Contemporary Indian Garden Wedding

Kanika & Karan


Everything about Kanika and Karan’s Indian wedding in Melbourne oozes style – from locations to outfits to colour palettes. With Indian weddings known for being large, colourful and full of shiny things, it is always refreshing to see a couple keeping it simple, intimate and classy. We especially love how Kanika and Karan managed to add lots of contemporary touches to their big day – from walking down the aisle with a bridal party to getting a corset blouse for her outfit, to the stunning and chic Reception location.

The feature of the wedding for us, however, was definitely their wedding ceremony ensemble. Kanika and Karan both went for a monochromatic look with a vintage gold theme. This helped other elements of their ensemble stand out such as Kanika’s stunning jewelry set and those gorgeous accent colors. The brighter shade of red and the lovely emerald green color are so beautifully highlighted with makeup, florals, and the green bridesmaids’ sarees and groomsmen scarves. And oh, that jewelry! Kanika got it custom made in the exact same style as her mother’s wedding jewelry. How lovely is that? We always find it so nice when brides choose to wear something of sentimental value on the day of your wedding – it just makes the day that much more special.

We catch up with Kanika to ask her some more about how she went about the big day and how she went about planning for it.

About The Couple

How he proposed?

I was blessed to be proposed to at sunset in Santorini. Karan and I had just spent 4 months away from each other following my short term secondment working in the UK. I was really hoping we would get engaged on our European holiday, but he definitely didn’t let me know it was about to happen. It was the most surreal moment when he went down on one knee, and I’m really glad he had the foresight to give the camera to the waiter so that we could capture the moment.

The Details


VISION: Being raised in Australia, I had always wanted to walk down the aisle and have a seated wedding ceremony where the focus was on the bride & the groom. In this regard, I really wanted a “fusion” of both western and Indian cultures.

SHOPPING: We did all our wedding shopping in Delhi. I did a bit of research online before I went, looking at designers and had a color scheme and rough designs in mind for what I wanted. I was really lucky as I managed to find everything I wanted at Frontier Raas in South Ex II. My Reception and Sangeet lehengas were based on other outfits they had in stock but were in the wrong colors. They were really good at understanding what I wanted, made these pieces to order and shipped it all to Australia with no hassles.

TIPS: Best advice would be to listen to everyone, but be really clear in your mind with exactly what you want. Especially in India, family or shopkeepers and even people off the street will tell you their opinion so you really need to stand firm with what you want and what your vision is.

Wedding Events

Our wedding celebrations were spread out over a weekend of October / early November:

  1. Sangeet – Saturday PM, Saffron Club.
  2. Haldi & Mehendi – Wednesday AM & PM, Family Home.
  3. Ceremony – Saturday AM, Potters Receptions.
  4. Reception – Saturday PM, Carousel.


We had a small Sangeet at Saffron Club. The afternoon was filled with dances from family and friends.

KANIKA’S OUTFIT: I wore a purple lehenga purchased from Frontier Raas, Delhi.

HAIR & MAKEUP: I did my own hair and makeup.

KARAN’S OUTFIT: Mint green kurta set designed and custom made in Delhi.

Ceremony & Reception

VENUES: We wanted a lot of natural beauty in the surroundings of my wedding, which is why we chose a beautiful non-denominational chapel at Potters Receptions in Warrandyte for the Ceremony and a Reception at Carousel perched on the banks of Albert Park Lake with stunning views of Melbourne city skyline.

HIGHLIGHTS: We decided to have the wedding Ceremony and Reception both on the day which meant an early start and a long day! The Ceremony celebrations at 9:30 am with a baraat followed by the Hindu Ceremony. My bridesmaids walked down the aisle to one of my favorite songs, If I Ain’t Got You by Alicia Keys. I walked down the aisle to Kissing You by Sade. It was an easy choice, I think I had been dreaming of walking down the aisle to this song ever since I watched Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo & Juliet!

Hindu ceremonies traditionally last for four to five hours, however, we chose Pandit Abhay Awasthi who was able to condense the main Hindu rituals as well as the civil ceremony components to one hour or so. Walking down the aisle, and seeing Karan with tears in his eyes was a really special moment. Although, if you ask him, he will tell you it was because he knew that was the moment his life was over!

Guests enjoyed a light lunch after the Ceremony and headed home for a break before the Reception in the evening. We used the break for a photoshoot around Melbourne before getting ready again. A larger set of guests joined us for a lovely Reception on the lake as we enjoyed dinner, drinks, speeches and of course, dancing!

Decor & Unique Details

Our vision was to keep it all really simple and let the beauty of the venues speak for themselves.

The chapel at Potters Receptions already had a pseudo-mandap setup, so we had our decorator Rupali’s Mandaps provide little touches. I really love white flowers, so I kept all the floral decorations white at both the Ceremony and the Reception. All flowers were by Bouquet Melbourne.

I also loved our cake! We decided to go with a red velvet cake and serve it as dessert at the Reception. But the best thing about our cake was the little replica bride and groom made by Cakes of Distinction. They made them out of clay and really went to a lot of effort to get it exactly how we wanted it – including using our pictures to get the detailing of our outfits right.

Ceremony Look

KANIKA’S OUTFIT: I purchased my ceremony outfit from Frontier Raas with no changes. However, I had my blouse made in Melbourne in a corset style as I really wanted it to be a fusion of a traditional “white” wedding dress, but still very Indian.

JEWELLERY: Custom made to the exact design of my mother’s wedding jewellery.

HAIR & MAKEUP: Hair was by Sally Jenkin Hair and Makeup and makeup was by Candice September. I had my hair in a neat bun with red roses on the side and makeup was kept natural with red lips as this was the accent color.

KARAN’S OUTFIT: Custom designed and made in Delhi.

BRIDESMAIDS: An emerald green saree with a gold border to match my outfit. We had Zara Hair and Makeup help with the saree draping and getting them ready.

GROOMSMEN: A gold kurta set with an emerald green dupatta to match the bridesmaids.

Reception Look

KANIKA’S OUTFIT: I wore a green and blue peacock colored lehenga from Frontier Raas.

JEWELLERY: Costume jewellery purchased from a small store in Delhi.

HAIR & MAKEUP: I kept my hair and makeup from the Ceremony with touchups. Hair was by Sally Jenkin Hair and Makeup and makeup was by Candice September.

KARAN’S OUTFIT: Black suit by Yves Saint Laurent purchased from Harrolds in Melbourne.

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