In honour of Mamamia’s new wedding planning podcast Hitched, we wanted to celebrate (and perve on) YOUR weddings.
Each week, we’ll deep dive into one Aussie couple’s wedding day to bring you all the details about the important stuff. From the practical things like the dress and vendors to the words of wisdom they wish they’d heard before their big day, below you’ll find everything you want to know.
Oh, there’s lots of beautiful photos too.
This week’s Wedding of the Week is Ari and Amarise’s vibrant weddings. That’s right, they had not one, but two. An Indian wedding and a Western wedding. Enjoy! Don’t forget to Subscribe to Hitched here.
Who: Amarise and Ari, both 29 from NSW
Wedding date: Indian wedding, April 29th, 2017 and Western wedding, May 6th, 2017
Number of guests: Approx. 180 at each function
Photography: Feather & Birch
“I cannot recommend Matty enough. There is nothing more important than a photographer that makes you feel comfortable on your wedding day and can snap the perfect picture instantly.”
Ari and Amarise's love story.
"Ari and I met through mutual friends by chance. I went a housewarming of a work colleague who happened to be childhood friends with Ari, we were introduced that night and we instantly hit it off. Ari contacted me the day after we met and suggested we catch up over dinner.
"Only problem? We lived an hour and a half away from each other. The distance sometimes proved difficult however whenever we could, we would always make time to see one another. It did not take long for Ari and I to see a future in one another.
"In June 2016, Ari and I went to Europe for a holiday. Halfway through the trip while we were watching the sunset over the stunning Santorini, Ari dropped down on one knee and proposed. Second to our wedding day, it was one of the best days of our lives.
"Ari has a carefree and easy going nature which completely balances out our relationship. We support one another 100 percent and have both achieved a lot whilst we have been together which we both recognise as being a direct result of the other person.
"For us, our relationship is based on truth, honesty, love and support no matter how difficult the situation may be. We agreed to always respect one another and raise a family that hold the same values we do close to our heart."
The wedding dresses.
Indian wedding dress: Custom made in India, Anaya Fashion in Sydney
"I provided my ideas and inspiration to Radhika who then liaised with the tailor in India. It was exactly how I had envisaged it."
"I have always loved and dreamt of wearing a long sleeved wedding dress. I believe they're so timeless, sophisticated and classy, and I'm so happy I found one that I absolutely fell in love with. I was lucky enough to find a beautiful dress at my first fitting at Brides by Francesca in Rockdale, Sydney.
"The ladies at Brides by Francesca were so helpful and most of all, not pushy. I appreciated their honesty and suggestions and their overall assistance in finding the right gown. The only concerns I had were about finding a dress to feel comfortable and confident in. I was unsure what may suit my body shape however it is so important to try dresses on to get a feel of what style suits.
"I was fortunate that my dress was one of the first few dresses I tried on. My heart skipped a beat and the reality hit that I was going to get married in this dress. I instantly fell in love with it however told myself I would try others. After trying on several more dresses the week later, my heart was still set on that one dress."
Amariese's bridal hair, makeup and final touches.
Indian wedding hair and makeup: Fareha Bridal Studio
"The day before the Indian ceremony, we held the Mayaan, an Indian ritual where they “prepare” the bride for her wedding day, at my family home. My family and close girl friends attended this event.
"After the Mayaan, we had a henna artist visit the house. All the girls had their henna done also.
"Despite waking up at 4am to begin getting ready on the day itself, it was worth it. I felt like an absolute princess and loved that my friends got my experience my culture."
Western wedding makeup: Fay Kotina, Embellish Makeup
Western wedding hair: Rania Khouri, worn down with barrel curls
Shoes: Verali Shoes, blush pink/nude open-toe stiletto with delicate straps
Hair piece: Custom made, Marie Elena Hair Pieces
Jewellery: Diamond earrings and rings, House of Kdor
"I wanted to look timeless but I also wanted to incorporate my own personal style into my wedding day. You can say that I am quite a girly girl and I think the hairpiece was something that signifies my personal style. I also loved the big hair as I have always had curly hair my whole life and wanted to keep some similarities.
"I felt so confident on my wedding day. You spend months leading up to the wedding so focused on every detail and hoping for it to all turn out perfectly. I knew I was in great hands with my hair and makeup stylists but once you put the gown on it all just comes together.
"The funny thing is that you are so caught up in the moment on the wedding day that all these trivial things you worried about do not even matter anymore."
The bridal party.
Bridesmaid dresses: Custom made, Suelin
Bridesmaid jewellery: Custom made, Stones of Atlantis
Groom’s outfit: Hugo Boss suit and shirt, Windsor Smith shoes, Hugo Boss cufflinks , Myer bow tie and suspenders
Groomsmen outfits: Ron Bennett suits, Myer shirts, Windsor Smith shoes and Myer ties and suspenders
"My bridesmaids were my sister and my best friend of 23 years, (who I also classify as my sister). It wasn’t a difficult decision as I knew I would always have them stand be me on my wedding day.
"Ari felt very much the same about his choice. Both his groomsman are life long friends of his. Our youngest of our nieces and nephews were asked to be as our flower girl, page boy and junior bridesmaid.
"We loved the contribution of our bridal party but also wanted them to enjoy the day. We tried not to ask too much of them during the wedding process but they naturally assisted with quite a few things leading up to the day.
"I wanted the girls to feel comfortable in their dresses. I think it’s important for your bridesmaids to have a say in their outfit, at the end of the day, they are the ones who will be wearing them all day.
"I decided on the colour of the dresses once we decided on the colours for the wedding. I consulted the girls when it came to the tone of the colour. The bridesmaids accompanied me when I chose the material for the dresses and also when the design was chosen."
The ceremonies and reception.
Indian wedding venue: Sikh Mission Centre in Austral, NSW
"Being from an Indian background, I wanted to incorporate my culture into our wedding days. We had the option of holding the traditional Sikh ceremony at an offsite venue however this specific temple holds a lot of memories for my grandparents.
"Preparing for the Indian wedding was both exciting and emotional. It meant a lot to my parents for my dad to give me away in our Indian culture. I am very close to my parents so it was an honour for me to hold the Indian ceremony."
"A well known Indian wedding planner. Nita organised all the set up for our Indian wedding including the arrangements at my family home for the traditional Mayaan and Henna ceremony leading up to the marquee and decor at the Sikh Temple.
"I think I was more nervous at the Indian ceremony than I was at the Western wedding the week after. Being the first of the two weddings, I was so overwhelmed and nervous walking into the temple and having all eyes turn to you. I was very excited to see my husband, whom we dressed up in a traditional Indian outfit. Once I sat down next to my husband and we glanced at each other, the nerves disappeared.
"I don't have many Indian friends so our friends absolutely loved experiencing the different culture. Ari is of Greek descent so it was great to have his family be a part of all the traditions. The week after I was extremely excited to “officially” get hitched and party with our guests at the reception. I was excited to share with them all the planning we had put in to the big day."
Western wedding ceremony venue: Hickson Road Reserve, The Rocks
Reception venue: Sydney University Great Hall
Invitations: Va Va Voom Designs
Celebrant: Nicola Coyle
Flowers and decor: Medina Designs
Catering: Laissez Faire Catering
Wedding cake: Made by Amarise's sister in law
Cars: WOW Limousines
Polaroid cameras and printing station: Undisposable
"We both wanted an outdoor ceremony. For us personally, we believed it was a lot more casual and why not show our overseas guests the beauty of Sydney with the Harbour bridge and Opera House in our view? The weather was perfect - 30 degrees and the sun was shining.
"Our reception was help at the Great Hall at Sydney University. This was a recommendation from a friend. Whilst keeping the theme of a more casual wedding, we wanted a space where our guests could spend time together after the ceremony before we kicked off the reception.
"We organised for lawn games on the quadrangle before the reception where the guests could enjoy the cheese and antipasto grazing table and canapés and a few drinks before hand.
"The inside of the Great Hall is divine. I fell in love with the sandstone walls, marble flooring and wooden arched roof. We decided long before booking the venue we both prefer long buffet tables for the guests as opposed to circular tables. This venue worked perfectly with our ideas.
"We opted for share platters which was a big hit. We found this gave our guests the opportunity to try various dishes whilst also catering for specific dietary requirements. We had an abundance of food which is important in our families. Our guests left with full bellies and still rave on about the food to this day!
"Singer Glen Whitehall entertained our guests during the pre-drinks on the lawn and through to dinner at the reception before the DJ kicked off the dancing.
"My bridesmaids, um and I put together wedding favours for our guests. I ordered test tubes from Etsy and personalised wedding tags to signify our wedding day. We stuffed each test tube with tea leaves."
The moments that made Ari and Amarise's wedding days special.
"It's so hard to choose just one moment that made our weddings days as the whole experience was just incredible. However, after the Indian wedding my husband surprised me with a real life baby goat.
"After an Indian wedding, traditionally when the husband arrives back to the bride's house when she will officially leaves the home, the bride's sisters/female cousins will not let the husband in the house unless he pays his way in.
"My husband took things to the next level and decided to offer my sisters and cousins a real life baby goat which he had his friends pick up on the way home from the Indian ceremony. Of course we kept the goat as a pet!
"Then, as corny as it sounds, walking down the aisle with my dad and seeing the smile on Ari’s face was priceless. We also released butterflies during our ceremony to commemorate Ari's late mother who passed away two months before our wedding day.
"Our first dance was to 'Magic' by Coldplay - this song was released soon after Ari and I started dating. We both loved the song and whenever we would hear it we would associate each other with it. We thought it was perfect for a first dance song."
Would Ari and Amarise change anything about their wedding day?
"There's nothing I would really change as such, I'm quite organised which can sometimes be a downfall though. I found myself worrying about minute details which in the end, did not matter at all. It's important to trust your suppliers as they have a lot of experience and knowledge in the industry.
"The only real hiccup that worried me was our invitations were delayed as the company in Sydney was unable to source the specific stencils from overseas on time, but Va Va Voom Designs ensured that the invites were delivered timely in the end.
"Fortunately, everything went according to plan on both weddings days (as far as I can remember!). There wasn’t one aspect of the wedding I regret spending money on because we had such a blast and to hear our guests still talk about our wedding puts a big smile on our face.
"Before our wedding, I was given this advice and I want to pass it onto future couples – amongst all the events of the day, take a moment with your husband to sit back and take in the wedding day. The day will fly by, however after all the months of planning, it is so important for you to acknowledge all your hard work and effort that has gone into making your day perfect."
All images supplied by Ari and Amarise, and Feather & Birch.
If you're a fan of weddings, make sure you listen to our brand new podcast - Hitched. We've just launched episode one where we run through your immediate post-engagement to do list. Note books at the ready please.