Harry Potter Wedding
Weddings are emotional for all brides and grooms, but you know you have something special when your guests can see the love you have for one another. I was lucky enough to attend a wedding where this was most definitely the case – the bride and groom captivated their guests with their love-emitting-aura more than a Patronus can repel dementors.
Melika Jeddi and Matt Tallbot met in their first year at The Royal Holloway University in Surrey. They first locked eyes with one another when they played the campus-wide game ‘Humans vs. Zombies’. They soon realised they had the same interests, which led to their friendship lighting up like a Lumos charm.
I feel that whenever you talk about a wedding you must begin with the proposal. Matt organised a Harry Potter treasure hunt around their university campus on 18th November 2015, as he knew too well that Melika was an avid Harry Potter fan – but who isn’t, right?
“He’d written cute Harry-Potter-related-clues and at every other location there was a Harry Potter themed present…” explained Melika. Matt was with her when she discovered the clues and presents, pleased that she enjoyed his hard work all but knowing what was to come.
“Then we got to the last clue, and it took me to my favourite place on campus – a bench hidden in the forest…I looked around for the present, but I couldn’t find it anywhere, then I turned around. Matt was standing with a grin on his face…he pulled out a copy of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, and got down on one knee, opening it to the chapter ‘The Unbreakable Vow’ where there was a ring box embedded in the pages. ”
So it only seemed fitting that they continued this Harry Potter theme with their wedding as well.
The Magical Wedding Day
Melika and Matt decided to get married in Surrey, as that is where they met, fell in love and will be living together. They chose the stunning Surrey Downs Golf Club in Kingswood and, as a guest, I was pleased to know that there was plenty of free parking. What’s more, it not only has a civil ceremony licence, but also offers accommodation, which meant that guests did not have to worry about travel because they could stay at the venue.
The location was idyllic, set within an Area of Natural Outstanding Beauty and they couldn’t have been luckier with the weather – even if they had drunk a bottle of Felix Felicis. There was warmth to the air, the sun in the sky and not a cloud in sight.
I arrived at the venue and was impressed with ‘The Willow Suite’ as it has its own entrance, away from the reception where golfers were, which made the ceremony feel private and intimate. Walking through the entrance I was met with the spacious nature of the suite. It was open-plan, having full-length windows allowing natural light to flood the room. It was neutrally decorated which meant that Melika and Matt’s theme could stand out more than Neville Longbottom in a potions class (but in a good way!).
I noticed their table plan that was in the style of the Marauder’s Map. The tables were named with the classes from Hogwarts – Flying, Defence against the Dark Arts, Care of Magical Creatures, Potions, Herbology, Astronomy and my table – Divination (I didn’t see that one coming).
Wedding Guests Dressed in House Colours
As I looked around I noticed other guests had complied with the optional dress code of house colours – I had opted for the dark blue of Ravenclaw but there was a mix of Hufflepuff yellow, Slytherin green and the red of Gryffindor.
Walking further into the suite I was aware of the seating area for the ceremony, which was set up beautifully. The chairs and covers were white with purple bows. The purple accent colour added a touch of magic – a colour associated with imagination, which was aplenty with all the Harry Potter-related bric-a-brac displayed and extra touches that screamed a Harry-Potter-theme louder than a possessed Katie Bell.
I took my seat next to my friend, Rosie, who was in Gryffindor-red (no house dividing here). We were both nervous and yet when Melika walked down the aisle she seemed content with a massive smile as if she had just won the final Quidditch match of the year.
Melika’s dress was beautiful – a gorgeous ivory gown from Love Me Do by designer, Alfred Angelo with beading detail. Boutique owner, Sharon Underwood said that,
“Melika came to our outlet store in Kingston Upon Thames on our sale day in March, although it was very busy, Melika knew exactly what she wanted, and was very focused! When she found it there was much excitement with her friends and family, even the other brides in the store could not help but smiling, she was so happy. Her gown was made of the softest chiffon and great boning which, as you can see from the photos, gave her a lovely shape, she added her own attire to adapt it to her style of wedding, it was an absolute pleasure to be part of Melika’s wedding and we wish her an amazing married life!” – Love Me Do Bridal Boutique
Their love was so pure that not even an Amortentia potion (the most powerful love potion) could rival it! Their personally written vows were beautiful and portrayed the couples’ deep connection. Melika ended her vows with the famous ‘always’, which is the famous quote from Severus Snape.
The newly announced Mr and Mrs Tallbot then walked down the aisle as confetti was showered over them, but this confetti wasn’t ordinary confetti, no, it was Harry Potter pages confetti sourced from Love the Small Things.
We were then ushered to the private patio area of the golf club where we were served canapes by Runnymede Catering and had a chance to enjoy the great weather while the newly-weds sped off in a golf cart across the green for photos.
The Wedding Breakfast
The tables were decorated with relatable objects that Melika had sourced. The Divination table had tea cups, a crystal ball and tarot cards. At each place, our place names were written on jars of “Matt and Melika’s Honeydukes Extravaganza!” another touch that added to the magic of the special day, also from Love the Small Things.
The atmosphere was rife with celebration only to be intensified by the classical string ensemble, City String Trio, who played while we dined. They played a variety of instrumentals including the traditional My Heart Will Go On, the modern She Will be Loved and Beneath Your Beautiful as well as the famous and anticipated Harry’s Wondrous World and Potter Waltz.
We helped ourselves to the buffet selection that Melika and Matt had chosen – a balanced mix of dishes, from Tikka Masala, Welsh Fisherman’s Pie and Melika’s favourite, cheesy mash, to tomato pasta, rice and hummus, all of which were professionally presented and delicious.
Afterwards, dessert was served, again, with multiple options to choose from. A wide range of mouth-wateringly fresh fruits, chocolate cake, cheese selections and biscuits were presented and I can honestly say I wish I could’ve eaten more. And that’s when they brought out the wedding cake and I just had to have some, whether I knew a stomach-expander spell or not.
Rajesh, from Runnymede Catering said:
“Melika’s wedding was amazing. The venue was superb and all the planning and ideas were outstanding. We enjoyed the whole experience.”
The cake, of course, was purple with the design incorporating the Hogwarts logo. Their cake was created by Alexander Taylor Cakes who offer a bespoke service creating tailor-made wedding cakes unique to the individual. It was divine – the sponge was soft, the cream was light and the jam was delectable.
The Magnificent Finale
Melika and Matt decided to conclude their wedding with a dedication to magic. They had Magic Circle Magician, Christopher Howell, as their form of entertainment and he took our breath away – more than a knock to the stomach with a Quaffle would.
Christopher Howell can cater for all ages and captivated the whole audience with both his audience participation show and then table close-up magic afterwards. His magic show included a warm up that deceived beyond belief, followed by an independent audience selection of words from books. Howell then announced the words the audience had chosen, having never seen the page. Most impressive was his conclusion, which was The Three Oranges – a story that must be seen to be believed.
Christopher Howell commented:
“Performing magic shows at weddings is special because of it being a way to really give the diverse group of guests something to enjoy together and chat about…Matt and Melika’s wedding was cool for me because I found out they’re such big Harry Potter fans so this was my chance to show them some ‘real’ magic.”
Overall Wow Levels
To sum up this day would be impossible and I was only a guest! I was astounded at the thought and effort put into making this wedding a memorable experience for all involved. That is why I give it, an Overall Wow Levels (or OWLs for short) ten out of ten for enjoyment, entertainment and presence of love. Mr and Mrs Tallbot, you have passed your OWLs!
Images by photographer, Charlotte Bleackley and Hannah White.