Khyaati and Bavan by Nisha Ravji

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship…

We met as first-year University students in New Zealand and our story is set in three cities and two countries, includes plenty of family and friends and a little pooch called Sherlock. It’s now been 9 years since we first got together and it has been one amazing ride, which has now brought us to Melbourne…

It’s fair to say that our lives primarily revolve around our little dog. Prior to him, we were just another couple in love, but as soon as we had him we knew we were a family. He’s the muse for some of Khyaati’s creative endeavours (including his very snazzy wedding tuxedo) and little work companion for Bav. We’re very fortunate to have met at such a young age, and we’re even more fortunate to have had each other for all these years. Our wedding was a wonderful  milestone in our relationship and we’re extremely excited to continue this journey as a family. 

Tell us about your special day, was there a specific theme or style? Tell us a little about the setting, the styling and some of your favourite details…

When you’ve been together for a long time, it’s easy to ask yourself “Why do we need a Wedding?”. For us the answer was simple, our wedding was more than a celebration of our relationship. It was an opportunity for us to thank everyone that had been a key part of our lives.  Subsequently, our wedding was a small and very intimate celebration held at the beautiful St Agnes Homestead, a gorgeous B&B in Kyneton, Victoria. The property had endless character and charm, from the beautiful lawn we used for the ceremony to the coach house courtyard that housed our long dinner table.

Style is a very subjective thing, but our aesthetics aligned perfectly and putting the day together between the both of us was pretty seamless. We knew that, with such a small guest list, we wanted everyone to feel comfortable and looked-after. Choosing the small details was the most fun – bright yellow velvet couches, vintage-style glassware, and pops of colour throughout. There’s no need to stick to traditional colour palettes or layouts. Have a lot of fun, and create a day that reflects both of you. In the end, the most important thing was that everyone came together and had a good time. Thinking back on the day, the things that stay with us are the smiles that greeted us at the ceremony, the laughter over dinner and singing on the dance floor.

Tell us about your main outfits:

Choosing your outfits can seem really daunting at first. There are endless options available, but focusing on something that makes you feel your absolute best is a great starting point. Bav really wanted to make the most of this opportunity, and went with a bespoke tailored suit from Oscar Hunt in Melbourne. “The process from start to end, was really enjoyable, and I knew I’d feel great on the day wearing a beautiful suit that had been entirely hand-made just for me. It was impeccably tailored, and I know it will last the years. I decided to complete the outfit with bespoke shoes from a local Melbourne shoemaker – I’d walk past the workshop on my way to get coffee, and had always wondered what it would be like to have shoes made just for you. The process took around 6-months, but it was so worth it”.

[Khyaati] “I’m a shoe gal, so my whimsical Sophia Webster Evangeline heels were the first part of my outfit I bought – months before the dress! Initially, I wasn’t too enthusiastic about going wedding dress shopping. They all seemed so fussy and…lacy. Finding ‘The Dress’ seemed so overwhelming from the get-go, that I considered making my own. I had plans to make a marigold-yellow silk dress, but, once I saw the dresses from Karen Willis Holmes, I knew I’d found a winner. I made a single appointment at KWH in Melbourne, tried 5 dresses and picked the final one. It was a simple silk twill, in a fit-and-flare with a daring neckline and leg split to show off my shoes!” The oversized bow at the back sealed the deal and made it ‘me’. It felt so beautiful on, and the women at the studio were absolutely wonderful work with. Despite having bought a dress for the ceremony, I knew I still wanted to wear a ‘me-made’ outfit, so I drafted and sewed a tea-length reception dress to change into for dancing the night away in. It was a labour of love, having taken about 3-months to create, but it’s one of my proudest creations, and it was a fabulous surprise outfit change on the day”.

What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day?

We knew that the day itself would go by in a flash, so our strategy was to make it about much more than the ceremony and have as many of our loved ones with us for as long as possible around the actual wedding day. We were able to have most of our friends and family stay either with us at the homestead, or around Kyneton. The night before the wedding, we celebrated with pizza and wine with our nearest and dearest in the beautiful wine cellar at St Agnes. Laughs and pizza over candlelight are an excellent way to wind down and relax before a big day, and focus on what’s important – spending time with those you love most. 

On the day of the wedding, Khyaati and I started that day off by taking Sherlock for an early morning walk. We knew it would be one of the few moments we would get to spend together by ourselves and just reflect. We came back to join our wedding party and family for a delicious big breakfast that Traudi and David [owners of St Agnes] had put together for us. With the sunlight streaming in, and dogs running around, it was so magical to look around at the smiling faces and realise how much love was in that room.  

Khyaati “Getting makeup and hair done was far more hectic that I anticipated, but that’s part of what made it so fun! My mum, my bridesbabes and I got ready with the Bav and his groomsmen – with the exception of me getting into my dress! It was a little busy, but crazy fun. A really memorable part of the day was finally walking down the aisle, arm-in-arm with my mum (who looked fabulous in her pale pink jumpsuit!) and seeing the faces of all our friends and family – half of whom had flown all the way from New Zealand to be with us. It’s not often you get the opportunity to gather those you love most in one single place, and spend time with them.”

Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together?

Deciding to spend your lives together starts long before the wedding or engagement. It comes from knowing that the person next to you loves you for who you are, that they complement you as a person and that they have always got your back. 

Since the wedding, people often ask us “How does it feel to be married?” for which the answer is some variation of “We’ve been together for 9 years, nothing has changed, we’re still in love”. Every relationship is different, but we believe that a wedding isn’t the start of the “rest of your lives” its point in time to reflect on how far you’ve come and to look forward to what life has to offer.

Photographer: Nisha Ravji | Ceremony & Reception location: Saint Agnes Homestead | Celebrant: Kathryn Brandt | Bride: Karen Willis Holmes | Second outfit – made by the bride, fabric from Tessuti Fabrics Melbourne | Brides shoes: Sophia Webster | Earrings: Elizabeth Cole | Groom: Oscar Hunt | Grooms shoes: Roberts & Hassett | Ring/s: Diamond Exchange | Kavalri | Makeup: Sophia Grapsas |Hair: Stephanie Strahan |Fragrance: Mon Guerlain | Bridesmaids: Zimmermann | Emeldo Design Groomsmen: Institchu | Entertainment: Sway Jazz Band | Hire: Memphis Hire | One Big Day Event Hire |Marquee: Tent Luxury Hire | Flora: Little Gem Flowers | Catering + Beverages: Spade to Blade | Cake: No Body Hates Cake | Stationary: Pink Teapot |