Reena & Andrew - Canberra, ACT

Reena & Andrew – Canberra, ACT

And it was certainly a massive, joyous event – one the happy couple described as “an example of how people from different faiths and cultures can come together and equally celebrate each other’s background”.

wedding style


 Reena married in a traditional Western gown before changing for the reception into an Indian lehenga Picture: Supplied

The celebrations comprised five events: the mehndi where the bride is decorated with henna designs, the sangeet musical extravaganza, the haldi ceremony when tumeric is smeared on the bride and groom for happiness and prosperity, the western ceremony at Parliament House and later a Hindu ceremony with the vows made in front of a sacred fire.

“I love that our wedding was a religious mash-up,” Reena said.

“We took beautiful traditions that we both grew up with and personalised them in a way that made sense for us. It’s been incredible to find the commonalities between our beliefs and figuring out how to blend them in a respectful and meaningful way.”

Reena & Andrew

 Andrew and Reena celebrated with a traditional Hindu ceremony after their Parliament House wedding. Picture: Supplied

The wedding featured everything from Reena’s 10-metre veil to an eight-tier cake to elaborate dance routines enjoyed by the 170 guests.

For the reception, Reena wore a traditional silk lehenga by her favourite Indian designer Sabyasachi.

“It was a perfect outfit to pay homage to my Indian roots,” she said.

Reena, who is a journalist and pageant organiser, met Andrew, who works for Microsoft, through work.

Reena & Andrew


 Reena’s wedding veil was 10-metres long. Picture: Supplied


The happy couple has settled in Canberra.

“After couple of postponements and a pandemic, our wedding was happening, and we didn’t want to miss this opportunity to make it the biggest day of our lives,” Reena said.

“As international borders were closed, we had guests from Sydney, Newcastle, Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide. It just happened on the right weekend as masks were introduced a week later and now in new year COVID cases have gone up.”

Bride – Reena Koak

Groom – Andrew Zarb

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