"We felt Diana's was such a beautiful wedding."
A couple made an intriguing move when they booked out St Paul’s Cathedral to have a wedding inspired by the nuptials of King Charles III and Princess Diana.
Ravina Bhanot and Sahil Nichani managed to secure the prestigious venue for £6,000.
They also had identical ring designs and flowers.
Similar to Diana, Ravina arrived in a horse-drawn carriage. The couple were able to book the venue due to their parents having OBEs and MBEs.
Both are doctors from North East London. They married in September 2023 in front of 300 guests in a melding of Hindu and Christian traditions.
They met at Queen Mary University of London, where they studied medicine. Their graduation ceremony was also held at St Paul’s Cathedral.
Ravina divulged into their fascination with Charles and Diana’s wedding. She explained:
“It was a fairytale opportunity. We felt Diana’s was such a beautiful wedding.
“We wanted to emulate it and put our own spin on it.
“Diana was a woman of the people and a pioneer, and we have also done a lot of charity work.
“Sahil works for Great Ormond Street Hospital and Diana was a patron there – our work is what she stood for.
“We wanted to remember her and also do a beautiful wedding for us.”
In this remembrance, the couple went to the extent of speaking to the Dean of the cathedral, who officiated Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding.
Sahil expressed his initial reservations but added that he ultimately chose to go for this high-scale plan:
“Initially, I was a bit sceptical about having a royal wedding because I didn’t know what people would think.
“But then I realised we were lucky enough to have an incredible opportunity – life is short, so we should go for it.
“In St Paul’s, even for the rehearsal, as soon as you walk in, you feel the history.
“The wedding was one of the best days of my life for sure – it felt like we were in a movie, but it was our movie.”
Sahil also extended gratitude to his parents. He continued:
“It goes by so quickly and you just want to pause time to savour and capture the whole moment.
“I’m so grateful to our parents – especially my mum – for having such an important role and helping us arrange the wedding.”
For the occasion, Ravina wore a beautiful Pronovias dress while Sahil looked dapper in a suit.
The bride carried a white bridal bouquet and a sapphire ring adorned her finger.
Ravina said: “One particular scene I loved watching from Diana’s wedding was the scene when she comes in her horse and cart and runs up to the stairs.
“The dress came out with the horses and the band playing.
“She looked so beautiful, nobody had ever seen such a dress or such a veil.
“It was such an iconic moment in history.
“I think we wanted to bring in a lot of Bollywood and also emulate the royalty – that angle was quite unique to us.
“I don’t think St Paul’s had ever seen it. We wanted to bring a first with a fusion.”
After the ceremony, the party moved to Hilton Bankside, where 450 guests celebrated the marriage with Asian cuisine and a dance galore.
Ravina explained the circumstances of the honeymoon. She recollected:
“We had a week left of annual leave each, and jam-packed it full of relaxing, doing water sports and eating wonderful food.
“We had such a lovely time at the wedding, then we got to spend a week sitting back and enjoying it.
“It was so nice to think back on how beautiful the day was – it was like a dream come true.”
Diana married King Charles III in 1981 and they divorced in 1996.
On August 31, 1997, Diana tragically passed away in a car crash.