When it comes to planning an international wedding, it certainly helps when the bride and groom both work as project managers. “Build that spreadsheet, source those quotes, confirm partners, be decisive, and go, go, go,” explains the bride. “Planning a wedding in India, when neither you, nor any of your guests have even seen the destination (let alone 50 per cent of guests being first timers to India) we knew we were in for a hilarious time,” she adds. The talented destination wedding photographer extraordinaire, James of Chasewild was the lensmen behind this epic wedding, so scroll down for all the awesome pics…

THE VENUE “Because our western wedding in Australia was going to be the BIG wedding, we decided we wanted to keep the Indian one intimate. So, totally non-comital I set about googling Bazaar Bride India and Vogue India for the ultimate boutique wedding venues in the country and Suryagarh came up in both lists. It was an absolute dream landing on the Suryagarh website, and then to see that it was available for our dates and it was within our budget, it was time to take the proposition to the two sets of parents to get them on board. I still to this day cannot believe how perfect the wedding was, and the venue had everything to do with that. It was actually better than any of the pictures on the website or than my imagination expected and our week at Suryagarh was an absolute dream.”

THE THEME “Each of the four days had a different event, and were themed accordingly. Day 1 – welcome cocktails for sunset in the desert. Day 2 – Henna Afternoon – everyone in blues and greens on the orange backdrop. Day 3 (am) – Cleansing Ceremony (Pitthi) – everyone in yellows and orange with morning light. Day 3 (pm) – Giving away, dinner and dancing – everyone in pastels. Day 4 – Wedding Day – the brightest of brights and into the party.”

FAVOURITE DETAILS “The flowers! Seriously in the moat and hanging in garlands on our final day was like nothing I had seen before or could have ever imagined. Suryagarh literally have hectares of their own magenta rose and orange marigold gardens that they source their fresh flowers from every day. Oh, and if I can have just one more, it would be the food. Every meal prepared by Suryagarh was unique and memorable. All of our guests are all still talking about it almost a year later.”  

THE DRESS “Mum and I spent six months to find the best store to have my wedding dresses made. We narrowed it down to Chandni Chowk and our Hotel in New Delhi (The Claridges) provided a personal shopper to take us to their local tailor there who somehow, after seven hours of scouring through silks and velvets, took all of my measurements and told me my three wedding outfits would arrive at the hotel in 72 hours. Don’t ask me how or why, but we handed over the cash and trusted the system. The outfits were nothing less than out of a fairy-tale. I never thought it was possible to actually feel like a princess, but in these amazing handcrafted, hand beaded and nine kilograms (each) dresses, I absolutely felt nothing less than royal.”

A WORD OF ADVICE “Discuss the budget FIRST. Work out what each family is going to contribute (if anything at all) and have a transparent conversation about what they want. Talking money up front and managing expectations early leads to a far less stressful journey. Oh, and if you are planning a destination wedding somewhere that requires visa’s for entry, get ONE central travel agent to manage those.” 

WE’RE GLAD WE… “So glad we took the risk and went all the way to India for the wedding. It was absolutely worth every moment and memory. I am also SO glad we booked James (Chasewild) as our photographer, as we came away with a narrated story of images that we will celebrate for many years to come. Do not scrimp on your photographer, do your homework and ensure they are the perfect fit. Also, our friend Tom Rolland custom-made a series of custom branded t-shirts, long-sleeves and hoodies that everyone on the trip wore throughout the 3-week long India journey, which made the locals think we were rockstars, but also made it easier to find each other in a crowd. A brilliant idea and something I would highly recommend as a cool memento.”

This wedding was originally published in our 2018 Real Weddings Special If you’d like to check out more from this issue, limited copies are available via our online store.

And then the next day…

CONTRIBUTING VENDORS Photographer Chasewild Wedding Planner, Ceremony & Reception, Catering, Decorative Elements, Props, Florist & Entertainment (All four days) Suryagarh Stationary Abbey Lauersen (Wedding Programme) THE BRIDE Bridal Gowns Custom Made (Chandni Chowk, New Delhi) Rings Tishe Hair & Makeup Bronte Khallouf Bridesmaid Dresses Custom Made Saree’s (New Delhi) THE GROOM Suit Custom Made (Chandni Chowk, New Delhi) Wedding Band Cartier.