Indian and Australian cultures unite in this stunning celebration at Flaxton Gardens in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.
Love often happens when we least expect it, but for Tushar and Ajita, their family had an inkling the two would hit it off, even if they lived states apart. “It was a setup that neither of us thought would lead to anything!” says Ajita. With Ajita living in regional Queensland and Tushar in Melbourne, the long distance was bound to end the relationship before it began. Still, one phone call changed everything sparking a lifelong love. “We got to talking, and one thing led to another, and by the end of the phone call, we had made plans to meet in Brisbane,” says Ajita. “The rest is history!”
Their meeting sounds like the beginning of a romantic movie, and the proposal wasn’t much different. On a road trip through New Zealand, the couple ended up at Lake Coleridge, a stunning lake cradled between picturesque mountains capped with snow. Remarkably, Ajita almost didn’t go on the trip as she was sick with tonsillitis! Luckily (after much convincing) she joined Tushar at the alpine lake where he popped the question.
The natural elegance and serenity of the mountains was something the couple wanted to experience on their special day, so it’s no surprise they chose Flaxton Gardens, nestled amongst the Glasshouse Mountains in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. Renowned for its sweeping views and glorious scenery, the venue was a perfect choice for the pair — but there was a catch.
The couple had to incorporate four different wedding styles into their celebration: Tamil, Bengali, Punjabi and classic ‘white wedding’. “Our parents are from all over India, and we have spent both our lives in New Zealand and Australia, so we wanted the wedding to be as true of a reflection of us as it could be,” says Ajita.
The task wasn’t for the faint-hearted, with celebrations spanning six days, including the Sangeet (a musical night), Ai Buro Bhaat (a traditional bridal shower), Mehndi ceremony (an afternoon of henna for the women), and Haldi (traditional turmeric blessing ceremony), all before their ceremony and reception at Flaxton Gardens. The couple’s commitment to authenticity and tradition created a wedding like no other, pulling out all the stops for their special moment.
“Entrance to the venue was by helicopter, and I think this is where we started to maximise everything that Flaxton Gardens had to offer,” says Ajita. The couple also hired a Dhol player (a traditional Indian drum that hangs from the body) for the procession and even imported a rickshaw from India to replicate Tushar’s beloved tradition of riding with his mother to buy street food when they were in New Delhi.
Careful consideration was given to the dress and suit choices combining traditional handmade Indian clothing with Australian and New Zealand touches, like Tushar’s shawl, which was embroidered with the map of New Zealand. For the bride, a traditional Indian dress was created with fabrics purchased in Brisbane, while her evening dress was custom made by Pina Fiorenza, combining a white gown with elements from a saree.
In the end, their hard work paid off with the wedding a joyful and vibrant mix of influences that created a truly unique experience. Much like the start of their relationship, Tushar and Ajita weren’t afraid of the obstacles and encourage other couples always to look ahead. “It can be incredibly stressful in the days and weeks leading up to the big day, but honestly, on the day, you forget about the stress and have this amazing party with the people you love most,” says Ajita. “The more you make it about who you are and celebrate what’s unique about you, the more fun and genuinely memorable your day will be.
Photography Evernew Studio // Videographer Rolling Canvas // Venue Flaxton Gardens // Wedding decorator Chandni Events // Gown Pina Fiorenza // Hair Pure Styling // Makeup Feriel Ali // Street food India Town Street Food // Cake Fiona’s Fancies // Photo booth Snaptured // DJ G&M Event Group