Destination Weddings/Real Weddings

Intimate & Secret Balinese Destination Wedding Under The Stars

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Does running away to Bali with your thirteen closest friends & family, to exchange vows with your love in an idyllic rice field & watch fire dancers under the stars sound okay? Today’s real couple left a lot to chance with their destination wedding, and the results are pretty amazing.

Being travel lovers, Jess & Steve knew they wanted a destination wedding (find gifts for wanderlusting couples here!) Searching for hours and hours (I certainly know how that is) with the world as their oyster they came across Villa Mandalay in Bali, Indonesia. A luxurious spot, next to rice fields, a volcanic beach, with waving palm trees and a stunning bamboo structure for their ceremony, they knew this would be the place.

But running away to get married, even with a small crew in tow, isn’t always easy. This is why they trusted a wedding planner to arrange the important details and knew they must go with the flow (like when smoke engulfed the nearby rice fields the morning of!) In the end, the wedding photographed by OneThreeOneFour Photography was a dream, both for the party, and for us drooling at home.

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Our Love Story

No amazing love story moment here, we are simple people. When I met Steve, I instantly felt like I could be myself. We never expect anything of each other, we support each other through everything. We know when to laugh with each other or at each other. We always talk about everything and if we lose our tempers, we know when to apologise. We knew without knowing that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together, that maybe in itself made for the best love story of all.

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The Dress & Flowers

We loved the idea of mixing fresh flowers and vintage vibes. When picking https://www.morilee.com/the dress I wanted to have a lace overlay, so when we saw the vintage lace draped over the woodland arch with fresh garden flowers and delicate leaves, we were completely sold. The main colour palette was blue, however, we mixed pastel flowers as well and a red velvet buttercream cake topped with more fresh flowers.

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The Destination

We love to travel, so we decided to have a secret small destination wedding. In totally we had thirteen close family and friends join us for a week in Bali. Choosing the destination wasn’t easy, we bounced around countries until we settled on Bali. We spent hours searching for the perfect villa that would accommodate the number of guests in the right setting but we kept coming back to Villa Mandalay. Its infinity pool, Balinese hut and panoramic views over the rice paddies that stretch all the way to the Indian Ocean is what sold us, as we love the lush tropical garden vibes.

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Favorite Moments

We had so many favorite parts to our special day. A few hours before the ceremony they started burning the rice paddy fields so the Villa was becoming engulfed with smoke. But the smoke cleared and the sun was shining beautifully as we exchanged our own personal written vows. It felt like we were the only two people there in that moment.

Another special moment was when Steve’s father asked if he could walk me down the aisle as I don’t have a father and my mother had passed away when I was a child. This was such a sentimental moment for both myself and Steve.

Also, during the mother & son dance they had arranged for Steve’s father to dance with me and more to my surprise, two of my closest male friends also arranged to step in during the dance, this moment melted my heart and I will always hold it close in my memory.

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The Photographer

For us, finding the perfect photographer and videographer was high on our list we wanted someone who could tell a story of our special day so that we could look back on the moments and relive them. We also wanted to share our special day with Jess’ grandmother who couldn’t make the journey to our wedding. When sharing the photos with friends on our return, it brought tears to some of their eyes as they said our love was captured in every photograph.

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The Reception

For the reception we wanted it to be on the lawn with beautiful hanging light bulbs to light up the table setting. We had a full-length table runner with more fresh flowers and wooden name pieces. Between meals we had fire dancers which was an amazing memory for our wedding.

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Advice for Other Couples

It’s so easy to get caught up in making everyone happy, remember this day is about you two, expect things to go wrong and accept that not everything will be perfect.

Having a wedding planner was the best decision we ever made with our destination wedding. They handled everything from vendor correspondence and scheduling which alleviated all of our stress leading up to the big day. On the wedding day, our personal wedding butler was a godsend. She kept everyone on track, and every moment I (Jess) turned around, she was there with a glass of water or a tissue. All the beautiful workers at 7 Agency brought our dream to life.

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The Honeymoon

After the wedding we spent a few more days in the villa relaxing before making the journey home. We decided to take our honeymoon later in the year. We set off for a “Middle-Earth” road trip adventure to New Zealand in October.

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