A Cross-Cultural Wedding From Brisbane To Chennai

Planning an intricate proposal on a beautiful weekend away in Byron Bay, Tim knew he wanted Shanta to be taken by surprise.

“On the last evening we went up for a drive to the lighthouse to take photos, but Tim ended up whisking us to a private little hill-top lookout and set up his tripod and camera,” Shanta told us.

“As I turned back around from looking out, there he was down on one knee with the ring in hand. It was just perfect.”

The happy couple celebrated their engagement with a private dinner Tim had booked, eating amazing food and having many glasses of champagne.

When it came to planning their wedding, they newlyweds knew that they wanted to incorporate both of their different cultures. The best way, they decided, was by having two separate ceremonies – one in Brisbane, Australia and one in India.

As Shanta described, the Australian wedding was “filled with warmth, love and happiness,” with a colour palette that reflected this.

“From the flowers to the bridesmaids dresses to the styling at the reception, everything exuded a warm, inviting and classic vibe with lots of champagne, copper and dusty pink.”

The warmth of the day continued in the form of paying homage to the couple’s parents and grandparents, displaying wedding photos of each couple on the gift table. The groom’s mother also added a personal touch to the day, hand-stitching fabric squares for guests to sign which would then be turned into a quilt.

“A special moment from the reception was during the last dance of the night. We were in the middle whilst all our loved ones danced around us in a circle, and we were able to just soak in all the faces and just what an epic day it had been!”

For their second ceremony, the couple decided to do the complete opposite of their Brisbane theme and use more neutral tones, embracing all the colour and spectacle of an Indian wedding with predominantly red and gold styling.

“A highlight would definitely be watching Tim arrive to our reception on a white horse with a full band and all my family dancing in front! My bridesmaids and I were getting our last photos done when we heard the band,” Shanta said.

“We rushed downstairs and watched Tim come down the busy streets of Chennai with a full wedding procession.”

The happy couple were thrilled that their family came from all over India and Australia to be there for the joyous occasion.

The funniest moment during the Indian wedding, however, was after Shanta had her henna done.

“I wasn’t able to walk anywhere to avoid messing up the henna. Our friends and the guests of the hotel certainly had a lot of laughs watching Tim carry me around the hotel that evening.”

Overall, the happy couple were thrilled with their double ceremonies, having the ability to express both their cultures beautifully.

“We got to experience the coming together of two different cultures and religions and realising how, in the end, love is common to all.”

Australian Photography by Todd Hunter McGaw

Indian Photography by Studio Clickz

Australian + Indian Cinematography by Motion Reel Films


Photographer: Todd Hunter McGaw – @toddhuntermcgaw

Ceremony Venue: Nudgee College Chapel

Reception Venue: Grandview Room, Hillstone St. Lucia – @hillstonestlucia

Cinematographer: Motion Reel Films – @motionreelfilms

Wedding planner: We didn’t have a specific wedding planner, but Hayley Sims from Hillstone was our wedding co-ordinator extraordinaire and was immense help in organising the day

Wedding Stylist: Ivy and Bleu – @ivyandbleuevents

Fairy light canopy: Styled Events – @styledeventsqld

Celebrant or Officiant: Fr Martin Ignacio Gutierrez Rodriguez (“Fr Nacho”) from New Farm Parish

Entertainment: Zac from G&M DJs

Bridal dress designer: Anna Campbell dress and veil – @annacampbellbridal

Bridal shoes: Wittner – @wittnershoes

Bridal jewellery: Earrings from Roman and French – @romanandfrench

Bridal headpiece: Roman and French – @romanandfrench

Engagement rings: AG Designer Jewellery – @agdesignerjeweller

Bridesmaid dresses designer: Shona Joy – @shonajoy_

Flower girl dresses designer: Ollie’s Place

Groom’s suit: MJ Bale – @mjbale

Groomsmen suits: Peter Jacksons

Pageboy suit: Own suit

Cake designer: Vanilla Pod – @vanillapodspecialtycakes

Invitation designer: Our amazingly talented friend Amy Leigh designed our entire wedding stationery, from the invitations to the ceremony booklets, signs, menus and table numbers

Florist: Green and Bloom – @greenbloomevents

Favours: Noosa Chocolate Factory – @noosachocolatefactory

Hairdresser: The Beauty Case – @thebeautycase

Makeup artists: The Beauty Case – @thebeautycase


Indian wedding suppliers:

Photographer: Studio Clickz – @kirubakrishnanphotography

Ceremony Venue: GRT Hotel, Chennai

Reception Venue: GRT Hotel, Chennai

Cinematographer: Motion Reel Films – @motionreelfilms

Wedding planner: Bells and Rings – DJ, styling, florals and favours all through Bells and Rings.

Bridal dress designer: Sarees from Nalli Silks – @nallisilksarees. Lehenga from Kay Fashions – @kayfashionbay

Groom’s suit: Raymond Made to Measure and ceremony outfit from Nalli Silks – @nallisilksarees

Hairdresser/Makeup artist: Bhuvi Ganesh – @bubridalmakeup

Written by Ellen Kirkness 

Posted in Asia, Glam, Queensland, Real Weddings, Wedding Traditions by wedded wonderland

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