This is a love story for gypsy souls and travel addicts, this is the love story and real Bali wedding of Melissa & Nathan AKA @theultimatehoneymoons (check out their travel inspiring Insta).
This globe-trotting couple first met in 2011 whilst sailing the beautiful islands of Croatia. Melissa said “ I was there with my friends and Nathan with his brother and sister. We met again in Lagos, Portugal a few months later. I was then working in a hostel and Nathan traveling alone. We didn’t recognize each other at first but after spending a week together, we realized we had met previously in Croatia”.
The couple spent plenty of time together that week, Melissa curious as to why Nathan kept extending his stay. Melissa said “he told me that he didn’t want to leave until he kissed me. Anyway, we had our first kiss and the rest was history”. Nathan canceled his plans, dedicating the rest of his trip to spending time with Melissa, before flying home to Australia. Melissa stayed on, returning to her home in Sydney a few months later. Although living in separate states, the pair committed to seeing each other every month over a year.
On completing a trip to South America with her friends Melissa and Nathan meet in Europe, where hand in hand the couple embarked on a 6-month adventure, paving the way for years of traveling together and working abroad. When asked about the proposal Melissa said “We were getting itchy feet big time in Australia, so we booked a trip to Bali. For our last few days, we booked to stay at Mu at Bingin Beach. We had originally tried to get the cliff side room but it was booked out. On the day we arrived, they told us that a room had become available. This must have been a sign to Nathan as he then emailed them telling them he was going to propose and to request champagne or anything else. We then hopped straight on a boat, and with him being nervous and not sure if they received his email in time, we arrived at Mu. They showed us to our room where there was champagne and flowers waiting. As soon as they left he dropped down on one knee whilst overlooking Bingin Beach. It could not have been more perfect or romantic”. With no future plans on returning to a ‘routine life’, the couple have dedicated their post-wedding life together 'on the road', globe-trotting on the ultimate honeymoon adventure.
Q&A with the Bride + Groom
Why a Bali wedding?
As we both have a huge love for traveling, we always wanted to get married overseas. We really loved Bali and as we got engaged there, it is a very special place for us. Also with most of our friends and family living in Australia, Bali was a very easy and close destination to get married in. It was also a nice middle place for Mel’s family in Sweden to come over as well as our other friends from around the world. And who wouldn’t want to get married in Bali? It was Perfect!
What venue did you hire to host your Bali wedding ceremony & reception?
We chose the Pandawa Cliff Estate to host our wedding. We decided we wanted a clifftop venue as the Southern part of the island is just so beautiful! The Pandawa Cliff Estate was perfect as we could have all of our family and wedding party stay with us for a few days, and the venue could not have been more beautiful.
What was the theme/style of your Bali wedding? Where did you get your inspiration?
We really loved the idea of ocean blues, wood, white flowers, and fairy lights/candles, etc. We got most of our inspiration from Pinterest and Instagram and our wedding planner Tash from Plan A Bali perfectly pieced everything together for us.
What was your favorite moment during the ceremony?
Melissa– I was so nervous before I walked down the aisle but as soon as I saw Nathan, I was instantly at ease and it felt like it was just the two of us there. I also loved when Nath read out his vows to me, they were personalized and so special.
Nathan – Seeing Mel walk down the aisle had to be my favorite moment. Seeing Marcus and Chloe (our nephew and niece) walk down the aisle holding hands melted everyone’s hearts too! It was also great being able to stand thanks to our wedding planner pulling off the best move and getting a medic to my bed when I was sick all night.
Tell us about the reception highlights, were there any funny or wild moments?
Melissa – During the dinner, it was so nice when my dad sang out a Swedish schnapps song. We organized for everyone to have a little song card to sing along and everyone had a shot. Then during Nathan’s brother’s speech, he decided to go one up and sing the Aussie drinking song “Here’s to Mel and Nath they’re true blue….” It was so funny and unexpected. Then after dinner and once the dancefloor got started, all the boys started throwing everyone in the pool. That was so funny because all the boys got worried they were next, my dad even changed into a cheaper shirt and shorts, took his watch off, etc knowing it was just a matter of time before he would get carried in.
Nathan – I loved all the speeches. It was so nice to hear all the funny and heartwarming stories. The pool looseness was also awesome at the end of the night.
Who were your main suppliers? Did you have any favorites?
Tash from Plan A Bali was incredible and organized most of the suppliers for us.
We found our photographer (Van Middleton Photography) on Facebook from a Bali promotion he was doing. He was from the Byron area in Aus and we instantly fell in love with his photos. We caught up with him for coffee in the Gold Coast and we were ready to book him in straight away.
Leura Film made our wedding video and they did an incredible job. It was so worth it to be able to re-watch this multiple times and bring the day back to life.
Glo Day Spa did the makeup for me and all my 7 bridesmaids, celebrant, flower girl, 3 mums, and grandma. They were incredible and even went over to help the boys out with their grooming when the girls were all ready.
Lydia and her band were so much fun. They had everyone up dancing and were definitely a highlight of the night. The way they interacted with everyone was awesome and we have never seen a band or DJ like this before.
How did you find your wedding planner? And what did you love most about their service?
Melissa- We found Tash by using The Bali Wedding Directory. We really wanted someone we could relate to and they would understand exactly what we wanted. I followed Tash on Instagram and saw a post about coming out to Sydney. I contacted her and we caught up when she was here. We instantly clicked and she understood everything we wanted. She was perfect and so helpful. We showed her our ideas and completely trusted that she would make it amazing. And she did, everything was perfect and way better than we could have ever imagined. It was amazing to feel completely stress-free because we knew she had everything under control.
Nathan- Tash went above and beyond. If it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t have been able to stand on my wedding day. The night before the wedding I fell extremely ill and couldn’t sleep. I messaged her during the middle of the night, then when I woke up in the morning she was there with a medic and a drip at the villa. She saved my day! Luckily Mel had no idea about any of this at the time!
What advice would you give to future Bali brides?
Definitely find a planner that you click with and can completely trust. I think this is so important, that you know they have everything under control and you don’t have to stress about a thing. Also, make time to spend with your new hubby. It can be very overwhelming trying to spend time with everyone there. We tried to catch up with most people before the wedding and had a recovery party, so on the wedding day we didn’t have to do “the rounds” and we could just focus on having the best time of our lives instead!
What did you like best about The Bali Wedding Directory?
We started using The Bali Wedding Directory, which was really helpful for finding Tash and looking at inspiration from different suppliers. We decided to let Tash organize everything to make it easier as we could tell she completely got us.