“It’s been a tough ride, but we got there in the end.”
We interview Andy & Sakshi, a modern couple brought together by their shared adventurous spirit. We explore the inspiration behind their bespoke wedding bands.
How’d you guys meet?
S: We met through a mutual friend of ours. She was my best friend at university so Andy and I knew each other on a social basis. In 2011 Andy decided to go backpacking in Thailand and sent out a message asking, “does anyone want to join me?” I was going through a rough time at work so I decided to go with him!
We spent two and a half weeks traveling and getting to know each other. We dated for about six months before he asked me out. We’ve known each other since we were at 18, but actually got together in 2011.
Andy, when did you know that Sakshi was the one?
A: She’s always been the one! Okay, maybe a year and a half after we started dating?
Was it a long distance relationship?
S: I used to live in Essex and Andy lived in London. It was an hour and a half distance between us, so we would only see each other about twice a month but we would talk all the time. We maintained that for the first few years in our relationship until I moved to London.
Sakshi, when did you know that Andy was the one?
S: Well I knew around a similar timeframe. I knew when I was about to tell my parents that I’m with him and for me to say that, I knew it was serious. In my culture, if you tell your parents you have a boyfriend, that means you’re gonna get married.The casual concept of dating is not the norm. We were dating for that year and a bit, and then I was like, right, I’m going to tell my parents. It felt real after that–like ‘this is it’.
Did your parents approve? Were they excited?
S: Not exactly. Our relationship has gone through a lot. When we got together, obviously you’re in a bubble. Everything’s lovely and you’re in a honeymoon period. Then when we both told our parents, they weren’t happy about it. It’s taken us about five years in our relationship to get both sets of parents on board. When we got engaged, it changed. I think they finally accepted that it was happening now. They couldn’t do anything about it–they had prayed enough.
It’s been a tough ride, but we got there in the end.
Love conquers all! Andy, do you have a favourite memory of a time that you both share together?
A: I would say some of my memories from Thailand are my favourite. That was when I was just getting to know Sakshi and I was curious.
Sakshi, what is your favourite memory of a time you both shared together?
S: Paris. He took me away for my birthday and everyone said this was when he would propose. We were at a really good point in our relationship where our families were on board and it didn’t feel so much of a secret. There was much less pressure and everything was stable. Paris was really nice, it was a really romantic weekend. We had some money saved for the trip, so that was fun!
Andy, when did you propose?
A: I proposed September 2017, about two years ago now. I proposed in Bruges as it was a romantic place that I’ve always wanted to go to. I designed a bespoke engagement ring with another company, but it wasn’t made on time so I had to go to Claire’s accessories and buy something else to propose with. I had it all planned out in my head to make it really romantic. I decided to propose in a really nice park after we had our dinner, by a water fountain.
So was it a surprise?
S: It was and it wasn’t, I knew he was going to propose at some point and that something was going on because my best friend was sending me random pictures of rings and trying to see what I liked. Andy was abusing our friendship as she is not the best at keeping secrets! So I knew it was coming, but I didn’t know when it would be, just because that year was so full on.
For Andy’s 30th birthday, his sister gave us two tickets to go to Bruges. He asked me if I wanted to make a weekend of it? So for me, I didn’t realise that was the holiday. It happened really nicely, I’m glad it wasn’t in a hot air balloon because I would have known straight away. I’m glad it wasn’t in public either because I cried a lot.
For me it was nice that it was intimate, it was just us. It was perfect. It was really sweet and romantic–the way he proposed was really thoughtful.
We had dinner and Andrew was like, “let’s go for a stroll.” I said, “it’s 10 o’clock, we’ll get mugged!” We walked for a little bit in the park and then we came across this fountain. Funny enough, we had walked through the park that day and I thought to myself that it would be a perfect spot to get engaged. So we were standing there and Andy gave me a video to watch. He had created a video that compiled all our memories from our travels throughout the years. At the end of the video it said, “Will you marry me?”
When he originally gave me the video he was like, “Oh, I’ve made something. I want you to watch it.” I thought I was going to watch some football stuff because he’s normally creating things like that for work. It surprised me, I was in floods of tears by the middle of it. I said yes at some point!
A: When we were in the park earlier that day, I thought it was the perfect spot. The restaurant was close by so it worked well.
S: I had read up about this restaurant being the geek that I am, I was looking at loads of different places that we could go and have dinner. I said, “oh Andrew, we should go to this restaurant.” The directions to the restaurant said that we had to walk through the park. Andy was really quick to agree with it. I didn’t realise that he was planning to propose. During the trip, he got really excited when he spotted a Claire’s accessories and I was like, “honey, they are everywhere”. I hadn’t taken into account what he might be looking for!
A: I found the perfect placeholder ring as well, so that was good.
S: Yeah, when he proposed he said, “okay, this isn’t actual ring, this is your dummy ring.” I said, “oh, that’s fine I love it anyway!”
We had been talking about marriage for a long time and just because of the conflict within our families, we weren’t sure if it was okay for it to happen. Then it happened!
I was just so excited that he went for it. I was turning 30 and it was time to make a change in life. I have given us an ultimatum–that if we haven’t made our minds up by 30, it might not be worth our time anymore. Being a woman, we have a certain mindset because at some point you begin to think about having a family. If it isn’t working, you want to have enough time to date and see other people. I think I was being very practical about it. Luckily, he already had things in motion. He was planning the proposal for a year and I had no idea.
Are you both married now?
S: Yes. We got married on the 5th of May, 2019.
Congratulations! That’s very recent.
S: Yeah. We just got back from a honeymoon!
Where did the both of you go?
S: We went to Bali and Singapore.
Oh, very nice. You must have gotten some nice weather and escaped all the rain in London! So what inspired the world on your wedding rings?
A: We are both keen travellers. Sakshi saw this ring on Pinterest, and I fell in love with the idea immediately. We wanted to symbolise our passion for travelling so I was really keen to have this ring. I did some searching around but Taylor & Hart were the only ones who were very quick in terms of getting back to me, the customer service was amazing. The guidance for the process was phenomenal. Just looking at the execution, it reflected how I felt about the company initially. I trusted them to make the ring in a particular way.
I’m really happy–this ring was important. The ring symbolises who we are and our love for the planet.
S: When we were wedding planning, Andy brought up that we needed wedding bands. For our wedding we had a Moroccan/Indian summer theme that also reflected our travels. Travelling is also how we met and got to know each other more and we are both from different countries, so that’s quite nice. At the wedding we had loads of people come from different countries that we had met along our trips. We just wanted something different. We wanted it to be memorable to us.
At first when I looked at the image of the ring on Pinterest, I wondered if it would be tacky and if I was able to pull it off. Those were my reservations but he really liked it, so I was like, “oh, perfect.” At the wedding, everyone was like, “this is so you guys, it’s so pretty, it’s not over the top. It’s just very subtle but really nice and elegant”.
Sakshi, what is it about Andy that makes you smile?
S: It sounds so cliché but when I met Andy, he wasn’t afraid to challenge me. I’ve never seen such a happy person. He’s always smiling no matter what the situation. He’ll try to always see the silver lining.
When I see Andrew, it just makes me happy because he’s the opposite to how I am. When he smiles, it makes my day as corny as that sounds.
Andy, what is it about Sakshi that makes you smile?
A: I love Sakshi’s energy and enthusiasm. She is such a wonderful character to be around she is very encouraging. She always sees the best in people and she is a very trustworthy person as well.
What are some dreams that the two of you share for the future?
S: We would like to live abroad and to continue travelling. We would also like to own a home! I think we want to learn more about each other and family will come at some point.
When we first started dating, I said to Andrew that if we were to get married, he has to agree that we will always make sure that we continue to adventure and do things together.
You mentioned earlier that you both were from different countries. Where are the both of you from?
A: So I am originally from Nigeria and Sakshi is from India.
You both like to travel. How many countries have you both been to?
S: Together we have been to eight or nine countries. I didn’t get the chance to travel before, so I think I’ve done about probably 10, 15 in all. Andy has been to 45 different countries! I guess that’s one of the things that drew me to Andrew. He was like, “Oh, I’ve been here and here” and I thought “I want to do that. We should do it together”.
S: As I touched on earlier, the customer service was amazing. The team was so lovely no matter what the request. We changed things quite a few times, with many questions and requirements. The fact that they were happy to work around our time was great as often we were working late. They fit in and were really patient with us, it means a lot especially when there’s so much stress that goes into planning a wedding. It was great to be able to have support like that during the creation of something which is quite personal and going to be with you for life. You want it to be perfect.
A: I’ve already recommended Taylor & Hart to a few friends now. You have the golden seal of approval!