Clair and Ben had two wedding celebrations. As Clair’s mother is Indian, on a Friday the pair were married in an Indian celebration at Sandy Bay Sailing Club, on Nutgrove Beach in Hobart. The following day they held a traditional Western wedding at Clair’s family home in Taroona.
Wedding date: March 10 + 11, 2017
Photography by Love Jennifer Photography
Clair and Ben met during a work conference in Sydney several years ago. At the time they were both studying, and lived in different states. Ben was in Queensland, and Clair in Tasmania. “We stayed in touch as we shared a love of travel and the environment, and we caught up a few times over the next couple of years, but it was difficult due to the distance,” said Clair. “We didn’t actually get together until I moved to the Gold Coast, Queensland in 2013. It was a big leap of faith, new city, new job, new friends, but absolutely worthwhile!” Clair added.
Ben arranged an elaborate marriage proposal in Northern NSW, at a national park called Broken Head. Ben had booked a weekend getaway and on Saturday the pair drove down to the park.
Unfortunately for Ben, the Byron Bay triathlon was on, and the road was closed for a few hours! Said Clair, “Ben recovered from this disappointment well, and he took me for a walk to a waterfall, then to the beach, and then he stalled for time until we could get to the national park.” As they walked out to the headland, Ben was carrying a delicious looking hamper. “He mentioned that he’d left the camera in the car, and asked if I could go back to get it,” Clair said. Slightly frustrated and getting peckish by this time, Clair ran back to the car while Ben walked on. “As I got to the headland, 5-10 minutes later,” Clair said. “I rounded the corner to see Ben kneeling on the top of a grassy cliff, with waves crashing below, asking me to marry him. It was just magical and I was absolutely blown away!” she said. “After sharing Champagne, cheese and many smiles,” Clair mused, “I thought he [Ben] handled himself very well. I hadn’t a clue what he had planned. The only odd part of the day was when we were at the beach and he was stalling for time, and he didn’t get in the water for a surf!”
As part of their Indian celebrations, said Clair, “We had 150 guests, most of whom dressed in traditional Indian clothes and jewellery. It is traditional for the groom, and not the bride to arrive at the ceremony. So on Friday afternoon, I waited on the balcony with my bridesmaids, as Ben rode along the beach with his groomsmen, and he arrived up the hill on a great white stallion!” Clair said. “What an entrance!”
A traditional Indian ceremony followed, with offerings to the fire and many blessings. The ceremony was run by Clair’s great-aunt, her Jyan-Nani, who had flown from Canada to officiate the ceremony. The wedding party and guests feasted on a range of vegetarian delights for the rest of the evening, followed by Bollywood dancing with professional dancers who showed everyone how to get involved. “It was an incredible day, full of colour, vitality, culture and joy,” Clair added. “Most importantly, all of our friends and family completely embraced the Indian culture, and loved exploring new traditions.”
On the following day Clair and Ben enjoyed a traditional Western wedding, which was held at Clair’s family home, ‘Pearwood’ in Taroona, Hobart. Clair’s family have lived on the 3.5 acre estate for 20 years, and it was a joy for Clair and Ben to hold their ceremony and reception there. “The ceremony was performed in a small amphitheatre built into the natural slope of the garden,” said Clair.
“The bridal party wore a mix of blues with peach highlights, while our reception was held in a large marquee with chandeliers and incredible flower arrangements by Botanical,” she added. “A real feature was the food, including Tasmanian oysters courtesy of The Oyster Butlers, and a delicious Italian meal created by Fico, using Tasmanian ingredients.” Clair is passionate about wine, and selected an all Tasmanian wine list for the day. “I wanted to showcase what the state has to offer to our interstate and overseas guests!” she added.
For more details on Clair and Ben’s beautiful Tasmanian wedding, pick up a copy of Bride Tasmania Magazine from your local newsagent…