Janita + Alexander were like two magnets, being pulled from other sides of the world to meet in Melbourne in 2014. Janita grew up in London, England. Alex grew up in a small coastal farming town in the north of Australia. …Their childhoods couldn’t have been any more different! Bride Janita had always dreamed of eloping, and in the height of COVID it was the perfect way to keep their family safe and fulfill a life-long dream! A big, one day event didn’t feel right for the pair, however, the possibility of having a close group of friends together with them for a week, experiencing the best of Iceland (a place very near and dear to the couple’s hearts) with a ceremony towards the end, felt perfect.
J + A planned every aspect of the wedding themselves. Both working in creative fields, they designed and curated every detail and aesthetic, to ensure the day was perfect and harmonious against the epic Icelandic landscape. It was really important to Janita to, wherever possible, commission designers who were not just best in their craft but also from underrepresented minorities in their respective fields for every aspect of the wedding – from the rings, to the lehenga, to her brows and lashes. We love this!!!
Iskra Photography accompanied the couple and their four guests to Kvernufoss, South Iceland for the elopement and captured all the breathtaking moments! Florist Anna Zophia Þórdís nailed the floral design and garlands that the couple had dreamed of and we truly cannot wait for you to see for yourselves!
The Bride and Groom’s Wedding Outfits
In typical groom fashion, the first suit Alexander tried by Variety Silk House ended up being the one he wanted!
Whilst Janita is still close to her Indian culture, her parents and she were actually all born and raised in 3 other countries – England, Fiji and Uganda – which might explain why her choices have many influences and tend to be non-traditional! We are pretty obsessed with her look!!
It was really important to her to find a designer who could push the perception of what a bridal wedding lehenga can be. The result was a custom-made striped structured lehenga in a metallic polymer; paired with a hand-embroidered tape blouse; and a black and gold corded cape by sustainability focussed Indian LGBTQ+ fashion designer Amit Aggarwal.
A Twist on Tradition
The exchange of garlands is one of the oldest traditions in a Hindu wedding ceremony. It’s the first thing that happens when the bride and groom see each other and signifies acceptance, affection and respect for each other. It was really important to the pair that they could include native flowers such as eucalyptus and proteas to represent their home in Australia and thistles to represent their home in the UK. It was florist Þórdís Anna Zophia’s first time making garlands and yet she found every element the couple wanted!
Imagine your ceremony amongst this naturescape! Breathtaking!!
A little detail with big personal meaning is the gold, ruby, and emerald bracelet you see Janita wearing here. It is almost 80 years old and was made to be worn by her grandmother on her wedding day. Since then her mother and sister have also worn the set on their wedding days too! How special is that?!
The weather was perfect when Janita arrived, but as the ceremony progressed and we emotionally said our vows, the sky cried happy tears with us too - as we were pronounced Husband and Wife.
The couple notes that the hardest part of the whole experience was not having their family and all of their friends there to celebrate with them. “But we were so lucky to have four incredibly special people with us on the day. Frances, Pio, Priya and Marcus. Our intimate group of guests looked amazing. With the two ‘Best Women’ in off white dashed print crepe crop tops and relaxed trousers with an attached georgette chunari with beaded tassels. Meanwhile, their husbands wore beige and black linen kurtas!”
Their Love Begins 8 Years Ago
“We first met 8 years ago when working together at a digital agency in Melbourne, Australia. After a year we became close friends and actually tried to fight our feelings for each other, but something bigger than both of us had other plans. Janita describes their connection as feeling as though it has happened before in a past life. Janita is a Head of Digital Production and Alexander is a Digital Product Designer. The two feel really lucky to still be able to share their passion for their work together. In their jobs, their roles rely on one another and only produce the best outcomes when working together. This is a dynamic that is echoed in our home life and how we planned this wedding too.”
The couple praises that the easiest decision they made during their planning process was choosing wife and husband duo, Jane & Tony with Iskra Photography to be their photographers. “We couldn’t believe our luck when we saw they would be in Iceland on the same dates as us. We’ll be forever grateful for the most incredible job they’ve done capturing these moments, not just for us, but for everyone we love who couldn’t be there.”
We can’t help but agree…these pictures ARE fantastic!!
An Icelandic Elopement
Iceland is a really special place to the couple because it is where they spent their favorite vacation together and where Janita proposed to Alex almost exactly a year before the wedding day!
“The moment we found pictures of this spot we felt like it was going to be the one, but knew for sure on a site reconnaissance just 24 hours before! Since the wedding, a wide man-made pathway has been built there. So we feel very lucky to have been one of the last to experience Kvernufoss in its natural state.”
Congratulations Janita + Alexander! Your intimate elopement has us dreaming of traveling across the world with the ones we hold close! So romantic!! The GWS Team is wishing you both many years of happiness! ❤️
photography: ISKRA photography // venue name: SELJALANDSFOSS HORIZONS LUXURY LODGES, Iceland // event design: Janita Patel & Alexander Byrne // planning: Janita Patel & Alexander Byrne // florals: Anna Zophia Þórdís // wedding dress: Amit Aggarwal // bride's shoes: NIKE X UNDERCOVER DAYBREAK sneakers // bride's ring: Frances Wadsworth-Jones // bridesmaid dresses: PS Pret // hair stylist: Tiff Harley // makeup artist: Janita Patel // groom attire: Variety Silk House // groom's shoes: Hunter Boots // groom's ring: Frances Wadsworth-Jones // paper goods: Red Fries // officiant: Anna Brynja Baldursdóttir