Vanessa & Manoj
The steely grey waters of St Kilda’s foreshore was a stunning location for the engagement session of Vanessa and Manoj. The blissed out couple joining photographer Rachel May Photography for a shoot that celebrated their own distinct culture and was relaxed, glam and very beautiful while doing so.
The couple’s meeting, one could say, was very much not meant to be! Vanessa admits “We first met in a club and I was under-aged then! SSSSSSSSHHHHHH. We met way back in 2002 through a mutual friend. I was only 15 going on 16 then, still in high school! We have been friends ever since but never romantically involved till 2016. That mutual friend was also a groomsman in our wedding. We really have come full circle in the last 18 years.”
Manoj popped the question on a beautiful sunny day in Tokyo Japan. Vanessa tells their story. “It was a beautiful sunny spring day in Tokyo, Japan where we were on holiday for the Sakura season. We had also planned to do our pre-wedding shoot since experiencing cherry blossoms was a dream come true for me and I wanted that captured! Halfway through the shoot, in a beautiful serene park on a misty Sunday morning, he got down on 1 knee as I was being directed for solo shots by the photography team. He planned it with them and totally caught me off guard!
My dream proposal was always an overseas one and the cherry blossom trees and misty morning made it all the more ROMANTIC!”
On what they love about one another, the bride to be telling “We are so different in terms of character and personality that we just complement each other and it balances out. At the same time, we have loads of common interests which aligns us when we set long term goals or when we do make small plans or pick travel destinations. Ultimately I love his forgiving and patient nature because I can be quite a handful to handle.”
The engagement session was just the excuse Vanessa and Manoj needed to don traditional Indian attire, says Vanessa. “We had already done the traditional white gown and tux shoot whilst holidaying in Japan in April 2019. With that said, when we decided on an Aussie holiday in August, we thought why not do a more Indian-themed shoot as an ode to our Indian heritage and culture. We approached Rachel with this idea and she LOVED it so that made it all more exciting!”
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