- Vera Girl
- 5 years ago
- Wedding: August 2012
I remember, nearing the end of my reception, someone asked me if I was happy. Without skipping a beat, I replied that I felt like I was in a dream.
Everything turned out to be more beautiful than I could possibly imagine.
We got married in Bali, at the Bulgari Resort. It is one of only two resorts in the world by the design house, and carries its signature understated elegance. We didn’t want a typical tropical wedding, but we wanted to enjoy all the trappings that come with a destination wedding: the spectacular cliff top views, the sincere and effortless service, and the chance for our guests to really let their bair down.
We put a lot of thought into our wedding – it was nearly two years in the making – and we really hope this shows in the small details.
I hope you enjoy the photos!
My husband wore a tuxedo by Cambridge & Co; shirt, bow tie and shoes by Hugo Boss; socks by Pink; and cufflinks by Tiffany & Co.
How many gentlemen does it take to dress a groom on his wedding day?
The girls, my mum, mother in law and I had a champagne breakfast to start our day. I, of course, couldn’t eat a thing, but managed a few spoonfuls of muesli and yoghurt and a carrot and ginger juice. The champagne was my saviour that morning!
I wore a dress and veil by Vera Wang and heels by Valentino. My mum had her jeweller craft a set of diamond halo earrings and tennis bracelet for me to match my engagement ring. I wear my earrings every day now, and the bracelet is tucked away for special occasions.
Descending the steps to meet my groom for our first look.
My bridesmaids were three of my darling cousins and my future sister in law. They all wore silk, blush pink gowns with a pearl and crystal embellished shoulder. I allowed the girls to choose their own hair and makeup, and they opted to have two with hair up and two with hair half-up.
I was not very graceful in my gown at first, and we couldn’t stop laughing at how much hard work it was to get me from point A to B. It took all four girls to help me climb those steps again.
Our first private photos together.
After our photos, we had a Chinese tea ceremony, which we simplified for our destination wedding. This is us with our grandmothers.
My grandma was the first to break me. I felt fine all morning because I had so many people around me that I didn’t have time to feel emotional. My grandma hugged me so tightly and whispered into my ear and she had me sobbing on her shoulder. I love this woman, she is such a cutie!
My new family from left to right: my new sister-in-law, father-in-law, mother-in-law, my husband and me; my mum and dad.
Before you ask, yes, my mother-in-law wore a long white dress, but not, I don’t mind at all. My attention was more focussed on how amazing my mum looked. I can’t get over how beautiful she looked that day!
Our ceremony was at the edge of a cliff overlooking the Indian Ocean. I’ve been there a number of times now, but it still caught me off guard and I was so struck by how beautiful it really is.
We had gold Tiffany chairs for our guests, but many opted to stand for a better view of us.
My heart almost stopped beating as we walked down those steps and turned the corner to be met with applause and cheering from our guests.
I felt strangely calm during the ceremony, though I avoided making eye contact with my parents in the distance in case I started to cry. I kept glancing over my husband’s shoulder to look at his groomsmen who were pulling subtle faces at me to make me laugh.
After the ceremony, we were meant with a rose petal shower. I can’t describe the elation and overwhelming excitement I felt at this moment. It’s the best feeling. Best, best feeling.
Straight after the ceremony, still feeling heady and high from all the emotions and adrenalin.
During our pre-dinner cocktail hour, we served a variety of cocktails made with fresh, local produce. We also served canapes including seared tuna tataki and freshly shucked oysters, both favourites of ours.
Silk-screened table runners
We chose grey table runners, printed with the words “Ever” and “After” to accent our two long reception tables. Because the tables were so long and narrow (each had about 55 guests), we felt the darker colour would help break up the monotony of the tables. They also helped guests identify which table they would be seated at.
I didn’t want any typically tropical flowers, and varieties that I like, such as peony and ranunculus are not local or easily attainable in Bali. So we went with a variety of ivory, soft pink and peach flowers such as hydrangea, lisianthus, morina roses, snapdragons, vendela roses and gyspsophilia. These were accented with pale green berries and hydrangea and silver dust leaf. They were placed in various crystal and silver vessels along the two tables.
I think I went through four or five different ideas for wedding favours, before settling on the crowd pleasing boxed macarons. The bakery that made our wedding cake also made our macarons for us too – 360 of them, in fact. They were mixed berry, pistachio and latte flavoured, and displayed in clear boxes that I ordered online. I brought the boxes over to Bali with me (flat packed) and had them dropped off at the bakery for assembly. The round stickers on them carry our stationery theme and say “Love is sweet” on them, along with our initials in a monogram.
Our cushions were another crowd pleaser, in fact, my aunty from Singapore tried to take one home with her, filler and all! They were arranged on the ivory lounge suite and a dark grey wingback chair we had in the lounge area. I now have all the cushion covers folded in my linen closet and may use the light grey monogrammed ones for our bed. I am so pleased with how the turned out.
It was a long road to getting these brass lanterns sourced and completed in time for the wedding, but so worth it to see them twinkling away all night.
There were 36 of them in total, and they were suspended at varying heights over the centre of each table. Initially, we weren’t sure if we could have them rigged up with electricity, so toyed with the idea of using candles instead of lightbulbs, but our sound and lighting vendor did an amazing job of putting it all together!
It was a long (and hazardous for the tulle on my gown) walk down the aisle to get to our sweetheart table. I was so excited to get to sit down for the first time all day, and get our reception started.
After our ceremony, I had my hair done into a high, large bun and I changed my diamond studs to these statement swarovski crystal earrings.
Watching my husband’s adorable speech
One of my favourite memories of our wedding were the speeches provided by our bridal party and fathers.
My sister-in-law’s speech was incredibly moving and heartfelt. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house, and I almost got to the “ugly cry” stage by the end of it. I was so touched by her words about me and feel so blessed to call her my sister now.
My dad’s speech was hilarious, as expected, and he had everyone in stitches.
The icing on the cake was the speech provided by our groomsmen. It started off quite normally, but then they individually started singing songs with the lyrics changed for us.
I was in tears by the end of it, both from laughing so hard and also because I felt so overwhelmed by their efforts. I couldn’t stop hugging and thanking them afterwards.
We played a couple of games, organised by my bridesmaids. The girls and I beat the boys by a long shot!
Then it was time to cut our cake.
The top of our cake had a sugar flower modelled after a peony, and a puff of tulle to match the bottom of my gown. The bottom tier was covered in rosettes. It was a lemon and coconut cake, and it turned out to be twice as big as I thought it would be!
Our first dance. The first of many.
We played Corinne Bailey Rae’s ‘Like A Star’ for our first dance, followed by a perennial old favourite, ‘Sway’ by Bic Runga, and invited all our guests to join us. Even the boys with no partners joined in and we all danced together as a group.
We hadn’t practised any dancing before the wedding and I had my eyes downturned for much of the song. Every time I would glance up, I could see cameras flashing out of the corner of my eye and it made me so nervous. I concentrated on my husband’s bow tie, the hairs on his chin, the lapel of his blazer – anything to avoid looking at the crowd that gathered to watch our dance.
And last but not least.
On each guest’s dessert plate, we placed a small card with an invitation to join us for our after party.
It read: “If you’re not ready to retire your dancing shoes, join us for an AFTER PARTY at Potato Head Beach Club…”
Our reception was meant to finish at 11pm, with all our vendor bookings ending then, however we ended up staying until about 12.30am as everyone was having such a great time dancing! There were many, many rounds of tequila shots and gin and tonics ordered from our dancefloor bar, hence the high spirits.
The best part for me, was seeing a mixture of friends and family who didn’t know each other before the wedding, all dancing and having a ball together on the dancefloor. My friends were dancing with my mum and aunties and even my little cousins got in on the action. The icing on the cake was dancing to Party Rock Anthem with my grandma!
Just quietly, when I say we broke the dance floor, I’m not exaggerating…we actually broke the dance floor hehe.