“I only went out that night as something inside told me I’d meet my husband”
After meeting gorgeous Emily in our Canggu warehouse, we just knew that her wedding was going to be spectacular! Emily had every wonderful detail under control from the welcome Pina Coladas to a special rose ceremony for her and Blakes mothers, to a super fun photobooth and late night Chocolate Fountain for anyone with the munchies. It wasn’t love at first sight for Emily but Blake won her over and his Valentines Day Proposal was so romantic, Emily says she was a ‘goner’..
This story is super gorgeous… Enjoy!
Bride: Emily Murfin
Groom: Blake Riley
Resides in: Sydney, Australia
Wedding Date: 8 September 2016
Tell us, how did you meet? Was it Love at first sight?
We met in a pub in Sydney. Blake was on day two of his brother’s stag do and I was out with some girlfriends. Already a few drinks deep, Blake spent half the night topless and swinging his shirt over his head! I only went out that night as something inside told me that I’d meet my husband, but it’s fair to say that it certainly wasn’t love at first sight from my end!
What about the engagement story? Can you give us a snapshot?
Two years ago, Blake planned a Valentine’s Day picnic at Milk Beach. It’s my favourite beach in Sydney as it has a gorgeous view of Sydney Harbour.
The sun was shining, the booze was plentiful and a nearby boat was pumping out great tunes. I thought we should call some friends to come and join us but Blake reminded me that it was Valentine’s Day, so perhaps we could hang out just the two of us?! He proposed soon after on one knee with the ring in one hand and a book in the other that said ‘Reasons why I want to spend the rest of my life with you’. I was a goner.
So you decided to become Mr & Mrs… Why Bali?
I’m from the UK. Sydney isn’t the cheapest place to get married, plus it’s an expensive travel destination for friends and family. I had a few ‘must haves’…the sun, a view of the ocean and a big pimped up villa. Blake suggested Bali offered all of the above, so we took off on a four day recce. We found Villa Kalyani in Canggu for our pre-wedding party and The Istana in Uluwatu for the actual wedding. They couldn’t have been more perfect!
How did you choose your Bali wedding planner? What was her/his Super Power?
I found Bali Exclusive Wedding online. It was a challenge deciding who to go with but they seemed very organised and sent me a rough budget straight away, so I took a punt and it paid off. Having them go through the finer details when we got to Bali and coordinate the day was invaluable. Our wedding planner, Tia, was absolutely adorable.
Did you have a theme for the wedding? And was it a late night Pinterest obsession?!
Unofficially, we opted for a beach chic décor style with a modern twist. And yes, I spent way too many hours trawling Pinterest!
How involved were you in the creative process?
We were extremely involved. Blake and I pretty much planned and designed the entire wedding. My job in television is similar to that of a wedding planner, reliant on great organisation and the ability to manage a budget, so I found it came quite naturally to me. I did realise during the process that I’m a bit of a control freak though!
Blake and I aren’t traditional in any way. Our main priority was to make it a fun but sentimental ceremony. My uncle, the celebrant, kept the tone lighthearted. We included a rose ceremony for our mothers, to show our love and gratitude for everything they’ve done for us. One of my best friend’s, Lizzie Jenkins, who couldn’t make the wedding, adapted ‘Yes, I’ll Marry You’ by Pam Ayres into a hilarious poem about us. It allowed us to laugh with each other about our relationship. We hired a photobooth through Bali Snapz Photobooth, which captured some gorgeous moments and our guests loved. The Bali Fire Dancers performed a jaw-dropping 10 minute performance while our guests ate.
Did you sit down for a formal dinner or party the night away with canapés and cocktails?
We started an hour of canapés and cocktails, with pina coladas served in coconuts straight after the ceremony. I fought hard with Blake to get them over the line but they went down a treat! Rather than have a sit down meal, furniture from the lovely Bali Event Hire was dotted around the grounds of the villa so guests could mingle. It looked stunning! Amazing Bali Catering set up a delicious buffet style Indonesian / Balinese dinner and a live sushi stall. We then had a late night satay stall to help mop up the booze. Instead of a wedding cake, ABC set up a white chocolate fountain served with strawberries, marshmallows and donuts. Yum!
Tell us about your music. Did you have a special song to walk down the aisle to?
‘A Thousand Years’ by Christina Perri played while I walked down the aisle. We signed our paperwork to Stevie Wonder, ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered’. Jessica Prince, from Australia’s Dancing with The Stars, taught us our first dance to one of my favourite dance tracks, ‘Show Me Love’ by Robin S (Matvey Emerson remix).
The incredible acoustic band, Traffic Blues, performed for a few hours after our ceremony and DJ Arshad rocked the dance floor late into the evening. Our friends are still talking about the music.
What was the most challenging aspect about planning a destination wedding?
If I wasn’t a perfectionist, it wouldn’t have been so difficult. I found not being able to meet some of the suppliers and see the venue until a week before the wedding, incredibly challenging. I dread to think how many hours I’ve spent on email and looking at photos, wondering if it’d all come together as I imagined!
Did you get to spend much time with your guests who travelled for your wedding? Did you host a day after party or a night before welcome dinner?
We held a pre-wedding party at our villa in Canggu days before the wedding, in the hope that most people would have met and mingled by the big day. I learnt to DJ for this party because I didn’t have enough on my to do list leading up to the wedding! The night after the wedding, for those that were still standing, joined us for an informal get together and drinks at El Kabron in Uluwatu.
Talk to us about your hair and make up. Who was your muse?
One of my best friend’s is a very talented Sydney makeup artist, Nicola Johnson. Besides playing the role of a bridesmaid, she also did my hair and makeup. It’s so important to feel your best on your wedding day and she certainly made me feel like a million dollars.
Tell us about your D R E S S ?
Ah the dress! I found a dress in a sample sale soon after I got engaged but it never felt right. When my Mum expressed her disappointment in not being able to be there when I found my wedding dress (she lives overseas), I booked some appointments whilst she was in Sydney for Christmas. We found the perfect Jack Sullivan dress in Instyle Bridal in Sydney. It was sexy but also sophisticated. I fell in love with it on the spot.
What was THE most memorable part of your big day?
That’s a tough one as there are so many. I’d have to share two…
The first was having my Dad walk me down the aisle. In the year leading up to our wedding, it was touch and go as to whether he would make my big day. Having him by my side is something I’ll cherish forever.
The second was when Blake and I took a step back to witness all our friends and family having an absolute ball, and realised that all the hours of planning and making painstaking decisions was worth it.
If there was one piece of advice you could give a Bali bride planning their big day, what would it be?
Without a doubt, budget to go to Bali twice before your wedding. It’s incredibly hard planning it all over the phone and by email. Having said that, if you’re not a control freak like me, you can leave it all up to your wedding planner to organise so you can sit back and relax!
Any other big news since your wedding?
No major news. I’m no spring chicken so we’re trying for a baby, but there are no sounds of the pitter-patter of little feet just yet!
Cocktails or Bintangs? Cocktails for sure!
Wedges, heels or Flats? Heels with a pair of flats in the bag
Suntan. Fake it or bake it? Bake it
Hotel people watching or Villa alone time? Villa but with friends
Nails. Nude or bold? Bold
Sand between your toes or poolside fab? Poolside fab
Nalu Bowl & Green Juice or Eggs & Coffee? Eggs & coffee – Sydney has the best coffee so I’ve become a coffee snob!
Sunrise or Sunset? Sunrise followed by a swim in the ocean
Bikini or One piece? Bikini
Favourite Instagram account? I rarely go on Instagram so I couldn’t say
Wedding Planner: Bali Exclusive Wedding
Venue: The Istana
Florist: Florette Bali
Photographer: Ferry Tjoe Photography
Caterer: Amazing Bali Catering
Furniture Rentals: Bali Event Hire
Hair & Make up: Nicola Johnson
Sound and Lighting: c/oBali Exclusive Wedding
Bridal Dress: “Sophie” by Jack Sullivan from Instyle Bridal
Bridal Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Jewellery: Bride La Boheme headpiece & Carat London earrings
Bridesmaid dress: ASOS
Grooms Suit: Calvin Klein from The Gentlemens Club
Stationary: We designed our own
Celebrant: Andrew Murfin
Band: Traffic Blues
DJ: DJ Arshad
Photobooth: Bali Snapz Photobooth
Entertainment: Bali Fire Dancers