Abhinay and Krishanthy, Australia
This couple celebrated their childhood memories and love with an evocative wedding.
Abhinay Challa and Krishanthy Challa celebrated their journey from being neighbors to friends and life partners with beautiful wedding ceremonies in Sydney. Here are a few glimpses of the festive celebrations.
How They Met
“Growing up 50m away from each other in Sydney, he was ‘the boy from the bus’ who I had never spoken to but saw daily for five whole years,” says Krishanthy, “We went in different directions for University, but as time went by we kept bumping into each other through mutual friends, always just recognizing each other as ‘that guy/girl from the bus’ till one day I coincidentally moved in with his friend.”
A medical conference in 2012 was where the two finally discovered they had something more than friendship and spent the next two years in a long-distance relationship before Abhinay finally moved to the same city.
After a spell of hectic work schedules in 2018, Abhinay and Krishanthy made several weekend trips together as a couple. Abhinay shares, “We had been taking so many trips, what could be better than planning the proposal for one of them? She would never suspect it! I planned to pop the question on a trip to Vanuatu and managed to keep everything completely hush-hush.”
Krishanthy adds, “He is generally not great at secrets. Even though a friend let the location of the trip slip out once, I was too tired to be inquisitive”. Once they arrived in Vanuatu, Abhinay rushed her to an early dinner. They arrived to find a private dinner for two set up on a jetty overlooking the water. Abhinay capped the whole experience by going down on one knee at sunset.
“We had very specific ideas regarding the three wedding ceremonies that we were planning. We needed three different kinds of venues for each and found our perfect spaces at Navarra Venues and The Grounds of Alexandria. For the sangeet, we wanted a venue that could facilitate a large celebration with high ceilings and good lighting and picked Le Montage of Navarra Venues. We picked Oatlands House there too for our traditional Hindu wedding as it was the perfect size for our 500 guests, and the façade of a heritage building suited the traditional event.”
“Finally, we got married at The Grounds of Alexandria, in the Linseed House, which turned out to be the very first wedding they ever hosted. We always dreamed of ‘getting married on a farm in Byron Bay,’ but with such a large family based in Sydney and travelling in from all around the world, it was impractical. The Grounds of Alexandria gave us the rustic vibe we wanted right in Sydney.”
The couple made the most of their gorgeous lush venues with the help of decorator Décor A Shaan and Florals by Silva. The sangeet saw many performances choreographed to perfection by the family themselves, while DJ Ash had everyone on the dance floor. Every moment of the festivities were captured by Olguin Photography.
The sangeet marked the beginning of the wedding weekend. It was reminiscent of a carnival with vibrant pink and orange decor elements alongside stalls for food and gifts scattered around the venue. Guests spent the night mingling, enjoying performances, getting henna done on their hands, eating and drinking to their heart’s content. The highlight of the night was when the dance floor came to life thanks to DJ Ash.
Krishanthy wore an embellished mint and peach lehenga by Anita Dongre, and Abhinay matched her in an Indo-Western suit by Varun Bahl.
For the Hindu wedding ceremony, the couple stayed true to tradition and chose customary colors of red and white for the theme. The baraat’s entry, with the groom astride a horse, was a merry procession with music and dance. The traditional ceremony took place in a gorgeous mandap where the blessings of the deities were invoked to bless the union of the couple. The groom donned a traditional white and gold mundu and kurta, and the bride looked radiant in a silk Kanjeeveram saree which she paired with temple jewellery. The duo exchanged gorgeous garlands of red and white flowers.
Civil Ceremony and Wedding Reception
For the second and final wedding ceremony, the couple took their vows in a civil ceremony held at a romantic barn setting at The Grounds of Alexandria. The bride wore the charming Cassie dress from Karen Willis Holmes for the intimate function where they exchanged rings and made it official on paper. The reception dinner that followed featured festoon lights, rustic florals, rose gold cutlery and honey as bonbonnieres made by a local family business. The groomsmen dressed in navy blue ensembles which is Abhinay’s favorite color and the bridesmaids wore olive green which made for an unusual but striking combination.
Advice for Couples
“Wedding planning in the world of Instagram and Pinterest is like falling down the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland. It is so hard to decide what you want as there are so many options, all of which are amazing in their own ways. Making a time-specific list gave us a scope of what needed to be done and things to think about. We also would recommend that before you start booking things, figure out the important stuff like functions, locations and the guest list before moving on to theme, decor and vibe.”
The Wedding Makers
Venues: Navarra Venues (Le Montage and Oatlands House)
Decor: Décor A Shaan, Florals by Silva (Civil Ceremony and Reception)
Caterers: Maya Caterers
Groom’s Outfits: Varun Bahl (Sangeet), Kaadambini (Hindu Wedding), Institchu (Civil Ceremony and Reception)
Groom’s Shoes: RM Williams
Groom’s Accessories: MJ Bale
Brides Outfits: Anita Dongre (Sangeet), Kankatala (Hindu Wedding), Kanakavalli (Hindu Wedding), Karen Willis Holmes (Civil Ceremony and Reception)
Bride’s Shoes: Tony Bianco (Civil Ceremony and Reception)
Bride’s Jewellery: Amelie George
Wedding Band: Xennox Diamonds
Make-Up Artist: Sana Hair and Makeup
Henna: Henna Hub Sydney
Entertainment: DJ Ash, The Bakers Boys
Invitation: Paperlust, Uma Jeyaseelan (Illustration)
Wedding Stationery: Etsy
Priest: Sriparashara Hrishikesha Bhattar