Real Wedding – Flower and James get hitched

Flower and James yarra valley weddings

Jogiya Falguni (Flower) and James Mitchell

A colourful three day wedding in Warburton celebrates multi-cultural love and the bringing together of what really matters.

Meet the couple

James and Flower both work in the sales industry, James as a cybersecurity expert and Flower as a dental supplies specialist. The couple met via a dating app while both were living in London and were immediately drawn to each other. Flower says, “I liked his easy going chats – he was unique and oddly attractive! And an all-round, well balanced guy – that was refreshing.”

Flower says James told her she was real and authentic – a breath of fresh air! “There was a real curiosity between us given our different cultural backgrounds and an appreciation of the uniqueness that bought to the relationship.”

Who proposed?

James proposed to Flower at sunset on Brighton Beach in the UK. The destination of their first holiday, the proposal was beautifully timed with their third anniversary. The couple had ‘like grownups’ decided to get married, especially as James was relocating to Australia to be with Flower, so they had designed the ring together. The proposal was the first time Flower actually saw her dream ring in reality.

What was your wedding theme?

“Indian weddings typically go for five days but we were a little more re- strained and held our wedding over three days! We wanted to bring together both cultures and traditions, but the colour and the theme of all three days was definitely Indian/Gujarati.”

“Day one is called Sangeet. Dance is at the heart of a traditional pre-wedding celebration. We brought in a Bollywood dance teacher to our party in Christ- mas Hills, who taught our guests a cheesy Bollywood dance routine. It was
a real highlight and brought everyone together regardless of cultural back- ground or whether they’d met before. We had a bindi station and bangles for guests to wear because it’s all about colour and noise! On day two, the men and the women separate and the bride gets her mehndi, then on day three the wedding ceremony, rituals and dinner is celebrated.”

How did you choose your ceremony and reception venue?

“Our engagement party was inspired by an Alice In Wonderland production we had enjoyed, and we really went over the top to create an Alice theme at a bar called ‘Through the Looking Glass’ in London. We had a bit of a reputation for going ‘all out’ so when it came to our wedding in Australia, we wanted to do everything to make it memorable and special. We’d looked at a few wedding venues and we just couldn’t warm to the cookie cutter approach of many of them. Then we discovered Projekt 3488 on the internet. We loved everything about it and just chatting to Mark on the phone we felt so good. When we walked in the door it was more than we ever imagined. It was off the charts unusual.”

Is there a story behind your dress and veil?

“The dress code for all three days was colourful – in fact it’s not appropriate to wear black to an Indian wedding. Many of our guests went all out and wore saris or lengha, including our Australian friends. My dress was a traditional Indian sari dress and embroidered veil; however, I chose to wear vibrant blues, rather than the traditional bridal red. James got in the spirit of things and had an Indian outfit (dhoti) made but when he tried it on it just didn’t feel right. He ended up making a trip to Dandenong where he found a wonderful Indian long jacket with stunning gold embroidered sleeves and pants for the day. He did it his way.”

What made your wedding unique?

“We had food trucks at our dance party and then the remaining days werecatered by Jesse from Locavore. All of our food was vegetarian (people said they didn’t even realise because it was so delicious) and the meals on the day three soiree were vegetarian Indian Banquets. The ceremony alone goes for about three hours with guests arriving at 10am and leaving about 7pm. Projekt 3488 was amazing as we were able to move among different areas of the building and gardens, and it provided such a dramatic setting for our many ceremonial aspects.”

What makes your marriage?

“When you want to be with someone you embrace all that they are. Bringing together two cultures is somewhat of a roller coaster, but it brings meaning and uniqueness to your life. Since the wedding I’ve found myself reflecting a lot on my culture, and how I preserve my cultural self for me, and my future children. There’s an urge to revisit my roots, and James is with me every step of the way.”

Tell us about any other special elements of your day.

“My mum handmade about 250 colourful tassels that we used to decorate the dance hall and then Projekt 3488. They took her a whole year to make and were so bright and festive.

We gifted all our guests with a custom made tiffin tins engraved with the message ‘Eat, Sleep, Love, Repeat’. They were used for dinner and were then a wedding favour.”

What’s your best advice for planning the perfect wedding?

“Don’t forget your honeymoon! We still haven’t been on ours. I think all our focus was on the wedding. And most of all, enjoy it. All of it. Our day was like a brilliant diamond.”

What were the highlights?

“My mehndi day on day two was beautiful. It’s one day in your life that Indian girls look forward to. You are pampered for hours on end by the women in the family and mehndi (or henna) is done on the hands and feet in preparation for the wedding day. It’s a day of fun and laughter. The guys had a more traditional Aussie BBQ catch-up together at their accommodation.”

Anything else you’d love to share?

“Indian couples should really consider Australia for their wedding. You can have everything here to make your dream a reality. And have a laugh. We’re best mates and our wedding was a true expression of who we are and the enjoyment we share in being together. That is universal.”

Number of Guests:100

Date: 24/25/26 April 2019

Location: Projekt 3488