J U L I A & J O E L
F R O M T H E B R I D E ...
We met at a Christmas Eve dinner in 2009. 10 days later Joel moved to America for 3 years for his work with the Military.
We were in a long distance relationship for the first 3 years. I was in Law School in Sydney and Joel lived in America and was deployed 3 times in the following 5 years. We knew we were important to each other when we kept choosing to stay together even when we were on opposite sides of the globe. There were wars going on and it wasn’t rational to do so. It was no single moment. It was 5 years of choosing each other.
Sydney Botanic Gardens in November 2013. Joel organised a picnic in the park.
We wanted a destination wedding because we loved the idea of everyone being a little more relaxed and enjoying that extra cocktail on the day.
In terms of theme and style, we knew we would be limited by choosing to go overseas. And to be frank, the styling details were not really important to us.
Don’t get us wrong, I am a type A (lawyer) personality and was likely to want to control everything, and a destination wedding is a fast way to a heart attack if I tried to run it like an Australian wedding. But we made the decision to hand it all over to someone else and enjoy the process.
We wanted to focus on creating a carefree day by not worrying about the small things. Our wedding planners were there for that stuff and they did a great job. We found that they are the professionals and care/know more about what looks good; certainly more than we ever will. By leaving it to them, we got a great result with very little worry or concern.
Wedding Ceremony & Reception Venue...
Both the ceremony and reception were held at Villa Infinity in Canggu, Bali Indonesia. We wanted everything in the same venue to maximise our time with friends.
We met everyone in Bali at Ku De Ta in Seminyak on 3rd June 2015. It’s an uber-chic beach bar that lots of Australians hang out at. It is a beautiful bar/restaurant with great food and some yummy cocktails.
The ‘Rehearsal Dinner’ was held at Old Man’s Bar in Canggu. It is a super laid back, outdoor, beach-style bar. It was not a traditional choice and when I imagined my rehearsal dinner, I never pictured stray dogs walking through the venue like they do in a lot of Bali places. But it worked really well to relax people into the chilled out Bali atmosphere.
I had two gowns. It sounds a little self-indulgent, but it was really fun. I totally recommend it; especially if there is a pool you may end up in!
The first was a fairly traditional, sweet-heart neckline, Bella Donna gown purchased at Marry Me Bridal in Mosman NSW.
The second was a Madeline Gardiner dress that I modified. It was a mermaid gown with a beaded sheath over the top. I removed all the under-layers and got a brilliant dressmaker in Sydney to create a beautiful slip to sit under the sheath of beads. Under the chandeliers, the beading looked amazing!
The design was largely thanks to Global Weddings and their design team. We had lots of chandeliers under a canopy of fairy lights on the front lawn of the villa. The pool was lit up with fairy lights and their was a 6 foot J&J sign lit up in edison globes.
The tables were naked wood dressed with a burlap runner and rectangle flower vases. The place mats were the menu with cartoons of the bridal party.
We had a white silk canopy over the ceremony. We loved that it not only provided shade, but also created a sense of inclusion in the ceremony.
We didn’t have a cake. We didn’t want one. We didn’t want a super contrived moment where you stand in front of the cake and pose for the camera. We get too awkward in the moment and we thought that no one eats the cake anyway… We totally love the tradition for other people but it wasn’t for us.
Joel loves ice cream more then an unsupervised 5 year old so we had a Gelato Cart with 6 different flavours instead. We also had a great dessert buffet with (what felt like) unlimited choices!
On the Menu...
All food and drink was organised by Global Weddings and provided by Bali Catering Company. We had a cocktail hour with a drum performance by the Bongo Boys and then the Groomsmen games. We then had a 2 course sit down meal and a dessert buffet.
We also had a midnight snack of nasi goreng and satay sticks. This was brilliant after everyone jumping in the pool and dancing the night away.
The girls got fans that were engraved with our name and date and the boys got a hat. It is warm in Bali so it was on the seats at the ceremony. The menus also had cartoons of the bridal party.
Our actual photographer pulled out 9 days before the wedding. Our wedding planners found and booked a new photographer within an hour. We weren’t worried, the photos are really great!
We are also really lucky that Joel’s brother (Jarred Stedman) is a professional photographer. Despite us wanting him to relax and not work on the day, he also took an amazing video and photos for us and surprised us when we got home. Amazing!
We did most of our planned photos before the ceremony. It did mean that Joel saw me before the ceremony, but it meant that we had only 12 family photos to do after the ceremony and we could spend as much time as possible with our guests.
It didn’t make our ceremony any less special, but it made us much more relaxed and we got to be present at our own party!!
Two moments stand out (aside from the amazing moments that I am sure everyone feels on their special day)
The Groomsmen Games –
- 6 groomsmen split into 3 teams
- They all jumped into the pool to collect scrabble tiles.
- Each team had a bridesmaid that needed to make a word.
- The guests voted on the best words by cheering.
- It got pretty inappropriate very quickly, but it was hilarious watching my super conservative father and his friends’ scream out those inappropriate words!
Everyone in the pool -
- Towards the end of the night, my bridesmaids and I thought it would be fun to jump in the pool fully clothed.
- We did and EVERYONE followed.
- It was the most surreal moment seeing 90 of your friends and family jump (and get thrown into) the pool all wearing suits and cocktail dresses.
- The groomsmen were systematically picking up guests and throwing them in (after asking permission). Our Mum’s thought it was hilarious to have (very buff Marine and Army) groomsmen fireman carry them into the pool. It was awesome!
- We have a great photo that shows the great moment that it was. Unfortunately not everyone made it into the photo, but it shows how much fun we were having!
Bonfire Heart - James Blunt
We also had the Bongo Boys plays two sets. One in the cocktail hour which ended up in a giant conga line (before dinner even started!) And one after the first dance which got the dance floor fired up!
Photographer Terralogical Image of Couple with 'J & J' Sign Jarred Stedman Wedding Location Villa Infinity, Canggu Wedding Planners Global Weddings Bride's Dresses Bella Donna + Madeline Gardner Bridesmaids' Dresses For Him and For Her