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Sarah & Sugata

This colourful Mildura wedding captured by Harvard Wang epitomises the relaxation and fun that a backyard wedding is all about. It’s filled to the brim with culture, colour and a whole lot of beautiful fun.

As for how they met, the newlyweds tell, “We knew each other from a Melbourne university residential college. Sarah was the president of student club and Sug was actually a fresher. However, we only really got to knew each other really well after graduation.”

Sarah adds, “I’m a communications advisor, in government. Sug is a postgrad studying weather and climate. We’d been together for close to six years, and had known for a long time that we wanted to get hitched. We love bush walks and this day took a walk down Mornington Peninsula way. I knew something was up this day as Sug organised a picnic with the more premium goods! We took a dip in the cold ocean, got out both looking like ‘beach whales as I joke’ and Sug asked me to marry him! It was such a special day, where we spent the whole day just in our own good news before telling family later on that night.”

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Sarah chose a dress by Temperly London, noting, “Sug and I love colour and I knew I wanted a bright, colourful, happy dress and spent a couple of months poking around shops and online. I hadn’t tried anything on, and came across this fuchsia dress on The Outnet. That was it. Simple and no overthinking.”

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Of their photographer, Sarah tells,”We knew Harvard since uni and he did an amazing job at Lucinda and Andrew’s wedding in Lorne which was also featured on Polka Dot Bride three years ago. I’m glad to have him document such an important day of our lives. If there’s anyone that could make Mildura look cool, it’s him!”

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Sarah remembers, “Harvard suggested getting in amongst the vines and we noticed huge bull ants but did not notice the hard mud that I proceeded to run into with my nice shoes. I got bogged and had to take my feet out of the shoes and Sugs came in after me. What a hoot. I wasn’t too fazed as by then I was running on adrenaline. It was only later I realized I was lucky I didn’t fall in as that would have been the end of the dress.”

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Sarah and Sugata married at Sarah’s family home noting, “Sarah’s family home is a special place with a great backyard. Cost-wise it made a lot of sense, and also meant we could have everything as we wanted it, on our own timeline.”

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For her walk down the aisle Sarah remembers, “Sugata’s brother performed ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’ live on guitar.”

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Taryn Hunt officiated the ceremony, the bride recalling, “As part of the ceremony, we had an exchange of flower garlands, which was a remix of an Indian wedding tradition. We changed it up, so my grandmother presented Sug his garland (on behalf of my family) and Sug’s mum presented my garland (on behalf of Sug’s family). That was special. We also wanted to offer cake to our grandparents, which is an Indian tradition.”

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“We tried to capture some elements to reflect our individual identities. We mixed parts of Sugata’s Indian, Chinese and Fiji background and my country/American roots. We love plants and made all the hanging ‘kokedamas’ with the big help of (Sarah’s) Dad. There was lots of colour!”

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“We love plants and flowers, so it made sense to decorate with what we love. The festoons did provide a nice touch – both inside and outside the marquee. We hired a few wine barrels (which come easy to source in wine country Mildura) and put family photos and flowers on these. It was important to highlight our families and the generations, but the barrels also served as a place for people to stand around and have a few drinks before and after the ceremony. We made all the signs ourselves with recycled wood and got cracking with some paint.”

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Sarah remembers, “We had an Indian curry lunch the next day, where Sugata’s extended family cooked up a feast for whoever was still around. A good time was had by all.”

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Congratulations on your marriage Sarah and Sugata! Thank you for allowing us to share your day! Thank you to Harvard Wang for sending this wedding our way!