With their hearts set on an outdoor wedding in the tropics, Jonathan and Katrien invited their guests from Belgium and Singapore to a three-day weekend bash in Bali. The first day saw everyone mingling over drinks at eclectic, shabby-chic bar La Laguna, the big day itself was an intimate ceremony, a bubbly reception and a dinner full of speeches and dancing, and the third day was a post-wedding event that lasted until late in the night. The entire celebration was dressed up all-white colours and neutrals, giving its casual vibe a nice polish. The very photogenic bride tells us more about her big day below....
How they met:
We met in December 2007 at a party in Brussels, where we both lived and worked at the time. As Jonathan said in his wedding speech, we both didn't expect much of it as distance would separate us soon – Jonathan had to move to Hong Kong for work. But there was something special. It just felt right – we discovered we have very similar thinking when it comes to life, as well as similar interests, and we loved spending time together. Two years later, we moved to Singapore together, where we still live today. And the rest, well, the rest is history...
The bride's look:
I wanted a sleek, open-back dress – simple, yet stylish. I actually found a picture of the wedding dress I finally chose on Pinterest, but couldn't find the designer. In February, I had to go to NYC for work, so I arranged to stay on for a weekend to find my wedding dress. One of my bridesmaids came over from London to help. It was only in the last bridal shop that I found my dream dress. It immediately felt right. At first, I didn't want to wear a veil, but when I tried it in store I thought it looked nice! It's a dress that doesn't need a lot of accessories, so I kept it simple with diamond earrings.
Hair and make-up:
Again, my inspiration was from Pinterest: a picture of a beautiful, natural bride with a flower crown made of baby's breath.
The groom's outfit:
He wore a beige linen suit that was tailor-made in Singapore.
The wedding party's style:
We didn't want our bridesmaids to have exactly the same dresses, and we also wanted a discrete colour, so we chose light grey. We found the bridesmaids' dresses in NYC – one from Alice & Olivia and the other two from BHLDN. The colours and styles matched perfectly. The girls dressed them up with red nail polish, beautiful high heels and earrings. They looked gorgeous. Boys are boys – no need to buy new suits – so we just asked them to wear dark blue and white. We provided them with pocket squares and baby's breath boutonnieres. The flower girls wore white dresses with baby's breath flower crowns.
Our first idea was to have a beach wedding, but then we saw Villa Infinity in Canggu's rice paddies. It's an intimate villa and just a gorgeous setting.
We decided on a vintage theme with only white, neutral colours and natural materials. We got lots of inspiration from Etsy and Pinterest. The dress code was tropical chic.
The whole ceremony was very personal. We had a live band and chose their songs, the bridesmaids and best men picked their readings, and we wrote our own vows. It was a short but beautiful ceremony. The solemnisation was in English, but the readings were in French and Dutch, our mother tongue.
For the wedding dinner, we had Asian-centric cuisine – seafood barbecue, grilled fish, sate, lots of Asian-influenced salads, etc.
We were after spontaneous pictures without much posing, and we made a quick trip to the beach for a few wedding shots. One of the best men also organised a photobooth with props for our guests after dinner. That was so much fun!
The wedding favours:
We gave away Balinese boxes with items that would help our guests recover from the wedding party – an aspirin, a plaster for any blisters, and some candy – so they could come back the next day for our Sunday post-wedding event!
I really enjoyed the walk-in, it was so special walking down the aisle with my dad to then meet my beautiful husband-to-be. We loved the speeches, and the bridesmaids prepared a video with wedding wishes from our loved ones, including those who couldn't make it.
Katrien's advice for brides-to-be:
Enjoy every moment of the wedding day, but also enjoy the pre-wedding preparations. I liked looking for cool wedding ideas, picking a dress, getting a menu together, keeping to-do lists, etc. I found it very fun, not stressful. I was actually happy I was so involved with the preparations, so my wedding planner's last-minute cancellation didn't bother me that much. I fully enjoyed every single minute of the day, as well as the pre-wedding and post-wedding fun. Another tip I'd give is to have a three-day wedding celebration like we did!
No. of guests: 85
Venue: Villa Infinity, Canggu, Bali
Bridal gown: Katie May 'Poipu' dress from Lovely Bride, New York City
Jewellery: Diamond earrings from Blue Nile
Veil: Katie May 'Lizzie' veil from Lovely Bride
Hair & make-up: Yeanne and team
Groom's suit: Tailor-made from Anson Tailor, Republic Plaza, Singapore
Groom's shoes: Church's
Groom's accessories: Watch from JLC
Bridesmaids' outfits: Alice & Olivia and BHLDN
Groomsmen's outfits: Their own dark blue suits and white shirts
Florist: Martha Florist Bali
Decor: Provided by caterer and sound & lighting vendor. Additionally, Tiffany chairs, a bridge over the pool, and some decorative items from Etsy
Food & drinks: Dijon Catering
Stationery: Invites, table names and menu were DIY; other accessories from Wedding Paper Divas
Wedding favours: Silver-looking Balinese boxes
Entertainment: DJ James
Sound & lighting: Bali Art Rentals
Photographer: Richard Watson Photography
Band: The Brothers with fabulous singer Mita
Villa: Good Living Asia, with special mention to Jen Tighe for all her help
Pre-wedding event: La Laguna Beach Bar, Canggu, Bali