Govind & Adrian
Oh what a wedding I have for you today, this colourful mixed culture wedding brought together traditions and flavours of Australia, The Netherlands and India as two souls tied the knot. A surprise flash mob, personalised baking and even a visit from an ice cream cart turned this wedding day into something truly reflective of the fun personalities of Adrian and Govind. The day was photographed by Alan Moyle.
Of how they met, Adrian tells, “We met online (before iPhones were invented) and then enjoyed six wonderful years together. In 2013 Govind proposed with two antique rings in Paris in front of the Eiffel Tower whilst we were having a picnic.”
Adrian and Govind chose Fairfield Amphitheatre for their wedding, telling, “Fairfield Amphitheatre is a beautiful natural backdrop for a wedding. The river and the trees remind us we’re in Australia; and in an amphitheatre, everyone gets a great view!”
“Our wedding theme was “threads”, based on a quote from Simone Signoret: “Laws do not hold a marriage together. It is the threads, hundreds of tiny threads sewn by two people, their families and their friends together through the years”. We used coloured woollen threads (yarn) on our invitations and on snack bags at the ceremony. The snack bags celebrated our mixed cultural heritage through food, and included an Australian, Dutch and Indian biscuit.”
Adrian and Govind walked down the aisle to, ” ‘Opening’ by Philip Glass, played on piano by Rhys, one of our Best Men.”
When giving advice to couples yet to tie the knot Adrian and Govind advise, “What does a wedding and marriage mean to you? Question normative assumptions and do it your way. We couldn’t sign a marriage certificate at our wedding. And that is an embarrassment to Australia. But we actually felt blessed, because it meant that we had to dissect and decide ‘what is marriage and a wedding, to us’. We found that process so beautiful and our relationship grew in the process.”
The grooms were dressed by Manyavar for their ceremony noting, “Our clothing was reflective of our mixed cultures and their aesthetics. At the ceremony we wore Indian clothes but in black and white (Western) colours.”
Adrian and Govind wrote their ceremony to make sure it was very symbolic of not only their culture but their life and beliefs together. They tell, “At the ceremony we performed a special Indian ritual which involved lighting a fire, holding hands and walking around the fire taking seven slow steps in synchrony with each other as we contemplate seven prayers for our married life. We also performed a ritual, which involved us tying a sacred thread around each other’s necks. It signified the union of our minds, spirits and bodies. We tied the first knot for each other. Our sisters tied the second and third knots, signifying our becoming part of each other’s families.”
Adrian tells, “Our close friend Anita played a Carnatic (Southern Indian classical) violin piece whilst we took our first steps as married men around the spiritual fire. Fiona, our Best Woman, sang “What a Wonderful World” while we signed our documents. For us, the words in that song capture the almost deliriously happy feeling that came over us in our ceremony. Having live music from our close friends added an incredibly special element.”
The bridesmaids wore purple and gold saris from Lulu Sarees.
Of their photographer, Adrian tells, “Alan is a lovely guy, who takes amazing photos. People came up to us after the wedding saying “that photographer was so nice”. We picked him for his ability to capture just that right second, which later tells a story; and for the way he composes pictures – balancing objects and people to create impact.”
Switching it up for the reception, the grooms changed to Jack London outfits noting, “At the reception we wore Western clothes, but in typically Indian (bright red and blue) colours.”
A surprise flash mob greeted the newlyweds at their reception, Adrian remembering, “We had so much fun! Early in the reception, before we arrived, our brideless party and close friends started a flash-mob! At first two of our friends jumped up (one onto her chair) and did a short Indian piece. Then, 13 people joined them and did a Bollywood dance, much to everyone’s surprise! Then, they jumped out-of-the-way and we came running in – and did our first dance together.”
Adrian and Govind chose Two Ton Max for their reception, telling, “TwoTonMax is a transformed warehouse on a back-street in North Melbourne. The polished concrete, steel beams and open space made it the perfect blank canvas for us to personalise for a big party.”
“We did everything our own way. The ceremony was meaningful and solemn. We kept the laughs and partying to the reception. We surprised our guests! We kept most of the details to ourselves while we planned, knowing that the impact would be more special that way.”
“After our parents’ speeches, we surprised them by playing video footage and photos from their weddings. We converted old 8mm film and edited a little highlights video. We wanted to honour what we see as inspiring marriages. At the very start of the reception we screened a video showing footage of us as babies, children and then adults together. It was our way of telling “our story” but in a different form.”
Adrian and Govind particularly loved the speeches. “We loved the thoughtful and touching words from our family and friends in speeches. We made sure we gave enough time for this special part of the night. It was very personal.”
Tables were dotted with flowers arranged by family – the grooms telling, “We bought mixed flowers from our local fruit and veg shop. Our sister-in-law and her husband arranged them beautifully in small glass jars on the tables. It gave a beautiful and relaxed look to the venue.” Place cards were personally created by the couple. “Instead of place-name cards, we drew on a small ceramic tiles. For each guest we put the person’s name and a drawing, which typified them or reminded them of something we’d shared together. Everyone seemed excited to see the personalised tile and it was a great conversation starter between guests.”
Adrian tells, “At our reception we made a photo installation. We collected a photo of every guest, bringing back a memory that we shared with them, and suspended them from coloured threads. Our guests wrote messages on the back for us, and had fun finding their photo and talking about the stories behind them.”
A surprise visit from ice cream cart Bianco Latte had everyone excited. “Everyone loves gelato; especially on a hot February night! So we got Bianco Latte to roll their gelato cart into TwoTonMax later in the night. It was a huge hit!”
Adrian adds “We wanted to add as many personal touches as we could. We made chocolate coconut balls as a little snack for everyone. We love cooking and it didn’t seem right to have such a big party without cooking something for our guests.”
La Divina Providencia kept the dance floor grooving, Adrian noting, “La Divina Providencia played beautiful Columbian and Latin American music. They really got everyone up dancing! We first heard them in a local bar in Brunswick and booked them immediately!”
The farewell was the perfect ending to the big day. “At the end of the night, we assembled everyone on the street outside and our guests lit giant sparklers. Then, much to everyone’s surprise, we jumped on our bike and we dinked each other home!”
The icing on today’s wedding cake is of course a video. The surprise flash mob entrance was caught on film and it will have you smiling from ear to ear!
Congratulations Adrian and Govind! Thank you for sharing your celebration with us. Thank you also to Alan Moyle for sending this fun day our way.