East meets west at the wedding of Sally-Anne and Mark


Having first met 20 years previously, Sally-Anne Sangra and Mark Spooner finally found themselves walking down the aisle together last autumn.

The couple's mixed cultural heritage made its presence felt throughout the celebrations, which involved traditional customs from both India and England.

Before the ceremony at the Red Lion Hotel, Hampshire, the bride's family officially welcomed the groom's with garlands and Indian sweets. Known as 'Milni', the custom requires the males in the families to meet and greet their opposite numbers and exchange garlands.

The groom wore a traditional black Prince Edward suit with accessories to match his bride's outfit, which took the form of a traditional red and gold sari with accompanying henna tattoos and ornate jewellery. Designed by Sally-Anne herself and made in her native India, the outfit, which was adorned in gold embroidery and semi-precious stones, held particular significance for her.

The happy couple also invited the guests to wear Indian dress and many took them up on the offer, bringing an array of colours and styles to the festivities.

The food included a traditional roast beef and Yorkshire pudding feast during the day and an Indian buffet later at night.

The highlight of the day was the entrance of the bride and groom to traditional Indian 'dhol' drums.

After eating to their heart's content and dancing to bhangra music, the newlyweds left the following day for their honeymoon in Mombasa.