Real Wedding – Calista & Christopher, Bali Indonesia
If you think planning one wedding day is enough of a workload, spare a thought for the dream duo that is Calista and Chris, who marked the occasion of becoming married with two equally beautiful and elegant celebrations.
Throwing their dream day in a place close to their hearts – Bali, and also a traditional wedding day in Jakarta (for 2,000 guests!), Calista and Chris took it all in their stride, after all, when it comes to loving one another, nothing is too hard.
Elegance in simplicity was their overarching vision, and two dream-like destinations, two incredible wedding outfits and two people very much in love – their wedding celebrations are the perfect ode to their journey.
See how it all unfolded here, as documented by Iluminen.
We first met through some common friends in Sydney. We were both working back then. We have a lot of common friends and we only met after our seventh year of living in Sydney.
It was the question that I asked my friends who’ve gotten married before me a lot. At first I didn’t quite understand the process until I felt it myself . It was something that you had to feel it with your heart and you knew when you felt it. As a couple, we just clicked on so many levels. We also shared the same values, goals and principles in life. After four years we became best friends and we just knew we wanted to commit and moved on to the next level in our relationship.
Chris is a very spontaneous guy. He didn’t have a plan to propose on a specific date and had bought the ring way before. He bought the ring in early 2018 and proposal happened August 2018. When I decided to go back for good to Jakarta from Sydney, he knew that I had made the big leap of faith and that he was going to propose.
The proposal happened in one of our all time favourite places, Bali. We went on an impromptu getaway with a few friends and he brought the ring along just in case the right moment came up. He kept bringing the ring in his laptop bag and I was a bit sceptical, but he said he needed to work. Then when we were at Finn’s Beach Club with the sun setting, he decided that it was the right time and he got on one knee to propose in front of our beloved friends under the fairy lights. It was magical.
We always wanted a small, intimate outdoor wedding as a couple and Bali is a place that is close to our hearts. We came to Bali quite often for holidays, attended several Bali weddings and we also got engaged in Bali. We also feel that the Bali wedding vibe is different to a ballroom wedding.
We almost gave up on the idea of Bali wedding because we also have to do a Ballroom Wedding in Jakarta for the parents and the bigger family. However, we decided to give Bali a chance by just doing some venue inspections. When we came to the first venue, things just changed and we decided that we have to have a Bali wedding for our own memories to keep. We’re so glad we did.
Bali preparation was fun and easier since we only catered for 110 guests, the only complicated thing was to find the right local vendors, communications were via phone / WhatsApp and we had to make time to go to Bali for final checks. Jakarta planning was quite hectic as it was for 2,000 guests and we had to involve our parents on certain decisions. We learnt a lot through this wedding preparation journey and it has actually made us stronger as a couple.
The theme/style was elegance in simplicity. I’ve always liked everything that’s simple and not too much. As I believe that beauty comes in simplicity and it’s timeless / classic. That’s also what I want for my wedding. I did some research on Instagram and Pinterest to get inspired. I’m also a flower lover so I’m focusing on flowers for decoration and natural colours such as cream, taupe and a touch of coral blush.
I’m a very simple person and in terms of gown shapes, I always wanted a very simple Column dress for Bali and A-Line gown for Jakarta. Finding the right designer was quite a journey because I did my research mostly through Instagram and most of the designs that I liked for Bali were overseas designers. Then, I came across Sapto Djojokartiko, an emerging Indonesian designer whose designs are very simple yet sophisticated and he also incorporates Indonesian culture in his designs. I went to his fashion show and fell in love with the creations and decided to use his design for my Bali wedding.
For the Jakarta wedding, as it was a ballroom wedding, I needed a bigger dress to match the venue but I don’t like a too big of a dress like Princess ballgowns. I’ve tried different shapes to actually find the right dress shape for me. As for designers, I always loved Elie Saab and wanted to try his gowns. So I found a wedding gown boutique in Singapore that carried his line and the moment I tried one of his dresses, it just felt right. I tried other dresses as well but just kept coming back to Elie Saab. His material, attention to detail and light-weight dress just had me at hello.
For our Bali wedding ceremony, I will never forget the moment when my Dad walked me down the aisle – it was surreal. I’m pretty particular with music so I picked ‘Alleluia by Alejandro Consolacion ii’ as the background music and it really set up the whole mood.
My Dad was smiling proudly greeting the guests not knowing that I was already bursting in tears behind the veil. It was beautiful and magical.
For our Jakarta wedding reception, it was an unforgettable moment when my brother and I did a duet of Celine Dion’s “The Prayer” song. We’ve always loved singing and had performed together in the past but that moment was special because it was my wedding day and we were surrounded by our loved ones.
Meaning of marriage.
Marriage means the union of two people who decided to start a journey together in life. Marriage is more than just the celebrations itself but what happens after the ceremony and celebrations matter most. It is scary yet exciting at the same time. It is a step forward in adulthood that we took very seriously. We also wanted to make sure that we were ready mentally, physically and financially before we decided to get married. It is a big commitment to make.
Aisle: Alleluia by Alejandro Consolacion ii
Reception entry: Come and Get Your Love by Redbone
First dance: Wedding Song by Mathew Mole
Funny stories (or near disasters).
Reception was epic! Started of with an opening speech from Christopher’s dad highlighting the uniqueness of second born children – in fact that Chris and I both second born child and we’re both unique in our own ways. Everyone agreed to the fun facts.
Also, there was a moment where MC Arief asked us three things that we love the most about our partners. Then I was a bit panicked then I answered I love his personality, juicy lips and his heart. That ‘juicy lips’ caught all guests’ attention and everyone still remembers it until now.
The after party was also crazy. Our friends love to dance. Some of them were dancing in front of the misty fan, sandwiched the bride and groom. It was so much fun!
I think the amount of details that you need to organise a wedding took me by surprise. How you need to choose colour palette for your wedding décor, family outfits, bridesmaids and groomsmen, etc. There are a lot of details and thinking that goes into it. However, it will be a lot easier when you know what you want as a couple, take advices but don’t tend to drift away from what you really are and don’t tend to follow the trends because trends come and go.
Words of wisdom.
Do your research on each and every vendor and know what you’re trying to achieve. Know your budget and stick with it. Always be honest and communicate with your partner and vendors. Be realistic. Try to connect / meet with your photographer / videographer to break the ice. Always remember to have fun on the day because it’s going to be amazing!
Wedding planning is a long, tiring process that you needed to go through as a couple but I see it as a good exercise to strengthen your relationship with your loved ones. Make sure to enjoy the process, you’ll get in to conflicts here and there but remind yourself that the end goal is what happens after all the celebrations – the marriage life itself. You’ll learn more about yourself and each other more, how to tolerate and have healthy arguments. Most of all, don’t worry to much and make sure you have a lot of fun during the Day!
PART I, JAKARTA.
PART II, BALI
Dreaming of a destination wedding? Be sure to read all about Anh-Thy and Michael’s blissful Balinese celebration.
CALISTA & CHRIS’ TRIBE
Venue, Planner, Decor, Catering: Tirtha Uluwatu
Make-up: Sita Makeup
Hair: Rosa Hairdo
Bride’s matrimony dress: Sapto Djojokartiko
Bride’s matrimony shoes: Chanel
Bride’s after-party dress: Marchesa
Bride’s after-party shoes: Badgley Mischka
Bride’s accessories: Jennifer Behr
Bride’s nails: Dandelion
Groom’s suit: Agus Lim
Groom’s shoes: Aquila
Stationery: Solitaire Invitation
Favours: INSPIRA Roasters
Wedding planner: Santa Hardja
Venue: Raffles Hotel, Jakarta
Robe: Ginger Olive
Bride’s shoes: Stuart Weitzman
Bride’s Cheongsam: Chenmeylinda
Groom’s suit and Cheongsam: Agus Lim
MC: Daddo Parus
Cake: IVOIRE cake design
Entertainment: Archipelagio Music
Stationery: Solitaire Invitation
Dessert conveyor belt: Supra dynamics
Favours: INSPIRA Roasters