It's true that love transcends all boundaries, including culture. Coming from very distinctive parts of the world, Ben and Sheetal overcame all differences in their union. Sheetal has Indian roots, was born in South Africa, raised in New Zealand, and worked in Japan. Ben, on the other hand, is part English and part Indonesian. The two met in Japan during Ben's world travel and spent the next 5 years travelling together, before Ben finally proposed in the beautiful sunset of Anse Lazio in Seychelles.
Having an Indonesian heritage, the two embraced both their differences and similarities and had an Indian wedding ceremony in the tropical Bali. Sheetal wore a gold colored sari while Ben looked dapper in a suit, creating a fantastic image immersed in the very beautiful venue. The night was memorable, and is a perfect homage to their love and relationship. Take a look at their pictures and read their wedding planning story as told by the bride.
A story from the bride:
A travel bag and a weathered passport are essentials for the Smarts and it was our love of travel and passion for adventure that brought us together. As such, it was only fitting that a destination wedding was in our future. With family dotted around the globe, it was difficult to narrow down a continent, never mind a city. With family rooted from Indonesia, what better place to begin our life as Mr and Mrs than the island paradise synonymous with love and beauty. Having a traditional Indian ceremony was important to me, but I wanted it to be romantic as well. Aware of the challenges ahead, I was determined to plan the wedding by myself. Countless hours poring over venues and tearing pages from glossy wedding magazines, I came across Taman Bhagawan in Bali. It was the perfect venue: the stunning Rama Shinta shrine, which was very old-world Indonesia, juxtaposed against the beautiful beach. I let the backdrop be the focal point, and focused on simple, yet romantic accents and lighting. Next was the daunting task of planning not one, but five days of events. The five-day celebration featured welcome drinks, afternoon tea & Mehendi, a Hurdee ceremony (a purification ritual for the bride and groom) one day before the wedding, the wedding day and finally the relaxation day after the wedding at The Semara Villa Uluwatu.
Weddings and more especially Indian weddings, can be a little overwhelming, so our focus was to ensure that the day represented us. From the invitations that featured our journey together, Japan, London and Bali, to the little things like wearing my late grandmother's bangles and sari brooch to the traditional Balinese dancer— it was about us and our family. I kept away from the typical, heavily decorated mandap and rather had the guests focus on the ceremony and the beautiful backdrop of the ocean. As every bride will say, it all went too fast but I can truly say it was the best day of our lives. Nothing really matters in the end, except for being surrounded by people you love.