Today’s Bali wedding takes your breath away, thanks in major part to the images beautifully captured by Marcus from Studio Impressions. The other major contributor is a seamless blend of modern details paired with a tropical backdrop so beautiful, and a Bride and Groom with smiles as big as I’ve ever seen.
Tanya and Alek, originally from San Francisco, live in New York and chose a new and, quite honestly, astonishing Bali resort called Alila Villas Soori for their wedding destination. Their guests travelled from all around the world for this outrageously stylish wedding, and frankly, why wouldn’t you?
I love so many voguish details about this wedding: Tanya’s incredible bridal style, the fact that all the couple’s guests were dressed in white, and that for the ceremony, instead of using rows of chairs, they used comfy couches and ottomans. So intimate, and such a beautiful scene.
As well as an Indonesian wedding being featured for the first time on STG today, we’re also doing something we’ve never done before, and that’s hearing about the wedding from both Tanya the bride and also Marcus, the photographer…
LIKE SOMETHING OUT OF A FILM…
Marcus, the photographer: Tanya and Alek’s beach wedding ceremony celebrated Jewish tradition and their reception at the Alila Villas Soori was sophisticated, intimate and casual. Simplicity at it’s best.
We’ve seen it on the movies, but you just don’t think it actually happens. Well it does. Just before the ceremony, the Best Man gets the ring out and drops it…..losing it between the floor boards of the deck, with no opening to retrieve it. Now this is why I think the service at this resort was so great. Before I knew it, a staff member was there, boards were up and ring found. Disaster averted. I really have to hand it to Tanya. During the entire lost ring scenario, she was so calm, and even had a laugh about it. I think the relieved look on the Best Man’s face says it all though!
HOW WE MET
Tanya the bride: Alek and I met while shopping for New Year’s presents on a Christmas sale in San Francisco. Perhaps this requires an explanation – we don’t celebrate Christmas, but like all immigrants from the former Soviet Union, we have a strong tradition of celebrating the New Year, which to an uninitiated observer can look awfully like Christmas – at least the presents-under-the-tree part.
When we met, there probably wasn’t a single thing we had in common: Alek was a nerdy kid, wise beyond his years, with thick-framed glasses (way before thick-framed glasses became all the rage) and a substantial Jew-fro.
I was a teen glamour junkie, dressed beyond my years and hiding behind a protective layer of make-up. I didn’t think it would go anywhere, but Alek was wiser then to let me make that decision. Hey, maybe behind our armours we weren’t that different after all!
It was a dark and stormy night. Our sailboat TA-NA-NA, moored of the coast of the Cooper Island, was swaying recklessly in the waves of the Caribbean Sea. Earlier in the evening, foreseeing what might be ahead, Alek took our dingy to shore to stock up on food for dinner. The island next to which we moored had only a restaurant, so he asked the kitchen for a couple of raw steaks and some salt. Eating in the restaurant that evening would mean taking our dingy back to the boat in the dark, and that didn’t seem like a good idea in light of the looming storm.
Around eight o’clock I got cooking. Frying steaks is simple enough. I had two skillets heating up on two swaying burners. If you’ve ever seen a boat kitchen, the stove is actually designed to swing a bit, so a skilful cook could compensate for the position of the boat and keep pots and pens more or less steady. Still, some safeguards were due. I wrapped a beach towel around myself and put on closed-toe shoes.
In the meantime, Alek was handling the wine. Wrapping one hand around two tumblers, he managed two clean pours and stowed the bottle into its holder inside the table. With a free hand, he flicked the switches on the electric tea candles that were dancing on the table. It was eerily romantic…
While the steaks were resting on a plate, Alek picked up his glass with the left hand and was attempting to say something, while fumbling in his pocket with the right. Before any words could even escape his lips, the right hand was holding an open box with a beautifully delicate ring nestled inside it. I thought to myself — “After eleven years, you couldn’t have found a more memorable night then tonight.
WHY WE CHOSE BALI
We wanted to have a special intimate celebration on the beach. The lawn at Alila offered a spectacular setting for the ceremony and really dramatic views of the sunset that were just what Marcus and his entourage of equipment-bearers needed to unleash the potential of all the fancy gadgetry they had in their possession.
We asked our guests to wear white to emphasise the light and breezy feeling on the beach, and instead of rows of chairs, we used comfy couches and ottomans for the guests to lounge on during the ceremony and the cocktail hour.
The fact that so many of our friends and family traveled for well over twenty hours to be with us meant a great deal to us.
Konstantin Kraz, a good friend of ours, officiated the ceremony and led the guests in singing the nigunim, (humming tunes). Without question, reading our personalised vows during the ceremony was the most special part of our day.
My dress was a Christos chiffon strapless gown. Alek and I picked the gown from thousands of images on theknot.com. Then it was only a matter of finding the one.
OUR PHENOMENAL PHOTOGRAPHER
We searched the world and decided on Marcus of Studio Impressions and flew him over from Australia. We loved how he documented the pre-ceremony interactions of the bridal party, the emotion of the groom with his parents, and the glamour of bride and groom portraits in the spa.
After the ceremony, the sunset shots with cliffs that he took are just jaw-dropping gorgeous. During the ceremony, some of our favourite shots are of the two of us walking the symbolic circles around each other — the vibe of the moment was perfectly captured, if not enhanced by the photographs.
Throughout every image, there’s a wonderful feeling of lightness and playfulness.
A COMBINATION CAKE!
We asked Ashton, the Executive Chief at Alila, to come up with a desert that would combine two flavours from our mums’ favourite desserts: meringue from my mum’s Kiev Cake and lemon from Alek’s mum’s Anke Cake. The resulting Hazelnut Mouse with Lemon Core and Meringue was sensational!
We Robinson Crusoe-ed around the Gili Islands. Having just one beach or one island would not have been enough for the fidgety groom, so the archipelago was perfect in this sense; it gave us something to discover and plenty of R&R.
We actually overstayed by a day but were so relaxed that we didn’t even sweat it once we realised it!
WE’D LIKE TO THANK…
Our parents — Regina & Gregory and Regina & Alex, for trusting that this day would one day come, our bridal party — Anna, Mark, Alina & Slav — for their emotional support and for organising very memorable bachelor/ette’s parties, Konstantin – our officiant for bravely taking on the responsibility and shlepping his guitar half-way around the world, all our guests for making very long journeys, just to make sure that it really was going to happen, Devina – our coordinator at Alila for minding all the big and small details of the event, Teezar & Ashton for putting together an incredible feast, our butler (shamefully, do not remember her name) for making our stay an easy and comfortable one and for so skillfully offering to iron the shirt, the carpenter! …we shall not forget the carpenter, for without him the Best Man would be grief-stricken and guilt-ridden for days to come!
TANYA + ALEK’S LITTLE WHITE BOOK
Photographer — Studio Impressions
Venue — Alila Villas Soori
Bride’s Dress — Christos
Bride’s Shoes — Chie Mihara
Bride’s Earrings — Anzie clear topaz teardrops
Groom’s attire — Armani Colezioni
Hair + Make Up — Didin Makeover
Happiness and supreme style in the great wilds of Bali – that about sums up this gorgeous w-day! Thank you to the à¼ber-glamorous Tanya and Alek for sharing their wedding celebrations with us, and to Studio Impressions for forever capturing all of this fabulousness.