Fozia’s Mehndi 25.11.17

They say when you are looking for a wedding venue you should start looking as soon as the ring is on the finger. Well safe to say this wasn’t the case for when my sister got engaged. Born and raised in Manchester, my sister Fozia came to Cardiff to study at university and I decided to follow. Fozia is getting married in December and as a resident of Cardiff for 10 years, we felt that we should dedicate an aspect of her Asian bonanza to her Welsh family to prepare her for her big day. So, it was decided that we would host a Mehndi party for our friends and family here in Cardiff our second home. Mehndi, also referred to as henna, is applied to the bride’s hands and feet, I personally assumed it was to make them look pretty but tradition states it’s an old age remedy to reduce wedding nerves and stress by cooling the body down. Who would have thought it?

Life got busy and the planning for the mehndi party began to slow down. I decided that I needed to hit first gear and get this moving. Arranging dates to make sure everyone is available proved rather tricky but eventually I managed to hold down November 25th with 60 RSVP’s to follow. The venue was my primary concern and after searching high and low and being advised by her friends that it must be “fit for a queen”, I was informed of Insole Court by my good friend Sara. She forwarded me the link online captioned “this is the one”. I waited in anticipation as I loaded the link, the gothic architecture of Insole Court slowly began to load on my screen. I found myself navigating through the website and hitting the rooms to hire button, need I say that Sara was right. With the rooms glaring back at me from my mobile screen as I lay in bed, 9am could not come sooner for me to call and make my reservation. My nervous telephone voice was greeted by a welcoming and familiar voice on the other end of the line. My nerves faded and after querying, questioning and eventually booking the room without seeing them, I was finally able to throw myself into the planning.

I arranged to visit on the Wednesday evening to make a mental note for what I will be working with. Seeing the house from a distance I silently prayed that the room that I blindly booked was in there. As I walked closer with my eyes widened and in awe, I realised that there was no going back. The house was warm and welcoming, with an overwhelming hallway and marble staircase. My excitement was visible as I took in the serine atmosphere and the well- preserved history. Help was at hand at the main desk and I immediately made friends with the ladies that were there to give me a tour. They listened to my overly ambitious plans and assured me they would do whatever they could to make sure I could achieve, and they did. Organising alongside the staff at here didn’t feel like a chore, they helped me along the way from measuring tables to arranging pot plants.

The amenities provided by Insole court on the evening and throughout the process were very much appreciated. The staff have been beyond exceptional and words are not sufficing to show our gratitude. To Heledd for her patience and endless cooperation, to Cassie for her positive vibes of encouragement, and to Sisi for helping us clear up on the night. Every single member of staff at Insole court has at some point helped me host the event that I did and for that my family and I are ever so greatful. Thank you all for your patience and hard work. Our guests travelled from England, Ireland, Scotland and Sunny Wales, and they left with endless photographs, magical memories and nothing but praise regarding the house. The event may have come to an end, but we will continue to visit Insole Court and would encourage anyone wanting that touch of elegance and finesse to their special day to consider booking here. More importantly a team of staff that will ensure your event will go as smooth as possible and one that you can enjoy. Thank you once again to the hidden gem Insole Court for hosting a memorable evening and one that we will forever treasure.

Syeda Qura’tilaine Shah

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