This travel-loving couple cast the net wide when searching for a place to wed, exploring venues across Australia as well as Fiji, Samoa, Bali and the Phillipines. “We settled on Bali,” Melissa tells me “as it was the scene of our first overseas adventure together.” With photographer Nina Claire in tow, Melissa and Shay embarked on their biggest adventure yet, with a tight-knit group of their nearest and dearest.
They chose the beautiful Bali Ethnic Villas for their gypsy garden wedding, having fallen in love with its perfect fusion of bohemian aesthetic and contemporary design. Taking cues from their idyllic setting, the couple styled the day themselves, sourcing props and decor from local markets, and gathering fresh flowers for their bouquets and boutonniere.
Melissa designed her boho lace wedding dress not only to reflect her unique style, but to stay comfortable Bali’s tropical climate. She had her gold strappy heels made by a local craftsman and completed her look with a DIY flower crown and Magali Pascal accessories. Her sequinned bridesmaids outfits were also Melissa’s design, expertly crafted by a Balinese tailor.
An intimate poolside ceremony was followed by a relaxed picnic-style reception, catered by M&M Innovative Concepts. “We wanted to avoid the stiffness of a structured 3 course dinner,” says Melissa, “instead allowing our guests to mingle, laugh, dance and dine at their leisure.”
The couple admit that styling their own destination wedding was a big job, but one that paid off in spades. “We had a vision and we brought it to life together” says Melissa, “while this is more work than hiring vendors, it was pretty special to say our vows to each other in a space we created together and to feel as though the magic was our own.”
Photography: Nina Claire | Venue: Bali Ethnic Villas | Bride’s dress and shoes: bride’s design, made by local vendors | Groom’s suit and shoes: made by local vendors | Rings: Edge Jewellery Byron Bay | Accessories: Magali Pascal | Hair & Makeup: Renee Pettit | Celebrant: Talitha Mitchell | Flowers: local markets | Catering: M&M Innovative Concepts | Entertainment: DJ Ghettafunkt | Stationery/invitations: Minted