It all started when Anju and Lindley were celebrating their 4th anniversary at the Park Hyatt Sydney, and Lindley surprised Anju by popping the question.
“He woke me up in the early hours of the morning and told me we were going to watch the sunrise together. He had the rooftop of the Park Hyatt unlocked especially for us, which had a stunning view of the city, the harbour, the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. We had exclusive use of it for that hour of the morning,” recalls Anju.
“We were both in comfy bathrobes as it was freezing. When we went upstairs Lindley pulled off his robe to reveal a blazer, bowtie and trousers. He pulled out two champagne glasses printed with Homer and Marge Simpson (we’re huge fans of The Simpsons), a bottle of champagne, a keyboard and a single rose. He poured me a glass of champagne and proceeded to sing and play one of my favourite songs, “I don’t want to miss a thing” by Aerosmith. He had learned to play this song especially for the proposal as he is not normally a keyboard player.”
Lindley presented Anju with a custom-made luckenbooth necklace that he’d custom designed with her birthstone.
“It is a traditional Scottish token of love and betrothal dating back to medieval times. I’m a huge fan of Scotland and love everything about it,” explains Anju, who later designed the engagement ring together with Lindley.
The couple chose to have both a Catholic and Hindu wedding, each with a ceremony and reception.
“We knew we wanted our weddings to be memorable and as different as possible, this inspired us to source information and inspiration from everything we could get our hands on!” says Anju.
“Both weddings, especially the Hindu wedding had many traditional elements that had to be maintained as well.”
Their church ceremony was a traditional Catholic ceremony at the Cardinal Cerretti Chapel at Manly that incorporated some traditional Sri Lankan customs, followed by a reception at Jonah’s.
“We chose Jonah’s at Whale Beach mainly for its stunning location and the flexibility it offered for customising our wedding. Jonah’s had a variety of areas e.g. garden, balcony and terrace where guests could enjoy canapés, welcome drinks and lawn games prior to the commencement of the reception. Guests then moved inside to the restaurant for formalities and a sit down dinner, before having the freedom to move around the venue once the dance floor opened up. We were even able to request a self serve dessert station be set up in the dance floor area for our guests to enjoy,” said Anju.
“Logan Campbell the head chef worked closely with us to create a custom menu as it was important to us to have elements of Sri Lankan cuisine incorporated in the menu. Logan did a fantastic job as he created a modern Sri Lankan fusion menu! We had also chosen a hanging cake by Sugablossom cakes so the beams in the inner terrace of Jonah’s were perfect for this!”
Anju met her gown designer Santina at the Sydney Bridal Expo and they worked together for nine months to create her wedding gown.
“My gown was custom made by Collezione Santina Haute Couture and is a four piece ensemble. Initially I wanted a traditional sari-style gown in lace, but later realised my tastes were not traditional at all. Instead, we went for a modern romantic look that incorporated traditional dress elements and had an overlay that I could take off at the reception so I could move around and dance freely.”
The couple arranged to have their first dance to two songs. “We both chose a song each and they were chosen for their lyrics and their meaning. We decided not to have a rehearsed dance and just went with the flow. We started off on the balcony so that we could share a moment in private, as the glass doors separated the guests. As the second song began we danced our way back inside and onto the dance floor because we wanted the dance floor to open up as soon as our first dance ended.”
“It’s difficult to pinpoint a particular moment that stood out as everything about the day was so memorable and emotional. We loved every minute of the wedding day!” Anju summed up.
Bride’s Advice: “Stay true to yourself and your style together as a couple, don’t compare your wedding to others! If you stay united making your decisions the day will be perfect no matter what. There are times you’ll disagree so don’t forget to compromise as well.”
Photography // Thomas Gallane Photography
Video // Rolling Canvas
Ceremony Venue // Cardinal Cerretti Memorial Chapel
Reception Venue // Jonah’s Relais & Chateaux Whale Beach
Flowers // Flora Folk
Stylists // Honey Lane
Entertainment // DJ K-Note
Transport // Able Classic Wedding Cars
Cake // Sugablossom Cakes
Hair // Hair by ToniCass
Makeup // Cathy Tolpigin