Real Wedding – Joe & Shradha, Trawool VIC
“You feel like home and everywhere I have been all at once” was a theme that ran deep beneath Shradha and Joe’s wedding plans. They wanted their day to be a beautiful culmination of their backgrounds and so they decided to enlist the help of the wonderful Jessie from Ruby and James styling to help make their vision come to life.
What came to fruition was an explosion of colour and music, touches of eucalyptus gums with jasmine and marigold, two outfit changes, two ceremonies, one group dance medley and a whole lotta fun.
Trawool Estate provided the picturesque setting to accomodate all their guests and Brown Paper Parcel was there to capture the rollercoaster of emotion and the moments of pure joy that the day brings.
Joe and I met at the aptly named bar ‘The Lucky Coq’ in Prahran several years ago now. He found me and my indecision, double parked with an espresso martini in one hand and a pale ale in the other. The kind eyed 6 foot 4 stranger tapped me on the shoulder and offered to cheekily finish at least one of my drinks. We spent the rest of the night parked on the couch laughing over the most ridiculously silly conversation completely oblivious to everything else.
I’d met Joe just before a girl’s trip to Mexico and throughout my journey he kept in touch in the sweetest way. When I returned to Melbourne I couldn’t wait to see him again and the feeling was mutual. Dinners out became home cooked nights in, and in the short period of a few months we were inseparable. The meeting of our families really sealed the deal. The cliché’s are true and exist for good reason. One fine day the accumulation of all your shared experiences, now memories leave you unable to really imagine a day without that other person.
Poor Joe had very limited options as the proposal occurred when Melbourne was in the midst of its strictest pandemic lockdown. Whatever he had planned had to comply within our 5km radius restriction around home. The day began with an unsuspecting start, we were going to do our usual Saturday morning routine of coffee at The Convent and a walk through the Yarra trail. I was lead down a different route though and we ended up at Dight falls where to my absolute surprise the man that usually towers over me got down on one knee and proposed with a yellow daisy and the promise of a ring on the way! Video calls to family followed soon after.
As a woman who believes in the motto, your best work is produced last minute under pressure, I was gifted three wedding planner journals by my mother, sister and mother in law. It was like they were trying to tell me something. I hopped on to Google and made a list of all the major things to organise: venue, date, planner, outfits, rings, celebrant, vows, florals, stationery, theme, photography, first dance and videography. I then made a short list of potential vendors, contacted them and found out availability and if we were on the same page.
As my background is Indian we wanted to incorporate a wedding where both cultures would be showcased and the event would be for guests a festival of colour, live music, food and celebration of difference. The beautiful Jessie from Ruby and James was the event stylist who captured this concept perfectly. We built our inspiration around Joe’s and I’s personal relationship theme “You feel like home and everywhere I have been all at once”. What has marked our relationship is that for two people born geographically millions of miles apart with differences that extend far beyond their height and ability to tan we are one heck of a team. So our wedding was going to highlight the differences in Australian and Indian cultures that combined are beautiful, think eucalyptus gums with jasmine and marigold, a red saree and white bridal dress.
I most found useful inspiration through real weddings and in particular videos, where you could pause and take in the minute details that the wedding party had put in to mark their event as special and in particular unique to them.
I had two ceremonies half an hour apart. I wanted to ensure that the Indian ceremony did my parent’s proud as one of the saddest aspects for them was the wedding not being able to be performed in India where so much of my extended family live. To compensate we organised a traditional Indian mandap, set amongst the gums, a Hindu priest and five Indian traditional musicians. My mother acted as MC, translating the priests slokas and mantras so our guests would be able to appreciate the meaning behind every part of our unique ceremony, from when Joe had to hold a coconut to when we threw basmati rice over each other. The entire event was broadcast to family overseas via livestream.
The western ceremony was incredibly special as my father in law, James walked me down the aisle. The Cosgriffs have four boys and it was an absolute no brainer to include James in this role for the second event, complete with my father’s blessings, who was happy to take a breather from walking me down for the Indian ceremony.
Both our ceremonies occurring in 45 minutes half an hour apart kept our guests on their toes, and the entire day was marked by the coming together of culture and family.
My saree was from a lovely Sri Lankan aunty I had randomly found on the internet who lived twenty minutes away, thank you COVID. And my dress was a two piece with a separate attached skirt of folded tulle from the brand NewWhite bridal organised by the boutique Blue Bell Bridal in Melbourne city.
It is so hard to choose a single moment, the wedding was such a rollercoaster of emotion and the memories that always come to mind and still fill me with joy are our vows to each other, our parents sitting together and embracing, family speeches and of course our ridiculous Indian group medley that followed our first dance. We also had a bar sign up for Joe’s Grandpa, a family man and publican, who passed away last year and was a missed member at the table encouraging everyone to take a moment and have a drink to the great man.
Meaning of marriage.
Marriage is a path of growth, respect and persistence, a standard to uphold and a forever north direction to strive for.
Aisle: I can’t help falling in love with you by Kina Grannis
Wedding party entrance: September by Earth Wind and Fire.
First dance: We played a trick on everyone starting off to Perfect by Ed Sheeran Perfect in as much of a ballroom dance we could muster before the band changed the track a few minutes in to You sexy Thing by Hot Chocolate where we really got to shake our tail feathers. Group dance: After our first dance ended we then treated the audience to a group medley dance with the entire wedding party to Jai Ho by The Pussycat Dolls!
Funny stories or near disasters.
Due to the COVID drama we actually had to source my wedding saree a week out from the big day! And the group medley dance was practiced about 24 hours prior and could have been an absolute debacle but somehow ended up being a choregraphed piece of synergy.
I think the amount of detail and work that goes into the coordination of an event like this is incredible. To brides that consider it and for whom it is financially feasible I do encourage you to seek out a planner or event stylist. They can always work within your budget and the ability to consider all the minutia from font style to which flower goes with what leaf!
Words of wisdom.
As best you can, don’t sweat the small stuff and try not to stress. My husband did such a brilliant job of grounding me, because every now and then mid pandemic I would want to postpone everything just because a small detail had to be readjusted or rethought. The reality is the day with all of its ups and downs and mistakes that will unavoidably happen only add to your story.
On the hunt for the perfect backdrop to your day? We have our favourite wedding venues right here!
JOE & SHRADHA’S VENDORS
Ceremony and reception venue: Trawool Estate
Celebrant/Officiant: Josh Schille
Photography: Brown Paper Parcel
Videography: The Lavender Haze
Styling: Ruby and James
Florist: Georgie Boy
Hair: Kate McCleary
Make Up: Sophia Pafitis
Shoes: Edward Meller
Rings: Windfall Jewellery
Bow ties / ties: YSG tailors
Catering and Bar: Trawool Estate
Stationery / Signage: Studio Silva
Entertainment: Stock Standard
Transport: Mick Devlin Buses
Décor and hire: Ruby and James
Honeymoon: We caravanned up the New South Wales Coast going via Kosciusko, Hunter Valley, Sydney, Yamba, Coffs Harbour and ending up in Byron Bay!