This gorgeous new Mr. and Mrs. set out to plan a wedding their guests would never forget, and I think it’s safe to say that mission was accomplished. With the help of Cher Ange, they whipped up a happy and colorful Bali destination wedding that defines unforgettable. Veli Photography was behind the lens to make sure not a moment was missed, and you can see it all right here.
From The Bride…Gerard & I met in late 2009, on one of his many routine visits to my office. What started off as an innocent friendship quickly blossomed into a partnership that kept growing stronger & stronger. When we got engaged 3 years later, it didn’t take us long to decide on a destination wedding. It combined our greatest passions – exotic food, travel and entertaining – with a laid back vibe. On top of that, it would give our guests a good excuse to have a holiday and escape reality for a few days. Despite not having travelled there for a few years, Bali was chosen as our wedding location. It was a leap of faith but we were confident that it was the ideal place to make our vision a reality. A few reconnaissance missions before the wedding really paid off and cemented our belief. Bali had evolved into a haven for foodies and sophisticated revellers. Conveniently located between my family in Singapore and our nearest and dearest in Perth, we relished the opportunity to share the Bali we grew to love with our family & friends.
We embarked on our mission to throw a party that no one would soon forget. Gerard & I have always loved entertaining, so this would be our pièce de résistance, the icing on the cake, as it were. We organised events at our favourite places, including a little fiesta at our favourite Mexican restaurant the night before the wedding. This gave our guests the opportunity to get to know each other & really set the tone for the whole event. We wanted this intimate group of people, who would share in our day, to leave Bali having made new friends and many fond memories.
I found Pinterest to be a great source of inspiration and after much research, we knew exactly how we wanted our day to unfold. Hints of shabby vintage chic with splashes of colour that came so naturally on this tropical island. This was, after all, a celebration, and we wanted the energy from such a joyous occasion to infuse the entire event. It was going to be a personal affair, reflecting our personalities and quirks.
It wasn’t long before I realised that planning a destination wedding was not going to be an easy undertaking. I, like many brides before me, was fuelled by the fervent need to plan, to book, to make our vision a reality. After a few false starts and frustrating emails back and forth with various resorts, a friend recommended a wedding planner she had heard of, Karen, from Cher Ange Wedding & Events. I was delighted with what I saw on her website; amazing locations, stunning backdrops and mouth-watering food. I contacted her immediately and the rest, as they say, is history. Karen introduced us to the crème de la crème of wedding vendors in Bali. For us, the holy trinity of food, photography and music would be the key to a successful day.
The ceremony and reception were both held at Chalina Estate, a fully staffed private villa in Canggu which we called home in the days leading up to the wedding. Slightly secluded & nestled between the beach and rice paddies, it was the perfect backdrop for our day. As guests entered the property, they were transported to our very own private sanctuary. We were able to incorporate Balinese touches into the day; gamelan players & Balinese dancers welcomed our guests as they arrived. Showers threatened the day, but a local rain stopper made sure that we weren’t drenched as we said our vows. The staff wore traditional Balinese outfits.
Whilst we knew the reception was going to be when everyone would kick up their heels and get a little bit crazy, we wanted our ceremony to be something special, shared with our closest of family and friends. For this reason, we chose to have an ‘unplugged’ ceremony, so that our guests could share in the intimacy of the moment with us. There would be no photos, videos or social media posts of the ceremony; that was left to the professionals. The flowers for the ceremony consisted of lightly coloured imported & local roses, hydrangea, coral ginger & cockscomb. Together with the decorations, they were subtle, understated & elegant. Once the ‘official’ business was concluded, the tone of the day took a festive & upbeat turn, with cocktails and canapés preparing the guests for what was to come.
Vibrant flowers, fairy lights and colourful lanterns set the mood for the reception. There was no mistaking that it was going to be a fun night in this tropical wonderland. We hired a photo booth for evening, complete with props, which was a massive hit with the guests. DJ Jono, an Aussie based in Bali, spun tunes for all ages. Kiddies and grandparents alike were cutting loose on the dance floor. This, to us, is a sign of a successful party.
Being self-proclaimed foodies, Gerard & I knew that the food we served our guests had to be special. Enter M&M Innovative Concepts. From the delectable canapés served between the ceremony and reception, to the 3 course feast which included entrees of lobster & roast duck, main courses of barramundi (an Australian freshwater fish) and lamb and a dessert buffet to cater to every possible taste, every dish served by M&M was perfectly crafted and garnered compliments from everybody seated at our communal table. Cocktails flowed freely all night, and to make sure that we didn’t leave anyone feeling too giddy, we served late night snacks of chorizo hot dogs.
Gerard, a photography buff himself, scoured the internet to find a photographer who would meet our lofty expectations. After toying with the idea of flying an Aussie photographer over for the day, we decided that a locally based photographer, who knew the lay of the land, would be a better option. It didn’t take long to find Veli Photography, who caught our eye with his creatively composed shots that took advantage of the beautiful colours found everywhere in Bali. Together with our videographers, Balimetro, our entourage of paparazzi made sure that every moment was captured for posterity.
My dress was a beautiful off-the-rack dress by Perth designer Aurelio Costarella. I found it on my first dress shopping excursion and fell in love with it immediately. The bridesmaids’ dresses were custom made, as were the suits for the groomsmen. I found exquisite flower girls’ dresses online from a department store in the UK. With Karen taking care of the planning in Bali, I was able to embark on many little DIY projects, which included all the wedding stationery and a ‘happily ever after’ sign which greeted the guests as they entered. These personal touches were present throughout the day, bonbonnieres filled with sweet treats that hark back to our childhood indulgences and programs that doubled as fans to provide relief from Bali’s notorious humidity.
Our guests were treated to a night of fun, love and decadence, and in return, we got to share our big day with the people who mean the most to us. Our wedding day was everything we dreamt of and more. I know that the fond memories we now share will bring a smile to our faces for many years to come.
Photography: Veli Photography | Videography: Balimetro Wedding Cinematography | Event Planning: Cher Ange | Floral Design: Bloomz Fine Flowers | Wedding Dress: Aurelio Costarella | Cake: Ixora | Bride's Shoes: Nina | Jewelry: Fletcher & Grace | Catering: M&M Innovative Concepts | Groom's Shoes: G-Star | Celebrant: Bali Wedding Celebrant | Bow Ties: Gentleman & Scholar | Ceremony & Reception Venue: Chalina Estate | Flowergirl Dresses: BHS | Photobooth: Bali Snapz Photobooth | Sound & Lighting: Vision 1 | Veil: Gilded Shadows