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Tobey-Anne and Andy’s Bohemian Inspired Bali Wedding

by | Honeymoons, Inspired Destination Weddings, Inspired Weddings, Location Asia

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Polka Dot Bride
1
COMMENT

bohemian bali wedding0036 Tobey Anne and Andys Bohemian Inspired Bali Wedding

Tobey-Anne & Andy

The story of Tobey-Anne and Andy, a couple who didn’t want a wedding but decided after all the most important thing to them was celebrating with family and friends, reflects exactly who they are. They chose a Bohemian inspired Bali destination wedding to celebrate their marriage, choosing Terralogical to be there to capture their free-spirited, relaxed day.

The newlyweds tell their story of how they came to be. “When it is time for souls to meet, there is nothing on earth that can stop them from meeting, no matter where each may be located”. An unlikely story for a relationship that lasts, this Australian and Canadian met in late summer in San Diego, California, both traveling and exploring the California coast. Andy, an Australian, was on the beginning of a world travel adventure after teaching water sports at a camp in North Carolina, and Tobey, a Canadian, was enjoying her last weeks of freedom after a conference in Palm Springs, and had just recently completed naturopathic medical board exams before another grueling year to become a Naturopathic Doctor began. We met while staying at a hostel in Ocean Beach.

The night we met we had a beach bonfire by the surf. We are both adventurous spirits who love travel, fun, and exploring new places – and soon found ourselves driving to Las Vegas, Nevada in a convertible Mustang with a group of friends. After a few days of bright lights, Andy left his group of friends to accompany Tobey on her drive back to the California coast to San Francisco for her flight back to Canada. After a tearful goodbye, a week later Andy changed his flights to head to Toronto for a month instead of Vancouver.

Our connection was solidified during that time. 10 months later, after living and working in Vancouver, and travelling across Europe, India, and Indonesia, Andy made his way back to Toronto and Tobey & Andy started the rest of their journey together.”

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The wedding rings were particularly special, the newlyweds noting, “All the wedding bands were made from recycled jewellery of Tobey’s that was outdated or she didn’t wear anymore. The jeweller, Suzanne Crudden at Flux + Form in Toronto, worked with us to create custom pieces using the recycled gold and diamonds just as Tobey envisioned. The stackable bands were made in rose gold, yellow gold and white gold with diamonds in various finishes, and were fitted to the engagement ring to complement, but also to be worn alone or in different combinations. Andy’s ring was made into a very unique rose gold and a partially brushed finish.

In addition, Andy knew on his proposal that Tobey has strong feelings towards sustainability and the typical jewelery trade, and therefore would not want a store bought engagement ring, if a ring at all. So, the engagement ring was a more meaningful endeavor for both of us. We chose an Australian origin certified and ethical champagne diamond from many months of back and forth with Kimberly Fine Diamonds in Western Australia. After finding the perfect ethical pear shaped Australian champagne diamond together, the jeweller onsite at Kimberly Fine Diamonds worked with Tobey to create the custom ring she wanted with 18k rose gold for a unique and completely personal, and meaningful, ring.”

bohemian bali wedding0002 Tobey Anne and Andys Bohemian Inspired Bali Wedding

Tobey-Anne and Andy chose Semara Luxury Villa Resort, Uluwatu as their wedding location, remarking “Semara Luxury Villas sits atop the Southern most tip of Bali and the views are indescribable. There is a magic in Uluwatu that you don’t quite get anywhere else.”

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Tobey-Anne chose a simple but beautiful gown from Barbra Allin.

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Tobey-Anne walked down the aisle to Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros – “Home is wherever I’m with you.”

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Tobey-Anne and Andy hired Paper Diamonds  who looked after the planning and styling of the day, including flowers and stationery. Tobey-Anne tells “Natalie and her team at Paper Diamonds (formerly Cakes & Champagne) helped us bring together many individual elements that we felt represented our taste into a common thread, and ultimately, ensured we had a truly memorable day that every single guest enjoyed. That was one of our biggest wishes, that each guest have a great time and find beauty in the day.

We came to Natalie with many thoughts, ideas or arrangements that Natalie pulled all together for us – which we could have never done from across the world in Canada. She was excellent at sourcing the right vendors for our needs, and was sensitive to our concerns, even about cost, and made attempts to make changes that really reflected our tastes and desires for the day. We received so many compliments during and following our wedding from our guests, and we feel that many of those compliments are reflective of the great work provided by Paper Diamonds.”

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The reception was designed with two long tables decorated with elements of bohemian styling that the couple loved. Tobey-Anne noting, “We really aren’t ‘wedding people’ per se. In fact, at one point we considered not even having a wedding, and instead investing in a business in Southern California. But then we considered what is important to us, that being family and friends, and we knew that we needed to have a celebration to bring everyone together from across the world to meet.

That is really what our wedding was about – bringing people together in the beautiful environment of Bali to have new experiences and memories together forever. So, we had a starting point but really had no specific preferences as to a particular wedding theme. In some ways we were pretty laid back, but at times that made planning a wedding hard.

Most of our choices for the day were less planned and were more intuitive to our tastes and a representation of us, rather than sticking to a theme. We had focused on the natural beauty of the surrounding, and made sure attention was paid to the natural elements of the surf, beach, sun and moon. We wanted a bohemian, fun, spirited and laid back feel mixed with luxury and elegance.”

bohemian bali wedding0039 Tobey Anne and Andys Bohemian Inspired Bali Wedding

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Guests received favors of maple syrup and cushions, the bride remarking, “The mix and match pillows with fabrics sourced from Bali by Natalie from Paper Diamonds that served also as favors really captured the bohemian feel we wanted. As did the many beautiful decorative items in the villas and on the table settings. The local semi bloomed flowers was a perfect touch to this natural finish (and cost effective!).”

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“Rather than a typical wedding party entry with music and cheering, we chose to do a more personal and intimate entrance. Andy’s mom, a long-time Iyengar yogi who runs her own yoga and wellness centre in Adelaide, organized and lead a beautiful group ceremony with our guests as we arrived for the reception using specially chosen incense from India and group consciousness to set a beautiful positive intention for our life together joined in union.”

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Tobey-Anne remarks, “We wanted a very free and open (and less wedding-like) vibe, so we did not have a wedding party, assigned seating, or a wedding cake. Instead, Andy’s twin brother Chris helped by MCing the night and kept things running smoothly and on time. We served a live station making terang bulan (or sweet martabak), a traditional Indonesia street food that is a chocolate filled pancake dessert, as a snack later in the night for a touch of Bali! And one of our favourite guilty pleasures from Indo.”

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“For a Canadian touch: We brought to Bali and gave to guests local Canadian maple syrup (local to where Tobey grew up in the country 1.5 hours north of Toronto) in 60 mL individual glass containers as wedding favors. For a taste of the bride’s home that also happens to be world award winning, and a sweet treat for the Aussies.”

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Tobey-Anne remembers, “We wanted our wedding to be a party, and a great time for all the guests! I think we achieved that, everyone has remarked how much fun they had at our wedding – and more than half of the guests ended up in the pool party later in the night – including the bride in her wedding dress thrown in by her new brother-in-law! Every wedding should have a pool! ”

Congratulations Tobey-Anne and Andy! Thank you for sharing your day with us! Thank you also to Paper Diamonds and Terralogical for sharing today’s wedding!

Photographer: Terralogical / Wedding Planner & Stylist: Paper Diamonds / Bride’s Dress: Barbra Allin / Bride’s Jewelry: Suzanne Crudden at Flux + Form / Groom’s Attire: Banana Republic / Hairstylist: Yeanne & team / Makeup Artist: Yeanne & team / Flowers & Stationery: Paper Diamonds / Venue: Semara Luxury Villa Resort, Uluwatu / Ceremony Musicians: Local Balinese Rindik organised by Paper Diamonds / DJ: DJ Mistral / Favors: Local Canadian Maple Syrup and handmade Batik pillows cases / Wedding Rings: Suzanne Crudden at Flux + Form

Kathleen and James’ New York Destination Wedding

by | Honeymoons, Inspired Destination Weddings, Inspired Weddings, Location USA

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Polka Dot Bride
1
COMMENT

new york destination wedding0044 Kathleen and James New York Destination Wedding

Kathleen & James

Could there be a more spectacular place for a destination wedding than New York? The Big Apple played host to the destination wedding of Australian couple Kathleen and James who chose Everly Studios  to capture their wedding.

“We met 11 years ago at university through a mutual friend. And we started dating soon after. We shared similar interests from the beginning and picked up hobbies together along the way, from studying design (which is how we met), cycling, muay thai, basketball, running, hiking, cooking and travelling the world. We’ve had a lot of experiences over the years but our favourite has been renovating our home before we finally moved in together in 2012. We did everything from painting the walls, removing the carpets, landscaping the backyard to building the kitchen from IKEA flat packs. James proposed during a hike to Mt Pinatubo (a volcano in the Philippines) with a few of our close family members present.”

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Kathleen chose a gown by Johanna Johnson , explaining, “The gown is by Johanna Johnson called “The Satine”. I had always loved her dresses because of their old world glamour. I picked The Satine dress because I thought it would look timeless. It was the most amazing dress I’ve ever worn and I didn’t want to take it off at the end of the day!”

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Kathleen and James were married at Brooklyn Bridge Park , Kathleen remarking, “We picked Brooklyn Bridge Park because of the amazing backdrop and we are outdoors people.”

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The bouquets were made by the bride’s mum and aunty, Kathleen remembering, “My mother and aunty went to the Chelsea Flower Market at 5am to buy the flowers. My only instructions were the colours to be in the shades of red and to include some greens. I left the rest up to them!”

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Kim Worley performed the marriage ceremony.

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Kathleen remembers, “All of our guests were from out of town, from Sydney, LA, San Diego, Maryland, Chicago and New Jersey. We were so touched that so many people made the trip to celebrate our marriage!”

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The newlyweds made sure to get many iconic New York buildings and food into their wedding photographs!

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Kathleen and James held their reception at ReBar (now closed). Kathleen remembering, “We booked ReBar because of the relaxed informal setting, and we loved the mural in the Low Rider room that we booked.”

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Kathleen notes, “We were going for a “classic” New York / Brooklyn vibe for the wedding. One song that got our guests up and moving was Empire State of Mind –Jay Z was the track of the night! ”

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The bride made the Brooklyn themed cupcake toppers for the “cupcake” wedding cakes which were a decadent red velvet with cream cheese frosting.

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Congratulations Kathleen and James! Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us! Thank you also to Everly Studios for sharing today’s wedding.

Photographer: Everly Studios / Bride’s Dress: Johanna Johnson / Bride’s Shoes: Verali / Groom’s Attire: Pierre Cardin / Bridesmaid Dresses: Forever New / Bridesmaid Dresses: Esther Boutique / Hairstylist: Jackie Schneider / Makeup Artist: Jackie Schneider / Invitations & Stationery: Design & printed by bride / Ceremony Venue: Brooklyn Bridge Park / Ceremony Officiant: Kim Worley / Reception Venue: ReBar / Cake Baker: ReBar / Cake Toppers: Painted by bride / Wedding Rings: Blue Nile

Five Soul Changing Experiences At Eco Beach Broome

by | Destinations, Honeymoons, Location Australia

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Polka Dot Bride
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eco beach experiences Five Soul Changing Experiences At Eco Beach Broome

Is a holiday enough to change your soul? To ignite your spirit? I certainly didn’t think so, but that was before we headed to Eco Beach, an hour from Broome in August, as part of our Expedia Western Australia travels (read my last part here).

This  is not a new story for me, it’s one I shared with our advertisers in the Polka Dot Inner Circle the week I was in Eco Beach, but it is new for me to share it with you. I never really enjoyed holidays, Mr Polka and I have rarely been away since I started the site. Small breaks never felt restful and always resulted in my exasperation – surely holidays were meant to be relaxing? But it was while lying in one of the resort’s hammock pavilions with nothing but the sounds of the sea, Mr Polka beside me, that I realised it could do more than expose me to sights and sounds, it could actually change my life pattern, change my resolutions, change my way of living.

You can read my full review of Eco Beach over on the Expedia blog by clicking here, but today I’m also sharing five soul changing experiences that Eco Beach offers.

Ec beach Hammocks Five Soul Changing Experiences At Eco Beach Broome

So let’s kick off with number one. Hammock time! (You have no idea how much determination it is taking not to break out into lyrics). We were lucky enough to spend a day free at Eco Beach, which in my mind is a brilliant way to really get the feeling and atmosphere of a place. After breakfast, we wandered along the beach (and saw a grand total of two people, which is a another reason I love this place, just how darn quiet it is!).

The resort has hammock pavilions dotted along their private beach and hammocks have to be the best way to laze a day away. After our tasty breakfast and our morning walk we settled into the hammocks. A feeling of not having to be anywhere, the warmth of the sunshine, the fresh air and the crashing waves? That’s a recipe for Ms Polka suddenly going “Oh, I get the relaxation thing now!”. We stayed in those hammocks for what felt like hours. Manager Josie later telling us a group had spent an entire day there the week before, rising only to fetch cocktails and food. When we return to Eco Beach (because it’s a when not an ‘if’) I am staking one of these babies out every single day.

Eco beach Plane Five Soul Changing Experiences At Eco Beach Broome

This teeny airplane marks my second experience which I will never forget. It’s tiny and if you’re like me you may feel slightly terrified, but trust me, this plane it’s smoother than any bigger plane I’ve ever been on. This is just one of the ways of getting to the resort, but it’s also the fastest; the flight is only 15 minutes and in the afternoon glow over Roebuck Bay was truly magical. I felt like I was in the middle of a milky blue gemstone. The bay was still, the sky and sea the same colour, the sun glinting off the water as it set and just four of us flying over the bay. It was exhilarating, peaceful and utterly beautiful. The return flight, which was mid morning was completely different and showed off the turquoise blue waters and bright vivid colours of the landscape, but for me, I will never forget that serene blue and quiet of our debut flight.

Eco Beach Sunset Five Soul Changing Experiences At Eco Beach Broome

I’m counting each sunset we experienced at Eco Beach as a different experience because, they were both completely different. The one above, is looking over the resort’s beach. We’d come up the stairs to the main pavilion (which houses reception, a guest lounge, the infinity pool and restaurant) and caught site of the sherbet colour sky. So we quickly headed down to the beach – our first sighting of just how remote this resort is. The gold sky shimmered off the water, the sky changing minute to minute. Sunsets are magical things, they make you stop and be present, breathing it in and really, what could be more romantic than  a walk along this beach as the sky changes to night?

Eco Beach smoking ceremony Five Soul Changing Experiences At Eco Beach Broome

The “Welcome To My Country” and “Spiritual Sunset” tours at Eco Beach are for me, worth the trip alone. We were met at reception by Traditional Landowner, Dominic Matsumoto. We loaded his esky and climbed into the back of his 4Wd where we set off out of the resort (which is set into a cattle farm -Yarroogarra being the traditional name for Eco Beach). Dom has an openness to him – he requests you ask him anything, including taboo subjects and he will do his best to educate you and help you understand his life and way of living. We were taken to Dominic’s grandmother’s birthplace where we participated in Dom’s interpretation of a welcoming sand ceremony as well as a cleansing smoke ceremony in between many, many stories of Dom’s childhood and the challenges he faces as an adult in western society.

In between it all is a brief lesson on using plants as food and medicine – our group invited to try Dom’s favourite bush lollies and educated about different plants and their uses. I can never do this experience justice when I recount it to others. The smoking ceremony alone is worth booking this tour for, but the entire tour was packed full of learning, education and in the end of a greater understanding of a culture I have not been able to dive into as deeply ever before.

Eco beach Sunset Beach Five Soul Changing Experiences At Eco Beach Broome

My last soul changing experience is almost summed up in the photo above. I can’t believe in some ways that was my view, it’s the sights I see in photo books – that happen to others, not to me.

After we finished up the “Welcome To My Country” tour, we hopped back into Dom’s 4wd and headed to a clifftop which literally gave us a 360 view. I was thinking that in itself was going to be amazing, but then Dom led us like mountain goats (I was inelegant and unsteady, Dom put me to shame as he ambled up and down) to the beach below. Dom lugged down folding chairs which he set up in a row for us and the finishing touch, our ice-cold beverages from his esky.

The water was still, giving off a metallic glow, the clifftops around us literally glowing red and listening to Dom’s stories of his childhood and life, as the sun set, was one of those experiences that was unexpected yet probably the most valuable and interesting of my year. The photos do not capture it’s beauty, my words do not capture the wisdom that Dom imparted, but it remains in my soul and is one I will share with everyone I meet, to encourage them to do the same.

Eco Beach, as you can tell, had a profound effect on me that I am still trying to understand. The sights, the sounds and the feelings that the resort gave me were unforgettable and something I felt so lucky to experience.  So be sure to click over to Expedia and read my full review of Eco Beach Resort, because it really is an undiscovered gem.

The Polkas traveled to Eco Beach courtesy of Expedia and Australia’s North West Tourism.

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