A Beautiful White Wedding in Bali

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Joanna and Amanda are no strangers to globetrotting and traveling the world over.  So it was only fitting this international couple who host a destination wedding with an intimate gathering of friends and loved ones.  Joanna shared not only their big day with us, but a bit about their love story too and how Bali become home to their “I do’s.”

“…No aspect of our wedding or our relationship has been ‘traditional’ in any sense of the word.  Amanda and I met by chance six years ago in a non-descript, after-work bar in the West Village and two weeks later shared our first date and little did I know our lives would be forever changed.  We were engaged six months later while celebrating New Years in Paris and some rumblings of wedding chatter happened but nothing concrete.  Amanda and I wanted to wait until marriage was legalized and for that to happen for a same-sex couple where one bride holds a United States Passport and one a Singapore Passport this would be a challenge and so we waited…and waited.”

 “Four years after getting engaged, Amanda got the news that we would be relocated back to Singapore for her career. We settled into Singapore well and about a year into our time as expats, we finally got the news that DOMA had been overturned thus allowing us to legally marry.”  

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“Our first month in Singapore, I was very homesick and Amanda booked us a trip to Bali where she had gone many times while living and growing up in Singapore.  She kept telling me about this magical island that I would absolutely fall in love with and sure enough, she was right, the second I saw the beaches, interacted with the Balinese people, and traveled around the island, I was hooked.”  

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“Of course choosing Bali was the easy part; coordinating 36 guests to fly to Bali a year later became a full-time job for me as I took on most of the wedding planning.  Amanda and I settled on The W Retreat and Spa which is in the heart of Seminyak because we wanted a modern space that had flares of local culture, the ability for our guests to go into town easily and explore, and easy proximity from the airport.  The overall feel of the romantic and hip venue and of the outdoor setting where it wasn’t directly on the beach but, elevated above so you could see the waves crashing during our sunset ceremony was ideal.”  

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“In terms of decor, I had discussed at length with Rina that I wanted everything to be romantic but always with a modern flare. We wanted our entire ceremony and flowers to be white and different white flowers but the predominant flower being the orchid as that is the National Flower of Singapore.  Guests would also be given a welcome refreshment as they entered the ceremony space, which was mint-iced tea along with a cup of white rose petals to throw as we walked up the aisle after saying ‘I Do’.”  

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“For our bouquets we wanted simple white orchids and for our bridesmaids cream and white roses the more simple and romantic, the better.”  

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“We chose to walk down the aisle to Coldplay’s ‘Reign of Love’, which my Mom helped us choose and fit perfectly with our modern and romantic theme.  Our close friend, Diana Mahmoud, officiated the ceremony and her words had guests in tears. Amanda and I chose to write and say our own vows where again there wasn’t a dry eye even among the two of us.  We exchanged our rings and kissed as the song ‘Sweet Disposition’ by Temper Trap.  We walked up the aisle to the music and guests showering us with white rose petals.”  

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“We decided to employ the help of a local tour guide with whom we have worked with before to assist us in creating events surrounding the actual wedding day for our guests, as all would be arriving early.  I flew to Bali several times to coordinate with plans with our tour guide and on-site event planner and create an itinerary for our guests.”  

“…We decided to host an informal beachside BBQ at the famous Echo Beach House where guests could choose fresh seafood, watch the sunset and listen to music.  The next day was optional for guests and this included a bright and early wake up call and a ‘Tour of Ubud’, which is Bali’s arts and culture hub, guests, were able to visit local Balinese villages and ride elephants.  The same evening, our wedding events manager assisted us in our rehearsal at the ceremony space, which I was surprised went off seamlessly…The bridal party then headed down the road to the famous, Merah Putih Restaurant, for a cocktail hour and formal sit-down rehearsal dinner.”

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“We wanted our table to reflected the venue of Starfish Bloo Restaurant where the predominant colors were turquoise and white so, we decided on centerpieces in tuquoise vases with light green, light blue and white roses and tons of white orchids.  We also wanted the space to feel very romantic so we had lanterns surrounding the venue along with tea lights in blue votives on the dinner tables.”  

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“We settled on a six-course menu that had an Indonesian flare with Asian and Western cuisine incorporated and for dessert as we opted not to do a cake we served plates of four small desserts that had tastes of Indonesia, Singapore, and US tastes, along with cheese plates for the table as I am Italian and cheese is my favorite dessert.”  

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“Overall, we had a dream wedding and there is absolutely no aspect I would change.  I am still in awe and grateful that we had so many family and friends who travelled such a long distance to be with us and being able to stay in the same resort and have impromptu brunches, pop to a boutique with girlfriends, and hang pool-side with our loved ones was the best experience.  Having a destination wedding isn’t easy and I was lucky to employ such amazing vendors along with surround myself with a great team in Bali who were equally invested in creating a special day for all of us.”

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Valentino Ruya

Wedding Vendors: Location: The W Retreat and Spa Bali, Event Manager Day Of Wedding: Rina Djajasumadi from The W Retreat and Spa Bali, Tour and Event Manager For Events Surrounding Wedding: Artin Putu, Custom Wedding Dresses: Modern Trousseau, Joanna’s Shoes: Manolo Blahnik, Amanda’s Shoes: Prada, Joanna’s Engagement Ring: Tiffany & Co., Custom Wedding Bands: Yuen Tang, Bridesmaids Custom Gowns: Ixora By Rose Pham, Joanna’s After-Party Custom Dress: Ixora By Rose Pham, Amanda’s After-Part Custom Suit: Haute Alteration, Hair and Makeup For Bridal Party: The Bronzer, Videographer: Mata Photography, Place Cards: Beachy Chic Decor, Wedding Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas, Rehearsal Dinner Venue: Merah Putih Restaurant, Rehearsal Dinner Menus: Minted, Rehearsal Dinner and Sunrise Shoot Photographer: Solveig Boergen

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Honeymoon in Bali, Re-Run

Bali wedding photographyToday’s best of re-run is a very unique shoot – a honeymoon shoot!  This darling couple had the bright idea to hire a local wedding photographer to capture a day of play on their honeymoon in Bali!  And what Danna and Brian have to show for it is truly magical.  What a wonderful gift to give each other to take home from the honeymoon back to Texas!

Julian Wainwright accompanied the couple (and acted like unofficial tour guide) for a day of sightseeing and adventure out and about in Bali.  Tough job, but someone’s got to do it.  Julian and the newlyweds began their journey in Ubud at 6:30am where they found themselves stopping time in the middle of a street market.  What incredible light at this time of day!  Stunning!honeymooning in baliJulian described this shoot as “an experiential, or activity-based shoot, rather than the traditional posed photo shoot.” And that it was! The couple even partook in a holy water purification ceremony at Tampak Siring Temple. What an unforgettable experience!  This probably isn’t a traditional honeymoon activity, but likely that much more special for these two lovebirds.honeymoons in baliThen it was off to a traditional Balinese healer called a Dukun, on the outskirts of Ubud. Danna shared with us what the experience was like. “We had been looking forward to our honeymoon in Bali as much as the wedding its self – and just about the same amount of planning had been put in to it. It was an opportunity of a lifetime and we wanted someone who understood the significance to be there to capture the “moments” of the two of us experiencing this together. It was so unbelievably fun. I wouldn’t change the experience for anything and recommend it as a “must-do” for anyone going on their honeymoon. “ bali destination weddingsAnd what day would be complete without a visit to some friends at a monkey forest?!bali honeymoonWe love this honeymoon shoot idea so much that we asked their very talented photographer about the concept. Julian told us, “Couples are in that relaxed post-wedding mode, which is a great frame of mind to be in to make memorable pictures. It’s also a great opportunity for couples to create images in an exotic location that also will have meaning for them down the road. Why not book a day with a photographer while you’re food tasting in Italy, zip-lining in Laos, jungle trekking in Costa Rica or on safari in Kenya? I think activity-based or “experiential” photo shoots are a great alternative to traditional portrait shoots (though I like to mix the two). I’ve got a photojournalism background, so my preference is for documentary photography, with a touch of creativity. I would love to see honeymoon photo shoots pickup in popularity.”

Looks like they had a fantastic honeymoon (and the photos to prove it)! Congratulations Danna & Brian!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Julian Abram Wainwright Wedding Photography

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Bali Honeymoon Photo Shoot – Danna & Brian

Bali wedding photographyI came across this shoot online recently and I just about died and went to Bali… I mean heaven.  Truth – I spent way too much time looking at someone else’s honeymoon photos; but how could I not?!?!  Julian Wainwright was asked by the darling Texas couple, Danna & Brian, to accompany them for a day of the honeymoon in Bali.  Tough job, but someone’s got to do it.  Danna and Brian were wed at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas and selected a spot close to home so they could take an extended three-week honeymoon, just the two of them.

Julian toured the region with the newlyweds and captured some amazing images of not only bride and groom, but the culture they got to experience along the way.  This stop was a visit to the morning market in Ubud.  6:30am call time to capture this gorgeous light!  honeymooning in baliJulian described this shoot as “an experiential, or activity-based shoot, rather than the traditional posed photo shoot.”  And that it was!  The couple even partook in a holy water purification ceremony at Tampak Siring Temple.  Wow.  And wow.  What an experience!  Probably not a traditional honeymoon activity, but likely that much more special for the two.honeymoons in baliThen it was off to a traditional Balinese healer called a Dukun, on the outskirts of Ubud.  The bride tells us, ” We had been looking forward to our honeymoon in Bali as much as the wedding its self – and just about the same amount of planning had been put in to it.  It was an opportunity of a lifetime and we wanted someone who understood the significance to be there to capture the “moments” of the two of us experiencing this together.  It was so unbelievably fun.  I wouldn’t change the experience for anything and recommend it as a “must-do” for anyone going on their honeymoon. “ bali destination weddingsThe colors are absolutely delicious!  And this adventuresome pair even found some friends to monkey around with in the Monkey Forest! bali honeymoon

We asked Julian about this shoot, and others like it – since the idea is fairly new in the wedding scene.  Here’s what Julian had to say, “Couples are in that relaxed post-wedding mode, which is a great frame of mind to be in to make memorable pictures. It’s also a great opportunity for couples to create images in an exotic location that also will have meaning for them down the road.  Why not book a day with a photographer while you’re food tasting in Italy, zip-lining in Laos, jungle trekking in Costa Rica or on safari in Kenya?  I think activity-based or “experiential” photo shoots are a great alternative to traditional portrait shoots (though I like to mix the two). I’ve got a photojournalism background, so my preference is for documentary photography, with a touch of creativity. I would love to see honeymoon photo shoots pickup in popularity.”

Looks like they had a fantastic honeymoon (and the photos to prove it)!  Congratulations Danna & Brian!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Julian Abram Wainwright Wedding Photography

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Destination Wedding Bali – Kristie & Willy

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They say when it rains on your wedding day, it’s good luck!  Well, Kristie and Willy have many years of good luck and happiness ahead of them after they said “I do” on a wet day in Bali!  The California natives packed up their wedding dress and suit and their closest friends and family and headed to Indonesia for their May 11th nuptials.  They couple selected Villa Semarapura as their destination wedding location and enlisted the sage expertise of My Simple Details to bring all those details together.

Kristie wore a perfectly fitting destination wedding gown by designer Nicole Miller.  And the umbrella made for the perfect accessory!  The island backdrop was idyllic for this simple and small ceremony.

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After the deed was done, the newlyweds and guests headed to an island reception with sweet details reflecting their locale.  Orchids, lilies, and candlelight set the mood for this authentically Bali reception. destination wedding flowers bali

Guest were greeted at their table with sarongs and straw beach mats as favors which were tied with a raffia and displayed their personalized wooden place cards by Oslo Press.bali destination wedding location

But that’s not all – this couple knew they had picked quite a special location to bring their loved ones to.  And so, they wanted their guests to experience the wonders of the traditional cultural.  And so it began with a dinner menu consisting of traditional Balinese BBQ with suckling pig.  After dinner, they hired a Balinese Gamelan orchestra consisting of 20 musicians with drums, percussion, and dancers to perform for the guests who looked on in amazement and ultimately joined in on the fun.destination wedding in bali

Rain or shine, Kristie and Willy’s wedding was as wonderful as they could have imagined.  Congratulations to the bride and groom!wedding cakes in bali

Destination Wedding Photographer: The Photo Factory

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Jakarta, Indonesia

Coming Soon!

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