When you combine colour and traditions from both couples on a wedding day, you have the recipe for a truly stunning wedding! As brides Ngaire & Tanya explain of their day, “Our wedding combined traditions from Ngaire’s Punjabi Sikh background and Tanya’s chosen Jewish culture. We wanted lots of colour, a ceremony that reflected our traditions and most importantly, a big party for all of our family and friends. Our photographer Laima from White Chilli Photography described it as ‘colourful and intimate’, which we think sums it up perfectly!” The two tell us about their beautiful wedding day!

We met online, as most millennials do these days, especially in the early days of a global pandemic! As luck would have it, we lived only a 9-minute walk from each other – well within the 5km radius we were restricted to (if you lived in Melbourne in 2020, you’ll know what we mean!).

We had discussed marriage briefly, but the proposal was a total surprise. Tanya had been sneakily preparing for some time, asking her parents for her late grandmother’s engagement ring and wedding band. The actual proposal was spontaneous, just the two of us, and first thing in the morning – we weren’t even properly dressed for the day!

Ngaire wore a gorgeous embroidered lehenga (skirt), blouse, and dupatta (veil). Red is traditionally worn by Indian brides as the colour symbolises happiness. The colour was crimson red, reflecting our chosen wedding colours. Ngaire knew she wanted the full Indian bridal experience – the outfit, the jewelry, and the mehendi (henna ceremony), and she looked incredible (in Tanya’s very unbiased opinion!).

Tanya went on a few traditional bridal dress-shopping trips and tried on a variety of traditional Western white gowns, but in the end, she decided on a beautiful lilac dress with lots of swish.

Our outfits and jewelry were made by a local Melbourne business, Rajashree Bridal. Neethu took very good care of us!

We made the decision to use silk flowers for our bouquets so we would have a keepsake forever. The most important thing was COLOUR! We chose a mix of native eucalyptus, sunflowers, roses, and billy buttons to add texture and variety to the bouquets. We DIY’d our bouquets and our centrepieces, which we kept simple. It turns out Tanya’s mum has quite the knack for flower arranging, and she put our flowers together!

Our ceremony was at Rippon Lea Estate in Melbourne, and our reception was held at Quat Quatta.

Rippon Lea Estate is a historic mansion and gardens that is a well-known spot in Melbourne. We toured a few other places, but none held our attention like Rippon Lea did. It was the first venue that came to Tanya’s mind, and luckily Ngaire was on board! The National Trust made every effort to ensure our day was perfect.

Although Rippon Lea has the space for a reception, our small wedding party would have been swallowed by the ballroom! So we decided to hold our reception at beautiful Quat Quatta, just a five-minute walk away.

Built-in 1895, it was spacious enough to accommodate everyone, yet intimate enough for us to eat, drink and be merry amongst our guests. And be merry we did—the food was phenomenal and the staff of Quat Quatta went to every effort to ensure the night ran smoothly, which allowed us to eat, drink, and dance to our hearts’ content.

We walked down the aisle to ‘Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now’ by Starship. An 80’s classic! Our ceremony was infused with traditions and blessings from Ngaire’s Sikh and Tanya’s Jewish cultures. We stood under a chuppah. We circled each other three and a half times each, for a total of 7, the most sacred number in Judaism. Our parents recited blessings from both our cultures, and we smashed a glass to close the ceremony!

Our photographer was the lovely Laima McKenna from White Chilli Photography, who we couldn’t be happier with. She was with us throughout the day until our reception and gave us literally hundreds of shots to choose from. The only downside is we can’t decide which shots we love the most!

The pictures of our families and friends having fun! Laima also took some beautiful shots of us on the grounds of Rippon Lea Estate. The weather really came through for us that day!

Our advice to other couples is that not everything will go to plan and it’s OKAY if this happens. The most important thing is that you’re getting married. A wedding does not make a marriage and while it’s also okay to want certain details, it’s just one day and you have the rest of your lives together!

Congratulations to Tanya & Ngaire on your glorious wedding day, and to Laima of White Chilli for sharing their stunning photos.