Matt and I met via the app Happn, matching with each other whilst at the Cricket World Cup Australia vs. India Semi-Final in Sydney in 2015. Ironically Matt was going for India and I was going for Australia. On our first date, we hit it off right from the get-go. I knew we had a future based on the way he spoke about his family and friends, his career ambitions, and a common love of learning and personal development. I think Matt knew we had something when I agreed that the Australian cricket team were way too arrogant and in need of a good dose of humility.
On our third anniversary, we visited Kapiti Island in Wellington. I was convinced he would not be proposing as when we had to do a bag check to ensure no pests were brought onto the island there was no ring box anywhere. Low and behold, after a day full of hiking – something we both love – we went to the northern coastline as the sunset. When he dropped a knee I may have let out a few expletives in shock, but the answer was an easy yes.
We wanted to get married in Wellington as it holds a special place in our history together. Aussies are always saying they want to visit New Zealand but never do so we thought our wedding would be a good excuse. Pencarrow Lodge in Eastbourne has breath-taking views across Wellington harbour and a touch of everything – rugged coastlines, sheep, vineyards and forest. We chose to have our ceremony in the forest which created an intimate atmosphere, followed by the reception in the cellar room. Eastbourne and the Lower Hutt are such a strong part of Matt’s identity and childhood. We were thrilled to have a venue that wove multiple threads of our lives together. Pencarrow Lodge has an understated unique beauty with its stunning rugged coastline and overlooks the ocean that connects Wellington to my hometown Sydney.
My mum was my righthand person in all things related to attire, accessories and lots of wedding details. Matt’s Aunty Colleen runs Flowers Et Cetera in Petone and is hands down the best florist in the world. To be perfectly honest, I have no idea what kinds of flowers were used and trusted Col wholeheartedly with the selection. I let her know the style and vibe we were going for – colourful and unique – and then let her do what she does best. Matt and I were absolutely blown away by how breathtaking it all looked. We wanted there to be bursts of colour at our wedding – after all, most Indian weddings are a visual feast of colour. The flowers were a central feature, binding all of the different colours of our clothing together.
For the ceremony, in line with our east-meets-west theme, I bought a champagne gold saree from Seasons, Mumbai that felt closer to a western style of wedding dress, before switching to a beautiful bold saree, also from Seasons, for the reception. The blouse, made by Gather and Stitch Couture in Sydney, was a common element throughout and was created using fabric from both sarees. I went for bold jewellery that matched the visual intensity of the sarees.
Matt was pretty relaxed about what he would be wearing. We originally thought that he would dress in a western style, but a trip to India with both parents over Christmas (an experience in itself!) along with a subsequent trip to Liverpool in Sydney’s west changed that entire vision. He saw what was possible and I think he fell in love with the colours and styles. Matt selected his own groom’s suit, called a bridal sherwani from Deepam Designer Wear along with complementary Jodhpuri suits for the groomsmen because they reminded him of something the Beatles would wear. He had no idea what I would be wearing, so it was a happy coincidence that all of the colours worked so beautifully together. His magnificent suit made his blue eyes pop. We decided to go for Indian attire on top and then western for the pants and shoes in line with the theme.
Many our guests mentioned how special the entire ceremony was, especially given how different it was for many of them as they learned about Hindu culture and traditions. Hopefully the most memorable part of our wedding for our guests was how grounded the entire day was in what matters the most to us: family, friends, kindness and gratitude – with a dash of elegance and a hell of a lot of fun, love and sentimentality. Simply being surrounded by our favourite humans from all over the world made the whole thing so memorable. So many of our friends and family members repeatedly mention how special it was that we were able to have our wedding all together before Covid-19 hit. It makes it all feel even more special in hindsight and we are so grateful for the experience of our wedding. The day was surreal and perfectly us.
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