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A Moment With 'S&S Event Specialists'

ABIA meets Raj Thayaparan, one half of the talented husband and wife styling duo behind this successful Melbourne wedding hire and decorating business


Shevan J Photography

Unable to find a suitable stylist to decorate their daughter’s first birthday party Raj and Kuga Thayaparan took matters into their own hands, and it wasn’t long before the creative husband and wife team where getting requests from friends.

“Friends and family who came over to our house were always encouraging us to start a business,” Raj explains.

So, in 2007 Kuga did just that, launching S&S Event Specialists. Raj joined her as the business grew and they decided to focus solely on decorating wedding ceremonies and receptions.

ABIA took a wander among the couple’s huge assortment of wedding props to chat to Raj about mandap arches, backdrops and S&S Event Specialists’ exquisite artificial flower arrangements.


Shevan J Photography

Tell us about your business, specifically your wedding hire, styling and decorating services.

We offer a wide array of custom wedding structures tailored to each wedding’s unique theme, including wedding mandap arches, backdrops and more.

With a collection of more than 200 wedding props available for hire, we specialise in styling entire weddings according to theme. Our focus encompasses the stage, aisle and foyer, and we also offer exquisite centrepieces. We use high-quality faux flowers for ceiling decor, bridal tables and other floral arrangements to ensure all our weddings are as beautiful and memorable as our couples envision them. 

How did you get started in the wedding industry?

In 2007 we began creating custom wedding designs for our friends. Over the years, through word-of-mouth, our hobby evolved into a business. My wife Kuga managed the business on her own until 2019, but as things got busier we decided to run it together, focusing exclusively on weddings and receptions.


Tribe Photographers

Where are you based and what locations do you service?

We are based in Wallan, and from there we cater to weddings right across Melbourne and Victoria. We occasionally do interstate events as well.

What sorts of decorations do you specialise in, and what items do you offer for hire? Which are your most popular?

We specialise in wedding mandaps, and outdoor wedding mandap designs are among our most popular requests.


Riverside Creative

Have you always wanted to decorate? Was it something that interested you from childhood?

After graduating, Kuga pursued her interest in crafts, creating handmade items. Once we got married, we began sharing our love for creativity as a hobby. Friends and family who came over to our house were always encouraging us to start a business. The turning point came when we couldn't find a suitable stylist for our daughter's first birthday party, prompting us to take matters into our own hands. This led to styling our friends' weddings, and soon enough, our business began to grow.

What advice do you have for couples when it comes to choosing a decorating theme?

We encourage our clients to share their ideas and vision, allowing us to understand the wedding theme they desire. Using our expertise, we suggest items from our wide selection that can further accentuate their dream style.



Images Shevan J Photography

Have you always loved to decorate? Where do you turn for decorating inspiration and ideas?

Yes, Kuga and I both have a passion for decorating. We usually keep up to date with trends as well as experimenting with our own designs, mixing and matching various styles. Our clients' unique stories and visions often spark innovative ideas, allowing us to create personalised and meaningful designs. By combining these influences, we ensure each wedding we style is both beautiful and distinctive.

Do you offer packages? What do they include?

Yes, we offer a range of wedding styling and hire packages, mainly covering stage, aisle and foyer. In addition, we can also provide centrepieces.


Bhargav  Boppa Photography


Shevan J Photography

What trends and looks are you seeing in wedding styling and decorating at the moment?

Pastel-themed weddings and outdoor weddings are both popular wedding themes that we’re seeing our couples requesting at the moment.

If a couple gave you ‘free reign’ to decorate their wedding, what would you do?

If we had free reign to design a wedding for our clients, we would look to their wedding clothing choices to select a colour theme. We’d also look at the style of their wedding venue, in order to recommend a decorating approach for them.

What makes your service unique?

Our wedding decorating and styling business stands out because of our personalised approach and commitment to creativity. Our journey from a ‘passion project’ to a full-fledged business means we bring genuine love and dedication to every event we style. We put the utmost thought and care into every design, to help ensure each of our events is as special as it can be.


Shevan J Photography

What was your favourite wedding?

Our favourite weddings are always outdoor weddings. We really enjoy all weddings though, as we learn more about different cultures and traditions based on our clients' preferences, stories and ideas. Hindu weddings, in particular, are delightful for us as they often involve multiple pre-wedding ceremonies that add to the festive spirit.

How would you describe the couples that you connect with the most?

Many of our couples place a great deal of trust in us, allowing us the freedom to style their wedding according to our creative vision. We find that we connect best with couples who are not only passionate about their wedding day but also deeply value personalisation and creativity. These couples often have a clear vision for their special day and appreciate our ability to bring their unique ideas to life. We really do enjoy collaborating closely with them to create a wedding that truly reflects their love for each other, as well as their personalities.


Shevan J Photography

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