Functional Family

Image source: Contributed

Great events take passion, experience and talent. Jolene Ogle meets a local team bringing the complete package with personalised touches to special occasions.

Ohana is Hawaiian for family so it is fitting that the co-owners of The Ohana Group bring a love of family and a desire to tailor a personalised experience to special events. Ryan Fitzpatrick and Rashi Devendra lead a team of experts to deliver stunning weddings and events throughout Noosa, as well as special occasions, including the pop-up launch party for IN Noosa Magazine’s summer edition at Noosa Event Space.

To look at Rashi, you would think it impossible that she has been helping style events for more than 20 years. She’s a
youthful 28 but this savvy businesswoman was set to work as soon as she could lend a hand and has been managing her family’s wedding event company since she left high school ten years ago.

Hosting events has been a life-long passion for Rashi who has been helping set up wedding and functions since she was just seven years old.

“My dad and mum started a wedding company in Fiji about 25 years ago and I manage that now as well as The Ohana Group,” she says.

“I grew up surrounded by events. It all started with our cousin’s wedding and it grew from there. So, you can say I have been working every weekend since I was seven and my parents realised I could do things to help!”

Rashi did decide to attend university where she studied to be a teacher, but it wasn’t long before event styling called her back. For her, it’s a love of bringing client’s visions to life and being a part of celebrations that drives her passion.

“I am very passionate and hands-on when it comes to styling and floristry, allowing me to create magical events without overlooking any detail,” she says.

“Because we do everything in-house, no information is lost in translation and we can ensure we source from local and trusted suppliers when we need to.”

We all know Noosa is the ultimate destination for a beautiful coastal wedding, and that brings with it a plethora of event companies only too happy to set up everything from an elopement to a luxe beach ceremony.

But what sets The Ohana Group apart is Rashi’s attention to detail and unique experience creating traditional, cultural weddings that are simply breathtaking. Alive with colour and elegance, they are the perfect blend of simplicity and extravagance.

As a commercial artist, Rashi’s dad creates stunning wedding arbors adorned with swirling floral designs and soft,
flowing fabric that sparks a sense of fairytale. This unique style inspired Rashi’s designs and allows her to offer
a unique take on traditional Australian wedding decor.

The Ohana Group can take care of every element of a function from the planning to furniture hire, set-up and styling, as well as catering. Leading The Ohana Kitchen team is the very well-travelled Ryan who boasts more than 15 years’ experience in restaurants, private yachts and venues throughout Europe, the US, pacific region and Australia.

Ryan brings with him an extensive knowledge on a wide range of cuisines, allowing him to create menus that are varied, seasonal and sustainable as well as crafted specially to suit the tastes of the client.

As Ryan explains, it is all about simplicity when it comes to creating a menu to remember.

“My food philosophy is all about no-fuss with a natural plating style that is visually pleasing,” he explains.

“I keep garnishing and accompaniments simple, yet the techniques used to cook the produce is complex. Adding several cooking methods to one dish, even though there are four or so ingredients, creates a different depth of flavour and texture to the finished product.

“By using sustainably-sourced produce, we share the same passion as the producer and need to give it the same love as they do.”

Ryan says his international experience taught him that people’s idea of the perfect menu or meal is so different and varied; so creating tailored menus is essential to ensuring the evolution of The Ohana Group.

“Creating bespoke menus gives us greater freedom to do what we love and enjoy,” he says.

“We also love taking a client’s favourite meal and recreating it or putting a twist on it to give them a sense of familiarity and comfort while making the whole experience unique and special.”

And that is exactly what an event should be, a new twist on all your favourite things ready to be shared with the people you love, your family. Take your next event from ordinary to extraordinary with the team from The Ohana Group.

About the Author /

Jolene has worked in the local media industry for more than five years. She is now a small business owner, mother to one sassy toddler and a newborn baby and loves to share stories about Noosa from its glorious food scene to the inspiring people.

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