A Colourful Multicultural Wedding in Melbourne: Claire & Rohit
Today’s multicultural wedding in Melbourne, will truly lift your spirits.
At a time where social distancing has become the normality, we’re going totally against that notion today.
Claire and Rohit’s love story reminds us of a classic Bollywood romance, where the hero sweeps his heroine off her feet.
From long distance dating to celebrating their love and union in front of family and friends, Claire and Rohit’s colourful multicultural wedding in Melbourne will make you.. fall in love all over again.
From Europe to Melbourne
Claire and Rohit’s tale of romance began on a tour of the UK and Ireland.
“Rohit and I met on a Top Deck tour of the United Kingdom and Ireland for two and a half weeks. I had booked this trip of a lifetime with a high school friend and Rohit had graciously received an all-expenses paid trip to accompany his sister on this tour.
Throughout the tour, Rohit flirted with me and at the conclusion of the tour and the day after a kiss outside a Burger King in Cardiff, he nervously asked me to be his girlfriend!
We agreed to date long distance relationship as I was living in Brisbane and Rohit was living in Melbourne. 4 months later the stars aligned as I secured my first career job in Melbourne allowing us to be in the same city.”
Fast forward to 3 years later, and their magical proposal took place in the picturesque Blue Mountains ranges.
“Rohit and I had been dating for about 3 years and he started to feel the pressure from the parents. Little did they know though that Rohit had already planned to propose but had a view on how this would take place.
Back in January 2017, Rohit randomly asked me, “hey, can we go for a trip to the Blue Mountains?”
Claire was initially sceptical as the details of the trip were a little hazy. As soon as they arrived at The Three Sisters, Rohit was extremely nervous. His plans didn’t quite go as expected upon the first attempt due to a swarm of tourists around his ideal location to pop the question.
“Rohit decided to take another track to the Katoomba Falls. On our walk to the Falls we arrived at a beautiful viewpoint where you can see the Blue Mountain ranges. Rohit started to discuss our relationship and next thing I knew, he was down on one knee and from his vest he pulled out a huge box containing a ring. He sat there without uttering a word, and I started to cry. Immediately, I said “yes”, and his relief was palpable!”
Planning for their big fat multicultural wedding in Melbourne began right after the proposal.
As Claire states, the idea was to combine both traditions into one wedding ceremony.
“Rohit and I spent the remainder of our weekend away discussing our wedding. Our initial plan was to have a huge Hindu wedding in Melbourne and a modest church wedding in my childhood Anglican church in Brisbane. Though I’m not particularly religious, there are certain meaningful traditions I wanted to carry out, such as my parents walking me down the aisle and giving me away and for Rohit and I to exchange rings and vows.
Luckily, our parents soon realised that we could easily incorporate these elements into a Hindu wedding. Plus, I wasn’t too upset about not wearing a white wedding dress, as my complexion doesn’t lend itself to wearing pale colours!
During the time Rohit and I had been dating, I had attended a number of Indian weddings with him and his family, so we were both very keen on the traditional wedding.”
The thought of wearing colourful outfits, indulging in delectable Indian food and multiple days of dancing and celebrating was something that Claire and Rohit could not pass up on.
“We wanted all the events leading up to and including the wedding ceremony to be traditionally Indian, with the reception to be western, acknowledging the two cultures.”
As Colourful As It Can Get
The couple were keen on having lively and extremely entertaining functions.
Bride Claire mentions that everything was beyond their expectations.
“For the Sangeet we wanted an extremely colourful affair with lots of food and dancing. We gave Rupali from Rupali’s Mandaps the license to go all out for this event and she truly delivered beyond our wildest dreams. It was stunning.
Once again for the Haldi and Mehndi events, Rupali delivered with her decorations at Rohit’s parents’ house.”
It wouldn’t be a colourful multicultural wedding without an array of dynamic dance performances.
The families came together on the Sangeet night to watch not only Claire and Rohit rip it up on the dance floor, but also a professional bhangra troupe.
Claire was fond of the traditional wedding colours for every occasion.
“We wanted lots of red and gold for the wedding day.”
The open mandap design was exactly what Claire had pictured having at her wedding ceremony.
“It was exactly what we wanted. A mandap that was open so everyone could see, with a stunning white flower wall and floating red flower Ganesha. Rupali also had a colleague create giant gold laser-cut versions of our logo.”
Their reception party at The Park in Melbourne city was a modern affair with fresh floral décor and greenery.
“We went all out and took full advantage of the stunning venue! We had previously seen a glorious set up at The Park with strings of fairy lights, alternating with florals and greenery hanging from the huge ceilings and decided to replicate that style.
We also loved the idea of floral centerpieces and decided to alternate high and low centerpieces to add variety. The bridal table was stunning, with flowing pink and white florals, and greenery.
While we loved all of our venues, The Park was truly a sight to behold. I cried when we first walked in to the reception venue!”
Shop Till You Drop
There was no particular style that appealed to Claire, she just knew that the bridal lehenga must be red.
She traveled to India for the first time with the family to carry out the wedding shopping.
She traveled to India for the first time with the family to carry out the wedding shopping.
“All I knew is that I wanted my bridal lehenga to be extremely traditional and red. Other than that, I was extremely open-minded as to what I would wear. In the back of my mind though, I knew that a gown might be a nice fusion option for the reception party.
My bridal shopping started in April 2018, when I went to Delhi and Patna (where Rohit’s family are originally from) for two weeks with my mother-in-law to be.
It was my first trip to India and my first experience of the intensity of shopping there. I absolutely loved it. A friend of Rohit’s Mum kindly joined us on our first day.”
Claire’s wedding day lehenga was bright red and featured intricate pearl and gold zari embroidery work.
“Ma and I looked at each other and immediately knew it was “the one.”
They returned to India in September 2018 to complete the second round of shopping and that was when Claire purchased her reception outfit.
“I found my stunning floral gown from Frontier Raas. It had the perfect amount of flare in it for me to spin around on the dance floor.
Rohit was given a brief on what he needed to be wearing as the details of Claire’s outfits were kept as a secret from him.
“Rohit’s true time to shine arrived when he wore his three-piece from InStitchu and he took great care in selecting the material and design.”
The bridal party looked equally as glamorous in their complementing outfits.
“My two bridesmaids had never worn Indian attire before, so I had anarkali outfits designed for them and for the reception, I selected simple jersey dresses from TwoBirds Bridal.
I wanted Camilla and Grace to be completely comfortable in their attire.
Groomsmen, Nick and Chris, were decked out in suits chosen by Rohit.”
We Are Family
The couple had a lot to be grateful for when it came to the support of their family and friends.
“My parents, credit to them, were beyond supportive of my desire to have a traditional Indian wedding, despite the fact they had no idea what was involved. To make matters more difficult, they live in Brisbane, so it was difficult to share our ideas. However, on their frequent visits to Melbourne, we took them to view venues and kept them up to date on everything that was happening. I will forever be grateful to my beautiful parents for so readily accepting Rohit’s culture (which is now also mine) and for taking everything on with open arms.”
Their dream wedding week would not have been made possible without the support of Rohit’s parents too.
With both Claire and Rohit being unfamiliar with the intricacies involved in the puja ceremonies, including the rituals involved in the wedding, it was a blessing for them to have Rohit’s parents around to guide them.
“Rohit’s parents were instrumental in making our dream week come true. We also had our group of family friends who were massive support for us during the week, doing anything and everything we asked them to do.
Achla, Rohit’s sister was also instrumental in the organisation of our Sangeet party. She choreographed every single dance and taught everyone every single move. She also granted me my wish of turning me into a Bollywood dancer with our 9 minute dance medley duet of Taal Se Taal Mila, Choli Ke Peeche and Dola Re Dola.”
Both bridesmaids as well as groomsmen lent quite a bit of help to Claire and Rohit too.
“My bridesmaids were Camilla, my best friend from university and Grace, my old flatmate. These two girls are my best friends and it was hugely special to have them there to celebrate. In particular, Grace lives in the UK so her making the trip back was extremely meaningful.”
“Rohit’s groomsmen were Nick, his best friend from high school and cricket and Chris Cheng, a close former colleague and mentor. For Rohit, to have his two best mates who have seen him grow personally and professionally meant the world.”
For this Melbourne couple, every single moment of their wedding was memorable. Claire once again expressed so much gratitude to their families as well as their wedding suppliers.
“The whole week was so memorable! Rohit and I both particularly loved our ‘first look’ photos in the park with our photographer, Bhargav before our ceremony.”
Rohit also expressed how nervous he was to see Claire for the first time.
“I was so nervous to see her and when I did, my heart melted at how beautiful she looked, and then I felt at ease.”
Claire’s Dad also had a special moment to share during the haldi ceremony.
“Rohit’s Nani grabbed a handful of turmeric paste, walked up to my Dad (who is much taller than her by comparison), and smeared it all over his cheek! It remains a moment that we continue to discuss to this day.”
Last but not least, Rohit’s baraat entrance on the wedding day was a fun experience for all guests, family and friends who had never ever attended a traditional Indian wedding.
“All the guests were encouraged to get involved with the dhol player and bhangra dancers, and he entered in style on a white horse! Our family dog, Digger also got to join in on the fun, and it was a great experience for our friends who had never attended an Indian wedding before.”
Experience of Planning a Multicultural wedding in Melbourne
Claire compared planning an Indian wedding to having a part-time job.
“Planning a regular wedding is a big experience, but for anyone who’s planned an Indian wedding knows all too well that it’s a part-time job involving lots of evenings and weekends.
That being said though, Rohit and I actually LOVED planning our wedding. From the very start, we knew we just wanted to have a huge week of partying with all of our favourite people, and this was what we remembered every step of the way.
There were so many fun nights spent at my in-law’s house with dance practice, run sheet creation, and budgeting.”
At the conclusion of the wedding, Claire had “wedding withdrawal” symptoms. However, everything ran so smoothly for her and Rohit, with no such challenges faced.
“Every single person involved in our wedding was special to us, but most of all our families, bridal party, and our amazing friend and photographer, Bhargav. Without him, we wouldn’t be able to relive all the amazing moments.”
An international getaway was out of the question for Claire and Rohit as they are expected to move over to London in 2020.
The two of them opted for 3 “mini-moons” spread out throughout the whole of last year.
They chose a couple of staycations in beautiful Victorian retreats.
“Our first trip was two nights in Jackalope, Mornington Peninsula two days after our reception. We chose Jackalope because of the luxurious and sleek vibe, as well as the restaurants Doot Doot Doot and Rare Hare.
All three locations were chosen for their luxurious accommodation and famous restaurants.”
Advice for The Future Couple
Claire and Rohit’s multicultural Indian wedding was an epic affair and they couldn’t have pulled it off without their friends or family. Claire’s advice to couples, touches on this.
“Enjoy the lead-up to the wedding – it brings you so much closer as a couple and brings you closer to your family and friends. No matter what happens on the day, just enjoy being with everyone! Because in the end all that matters is that you get to marry your best friend.”
Thank you so much to both Claire and Rohit for sharing your beautiful multicultural wedding with us. It was such a pleasure to learn about your journey from proposal to a colourful wedding affair.”
Thank you so much to both Claire and Rohit for sharing your beautiful multicultural wedding with us. It was such a pleasure to learn about your journey from proposal to a colourful wedding affair.
If you would like to share your wedding with us, email us directly at email@example.com
Photography – BHARGAV BOPPA // Videography – T-ONE IMAGE // Venue – SPIRIT OF INDIA (Sangeet), GRAND STAR RECEPTIONS (Wedding), THE PARK (Reception) // Décor and florals – RUPALI’S MANDAPS (Sangeet, Haldi, Mehndi, Wedding), LEVIAN EVENTS (Reception) // Cake – NIKOS // Catering – SPIRIT OF INDIA (Sangeet), TANDOORI FLAMES (Wedding), THE PARK (Reception) // Cannoli cart – CANNOLERIA // Stationery – IMPERIAL CARD (invitations and sweet boxes), DREAMDAY INVITATIONS (event signage) // DJ/Entertainment – DJ KARAN // Celebrant – DR JAYANT BAPAT // Bride’s outfits and accessories – FRONTIER RAAS, USHNAK MAL MADAN LALL, BG’S DELHI (jewellery) // Hair and Makeup – MISS AIMMEY // Groom’s outfits – MANYAVAR and INSTITCHU // Groom’s shoes – FLORSHEIM and MANYAVAR // Rings – HARDYBROTHERS // Bridesmaids outfits – USHNAK MAL MADAN LALL and BG’S DELHI // Groomsmens outfits – MANYAVAR and INSTITCHU