A Romantic-Meets-Modern Wedding at Alila Villas Uluwatu in Bali
After seven years together, Joceline Fu was certain she knew her anniversary with James Ngâ€”until they went on a weekend getaway to Daylesford in Melbourne, Australia. "We went out for a nice dinner, and then when we got back to our hotel room, James surprised me with a custom book he'd made with pictures and stories from our relationship," Joceline recalls. "It was so sweet, and I started freaking out that maybe I'd forgotten our anniversary!" But on the last page, James revealed what the book was really about. "It read 'Will you marry me?' with 'Yes,' 'No,' and 'Maybe' check boxes, and when I looked up, he was down on his knees with an engagement ring," she says.
The couple is based in Australia wanted to tie the knot at a destination wedding. After throwing out a few ideas, they recalled an incredible trip to Alila Villas Uluwatu in Bali and decided it was just the place to say "I do." "The resort is so peaceful and relaxing, with amazing hospitality," she says. "And the clifftop views can't be beat!" They worked with Paper Diamonds to plan the destination event, inviting 100 guests to join them on the Indonesian island for a sophisticated celebration. "Having a wedding planner made all the difference, especially because we couldn't tour locations or meet vendors in person," says Joceline. The one vendor they didn't need help finding, though, was photographer Erich McVey. "We've been fans of Erich's work for years, and when we got engaged we knew we had to hire him," the bride reveals. Keep reading to see the stunning photographsâ€”and the romantic poolside reception, below!
"We couldn't wait for our guests to experience the beauty of Alila Uluwatu," says Joceline. "The architecture is so stunning, so we tried to keep our dĂ©cor minimal to let that really shine through."
Upon arrival, guests were welcomed to Bali with hangover kits and personalized notes from the bride and groom.
Joceline and her bridesmaids wore matching white robes to get ready, then her girls changed into sea foam Carla Zampatti dresses in a variety of draped georgette styles. The bride changed into her first of three dresses, a custom couture tulle and lace dress with hand embroidery by MXM Couture. "The designers, Michelle and Margaret, really understood my vision," she says. "They absolutely created my dream dress!" She carried a fragrant bouquet of lily of the valley, and wore Aquazzura heels under the full skirt.
Joceline's father walked her down the aisle to the open-air altar, where James was waiting for her in a double-breasted navy suit by Calder Sartoria. "He and his groomsmen all wore different, coordinated ties," says the bride. The altar was flanked by two oversized installations of lush greenery, dotted with pale pink peonies. After the couple exchanged personalized vows, guests showered the newlyweds in white rose petals.
The flower girls' dresses featured lace bodices and full skirts with 3D hand-stitched floral appliquĂ©s.
"Our reception dĂ©cor was all about layering soft textures," explains the bride. "We focused on small details, like the silk ribbon place cards, thick cotton paper menus, and locally made candles dyed to match our muted blue-gray palette." Gold flatware added a touch of shine, while slabs of marble added height and depth to the centerpieces.
Guests enjoyed the warm Balinese evening as they dined beneath a canopy of string lights. The five-course menu featured a bright salad, locally-caught lobster, and slow-cooked short rib, followed by a dramatic Valrhona chocolate dessert.
The four-tiered wedding cake featured red velvet, lemon, and coconut flavors wrapped in marbled fondant and decorated with pale pink flowers.
After the cake cutting, Jocelineâ€”who changed into an Inbal Dror mermaid gown for dinner and, later, a Chantilly lace Patricia Santos dress for the after-partyâ€”and James surprised their guests with a fireworks display. Says Joceline, "We watched the fireworks together, and just looked at one another and said, 'We did it. Forever starts now!'"