An Indian-Australian Love Story

Erin& Rohit

Flowers: Gillian Pollard
Hair & make up: Margo Orsatti
Venue Hindu ceremony: Brighton International
Venue ceremony/reception: Encore St Kilda
Dress: David Hasbani
Rings: Paul Bram
Band: The White Tree
Cake: Wedding Cakes of Melbourne
Celebrant: Linda Hamill

AN INDIAN-AUSTRALIAN WEDDING

A wedding is not just the union of two hearts; in fact, it is a bond that unites two families. This is especially true when we talk about an Indian-Australian wedding. Indian-Australian weddings are typical in a sense that special attention is given to maintaining family values, customs, and traditions.

While most weddings in Australia are based on and follow the Christian traditions, Indian-Australian weddings are often a blend of the Indian and Western customs. They are usually more colourful than the traditional Christian weddings, can last for up to a week, and can have a long list of invited guests.

Although both the traditional Christian wedding and an Indian-Australian wedding aim on uniting the couple and their families together, there are great differences in the way these weddings are celebrated. For couples and families who are living in Australia and want to host a wedding ceremony, it is important to understand that planning an Indian-style wedding in Australia is different than planning such a wedding in India. So, before you decide to host an Indian-Australian wedding in Australia, it is important to consider your options.

An Indian-Australian wedding, in reality, is a hybrid of the East and West wedding. Part of it is due to the cultural influence of the Western culture and part of it is due to the availability of limited planning resources in Australia. Let us explore how these two major factors have impacted Indian weddings in Australia.

Limited Planning Resources

Traditional Indian weddings are usually very big in size as far as the numbers of guests are concerned. Everyone, from close family members and friends to distant relatives and neighbors, are invited to become part of the week-long ceremony. In order to host such a mega event and adequately accommodate all the guests, it sometimes becomes a big challenge to find the required infrastructure and services. Most wedding venues in Australia are tailor-made for typical Western weddings with a guest list that rarely crosses the 1000 mark. Most of these wedding venues can serve only 200 – 500 guests max.

Availability of authentic Indian cuisine is also a problem as most of the weddings venues found in Australia do not allow you to bring your own food catering service and the Australian caterers are not able to handle catering of such a huge scale. Similarly, lighting a fire (which is an important ritual in an Indian wedding) is not allowed in most of the wedding venues in Australia. You will be required to have special permission and take all the necessary actions to prevent any mishaps to hold this ritual. Barrat, which is also an important part of an Indian wedding, and refers to the groom riding in a well-decorated ride and accompanied by all the guests traveling on different rides blocking the roads to arrive at the marriage venue, can also be very challenging in Australia. Add to this the financial implications of making arrangements for such a huge event and you will soon realise how challenging holding an Indian-Australian wedding in Australia can be.

The Cultural Implications

With the passage of time, Indians who are born and raised in Australia or who have lived here for long enough, have slowly but surely adopted some of the cultural practices and norms from the Western weddings. This is why, Indian-Australian weddings these days have become more structured and formal, rather than unstructured and slightly chaotic.

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An Indian-Australian Wedding
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