Rustic DIY Poolside Engagement

Karishma & Shav


This intimate and rustic engagement party at home is full of great decor and styling ideas. Karishma and Shav wanted a casual engagement party with minimal formalities and did alot of the planning and setup themselves to make their vision come to life. We love how the couple transformed their backyard into a rustic setup by using fairy lights, vintage decor and DIY letter lights, which also added a touch of glamour. All the elements came together brilliantly to provide a cozy, initimate and relaxed atmosphere, allowing everyone, including the engaged couple to have a memorable night.

We spoke to the bride-to-be, Karishma, to understand how this beautiful love story began and the inspiration behind the gorgeous engagement party.

About The Couple

How did we meet?

Shav and I met at my sister’s wedding in 2012. He was there from the groom’s side.

How we are as a couple?

We work really well as a couple because we are just so comfortable and free with each other. I tend to get stressed out sometimes, but luckily Shav brings the calmness in our relationship. We have many common interests such as going to music festivals and eating out, however, these days we prefer staying in, cooking and watching TV. Growing old I guess!

How he proposed?

The proposal was very sweet, simple and somewhat unexpected! It happened on a cold winter’s night after a work function. We were meant to go out for dinner but it was really cold so I convinced him to stay in. We were watching TV and after saying a few sweet words he just popped the ring out of nowhere.

What marriage means to us?

We are really looking forward to our marriage and moving in together, but not so much all the wedding planning! We are also looking forward to the little things like waking up together, cooking together and not having to stay out just to see each other. I honestly have to say that I have found my best friend in Shav. Marriage to us is a commitment to be ourselves and have fun together, but to also be there for each other when times are tough.

The Details

Engagement Planning

We had a small intimate, casual engagement party at Shav’s house. Most Fijian-Indian events tend to be big affairs, however, we somehow managed to keep our guest list to a decent number.

VENUE: We chose to have the engagement party in Shav’s spacious backyard. It has a beautiful pool, open plan area, decking and bi-fold doors which was everything we wanted and needed for our casual rustic theme party.

THEME: Shav and I knew from the start that we didn’t want a traditional engagement party. We opted to have a rustic theme and do it ourselves. I can be very particular about what I want, and it took me weeks to settle on the whole look and style. The few things we definitely wanted were a rustic theme, DJ, free-flowing alcohol, photobooth, waiters, and a very casual atmosphere without too many formalities. This required a lot of Googling and luckily my sister helped me a lot with making the final choices.

PHOTOGRAPHY & CINEMATOGRAPHY: I chose Prolive Productions for photography and cinematography. The photos speak for themselves and on top of that, we found Raheel and his team to be really friendly. They took the time to understand what we wanted and came up with some great ideas for us.

CATERING: Our family friends Deva and Aruna, who are professional chefs, were the caterers for the event. I have to say the food was excellent and the guests also loved it.

Decor & Unique Details

HIGHLIGHTS: I think our whole engagement was unique to us. We loved every moment of it. I really loved Shav’s speech, the food, the decor, and the people.

DECOR & UNIQUE DETAILS: We hired the decor props from a Decor-a-shaanNY Party hire and Queen Street Vintage but set it all up ourselves. We laid out the chairs, tables, centerpieces, lights, cake table, card corner, and the buffet area. Some unique details included:

  • DIY Letter lights: Shav made the letter lights that we ha on the pool as a feature. I was so impressed with his effort – It was the first time he had made something like that and it turned out perfect!
  • Florals: We chose Shilpa Florist to make our floral centerpieces.
  • Photobooth: We had photobooth from Open Air Photo Booth. Cedrick and his partner were lovely and even stayed a little longer for our guests.
  • Cake: My sister chose the cake. It was a naked red velvet made by Victoria’s Sweet Secrets and reflected our rustic theme. My sister added the final touches with some flowers and a cake topper.

The Look

KARISHMA’S OUTFIT: Both our outfits were chosen by my sister Shiv. I knew I wanted to wear white and so went with a white off-shoulder dress from Kookai.

JEWELLERY: The only jewellery I wore on the night was my engagement ring. I am not much of a jewellery person but I love my ring!

HAIR & MAKEUP: Makeup Guru by Shakereen Chowdhury.

SHAV’S OUTFIT: Shav wore a navy blue blazer, white shirt, blue bowtie and beige pants from Topman.

Tips For Brides-To-Be

1. Shop around

2. Plan ahead

3. Finalize things promptly 

4. Enjoy the day!

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