
What do you love most about your partner?
The fact that he is one of a kind! He is one of the funniest, kindest, brainiest and most amazing people I’ve ever met and he’s made me feel love in ways I’ve never felt before! He not only looks after my happiness but also deeply cares about people who are important to me.Also, he is extremely resourceful and motivated, and will do anything he sets his mind to!
What’s your most important piece of advice for creating and maintaining a strong relationship?
I think one of the biggest challenges we experience in relationships is that we are all different. We come with our own set of expectations, perceptions, and ways to approach obstacles. I think it’s important to acknowledge the fact and celebrate it as a way to learn different perceptions. Life would be very dull if we were all the same and, while we may find it easier initially, the novelty of sameness would soon wear off.
I think it’s important to communicate expectations and understand what type of communication works best for the other person. A strong friendship and good communication would go a long way in a successful relationship.
Tell us about your wedding gown and how you chose it:
I had 2 wedding gowns for our wedding, a white one for the church ceremony, and a red and gold one for the Indian ceremony. James and Iwent to Toronto in March 2018 where I had pre-bookingsat a bunch of stores to find the perfect dress with my maid of honour. We had an emotional and girly 2 days when I tried on dresses in front of her.Funnily enough, the last store appointment on my list was the only one she couldn’t make it to, and that was the store with the dress that felt the most right. Isent her some photos on my phone and after hearing her response, we knew it was the right one!
For the Indian bridal wear, the decision was a little easier. James and I made a quick trip to Mumbai in May to shop for our entire wedding attire. We went to the first and second store on my list together and James fell in love with the third dress I tried on- it was a happy and quick purchase
What sort of style did you envision for your wedding day?
Summery with bright colours, elegant, intimate, full of love, and with a lovely representation of 2 cultures.
What was your favorite moment from the day?
It’s hard to choose just one! One of my favourite moments was during the reception,observing friends and family from all over the world and thinking that all these people are here because they love and support us, and just feeling really lucky that everything came together the way it did. Another favourite moment was walking down the aisle, locking eyes with my soon-to-be-husband for the first time and feeling a rush of emotion and excitement overcome me.
Did you walk down the aisle or have your first dance to any particular song?
For walking down the aisle, I was considering a few options of classic love songs I’d grown up with.Elvis Presley’s ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’ was the one that grabbed me the most and felt right. My maid of honour then helped mefind a gorgeous guitar and violin version which I immediately fell in love with. We did our first dance to Amazed by Lonestar which James chose as a love song he really likes.
Any DIY décor elements?
In some Indian weddings, brides walk down the aisle with their close family and friends under a “bed of flowers”, essentially a frame covered with a pattern of flowers. This is something I envisioned for my own wedding, however, it was hard to find such a frame in Hong Kong. Therefore, James did a bit of research on how it looks, picked up blocks of wood, hard string, and an array of flowers, and constructed the frame from scratch.
Where did you go on honeymoon?
We are going to Israel and Jordan in February. Some key things we’re looking forward to is floating in the Dead Sea and camping under the stars in Wadi Rum.
Any tips that you can give to future brides?
My biggest tip would be to work as a team with your fiancé. I do appreciate sometimes it’s harder if your partner lives in another country, but for all the ladies whose partner is in the same city, don’t feel like you’re in the wedding process alone.Turn to your fiancé for help along the way and even make wedding planning something fun you do together. I actually found the wedding planning to be a fun project as we allocated tasks and deadlines throughout the process and had little celebrations when we saw key things being checked off the list. Having said that, I also think it’s important to not make the wedding process the key factor in your relationship. Engagement is a beautiful stage of relationship progression and the wedding is just one part of the celebration. We had 8 months to plan the wedding, and during that time, we would allocate 1-2 times a week where we’d meet and discuss wedding tasks, and the rest of the time to go on dates and enjoy being a newly engaged couple.
Finally – soak it all in! You only get to do this one time and people really aren’t exaggerating when they say the days go by in a flash. Try and stop every now and then to just take a mental snapshot – these are the moments I remember most vividly now that nearly 5 months have passed.
Also try and take some time away just with your partner after the ceremony to celebrate and chat about how crazy it is that you’re finally married! We had a 2 day wedding and had a bit of time to ourselves after the first dayand I remember that we were both just absolutely buzzing with adrenaline and excitement – it was a very happy way to start our marriage.
Wedding feature thanks to: BWedding Invitations https://www.bweddinginvitations.com/
Wedding Invitations: E-card
Dress:David’s Bridal, Toronto https://www.davidsbridal.com/Roopkala, Mumbai
Makeup:Megumi Sekine http://megumisekine.com/
Shoes:David’s Bridal, New York
Accessories: Roopkala, Mumbai, Swarovski
Photographer:Ali Ghorbani https://www.aligstudios.com/
Ceremony Venue:Bethanie Chapel, Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong
Reception Venue:Holiday Inn Golden Mile, Hong Kong
Celebrant: Warwick Haldane- Haldanes LLP
Any Other Vendors:
SoundEasy (Sound system at dinner reception)
Bagpiper- Tony Ho (Church ceremony)