Prasenna + Jonathan by Emma Faith Photography

We were best friends before we fell in love. What defined our friendship was the profound respect we had for each other and the genuine joy we found in each other’s company. Our friendship grew, and eventually, we fell in love.

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love…

PP: I grew up in the northern part of Malaysia, in a hill-station town called Cameron Highlands. When I was about 10 years old, my family and I migrated to Adelaide, South Australia. I have a passion for palette knife painting, particularly creating scenic artworks inspired by the vibrant colours of autumn and the beauty of pine trees. So, it was ironic that I got married in a forest! Currently, I work in a bioanalytical lab as a Technical Officer.

JW: I was born in Johor Bahru, situated in the southernmost part of Malaysia. After completing my high school education and pre-university qualifications, I moved to Adelaide to pursue further studies. I am currently employed in the health sector as a data analyst. Outside of work, I am passionate about sports and music. I am a dedicated supporter of Manchester United, and I enjoy playing several musical instruments, including the piano and guitar.

How/where/when did you meet – and what were your first impressions?

PP: We first met in church where Jonathan joined the youth group and music team I was already part of. At first, I found him to be a quiet and thoughtful guy with a likable personality. Over time, I noticed his genuine efforts to make those around him feel comfortable and included – a quality that greatly appealed to me. We soon became good friends and would go out together for dinners and movies with our siblings and churchmates. There were plenty of teasing and banter between us, but there were also times where we shared hours-long, deep and meaningful conversations. Over time, we became best friends which eventually grew into something more.

JW: I first met Prasenna in church. Initially, she struck me as a shy and reserved person. As I got to know her better, I discovered she was sweet, intelligent, and kind. Despite our differing personalities, we complemented each other well, sharing similar values and outlooks on life. As we spent more time together in various church activities and with our siblings, our friendship naturally grew. It was inevitable that I developed romantic feelings for her.

When did you first realise that this was someone you’d like to spend the rest of your life with?

We were best friends before we fell in love. What defined our friendship was the profound respect we had for each other and the genuine joy we found in each other’s company. We cherished every moment together, whether it was chatting daily on MSN, hanging out on weekends, or practising music together. The moments when we had to part ways were always the hardest, as we eagerly anticipated our next meeting. Our friendship blossomed and it wasn’t long before we fell in love. That was the moment we knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together.

Was there a proposal? Tell us a little about it…

Jonathan had an elaborate proposal in mind, of which I had no idea. He spent 6 months planning the proposal with the help of our siblings. I was under the impression it was going to take some time for him to propose since he was completing his Economics degree at that time. Jonathan had told me months earlier that a friend of his was offering us a professional photoshoot to promote his photography business. He also told me that he will organise a fancy dinner to celebrate my birthday after the photoshoot.

Jonathan arranged for an artist friend of his to paint a silhouette of a man proposing to a woman with the Northern Lights in the background. This was significant I have always been fascinated by the Northern Lights. He then arranged for the painting to be hung in an art gallery in Hahndorf, the setting for the proposal. Additionally, he reserved a private room in Haus Restaurant to host the celebratory dinner. Our families and close friends were invited to this dinner but under the guise of a birthday dinner for me.

On the 19th of July, we arrived in Hahndorf a little earlier than expected. We decided to go for a casual walk before the “photoshoot”. While walking, we saw that the local art gallery was still open, so we decided to go in for a browse. As we entered, Jonathan walked towards the painting (the painting of a man proposing to a woman with the Northern Lights in the background). He then called me over to see the painting. I looked at the painting and jokingly suggested he should propose to me in the same manner someday. He smiled and told me how the couple in the painting represents us at this current moment. At this point, I still thought that he was joking until he got down on one knee. He gave a beautiful speech expressing how long he had been waiting for this moment to ask his best friend to marry him. Then, he popped the question. Without any hesitation, I said YES! We shared a long hug (along with a few tears).

Shortly after that, he told me that we should make our way to the photoshoot. As we approached the private room of the restaurant, there was a sign outside saying ‘Photoshoot in session’. Believing this to be a genuine photoshoot, I pushed the door open only to be greeted by a loud “Surprise!” by our families and close friends. The room was beautifully decorated with candles, flowers and fairy lights. Jonathan then announced to our families and close friends that the celebration dinner was not just a surprise birthday dinner for me, but also our surprise engagement dinner party! The room was filled with so much love and excitement for us.

It was a beautiful night.

Tell us about the vision you had for the mood or style of your wedding…

We wanted to embrace an autumn theme for our May wedding, knowing that the vibrant colours of the season would complement a forest setting perfectly. Our main theme colours included burgundy red, mustard yellow, burnt orange, and sage green. For the overall feel of the wedding, we wanted it to have a soft-modern, elegant and romantic feel.

As a huge fan of The Twilight Saga, I took inspiration from the wedding scene in Breaking Dawn for our wedding venue choice. We both desired to get married in a unique outdoor setting and Kuitpo forest presented the perfect venue.

The evening reception was hosted in my parents’ backyard. We transformed the space into a picturesque setting with a long continuous table decorated with candles and flower arrangements, all beneath a canopy of twinkling fairy lights. We have always loved the idea of having an intimate reception dinner with our loved ones and we were so glad that it turned out just as we envisioned.

Jonathan and I wanted to incorporate elements of our Malaysian background into the celebration. For the afternoon reception, we selected a Thai-Malay fusion cuisine, and for the evening, we opted for a Malay-Indian cuisine. We even had a private chef on-site preparing fresh roti canai, which was a hit! My sister, Asha, and Jonathan’s brother, Noel, orchestrated the entire evening reception, ensuring every detail was special and unique. From trivia and heartfelt speeches to a video collage featuring family and friends from Malaysia and a personalized song dedicated to us, the night was filled with unforgettable memories that we will cherish forever.

What was one element you were happy to splurge on?

Three days before the wedding, we decided to splurge on renting a large white marquee for the lunch reception area. While it was costly to hire a marquee at such short notice, we were happy with our decision as it kept everyone warm and dry.

We are also glad that we chose to hire a photographer and videographer to capture our big day. Thanks to them, we now have videos and pictures of our special day to cherish.  Emma and Renata did an amazing job capturing precious memories of our special day.

Did anything happen on the wedding day that you laugh about in hindsight (even if it was stressful at the time)?

I was feeling quite nervous before walking down the aisle, but my wonderful dad was there for me to keep me calm and collected. As we walked, he distracted me by talking about Mr Bean and random conspiracy theories. This really helped as it took my mind off feeling nervous and kept me calm.

Another funny incident took place during the exchanging of rings. Without realizing, I had put the wedding ring on Jonathan’s right-hand ring finger instead of his left ring finger! Despite that, we really had a stress-free and fun day.

Originally, we planned to leave the reception venue by midnight but ended up staying until 2 am! We were having such an amazing time celebrating with our siblings and close friends, dancing and singing to our favourite RnB music. It was truly the perfect ending to a memorable day.

Tell us about your main outfits, what was unique, is there a story?

The dress I wore was an ivory/champagne sheath, elegant crepe gown that had a chic and minimalistic charm. It featured stunning lace embroidery throughout the train and sides of the dress. The moment I tried it on during dress shopping, I knew it was the one! I loved how it complemented my body, its flawless fit, and the comfort it gave me. It was truly the perfect dress for me.

My veil was my something borrowed, hand-made by my lovely mom. She originally made it for my sister’s wedding four years ago. The stunning rose-gold earrings were a gift from my sisters, while my parents gifted me a gold vintage-designed pendant, which matched my engagement ring perfectly. As for my wedding shoes, I found them just five days before the ceremony at a massive discount, and they were the last pair in stock. How fortunate!

For the night reception, I wore an emerald green lengha which was purchased from Kalki Fashion in India. The skirt, crafted from Milano satin, featured intricate floral embroidery. Paired with a matching crop-top blouse embellished with heavy sequins and cut dana/zardosi detailing. Completing the look was a stunning, heavily sequined emerald green shawl. To complement the outfit, I bought matching earrings and bangles from India. This outfit made me feel incredibly glamorous and I loved every bit of it.

JW: My 2-piece wedding suit was a thoughtful gift from my parents-in-law. With the expertise of my brother and best man, Noel, who is a suit enthusiast, we found a skilled tailor to create a personalized suit for me. I wanted a suit that would not only be suitable for the wedding but also for work, exuding both class and style. Working closely with the tailor and Noel, we meticulously discussed every detail of the suit. I chose a royal blue color suit, paired with a crisp white shirt, complemented by a brown leather belt and matching shoes. The fit was impeccable, and I felt confident in it. For the night reception, I swapped the white shirt for a black silk one and accessorized with an emerald green floral pocket square to complement Prasenna’s elegant lengha.

Ceremony Location Kuitpo Forest / Reception Location Kuitpo Hall / Videographer Weddings By Renata / Photographer Emma Faith Photography / Celebrant Andrew Downes / Entertainment Amicus String Quartet / Styling 60 Floral Design / Hire Mase Events, Olympic Party Hire / Catering + Beverages Thaida Thai Restaurant / Cake Sugar Whip / Bride’s Dress Adelaide Bridal Emporium / Groom’s Suit InStitchu / Ring/s Ben Wilden Jewellery / Bride’s Shoes Nine West / Groom’s Shoes Clarks / Hair + Makeup BBPalace / Bridesmaids attire Boohoo, City Chic / Bridal Robe Bella Donna Ua