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Abirami & Dilshan's Wedding

Abirami & Dilshan's Wedding

Tell us a bit about your favorite moments of the wedding...

Our favorite moment was when we first saw each other at the Hindu wedding, we could not stop smiling at each other. We were completely oblivious to all the other wedding commotion happening around us which was very nice.

We had the most fun...

We had epic levels of fun during our first dance. We had choreographed a special number to the song You Give Me Something by Jamiroquai, which incorporated plenty of twirls to show off my layered lehenga skirt. It was such an upbeat way to open up the dance floor for the evening.

I cried when...

I was overcome with emotion during my Reception speech as I looked around the room at our family and closest friends. We were grateful beyond measure to have so many loved ones celebrating our love with us.

 

My wedding style was...

Modern and elegant, staying true to key traditional elements.

It was most important to me that...

Making sure that our personality as a couple was reflected in our wedding events. We wanted to keep things simple, fun and above all, we wanted our loved ones to relax and enjoy the celebrations.

Most valuable advice for future Brides?

  1. Make decisions together and back each other - With Indian weddings, it’s not unusual to find yourself in a position where you feel like you need to balance everyone’s views on how things should be.  Make sure you prioritize your own vision as a couple, above all else.
  2. Take it all in - Your wedding day will fly by in the blink of an eye. Make sure you have meditative moments to revel in the energy, the love and the fun of your wedding day.
  3. Look at the bigger picture -  There will be things that go wrong, despite all the meticulous planning. On your wedding day, just breathe and let these little issues pass. After all, the day is only as fun as you make it!
  4. Communicate your vision with confidence - Don’t be shy to articulate your wish list with suppliers, they’ve seen it all before and can provide valuable advice. Where possible, meet with your suppliers in person. Putting a face to a name will help with all your subsequent dealings.

About The Couple

How we met

We both met in our graduate year at Deloitte, our first meeting could not have been more unromantic. Despite us having very contrasting personalities, we became good friends over the year. It took a long time for us to admit our feelings, despite our closest friends subconsciously pushing us towards each other. Our friendship evolved into love, and as they say, ‘The rest is history’.

When I knew he was the one

We both knew that we had a good thing quite early on into our relationship. We were good friends before we started dating, which made us comfortable around each other, whether it be acting the fool, debating those serious topics, or laughing out loud at a good dad joke. 

Marriage to us means

This line from RM Drake beautifully captures what love means to us: “Love is a touch of magic and a handful of dreams”. To us, marriage celebrates this love for a lifetime.

The proposal

During the year leading up to our engagement, Dilshan had moved to Melbourne for work. At that time, we had both met each other’s parents and we were starting to discuss the prospect of sharing our lives together. Our six-year anniversary came and went. We had a romantic dinner reflecting back on our relationship. A mid-dinner call from my father to Dilshan's phone did arouse my sneaky suspicions, but at the end of the evening, there was still no proposal, nor a ring.

A couple of weeks later, my girlfriends wanted to organise a catch up at my apartment, but little did I know that Dilshan was orchestrating this ‘catch-up’ behind the scenes. Friday night came, and the girls played their roles well, routinely texting me saying they were on the way. When the doorbell rang, I buzzed the girls up and was busy doing some last minute frantic cleaning. I was mid-way through unloading my dishwasher and in bursts Dilshan, who had secretly flown in from Melbourne that afternoon!

I was in such a state of shock that I didn’t even register the fact that he was down on one knee, holding in his hand the most beautiful diamond ring, set in a rose gold band (exactly like the one I had dropped so many hints about). When it all finally sunk in, of course, the answer was yes! I did love that he was successfully able to outwit my cluey and suspicious nature. He told me to pack an overnight bag and whisked me away to a romantic dinner at Flying Fish Jones Bay Wharf, which boasted magnificent views of Sydney harbor.

            

The Details

Wedding Planning

13 months seems like ample time to plan a wedding, but time literally flies. We enjoyed our post-engagement bliss for one month before locking in a venue. We had attended many friends’ weddings and had a fair idea about Sydney wedding venues. The only challenge was trying to coordinate auspicious dates with our pundit and the availability of our preferred venues. As a result of the to and fro, and because we wanted to celebrate both my South Indian Hindu background and Dilshan's Sri Lankan Buddhist faith, we ended up having our Hindu wedding on a Sunday and our Buddhist wedding on the following Friday. A Friday Reception worked out well in hindsight as a nice gate-opener to the weekend. Securing suppliers for Sundays and Fridays is generally a lot easier than Saturdays. The gap between the two events worked well in terms of planning unique elements for each event.

We prioritized all the major wedding decisions using a checklist we found online. We retained all the key decision making on the major wedding items - venues, outfits, photography, and décor, whilst delegating smaller tasks to family and friends. Tasks we delegated include transport, place cards, wedding favors, wishing well setup and pre-wedding events. We left all the ceremonial ritual aspects to our parents. As a couple, we made final decisions on smaller tasks as necessary.

Key Professionals

INVITATIONS: We ordered all of our wedding stationery from Giant Invitations I was obsessed with laser cut details at the time, and they have so many beautiful designs we could choose from. I was even able to send them an image of Ganesh, which they imprinted with ease.

PHOTO & VIDEO: We secured photography and videography services with Splendid Photos & Video. We really thought outside the box in relation to booking wedding professionals (ie. not just Indian suppliers). Splendid sat down with us prior to our wedding days in order to understand the nuances of our respective cultural ceremonies. We were also given a reasonable quote for bundling both photo and video services across two full event days. They were professional and creative and gave us plenty of direction on the day.

HAIR & MAKEUP: Hair and makeup are important to lock in early. I had my heart set on Gather and Stitch Beauty, after hearing so many positive reviews from my close friends. The G&S team was a pleasure to work with. Not only were they fun, they made us all look amazing, and were instrumental in keeping me cool, calm and collected on the big day.

Wedding Shopping

With about four days of leave, I had just enough time to do some wedding shopping in Chennai, since my family had good local knowledge of stores, tailors, and jewelers in the city.

During my three shopping days, I prioritized clothing over accessories, as I already had quite the collection of temple jewelry from SukraJewellers and GRT Jewellers, being a Bharatanatyam dancer. I also had plenty of antique gold and kundan pieces I had accumulated over the years from markets and stores in India.

Ideally, I would have loved to have swung by Mumbai to pick out Reception outfits. However, without the time, I took to Instagram and discovered Carma, an India-based online store, which curates bridal outfits and accessories from a range of Indian designers. Upon my initial inquiry, they assigned me a dedicated sales assistant via WhatsApp. They were extremely professional and went above and beyond to help me source the perfect outfit for my reception by liaising with designers and communicating customization requirements.

Some designers were more flexible than others. I had a difficult time finding a pure white saree for the Buddhist ceremony. I had my heart set on a Sabyasachi saree but they were unwilling to customize the colors of their designs. I then discovered Shyamal&Bhumika. I just loved their signature antique gold floral embroidery work. All their designs are fully customizable in terms of color and style. I liaised with them via WhatsApp and FaceTime to customize my pieces.

I was very lucky, as the fitting was perfect for all the items I ordered online. I had a tailor in Sydney take my measurements correctly before passing them on to the designers via WhatsApp.

TIP: I did have one touch-and-go situation with Shyamal&Bhumika when their definition of ivory was closer to gold than white, which is different to what we know to be ivory here in Australia. I luckily caught onto this before confirming the final order. To keep things simple, I told them to simply customize the saree to white, rather than get into the complications of shades of white.

 

Vendors

Venue

Miramare Gardens 

Sergeants Mess

The Kingsbury Hotel

Photography/ Cinematography

Splendid Photos & Video 

Invitations & Stationary

Giant Invitations 

Printing

InkTank Printing.com

Decor

VIP Decorating 

Flowers by Drosia

Miramare Gardens

Bride's Outfits

Shyamal&Bhumika 

Sundari Silks

RidhimaBhasin

Gather and Stitch Couture 

Payal Singhal

Carma

Bride's Jewelry

SukraJewellers

GRT Jewellers

Suhana Art & Jewels

Bride's Accessories

TariniNirula 

Bride's Shoes

Nine West 

Hair & Makeup

Gather and Stitch Beauty

Henna Artist

Reema's Henna Designs 

Groom's Outfits

Manyavar

Joe Black 

David Jones

Groom's Accessories

Manyavar

Malebox

Groom's Shoes

Manyavar

Aldo 

Bridesmaids Outfits

Nalli Silks

Vogue Loving 

Groomsmen Outfits

Myer 

DJ & Live Music

Systematic Solutions

Catering

Surjit’s Indian Restaurant

Taj Caterers

Cake

Paintbrush Patisserie

Transport

JC Limousines 

 


 


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