Real Wedding – Amber & Amit, West Melbourne VIC
We are in complete agreeance on how much a bunch of extremely supportive and talented people combined with a motivated fiancé can achieve in six hours. Amber and Amit’s 4th and final whirlwind attempt at getting married came on the cusp of another Melbourne lockdown and it really did go off without a hitch.
With the help of their stellar wedding planner; Kath from Bow Creative, they pieced together an amazing team of vendors to help celebrate their love story that had been over a decade in the making. They had the one and only Natalie Drum step in at the eleventh hour to officiate their ceremony, accompanied by one of the many talented harpists from Hey Jack.
Lei Lei Clavey and Allure Productions captured it all on camera and throughout the changes and stresses, what never wavered was their values and constant belief; that it didn’t matter the location, the flowers, or the invites…as long as they had each other, that they could stand there together, promising their love to one another surrounded by those they love most in the room, then everything would work itself out.
And that it did.
We met through mutual friends at the place where all good things begin – the Golden Arches. Amit, or as most know him, AK, was friendly, rebellious and threw the wildest parties (my poor in laws!). I was the new girl in town starting at his high school. We soon were inseparable and I kept him out of trouble.
There wasn’t one single moment we can pinpoint (although AK says it was ‘love at first sight’). We had been best friends for the better part of a decade and wanted to continue building a life together. As Queen B says, ‘if you like it then you better put a ring on it’…
AK meticulously planned and executed an incredible proposal in San Sebastian, Spain in July 2018. He had coordinated a booking at an amazing hotel overlooking the ocean and even arranged custom cards for each year we’d been together, with matching gifts. The planning definitely took me by surprise. I honestly thought AK had lost the plot in the lead up to the trip (think loving partner who suddenly refused to let me borrow his phone to call my credit card company, would crack it if I went anywhere near his suitcase, apparently needed to use the bathroom every time we approached a security check and even called me at work the day before we left to ask me to run errands whilst he supposedly had the day off).
Like many couples, our plans were affected by the ‘C’ word many times. We were originally set on getting married in Byron Bay, NSW in August 2020 but had to postpone because of the difficulty around borders. By the end of 2020, it became clear that having 100+ people fly from Melbourne to NSW for a weekend wasn’t going to be possible anytime soon and we had since made the decision to move abroad. At that stage, we decided to get married in May 2021 at Mitchelton, a beautiful winery in Central Victoria. We were ready for a large party with pre- and post-wedding events and were also planning an intimate Hindu ceremony in the week leading up to our civil ceremony.
Of course, on May 27, on the morning of our planned Hindu ceremony and 72 hours before our planned wedding celebrations, Victoria announced that it would go into lockdown effective from midnight.
So at 9am that morning, with the help of the lovely Kath from Bow Creative, we got to planning. Only issue was there was no way we could all get to Central Victoria (and back) before lockdown, so we had to find a new venue, celebrant, musician and reception venue on the morning of our wedding, not to mention make sure that all of our other vendors were still free… Gather + Tailor were luckily available, as was the amazing Natalie Drum, an incredible harpist from Hey Jack who learned our song on the morning of our wedding, my hair and make-up team, including the wonderful Holly Harnwell from Tonic and Dani from Toni + Guy who saved us, the talented Tegan from Honesty Flora who hustled to find a new team to help set up a full venue, and our killer photographer and videographer, Lei and Allure who made the impossible possible. Not to mention the team at Horn Please in North Fitzroy who were so incredible and turned what was meant to be an intimate dinner into a 100+ person event on a few hours’ notice! Jemima from Zephyr and Bloom was an angel and literally bought flour and baked our wedding cake that very morning with no prior notice.
Romantic, warm, intimate; modern minimalist meets rustic and vibrant, with a touch of texture. Given how much our plans changed, we had to constantly adapt, but we still tried to incorporate these elements into our day.
We loved the Ivory Tribe and Hello May blogs and also used Instagram and Pinterest a lot.
We knew that no matter what happened, it was about us, standing side by side, making a commitment to start our journey together. Being able to turn a day where we were met with significant challenges into a day where we celebrated our love in the best way possible is something we were super excited about. The people in the room moved mountains to be there with us and the beauty of the chaos can’t be overstated.
After countless fittings with my very, very patient bride tribe, I ended up finding my wedding dress during my lunch break (the boutique was across the road from work) and I didn’t want to take it off. I FaceTimed my Mum and sister, and they saw the excitement on my face. I went back later that day and bought it off the rack. I also had a Christie Nicole party dress custom made for the after party which is currently sitting in my cupboard unworn… perhaps there will be another party some day…
The sari I wore was the one my mother-in-law wore on her wedding day so it was very special to me. The bridesmaid dresses took a lot of time as we changed colours, seasons and venues throughout the process. We ended up with chic dresses in shades of sage, rust and gold which I absolutely loved.
AK had his suit tailor made from P. Johnson who did an exceptional job. The groomsmen suits were from T.M. Lewin.
Amber: There’s too many! Getting my hair and make-up done, seeing the frantic excitement on my bridesmaid’s faces, walking down the aisle, seeing my husband-to-be for the first time all dressed up, and seeing my parents. Most importantly, feeling so much love in the room.
AK: Seeing Amber walking down the aisle was definitely a ‘pinch me’ moment. I was convinced that morning we would be planning a fifth attempt to get married, little did I know how much a bunch of extremely supportive and talented people combined with a motivated fiancé can achieve in six hours.
Meaning of marriage.
That we’re lucky enough to each have a life-long best friend.
Bloom by the Paper Kites
First dance was meant to be Chateau by Angus & Julia Stone.
Funny stories or near disasters.
Funny story, the government announced that we were going into lockdown 3 days before our wedding so we planned another wedding in 6 hours and had it that same day.
How the precise timing of cocktail service, the seating chart and pre-loaded playlist for canapés didn’t matter in the end. It was so much fun without all the formalities and our guests were down to have a bloody good time.
Words of wisdom.
It’s about the person standing next to you, your love, and the people in the room. Soak up every moment and do what feels right to you.
Amber and Amit’s day was pulled together by an incredible team, all headed up by an Ivory Tribe favourite; Kath from Bow Creative. If you want the stress taken out of your day then check out the planning extraordinaire here.
AMBER & AMIT’S VENDORS
Reception venue: Horn Please
Celebrant/Officiant: Natalie Drum
Photography: Lei Lei Clavey Photography
Styling: Bow Creative
Florist: Honesty Flora
Hair: Dani, Toni & Guy & Shannon Brache, Tonic
Make Up: Holly Harnwell and Valentia Arjon, Tonic
Veil / headwear: Blue Bell Bridal
Shoes: Manning Cartel
Catering and Bar: Horn Please
Favors: Luggage tags – Sarah Elliott
Cake / Cake topper: Jemima – Zephyr and Bloom (still dreaming about this cake!)
Stationery / Signage: Stone + Sparrow (who was super talented, lovely and easy to work with)
Entertainment: Hey Jack (they have talented harpists… need I say more)
Honeymoon: Impromptu Maui trip over Thanksgiving