We got married on the idyllic, tropical “Island of the gods” - Bali, Indonesia
Yes, we said "I do" in a wedding for two! Eloping is not so well known in South Africa, but we did it and have absolutely no regrets! It was the best decision ever and so romantic and stress free!
Technically it wasn’t a true elopement, since everyone knew that we were engaged and many knew we were getting married. We thought our decision well over, and overall, found people to be very supportive of our decision.
The ceremony was on a little secluded beach called Secret Beach, in the New Kuta Golf Resort, located on the southwestern rim of the island’s Bukit Peninsula.
The little beach is surrounded by a limestone cliff and beautiful indigenous rainforest and only accessible by steep steps down the cliff top.
With such beautiful natural surroundings, I just wanted mother nature to steal the limelight. Also, I did not want a typical beach or tropical theme, and rather opted for a simple, yet elegant and classic look, while incorporating a very subtle beach theme with the use of mainly white and blue colours. The flowers were light blue hydrangea, white arum lilies (the shape of the arum lillies resembles the shape of breaking waves), deep red roses (the ultimate flower of love!) and white babies’ breath as filler. Pearl jewellery and seafood on the menu rounded of the subtle beach theme.
It is very difficult to name just a few highlights and memorable moments, as the whole day was a highlight and a very special day in our lives!
Walking in the soft rain down the sandy flower aisle to hubby-to-be and see all the emotion on his face… it was extremely touching and a moment that I will never forget!! We had a violin & cello duo for the ceremony and for my walk down the aisle I chose Josh Groban's "Your raise me up"; it was absolutely beautiful.
Other highlights was when I posed with a photo frame where I included photos of all our close family and friends - although they were not there in person, they were there in our thoughts, hearts and prayers. And our pillow ring was my late grandmother’s Bible, which was also very special and sentimental.
We were also blessed with rain (and lots of it!) and it did create wonderful and fun moments and memories! Our wedding day was wet from beginning to end, just varying between a light drizzle to very heavy rainfall. Standing in the soft rain during the ceremony was so different and special and we did not mind getting a little wet. We struggled a bit with the sky lantern release on the clifftop since they got too wet and heavy and didn't want to go up, but with patience and teamwork we finally had one up in the air!
"Weddingmoon” is our word for our combination of an elopement and honeymoon in paradise!
It was truly an adventure of a lifetime and a very special way to start the beginning of our married life together.
We explored the island, went snorkelling at Nusa Lembongan island (the water is the exact azure blue just as in the travel brochures!), walked in the rainforest and enjoyed great Balinese hospitality, food and entertainment. Balinese fire dancers are very impressive!
The Mount Agung volcano was also on our must-see list. We were about 5km from the volcano and there was an eruption of ash and smoke while we were watching and taking photographs!! It was awesome! This same volcano was the cause of the only stress before the wedding: until no. 99 we didn’t know if we could fly in – many flights were cancelled or delayed due to the volcanic activity and the Ngurah Rai international airport in Denpasar was closed for a few days prior to our flight.
We just took everything as it came as it was part of the whole adventure!
I was looking for a dress that was “me”, practical, light & airy and suitable for a beach wedding in a hot and very humid tropical climate, but at the same time also not too informal. I found my dream dress at Imago Bridal in Boksburg; she is a white fit & flare dress with silver lace applique and beading.
On the big day I had my hair in an elegant up-do with a fresh red rose and veil and I completed the look with very natural make-up.
My jewellery was a combination of pearls and silver diamanté. I don’t have ear piercings, so I wore magnetic pearl earrings which hubby made for me.
I wore silver rhinestone, flat ballet pumps with “I do” stickers beneath them, ordered from Anella Wedding Shoes.
Strapless, backless stick-on bra: Bride & Co
As far as fitness is concerned, I did workouts and some light weight training at home and mountain biking 2 to 3 times per week (and still do my best to keep to my exercise routine :) ).
A week before the wedding I had a back treatment and Oxygen facial.
My groom wore a navy jacket & trousers, navy tie and a white-and-blue striped button-up shirt with a Frangipani boutonniere. The jacket was custom-made in Singapore a few years ago.
The minister was Reverend I. Nyoman from the Protestant Christian Church in Bali.
Our destination elopement was very ”international” in many ways – we are South African and all the in-house suppliers of the wedding planning company were a mix between Balinese, Indonesian and the photographers were a husband and wife team from Belarus. The husband spoke very little English, while his wife could speak only Russian! It was quite an experience to work with them – the lady called her husband a few times to translate to me how she wanted me to pose! It was so much fun and they were great to work with.
We are very pleased with how the photos turned out. The photographers worked under very challenging conditions – the hotel room where I prepared was very dark and overall the day was rainy with poor lighting conditions.
They also went the extra mile to capture our day; they worked overtime for about 45 minutes and did not charge us for that!
The video should be ready mid-February for us to download.
You can't really do without one when planning a wedding in another country. It was very important to have a person to overcome the language barrier and assist with all the legal issues and paperwork. We did a full legal wedding (acknowledged in South Africa as a legal marriage), so had to get various documents from Home Affairs, get it legalized and authenticated at International Relations and the Indonesian Embassy in Pretoria.
The team at BaliWedding (part of / managed by The Seven Agency, an international wedding planning company) really impressed us and we can only thank them from the bottom of our hearts for their great service and making our day so memorable and a great success!
Transport for the couple from the hotel to the wedding venue and back was included in our package, but we wanted to see each other for the first time at the ceremony, so I took the bright pink Toyota Avanza bridal car, with the “Bride on Board” sign for the 45 minute drive to the venue!
It is very easy to get a taxi in Bali, so hubby organized himself a taxi on the morning of the wedding and after dinner we both boarded the pink Toyota for the drive back to the hotel.
The delicious red velvet cake and food was provided by in-house suppliers of the wedding planning company.
We did not have a party, but rather a wonderful, quiet & romantic dinner for two. We were able to spend quality time together and reflect about our tiny Big Day. It was exactly what we wanted, actually it exceeded our expectations by far!
The initial idea was that we were going to have dinner under the stars on the cliff top, enjoying a beautiful sunset, but the rain didn’t play along and instead the organizers did the set-up in the clubhouse.
It was just the two of us in the whole clubhouse and we had the most amazing three course dinner which was a combination of an Indonesian and Western menu. We had Nasi Goreng for main, which is a very popular and traditional Indonesian dish (fried rice with shrimps, similar to paella).
I took a memory stick along with our favourite music and they played it over the music system.