After months of chatting online, this couples first date wasn’t your typical dinner and a movie... when Tony flew to India to meet Risa in person.
Risa and Tony met on Facebook after a mutual friend suggested they add one another. Over 8 months the pair developed a strong friendship, chatting through Facebook and via Skype. Their online friendship blossomed into romance and a grand loving gesture - Tony flying to India to meet Risa in person and take her out on their first date.
Flying between Australia and India to spend time together, the long distance relationship wasn’t an issue for this loved-up couple. They shared similar values, beliefs and intellect, Risa a doctor and Tony a software engineer and they had much in common.
“Tony flew me to meet him in the Himalayas for a romantic getaway. He was nervous, which made me nervous – I was so shocked when he got down on one knee and proposed. I couldn’t make out what he was saying I was so excited, all I made out was ‘love’, ‘care’ – and will you be mine forever”, Risa recalls of Tony’s romantic proposal.
After a three-year engagement, Risa and Tony were married in the enchanted Bell City gardens, with 50 of their closest friends and family. It was the perfect Melbourne summer day, where under a stunning floral arch, adorned with fresh white and purple blooms, Risa and Tony said “I do”.
Following Risa and Tony’s wedding ceremony, their friends and family enjoyed pre-drinks and canapés in CHILL Restaurant & Bar while the couple used Bell City’s extensive grounds for their wedding photography.
The Bell City Ballroom, glamorously styled in black, silver and blue, with tall floral centrepieces and dramatic ceiling draping, was the location for the couples’ wedding reception. “We did so much research online when selecting a venue, as any couple would and Bell City ticked all of the boxes – we just knew it was right for us”, said Risa.
Friends and family were served Thai beef vermicelli noodle salad alternating with chilled prawns, followed by New York sirloin served with roast vegetables or slow baked lamb with a minted jus. Saving the best for last, guests enjoyed smashed pavlova with poached berries alternating with steamed chocolate pudding for dessert.
Risa later surprised her guests with an outfit change, showing off a second wedding dress for the evening, a stunning mermaid Ronald Joyce designed bridal gown. The newlyweds then took centre stage, sharing their first dance a man and wife to the classic ‘come away with me’.
After an unforgettable evening, the couple relaxed in their complimentary luxurious suite, reflecting on their special day and the start of their new life together.
Wedding photographer: Mark Clarisse
Bridal gown: Ronald Joyce
Flowers: Iris Bloom Florist
Bridesmaids dresses by: Jennifer Wu
Groom dressed by: Peter Jackson
First dance song: Come away with me by Shania twain