Katy and Michael’s Boho Luxe Bali Wedding at Villa Semarapura, Cemagi Beach
Katy and Michael’s dreamy Bali wedding is brimming with styling inspiration for bohemian brides! These two decided to plan a destination wedding in one of their favourite places, bringing together 60 of their closest friends and family from both England and Australia.
Taking place amongst the stunning surrounds of Villa Semarapura in Cemagi Beach, Katy and Michael recruited a dream team of local suppliers to bring their bohemian luxe vision to life, including the talented wedding planners from Hitch’d who went above and beyond to create a magical, whimsical setting.
From the flower-filled ceremony styled with oversized arrangements to the eclectic seating nooks and sparkling fairy lights, Katy and Michael wanted to surprise and delight their guests with beautiful details – and we think they totally nailed it. The Bali Event Hire crew were there to provide the furniture goods, including a colourful mix of cocktail seating, scattered textiles and a statement naked tipi, while berry-toned blooms helped to tie each area together. We also love how Katy and Michael opted for eco-friendly guest favours to help preserve the natural beauty of their venue.
You can relive all of the magic captured by Imaj Gallery and Leura Film below (including an epic portrait session with a fleet of white vespas!), as Katy and Michael talk us through their experience planning a Bali wedding and their top tips for engaged couples.
How we met:
We met in London in 2015 – I am English so London was my home and Michael was travelling Europe with a friend at the time. A mutual friend wanted to set me up with someone and asked me what my type was. I was reluctant that he would have someone that would fit the brief but gave him my criteria anyway – “tattoos, dimples and an accent”. His answer was “I have the perfect guy!” He introduced Michael and I at a house party and the rest is history!!
As we now live in Australia, Michael wanted to wait until we were back in the UK before he proposed so that he could ask my Dad for my hand (my Dad is old school English!) and so that we could celebrate the engagement with my nearest and dearest. The spot he chose was on the top of a hill in the fields outside my Mum’s house, a place that was very special to us as it was where we used to go to make ‘life decisions’ before we moved to Australia.
Originally he wanted to propose on the morning of the 23rd of December, he had it all mapped out as our plans for that day were spending the afternoon with my cousins and grandparents and seeing all my best friends in the evening – so a day of celebrations and sharing the news would have lined up perfectly. However – it was raining on the 23rd of December, I had just washed my hair and I could not for the life of me work out why he wanted to go for a walk in the fields in the pissing rain and freezing cold!
Unfortunately my stubborn-ness stuffed it up a bit for him, so he had to push it back until the next morning. While we were walking he asked me how much I loved him, I gave him a pretty corny answer then asked him how much he loved me, then he got down on one knee (in wet mud) and said “this much” and opened up the ring box! Cue ugly crying!
Wedding date: 19/4/19
Wedding Ceremony Venue: Villa Semarapura
Wedding Reception Venue: Villa Semarapura
Total Guests: 60
Our style/Inspiration: Beachy, boho, luxe! We wanted something really relaxed that would enable our guests to mingle as much as possible, which is why we opted for lots of scattered casual seating arrangements and cushions – rather than seating plans and formal dining. We also wanted to create lots of beautiful and unique nooks for our guests to discover and enjoy throughout the night, such as our gorgeous naked tipi. Most of all we wanted a touch of magic – heaps of sparkling fairy lights, messy flowers everywhere and lots and lots of fun.
Who we couldn’t have done it without: Hitchd!! Our wedding planner Kristen and the team made all of our dreams come true and there is no way any of it would’ve happened if it wasn’t for them! They truly went above and beyond with everything they did, their attention to detail was spectacular and we had so much fun planning everything with them – they made the process so enjoyable!
Advice for future Bali Brides: Get a wedding planner! (Especially if you are choosing Hitchd!) They are worth their weight in gold. Not only will your day be so much better for it, the whole planning process will be so much easier and more manageable.
Our Wedding Day…
Wedding Planner/Stylist: Hitch’d I stalked their socials for a long time and adored their style and the beautiful and unique looks that they create.
Décor/Furniture: Bali Event Hire – they had an amazing variety of furniture to use which was perfect for us because we wanted to create a very eclectic and mix and match kind of vibe where all the furnishings were different. We had a lot of rattan, rugs, throws, ottomans, lounge seats, peacock chairs, cocktail sets and benches – pretty much everything you could think of! All of the centrepieces were different too – contrasting lanterns, candlesticks, floral arrangements, vases etc – it was BEAUTIFUL! If I say so myself… Our naked tipi was my favourite element, it was adorned in fairy lights with a pink clay chandelier hanging from the middle, with cushions and peacock chairs underneath.
Flowers/Florist: Sandat Floral. The floral colours we wanted were deep burgundies with pops of pink, blush and nude and lots and lots of greenery. We loved the stunning arch and ceremony feature that Sandat created, they are wizards!! We went for lots of statement flowers too such as orchids, roses and proteas which we loved. The colours matched the decor perfectly and the bouquets they created for us were insane!
Hair & Make-up: My hair was a half up half down braid with flowers and leaves tucked into the braid and wavy hair hanging down underneath. Because it was SO humid my waves fell out pretty much instantly – but I still loved it! I don’t normally wear heavy make up so I kept it pretty light and natural, same with all my bridesmaids. They had braided up do’s to keep their hair off their neck in the heat and to allow for maximum dancing at party time! Rani Bronzer was our supplier.
Photography: Imaj Gallery – loved how they captured so many candid moments. They gave us literally THOUSANDS of raw images and over 300 edits which was so incredibly kind of them. Nilou and her team were so lovely to work with and did such an amazing job. I believe that photography and videography are some of the most important parts of the wedding because (other than memories) they are the only things you leave with and are the best way to preserve the day forever – so choose carefully! We recommend Imaj and Leura so highly.
Videography: Leura Film – the two wedding videos we got from these guys will be treasured for our whole lives, they are created to the most unbelievable standard and evoke so much emotion every time we watch them. They captured the day in a way we could never have imagined! They are true artists.
Favours: We’re very aware of the huge plastic problem in Bali and the contribution that the wedding industry makes towards this – so we asked all our suppliers to avoid using single use plastic and instead asked them to use personalised bamboo straws which said ‘The Searsy Wedding 19/4/19’ on the side. All the guests kept their straws and I think they were a big hit! They were also a BARGAIN at only $10. Pretty small price to pay to make your wedding a little more eco-friendly 🙂
Hubby also requested that we had personalised stubby holders made. These were burgundy so looked great in the photos with the groomsmen as they matched their chinos perfectly. Some said ‘The Searsy Wedding’ and some said ‘Let’s Get Searsious’… again, hubby’s request! And the last favour (which was pretty essential in hindsight) were rattan fans that we placed on all the ceremony chairs. Good job too because it was still very hot during our ceremony and I think my English guests would have melted if we didn’t think of that one…
Celebrant: Wadi – he was lovely!
Catering: We had roaming canapes instead of a sit-down meal because we really wanted to enable our guests to move around as much as possible during the whole event. As most of my guests were from England and Michael’s from Australia, there will be few (if any) opportunities in the future where they will all be together – so we really wanted them to be able to get to know each other!
We had 4 veggie canapes, 8 meat/fish canapes and 4 dessert canapes. We also had a nasi goreng / mie goreng stand. We chose Dijon because they had a HUGE variety of canapes on offer and loved their sunset canape package option. The food was delicious and we got lots of comments about it! We were also able to do a tasting day when we went out to Bali for a wedding planning trip. They were so helpful and went above and beyond to make sure they could create the perfect combinations for us.
Cake/Dessert: We had 4 dessert canapes with Dijon and a single layered (but very tall) naked wedding cake from Butter Bali. We went for a vanilla cake with salted caramel buttercream and salted caramel drizzle on top. It was deeelicious.
Stationery/Invitations: We sourced our invitations from a super talented designer that we found on Etsy called Alicia, her business is called Bella and Boheme. We loved the relaxed boho script teamed with burgundy proteas – which matched our decor perfectly.
Entertainment: When Michael and I were travelling Indonesia in 2016 we spent 5 weeks in the Gili Islands were we befriended an awesome local called Richard and his insanely talented band. They used to sing reggae songs and play the guitar on the beach every sunset and all night long and they were an intrinsic part of all of our happy memories from that beautiful part of our life together. We decided then and there that if we ever got married in the future, we would have to come back to Bali to do it so that Richard and the gang could play at our wedding – so we did just that!
Normally Richard only plays at gigs and festivals but was happy to make an exception and do his very first wedding performance for us. It was so meaningful and emotional for him to be there playing for us. Dancing with Michael at sunset while Richard was singing our favourite songs will forever be one of my best memories! Richard wrapped up his set at around 8pm, then we had speeches and after that we hooked our iPhones up to the speaker system and played our own playlists. We are a big fan of our music and wanted to create the perfect playlist rather than rely on a DJ and I think we did a pretty epic job! The music was probably the most talked about part of the wedding the next day. So many old school disco and big boogie songs – the dance floor was PACKED all night long. (And very sweaty!)
Transport: As we were staying at the venue we didn’t need transport to get anywhere – but we hired 6 white vespas for Michael and I and the bridal party to go for a sunset drive after the ceremony which was SO much fun and created really amazing photo memories.
Gift Registry: We didn’t have a gift registry as we were conscious that our guests were all travelling so far to be there – so their presence was a gift enough!
Down the aisle – Bridesmaids walked to Here Comes The Sun, The Beatles. I walked down to Do You Remember, Jack Johnson.
Signing song – Signed Sealed Delivered, Stevie Wonder.
Announcement song – Everlasting Love by Natalie Cole.
The Bridal Party Details…
Bride’s Dress: My dress was a dream! Very lacy, boho, comfortable, great for the setting and fitted my personality perfectly. The best part about the dress was the amazing lace wings – they were so unique and added such an incredible wow factor to the dress. I couldn’t stop twirling around with my arms out! I loved the slit at the front and the statement back – I felt so beautiful and happy in it. I really wanted to wear something that would allow me to move freely, cuddle all my family and friends, pick up my baby brothers, sit down wherever I pleased and have a wild time on the dancefloor! Hubby definitely approved too!
I really recommend GLL – they have the most stunning designs. Dress was Grace Loves Lace, Veil was Chosen by One Day, Undies and garter were handmade by an amazingly talented lady called Imogen, her business is called Imogen Apparel.
Bride’s Shoes: I had two pairs of shoes – heels for the ceremony and flats for the reception. They were both nude in colour and from Nine West.
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: As my bridesmaids all have different body shapes and skin tones, I wanted them all to feel super comfortable and happy with how they looked on the day so we had a combination of styles and colour dresses from Show Me Your Mumu. The two colours we went for were dusty blush and show me the ring. The styles were very bohemian and relaxed, but also lovely and feminine. The dress colours worked perfectly with their dark burgundy bouquets.
Bridemaid’s Shoes: An assortment! They all wore their own blush heeled sandals.
Groom’s Attire & Shoes: Michael wore burgundy chinos from Roger David with a tailormade biscuit coloured jacket and a linen/cotton blend shirt (which was great for the heat). The shoes were woven brown leather and great for the setting. The groomsmen wore the same minus the jacket. They all wore personalised budgy smugglers with groom/groomsmen written on them underneath their suits – which made for a very funny appearance at the end of the reception!
Flowergirls/Page Boys: My two little brothers were my page boys, they wore light blue short sleeved shirts with pink shorts and blue birkenstocks. They looked super cute!
Jewellery: I kept it simple and just wore diamond studs, which were very special to me as the diamonds belonged to my Grandma who passed away the year before. It was beautiful to be able to have something of hers on me on the day, and it also doubled up as my ‘something old’!
The rings: My wedding ring was custom made by a friend of Michael’s who owns Hogan Family Jewellers in Toowoomba, QLD. I wanted something that was quite contrasting to my engagement ring – and something with a lot of sparkle! I absolutely adore it.
Honeymoon Details: We are off to New Caledonia in December for 7 days of relaxing, cocktails and quality time together in the tropics just the two of us! While we had a blast in Bali with 60 family and friends it was a far cry from relaxing so we are mega excited to kick back in a couple of months time.
Where did you find your styling inspiration for your Bali wedding?
Pinterest has got to be my favourite place for styling inspiration! I was Pinterest obsessed during my planning and still pin to my wedding boards to this day! Instagram was also great and I loved accounts such as the bali bride and festival brides.
What was the hardest part about planning a destination wedding?
For me it was quite difficult having all my family and bridesmaids on the other side of the world and in a different time zone, so I had to do most of the planning myself! Although Michael LOVED helping with things such as food and music, flowers and furniture really wasn’t his thing haha! So for me it wasn’t so much that my wedding was overseas, but that my bridesmaids were!
The other thing that we struggled with was managing lots of different currencies. We had savings in GBP and AUD, but had to pay our suppliers in USD and IDR! This meant that numbers and quotes changed a lot throughout the process, and we lost a lot of money in transaction fees.
Why did you choose Bali as your wedding destination?
We wanted somewhere that was in between Australia and England, to allow both sets of our guests to get there. Bali is a very special place to us as we have spent over 5 months travelling Indonesia together, we have so many happy memories there and it’s where we realised we wanted to be together forever – so it made sense to pick this spot to tie the knot. It’s also beautiful and we adore the food and people – which definitely helps!!
How did you stay organised while planning a destination wedding?
I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to spreadsheets and organisation, so I didn’t find this too tricky. Kristen and Hitch’d obviously did most of the legwork here though! They would send us regular updates and to-do lists on what we had to get done, so it was very manageable and straight forward.