Chic Indian DIY Engagement
Nikita & Nakul
After an elaborate surprise proposal, we had high expectations from Nikita and Nakul's engagement party. We weren’t disappointed! On first glance, the party appears to be a formal affair with Nakul dressed in a black suit and bow tie and Nikita in an embellished black gown. But the couple indulged in their creative sides to put together a personalised, chic DIY event that was plenty of fun as well.
We were blown away by the amount of detail the couple went to in creating a fun, playful vibe. Our personal favourites included the colourful mason jar cocktails, the decorations featuring elements of their story and the life size Instagram board that served as the perfect prop for guest photos and memorabilia for the couple. We couldn’t take our eyes off the extensive dessert bar that was mostly prepared by Nikita herself.
We catchup with Nikita to find out all the details and the behind-the-scenes planning that went into this fabulous party.
About The Couple
How we met
At my sister’s 21st - you never know where you will meet someone! Nakul and my sister knew each other from their Bollywood dancing days, so he happened to be at the 21st. Nakul says he was “blown away” by my speech so he approached me afterwards to compliment me on it, and we had a quick chat. The next night, Nakul flew to America for 5 weeks – but not a day went by without us talking (you can imagine the phone bill!). When he came back, we met up again and the rest as they say, is history!
How he proposed
Nakul organised a series of surprises that lead to the most amazing proposal.
What marriage will mean for us
For us, marriage will be the opportunity to spend the rest of lives together - as best friends and as husband and wife. We look forward to travelling and starting a family together, along the way creating lots of happy memories and sharing amazing experiences. We are excited for what the future holds and look forward to taking the next step in our relationship.
PLANNING: We started planning for the engagement party about two months before deciding on the date and type of party. We always knew we wanted to use my parents amazing backyard, so that was one less thing to organise. After making sure our closest friends were available on the date we chose, it was full steam ahead.
The organising of the food, drinks, set up and invitations all took about 6 weeks. We both have such an eye for detail that we just couldn’t help but plan every little thing. From the fairy lights to the cocktail dispensers and everything in-between, we took a lot of inspiration from Pinterest.
VISION: We wanted something classy, yet casual enough for people to have a good time and relax.
PHOTOGRAPHY: We chose Ian from I.C. Captured Photography for our event. We have seen a lot of his work in the past, and knew he did a great job. We were really happy with him on the night. He managed to capture every moment of the event with professionalism and creativity.
Invitations & Stationery
I did a lot of research on Etsy.com for ideas for the invitations. We came across a supplier called White Willow Paper, who is based in Melbourne. We loved her simple yet classy designs, and chose a black and white theme with featured fairy lights.
This then became the theme of the party and we decorated the whole back yard with fairy lights. She also made us some signs with our social media hashtag in the same design, which we were then able to display around the house. Her service was great and I would certainly recommend them for a simple and fun invitation.
It was so great to see everyone have such a great time at the party. We had lots of compliments on the food, set up, drinks and dessert bar, which made me realise that all our hard work and attention to detail paid off. It was so great to spend time and celebrate with all our friends (even those that flew in from interstate just for the occasion). The night just went by so fast, I look back at the photos and wish we could relive it all over again.
For music, chose to have some background music, however didn't feel the need to hire a DJ. Nakul made a playlist which we could connect to the surround sound outdoor speakers at my parents place. The songs mainly consisted of the old and new R&B tunes to keep the crowd entertained.
Food & Drink
Catering was always going to be tricky, as I love cooking and had to resist the urge to do it all myself. In the end, we stuck to a cocktail style catering – offering around 10 savoury items, followed by an epic dessert bar and cake.
Savoury Menu: The savoury items were a combination of both our wonderful mums' hard work, and by a catering company called Oasis Bakery. By doing half catered and half home made, we were able to save a bit of money too. Then we had the lovely mums serve the food around on platters, so each item was served hot.
Cocktail Bar: Finally, a lot of time and thought went into the set up of the bar. I wanted something different, not just beer and champagne, so I opted for a selection of cocktails. I had a couple of drink dispensers which made displaying the cocktails perfect. And I chose a few of our favourites – Pimms and Sangria. We made >12L of each in the morning, to allow the flavours to settle in. We served them in cute mason jars with straws. They not only looked good, but tasted great! One of the things that helped the most, was having a few boys on the bar for the evening. They were able to serve everyone, open bottles, make a trip to Dan Murphy’s when things were running low and generally keep everyone’s glasses filled.
Dessert Bar: The dessert bar was just incredible. This was thanks to my lovely bridesmaids, who all brought a dessert as well as spent hours setting up and decorating the dessert bar. After that, it was me in the kitchen for 2 days straight to cook the remainder of the desserts. I tried to stick to simple recipes – Oreo balls, Tim Tam truffles, chocolate mousse, lemon slice, Malteser slice, Nutella tarts...the list goes on! And I can never host a party without a chocolate fountain, which was a feature of the table too
Cupcake Tree: Instead of the traditional cake, we opted for a 'cupcake tree' which meant we didn’t have to slice it up and serve it, and we could have as many flavours as we liked. The more variety, the better! We chose Ab Fab Cakes to make our cupcakes for us, and they added a small cake on top, just for the purpose of cutting. The cake was flavoured chocolate raspberry, their speciality. And the cupcakes were a variety of white chocolate mud and red velvet. They were all just delicious. In fact they were such an efficient, organised and friendly company, we plan to use them for our wedding cake too.
Other Unique Details
We decided to add a few little details, to make the event something special:
- Instagram board - made by Lifesize Standups was accompanied with a Polaroid camera and a frame to hang the photos on for our collection
- Signs & buntings - from Typo to decorate the house and garden
- A storyboard - to share with others our love story, including dates of when all our milestones have occurred (a big thanks to Louise for putting it all together)
- A photo wall - with photos of us from over the years for everyone to share in our journey
NIKITA'S OUTFIT: Nakul actually picked my engagement party dress! He has such an eye for fashion. We both knew we wanted to stick to black and white, so he found the black and gold dress online at Selfridges, as I'm a big fan of London shopping.
HAIR & MAKEUP: I did my own makeup but for hair I couldn’t look past my hairdresser of 15 years – Natt from Francapelli Academy, Hawthorn. He always knows what to do and how much volume I love! Not only did he come to my place with all his tools and charge me mates-rates on a Sunday, but he also helped taste-test the cocktails! I would most certainly recommend him for not just his wonderful styling, but also his great service. I had countless complements on my hair during the evening, which is a credit to him.
NAKUL'S OUTFIT: Nakul bought his suit and shoes from Jack London in Melbourne.
Tips For Brides-To-Be
- Be organised and use your precious time wisely
- Utilise the skills and expertise of your friends and family
- Don’t forget to relax and enjoy the moment. After all, it’s a once in a lifetime experience!