The Scottish groom learn Hindi for the bride's surprise wedding speech

The Scottish groom learn Hindi for the bride’s surprise wedding speech

  • The Scottish groom learned Hindi to surprise his Indian partner during his wedding speech.
  • Alastair Spray and Angie Tiwari met on Hinge in 2018, became engaged in 2021, and married in June.
  • At their Scottish-Indian wedding, Spray unleashed the Hindi language skills he learned with an online tutor.

A Scottish groom says he secretly took language lessons to surprise an Indian bride by giving his wedding speech in Hindi.

Alistair Spray, a 28-year-old researcher, and Angie Tiwari A 30-year-old sales manager who also works as a sales manager Yoga and Meditation Instructortold Insider that they met on Hinge in 2018 and got engaged during a trip to Seville, Spain, in 2021.

The couple planned a Scottish-Indian wedding in June that consisted of multiple events and rituals. Tiwari told Insider they hosted 150 guests for a formal wedding at St Paul’s Cathedral in London. according to St Paul’s Cathedral websiteOnly eligible spouses with a relationship to the British Empire or the Marriage Memorial can be selected there by special authorization from the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Tiwari said they were one of about 30 couples who were able to marry at the venue that year where Spree’s father holds a member of the Best Order of the British Empire (MBE), an honor Awarded by the Queen.

Alastair Spray and Angie Tiwari pose for pictures on their wedding day.

Alastair Spray and Angie Tiwari pose for pictures on their wedding day.


Ryan Johnston



After the ceremony, they had an intimate meal at a “modest Indian restaurant” and a mehendi (henna ceremony) at home in London. Spray and Tiwari said their upcoming wedding took place in West Lothian, Scotland. This included the Haldi ceremony, where the bride and groom are covered with turmeric to bless them and make them sparkle.

The couple said they hosted an outdoor sangeet celebration in the evening, where Scottish and Indian music was played, and Celad and Indian dances brought the two families together. The next day, they held their main Scottish-Indian celebration, including their outdoor Hindu wedding, in a 250-year-old circular house and granary among 75 guests.

Spray told Insider that he usually enjoys public speaking, but struggled to think of a meaningful idea or a funny format for his wedding speech. An idea came up later when he decided to focus on Hindi.

Alastair Spray and Angie Tiwari on their wedding day.

Alastair Spray and Angie Tiwari on their wedding day.


Ryan Johnston Courtesy of Angie Tiwari



“Angie speaks small parts of Hindi around the house and she taught me a few things,” said Spray. “It was clear that when we have kids it’s important for them to learn Hindi, so I was thinking I’d probably start soon.”

Spray said he spent six months learning in private to surprise Tiwari during his wedding speech

He said he started learning on Duolingo but had a hard time with it, so he found an online tutor in India via the e-learning platform Preble.

“It was quite a challenge to have these one-hour lessons every week without you hearing or noticing them,” he said. “I had to set the time a little before lunch on Friday and make sure the door was closed.”

Alastair Spray giving a wedding speech in Hindi at his wedding to Angie Tiwari.

Alastair Spray giving a wedding speech in Hindi at his wedding to Angie Tiwari.


Ryan Johnston



Spray said the seven-minute speech focused mostly on his love for Tiwari and how welcoming her family was. He added that the speech also included some jokes and touched on how beautiful Hindi is as a language.

Spray said he is committed to learning the language for life, not just for the sake of speech. He said he wrote the letter, practiced it with his teacher, and recorded it on his phone for listening and memorizing. He said his teacher would make him read the letter and correct any errors in the pronunciation.

He began the speech in English and revealed he had a “beautiful secret” to share, before telling their guests that he had been learning Hindi for months. He said that after the revelation, one of Tiwari’s aunts joked, “Do you understand what we’ve been saying about you all this time?”

Alastair Spray and Angie Tiwari dancing during their Scottish-Indian wedding.

Alastair Spray and Angie Tiwari dancing during their Scottish-Indian wedding.


Ryan Johnston



During their religious ceremony, the couple had to repeat the lines in Sanskrit, and the groom – the Hindu priest – told Spree that his pronunciation was “first class”.

Tiwari told Insider that the big reveal was the most memorable part of their wedding because she didn’t expect it. “I didn’t go through such a wave of emotion all at once,” Tiwari said. “I had to keep it together.”

She noted that Spray is often full of romantic gestures but this was particularly poignant: “The tears were just flowing and flowing. It was the most old-school romance thing ever but also very aleasty.”

“He showed such dedication to our relationship, our love, our future life together, and my culture,” she added.


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