10 October 2012

An International Wedding

Four days ago we had the honour and privilege of attending our friends' wedding on Bintan Island, Indonesia.  Lindsay and Marc are South African born New-Zealanders residing in Singapore.  Their major challenge was orchestrating an international wedding with guests from Singapore, Europe, NZ, Australia and South Africa.

Finding a central location for the travellers cum guests placed Indonesia somewhere smack in the middle.  With 27 provinces within Indonesia, Bintan Island was a logical choice for many reasons.  Guests arriving in Singapore a few days prior to the wedding minimised accommodation costs by staying with the couple.  The Singaporean expats had a short ferry ride across the Strait of Singapore reducing travel time and potential difficulty in taking time off work on working days (most of us ferried across on Friday).  The location is stunning with lengthy sandy beaches, swimmable seas, numerous dining options and several activities available from karaoke, nightclubbing, golfing to kids club and even archery.

My guess though is that a beach desired wedding made the island a perfect place to create that beachy atmosphere.  Many a discussion ensued prior to the wedding between the girls as to what was deemed appropriate as a beach wedding apparel and the bride was sure drilled plenty on her hen's night.  Short dress or long dress, how formal vs beach casual, bathers on or off, heels or not.  Needless to say all guests looked fabulously beachy along with the wedding party who had a dash of formality.  The apparel all round was perfect and looked very comfortable.  The groom's party wore a casual white shirt with black board-like shorts.  All the boys looked right at home with their gear.  The bridesmaids each wore their own choice of dress, whilst the bride looked delightful in a Diane Von Furstenberg inspired short wrap dress in a champagne colour and bare feet.

The boys.

The bride's subtle and natural make-up was beautifully executed by a guest, whilst the beachy flowy long hair had a portion braided and captured at the rear by another guest.  The photographer was a Singaporean import and we look forward to his collection of snaps.

My daughter's highlight of the weekend on Bintan was the wedding and her very honoured role as a flower girl, alongside another little girl.  A gorgeous combination of pink tops and champagne coloured skirts completed the picture.  The couple are dearly adored by both little girls and in some ways adopted as surrogate aunt and uncle given that all our extended families are somewhere abroad from Singapore.

The flower girls.
Whilst the legal marital binding was completed in Singapore the wedding ceremony on Bintan was conducted by a close family friend.  Appearing on her father's arm, Lindsay was a gorgeous vision of youth and happiness with a beaming Marc looking on.  The wedding ceremony was a recital of beautiful words by the wedding party and wonderful promises from the bride and groom.

The beaming father and daughter.
Exchanging vows.
Sealing it with a kiss.

With an earlier downpour and an ongoing threat of further rain the preferred beach wedding was relocated to the beach facing villa complete with its own pool.  The reception tables were moved indoors and reset whilst the buffet tables were lined around the covered verandah's balcony.  The wedding cake was a surprise gift which according to one of the guests required some serious aesthetic salvaging, turning it from a birthday-looking cake to an actual wedding cake.  The artiste in charge of salvaging did an amazing job of it and whilst the cake was supposed to be white instead of cream, in the end it was a great colour as it matched the bride's dress (by the next day there wasn't a morsel left of this cake, it was so good).

Beautiful Zuzana putting the finishing touches on the cake.

A third of the expansive buffet on the verandah.

The gorgeously set reception room in the villa.

The buffet dinner was spectacular with a wide range of dishes and enough food to feed an army, which covered many of us the next day for lunch.  My favorite was the BBQ prawns.  Following speeches by parents, siblings and friends, my 4 years old daughter did her own mini-speech with a little help from mum thanking the couple for inviting her to be a flower girl on their special day; everyone for coming to this wonderful occasion; and reminding them of the fun times she has with them in the condo pool.  I was a very proud mama hearing her voice carry across the room filled with confidence.

Trini making her speech.

From here it was party time.  Starting off with a yummy wedding cake, followed by the bridal "waltz" which was an awesome up-beat Ceroc routine, onto dancing, the limbo and swimming.

Cake cutting.
Ceroc-ing away.
Our forever adventurous girl.
An enormous amount of photos were taken to capture this memorable occasion.  We alone had 800 photos to choose from which my husband did a terrific job of culling down to about 100.

We wish the couple a wonderful journey through their married life and we thank them from the bottom of our hearts for making us a part of this celebration.