DAY 1 - INDIAN CEREMONY
There is no word to describe the magnanimity of the two day Indian wedding event of Rupa and Anish this August. It would be an understatement if I said the Wedding was Amazing. It was truly 'Out of this World'. In the backdrop of beautiful landscape of Surrey's countryside, this wedding accommodated over a thousand guests (on both days), a wide range of cuisines, live demos, the vibrant colours and all endearing entertainment, it was like something out of the Great Gatsby or something you would experience at the Cannes Film festival.
The Fruitima team have been preparing for this event for months, with the extensive design briefs, sight visits, meetings, plan and staff training. Attention to detail was the key factor.
I was e-mailed also silouhuette image of the couple for me to use at my descretion.
The brief given was that “we want something WOW!’
THE BRIEF & SIGHT VISIT
So Wow it will be!. We created a 'Wow Factor' package for Anish and Rupa’s wedding.
They wanted unique exotic fruits; Thai fruits, Indian fruits exotic fruits that were unique and different. So I had mangosteen, rhambhutans, dragon fruits, phillslis amongst the other usual fruits on the list. The theme colour was fuchsia. The fruit display was to be the centrepiece of the food area and it was to function as the desert counter so it had to be magnifique! It had to be tall, visual and colourful. It had to shout out “Fruit Factor” to the guests.
The event was to take place in a marquee, in their back garden. Yes it was in their back yard. Well I wouldn’t say yard, more like acres and acres of land, a lake and a little hill; all within the confinement of their private property.
When I went to do the sight visit I was amazed at the granduer of the place. The large circus topped marquees were under construction and there wasn’t just one marquee. There were at least 3 large ones and three smaller ones scattered around the vast green land they called their garden. Each marwuee had their individual function. There was one for the kitchen work space, one for the food area and the largest one was where the party was happening.
Then the three smaller ones were a bar, children's area and a general relaxing area with sofa and couch.
ON THE DAY
Azad (my partner) woke up at 1am and went to the fruit market to get all the fruits. In the morning I had my team together and got started with the preparation. Today was my chance to show them what Fruitima is all about. 'First impression is the last impression’ as they say. My Thai fruits had arrived in the morning after a long battle to source mangosteen at a short notice. The floral decorations also came on time. We packed the van and were on our way.
Whilst Azad and the girls started with the set-up at the food court, I carried on cutting and chopping fruits. We were going to chop till the sheep came home. We were met by some friendly neighbours who buzzed around at the smell of juicy nectar of oranges and the mangoes. They were none other than our friendly neighbourhood wasps. WASPS! Now thats something we didn’t take into consideration at our briefing session. Point to note: when preparing fruits in summer, make way for the wasps.
The whole place looked magnificent. Comparing the venue before and after set-up I began to appreciate the hard work and effort put in by the organisers to pull such an event of this magnitude.
Whilst setting up I can hear the hindu priest performing the religious ceremony. The guests looked stunning with their Indian attire and not to mention the Bride and groom looked absolutely stunning. I had two member of my staff to dress according to the theme as well, in sherwani and shalwar suit.
After setting up, our fruit station didn’t look too bad either. On the fruit table we had fruits carvings, cut fruit platter, whole fruits, wafer cones, wafer bowls and fruit kebabs as well as a good spread of whole fruits. These were arched over with a beautiful floral arch with cascading limes and grapes. It all needed to be ready by 6:30pm.
As the guests waited patiently for the food court to open, and when the curtain fall happened, there was an eloquent stampede. The guests were spoilt for choice. There were 4 different cuisines to choose from. Thai Food, Inidan cuisine, Italian, Pan Asian, Salad bar and not to forget the Paan stall, and the Cha wala stall. and for desert, well there were fruits, and ice-cream. The most admired part of the fruit section was the silhouette of the bride and groom, which was a surprise. And the mangosteen were very popular. it is a soft squishy pulps on the inside with a hard outer layer. We were running back and forth with the platters of fruit trays as they were replenished very fast.
Our function wasn’t just to serve fruits and feed the guest, we also had to entertain them. Yes, that was the easy part. whilst I stood in front of eager guests wanting to know more about how I carve the intricate designs on the fruits, I actually showed them how its done, with my live demo. It was very interactive as I was carving I was interacting with the guests and gave them a brief history of fruit carving, the techniques applied, it origins, and my journey to the art form. I did feel like a mini celebrity, especially when the camera lights fell on my face, I was literally under the spot light. :)
The fruit station was very busy throughout the night. After fighting off the wasps, the night ended smoothly.
Oh yes, we managed to take a selfie with the Fruitima team.
Professional photos by Leo Johnson Photography