Alyssa & Mitch
“Young Hearts Run Free” was the inspiration behind Alyssa & Mitch’s beautiful Bali wedding, and it’s a concept that truly resonated throughout the entire day.
After spending 8 years together amongst the hustle and bustle of city life, it only seemed natural for these Sydneysiders to escape to Bali for a relaxed, fun-filled wedding getaway with their closest family and friends.
Inspired by the food, culture and beauty of Canggu, these lovers tied the knot at Villa Infinity with the sprawling rice paddies of Bali creating the perfect backdrop. A heartfelt, emotional ceremony in the grounds of the Villa (complete with an acoustic performance by the groom’s sister) set the tone for an amazing night to unfold.
Alyssa & Mitch had a clear vision for their day: relaxed, colourful and above all FUN, with an emphasis on gathering friends and family together. Giant balloons with trailing fuchsia tassels, gold-dipped feathers and inflatable swans were just a few creative details that made an appearance throughout the day.
Long communal tables dressed with bright florals and fresh pineapples awaited guests at the candlelit reception, as they spent the evening wining and dining under the stars. With cocktails flowing and the Bali humidity rising, it wasn’t long before guests jumped fully clothed into the pool to continue the celebrations into the night!
Looking through the beautiful imagery, the sheer joy experienced by Alyssa and Mitch along with their guests is evident in every photo. We spoke to the happy couple who shared their inspiration behind the day and their advice on planning a destination wedding while having fun in the process!
How we met:
We met through a mutual friend 8 ½ years ago on a night out. Mitch is very outgoing, and it was easy to become his friend. We quickly discovered that we had stacks in common and it wasn’t long before I fell head over heels for this amazing human. We both share a love for travel, live music and amazing food, and Mitch, being a chef when we first met, wined and dined me at some of Sydney’s best restaurants. I was (and still am) super spoilt by the guy!
We were lucky enough to get engaged in the best city in the world.. New York! Food and travelling are two of our biggest passions. Everyone had told me they thought Mitch might propose while we were in the USA (and after dating for 7 years I was totally hoping he would), but I didn’t want to get my hopes up. We travelled all over the States for 3 weeks visiting friends and exploring, and NYC was our final stop. By this stage my ring finger was still bare, so I assumed it was not going to happen this trip and stopped thinking about it.
We had both visited NYC before, but never together, so the whole trip we had spoken about making the most of our time there and we both really wanted to go for a picnic and relax in Central Park. The morning that we arrived we had planned to check into our hotel room and head straight to for our picnic lunch.. Unfortunately we got caught in a massive thunderstorm which saw us stuck in Starbucks for hours drinking coffee and mapping out our time in this amazing city! Eventually the rain cleared and we were able to do a little walking around and shopping before heading out for dinner at Peels – if you ever go to New York make sure you go there.. Amazing food, brekky, lunch and dinner!!!!
Our second day started out a bit touristy, walking the Brooklyn Bridge, a trip up the Empire State Building which was to be followed by the picnic in Central Park, a little shopping then dinner at Restaurant Daniel which we were both super excited for!
A few stops up town on the subway took us to an incredible deli we had been told about where we stocked up on all things delicious – freshly baked baguettes, salmon gravlax sliced to order in front of us, prosciutto freshly shaven off the bone, dolmades, cheeses and olives galore! We were in heaven! We made our way to the Park where we threw down a rug and set up our little picnic and as I was reaching for the prosciutto, my beautiful best friend got down on one knee and asked me to be his wifey! Amazing! I was in complete and utter shock – I may have sworn at him in my surprise, but rest assured the tears followed and I said YES! It’s the best decision I ever made!
Wedding venue (Ceremony & Reception):
Villa Infinity, Canggu
Our love for travel and the thought of having 85 of our closest family and friends all overseas together on a holiday just excited us. We chose Bali because that has been our place to relax and get away from the busy hustle and bustle of Sydney life since moving back from London. The food, the culture and the beauty is why we fell in love with it!
Venue: A friend of a friend got married in Bali a couple of years ago so once we decided we wanted to get married there, we got in touch with them and they recommended Beyond Events to help us plan the wedding. We flew over to Bali about 12 months prior to the wedding and met with the owner Rohan, who drove us around to look at a handful of venues but Villa Infinity definitely stood out and we fell in love with the place the moment we set foot on the stunning grounds. We couldn’t wait to be married with the beautiful rice paddies behind us.
Ceremony: Our ceremony was beautiful, extremely hot in the Bali humidity, but beautiful. It was held on the grounds at Villa Infinity by the pool. Our friend, Tom, played guitar and Mitch’s beautiful sister, Emily, sang an acoustic version of Latch by Disclosure as my mum and brother, gorgeous bridesmaids and my dad and I walked down the aisle. Seeing Mitch as I turned the corner and began my journey down the aisle to him was amazing. He was so emotional and I couldn’t get down to him fast enough! My dear friend Kim read one of my favourite poems ‘I Carry Your Heart’ by E.E. Cummings. It was a short service but it was heartfelt and beautiful.
Reception: Our reception could not have been more perfect!!!!!!! We wanted the night to feel like one big meal with our family and friends so we had two long communal tables next to each other. They were decorated with the most stunning flowers and pineapples and candles running down the centre, set under the stars, and we made sure there was plenty to eat with lots of delicious cocktails and wine and spirits for everyone to enjoy. My amazing uncle/godfather/mentor was our MC. He did such a fantastic job, putting so much time and effort into making sure the night ran smoothly and everyone had an epic time. Every single one of our speeches was so good! My sisters wrote a song for Mitch and I to the tune of Young Hearts Run Free (complete surprise), my super talented cousin wrote a poem; Mitch’s best man gave the most incredibly moving speech and both our dads spoke so beautifully! We really hit the jackpot!! Tom played his beautiful tunes throughout the night including my dance with dad to Brown Eyed Girl, and Mitch and my first dance as husband and wife to Everlong by the Foo Fighters. He got the crowd up dancing and having the best time until it just got too hot and everyone ended up in the pool, fully clothed wrestling on Giant Swans and having an absolute ball. It was the best!
Being in Bali, we wanted to have a bright, fun, relaxed feeling – we are both very easy going people and wanted it to be a reflection of us as a couple and just a big party with our nearest and dearest! One of our favourite studios, Blacklist Studio, has a print ‘Young Hearts Young Free’ which we have hanging in our lounge room. It’s the best saying – it inspired our Save the Date stationary and the whole theme really exploded from there. The day was a mix of boho chic with lots of colour, amazing flower arrangements, pineapples, candles, beautiful lights, our super talented friend Tom playing his incredible music, amazing food and yummy cocktails.
There were quite a few handmade elements included in the day: I hand dipped hundreds of feathers in gold paint and glitter to include with the invitations and place settings and also the feather garland that was hung from the bale we were married in front of. I hand stamped the name tags that were tied to the invites and place settings and recruited my beautiful mum and amazing bridesmaids to help me put together the invites and make paper tassel garland to attach to giant white balloons.. It was such a tedious job made incredibly fun over a glass of wine with my favourite ladies. I also made the boutonnieres that Mitch, the groomsmen, my brother and both our dads wore. Another super fiddly job but I am so proud of the end result, they looked amazing!
Our favourite Bali supplier:
We were so blessed to have our amazing wedding planner, Anya, from Beyond Events working with us – she was seriously incredible. No request was too difficult and we were lucky enough to keep in constant contact via Skype calls and plenty of emails back and forth. Having a wedding planner made life super easy. I cannot imagine how difficult it would have been to source things myself from here in Sydney and it gave me the chance to focus on the smaller details and just get excited in the lead up to our special day.
Who we couldn’t have done it without:
Aside from Anya and the team at Beyond Events, I could not have done without Heidi-Jane Austin of Eve and Austin.. She did my hair and makeup on the day. Not only is she beautiful inside and out, but she is an absolute pro!!! She listened to what I was after and offered her expertise and we worked so well together to achieve a look on the day that I could not have been happier with. I felt so beautiful thanks to her!
Advice for future Bali Brides:
Enjoy the planning, relax, and have fun with it! If you have a dream then do everything you can to make it happen – everyone will want to give you his or her advice, but I say go with your heart and do what makes you happy. We knew we were asking a lot of our family and friends to make the trip over to Bali for our wedding but at the end of the day, it was our dream wedding, our perfect day, and if it is a true reflection of you as a couple, your guests will have an amazing time.
Also, I know it is cliché, but try and take a step back at some point throughout the night together and just take it all in. I remember standing on the steps at our villa with Mitch looking around at our friends and family having the best time dancing, swimming fully clothed and wrestling on the giant swans and being lost for words that these people were first of all, in Bali together at the same time, and secondly, that they were there for us!! Words cannot describe the overwhelming feeling of love and gratitude we felt at that very special moment.
Imagery – Scott Surplice Photography