Melinda & Andrew

There are few things more guaranteed to get everyone into a celebratory mood than a beachside holiday and for Melinda and Andrew, with the bride from Germany and the groom from Australia, there seemed to be no better occasion for their family and friends to come together, than for a destination wedding by the sea where the dress code was strictly “”No suits, ties or shoes”. With Maria Shiriaeva Photography capturing every moment, all you need to do is kick off your own shoes, grab a cocktail and settle in for the story!

The pair met far from the bride to be’s home, Andrew telling the story. “Melinda had only been in Sydney, Australia for one month on a working holiday visa when she joined her uncle at the 10th-anniversary party for Australian surf/motorcycle fashion brand Deus ex Machina. When I saw Melinda eating the birthday cake from a plate I cheekily asked if he could have a piece, to which, Melinda responded yes. With my first swipe of the spoon, I took all of the icing from the cake. Melinda was shocked because she was “saving the best for last” while I pontificated “but you never know if you’ll make it to the end so eat the good stuff first.”

And with that life motto in hand, it was over pizza that Andrew proposed sometime later, in Melinda’s words “While sharing pizza and wine one night in Amsterdam we discussed our beliefs on what marriage is and isn’t. We found that we didn’t need to compromise our values so agreed that at some point we should get married. Then, a week later while taking a post-dinner walk on a beach in Ericeira, Portugal we both felt that this was the moment. Andrew walked behind me sneakily trying to find a shell that could be a makeshift ring. When I stopped walking Andrew had to give up searching through the shells. He then gave me a cuddle from behind. At this moment I turned around, with some kind of telepathic knowledge of what was coming, and said: “Yes, I do want to be your wife.” And then Andrew asked me in my native German “Willst du mich Heiraten?””

Andrew customised his look, choosing to have pants made from traditional Indonesia batik fabric, purchased on the couple’s trip to Bali two years earlier.

The bride found her beautiful boho inspired Tara Lauren gown at White & Ivory Bridal. “”My dress was an ivory open back, long dress, beautiful and unique lace, waistband knotted in the back” she tells.

Melinda and Andrew married at the beautiful Puri Dajuma Resort “Bali is a special place for both of us, Melinda has family there, and it’s somewhat in between our home continents of Europe and Australia. We chose Dajuma because it was inline with our sustainability values, it gives back to the community, we could book the entire resort for at least 3 days, and the resort and area were not just gorgeous but also affordable for people who had spent a lot to travel there. People often say “don’t worry about the food, no one remembers it” but we still have guests tell us about how good the food was. But the best thing was the service.”

And there was much gushing from Melinda and Andrew about the service they received from the team, Melinda continuing “We need to emphasize how great the resort is and how wonderful all of the staff are. Rondy, the manager of the resort was so helpful and paid great attention to detail. He and his team exceeded our wishes in every way possible. The resort itself is now 17 years old but the facilities and rooms are incredible and the fully matured garden is majestical. This was only the 14th wedding they’ve hosted so all of the staff, from the management to the gardeners knew our names when we arrived. From day one, all of the Puri Dajuma wait-staff delivered the best service we’ve had anywhere in the world. They made us feel so special and knew all 70 of our guests by name.”

The bride walked down the aisle with local music, Melinda remembering “The resort suggested having some live Balinese music while guests waited. Some of the local kids were excited to be part of the ceremony so they joined Melinda in the procession.”

The newlyweds escape to the beach for photographs right after their ceremony, while guests enjoyed rum from coconuts, on the sand, these stolen moments remaining one of Melinda’s favourite memories of the day.

Of their photographer, the bride can’t rave enough. “We loved her ability to capture moments of joy, and the warmth that her photos have. She was very professional and managed to salvage what was left of the natural light before sunset.”

After dark, guests gathered for an outdoor vegetarian BBQ feast under the night sky (with plenty of twinkling lights of course!).

The holiday vibe was embraced by the guests, who adhered to the couple’s dress code of “No suits, ties, shoes. Feel comfortable, fun, and sexy”.

Andrew’s speech as one of the definite highlights of the night, not only was it backed by a soundtrack he’d sourced earlier from guests, it also included a very special guest. The couple explaining “A surprise saxophone player that had secretly been organised by some guests and brought all the way from Denpasar (3-hour drive) just to interrupt the groom’s speech. The Saxophonist appeared from the shadows playing the solo from George Michael’s “Careless Whisper”.”

As the stars shone, a bonfire on the beach was the perfect way to keep warm. Andrew and Melinda inviting guests to write wishes for the couple or themselves on slips of paper and throw them into the fire.

The dance floor was like no other – a soul train, guests who were DJs with an amazing appetite for dancing setting the scene for a long night of dancing. Andrew remembers “Seeing 40 people shoeless on a dancefloor squatting down under the direction of the DJ then jump up as the chorus kicked in for Madonna’s “Like A Prayer” which was the final song of the night. Then the pair of us being carried off by guests to be tossed into the pool.”

A big congratulations to the newlyweds! Thank you so much for sharing the stories of your day with us! Thank you also to Maria Shiriaeva Photography for sharing today’s beautiful celebration and imagery with us!