Friends since high school, Jami and Nakul’s relationship is one built on mutual respect – for each other, for their cultures, for family and for a good time. It’s all stuff they brought into their wedding day at the beautiful Sydney wedding venue Vaucluse House. Captured by Alex Jack, this wedding was all about bringing together the people Jami and Nakul love the most in a relaxed, unstuffy way. Read on to learn more about this couple’s approach.
How did you both meet? Nakul and I first met in high school, he’s two years older than me but we became friends quite quickly and spent a lot of time together as we were young. Looking back it’s so funny, we experienced a lot together as kids (breakups, weekends just hanging out together with friends) which has really set the foundations of honesty, respect and friendship in our relationship.
The proposal: We didn’t start dating until about 8-9 years later which just felt so easy for us both. The proposal really happened in phases – the first, when I’d just finished the gym and Nakul asked me to meet him at the jeweller because my engagement ring brief of “Not a diamond, I like yellow diamonds though but also emeralds, sapphires & rubys” wasn’t very clear…
We’d been together seven years so it was no secret a proposal was coming but having just finished a workout, standing at the jeweller as he said “OK, time to pick your ring”, I couldn’t believe it – I was not expecting it to go down like that!
After about 8-9 months of me asking if I should get my nails done, he eventually said yes, time to get them done! Note: ladies, men don’t know how long fresh nails last!
Three weeks later, I finished work once day to meet him at Centennial Park, a special place where we walk our dog everyday. He surprised me with a picnic with our dog before a weekend away in Melbourne. I’ll never forget him asking “We’d like to know if you’ll spend the rest of your life with us”.
The venue: We both knew wanted to get married somewhere close to home, where we could revisit easily. Vaucluse House was the first venue we saw, close to our home and honestly, I was sold as soon as Nakul said “We can bring our children here for breakfast one day”. It’s now such a special place where we can continue creating memories as the years come.
Wedding vibe: Relaxed, comfortable and full of love. We both wanted to create a day full of laughter, where everyone felt themselves, right at home.
Traditions: adopted, adapted or ditched? We stayed together the night before the wedding and there was something so special about being so excited for our big day, together.
The wedding day was our very own mix of Indian-meets-Western, exactly how we are as a couple. Wearing traditional Indian garments was important to us both but we opted for a more traditional western ceremony with no religious affiliations and our own vows.
We had a few of our own twists throughout the day which made the day feel so personal and ultimately, relaxed. We ditched the traditional bridal table and blended our bridal party amongst our closest friends and family across three tables. I would do this all over again, it gave our bridal party the chance to celebrate love with their own partners and us the chance to have fun with all of our guests.
We also ditched the cake – there was something about standing over a cake together that didn’t feel right to us. We’re quite casual and to be honest, no one seemed to miss it! We weren’t super comfortable with a traditional first dance so invited our bridal party to share that moment with us, which quickly turned into everyone dancing and singing together.
My favourite twist of the night was finishing the reception with our last speakers teaching guests how to do Indian dance moves to prep them for the dance floor! That was certainly a highlight.
The outfits: I’d had a photo of the bridal lehenga I wore on my phone for almost six years! I could only purchase it from the showroom in India, which with travel restrictions was impossible! I found Elora our wonderful designer who was able to recreate something similar but bespoke. Nakul’s outfit was designed by us three to really work in around that. We wanted to compliment each other, without feeling too matchy.
I’d never really seen myself as a traditional white gown bride and it was so important to me to wear a traditional Indian lehenga, especially for a lot of family that couldn’t be there with us on the day.
For the reception, I changed into a shorter white dress and ballet flats to give my speech and dance the night away. My dupatta, the Indian veil was all hand beaded so very heavy after a few hours! I was happy to change into a headband with my new initials and my Great Grandma’s pearls to feel like she was there with us.
Standout vendors: Alex Jack, our photographer. She was INCREDIBLE! As a couple, we’re not usually super comfortable with photos, especially in a traditional wedding sense. Everything Alex captured of us as a couple is so true to who we are. We’re so incredibly happy with the beautiful family moments Alex captured on the day. OH and we basically had to tell her to go home, she was so involved, dancing and having fun with us by the end!
Elora from By Elora who designed our outfits. I will never forget showing Elora the photo of what I wanted, which mind you was by an Indian designers collection 8 years ago, she responded “Oh my god I have that in my wardrobe.” I knew instantly she was the one. Elora completely understood our vision for the day and created traditional outfits that were so true to who we both are. With a 4 month lockdown leading up to our wedding, all fittings were done by ourselves mostly via text and somehow, her and her team nailed everything. She was even there with us for the ceremony, we just fell in love with her.
Hit or (near) miss: I’d said leading up to the day and the morning of “Whatever I’ve forgotten today, doesn’t matter, I’m going to marry the love of my life”. Well… turns out I’d forgotten OUR OWN SEATS AT THE RECEPTION!
I’ll never forget dancing into the reception with our wedding party with our guests sitting down and poor Nakul and I just stood at the table shocked. I instantly grabbed the microphone from the MC and told everyone that whatever I’d forgotten for the day didn’t matter, except our seats, then politely asked everyone to shuffle down.
I’ll always remember:
Jami: I’ll always remember my bridesmaids filled with tears walking my dad in to see me for the first time. And Nakul crying at my mum’s speech, it’s hard to put into words the feeling of watching the one you love, love your family as much as you do.
Nakul: Seeing Jami in her outfit for the first time and thinking to myself “but I’m not a crier?” And giving a high five to all my groomsmen after the ceremony was over on the lawn – I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to have my best friends surrounding me on such big day
Bridal party aisle song: Stand By Me, Ben E. King
Bride aisle song: Marry Song, Band of Horses
Recessional track: verything, Michael Buble
First dance (we decided this on the night haha): Islands in the Stream
Party starter: Jija Saali (an Indian dance song)
Word of wedding wisdom: If at the end of the day you’ve married the one you want to wake up to everyday for the rest of your life, then you’ve had a good day.
Budget: We actually kept to the initial wedding budget we set. We did have quite a small wedding of 75 guests, it was important to us to keep the day small and my hot tip for brides… think about other weddings you’ve been to and if you can remember the flowers, invest in them. If you can’t (like me), you don’t care and your money will be better spent elsewhere!
The future: We’ve just moved into our new home so there’s quite a long list of things to do but between that, finally travelling internationally and visiting all of our family that couldn’t be with us for our wedding day.
CREDITS: Photos Alex Jack // Florist The Sisters // Venue Vaucluse House // Catering Pearl Catering // Gown and veil By Elora // Bride’s shoes Kate Spade + Chanel // Bride’s accessories Lelet NY // Bridesmaid’s dresses BHLDN // Groom’s suit By Elora // Groomsmen’s suits Country Road // Rings Cartier // Hair and makeup Alex Penton