Rachel & Anish

If we’re looking forward to anything over the next year, it’s the reception celebrations of the many, many couples who have eloped. And today? We get to share the reception celebration of Rachel and Anish, who tied the knot in Ireland before a massive party with their Australian family and friends. “We actually had our wedding ceremony in Northern Ireland, five months earlier in July” admits Rachel.

“I’m from Belfast and Anish is Aussie-Indian, and we wanted to be able to incorporate all cultures and all our family and friends across the world. Who wouldn’t want 2 weddings?! Our ceremony was beautiful – so much more emotional and meaningful than either of us expected. We had a humanist ceremony and the main reading was an excerpt from one of my favourite books, the amber spyglass by Philip Pullman.”

Across The Forest joined the pair for an event that was full of good food, good dancing and so. much. to celebrate!

Rachel and Anish’s paths first crossed in Vietnam. “I was backpacking around South East Asia and Anish was on holiday with a friend” remembers the bride. “We met on a tour group and spent 10 days travelling south to north by train. The rest is history!”

Anish popped the question, or almost didn’t, on a trip to Tassie. “We went to Tasmania for a long weekend. Anish almost cancelled the proposal because I got such bad food poisoning on day 2, but luckily I recovered and he was able to do it! It happened on a secluded beach and we celebrated with a champagne picnic.”

Rachel entrusted her traditional outfit to her mother in law, sharing “My mother in law chose my outfit for me in Mumbai – luckily she has impeccable taste and I was able to do some research before she left and give her some tips on what I was looking for. My outfit is called a lehenga which consists of a full ankle-length skirt, separate top and dupatta (scarf). I wanted the skirt and top to be a bit mismatched for a more relaxed quirky look, she hit the brief perfectly.”

Rachel did don something sentimental for the day. “I wore a set of anklets that my mother in law wore on her wedding day. It’s traditional to gift them to your daughter in law to wear on her wedding day.”

“Anish’s mum also chose his outfit in Mumbai! He had asked for something plain and dark in colour but they came back with something a little different – a head to toe gold outfit! It’s called a sherwani and consists of a jacket and separate pants. Luckily he ended up loving it.”

Not everything went completely to plan laughs the bride. “Anish left his pants at his parent’s hotel, about 45 minutes away from the venue, and didn’t realise until we were about to start taking photos. Luckily my brother in law had a very similar pair with his outfit, so he had to lend them to Anish until his parents arrived! I was surprisingly chill about the whole thing. I would also say that we were very lucky to avoid having our wedding affected by the fires, although there was an eerie red glow about the sky all day!”

The couple held their celebration at the beautiful venue The Stables of Somersby. “The minute we drove up to the Stables of Somersby we knew it was our venue” remembers Rachel, “Louise and her family (the owners) have done an unbelievably amazing job turning their family barn into a wedding venue of dreams. She has sourced all of the amazing features like the windows and the bar from antique shops and auctions and commissioned a local carpenter to custom make the tables. The dam with the little jetty is a dream for photos and the apartment above the venue for getting ready in is the icing on the cake. Louise is a dream to work with and makes everything so easy.”


Rachel’s favourite shot? “There’s a beautiful photo of us taken on the edge of the property with some trees for a background. I love it because it shows what an amazing eye Anton and Raya have for a great photo – Anish and I couldn’t understand why they had picked that spot until we saw the results. It made for such a dramatic background and we have it framed in our house now.”

You might have guessed these two were thrilled with their choice of photographers. “Our photographer was Across the Forest, also known as Anton and Raya. We fell in love with their photos online and decided to meet them for a coffee in the city to make sure we clicked. Immediately we felt relaxed in their presence and knew they were a perfect fit for us. They made everything so easy on the day and had so much energy and enthusiasm. The photos are perfection and the album they created for us is gorgeous. Raya also created our wedding invitations for the wedding in Northern Ireland – she is such a talented artist.”

The Fernery Co adorned the space with beautiful bright floral garlands, says Rachel “We kept it fairly simple, choosing pinks, reds and yellows as traditional Indian wedding colours. My favourite part of the floral decor was the flower garlands hanging from the entrance and the swing seat. The florist had never made them before but definitely rose to the challenge!”

The Wandering Waterhole made sure everyone was topped up with drinks. Rachel noting “The first thing I booked was an amazing caravan bar called The Wandering Waterhole. It’s run by a husband and wife team who converted a horse float into a bar and named it Christine. All you need to do is provide the booze and they serve it for you. You can pay extra to have them make cocktails or mocktails or keep it simple and just serve beer and wine. It’s the most gorgeous feature for any outdoor venue. They also provided lawn games which were awesome for an afternoon in the sun.”

“I have a geeky love for researching and had a lot of fun discovering all the cool wedding vendors in and around Sydney” reveals the bride. “I also enjoyed getting creative and putting together a vision for what I wanted everything to look like.”

Rachel’s advice for you? “Stress as much as you need to in the days leading up to your wedding, but on the day let go of everything and just ENJOY every minute.”

There was no first dance for the newlyweds, but there certainly was dancing! “We didn’t have one… but we did get dragged up to dance in front of everyone in the middle of the speeches which was very embarrassing! I had to pull out my best Bhangra moves.”

The dancing was definitely a highlight for Rachel and Anish (as was the food, an Indian feast catered by Taj Indian Restaurant). “A bunch of our family and friends prepared dances and performed them for us. This is quite normal for Indian weddings but was such a fun novelty for our guests that had never experienced this. Food is also super important to us and we were delighted that everyone enjoyed our Indian vegetarian feast – even the hardcore meat eaters! The best part was the live cooking stations with freshly made dosa (South Indian savoury pancake) and naan bread.”

“We loved having Anish’s extended family over from India, it was the first time I had met most of them and it was great getting to know them all.”

A big congratulations to the newlyweds! What a stunning celebration of your knot-tying. Thank you both and thank you to Across the Forest for sharing today’s celebration with us.