Apprentice wedding! - ‘We met on the show and now we're married - it feels like a movie'

Akshay Thakrar and Harpreet Kaur
-Credit: (Image: Mohsin Ali)

It’s been a whirlwind two years for Akshay Thakrar and Harpreet Kaur, who met on the 2022 series of The Apprentice and began dating shortly after. Fast-forward to today and the couple are officially husband and wife after tying the knot in a three-day wedding extravaganza.

Sharing all the details with OK! post-wedding, the smitten couple chat to us from their honeymoon suite at the Fairmont Windsor Park hotel. “The only way I can describe our wedding is that it felt like a movie, it was amazing,” says Akshay, 31.

Confirming the nuptials were everything they had dreamt of, Harpreet adds, “I just wish we could do it all again, it went even better than we planned!”

Akshay Thakrar and Harpreet Kaur
Harpreet and Akshay celebrated their nuptials with a three-day wedding extravaganza -Credit:Mohsin Ali

While both Indian, Akshay and Harpreet, 32, have grown up in different cultures and were keen to mix these in their wedding. The groom explains, “Harps is Punjabi and I’m a Gujarati Hindu, so we wanted to merge traditions from each. Our families loved that and we really enjoyed seeing each other’s culture.”

And those mix of cultures meant a whole lot of celebrating; with a civil ceremony, a religious ceremony and a reception bash all on separate days. Joined by family across the globe, and some familiar faces from The Apprentice, the couple certainly got hitched in style.

“There was a moment when I looked around the room and I said to Harpreet, ‘Do you realise everyone in this room means something to us?’ They had all come for us and to celebrate us. It was amazing,” gushes Akshay.

The couple began with a civil ceremony at Wentbridge House Hotel, a country house in Yorkshire, on Wednesday 29 May. Luckily, the sun made an appearance for their outdoor ceremony in front of 60 of Harpreet and Akshay’s closest friends and family.

Walking down the aisle to an instrumental version of Bruno Mars’ Just The Way You Are, Harpreet wore a stunning gown with floral detailing and a flowing veil from Enzoani.

Harpreet Kaur
Harpreet told OK! that she's always dreamed of "wearing a white wedding dress" -Credit:Mohsin Ali

After losing her dad in 2023, the Apprentice winner was escorted down the aisle by her mother in an emotional moment.

"It was just beautiful, I’ve always dreamt of wearing a white wedding dress because, being Indian, we don’t always make a fuss of that day or the legal bit,” she says. “For us, the true union is our religious ceremony, which we had on the Saturday.”

Admitting he hadn’t been to a typical English wedding before, Akshay laughs, “My wedding was my first ever English wedding, so it was quite fascinating for me. I was like, ‘Wow, this is really cool.’ I’ve only seen it in films.”

After exchanging some “simple but personal” vows, Akshay and Harpreet enjoyed a traditional roast dinner with their guests. And while this is usually when most wedding parties would go on to an evening reception, it was only the beginning for Akshay and Harpreet.

“After the civil ceremony we basically had what is similar to an English pre-wedding party,” explains Harpreet. “But we performed some rituals that are done to brides and grooms to get them ready for their wedding. Because even though we’ve had our civil bit, our true marriage is the Indian wedding.”

Akshay Thakrar and Harpreet Kaur
Harpreet and Akshay had two wedding ceremonies - one civil and one religious -Credit:Mohsin Ali

Among them was a Haldi ceremony, where turmeric paste is rubbed over the bride and groom’s faces to give them a “pre-wedding glow”. They also took part in a Jago ceremony, which aims to energise everyone for the wedding, where family members enjoyed dancing and singing.

And it did the trick, getting everyone in the spirit, as Harpreet recalls, “This was super fun. It was really loud, really fun and it just really gets you into the Indian wedding vibe.”

Rounding off the day with some rave music on the dance floor, Harpreet and Akshay had now officially kicked off their three-day wedding.

“I had family who had flown in from Malawi in Africa and India,” says Akshay. “So, I wouldn’t call it an ice-breaker, but it was nice to get everyone mingling before the week continued.”

The couple – who got engaged in May last year after Akshay proposed amid red rose petals on a London rooftop – then went their separate ways to their family homes ahead of their Indian ceremony on Saturday 1 June. “We were doing our own family rituals on Thursday and Friday and we didn’t speak at all. Harpreet wouldn’t even text or FaceTime me!” says Akshay.

Harpreet Kaur
Harpreet made a beautiful bride -Credit:Mohsin Ali

Sharing that this decision built up the anticipation, Harpreet explains, “It sounds really weird, but it was actually quite nice. It kind of made it a bit more exciting to then finally get married. But we did miss each other.”

The second big day then arrived as 160 guests descended on Hare Krishna Temple in Watford. Traditionally, the bride and groom first see one another inside the venue – but Harpreet and Akshay met outside upon arrival. Both dressed in traditional ivory ensembles and Harpreet had stunning henna decorating her hands, while statement gold jewellery completed the look.

Recalling the moment he saw his bride, Akshay says, “We were in these beautiful gardens at the temple and
I was standing looking straight ahead. Then Harps came up behind me, tapped me on the shoulder and I turned around and I was just like, ‘Wow, I’ve never seen you look this good.’”

Turning to his new wife, he continues, “I can’t even describe it. It was like a Bollywood movie, surreal.”

After an intimate moment to themselves, it was time for Akshay to enter the temple first, and what an entrance he made. Having arrived in a white Rolls-Royce with a personalised number plate, Akshay was carried in on the shoulders of family members while drums played. “It was a bad-boy entrance,” he giggles.

The Apprentice’s Harpreet and Akshay wedding
The couple had family and friends fly in from across the world for the ceremony -Credit:Mohsin Ali

The business founder was then greeted by Harpreet’s family and had an Apprentice -style negotiation before taking his place for the Hindu ceremony.

“There’s a tradition where the groom cannot marry his wife before getting through a ribbon, and to cut the ribbon he needs to offer up some cash to the family. Long story short, I distracted them and got my friend to cut it so I could sneak around without paying!”

Having her own special moment, Harpreet entered the temple to a Bollywood track, with her brother by her side. She and her new husband then exchanged garlands and said prayers, before Akshay presented his bride with a stunning diamond necklace.

“In English culture, you exchange wedding rings, which we did at the civil ceremony, but in Indian culture, it’s actually a necklace, and it’s called a mangalsutra,” explains Harpreet. “The necklace is from Eminence Jewels and is beautiful, and it’s good, because, more diamonds for me,” she quips.

“That was when I felt 100% married,” Akshay adds. “Because we’ve done the legal bit. Now we have the spiritual-religious part. A civil [ceremony] is beautiful, but this is so spiritual. And that’s when you feel it.”

The Apprentice’s Harpreet and Akshay wedding
Harpreet and Akshay met while appearing on the 2022 series of The Apprentice -Credit:Mohsin Ali

In another nod to The Apprentice, the BBC show’s theme tune could be heard while the couple played a traditional game at the altar where the winner is deemed the “boss” of the relationship. Taking the win, as she also did on the show, Harpreet was dubbed the boss – which Akshay insists he let happen.

The couple and their guests then enjoyed a vegetarian feast before heading back to Akshay’s family home for the evening.

Finally, the next day was Harpreet and Akshay’s wedding reception and a chance for the newlyweds to let their hair down. Akshay looked suave in a suit, while Harpreet was a vision in an embellished red gown from Bibi London Couture.

Lord Sugar may not have been able to attend, but The Apprentice star Tim Campbell joined the celebration, alongside the couple’s former co-stars Kathryn Louise Burn, Brittany Carter, Akeem Bundu-Kamara and Nick Showering.

“It’s crazy – what a story that we met on the show,” Akshay says. “I said in my speech, ‘I think I’m the only man who can say I met my wife on The Apprentice.'"

The Apprentice’s Harpreet and Akshay wedding
Harpreet and Akshay have shared their wedding album with OK! -Credit:Mohsin Ali
Apprentice couple, Tim Campbell and his wife
Tim Campbell from The Apprentice and his wife Jasmine joined the couple on their big day -Credit:Mohsin Ali

Akshay’s uncle and his two best friends also stood up to say some words, while Harpreet’s brother took the microphone too. "I really enjoyed listening to my brother’s speech," said Harpreet. "It was emotional because we’d lost my dad and we were just wishing he was here."

After moments of emotion and laughter throughout the speeches, the newlyweds headed for their first dance – which was to a Bollywood song. As the guests joined them, Akshay and Harpreet were finally able
to let loose, and they did just that.

“We went on a mad one, half of my shirt was hanging off, I threw my tie!” laughs Akshay. And Harpreet echoes, “It was the best party I’ve ever been to. We honestly just had the best night of our lives. The décor was stunning – exactly what I had envisioned – and I’d like to thank Shagun Weddings, who also decorated the temple.”

Akshay and Harpreet are only just catching their breaths following the mighty celebrations, but are shortly jetting off for a stunning honeymoon.

“We’re going to the Seychelles, and then we’re going to Dubai too, which is also one of our favourite places,” shares Harpreet.

The Apprentice’s Harpreet and Akshay wedding
Harpreet and Akshay are planning to wait a while before starting a family -Credit:Mohsin Ali

The couple bought their dream home in Leeds last year after just a year of dating, and admit that they have felt like a married couple since the early days.

“We knew the other was The One straight away, it was weird, we just had that spark,” recalls Akshay. !Actually getting married was more of a formality since we already knew. It’s just gone from strength to strength from the beginning.!

And will we hear the pitter-patter of tiny feet soon?

“We would love to start a family,” confirms Harpreet. “We’re going to wait though – we’ve only been together for two years. I want to appreciate each other and travel first. We have time.”

PHOTOS: Mohsin Ali Photography

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HAIR: Styles by Sukhi