It might seem crazy but I have never actually blogged all the details from my own wedding, I have been interviewed for a bunch of other sites on all the details but have never taken the time to document it here. Only 16 months late.... Better late than never.
Below is an interview I did for Hitched Magazine (Now Hooray Mag), which has all the details for our big day. Start with watching our wedding video, then trawl your way through all the details.
E N J O Y x
DATE | 16th March 2013
LOCATION | Latitude Villa, Kerang Kembar Estate Bali
Please provide us with a brief history on your relationship?
We had been best friends for 10 years before we got together, we grew up hanging out a lot and saw the very best and the worst of each other over the years. Michael moved to London for two years and we didn't see each other that whole time, when he arrived home our paths crossed at exactly the right time, we had both grown up and become the kind of people we wanted to spend the rest of our days with, we looked at each other differently for some reason.
Everything from that day forward just fell into place, it all came so naturally for us to be together.
From the day we got together we knew it was on, we had found our perfect place. Michael proposed on the Greek Islands on my birthday, 9 months after we got together and we were married 18 months after that.
We are extremely lucky that our relationship has been built on years and years of friendship. We are very blessed to be healthy, happy and madly in love.
Photographer: Ali Mitton
Videography: Andy Elliott
Event Planning/Styling: I was the stylist and our events company was Beyond Events Bali
Ceremony Venue: Latitude Villa
Reception Venue: Latitude Villa
Catering + Drinks: Grocer and Grind, Seminyak
Wedding Cake: Ixora Cakes
Stationary: I designed all of our wedding stationary
DJ: Kevin Kloer
Bridal Gown: Leonard Derecourt
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Pauletter Coulter, Dressmaker on the Gold Coast
Shoes: Friend of Mine
Suits: Myer and the bowties were custom made by Tilly Fluff
Engagement Ring: Purchased from a store New York
Wedding Bands: Purchased from a store New York
It’s In The Details, tell us about the little details that made your wedding uniquely you?
We had our wedding overseas in Bali and really made a celebration of it, we had events for the week that everyone could come to, lots of sunset cocktail and dinners, Bucks and Hens, Pre-Wedding event at Potato Head, and a very lazy day in the pool on the Sunday following the wedding. Having 75 of your nearest and dearest travelling together overseas is the most fun, I would highly recommend a destination wedding, the memories we all made will last forever.
We had a lot of the details custom made, as we knew what we wanted, like floor cushions, throw rugs, paintings, bridesmaids dresses, bowties, flower canopies, furniture and picked a photographer and videographer who do not usually shoot weddings, the style we wanted was natural and more creative. There are SO many talented craftsman in Bali that you can pretty much get anything you want made.
One of my favourite parts was the huge flower arch we got married under and our dance floor flower canopy, our talented florist Gloriosa had a team of guys building for 2 days straight. The result was beyond everything I had imagined in my mind.
The wedding very much looked like our house. Lots of eclectic bohemian cushions, throw rugs from Mexico and Guatemala (you can purchase these at dosombre.com), candles, skull vases, millions of pineapples, beautiful blooms and splashes of colour. The kind of theme we were aiming for is young hearts run free, which meant that pretty much anything goes!
We had some of our favourite quotes painted onto huge canvas’ which were hanging around the wedding.
Michael wore cufflinks which had my initials and his late brothers initials so that we were close by him the whole day.
The biggest surprise of the day for me was when I read a card from Michael as I was getting ready, there was a small box with my card when I opened the box there was a bunch of photos of a Dalmatian puppy, Michael had a puppy waiting at home for me as my wedding present. The waterworks definitely started after that, I was extremely calm all day until this moment. It was the best present, and the biggest surprise! I was thinking it would be earrings or something a little more traditional. Could not wipe the smile off my face.
We tried to incorporate as many personal touches as possible throughout the wedding, we stood on a blanket that is from our lounge room at home so that we had a piece of home with us in Bali. Every time we now snuggle up with this blanket on the couch, it brings back the most special memories for us both.
We had napkins with quotes from E.E Cummings “unless you love someone nothing else makes sense” and some with young hearts run free on them.
One of my favourite things at our reception was a video that we had projected onto the side of the villa which was clips from every amazing dance scene from all the best movies and video clips from the past 50 years, a company in USA called Shark Pig created it and it featured the likes of Michael Jackson, scenes from Dirty Dancing, go go girls and more. Everyone loved it and it added another element to the reception area.
I love graphic design so I created all the printed goods like our bar menus and Michaels cigar bar signs, invites, programs and thank you cards.
Michael had a bar set up for the boys which had all his favourite whiskeys and spirits like Patrone, Henessey, Makers Mark and a whole lot of cigars. It was extremely popular with the boys.
COCKTAILS + FOOD
We had a whole lot of cocktails, the most popular were the lychee martini’s and the mojitos.
Food was canapés but lots of it, we thought a sit down dinner wasn’t really fitting for Bali so we had all our favourite foods, some of the food we had is below.
Chili marinated king prawn, mango & coconut cheviche
Pan seared scallops, bacon sherry vinaigrette
Seared pink tuna sesame coated, capsicum salsa verde’
Prawn gyoza, ginger soy dressing
Crispy prawn wanton, terriyaki sauce
Arancini, herbed pumpkin risotto balls, mozzarella
King prawn tempura mirrin sauce
Peking duck pancake plumb sauce
Vietnamese spring roll, vegetables julienne, mint, coriander, chilli sauce
Orange star anise duck, scallions, crispy wanton, hoisin sauce
Spicy tuna rolls, sushi tuna, shaved cucumber, soy sauce, toasted sesame
Rare roast beef, ruccola, wasabi crème fraiche, choux pastry
Chicken coriander & lime quesadilla
We had a late night feast to help with anyone that was hitting the cocktails all day, we served Chicken Pad Thai in Asian white takeaway boxes at around 11pm, it was so good.
Sweets were Macaroons and our cake was red velvet on the bottom and almond-hazelnut on the top layer, it was covered in ombre purple ruffles, it was so delicious.
The Styling, tell us what inspired your decor and styling?
I tended to steer away from “wedding” style and went with the theme young hearts run free, it was a wild mix of all the things I love so much.
I kind of wished I was born in the 70’s, so the style of our wedding very much reflected this but with modern pieces added. Our wedding very much embraced the feel of the 70’s bohemian era with the floor cushions, poofs, throws and feathers everywhere. Our bridesmaids and I were all in lace and flowers crowns, hippie kids at heart.
We wanted everyone of our wedding guests to fall in love with Bali as much as we have so our venue definitely showed off the very best the beautiful island has to offer. The view was insane and all of the food and cockatails were the best we have ever had. It was all open air and relaxed with day beds and lounges. There were some tables set up for the guests that preferred to sit and eat.
Your Day, give us a run down?
The boys got ready at a house near by in Padang Padang, the beautiful Villa Laut on the beach so they could all surf and swim on the morning of the wedding. At the wedding house, all of the girls and my immediate family had an amazing breakfast together and the set up was well underway, there was a hive of activity at the house. Getting ready at the venue made it so easy to check on how it was all going and help with finishing touches, as a stylist it was very hard to hand the wedding planning over to someone else but Beyond Events were more than I could have ever asked for.
We had a large bridal party so we all started getting ready at around 11, we had an amazing team of hair and makeup girls who got us all ready and looking our very best.
At around 2:30pm the boys headed to the wedding venue and finished getting ready there. Guests started to arrive at around 3:30pm, everyone was ushered into the main villa for drinks and a chance to relax in the cool until all the wedding guests arrived.
The ceremony started at around 4pm and it was beyond anything we had imagined, Michael and I wrote our own vows and it was so emotional hearing them for the very first time. We had moving readings from some of our closest friends, a hand blessing and a reading from a children’s book, both Michael and I searched and searched for the perfect readings but they all seemed to complicated for us. In the end we picked a lovely love story from a children’s book which we felt did the best job of explaining love, in a simple and beautiful way.
We then sealed the deal with a beautiful kiss and we were officially husband and wife!
We only had photos for 30 or 40 minutes, we didn’t want to be away from our guests for too long, we then headed back for the reception with live drummers introducing us all. It was the best feeling walking into the reception, being surrounded with so much love.
The food started early and continued for hours, the cocktails were flowing. There was so much dancing! So many tears of joy and some of the best speeches I have ever heard. The word magical and the best night of our life was used a million times.
Our first dance was probably one of the biggest highlights for me, it was a moment that I will never forget, being held in Michaels arms and looking around at what we created was pretty overwhelming, all our dreams had come to life.
We had a D.J play all night and a lot of entertainment with live fire twirlers and dancers and live drummers, really helped set the party vibe.
At around 10:30 we had all the candles removed from the pool and filled it with inflatable pool toys like giant swans and rings. Our awesome M.C officially announced that the pool was open for business and the whole wedding ended up in the water, fully clothed in suits, bow ties, lace dresses, flower crowns and all.
The dancing continued well into the early early hours of the morning, I think the last of the guests left at around 4am.
Everyone was then back again on the Sunday for a pool party! It was pizzas and burgers, rehydrating and lots of floating around on giant swans in the pool.
Family and friends, how did you involve your family in friends in the wedding?
Friends and family are so incredibly important to us, and everyone made a humungous effort to be at our wedding in Bali. We had our immediate family all stay in a villa together for the few weeks before the wedding so we could all share in the excitement together.
My sisters and my best friends were bridesmaids and my niece and nephew were also in the bridal party. We had so much help from family and friends making decorations, lugging all the styling pieces over to Bali (we had 120kg’s of decorations to get to Bali) and lots of running around the week of the wedding. We are extremely lucky to have a big group of close friends, it was very tough picking our bridal party, hence why it was so big.
All our friends and family helped us so much with not only our wedding but our engagement party as well, we could not have pulled anything off without the help of so many amazing people. We are extremely blessed.
The Gown, tell us about your gown, what inspired you to pick it, who designed it etc?
I tried on a few gowns and felt completely lost wearing them, I couldn’t see myself wearing a traditional gown so I got to designing what I wanted.
I more looked at beautiful evening gowns from awards ceremonies rather than wedding dresses, once I had a pretty good idea of what suited my body and style I went on the hunt for someone to bring my dream to life. After lots of phone calls I found Leonard Derecourt, he made my dream dress come to life! He is extremely talented, nothing was too much trouble.
I originally didn’t want to have a veil but once I tried a few on when my dress was almost complete I had to have one, I then changed into a David Austin rose fresh flower crown for the reception, was more relaxed and easy for dancing all night in.
It was so hot in Bali, so my dress had to fit with the climate, from my thighs down it was a sheer light fabric so I didn’t get too hot. The bodice was made from a beautiful French lace, it fit like a glove and didn't have any boning or anything to restrictive.
Any advice for other couples getting married, how to enjoy the day, stress management tips?
Just stick to what is in your heart, everyone has advice for you but if you truly know what you want go with it! We were so worried about having our wedding overseas and the strain it would put on everyone. Our family is a little more traditional when it comes to weddings so we thought they would not like a Bali wedding but our family and friends said it was the most incredible week of their lives. We wouldn’t change a thing!
And be calm, don’t stress about weather, you cannot control the rain so just have a back up plan and know that you will still have the best day of your life. Do not stress the small stuff, the only person that will know if the peonies are not the right shade of purple is you, and after the wedding people will talk about how much fun they had not the shade of purple or your flowers.
Playlist, any specific songs you played that got your guests up and dancing?
We are BIG time lovers of Fleetwood Mac, I walked down the isle to Songbird, we also had a few songs from the XX like Islands and Angels, We walked down the isle after the ceremony to Home is Where the heart is by Edward Sharpe, first dance was to No Ones Going to Love you More Than I do by Band of Horses. First dance with my dad was to Landslide from Feeetwood Mac.
We had an amazing D.J Kevin Kloer who use to D.J for Ministry of Sound so he had the WHOLE wedding dancing all night long. My favourite part was having live drummers play when we walked into the reception as Mr and Mrs Bell, they played for around half an hour and really got everyone in the mood to party.
Your favourite moment?
Sophie: It was hearing Michael’s incredible vows, we had written our own vows and it was the first time I had heard them, they were so deeply romantic and heartfelt. There was not a dry eye.
Michael: Seeing Sophie for the first time when she walked down the isle, I looked forward until she got to the start of the isle and then turned around, the feeling that came over me when I saw her was crazy. As cliché as it sounds it felt complete after planning our wedding for 18 months, seeing my wife to be look so beautiful made everything feel like it had all fallen into place. I could not stop smiling.
A joint favourite moment for us would be seeing both our parents fully clothed swimming around in the pool, then jumping out and dancing all night long on the dance floor dripping wet. We have both never seen our parents so carefree and happy!
It was an incredible few weeks in Bali to all spend so much time together with not only our family but also our bestest friends. There was so much emotion and love on that trip, not only did we have our wedding but there was two wedding proposals while we were over there! Love was definitely in the air. In every photo from our wedding away there is so much happiness, we will never ever forget that feeling, we really cannot thank everyone who made our wildest dreams come true. We wish we could do it every year!