Alia found her dream dress, the gold satin Elsa dress, a firm favourite with our brides, in Australia. She said I do in great style with inspiration from her Indian heritage with a cool, understated, and relaxed twenties style, against the backdrop of sunny Melbourne. We’re thrilled to feature Alia, our first Intimate Real Bride and hear more of her wedding day! Read on to find out more about her wedding + wedding planning tips, advice for other brides and more.
Hi Alia! How did you decide it was a gold satin slip dress that was your dream dress?
I hadn't actually started wedding dress shopping when I found my dress. I was on my way to Book of Mormon and ducked into a bridal store by myself. I always knew I wanted to wear something simple but elegant. All the dresses on the shelf were heavily laced and beaded / embroidered. The gold dress caught my eye because it stood out in its colour and simplicity. I put it on and I knew instantly that this was it! I walked out with a dress and a gown bag 20 minutes later. It was the first and only dress I tried on and I never looked back.
One word to describe how you felt in your dress on your big day...
Like liquid champagne (sorry I know that's three!)
How did you meet your husband, did you "know" he was the one? ;-)
I met my husband 9 years ago and honestly, I didn't know he was the one. But I did know he was someone I loved being around and wanted to keep in my life in some capacity. We dated initially but then maintained and developed a beautiful friendship. There was always a special connection but I didn't envisage marrying him. We only started officially dating six years later! But then it was all go! He's one of a kind and a rare breed.. I love him to bits :)
I absolutely loved your headpiece you wore with your Elsa dress and how you styled your look! Can you recommend any amazing bridal accessory suppliers you found?
I wanted to show my heritage and culture but not go over the top with heavy jewery. I wanted a style that was in keeping with the simplicity and elegance of the dress. My dad brought me the headpiece from India a few years ago and I saved it for a special occasion. All the jewelry I wore (bangles, ear rings and necklace) was passed down from my grandmother and my mother and given to me on my wedding day. I just had it all laid out in front of me on the day while we were getting ready. So I just kind of put on what I felt like wearing on the day.
Good local suppliers for Indian styled jewelry can be found in Dandenong - plenty of Indian stores there with nice wedding jewellery.
For a more bohemian look Samantha Wills is good. I think Swarovski also make beautiful wedding jewellery. Melbourne also has many many amazing local artist and designers who make beautiful jewelry. We are spoiled for choice in this city when it comes to anything fashion related. Dolce Firme for shoes
I admire your sense of style – who's your fashion idol or fashion crush? What or who are you inspired by?
I have to admit... I don't really have a fashion idol. I like to observe people around me and then I just mix and match things in a way that expresses my individuality, my personality, and my mood. I wasn't wearing a purely western or indian outfit - I kind of fused the two together because that's symbolic of who I really am and how I've been raised. I was born In Africa, I have indian heritage, and I've grown up in Australia. So I'm really an afro-aussie Indian! I'm really inspired by simplicity and a more natural look, and that inspiration has come from my mother and my aunties and uncles. They're pretty stylish for an old bunch ha! They have always shown me that there is beauty in simplicity and that sometimes simple is more. We really ran with that theme for our whole wedding.
Really cool way of using left-overs with your sash that you had made – are there any other great tips you could share?
I bought a basket from a salvation army store and then used the off cuts from my dress to wrap around the basket handle and line the inside of the basket. It gave it a beautiful vintage look. If the fabric hasn't freyed you can use this as ribbon in your flower girls hair. You could also use the off cuts of your dress to wrap around the bridesmaids bouquets or decorate your cake - so many options don't throw them away!
I ordered all our flowers from a wholesale florist and got a friend to put them in vases on the table. It's not hard to do - We kept it simple with just roses, dahlias and a bit of foliage. It looked classy, stylish, and elegant. You can use any flowers and any ribbon/lace to decorate your cake - we used the dahlias and roses on top the cake rather than paying for extra decorations. Again we just had 3 flowers on top of a naked cake and it looked beautiful.
If there were three things you wish someone had told you before you started planning your wedding, what would they be?
I think I'd be better answering the best two things someone told me before we started planning the wedding. And then a last tip from me
1. From my brother Jameel – focus on the things that people will remember - - food, drinks, and music. No one will remember what the place cards look like or your $100 cake topper.
2. From my bridesmaid Triona – don't try to DIY absolutely everything. Especially for the things that don't cost a lot pay someone else to do. It will take the enjoyment out of the planning and the last thing you want is a stressful lead up to your wedding. It should be fun and enjoyable and exciting for you and your partner
3. From me – Remember the big picture. Don't get tied up in the nitty gritty, trivial small things – the day is all about love, friends, and family and fun.
If you could go back and visit your pre-wedding planning self, what would you say to her?
Delegate jobs and let people help you if they offer - people love to help and to be involved in the day!
Take time to stop and process what you are about to do - it's such a magical, beautiful feeling so cherish the whole lead up, as well as the day, and keep riding the high after.
Be aware that this is a time full of emotion, change and adjustment for everyone. Look after yourself and look after your relationship. Don't be surprised if seemingly small issues get heightened but try not to let all the external hype/pressures and people stressing out around you affect your time!
Make time to do something for yourself on the morning of the wedding. I almost didn't do this but I ended up making time to do a yoga and meditation session with my gorgeous cousin Rashida. It just put me in a great mind frame going into the day and night.
The best thing I did was keep reminding myself to remember the big picture and try to be in the moment!