Real Wedding – Amelia & Arj, Hawthorn VIC
For Arj and Amelia (and onlookers from their entire workplace) the undeniable spark between the two of them has been clear as day from the very beginning. However, there were a few twists and turns when it came to their wedding plans, thanks Big C… but what came to fruition was a festival for the senses.
A two day Indian/Western extravaganza that was full of colour, vibrant energy and an abundance of love that took over the suburban streets of Hawthorn at Amelia’s family home.
With so many components to their day, from traditional rituals in their ceremony to tearing it up on the dance floor in the evening, there was also multiple outfit changes. Saris of red, blue, pinks and orange before Amelia finished up in a custom white silk Erica Georg gown.
Superstar Tess Follet captured it all on camera; the guests beaming with smiles from ear to ear, the electric energy across the two days and the undeniable, and of course the radiant look of love between Arj and Amelia. What a wedding!
We met while both working at a toy company, Arj was in sales and I was in Marketing. We thought we were being very discreet about our secret coffee runs, but it turns out the entire company knew within a month. Luckily Arj got a new job just after we were put on the same portfolio so we only had one major fight in the boardroom.
We went away to Sorrento for a weekend a couple of months into dating, straight from a whole week at work together. It was just like any other weekend together, but on Sunday night when we went to our separate houses we missed each other and didn’t want to wait the twelve hours till we saw each other the next morning at work. We only told each other that years later but we both knew exactly the weekend that we were talking about.
Arj organised for my Marketing Director, Jacinta, to pop in a “career conversation” dinner on a Tuesday night. Our office was in a great area with heaps of pubs and restaurants around it, but she told me that she had made a booking at Feast of Merit (which was where Arj and I had our first date) in Richmond, so we drove there and she dropped me off while she was “getting a park” but the booking was under her name… when I got there the staff said that our booking was on the rooftop, so I walked up and saw just Arj surrounded by candles and pictures of us. He started walking me round the photos and explaining why they were his favourite memories but all I could think was “Can you hurry up Jacinta will be up here any second for my career conversation”. I didn’t understand what was happening until he got down on one knee. After that our families came to join us for dinner including his sister who came from Singapore just for the moment!
We describe planning a wedding during COVID as a really hard, high stakes, group project… but we all got HDs / A+. We had three different dates for our wedding due to lockdowns or travel requirements but luckily we had epic suppliers who were able to pivot with us and make it the best day ever!
We did a hybrid Indian / Western wedding so we took inspiration from everywhere! I was looking at the big Bollywood or Indian cricketers weddings (knowing that their budgets were multi millions so to temper my expectations). My Mum, Susie was amazing to help me bring it all to life, I was able to just look at the pretty pictures and she somehow found how to source everything and actually put it together! (Thanks Mum!)
I loved Ivory Tribe! Our first and second wedding dates were originally supposed to be in Sorrento so we drew inspo from so many of your featured weddings! For the Indian elements we found Pinterest really helpful.
We had a South Indian ceremony and it was really beautiful because so many of our guests had never seen one before. It involved so many of our family members doing various traditional rituals which was amazing. Our favourite part of the ceremony was the Kashi Yatra, where as is tradition, Arj had to pretend not to want to marry me anymore, but my brother and Dad had to convince him with new shoes, an umbrella full of flowers and chocolate!
Over our two days we each wore five outfits… we relied heavily on Arj’s beautiful Mum. Tara, to help us with what would be appropriate. A red sari is the traditional bridal colour which I wore for the ceremony and loved! I also wanted to wear blue at some point and was able to for our blessing (two days prior to the big event), and then I really loved pink and orange so was able to find an amazing lehenga from a wonderful Indian clothing shop in Delhi – The Weaves, through the help of Tara and her friend Suman. We had originally planned a bigger three day wedding so already had a traditional white dress planned that I wore at the end of the night. I was able to source the silk from Suman’s business Silk World in Melbourne, and Erika Georg was able to make it for me.
The Barat was a real highlight for us. It traditionally involved the grooms family and guests dancing with really loud music and drums towards the bride’s house where she and her guests are waiting, and eventually they join the dancing and it is a celebration of the two families. My Mum organised a permit to shut down the street for a few hours and we were able to have a full dance party in the street! And we can’t go past our sangeet as another favourite moment where our family and friends performed dances that they had been learning for weeks.
Meaning of marriage.
Spending the rest of your life having a sleep over with your best friend!
Aisle: Shayad by Pritam & Arijit Singh
Ceremony Exit: Inner Smile by Texas
Reception Entrance: All Night by Chance the Rapper
First Dance: It was a medley of Bollywood songs! Ek Din Aap, Sweet Heart and Morni Banke
Final Song; Sorrento Moon by Tina Arena (we had already decided this song when the wedding was supposed to be in Sorrento… cliché but we love it)
Funny stories or near disasters.
In the evening for the reception, I was exhausted after waking up at 4am for hair and makeup so I asked Arj to handle the place settings with the caterers…. He did an excellent job of setting them out but unfortunately forgot to put out the seating chart so people knew where they were sitting. We were about to make our entrance and my sister asked if the seating chart that she was standing next to in a cupboard was supposed to be out in the marquee… everyone managed to find their seats on their own but it was my big bridezilla moment of the day. Luckily I didn’t have too long to worry about it before having to make our entrance!
Not really, but I have a much greater appreciation for people who are planning weddings so will now always offer my help to anyone in that stage.
Words of wisdom.
Control the controllables – You can’t do anything to impact things like the weather so take it out of your mind (and ask people not to text you daily the 28-day forecast). In saying that we got incredibly lucky with the weather.
We know how important it is to put together a stellar team of wedding suppliers for your day so head to our blog page to help you choose your dream team here.
ARJ AND AMELIA’S VENDORS
Ceremony and Reception location: Amelia’s parent’s house in Hawthorn
Officiant: A Pandit from Sai Temple
Photography: Tess Follett (absolute best in the biz! So cool, calm and collected the whole day and got the best shots)
Videography: Moon & Back (we haven’t seen the final version yet but the sneak peak has been on high rotation amongst our friends!)
Styling: Most of it was my Mum, Susie with the help of her sister Liz.
Florist: Giorgi Fiori
Hair: Boda Hair
Make Up: Tonic Agency
Rings: Ashley Opals Jewellers
Bridesmaid’s dresses: The bridesmaids were in lehengas from The Weaves in India, they were so great to work with and a few of the guests were wearing them too! Alterations on their tops were done by Erika Georg.
Cake / Cake topper: Temptation Cakes
Stationery / Signage: Stephanie Ongarello
Transport: My grandpa’s 80’s Ford Capri!
Honeymoon: We caught COVID as our honeymoon but were able to isolate at my parents house (with a pool) with my sister and her boyfriend (who are both great cooks!) so it wasn’t all bad. And hopefully we’ll head to Europe this year some time.