When deciding where to hold their wedding, Jade and Mitch had one dream: to be staring out at the ocean in a warm, tropical locale. The avid travellers, who bonded instantly over their love for seeing the world, chose Bali with the vision of strolling down the beach as Mr and Mrs during a jaw-dropping sunset. Their carefree yet elegant coastal ceremony at Villa Ombak Biru Seminyak reflected their love for sand, sea, and nature, with feathers as place cards, anchor motifs, a surfboard guestbook, dainty green-and-white blooms, and exposed, industrial-chic lightbulbs for a glowing ambience. Jade tells us all about their special day below...
How they met:
We met through a mutual friend, who Mitch had flown to Sydney to visit, at a music festival in February 2011. It was by pure luck that I was convinced to come and bought a ticket the day before. We quickly discovered our mutual love for travel and that was what first attracted me to him. Before we even officially got together, we started planning a three-month holiday around the world. I thank my lucky stars that I purchased that ticket.
The proposal was the biggest surprise of my life – and I'm usually switched on with these things. To explain, Mitch is originally from the Sunshine Coast, and I'm from Sydney. We had been flying between our two families throughout the year, so when we flew up to the Sunshine Coast for a quick visit, there was nothing that stood out. Mitch asked me if I would like to get up early to go whale watching before he went surfing at Noosa Head. He loves the beach and surf, so it was nothing new to plan something so early (I knew waves are always best at that time), and silly me didn't realise that it actually wasn't whale season. We walked up to the peak to watch the sunrise. It must've been the longest 10 minutes of Mitch's life as I semi-joked about the lack of whales. There were surfers below catching waves and paddling around. At 6.45 am, Mitch dropped to his knee while the boys below flipped their surfboards to reveal the message: "Jade, will u marry me?".
The bride's look:
I was fortunate enough to have a wonderful dressmaker named Rosa, based in Kograh, Sydney, to make my wedding dress. She knows fabric like an extension of her arm. I went to her with a series of ideas and images, all featuring lace beautifully cut out and fitted to the body. Rosa was able to explain how my design would sit and what fabrics I'd need to make it work. I also had this beautiful detachable train with feathers sewn on the base. The dress was the foundation of inspiration for my wedding decor.
Her hair and make-up:
I don't usually wear a lot of make-up, so Anja was wonderful at creating a natural look with good, waterproof coverage. Renee created a beautifully-constructed knot for my hair – I wasn't wearing a veil as my dress had enough detail to steal the show.
The groom's outfit:
Mitch loves the colour blue. He knew what he wanted to wear before he even proposed, haha! He chose to wear a vest and pants to keep it formal without overheating in the weather. We went with charcoal buttons to give the blue a more modern feel. His shoes and belt were tan, and his tie was dark navy blue with white dots.
The wedding party's style:
Knowing that the groomsmen would be wearing suits in the same sky blue as Matts, I wanted to choose a colour for the bridesmaids that would complement the coastal theme. I loved the rose sequins, but it was too heavy and expensive to make a full dress out of. So I decided that a top made of gold sequins and a neutral skirt would be fun and elegant for Bali. The girls were able to choose the gap between the top and skirt that they were comfortable with. I went with nude wedges that were comfortable and easy to walk on grass with. Their drop earrings had amazing cream and blue stones, and looked really beautiful next to the groomsmen. Since all the girls had such different hair, I decided to tie them all together with a modern braid style.
My flower girl's dress was bought from a dressmaker on Etsy. I love the way it tied together at the back. She also had a beautiful braid in her hair.
We looked at so many venues to host our big day. This one brought a smile to our face and ticked all the boxes. Modern, easy to access bathrooms (in other venues, guests had to go into the bedrooms, here they did not), and it was in a popular area. It was such a grand, open space – the photos don't do it justice.
We went with green and white flowers, bare wooden tables, gold tiffany chairs, and industrial lightbulbs for ambience. The wedding was so beautiful, it didn't need much at all. My bridal table was everything I wished for. The hydrangea runner went all the way to the floor on either side. It was just beautiful.
We wrote our own vows during the ceremony. A very close friend did a small reading from Doctor Zhivago for us too.
After the wedding day, I now know why Bali Catering Company has the best reputation for weddings. Our menu included Balinese spice-roasted fish in banana leaf, roasted chicken balottine with spinach, mushroom, saffron and sage jus, a lemon meringue tart with raspberry coulis, and more. We also had an open bar with free-flow for seven hours.
The music selected was important to us. We thought about important moments in our lives and incorporated them into key songs.
The DJ was amazing! He played music throughout the night – even my 83 year old grandma was up dancing.
The wedding favours:
We decided to go with white leather luggage tags with the message "not all roads are meant to be travelled alone" embossed in gold. They had a custom disc with a thank you message attached with blue twine. We thought it was appropriate for guests travelling the distance to see us.
We loved Terralogical! They were like ninjas, capturing such beautiful moments without you being aware they were even there, which is a hard thing to do. Mitch and I didn't want any posed images – looking at what we have, it's perfectly captured.
The DIY touches:
I made my name cards – they were written on large white feathers in gold. I then painted the tips in gold paint. To finish them off, I painted the base of a spotted pheasant feather and glued it on. The guests took them home, which was pretty special. I also made the discs that went on the luggage tag favours and designed my menu, which an artist painted for me. She also made my invites, which tied in with the menus style-wise: an artwork of all the countries flying in from around the world to celebrate our union in Bali.
Stand-out touches and moments:
During the speeches, all my bridesmaids surprised me by standing up to share stories of our friendship. It was followed by my sister singing 'All Of Me' by John Legend. I don't think there was a dry eye in the crowd.
We were very blessed to have a friend create a beautiful carved surfboard for our guests to sign. My friend was very talented and signed "Just Married" on one side, which can be seen in some of our images.
My mother-in-law made my wedding garter that was just beautiful. There's a shot of her putting it on my leg as a final touch.
Mitch's wedding band was made from Koa wood, used to carve surfboards, which can only be found in Hawaii. I have never seen a groom so excited to receive a ring. For an engagement gift, I got him a watch made of the same wood, and he wore it on the day.
Jade's wedding advice for brides-to-be:
As soon as you find something you love, just order it or start to make it. Then you can tick it off your list. The day will come up faster than you can blink, and if you love something, you won't change your mind.
Remember to incorporate your husband-to-be in the big day. Try to find little things that inspire him. I used the colour blue and anchor motifs in subtle ways in the decor, and I could see my husband loved it!
Number of guests: 1oo
Venue: Villa Ombak Biru Seminyak
Bridal gown: Rosa Bridal, Kogorah, Sydney
Jewellery: Bride's wedding band and engagement ring from AntCandy Designs Sydney; groom's wedding band from Makani Hawaii; earrings from Dannijo
Garter: Custom-made by Jade's mother-in-law
Groom's suit: Institchu
Groom's shoes: ASOS
Groom's accessories: Belt from Hermes, Tie from OTAA
Bridesmaids' outfits: Custom-made by Connie Bridal
Groomsmen's outfits: Institchu
Wedding planner: Bali Ultimate
Florist: Heliconia Bali
Tables: Supply and Demand Bali
Cake: Ixora Cakes
Food & drinks: Bali Catering Company
Stationery: Shhh My Darling
Wedding favours: Ebay
DJ: Organised through Bali Ultimate
Videographer: Bali Metro