A Tus­can Ro­mance

Jas­mine Gre­wal and Matthew Haar brought a dis­tinc­tively In­dian flavour to their bel­lis­sima Ital­ian wed­ding, writes Melissa Twigg

Hong Kong Tatler Weddings - - | Celebrations -

In­dia and Italy. Two coun­tries that boast ex­traor­di­nary ar­chi­tec­ture, world-fa­mous cuisines and an ar­ray of beau­ti­ful land­scapes.

So it was fit­ting to bring the two na­tions to­gether in uni­son when Jas­mine Gre­wal and Matthew Haar said their vows on a hot sum­mer’s af­ter­noon in Italy. As the bride is of In­dian de­scent, the cou­ple wanted to in­cor­po­rate some of the Asian coun­try’s her­itage into the most im­por­tant day of their lives. And, as they both live in Lon­don, it made Europe the nat­u­ral choice for a wed­ding that wel­comed guests from across the globe.

Eschew­ing a typ­i­cal Ital­ian cock­tail party of Aperol spritzes and aper­i­tivos, Jas­mine and Matthew kicked off the cel­e­bra­tions on day one in the Val d’Or­cia, Tus­cany, with a com­bined mehndi (henna) party and sangeet, an In­dian wed­ding tra­di­tion that in­volves singing, danc­ing and mu­sic.

“In the af­ter­noon we had an artist paint mehndi on our guests,” says Jas­mine, “and we served In­dian tea and snacks like pako­ras and samosas. We then served a buf­fet of some our favourite In­dian dishes like chicken tikka, dal makhani, bain­gan bharta and saag pa­neer. Af­ter din­ner, the sangeet—which re­ally is just a dance

party—com­menced with the jaago dance, which is a Pun­jabi tra­di­tion. Our DJ then played a mix of Bol­ly­wood and Western mu­sic.”

This spec­ta­cle was held on the main lawn out­side a beau­ti­ful villa at Borgo di Castelvec­chio, near the town of Pienza in the heart of the Val d’Or­cia. It came com­plete with fiery sun­set views over the cy­press treefilled hills. Guests wore tra­di­tional In­dian cloth­ing and daz­zled in or­nate saris and kur­tas—none more than the bride and groom. Jas­mine, who grew up in Hong Kong, wore a bridal lengha from San­toshi and Matthew, who is Amer­i­can, sher­wani from Jaan.

The fol­low­ing day dawned as bright and beau­ti­ful as any cou­ple could hope for in Italy dur­ing early sum­mer. Fol­low­ing the In­dian-themed party, the pair wanted a tra­di­tional Western mar­riage cer­e­mony in the Tus­can hills.

“The wed­ding cer­e­mony it­self was held at the high­est point of the Borgo, which was just mag­i­cal,” says Matthew. “As guests needed to be trans­ported up to the site, we had a small drinks re­cep­tion as peo­ple ar­rived.”

The views of the sur­round­ing hills were in­cred­i­ble, ac­cord­ing to the happy cou­ple, al­though the bride and groom—her in a wed­ding gown from Yolan Cris, a Barcelona based fash­ion house, and him in cus­tom-made three-piece suit by Ermenegildo Zegna— did a per­fect job of dis­tract­ing the guests from the mag­nif­i­cent coun­try­side that sur­rounded them.

“The set­ting was in­cred­i­ble,” says Jas­mine. “We were perched upon a hill­top with cy­press trees fram­ing the view of the Val d’Or­cia— with that par­tic­u­lar af­ter­noon light cast­ing shad­ows across the fields. Matt’s sis­ter-in­law served as the of­fi­ciant, which gave the cer­e­mony a very per­sonal touch. Both of us were walked down the aisle by both of our par­ents. Matt’s niece and my cousin were the flower girls, while Matt’s nephew was the ring-bearer.”

The brides­maids wore gowns from Jenny Yoo, de­signed to recre­ate the colour of morn­ing mist in Italy, but in dif­fer­ent cuts of lace and tulle. The grooms­men wore suits with match­ing ties and flo­ral boutonnieres— but all in dif­fer­ing shades of grey.

Fol­low­ing the cer­e­mony, the cou­ple walked down a lush, tree-lined hill to the Borgo’s main lawns to lis­ten to live mu­si­cians. Then it was time for din­ner with speeches in the shady court­yard of the villa, where the decor

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