Meet The Wedding Party

6 11 2018

I have always known who I would want to stand with me as I made the biggest commitment of my life.

Amanda and Jeanette were no-brainers. They are essentially my sisters and we have become bound to each other, just as family are. Twenty years of friendship means I have known more years with them than without them.

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I also decided to ask Vicky. Vicky is a newer friend (about 6 years) and we get on very well, but more importantly she played a large role in my life during all the cancer stuff. She was with me when I got the phone call telling me that I had cancer. She came with me to my chemotherapy appointments. She included me in social gatherings but made arrangements for me to be able to easily duck out if I felt tired and the need to rest. She brought Halloween to me because that year I couldn’t attend (due to recovering from my hysterectomy) Sean’s annual Halloween Party. She lent me a wig when I lost my hair. She made me feel like I was invincible at a time when I was at my weakest. She was also the first friend to meet RJ and welcome him to the group. Obviously, she had to stand with me at my wedding.

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RJ had asked 2 old work colleagues who shall remain nameless – mainly because they are no longer in his life… and to be honest they were not really friends. This is of course, very sad. I didn’t think it was a good idea to ask them, but truthfully, RJ doesn’t have that many friends. Don’t get me wrong, he has had many mates over his lifetime, but as the circumstances in which he met them changed or ended – so did the relationships.

Luckily, my friends are amazing and have adopted RJ – and he, them. So much so that his two groomsmen are my very good friends of 7 years.

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Li and Sean have been great friends to me, and for better or for worse they are like my brothers. They embraced RJ and us as a couple and their support has been immeasurable. RJ felt that on such a nerve wrecking (but magical) day, he would do well to have people who support him and us as a couple. It was also important for him to have groomsmen who can keep him calm and light on the day. Enter Li and Sean.

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I’m thrilled with my band of Merry Men/Women and I think the wedding party has been chosen with care and consideration. I know they will only add to an already life-changing day!

Tara xoxo

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My Proposal

6 11 2018

In recent years a trend of asking your Bridesmaids and Groomsmen to be a part of your wedding has become a bit of a production. I’m not a huge fan of the overly dramatic proposals, but I do like the idea of asking with a series of small gifts and knick-knacks in order to get everyone excited and set-up a pace for the wedding preparation and the day itself.

With that in mind I made up Bridesmaid Boxes for my ladies (as pictured below):

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Included in the boxes:

  • Cadbury’s Chocolate
  • Peach Bath Bomb
  • The Knot: Bridesmaid Handbook
  • Bridesmaid Planner
  • Bridesmaids (Extended Addition DVD)
  • Mini Print of Colour Scheme
  • Gold Foil Tattoo/Nail Transfers
  • Gold, Orange & Blue Nail Polish
  • Diamond Pen
  • Mini Prosecco
  • Personalised Box

I was quite proud of my little box of goodies!

RJ’s Groomsmen Bags:

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Included in the bags:

  • The Hangover (DVD)
  • Mini Jack Daniel’s & Coke
  • Cigar
  • Yorkie Chocolate Bar
  • Card

We both presented our proposal gifts to our maids and men during the Engagement dinner (to those whom attended – Vicky & Li couldn’t make it).

It was a nice way to kick off the celebrations and the beginning of planning although it felt very anti-climactic, and like it meant more to me than it did to them… which it probably did. Oh well, I still enjoyed it…

Tara xoxo





Wedding Mood Board (Colour Scheme)

6 11 2018

So now comes the fun bit: choosing a colour scheme.

Lots of things can play a part in choosing the colours for a wedding. Here are a few things to be aware of:

The colours used for your wedding will be looked at and poured over for months (possibly years in preparation for the wedding), so you need to choose them carefully. Looking at your favourite colour long enough will make you sick of it.

Having said this, taking into account you and your partner’s favourite colour(s) is an obvious starting point…

Colours that mean something to you – the colours of your national flag or the colours you were wearing when you met (or some other significant time) can be a source of inspiration.

The time of year that you are to marry (the season) can certainly help navigate colour choices.

Your chosen venue can make a difference to your colour scheme – as we found out. If you’re getting married on the beach, for example, not using different hues of blue seems like a missed opportunity – that’s not say you have to use blues, but you catch my drift.

Skin colouring. However you twist it, some colours just look better than others on certain skin tones. If you look good around any colour, you are blessed indeed.

Originally, we had chosen Hot Pink and Orange:

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We loved the colours, but after considering all of the above, we realised the colours would make RJ fade into the background.

Our venue is an Italianate mansion and the colours were a little garish for the beautifully classic backdrop.

Although these colours look lovely together and have a fresh, vibrant and summery feel – I’ve never liked pink… any sort of pink.

So… we went back to the drawing board.

We felt we needed something classic and sophisticated that we would look good surrounded by, that our wedding party would look good in and that would do justice to our venue.

RJ was open to suggestions and very flexible on all accounts, so it was left up to me to present him with ideas and combinations.

I have always loved autumn and the colours associated with it. In fact, as a little girl I always wanted to get married in autumn surrounded by all the warm tones of the season with the crisp chill of the air.

When I described my perfect childhood wedding season, RJ quite rightly said “we may not be getting married at the time of year you would have liked but there’s no reason we can’t use the colours you love!”

I agonised a little about using autumnal colours in summer but quickly got over it when we landed on French Navy (not quite as dark as regular navy), Orange & Gold with hints of Berry. It just felt classy and sophisticated, right for our venue, it fit us as a couple and would look good on our bridal party and around us.

So I present you with our official Wedding Mood Board:

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Tara xoxo





Engagement Dinner

22 10 2018

Traditionally, as far as I have understood, when two people get serious, they meet each other’s families and are brought into the ‘fold’ of each family respectively. Then, when the time comes, the man asks for the blessing of his partner’s parents before proposing.

This isn’t quite how things happened for us. We did it all a bit backwards. RJ was brought into the fold of my family, he proposed – I accepted, and then he asked for my parents blessing.

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Late Summer 2017 we had a small engagement dinner at a lovely steak house in Barking called Cristina’s – in an effort to catch up with some of the steps we’d jumped ahead of.

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We invited our immediate families and the people whom we were going to ask to be a part of the wedding party.

It was a bit of an excuse to celebrate but mainly for our families (in this country) to meet each other.

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We had this gorgeous eggless cream topped cake as dessert (pictured above).

We gave favours of mini mason jars filled with orange, brown and blue M&M’s tied with twine and a thank you tag. We had heart shaped confetti which was cut out of romantic literature.

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My parents got these beautiful flowers delivered to the restaurant in time for our arrival and my aunt in Trinidad bought us a bottle of champagne through the restaurant website to be served for the toast.

It was honestly lovely.

Of course, not everything went to plan…

One groomsman and one bridesmaid couldn’t come. The waitresses at the restaurant were rude, unaccommodating and disorganised.

Otherwise, it was really nice to have (nearly) everyone in one place and getting the opportunity to meet each other. It was nice that my family got to meet his and for everyone to meet (most of) the wedding party and get familiar with faces that they would be seeing over the lead up to the wedding.

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My sister-in-law-to-be made me this lovely memory keepsake of all the engagement dinner bits and I love it! I’ve put it up in the hallway and every time I see it, I am reminded of all the best parts of that night and the excitement I felt at RJ and I celebrating our engagement with our nearest and dearest.

Tara xoxo

 





Featured Piece: My Father – By Shekhar Mahabir

4 01 2016

Another feature piece by my father, Shekhar Mahabir. Enjoy

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One of my earliest memories of my father is when I was in my final year at Avocat Vedic School. I was required to choose which secondary school I wished to be considered for in order of preference. I chose Iere High School as my first option since all my friends is class were doing so. When I showed the form to my Dad, without hesitation, he promptly rearranged my options and entered Naparima College as my first choice. My next clear memory is on the morning of the common entrance results when he woke me up early around 6 am to go to the my grandfather’s parlour to check the newspaper for the publication of the successful students and their chosen schools. When we saw that I had passed for Naparima College, he did not say anything to me but I knew he was happy with the result and I was hugely relieved that I had made it.

The pungent whiff of tobacco smoke curling from a cigarette is one of the earliest memories I have of my father. I started secondary school in the same month that we moved into our newly built house down from the junction. Before that we used to rent an old wooden house in Siparia old road from my uncle Keese, my father’s cousin. Every morning as we got in the small Austin A40, the wafting smoke became an integral part of the start of the drive to secondary school in San Fernando, some twelve miles away. Then he would proceed to Penal Vedic School in Penal some fifteen miles away to his work as a primary school headteacher. He used to leave home promptly at 7 am and proceed at a steady, comfortable pace. He did not drive fast nor was he slow. On evenings on the way back home he would pass to pick me up from the bench on Broadway exactly at 3.30 every day after school. He was never late. On most evenings I would stretch out across the entire back seat of the car and fall gently asleep to the slow rhythm of his sure and steady hand at the wheel.

Half an hour later he would turn into the driveway of our home and I would wake on the sound of the hand brake being pulled out. Emerging from the car I would walk into the warm smell of curry as I approach my mother rocking on her hammock and address her with the same combined greeting, “Namaste, ah want meh food please”.

I don’t remember if I used to change from my school clothes first or after, but I really appreciated that hot cooked meal. My father was partial to curry so it would be some variation of one curry dish or another.

We didn’t talk much to each other, not because of any antagonism or argument. It’s just that we did not have anything to discuss. Most of the interaction between us was understood. When we returned home I went about my pursuits and he his. I never thought about or observed what he did. Most times in the early evening as the dusk was settling he would take a walk a few hundred yards up the road towards Avocat junction where the Fyzabad road forked into the Siparia old road. There on the pavement I would see him standing with Azam (Tembo) or another of his friends chatting and enjoying a relaxing evening watching the traffic go by. We barely ever encountered each other on the road and by the time it grew dark he would be home in front the television watching the 7 o’clock news. Perhaps he would catch another show until around 9 or 10 and go off to sleep.

While I was on the block liming I learnt a little about my father from some of the older fellas who were hanging out there. Once I was told of how he was a legend at draughts at an early age and that when he was eleven or twelve years old he was such a prodigy that there was no player, young or old, for miles around who could beat him at the board game. Tales were told of how he used to be proudly hoisted on the shoulder of the men from the village and taken to other communities east, west, north and south and used to demolish the opposition players with consummate ease. How much of this was true and how much exaggerated I will never know. But his reputation was widely acknowledged and confirmed by all who were in a position to be consulted in conversation.

Another story I was told about my father was about his struggles as a student at Naparima College during secondary school. I heard that he used climb coconut trees, pick and sell fresh coconuts early on mornings and late on evenings when he was a young man in order to make enough money to look after his needs. At that time he used ride a bicycle the twelve miles to and from San Fernando. At that time I suppose he lived at Avocat junction where my grandfather had his little parlour, where one of the unique specialities was freshly made nuts and channa in wrapped up packets which his sister Didia used to make. I can still smell the aroma emanating from those packets.

Yet another anecdote that I recall is how he came to wear spectacles. It was said that my father was a keen cricketer in his youth and his special fielding place was as a wicket keeper. One day while behind the wicket a ball passed the batsman and struck him in the face. As a consequence his vision was affected and he was forced to have his eyesight tested and was persuaded to wear spectacles.

Another aspect of my father was the times he was at his desk studying. I know for sure he used to study hindi and Sanskrit and when my sisters used to go to hindi classes in San Fernando he was also studying preparing for a qualification in Sanskrit. In fact I learnt later on that he was the first student in Trinidad and Tobago who ever passed the Advanced Levels Sanskrit examinations.

But his aptitude for study did not end there. My father was an avid racing fan and he used to play the racing pools regularly. In fact every Saturday he would head for the Betting shops by the market in San Fernando and spend most of the day there. Whether he won or lost I never knew but this was an integral part of his weekly custom. And this is what he studied at his desk as well. There would be a pile of different racing books with detailed information about the horses and the conditions and the jockeys and he would spend long hours poring over these study materials in preparation for his Saturday morning pastime.