Charlie and Rich

Happiness is… Wearing a polka dot head band on your wedding day

Happiness Is… Letting balloon lanterns into the Bali night sky with your closest friends

Happiness is… Vespas of every colour in the rainbow

Happiness is.. Fun and flirty bridesmaids gowns made just the night before

Happiness is… Dancing down the aisle with your new husband.

I was swept away to the warm breeze of Bali with today’s wedding of Charlie and Rich!

Charlie explains how she met her husband. “Airlie Beach, Australia 2004 (on my 19th birthday). I was backpacking with Amy (my maid of honour) and he was there on business…we were introduced, he went to bed! It wasn’t exactly love at first sight! We met again by chance the next day and things improved from there. Friendship formed but love was not too far behind. He proposed six years later (he waited until I had finished my degree) at sunset on a pontoon about a mile offshore from Nusa Lembongan Island, Indonesia. We paddled out there in a kayak that Rich borrowed off an old fisherman on the beach. It was beautiful, unexpected and unforgettable. We now own a hotel in Bali called ‘ The Island’ and have been based there for the last 5 years.”

Photos today are by Matt Reed Photography who has a magical talent of capturing the candid so beautifully- the love, the fun, the laughter and the vibrancy. Matt does an incredible job with candid photography.

Charlie designed and made the bridesmaids’ dresses the night before the wedding! Charlie says “Because we had a destination wedding we decided to have a week-long celebration. We used our hotel in Bali ‘ The Island’ for a base for our guests and Bayuh Sabbha for the actual wedding, but other venues we used was the fabulous beach club ‘Cocoon’, rehearsal dinner at the quirky and cute ‘Sea Circus’ and my hens night at ‘Café Bali’.” Martha Florist put together bouquets of frangipanis and red roses. Nora Logan assisted in planning the wedding.

Charlie and Rich held their ceremony and reception at Bayuh Sabbah.”We looked at a whole bunch of villas and hotels owned by friends as well as other gorgeous ones we had been to before. There are so many lovely places to get married here in Bali, but Bayuh Sabbah was the one that when we walked in literally left us speechless. Sitting atop the cliff-tops with uninterrupted views across the entire island it was simply breathtaking. Directly below was one of our favourite beaches, a place we had spent many weekends over the years escaping the crowds and falling in love. We knew straight away it was the place for us.”

Charlie wore a tea length gown from Noella Thomson and shoes from Vivienne Westwood. She walked down the aisle with her father to ‘Oh Happy Day’ from Sister Act. She recalls “It’s a song I have grown up with and is very special to my sisters and I.”

The ceremony was the stand out moment for Charlie. “Definitely the most special part was being married by my father. Having my mum do the sermon, and my sister and her husband leading the worship in the ceremony and other sisters and their husbands doing the prayers, that was pretty special. It really was a family affair. Also something incredibly funny was when the monkey from the temple about a mile away snuck down and stole my mums glasses while she was giving the sermon – it was hilarious. He sat next to me during the ceremony and watched the whole thing. It was just so Bali. The Indonesians say it was very lucky and a great blessing from the monkey God. I think that is beautiful.”

The recessional was one of the happiest moments “After the ceremony we closed with ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ that was actually a surprise for me, I was so excited by it that we all ended up having an impromptu dance when we were leaving back up the aisle.”

Guests dined by candlelight under the Bali night sky. Charlie and Rich made a little memento for their loved ones. “Each guest was given a little gold charm we made that went around their wine glass which read “all you need is love” “24.10.2010”  “R&C” on ribbon that read “to have and to hold”. It was a lovely touch that Rich had designed and made.” The reception was catered by M&M catering.

Guests let balloon lanterns into the sky,

The first dance music was performed by friends. “As a surprise Richard’s brother Neill and his best friend Kurtis Rettenmaier played us some beautiful love songs (“Sunny”& “Lovely Day”) during dinner and the speeches. Neill was on acoustic guitar and Kurtis on an old Hammond keyboard, it was just so gorgeous. And then, to top it off they played James Morrison’s “You give me something” for our first dance. It was so magical to have these people we love so much singing and playing our favorite songs for us all.”

At midnight, guests were served espresso martinis and macaroons and kept on the dance floor by the DJ. Charlie recalls “Tony Montana, our flat-mate and famous international DJ spun the decks for us way into the wee hours! His play-list of timeless classics had us all up dancing for the entire night.”

Her final thought? Charlie had so much fun, she almost didn’t leave! “I had always joked that I would be the last person to leave my own wedding (I love a party), and it was true, I was the very last person there and Richard (my husband) had to carry me out! It was pretty funny…and probably slightly embarrassing!”

A big congratulations to Charlie and Rich on their marriage! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us on Polka Dot Bride! Thank you also to by Matt Reed Photography for sharing today’s photographs!

Photos by Matt Reed Photography