Wedding at The Grove Hotel London of Japs and Niraj Chag

Apr 3, 2017

Wedding at The Grove London

I photographed the unconventional wedding of Niraj & Japs in London, we started at Hendon Town hall for their civil ceremony where they exchanged a last Rolo for a Ladoo instead of wedding rings! and then we went on to one of my favourite London wedding venues The Grove luxury hotel and spa for their reception. Its a wonderful venue with some great locations with beautiful gardens outside and a fabulous interior with a mix of traditional and contemporary furniture and architecture. Congratulations to Japs and Niraj and thank you for choosing me as your wedding photographer for your amazing London wedding.

Wedding photographer The Grove London

Niraj & Japs you had an unconventional wedding can I ask you why you chose to do things a little differently ?

We've never been good with rules and tried to break all the rules we could and didn't want to exchange rings for the simple fact that neither of us like them. Yes, it was risky! To be honest, initially we felt under pressure for a few weeks to  find the rings that will bind us together for an eternity. We shopped around looking for different metals and finishes and those shiny rocks they put in them till one day when we just stopped, thought and realised how little sense it made to do that. We were forcing ourselves to fit into the bullshit pressures of materialism, just so that people could look at our rings and judge us on how well we picked these arbitrary circular pieces of metal for each other. Realising that, we eliminated the idea of having rings altogether. We do not conform. We do not follow. We are like naughty kids who enjoy breaking rules all the time.

"Rings won't bring us closer but an awesome holiday will ?"

Niraj Chag

What we realised was we never really felt comfortable with the heaviness and seriousness of the traditional civil ceremony. It just didn't feel right that a moment that represents union and love should be thought of with a sense of trepidation and stoicism. We wanted our moment to be fun, free and child-like so we decided to inject a bit of levity into the occasion. That's how we decided on the exchanges of the ladoo and Niraj's very last rolo, both of our favourite sweets .

We took risks because we always do and when you do take risks like that, you do risk being asked questions like - electric blue suit? Why are you wearing a black shirt? Why are you wearing trainers? Blue shoes? Why aren't you wearing a proper wedding dress? Oh let's see your ring. You're not going to wear a ring? So you are going to get it later? You are NOT going to get it later? Ok so will you be wearing something else instead to show your commitment? NO? NOTHING? Baffled expression! Why aren't you wearing a tie? 

We don't eat meat so we didn't serve it either. Why should we compromise our morality? However, our vegetarian and fruitarian dietary requirements were so detailed and intricate that it took most part of our organisation time. I really have to say a massive thank you to Grace and team at The Grove for seeing it through to such detail. 

For traditionalists the question is why isn't there a champagne reception? My uncle was insistent that we have champagne and was going to pay for absolutely everything but we stuck to our guns. We don't drink so it really didn't make sense to have champagne. Instead we had a wide selection of beautiful fragrant herbal teas. Both our families were insistent on paying for the wedding throughout the process so we had to play ping pong for a while. It was hard saying no because it's an emotional thing for everyone but that way we would've definitely lost control. Niraj and I then decided we'll take the risk and if it got messed up with our rolos and afternoon tea, we take full responsibility. At least we'll know we did things our way.

One of our friends later said

-What was cool was none of us had to get drunk to have fun at your wedding


-Loved the ladoo and the rolo touch! Very creative, very original.

So refreshing! It was the most unconventional wedding we've ever been to!

People were there to support and celebrate with us. There were smiles all around. 

Our great friend Sky the magician wowed everyone with his world class magic!

And our guests really appreciated Niraj's bespoke collection of songs on the playlist.

Even with our photography, we did not want traditional photos. Barrie was a god send. His photos are artistic, creative and out of this world. We'd never met him in person so we had no idea what he was like in real life but his work spoke volumes. On the day we met him, we just realised how lucky we were to have him there. He was a smooth operator and ran the show perfectly. Its as if he had already painted the picture in his mind, with extreme precision, he lit us and clicked his camera within seconds creating truly artistic and magical shots. Barrie is a true artist! He's not one of the UK's top wedding photographers for no reason! if you are looking for a london wedding photographer he is your man!

Contact the Grove for your wedding or celebration 

If you are recently engaged you may be interested in a pre wedding photography session in London, Paris or Prague



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