When Holly and Ranil tied the knot in Melbourne city, they chose an exclusive club for a luncheon celebration with just their family, before hitting a bar to celebrate with their friends.  And while we can’t show you photos for that (club rules friends!) what we can show? Their beautiful wedding day photographs, captured by Leo Farrell really embrace Melbourne’s laneways and city streets.

And from Holly’s beautiful red wedding gown, to the details of the reception – individual soufflés instead of cake, the casual, and intimate mood, and the special touches these two included in their day, it’s a special day full of very special meaning. And it stays true to every bit of what Holly & Ranil believe in, and the advice they have to pass on. “Do what you want to do for your wedding, it is a celebration of you as a couple. Have the courage to question “traditions” and what you think is expected at a wedding and whether they resonate with you.”

Although the trip where Ranil popped the question did not quite go to plan, it did indeed tick all the romance boxes, says Holly “We were in Sri Lanka on our first overseas trip since COVID for a family wedding. After watching the coup from the hotel room on 9 July we struggled to travel around the country amid a fuel shortage. I couldn’t work out why he was so insistent on continuing the trip but when we got to Kandalama there was a beautiful private dinner booked in an open cave. As soon as we sat down he put the box on the table.”

Remembers Holly “Ranil drove us to the wedding in his 1974 Citroën DS. The hydropneumatic suspension was incredibly luxurious. We arrived in style and comfort.”

Holly wanted to pay homage to her heritage and had her red Qipao dress made in China by Star Peng. She shares “I am half Chinese and I spent months agonizing over whether to wear a western dress or a traditional Qipao (also called cheongsam) for my wedding. I had to decide whether to wear red or white. Red and white together is bad luck in both cultures so a choice had to be made. Wanting to get married in December, I returned to Australia in August and visited various wedding dress boutiques. However, I was mostly disappointed with the options in the typical wedding boutiques located in CBD and Armadale. The wedding dresses were mostly big, heavy, and hot, even the ones with a simple design, and I wanted to be comfortable, especially considering the warm weather in Melbourne in late December. The cost was also a factor, even though my mother had offered to buy the dress, the thought of spending a few thousand dollars on a dress to be worn once made me uncomfortable. I also looked at off the rack and online but had issues with fit.

Despite finding millions of qipao options online, including tailored options, my proportions are not that of an average Chinese woman, so I wanted to find a tailor in Melbourne. I was only able to find one store online which had a physical shop, and so I went there. I ordered the dress sight unseen because they did not have any custom (silk) dresses in store. My mum and the store designed the dress via WeChat, a Chinese social media app. In the end, I decided to go for a simple, plain red silk dress with gold edging. Red and gold are considered lucky colours in Chinese culture, especially for weddings. I also wanted the opportunity to reuse the dress, and I wore it to my homecoming, a traditional Sri Lankan custom after the wedding.” Ranil, aware the weather would be humid and hot, chose a blue suit from Carl Nave, a piece he could wear over and over again.


It was Ranil who found photographer Leo, falling in love with his style. “Ranil studied photography and it is a hobby of his” explains Holly. “He wanted someone who would shoot in a photojournalistic style and came across Leo’s work online. We didn’t want to take hundreds of staged photos, rather opting for a few combos and the rest being action shots. Leo was a delight to work with, professional but also a lovely person and we got along well. He captured the day perfectly.”

Melbourne jeweller Deliqa Gems, who specialises in coloured stones an outstanding vendor for the newlyweds. Says Holly, “she really worked hard with the groom to design the perfect engagement ring. She sourced a beautiful sapphire from Sri Lanka as the centre stone and designed a matching wedding band. She designed the groom’s band as well.”

A big congratulations to you both Holly & Ranil. Thank you for sharing your beautiful day with us and thank you to Leo Farrell for sharing today’s beautiful day with us.