Ever seen someone's wedding photos and thought, "What a riot – wish I could've been there"? That's how we felt about Bronwyn and Iain's marvellously fun wedding fiesta. The playful couple held their she-bang in Motel Mexicola, a quirkily-decorated Mexican restaurant in Bali that matches their colourful personalities to a tee. Cut-out paper bunting and flowers in vibrant hues were strung up in the ceremony square and guests sat on casual benches as the couple exchanged vows. Unafraid to defy traditions, these soulmates chose to have Bronwyn's aunt be the fabulous flowergirl, and skipped wedding favours in order to have an open bar – all in the name of a good time. Check out their joyride of a day below, as Bronwyn tells us all about it...
How they met:
Like a lot of couples out there, we met at work! We started out as friends with a mutual love of comedy movies (particularly anything featuring Will Ferrell) and it grew from there. It really was a case of falling in love with your best friend, and we're still just two dorks who love hanging out together, being silly and going on adventures.
We had been together for nearly four years when Iain proposed in our hotel room in Venice, Italy. It was the start of our big European adventure, and he wanted to wait until we were in Santorini (our last stop), but was too worried that I would find the ring! I had no idea he was going to propose. He knew I would be mortified if he proposed in public, so he picked a beautiful moment – just the two of us. But since we were in Venice, we did seal it with a gondola ride!
The bride's outfit:
I was after that boho, flowy, 1970s look, and none of the dresses I tried on in stores really captured what I imagined. The team at Briony Leigh were amazing, and suggested that I should have a dress made to get exactly what I want. We were able to take my favourite parts from three different dresses and combine them into one amazing dress. It was a beautiful chiffon, A-line dress with float-y sleeves and beautiful lace detail at the bust. It cinched me at my best bits (my waist) and was flowy and light – perfect for a balmy Bali wedding fiesta. I also had a chiffon veil and, on the day, I wore a floral crown of baby's breath.
The bride's hair and make-up:
I didn't want the make-up to look too heavy, especially the foundation. I have freckles, so I wanted to be and look like myself. I asked for light make-up with a focus on the eyes, great lashes (which were sadly not mine!), and finished off with my favourite lipstick, MAC's Rebel.
The groom's outfit:
Iain was inspired by a GQ magazine cover that featured Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He wanted to stand out from his groomsmen, but also match them, and had to dress appropriately for the Bali weather. He went with a light blue shirt under a grey waistcoat, matching grey pants, and a navy, polka-dotted tie.
The wedding party's looks:
We were pretty laidback in regards to what our wedding party wore. I found some dresses online that would complement the bouquets I wanted for the bridesmaids, and was really going for a boho style. For the boys, we wanted them to match the groom yet be a little different, so they went without waistcoats and wore bowties.
We love going on holiday in Bali, and when we were thinking about a location for our wedding, we thought it would be ideal. As we live in Sydney but have lots of family in Perth, it was a nice destination in between both cities. We visited Bali to scope out venues and looked at a lot of beautiful villas, but they were just not us. Then we went for dinner one night at Motel Mexicola – as soon as we sat down and saw how cool it was, we knew we had to have it as our venue! They had never hosted a wedding before, so we're very proud to be their first!
The decor at Motel Mexicola already matched what we wanted perfectly: a fiesta wedding filled with colour! There was no particular colour scheme; I just wanted it to be colourful in general, but not in a tacky way. Our wedding planner, Cyra, was so wonderful and able to change the venue to look more wedding-appropriate, while still keeping it quirky, colourful and fun.
Our ceremony was pretty short and sweet, as we didn't have a religious aspect to it. Our celebrant was really lovely, and molded the ceremony around our relationship. We definitely wanted to acknowledge our loved ones who couldn't be there, so I wore Iain's grandmother's pearl earrings, and we had a special mention for all of them during the ceremony.
When we were announced as husband and wife, we had the song "Good Vibrations" by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch play. It was such an awesome moment of relief, excitement and love. Everyone was up on their feet, clapping and dancing, as we walked back down the aisle. That was pretty special.
We loved the idea of tacos at a wedding! We didn't have a formal seating arrangement and left it open to our guests to sit where they pleased. We started with tacos for canapes, then each table had large sharing plates of pork ribs, char-grilled beaf, stuffed zucchinis and grilled jumbo prawns. We also had two side salads – a shredded duck confit salad and a quail egg, green beans and avocado salad. There was also plenty of salsa, guacamolo and corn totopos (triangular chips). Our guests were so happy and full that we had to ask them to stop bringing out food!
For dessert, we had Mexican churros with caramel sauce, and our wedding cake was a simple butter cake but had the most amazing icing decoration.
We were very fortunate to be able to offer our guests an open bar and, keeping with the fiesta theme, there were plenty of tequila shots going around!
We were very involved with the music played during our wedding. We split the day into different playlists, sorting songs into them to make it easier for our wedding planner, and we gave a big list of song for the DJ to pick from when it came to dancing. Our DJ was recommended by our wedding planner, and they were great.
Dire Straits - "Romeo and Juliet"
We didn't have wedding favours. We thought, since it's a destination wedding, what's the point of giving our guests something they could carry home? So we put the money we would spend on the wedding favours on the bar tab instead!
I made the table numbers myself, and we relied a lot on our wedding planner, Cyra, to decorate. We also had a very good friend make the guys' boutonnieres from vintage paper flowers (that I found on Etsy) and silk flowers.
I went a bit non-traditional and had my favourite aunt as my flower girl. She walked down the aisle throwing petals in everyone's faces – it was the best!
Bronwyn's advice for brides-to-be:
I have some tips for planning a wedding!
- Do it your way and make it your own.
- Be picky with your playlists! We spent a lot of of time on our music and it paid off – everyone danced all night!
- If you have a wedding planner, make sure they're totally on board with your vision, and that you build a lot of trust in the relationship.
- Write a list of all the photo combinations you want and give it to your photographer. We wanted to make sure we got a photo with everyone, and often that doesn't happen at weddings.
Lastly, marriage is about balance, compromise, picking your battles, laughing a lot and knowing that you'd do anything for each other. It's knowing a person completely and loving them unconditionally. I was lucky to marry my best friend.
Bridal gown: Bespoke from Briony Leigh Bridal, Sydney, Australia
Jewellery: Vintage pearl earrings from groom's Grandmother
Bridal shoes: Swedish Hasbeens
Veil: Briony Leigh Bridal
Floral crown: Gloriosa
Groom's suit: Pants and waistcoat from Politix, shirt from SABA
Groom's shoes: Aquila
Groom's accessories: Watch from the bride as a wedding day gift, tie from OTAA
Groomsmen's outfits: Pants from Politix, shirts from SABA, bow ties from OTAA
Wedding planner: Cyra Carolus from Your Bali Wedding
Cake maker: Ixora
Food and drinks: Motel Mexicola
Stationery: Wedding invitations from Minted, menus from Freckled Stationery, table numbers made by the bride
Hair and make-up: Yeanne Make-up (organised by our wedding planner)
Transport: Made Yudiana from Bali Made Tour
Photographer: Bonjo Abadi from Terralogical
Celebrant: Greg Egli
Congratulations, Bronwyn and Iain!
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