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Tropical Backyard Revelry

— Josh & Stephanie


14 April 2015


57 people


Joseph Willis

Stephanie & Joshua by Joseph Willis
Stephanie & Joshua by Joseph Willis

A classic yet casually charming ceremony nestled on the emerald green clifftops of the Indian Ocean. 

Stephanie and Joshua's backyard wedding was spent dancing the night away under a spectacular fairy lit canopy neighboring the peach and blush hues of a Balinese sunset. Capturing the essence of a romantic escape to one of our favourite tropical destinations was photographer Joseph Willis. 

NAMES: Stephanie Willatt and Joshua Willatt 

WEDDING DATE: 14th of April 2015


HOW WE MET: We met at the classic location of a nightclub, he used to be a bartender. We met a few times and started hanging out. I wasn’t interested in having a boyfriend at that stage, but Josh did not give up. He asked me out many times over a 7-month period. Finally all of my friends told me to give him a chance so I did. 

OUR ENGAGEMENT STORY:We planned a little getaway to Bali. I had no idea what Josh was planning.. At that stage we had been together for 7 years. I always thought to myself it will happen when it happens!  We were staying at the beautiful Ayana Resort in Uluwatu, and on the second night Josh booked me in to get my nails done (which I thought was odd!) so as I was about to leave he said we have dinner at 6pm and a butler will be picking us up, which was a bit weird also. I just went with it at that stage, I honestly thought he was just doing something nice for me and didn’t think it was a proposal plan!

On the night we were all ready to leave for dinner, the butler was late and Josh started to stress out a little, I told him it was all-good! He finally arrived and we went on our way through the resort and ended up at a private garden with a beautiful table for two, little candles all over the lawn and an amazing view! Then I guess I kind of knew what was happening so i just went with it and didn’t ask any questions. We had a seven-course meal, and just before dessert the large Balinese wooden doors opened and in came an Indonesian band singing one of our songs we love. Josh was very nervous but I just couldn’t stop smiling, after the song finished Josh got down on one knee and proposed, I was so surprised and excited I accidentally said ‘does it fit?’ about the ring. He then said ‘Are you going to say yes?’ and of course without hesitation I started laughing and crying and to YES to the love of my life!

MARRIAGE TO US MEANS: We believe marriage shouldn’t change anything in your relationship; it is about compromise and enjoying everyday life together. We have been together for a long time and have always known we would get married but wanted to wait until we knew we had enough money to have the wedding of our dreams. 

WEDDING LOCATION: We had wanted to get married at an overseas location. We chose Bali because we always loved our holidays there and also that is where we got engaged. We went to a friends wedding in May 2014 and went on a hunt to find the perfect location. We looked at a fair few locations and as soon as I walked into the Pandawa Cliff Estate I knew it was going to be the one. There were a few other more modern beautiful locations but the feeling we got when we were at Pandawa it felt so comfortable and homely with a Balinese feel to it.Pandawa cliff estate is made up of three large amazing villas. We decided we wanted our reception and ceremony separate so decided to get 2 villas being Villa Rose and Villa Pala. Villa Rose is where we had the ceremony and Villa Pala was the reception. 

THEME/STYLE: We wanted a simple theme of white, green and timber. We didn’t want a lot of decorations as the villas had a beautiful backyard. We chose the table settings and decorations quite quickly and my wedding planner had set up a mock table for us to see few months earlier and it was perfect!

PHOTOGRAPHY: Joey Willis was our photographer for the wedding, with the help of Tane Meiring. We have known these two for a while and always loved their photography skills. Both Joey and Tane made our day a breeze and were like our mini wedding planners as well helping throughout the day! Joey knows what looks good, he would give us direction and snap away and move onto the next location. There are so many beautifully spontaneous photos as well which brings back so many memories of our day. Our favourite photos would have to be the ones in the white rocks. 

(Interview continued beneath photo gallery)

BRIDE’S DRESS: This was surprisingly an easy process for me. I didn’t step foot into one bridal shop. I knew the simple style I wanted and decided to get it made. I contacted Casey Tanswell Designs and she made all my wedding dress plan dreams come true. We worked together on what I wanted and she designed the whole dress for me. I went with a beautiful French beaded lace from New York. Casey also made my beautiful veil with pieces of the wedding dress lace hand sewn on to it.  It was all such a breeze; Casey is such a pleasure to work with and made the process comfortable and easy. She is a beautiful person and has such amazing design skills and attention to detail. 

BRIDE'S SHOES:This one was a bit of hard one to begin with, then I came across Grace Loves Lace and went with their Dosa Heels.  They were a light tan colour, with fine straps and a point at the toe area for a little point of difference. They were comfortable, simple and I would definitely wear them again. 

BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: Ialways knew I wanted Zimmermann dresses, you cant go wrong with Zimmermann. I did want something a little different so I decided to choose two styles being the silk plunge dress and the silk tuck dress in pearl silk crepe de chine. My bridesmaids adored these dresses and they all looked absolutely beautiful. 

BRIDESMAID’S SHOES: This proved to be a little tougher, I did want all of my bridesmaid's to wear the same shoe. Luckily one of my bridesmaid's came across some simple light beige heels on the Iconic. Which looked perfect with the Zimmermann dresses. 

FLOWERGIRLS/PAGEBOY OUTFITS: We had a pageboy, Josh’s nephew Mason. He is one and as his dad was the first groomsman all he had to do was run to dad. He wore a cute little white button up shirt and baby navy chinos from Zara and shoes were from Country road. 

WEDDING RINGS: Josh proposed with a 18ct white gold diamond ring, which i handcrafted myself. For our wedding bands I chose a 5-diamond 18ct white gold and Josh went with a simple white gold band, both by Le Gassick Diamonds.

JEWELLERY / ACCESSORIES: We chose simple accessories with a gold and pearl theme. I wore pearl earrings and a pearl pinky ring from Amber Sceats. 

GROOMSMEN ATTIRE: Josh loves his suits so he wanted all of his groomsmen in sharp suits. He decided to go with MJ Bale tailored suits in navy and a white shirt. The bow tie and shoes were from ASOS, the belt was from Country Road. Also for a little bit of colour and good luck they all wore happy socks!

HAIR: I was happy doing my hair myself as I know how I like it and didn’t want an extravagant style. I just waved my hair with a curling iron. As it was really hot I did have to re-curl it three times!

MAKEUP:  My make up was fresh and not too heavy. Being such a humid holiday location I didn’t want to wear a lot of make up because I knew it wouldn’t stay on for that long! Also, I didn’t want to look too different to what I normally wear on a daily basis. We used Bobbi Brown and Napoleon.

STATIONERY/INVITATIONS: Save the date cards I did myself in a simple watercolor look. Wedding invitations I used an online wedding stationery company in America, which was a very simple process and looked great. We also purchased a white leather bound journal from St Barts to use as our guest book. Thank you cards were made by Kimberly Smith Design and I wrapped the card and two group photo’s from the wedding up in cream chiffon. 

FLOWERS & BOUQUETS: I chose white flowers with greenery. I feel you can’t go wrong with those colour’s and they went perfectly with our relaxed theme. 

PREPARATION: My mum, bridesmaids and I stayed on location the night before. We got up early the day of wedding and had a lovely breakfast in the villa in our robes. We then got ready in the main bedroom of Villa Pala. 

CEREMONY DÉCOR/ RECEPTION DÉCOR:  Our theme colours were white, green and timber. The ceremony setting was simple and chic. I walked out of Villa Rose backyard and down the flower petal aisle, the arch was timber with a beautiful floral arrangement on one corner. We used Bentwood chairs and had small fans and umbrellas on guests chairs if they needed to cool down. For the reception I decided on rectangular tables and Bentwood chairs in a dark timber. The location very much speaks for itself, I wanted the wedding to not look to busy, just simple and beautiful. On the tables were beautiful floral arrangements, traditional white plates and beautiful gold cutlery. As we had ala Carte dining and the selection of food was by the wooden tables. We had a stunning fairy light marquee over the reception area, which lit up the yard. 

WEDDING PLANNER/ WEDDING STYLIST:  It was a very easy and simple process as our wedding planner had everything under control. Which made it a lot easy as it was at an overseas location. I told her exactly what I wanted and she planned everything perfectly. She was there the entire day of the wedding. 

CAKE: I went for the ‘Naked Cake’ look and had a simple vanilla. It was such a yummy cake from a bakery in Canguu. They added fresh and colourful local flowers on the top, and then had two miniature styles of the main cake beside it.

WEDDING SONGS: We walked down the isle to ‘Higher Love’ by James Vincent McMorrow. We walked into the reception to ‘Sun goes down’ by Robin Schulz. First dance song was ‘Halo’ a cover by Jasmine Thompson, followed by ‘Jubel’ by Klingande to get the party started.

ENTERTAINMENT: After the ceremony we had a guitarist by the name of Athron. During the reception a resident DJ from Kudeta provided music for the rest of the evening.  

DECOR: Bali Event Hire

FOOD & BEVERAGES: All guests were greeted with a cool towel and mocktail on arrival. After the ceremony our eight-hour unlimited cocktails and beer started. The cocktails of choice were strawberry caprioska and lime mojito’s. 

TRANSPORT: We all stayed on location for 3 nights except for the groom and groomsen stayed in Seminyak the night before the wedding. We hired 3 small buses to collect the guests from Seminyak and also to take them home. 

HONEYMOON: After all of the wedding fun and guests went back to Australia, we stayed in Bali for another 2 weeks to have our honeymoon and then went to Singapore on the way home for a few nights. We stayed at some amazing places in these few weeks, stand outs being the Muilia in Nusa Dua, Anantara in Uluwatu and Marina Bay sands in Singapore. 

GIFT REGISTRY: As we had an overseas location we did not want to ask for any gifts as they already had to get to Bali. We were lucky enough to still receive some beautiful gifts from our friends and family. 

CELEBRANT: We used a celebrant our wedding planner provided. He was from Bali and was fantastic. 

ANY OTHER SPECIAL DETAILS: The day and night after the wedding was also very special to us. Our families stayed on location with us and the next day we had some family time and went to the beach. We came back to villa that afternoon to find the staff had set up a family table in the back yard for dinner. They put up lanterns and had our beautiful wedding flowers on the table. We had a lovely family dinner and reminisced about the wedding and all shared our favourite moments of the day. It was just so special the Estate staff went to so much effort to make our last night just as memorable as our wedding. 

SOURCES OF INSPIRATION:  Most of my inspiration came from online. I mostly would envision something and then look it up online on wedding websites or pinterest’s. And of course The LANE provided me with much needed help! 

A MEMORABLE MOMENT:  When we were location hunting and walked into Pandawa estate, we both got the feeling it was the one. It is just so exciting the feeling you get when you find the perfect location for your wedding day!

ONE THING I WISH I KNEW BEFORE I STARTED MY WEDDING PLANS…That there are so many little things you need to think about and organise!

IF I COULD GIVE OTHER BRIDES TO BE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE… Don’t hesitate on something you really want for your wedding day. On the day you will thank yourself for doing those small things. It's such a special memorable day and you don’t want to say to yourself, I wish i did that. It's once in a lifetime!


PHOTOGRAPHY:  Joseph Willis

BRIDE'S DRESSCasey Tanswell

BRIDE’S SHOESGrace Loves Lace






JEWELLERY & ACCESSORIESSamantha Wills,  Amber Sceats

MAKEUP: Lisa Danielle

STATIONERY/INVITATIONSWedding Paper DivasKimberly Smith


WEDDING VENUE: Pandawa Cliff Estate

HONEMOON DESTINATION: The Mulia, AnantaraMarina Bay Sands


DECOR: Bali Event Hire

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