Contemporary Hindu-Catholic Wedding

Sonia & Andrew

Snapshot

Sonia and Andrew’s wedding celebrations in Melbourne was a true fusion of their backgrounds, heritage and culture. Instead of having two separate ceremonies, the couple combined both Catholic and Hindu Marathi rituals as part of their intimate wedding ceremony. Sonia chose to wear a beautiful traditional yellow silk saree, keeping true to her traditional Marathi heritage whilst Andrew wore a sophisticated black tuxedo representing his Catholic culture. Each of their wedding events were infused with elements unique to them as a couple, resulting in a colourful, intimate and personalised wedding.

We spoke to the gracious bride Sonia, to get further details about the wedding events and her tips for planning a fusion wedding.

About The Couple

How we met

Andrew and I first officially met at the Monash University ball, however it was a while before we started talking and eventually dating.

How we are as a couple

Andy and I have completely opposite personalities but we complement each other well. We enjoy each other’s company and can laugh at our silliness and weird habits. We love exploring, watching movies and spending time with family and friends.

How he proposed

We had planned a big Europe trip that would end up in the Greek Islands. When we arrived in Santorini, all I wanted to do was check into our hotel and relax but Andy had different plans. He insisted we go for a walk up a hill to a look-out spot, and even though I was reluctant, I eventually gave in. The view from the look-out was breathtaking and unlike anything I had ever seen before. Once all the other tourists had left, Andy asked me to look out into the distance for some photos. The moment I turned back around, he was on one knee and asked me to marry him! I was in complete shock and didn’t answer for a few seconds. I then gave him a big hug and managed to say yes once I recovered.

What marriage means to us

Marriage to us means sticking together despite all the challenges we may face. It also means having each other’s back and supporting each other, which gives us the confidence to take risks in life.

The Details

Wedding Planning & Theme

It took us a little less than a year to plan the wedding. We were lucky enough to have support and assistance from family, and I can honestly say that this wedding would not have happened or have been so special, if it weren’t for them. I approached my wedding like I do most things in my life, with a checklist and a plan. Luckily, some of my friends were already married and gave me some helpful advice about professionals and venues.

VISION: We wanted our festivities to represent us and so we tried to make the events as quirky and unique to us as possible. Since Andy is from an Indian Catholic background and I am from an Indian Hindu background, we decided to have a modern, western theme for the wedding and a North Indian theme with a touch of Marathi for the reception.

VENUE: We looked at several venues but loved the atmosphere of The International of Brighton in Melbourne. Space was perfect for us and I really liked the color combination of black and white decor.

PHOTOGRAPHY & CINEMATOGRAPHY: We used Shevan J Photography. Shev has been a friend since we met at university and after seeing his work, we really wanted him to capture our special day. He is great to work with and really talented at what he does. We chose Ferndara Creative. Their work really stood out and they were great to work with.

SHOPPING: I wasn’t able to go to India so I relied on my parents to go there and shop on my behalf. They did all the wedding shopping (outfits and jewellery) in Belgaum, India. I was consistently asking them to send me photos of the outfits and they always checked with me before they bought anything. Thankfully I was really happy with their purchases.

Wedding Events

We had our wedding celebrations over the course of two days, at the end of June 2015 at The International of Brighton in Melbourne:

  1. Wedding Ceremony – Friday PM, 90 guests.
  2. Wedding Reception – Sunday PM, 290 guests.

The ceremony was a highlight for us. It was so special and combined both our traditions in such an uncomplicated way. We were also honored to be able to share the occasion with close family and friends.

Wedding Ceremony

Instead of having two separate Catholic and Hindu ceremonies, we decided to combine them and have a fusion ceremony, which included all the important Catholic and Hindu rituals. The ceremony was followed by dinner.

SONIA’S OUTFIT: I knew I wanted to wear yellow at the wedding ceremony to represent my Marathi heritage. I wore a yellow silk saree with a gold border and a maroon blouse. I changed into a pink saree for dinner afterward.

HAIR & MAKEUP: Haffsah from Lajeen Artistry did my hair and makeup. I had my hair down as I wanted my bridesmaids to have their hair in up-dos. Haffsah is great and I loved her work.

MEHENDI: I used Shweta Bapat from S & S Mehandi Designs. I didn’t want very intricate work and found some designs from Pinterest that I liked. Shweta was able to add to these designs, making the end result unique.

ANDREW’S OUTFIT: Andy definitely had it easier when it came to his outfits. After a very brief search, he chose to go with Oscar Hunt, who looked after him very well and produced outfits that we were both extremely happy with. Andy went with a black and white combination for both functions as my outfits were colorful. He wore a black tuxedo for the Ceremony.

ANDREW’S SHOES & ACCESSORIES: Andy’s shoes were from Calvin Klein. He added black button studs, black cufflinks, black bow tie and a white pocket square from Oscar Hunt to complete the look.

Bridal Party Look

BRIDESMAIDS: The bridesmaids wore a traditional white, red and gold silk saree for the Wedding Ceremony which was purchased by my parents from India. For the Reception, they wore a pink and gold saree which was purchased online from Utsav Fashion. Haffsah from Lajeen Artistry did the hair and makeup for the bridesmaids. They went with an updo hairstyle.

GROOMSMEN: In a similar vein to Andy, the groomsmen wore black suits which were bought overseas.

Reception

On the second day, we had a Reception luncheon organized by my family. This was a special day as Andy and I was able to celebrate with all of my family friends. 

SONIA’S OUTFIT: I wore a dark pink silk saree purchased from India.

HAIR & MAKEUP: Haffsah from Lajeen Artistry did my hair and makeup. I had my hair down again.

ANDREW’S OUTFIT: A black suit by Oscar Hunt.

ANDREW’S SHOES & ACCESSORIES: Calvin Klein shoes and accessories from Oscar Hunt (same as Ceremony).

Decor & Unique Details

FLORALS: Balwyn Events did all our floral and table arrangements for the wedding ceremony and reception. We had our garlands shipped from India.

CAKE: We used Laneway Cakes. I fell in love with a design from The Great Gatsby movie and wanted our cake to look like it. Gemma from Laneway Cakes did an incredible job.

Favors: We decided to give a donation on behalf of each guest to Diabetes Australia.

GUESTBOOK ALTERNATIVE: We bought a signing board from Ikea instead of having a guest book.

DJ: We opted to go with a DJ instead of a band. We used DJ Kiks as we had heard him play at other functions and loved his collection of traditional and western music that could cater to all age groups. He did an amazing job on both days and everyone had a great time.

Wedding Planning Tips

1. Make sure you prioritise and have a checklist.

2. Have a ‘wedding free day’ in the time leading up to the wedding (where you don’t talk about anything wedding related).

3.  Enjoy yourself.

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