Sophie & Jims’ intimate destination wedding brought their closest friends & family together from all over the world to celebrate with them on the beautiful Indonesian island of Gili Trawangan, Bali. An incredible day with no detail left out, with a moving ceremony under the palms of Pondok Santi, the sound of horse and carts bounding up & down the beach road & a boat full of Bintangs, the scene was set. It was so special to play a part in this day, with Jim’s ‘do it yourself’ Mojito station, beautiful food, speeches in the moonlight, sparklers & fire lanterns on the beach, & the best alternative to a first dance I’ve ever seen, a limbo contest! Being the photographer at this wedding was an absolute pleasure.
The Brides Fashion & Accessories
Sophie The Bride: Inspired by vintage romance, I started my dress search at Anna Cambell’s Brunswick store in Melbourne where I originally had my eyes on a dress from her Gossamer collection. I was gutted when the style didn’t fit my body shape. My nine month search began and just when I was about to resort to getting married in a bikini I came across the romantical Forever Entwined collection and soon booked in for one Anna’s perfectly themed and organized trunk shows. it was there that I found my dress, The Eloise, that lace… That back… It was mesmerising. The vintage inspire style was not what I originally thought I would go for, but who can say no to lengths of twinkling lace. I topped the dress off with the Audrey belt which was intricately beaded (as are all of Anna accessories) with decadent embellishments, the style of belt also matched the headpiece and the cuff that I gave to my Bridesmaid.
The Grooms Fashion & Accessories
Bespoke blue suit from The Suitshop in Melbourne. Customised white shirt from Marcella pop up store in Melbourne CBD. Brown tassle loafers. Ties and floral pocket square from Mrs Bowtie. The best man wore a bowtie to match my pocket square whilst Sophies nephews opted for tailored shorts so they could enjoy the 30 degree heat!
We knew we wanted to keep our wedding low key and relaxed. The wedding day for us was about bringing our closest and dearest into our world. We both love travelling and the outdoors and It was on one of our adventurous trips back in 2009 that we fell in love with Indonesia and each other. We chose a tiny beautiful island called Gili Trawangan, in Indonesia, It was the perfect intimate place to take our family and friends back to for such a special day. We wanted to show our guests why it’s so beautiful and take them on an adventure. We started on the coast of Bali in Seminyak and then journeyed with them to the Gili islands where our wedding took place in an ancient coconut plantation owned by the adrenalin junkie AJ Hackett. It couldn’t of been a more perfect setting, the romance and natural landscape of sea, islands and the sunset of Gunung Agung (volcano) in the distance all made for the best memories and all captured by (the brides) childhood friend turned photographer extraordinaire Ben. Following the four days in paradise we moved onto spiritual Ubud for some culture and yoga.
Our wedding was influenced by the location, we were so lucky to have the most beautiful natural setting of Pondok Santi that ticked our boxes for an intimate super romantic setting, which is all that we were after. That’s said It was important to us to have a few personal touches, my Husbands handmade mojito station being one and my love of gold made an appearance as an edible form on the champagne toasting flutes. A lot of the day came together organically, realising the night before the wedding we had not got any vases – any excuse to drink we used empty Bintang bottles to hold the blush flowers added to the natural, beautiful day that it was.
Surrounded by ancient coconut trees, whites sand, vast shades of blue and green meant there was no need for decoration. The main table was in keeping with the day, the stationery our talented friend Zoe designed was incorporated in the menus and used around the Balinese soap we gave to each of our guests.
The Wedding Party Fashion
Being extremely hot, our little groomsmen ( brides nephews Luke & Jake) needed to be comfortable have fun, they wore blue tailored shorts from John Lewis, a perfect match to the grooms custom made suit.
The ceremony took place in the gardens of Pondok Santi. Guests were greeted to iced coconuts retrieved from the trees that morning. The soulful James Vincent McMorrow-Gold in the background was our pre ceremony song, during this time I was slipping into my dress my bridesmaid Jen tying me up in the afternoon heat, Every time I hear Mcmorrows enchanting voice I get a tingling feeling of those special moments before the ceremony. When ready Jen and I walked over the lawn towards the aisle marked out by yellow frangipanis, “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” playing faintly in the background.
James and I wrote our own vows and had two readings. One read by my sister which was the grooms favourite riddle- The Owl and the Pussycat, a tongue twister yet read perfectly. The second reading was by one of our closest friends George, who chose himself a reading from Kahlil Gibran-The Prophet, he later surprised us with a copy as a wedding gift.
Following the ceremony we had tropical cocktails and canapés on the lawn, two or three Pina Coladas later and we were all playing croquet. As the sun became lower and in keeping with the relaxed vibe, we gathered on the beach for the speeches, we chose to keep them short and before dinner so everyone could relaxed. The speeches were one of the most memorable of the day sitting on Pondok Santis private beach the sun setting, sipping on our gold dusted champagne feeling so lucky and grateful to have amazing family and friends that had travelled the distance from the UK, Dubai and Australia to be with us all in one special place. To end the speeches we surprised our guests with a fire dance performance, it was incredible. Dinner followed and instead of a first dance we had a first game together as a married couple, the Limbo… one of the highlights of the evening!
There was no question needed when asked whether we were after a western menu or Indonesian cuisine, the beef rendang was the tastiest thing we’ve ever eaten.
Lumpia – Indonesian Spring Rolls
Mini Chicken Satay
Sesame & Poppy Seed Tuna
Grilled Snapper Fillet w/ Coconut and Lime Sauce
Fire roasted local Prawns with Garlic Butter
Beef Rendang w/ white Rice
Seasonal steamed Vegetables w/ Parsley Butter
Traditional Lombok Bean Salad
Chicken Nasi Goreng with shredded Vegetables
Wedding Cake & Rum
Benjamin Wheeler was our photographer. A childhood friendship reunited half way across the world, he joined us for the ten day trip. Ben asked us if he could capture special memories beyond the wedding day, this was fantastic as many of our guest we hadn’t seen for over a year. He captured such beautiful and romantic shots. Bens use of negative space and eye for lighting made for the most organic and original images. He captures not only images but a real story, we couldn’t of asked for more.
You can’t control everything and even though we were after a relaxed wedding every bride wants things to be perfect, boy I tried. Your flowers might not have enough foliage, the weather might not be perfect, your heals might sink into the grass, hey, you might even have Bali belly the morning of your wedding, these all make for your stories and really nobody is noticing, they’re busy soaking up the happiness in the air that all weddings have.