The offbeat bride: Joyz
Her offbeat partner: Yoichi
Date and location of wedding: Alila Villas Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia — July 23, 2011
What made our wedding offbeat: Nobody gave me away. Instead, I walked down the aisle together with Yoichi. It symbolized the fact that I'm my own woman and not anyone else's property, and that Yoichi and I mutually decided to enter the new stage of our lives, and from then on, walk through our lives together. We also cut our cake with a 30-pound sword.
It was more of an art showcase/dinner theater production than a wedding. All of our guests were constantly surrounded by the 75 dancers, body builders, stilt walkers (in studded leather thongs), and actors who stayed in their characters for the whole duration of the party.
We were very much a part of the entertainment as well, which was comprised of a two-hour musical (which I wrote and directed) and fire show which we co-produced with James and Deva Harris from Orange Production Bali.
Tell us about the ceremony: Instead of entering the reception area with flower girls, bridesmaids, groomsmen, and family members, we were accompanied by eight tall and muscular men in black suits who pretended to be our bodyguards. The Christian/religious ceremony was done inside of the hotel's wine room. We also had a non-traditional Chinese tea ceremony and served the tea in shot glasses. A group of traditional Irish fiddlers were playing Irish folk music in the background.
Our biggest challenge: We planned the wedding ourselves without the help of event organizers, from across the globe. The wedding was in Bali and we finalized the plan from Los Angeles. We relied on emails, Blackberry Messenger, and Skype. The 15-hour time difference was problematic at times.
We kept our plan a secret from our families, especially from the conservative and traditional (Chinese) paternal side of my family, because we feared that they would have interfered with our plans or gotten angry at us. I wasn't sure they would love the idea of performers in studded leather thongs, topless body builders, heavy metal and stomp music, the fact that the Christian ceremony was performed in a wine-tasting room, the black ribbon on the chairs, and my vegan-leather corset dress.
They thought that I did not take the wedding planning seriously and decided to remedy it. We had to straighten everything up with the vendors and explain what we actually wanted. Since it was a multicultural wedding, we had to accommodate each side of our family's wishes and traditions while trying to create an event we could enjoy and proudly present as well.
We wanted the stilt walkers and the Bali dancers (who served canape during the cocktail party) to look like they were walking on clouds for the duration of the party. We could not find an appropriate smoke machine and enough dry ice to create the effect. We ended up using a different ambiance effect instead.
We also wanted to borrow mannequins and dress them in the outfit we wore during the religious and tea ceremony and put them in a fake gondola at the hotel's swimming pool and on the hotel's roof. We couldn't find any so we had to accept it and do without.
My favorite moment: The moment Yoichi uttered his wedding vows. The earnest way he said it, and his brightly shining eyes, brought tears to my eyes as well.
Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? It turned out that the guests (even the elderly and the conservative ones) did not really mind the topless body builders and the stilt walkers in studded leather thongs. They even took copious pictures with them.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photography: Moreno Photography, Ricky & Co., and Tandy, the bride's co-worker
- Dresses: Etsy seller Glamtastik
- Fabric bouquet, brides' veil, and fascinator: Etsy seller Hapitat
- Food: Bali Catering Company
Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!