Real wedding – Elly & Suman, Fitzroy VIC
Time flies when you’re having fun and Elly and Suman couldn’t have had any more fun on their wedding day if they tried.
The bride, Elly, entered the ceremony on a tandem bicycle and this was only the beginning of a beautiful celebration that completely embodied the personalities of Elly and Suman and the love they share.
Partying on at East Elevation, they joyfully broke into a Bollywood dance after their bridal waltz, and from there, they dancing didn’t stop until the wee hours.
There to capture all the magical action was Farah Allan.
In Elly and Suman’s words…
It was a true surprise and super romantic! Suman arranged a holiday in Croatia for a week prior to going to the UK to visit his brother and family. Before Elly’s arrival, Suman arranged a beautiful hotel overlooking the sea, and decorated the balcony with red rose petals and arranged for a bottle of champagne and a table and chairs on a private beach overlooking the city of Dubrovonik. When Elly arrived, Suman proposed on the balcony with his mother’s diamond, and timed it perfectly so we then went down to our table on the beach and watched the sun set over the sea – absolutely amazing!
We got engaged in May and then married the following February – we were so excited that we wanted to just GET MARRIED! We learned that time goes by extremely quickly when planning a wedding, it seems like you have all the time in the world, and suddenly you wake up and it’s the wedding day! We had a few moments early on (before hiring a planner) where we felt like it may not all come together, but we managed in the end!
Telling Elly’s mum about the plan for her to ride into the gardens on a tandem bike with her brother was priceless – initially she thought it was joke, then as the day got closer she had visions of all the terrible things that could go wrong – the dress getting caught in the chain, both of us falling off the bike, the brakes failing – but it all worked out perfectly on the day!
We’re not really a ‘theme’ couple, but we definitely had elements we wanted to include on the day! We loved the idea of a relaxed summer garden party and picnic, with a vintage vibe. We both chose outfits with a classic vintage inspiration, and added a few touches like retro paper straws and simple wooden furniture to complete the whole mood. For the reception, we also wanted to continue in the relaxed mood – so we had scattered seating and a grazing table, so everyone could mingle and have a great time.
The dress is from Anna Campbell. I am a fairly practical person and I set aside two afternoons – one to explore Sydney Road, and another for High Street Armadale. I actually saw the ‘Adelaide’ Anna Campbell dress online first, and was instantly drawn to the dress – even though I had in mind that I wanted a lace dress, and definitely hadn’t considered beading and embellishment. I had only tried on a handful of other dresses at two other stores before trying the Anna Campbell dress, and as soon as I tried on the ‘Adelaide’ I was in love! I did still go and look at other dresses, but nothing was as fun to wear as the Adelaide. My general experience was very positive – the stylists at Anna Campbell are very helpful, and I think it really makes a difference that photos are allowed in the store – having a photo of me in the dress to show my mum and close friends really helped me decide that this was definitely THE dress. Anna Campbell’s service was very friendly and helpful, and I never felt under pressure or rushed.
Way too many to count! There was an amazing surprise rap bridesmaid speech to the tune of ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,’ complete with ridiculous dance moves and sunglasses! We both really loved starting our bridal waltz and then surprising our guests by breaking out into a Bollywood dance routine, which incorporated all of the best lightbulb-twisting, chest thumping Bollywood moves.
We also wanted a way to thank our families for all they have given to allow us to have the wonderful lives that we enjoy, so we included a rose-giving ceremony within our marriage ceremony, where we each gave our parents a rose as a symbol of our gratitude, and this was a really beautiful moment. Our favourite moment was exchanging our vows – while we had a lot of crazy and fun-filled moments, we were very serious about our vows and had put a lot of time and effort into thinking about what we want to promise to each other on our wedding day. Making these promises in front of our closest family and friends was a truly special moment, and one that we will treasure forever.
We wanted to include little pieces of both our heritages in our wedding day. Elly grew up in the Australian bush, surrounded by nature, so it made sense to include Australian native flowers and gum leaves in the bridal bouquet and the buttonholes. Elly and her brother Pete have also had some great bicycle adventures, so riding in together on the tandem bicycle was only natural. We celebrated Suman’s Indian heritage with a reading from the famous poet from Suman’s hometown of Kolkata, Rabindranath Tagore. While Bollywood dancing is not strictly traditional, preparing and performing Bollywood dance routines with our friends was loads of fun and a nod to Suman’s Indian background.
Funny stories (or near disasters).
Quite a few – it was a such a memorable day! Elly and the bridesmaids went out of the apartment to take some photos outdoors before leaving for the ceremony, and found that our neighbours were having a giant garage sale. Our neighbours and their customers we really excited, and invited us to climb up onto their roof for a photoshoot – before I knew it I was climbing up a ladder with my bridesmaids to take some great shots of the Brunswick skyline – that’s what true friends are for!
We had such a great time at our reception that we kept dancing into the small hours and the bar that we had booked for our after-party had closed by the time we were winding up. As we were only a short walk from our apartment, we had a procession of guests, (including Elly’s mum!), collect the leftover chocolate and the gifts and turn on some Bollywood songs on the iPhone, and we all journeyed through the cobblestoned, graffiti-covered alleyways of Brunswick continue the party at our place!
Words of wisdom.
Having a wedding planner is a great investment – Steph helped us in so many ways, from finding our vendors, to helping us make a realistic itinerary for the day.
It’s very cliched – but the day truly flies by – relax and enjoy every minute. It’s absolutely incredible to have all the people you love most dearly coming to celebrate your love for each other.
Choosing the bridal party can be a hugely stressful undertaking. We didn’t want a large bridal party as our wedding was a relaxed and more informal affair. Including our friends in Bollywood dancing, and having friends and family help out with different tasks on the day was a wonderful way of celebrating all the people we love in a different way.
Plan an after-party – you will be so elated after the whole day, you won’t want it to end!
ELLY & SUMAN’S TRIBE
Ceremony location: Fitzroy Gardens
Reception: East Elevation – East Elevation was flawless – they were so relaxed and easy to communicate with, and had everything sorted – from food, to drinks, to sound system to flowers. We really had the same attitude and outlook, and we felt totally comfortable that they really understood the mood of our wedding. They even didn’t mind when we stayed beyond our finish time, as we were having such an excellent time on the dance floor!
Celebrant/Officiant: Guy Gurney – We also connected with Guy, our celebrant, and he did a beautifully unique speech with an analogy of bike riding to marriage, because he knew that we loved bike riding and that it really captured us as a couple.
Photography: Farrah Allan – Farrah Allan, our photographer was excellent to work with and we had the same vision of beautiful, natural photos of our day, and she had scoped out some stunning photoshoot locations – and she even drove us from the ceremony to the reception in her Corolla – classic!
Videography: Moment Seeker
Styling & planning: the Eventurer – Steph from the Eventurer was incredible – she took wedding planning to a whole new level! We realised this when she offered to come to check out the location we had booked in the Fitzroy Gardens and she had come with a tape-measure and began to measure out the exact distance we would stand in front of the pond so she could let the furniture hire company know EXACTLY where to set up the benches, so that we could get the best angle and sunlight for the ceremony.
Florist: Babylon Flowers
Hair and make-up: Candi and Danni from 58 Cambridge
The Dress: Anna Campbell
Accessories: Earrings from Swarovski
Bride’s shoes: Bared
Rings: Fedele Jewelworks
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Review
Cake: Chocolate from Monsieur Truffe
Stationery / Signage: Designed by Elly
Entertainment: DIY playlist