Harini & Matthew
Winter and autumn weddings are a bit of a fan favourite around these parts, and I have to say, Harini & Matthew’s country rustic wedding at Gundaroo embraces every bit of the season I adore. The golden changing leaves, the outdoor ceremony that made the most of it, the cosy fairy light-filled reception, the cookie wedding cake, and hello – the bride even wore the most season-appropriate gold wedding gown. What a stunner! Erin Latimore captured this beautiful, “done their way” day.
Matthew tells the tale of how these two came to be. “We met in a graduate program for a government department which is arguably the sexiest place to meet young, eligible women.”
A trip to the magic of the Northern lights in Iceland turned out to be just the right place for Matthew to pop the question. “I took Harini on a trip to Reykjavik, Iceland to try and see the Northern Lights. I had got my mam’s original wedding ring in hand and we struck out on a guided trip to see the lights. I was told we were headed to the woods to get a nice dark spot but we ended up on an exposed, craggy outcrop near the Keflavik airport in a frozen car park covered by glass.
For three hours we stood around in the frigid cold waiting for the lights to no avail but then a tiny streak of green appeared. Taking the opportunity as I thought that was basically it, I took Harini to a particularly awful part of the car park away from the rest of the group and got down on one knee. Harini thought I had fallen over and couldn’t hear me over the galeforce winds so I screamed the question and she said yes. About ten minutes later, the sky exploded with green and violet in what the Icelandics said was the most vivid show in about a decade so Odin was clearly pleased with my actions.”
Matthew and Harini met before their ceremony for a first look.
The groom was all about his dapper suit made by Instyle Tailors. He tells “Inspired by Leo as Jordan Belfort in Wolf of Wall Street, I went for a slate grey suit with a white chalk stripe three-piece suit. My best man described my suit as an advertising executive in the 80s plus a few more expletives. I had a white herringbone shirt with French cuffs pinned in place with a set of rose gold naval knot cufflinks as a nod to the old man who was a sailor. Shoes were dark burgundy oxfords with some pastel polka dot socks and a gold tie.”
“Erin was a lot of fun to work with and regularly made fun of me for trying to blue steel my way through pictures” admits Matthew. “She grabbed the pictures that we liked and worked with us to figure out what might be a good fit and what backgrounds would work.”
Harini donned a gold lace gown, Matthew sharing “Harini wore a textured gold dress that she grabbed from the US. It had a split so it was a separate small top on a long a-line skirt. Given we got married near Canberra in winter, she had a burgundy mink-style stole around her shoulders to keep her warm.”
This winter day was held at the beautiful Grazing at Gundaroo. Matthew noting “Grazing was fantastic for food and drink along with super professional service from their staff.”
Let’s talk blooms – these beauties style for the day by Peking Spring. “We gave the florist a fair challenge with the winter setting but she did a great job of weaving in lots of nice greens and pastels in the bouquet,” says Matthew.
Harini and Matthew walked down the aisle hand in hand to “Better Together” by Jack Johnson.
Darren Roberts officiated Harini and Matthew’s outdoor ceremony. “Darren our celebrant was an absolute champion and his smiling, joking manner matched perfectly with our vows. He was so easy to work with, always happy to have a yarn and let us do our own thing too.”
This was a ceremony that was designed to be fun, says the groom. “The ceremony was essentially a light roast with the vows highlighting each other’s competitive spirit. Harini now takes umbrage to being called Scottie Pippen to my MJ after finally watching the Last Dance in quarantine.
We had a reading from my long time friend and former boss who read a passage from Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett about the diverse ways, people fall in love.”
“Figure out what’s a must-have in terms of vendors and what you can personalise or ignore” advises Harini. “Doing something personal may be a touch that people remember for years as opposed to something wildly expensive that’s just slightly above average and no one notices.”
The wedding reception was decorated simply, but with plenty of special details, explains Matthew. “My brother in law designed and created all of the wedding signs and seating charts on wood which was a unique touch that gave the wedding a really nice feeling.”
There was no wedding cake for these two, instead, they made a mutual decision to have a wedding cookie (made by Mrs Fields). Matthew explaining “After a few discussions, we gave up on a cake as we both hated wedding cakes and found them to just be overpriced junk that no one eats anyway. We ended up designing our wedding cookies that were the size of a pizza. After cutting them, the cookies were completely gone within about 30 minutes which was great on the one hand but disappointing as well because I wanted to take some cookie home.”
Says the groom “It’s cliched but being surrounded by family and friends from around the world was just fantastic and we’ll never forget that.”
The first dance? A favourite memory of Matthew’s. “We danced to “You’re All I Need To Get By” by Marvin Gaye and it featured about three lifts which were fun because Harini weighs less than a basketball. We gathered everyone around on the dancefloor and I didn’t drop her once.”
There was even a nod to the groom’s Welsh heritage on the dance floor! He shares “The village song from mam’s birthplace in Wales was played later in the evening. The DJ made a special exception to get the song “Cymru, Lloegr a Llanrwst.”
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- Dean Downes