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The Bride Wore Alexander McQueen to Her Indian Humanist Wedding at Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire, Scotland

By Sara Dial | Photography by 

Lucy Birkhead

After promising herself that she wouldn’t date anyone new before her last year of law school, Preetma Singh met Jared Johnson on a casual night out in Nashville in 2007. “My friend forced me to talk to Jared because he was ‘my type!’” 13 years later, Jared dreamt up the perfect plan to finally take Preetma by surprise and propose.

Jared convinced Preetma to host a birthday dinner party for a close friend. “I also never thought Jared would propose in front of other people, so I went full steam ahead planning this birthday party,” Preetma shares. “Jared KNEW planning would keep me busy and not suspicious.” That evening, as guests partook in a competitive round of MTV trivia, Preetma drew a card that read, “Marry Me.” “I immediately got upset trying to figure out how to get points for this round, until Jared literally pulled me outside just as the sun was setting to propose with our friends around us!” Preetma recalls. “It completely and utterly took me by surprise.”

The couple first visited the Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire, Scotland, to ring in the new year in 2020. “We had never wanted to have a wedding, but as soon as we arrived, I knew THIS was the place we could have a grand time with friends and family,” Preetma says. “The romance of Scottish winter really spoke to my inner Scorpio. I had also been carrying a McQueen gown for years just in case I DID have a wedding, and Gleneagles felt like the perfect place for it!”

When Alexander McQueen sadly passed away, Preetma tried to collect as many of his pieces as she could and one of those ended up being her wedding dress. “It felt like a perfect mix of east and west,” she says. “It reminded me of a sari in so many ways but had an added suppleness influenced by western design.” For the ceremony, Preetma’s aunt in Mumbai coordinated custom emerald and diamond chandelier earrings. “They were just the perfect balance of Indian artisanship and modern design.”

For her beauty, Preetma found makeup artist Kentaro Kondo, who immediately understood her bridal vision—even without a test run. “It was the first time I had no notes!” the bride-to-be exclaims. On the day-of, the couple romantically got ready together. “We didn’t have wedding parties–that didn’t feel authentic to me coming from a Sikh background, where that doesn’t really happen. And I wouldn’t trust anyone but Jared to help me get ready.”

On January 5, 2022, floor vases lined the aisle and an eclectic mix of furniture enchanted the venue into an intimate setting for the Humanist ceremony. The couple walked down the aisle to a Sitar and Tabla rendition of “Black Hole Sun” by Soundgarden. Vows written by Preetma and Jared were shared with guests by the officiant, Stuart. “It was important to me to include elements from my background, so the ‘vows’ were based on the verses used in a Sikh wedding,” Preetma explains. “Jared and I didn’t want to feel too nervous about reciting our own words, so we wrote them for Stuart to share.” 

Once announced as officially wed, Preetma and Jared shared a moment and a cocktail without an audience. The couple rejoined everyone in a dramatically decorated Gleneagles ballroom and danced to a violin and harp instrumental cover of Nirvana’s “Heart-Shaped Box.” Surrounded by gnarled wood and dried florals, guests enjoyed an elegant fusion of Scottish and Indian fare—shellfish bisque, venison, Scottish halibut, gobi, and guinea fowl. “The food was to die for,” the bride remembers. “I actually cried tears of joy when I tasted everything before the wedding.”

A heartwarming speech delivered by Preetma’s brother followed by an impromptu “roast” by a comedian friend had the couple in tears— from emotion and hysterical laughter. “That was one of the most memorable moments for us. We love a good laugh, especially at our expense!” the bride exclaims.  Following the open mic, a bagpiper played “Scotland the Brave” while guests met on the dance floor. Soon after, dhol drums and bhangra dancers joined the celebration and everyone partied the night away alongside Tohr PD and a nostalgic collection of ’80s, ’90s, and 2000s hits, played by the deejay from Anti Wedding Wedding DJs

After Preetma changed into her Miu Miu after-party dress, the deejay couldn’t stop the music for the cake cutting, so the bride sliced into the confection on her own while “Baby One More Time” played and “Jared failed to pay attention,” Preetma recalls. “I had to chase Jared to feed him cake–he insists he was terrified of getting it on his clothes! We tried to do the romantic thing, but it ended up being super funny mess instead.”

After ending the night at the Century Bar and bidding goodbye to guests at the morning brunch, Preetma and Jared headed to Italy for their honeymoon. “We had Venice to ourselves, then went up north to the awe-inspiring Forestis Resort in the Dolomites, and then to the Sextantio Hotel in Matera,” Preetma says. “The rooms are caves in a town completely carved into the side of a mountain–truly memorable and stunning.”