Romance in beautiful Bali
We had lots of debate about where to get married and honeymoon – but we were both certain that we wanted somewhere that was simple, intimate and focused around the meaning of the day. Howard and I had visited Bali the year before and had fallen in love with the beauty of the island and the overwhelming charm of its people. He was clearly bewitched as he proposed to me on the last night of our holiday at the romantic beach restaurant at the Four Seasons Resort Jimbaran Bay.
Wedding planning in paradise
We chose to marry at Amankila in Bali and flew straight there to get settled in rather than stop-off on the way. You need to complete formal paperwork and be resident in Bali for a few days; also gave us the chance to arrange small details with the hotel – wine lists, flowers, check that the iPod worked, buy local gifts for our guests and find some time amongst all of that to relax!!
Gift shopping for the guests
The first day we arrived we spent shopping for gifts for guests. The afternoon was devoted to catching some sunshine and some rays! The next day was full of formalities with visits to the embassy and to Bali weddings to get our wedding application processed. We were very fortunate as the hotel took care of most things. Having booked the day, agreed numbers and finalised menus, everything else could wait until we arrived in Bali. The most time consuming element of the preparation was advising all our guests on travel arrangements and itineraries. Bali is such a diverse destination with so much to offer that everyone wanted to make the most of their time there.
An intimate ceremony
It was an intimate ceremony with 20 family and friends flying out to join us. My niece gave me away and Howard’s best friend was witness, photographer and best man rolled into one. It was an open-air ceremony conducted underneath swathes of Balinese prayer flags by a Christian minister. We used the modern Christian wedding vows. The loveliest surprise was that we were facing our guests throughout the ceremony rather than the traditional UK format where you are facing an altar.
Buddhist temple visit
We stayed at Amankila for a couple of nights to recover and then headed off to Amanjiwo, another luxury resort in Bali, for a bit of culture. We were keen to experience the spirituality of the world’s largest Buddhist temple whilst on our honeymoon and when better to do it then at dawn.
Watching the sunrise from the top of the temple was a deeply moving experience for both of us. Amanjiwo is located in central Java and like all other Aman resorts prides itself on its integration into the local culture. We spent the most spiritual and calming three days of our lives here and were lucky enough to be humbled by experiencing the life of the mountain villagers first hand, to be awed by the spectacle of a trance dance to celebrate the end of Ramadan and to have the rare privilege of taking part in a Buddhist meditation in a local monastery. Three days felt like a week….
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