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Tatiana & Nikita

There is nothing quite like the waterfalls and rice paddies of Bali, and it seems today’s newlyweds,  Tatiana & Nikita agree. The pair decided to elope to the Asian hotspot. Using the talents of Yanushka Photo and WedBali to both capture their day, and bring their vision to life, the pair spent the day amongst beautiful Balinese backdrops, tying the knot in front of the beautiful Tibumana Waterfall.

The pair met at university, the groom spotting his future wife, and pursuing her until she said yes. He popped the question one night at home, Tatiana reminiscing  “One January evening he went out for “mail”, and returned with a huge bouquet. Nikita dropped to one on one knee, opened the ring box and very seriously said: “will you be my wife?” Not a question, not a statement.;) I knew long ago that I would say  “yes!”. And just as seriously said, “I will!” The whole evening was enjoyed by news of the engagement, we were so very happy.”

Tatiana wore a gown she had custom made, sharing “The outfit was sewn just a week before departure. I knew everything would turn out, and it did!  The dress was incomparable. For me always important correctly selected fabric and convenience, the highlight was the emerging plumes falling from the shoulders. ”

The couple chose Tibumana Waterfall in Bali for their vows, the vibe remembering “When I saw it, my heart fell in love with this place. It’s really magical, so fresh, peaceful. A chance to be alone on such an important day. It wasn’t hot at all, (which was important when your husband decides to wear a three-piece suit).”

Tatiana and Nikita enlisted the help of Balimoon Wedding to create a stunning floral arch for their ceremony, “I had so much confidence in Alice that we didn’t discuss much of this at all. I just wanted a lot of fresh flowers against the waterfall.”

Of their photographer, the bride remembers “We are so lucky with the photographer, this is the moment we knew we were in the right hands. Insanely cool professional and person. We had great communication and as a result, such clever photos.”

Enlisting their wedding planners WedBali to help the couple indulged in a candlelit dinner for two to celebrate their marriage.

Congratulations on your marriage Nikita and Tatiana! Thank you for sharing your beautiful day with us! Thank you also to Yanushka Photo and WedBali for sharing today’s wedding!

Credits

This post features the following wedding vendors. If you've been featured below, we'd love to get to know you. Click here to join Polka Dot Bride.

  • Bride's Dress
  • Custom
  • Groom's Attire
  • Custom
  • Venue
  • Tibumana Bali
Polka Dot Honeymoons Directory Mid Banner

Image by Peppermint Photography via Emily & Clint’s Intimate Queensland Destination Wedding

For those that are currently planning or have previously planned a wedding, you know that there are so many moving parts in the process leading up to your big day. The same can be said for a destination wedding, but getting married abroad or on a secluded island comes with a few notorious obstacles that couples with a local wedding wouldn’t normally encounter. Your destination wedding is still sure to be one of the most incredible experiences of your life, and having to plan from afar doesn’t always have to make things difficult; it’s all about being prepared!

That being said, jumping over every décor and coordination hurdle is an amazing accomplishment. However, there are a few things to be very mindful of in terms of travel protection that many destination wedding couples often overlook in a rush to get to their dream locale.

Image by Peppermint Photography via Emily & Clint’s Intimate Queensland Destination Wedding

Lost items

Perhaps every couple’s nightmare – the items that could get lost in travel. Unfortunately, this can happen to anyone, yet rarely (but surely), it does. Ultimately, one of the best things you can do to prevent this is to check with your airline well before your flight to see what kind of packing regulations they have, or if they have special services that allow you to safely store your gown or other key wedding attire in the cabin with you. It’s also important to plan out the number of checked bags you’ll need ahead of time, rather than risking miscommunication at the ticket counter on the day of your flight by adding on extras.

As another alternate idea, consider spreading out any important items amongst the wedding party for them to pack in their suitcases, that way you aren’t traveling with a ton of luggage between you and your partner! It’s always the safest scenario to carry on anything that’s absolutely not worth losing.

Image by Maria Shiriaeva Photography via Melinda & Andrew’s Puri Dajuma Bali Destination Wedding

Travel document must-haves

While it goes without saying that you should be vigilant about taking your passport when traveling internationally, you’d be surprised at just how many couples forget to check the expiration date before booking their trip. Many destinations require your passport to not expire within six months of travel, so try to renew yours well in advance to avoid any hiccups on the day you leave. Plus, that way you’ll also have it taken care of for your honeymoon if you choose to have one.

Regardless of where your destination wedding locale is on the map, every area has their own rules for securing a marriage license. If choosing to have a legal ceremony abroad, research the laws well and enlist a destination wedding expert if necessary – you wouldn’t want to be caught without the proper paperwork! Note that many countries also have a few stipulations such as: medical examinations (including X-rays and blood work), license fees, and even required stays of three days or more ahead of the ceremony itself. Have a checklist in place for these items, including scheduling on-site doctor appointments, visiting the town hall, or even booking an extension for your hotel/resort stay.

Image by Elephant Can Fly via Amelia & David’s Romantic Tropical Phuket Destination Wedding

Accommodation

Believe it or not, some couples don’t always arrive prepared when it comes to travelling to their destination. First, it’s vital to bring confirmation vouchers with you at check-in, and know what you’re walking into when it comes to your venue setup. We recommend arriving at least two to three days prior to your wedding day to ensure everything is in place, and your on-site wedding coordinator will greatly appreciate it as well! This is the perfect cushion of time for a final walkthrough, especially if you’re planning to bring a few DIY décor pieces to add to the ceremony or reception space. You’ll be happy to have the extra time to get accustomed to the property layout.

Trip Protection Insurance

Although you may be banking on enjoying sunny skies throughout your stay and more importantly, on your actual wedding day, the truth of the matter is that even tropical locales can succumb to inclement weather. Beyond having a plan B venue location at your resort, it’s important to consider flight delays or cancellations occurring in the rare case of hurricanes, government travel warnings, etc. Travel insurance may also protect you from illness, lost luggage and more, so it’s a key factor to secure when booking your travel arrangements.

The last thing you’ll want to deal with on the week of your wedding is a travel snafu. Don’t let a marriage license restriction or forgotten passport stand in the way of one of the most important days of your life!

About the contributor: Jen Avey is the Vice President of Marketing at DestinationWeddings.com, the world’s leading destination wedding and romantic travel planning company. DestinationWeddings.com has worked with nearly 25,000 couples and half a million guests to plan dream destination weddings. Note: this post is authored by wedding enthusiast Ariana Teachey, wedding PR specialist at OFD Consulting, on behalf of Jen Avey.

About the author: Wedding enthusiast Ariana Teachey is a wedding PR specialist at OFD Consulting. When she’s not seeking out the latest trends, or pouring over client weddings, you can find her hoarding fall scented candles and all the pumpkins.

As we dive headfirst into celebrating all things green this month, we couldn’t stop at the wedding! If you’re making eco-conscious choices, as far as we’re concerned, it should definitely translate to your honeymoon. With many hours of research under our belts, it turns out we’ve discovered that you needn’t give up your dream of a luxurious holiday with palm trees and cocktails, because there are some very amazingly talented people out there who have managed to figure out a way for you to have both. Today? We’re offering up seven of our favourites for your own “going green” honeymoon of a lifetime!

Turtle Island, Fiji

Dreaming of a tropical honeymoon full of blue seas and palm trees? Meet Turtle Island. The beautiful Fijian resort, as their name suggests, has a particular focus on turtles. The resort working with the World Wildlife Fund to run their own “Turtle Preserve” a program where local fishermen bring turtles to the resort, and the team tag them and release them into the wild.

In keeping with their good for nature vibes, the resort also makes sure its footprint is gentle. They have an enormous field of solar panels to make their power, they grow their food in an onsite garden they’ve planted and a forest of trees they’ve cultivated. All of it adding up to a resort that ticks all the boxes to be Green Globe-certified.

Oh, and eco-friendly doesn’t have to mean lack of luxury! The island has ten private beaches to service the fourteen villas, each filled with locally crafted decor pieces from Fijian artisans and up-cycled materials. The guest list is kept small and the food, activities and experience are all designed to immerse you in a truly self-sustainable resort experience.

Lapa Rios Lodge, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
For lovers of the jungle, Lapa Rios Lodge, has to be on your list. This beautiful lodge sits in, and protects one of South America’s last remaining rainforests. Which means everything they do adds, not removes from Mother Nature. From organic cleaning products to solar-powered heating. We’re particularly loving their “no-plastic policy” which has eliminated all use of one-time use plastic at the lodge – including plastic straws.
Lapa Rios Lodge has just seventeen beautiful bungalows each with their own private deck, outdoor rain shower and, of course, organic toiletries. It makes total sense to be in the treetops while saving the earth!

The Brando, French Polynesia

Off to French Polynesia next with The Brando resort. Set on its own private island and its own private atoll, this is the place to book for that honeymoon of crystal blue waters and pure white sandy beaches.

There are 35 villas, each with air conditioning powered by local seawater and electricity by solar panels. That’s just the beginning of how this resort has gone “green”. They make their own honey (and use it in cocktails!) and have their own garden, which produces fresh fruit and vegetables used by the kitchen. They use coconut oil biofuel and are working towards the goal of becoming completely carbon neutral. It even has it’s own eco-station, drawing researchers in to learn about the hotel and it’s surrounding vegetation!

And just like any other great resort, it’s packed with amenity – an infinity pool, in-room dining, plenty of restaurants to fill your belly and of course a day spa for those honeymoon massages.

Bambu Indah, Indonesia

We’re off to everyone’s favourite quick trip now with the sustainable resort Bambu Indah in Indonesia. Located just outside of Ubud, the resort features seventeen “houses” and a multitude of glamping tents, each with their own unique, individual style. “Copper House”, the honeymoon favourite, includes, aptly, it’s own copper bath, butler and an incredible view. Also a favourite? The open air “moon house” which is quite literally like sleeping with the trees.

This resort is truly eco-friendly – not only do they do all the usual e.g. solar power and filtered water; they also work on lesser known features like controlling their light pollution, controlling their waste and controlling the chemicals they use – right down to their insect repellent. Their restaurant uses their own organically grown produce and includes plenty of vegan and vegetarian options.

The rooms, mostly built from antique, restored bridal huts are akin to tree houses. The stunning green natural pools exclusive to hotel guests complementing the state of jungle bliss.

Nihi Sumba, Indonesia

We couldn’t make this list without including Indonesia’s Nihi Sumba. The clifftop island resort is one of those places you go expecting to lose your breath – and you’d be within your rights. It’s all about luxury here. Each of the 27 villas, featuring decadent, oversize baths, lush canopy beds, their own plunge pools and all the mod cons you’d expect. There are enormous houses with ‘bigger than my entire house’ suites, and smaller, secluded villas deep within the resort’s gardens.

But let’s talk all things “green”. Nihi Sumba produces its own biofuel made from coconut oil (from its own on-site factory). There’s a garden, supplying the resort’s produce, water recycling and even a turtle hatchery for the local wildlife. And every single villa? Built with sustainable materials! They also focus on their own home – using profits from the resort, to work with their local villages to fulfil basic needs – clean water, education and restoring the island’s own culture.

Soneva Kiri, Thailand

Next on the list, is Thailand, with the luxurious Soneva Kiri. The resort, set right on the beach offers 36 villas built from sustainable materials, each with their own plunge pools and personal buggies (electric, of course!). The experience stays directly on the luxury vibe. There’s an outdoor movie theatre for romantic sessions under the stars, and their own observatory, for a better look at all things celestial. There’s an exclusive waterfall, scuba diving, sunset cruises, dining in the island’s own treetop pod – the list is unbeatable.

And while the luxury is seemingly never-ending, the resort (and it’s sister Soneva Fushi in the Maldives) have a program, the “Soneva Change makers” a team appointed to make sure the resort aligns to keeping their mission of being Mother Nature’s caretakers seriously. The resorts charge an environmental levy (just 2%) to not only invest in their environmental effect reduction but to also invest in their environmental programs – part of this levy even goes to offsetting your own carbon emissions from your travel to get there. There’s solar power, composting, filtration ponds, on-site vegetable gardens and it’s just the beginning of the initiatives undertaken.

Trash becomes treasure throughout the resort as the team works to include up-cycled decor alongside their luxury fittings. There’s a consideration for even the smallest, but significant detail – like the way the food comes packaged to the island.

Song Saa Resort, Cambodia

Over to glorious Cambodia now with ethical resort Song Saa. This Cambodian beauty makes the most of its natural setting, offering up stunning views from every corner of every room. Whether you’re high in the jungle, or in the overwater bungalows, there are just 24 villas and each is decked out with an outdoor shower, and private infinity pool.

And while all of that is wonderful for your honeymoon, it’s the work of the Song Saa Collective, and it’s a mission to achieve the  UN’s Sustainable Development Goals that are of real interest here. Guests are not just pampered here, they’re encouraged to be a part of the mission, to join in and volunteer to make a difference. And it starts with the basic – twice daily trash pickups, and plastic recovery missions, Something you can even join in as you head out for a romantic kayak, as the team arm you with your own bag to fill. There’s a solar farm, a marine reserve, locally grown and sourced produce (right down to the wildlife-friendly rice served up) The decor? Up-cycled and recycled whenever possible.

Song Saa guests are even encouraged to take part in “Pack For A Purpose”, packing suitcases with school supplies or medical equipment supplies that are then delivered to help local school children with their studies and locals to receive basic medical attention. If you’re struggling to find a way to combine your dream for a luxe honeymoon, with your mission to change the world, Song Saa may just be what you’re looking for.