{#GREYGETSAGROOM WEDDING SERIES}: THE RECEPTION

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As a little girl, I’ve always known to want my wedding next to the ocean, only with a handful of people who matter most.

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We chose to take a break after the cliff ceremony to give our guests the chance to cool off from Bali’s hot weather.  The three hour break gave them a chance to relax, take a dip, have lunch and bond together as a new family and even nap (which was what I personally opted for — the best decision I made on my wedding day).

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The reception welcomed our guests into Karma Kandara’s shores right at sunset. Descending 250 ft. down to the beach area, everyone was greeted with refreshments, live music by Four Shades, a popular band in Bali who frequents the Rock Bar in Uluwatu, and hands on activities made by my bridesmaids for everyone to partake in.

Guests were able to write their bucket lists for Varick and I, love letters and advices for us to read and remember forever, and Film cameras for everyone to snap the night away!

If it’s something I learned while planning and designing my destination wedding, it’s the art of delegation. Destination weddings are nothing like local ones. With this type of festivity, everyone has a role, even my 5 year old niece. Guests were solely chosen carefully because the bride and groom know they could count on these individuals. So expect to help out and carry weight for the big day as this destination weddings are usually and mostly hands on. With that being said, my bridesmaids partook in creating “the bucket list”, “The love letter basket”, and “the polaroid corner”. Ladies, if you are a bride-to-be, do not be afraid to delegate because you cannot and should not do everything by yourselves especially in a wedding such as a destination one.

Varick and I decided to hide out back while everyone was enjoying the cocktail hour and enjoy each other even for a few minutes. It was worth everything. Another advice I want to give you is, try to be together for the most part of the day so you can experience everything together and not have separate experiences from the event.  You’ll want to remember your wedding day as spent together and not separately.

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I was always sure I wanted to have the ceremony and reception to be outdoors and right on a beach during sunset. We had everyone go into the party shoeless and laid back.

Our dining setting was set right on the ground, with large throws, throw pillows, woven mats and blankets. We asked our florist, lighting specialist and decorator Chrystina Theosa CEO of COSA Designs to deck the space out with a shipwreck in mind. She layered soft linens over the low wooden tables, spread candles, gold lanterns, salvaged wood branches, seashells, Silver dusty millers, Bunny tails and Eucalyptus throughout every setting and draped the most beautiful lighting over the entire space, like stars subtly twinkling overhead.

Our bridal table was the star of the show. I wanted a teepee because no one is ever too old to have one. COSA Designs used 12 foot tree branches to recreate a real life teepee for us. Draping lighting overhead, flowers to match the guest tables and tons of soft silk and linen pieces to keep the modern day shipwreck theme in mind.

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I was in complete awe entering the venue and seeing all our months of madness and planning come to life!

We wanted to bring our guests to a place foreign enough they’ve never been to and immerse them into its culture past the wedding. And so we decided to serve only Indonesian food and local drinks, Peruse local artists and artisans to partake in our wedding, help businesses like Creme de la creme Bali for our stunning naked cake and sweets, local balinese dancers to showcase solemnity and entertainment for those new to the culture and our little nieces and nephews.

The first dance was the funniest because, I don’t dance. We couldn’t stop laughing and were so giddy that we couldn’t even focus as the band played Perfect by Ed Sheeran.

One of my favorite parts of the evening, was my dance with my dad. I’ve always been a daddy’s girl, whether I showed it enough or not. Whether I expressed it enough or not for my dad to know. He is the first and will always be the very first man I love and model all men to be.

The rest of the night was a blur. By now you must know, after reading all my other posts from the wedding series, that I took this moment in my life to be my most selfish one yet, as it should be for all brides. So unlike any other bride, I ate. I ate the food we selected and enjoyed a lot of it. I did not bother being graceful and feminine. I did not mind how I ate or acted or if I was yet to still fit my dress afterwards. Then, I drank. I drank a lot. I danced and danced and danced. I’m so glad my dress was able to transform into a shorter piece thanks to Galia Lahav. A short dress for the party was the way to go!

We also didn’t forget to stop by everyone in their tables. Though this part is usually dreaded by the couple as it takes so much time, Varick and I loved this part first, because we wanted to take the few minutes to personally thank and hug every single one of our friends and family for coming out halfway across the world and be with us for this one special night. Second, it didn’t feel like a chore because we only had about 50, hand picked guests who each played a huge role in our lives individually and as a couple. There were no “extra” guests. No “pitty” invites. Everyone was there for a reason and for love, as your wedding should.

Our night ended with fireworks dancing across the shores of the Indian ocean as we hugged and sang and celebrated.

We planned our wedding with our friend, Kevi. Once in Public Relations, she helped us put together our weddings designs with the right vendors in Bali. She was a huge asset to us with helping handle communication and coordination with all our vendors overseas, which with the time difference and language barrier would have made me into a monstrous bridezilla. After our wedding, Kevi was inspired to perhaps do this for more couples looking to bring their own wedding designs to life!

If you missed any of my Wedding Series posts: The Day ofThe Ceremony, The Dress

UP NEXT, THE WEDDING SERIES FINALE, where you get to feel our love story and watch me walk down the aisle.