A Balinese Jungle Elopement

Vladimir Borodenok

January 29, 2024

After deciding to get married in 2018, Sara and Mark began to plan their wedding in the UK complete with a large guest list, a woodland setting and tipis, festoon lights and a whimsical, autumnal theme. Sadly, their venue went into liquidation so they had to cancel everything and start again. They were going to go to Vegas, but then THAT got cancelled due to COVID so they had to start planning all over again! This time, and after all the stress and two cancellations, they opted to do something entirely different.

“We were hurt when our ‘ideal’ wedding was taken away from us and we thought we’d get off to Vegas, have a shotgun wedding and say a big F-you to the idea of a normal wedding”, Sara told us. “We wanted to think about ourselves, rather than trying to sort another wedding with all the guests involved and trying to please everyone. Then lockdown hit and we had to cancel all over again.”

The inspiration came from their cancelled plans and thinking about what they actually wanted. They had both always hoped to go to Bali one day, so this was the perfect excuse. “We almost lost sight of anything we wanted to do with the wedding until we decided to elope to a place we always wanted to visit and do it properly and do it for us“, Sara continued. “We wanted to be immersed in another culture, with just the two of us, doing exactly the opposite of what is expected and enjoying ourselves.”

The wedding wasn’t without some tradition though. Their ceremony featured a celebrant wearing traditional Balinese clothing and although most people who knew Sara would have expected her to wear something super alternative, she actually wanted to wear a classic, princessy dress. She accessorised it in her own way though, paring it with Dr Marten sandals and a celestial crown.

Sara walked down and aisle to Flightless Bird by Iron & Wine from the Twilight movies and after the ceremony they walked back up the aisle to You’re So Cool by Hans Zimmer. Sara’s vows also ended with her saying ‘You’re so cool, you’re so cool, you’re so cool’. “True Romance has always been ‘our movie’ so to have that little personal touch made it unique to us on the day”, she said.

Another special element was Sara having their cat’s ashes in her wedding ring. “Rem passed away in January 2023 and it might seems a bit morbid on paper, but she was our first pet together, she was there for our entire relationship, losing her was a huge deal, we wanted her with us.”

For Sara and Mark, the best part of their wedding was just the fact it was just about the two of them and they had no one else to please. Sara concluded, “We loved taking in every second of the day as a couple. We love that we chose what we wanted to do and we have that memory exclusively for us and in our minds. We got to do it in an incredible setting and we will forever be thankful for the people who looked after us on the day. We felt so incredibly special.”