Eastern promise

Tahira and Barrie's literary-themed wedding was a colourful celebration of their cultural roots

Tahira and Barrie got together after a mutual friend set them up on a blind date. They met for drinks and hit it off immediately. “Drinks swiftly turned into dinner and then a movie, so I guess we had our first couple of dates in one day,” laughs Barrie. “I arrived a little late after getting lost and I remember Barrie's smile and the warm hug he gave me,” Tahira adds.

More than two years later, Barrie popped the question at Southampton General Hospital, where Tahira's a doctor. “The only way I knew I could surprise her was in the one place she wouldn't think of – her work,” explains Barrie. With the help of friends, he hatched a plan to get Tahira into a colleague's office, where he was secretly waiting. “I did the whole down-on-one-knee thing,” he recalls. The rest of the day had been planned out meticulously, including lunch at their favourite restaurant in the New Forest. “I'd even arranged a viewing of Avington Park, a venue Tahira had casually mentioned before as a lovely place to get married.”

One of the greatest surprises of the day was the bespoke ring Barrie had made for her. “Tahira had seen a Tiffany design, which she really liked but it wasn't really suitable as an engagement ring. Knowing she loved it, I got Parchment Jewellers in Winchester to create one based on the same style. Needless to say, she was extremely happy,” adds Barrie. Read on for the couple's account of their stylish big day...

Eastern promise: Image 1
We chose to marry at Avington Park because it's grand without being opulent, and the grounds are beautiful. – Barrie

 

Eastern promise: Image 2aI had my hands painted with henna a couple of days before the wedding. – Tahira

Eastern promise: Image 2 “I wore two different outfi ts by Pakistani designer Tazeen Hasan, one for the religious and civil ceremonies, and another for the wedding breakfast and evening reception.” – Tahira

 

Eastern promise: Image 3
I spent the night before the wedding at Avington Park, and was awake quite early. It was very quiet and I could hear the peacocks in the grounds. – Tahira

 

Eastern promise: Image 4aI accessorised my look with my mother's wedding jewellery. – Tahira

Eastern promise: Image 4 We chose different authors for our table names including Roald Dahl, Oscar Wilde and Douglas Adams. – Barrie

 

Eastern promise: Image 5
In Pakistani culture, during the wedding breakfast the bride's sister gives the groom a glass of milk and he has to negotiate a price for it. It was presented to me in a school milk bottle and, as they hadn't stipulated the currency, I offered a 1,000 Pakistani rupee note, worth about £16. Needless to say, I was asked to renegotiate in sterling! – Barrie

 

Eastern promise: Image 6aThe venue has a lovely library, and since we both love to read, we knew we wanted to have our wedding breakfast there. – Barrie

Eastern promise: Image 6 Our caterers provided mocktails and snacks between the Muslim ceremony and the civil one. – Barrie

 

Eastern promise: Image 7
“Our photographers, Irvin and Charisse, were wonderful and our families loved them. We barely noticed them taking the photos.” – Tahira

 

Tahira Akram and Barrie Jarman's contact book


Accommodation
Solent Hotel & Spa, Fareham
www.shirehotels.co.uk

Bride's attire
Tazeen Hasan
www.facebook.com/Official.Tazeen.Hasan

Bride's hair and make-up
Fiona Tanner Makeup
www.ftmakeuplondon.com

Catering
Greenleaf
www.greenleafservices.com

Engagement ring
Parchment Jewellers
www.parchmentjewellers.com

Evening Reception
Flowers Little Lillies
www.little-lillies.co.uk

Flowers
Bloomers Flowers of Botley
www.bloomersbotley.co.uk

Groom's suit
Moss Bros.
www.moss.co.uk

Photographer
Wistful Two Photography
www.wistfultwophotography.com

Pre-wedding family dinner
Chef Gary
www.chefgary.co.uk

Venue
Avington Park
www.avingtonpark.co.uk