• Tash Heyder

An interview with Melissa, a Plan A bride.

I still remember meeting these two in Manly, on one of my annual trips to Australia to meet and greet with upcoming clients.

They were relaxed, happy, knew what they wanted but were open to ideas too...perfect clients? I think so.

We put together their vision at the Pandawa Cliff Estate in Uluwatu and the day was filled with family and friends from near and far, traditions were brought in from Melissa's Swedish heritage and nothing was spared with entertainment for their guests. I mean how could it be when you had Lydia and her band entertaining everyone while a custom made five foot giant jengga was being tackled during cocktail hour!

I think my favourite moments of these two's special day was when Melissa's father saw her for the first time in her bridal gown...hard not to get emotional about it. And of course when Nathan pulled through at the eleventh hour from an unlucky and extremely bad case of food poisoning the night before. You'll read more about this below!

Nathan + Melissa | Van Middleton Photography

First of all, how did you guys meet?

We met when we were both backpacking through Europe in 2011. We had a couple of encounters before we got together. We first laid eyes on each other in Croatia when our sailing boats were parking next to each other every night. We didn’t really speak then as we were travelling with our own friends and family, but saw each other again when both lining up for the first day of Oktoberfest in Germany and said hi quickly. After these quick encounters, we really got together in Lagos, Portugal. I was working in a hostel there (The Rising Cock) and Nath came solo to stay for 5 days. It took us a a few days to realise that we had previously met as I was alone and Nath shaved his head after a drunken night out. We ended up spending a lot of time together and he kept extending his stay, until one day he said he wouldn’t leave until he kissed me. We spent 3 blissful weeks together there until Nath had to fly home and I continued travelling. We kept in touch and when we got back to Australia we met up again. With Nath being in Canberra and me in Sydney, it wasn’t too far to go back and forth until we decided to travel together a year and a half later.

Nathan + Melissa | Van Middleton Photography

How did he propose?

We had our first “holiday” together in Bali after years of backpacking. Nath planned on proposing in the first few days in Canggu but we both felt a bit ill that day and the weather wasn’t so nice so he decided to wait. We then moved on to Nusa Lembongan where he was waiting for the right moment but it didn’t happen then. I was trying to book one of the cliff rooms at Mu in Bingin Beach but they were all unavailable, until the day we were arriving there they emailed me and asked if we would like to upgrade to bungalow Isha as it just became available. Nath saw this as a sign and pre-organised with them to have champagne ready on arrival. After a delayed boat trip, long boat ride and an argument with a taxi driver on the way there, we finally arrived into the bliss and I had no idea. Just as the lady left that was showing us around, Nath got down on one knee in front of the cliff drop background and asked me to marry him. This was followed by delicious champagne and such a perfect afternoon.

Nathan + Melissa | Van Middleton Photography

What made you decide on Bali?

We fell in love with Bali after our first visit. We both love travelling and have friends and family from around the world so always wanted to have a destination wedding. After we got engaged in Bali, it felt very fitting. We loved the cliff top views and couldn’t think of anything more perfect.

Do you think having a planner helped? If so, why?

100%! Tash was absolutely amazing and we couldn’t have done any of it with out her. Without one it would be very difficult to communicate with all the different vendors and I am sure much more expensive then having a planner do this for you. We first met Tash on a visit to Sydney and we clicked instantly. We knew that she completely understood our style and we could put all our trust in her hands. All we had to do was show her our pintrest board, and she bought it all to life.

What was the most stressful part of planning your destination wedding? (future brides take note!)

Probably not having total control over everything. I can be a bit of a control freak at times and like to have everything perfect. With not being there, I couldn’t check all the small details but that didn’t matter as we had Tash there who we put our complete trust in and day turned out way better than we could have ever imagined.

Nathan + Melissa | Van Middleton Photography

What was your happiest moment?

I really can’t say a moment as the whole day/night was just incredible. Nath and I made sure to spend lots of time with everyone in the lead up to the big day so we could spend lots of time together at the wedding (as we hardly saw each other at the engagement party). We had so much fun dancing the night away to Lydia Rose and the band and loved all the speeches.

If you could change anything would you? If so what and why?

I think the day actually went really perfect. I can’t think of anything we would have changed. Other than that Nath was quite sick in the morning which I didn’t know about, but not sure how we could have helped that. I would have bought WAY less alcohol for the recovery party the next day. For some reason I thought 20 bottles of vodka was a good idea. Everyone was so hungover that we only got through 2 haha. But it was a great time!

Nathan + Melissa | Van Middleton Photography

What was your experience like working with Plan A?

Tash was amazing. We clicked straight away and put all of our trust into her for styling, etc. She made the wedding even better than we could have imagined. We had online meetings with other planners and we just didn’t get the same vibes from there. We knew Tash would make our day incredible. When Nath was sick during the night before, he messaged Tash for help at 3 or 4 in the morning and when he woke up, there was a doctor and drip beside him. This definitely saved him and our whole wedding day. Tash was excellent and we would definitely recommend her to any Bali bride.

Any recommendations or tips for future brides?

Don’t stress about the small details and make sure you find a planner that you can put all of your trust into and see eye to eye with. If you are thinking about getting a band, definitely do it. Not just any band but Lydia Rose with DJ set and band. They were the highlight of the night and everyone had the best time dancing along with them. Keep in mind it is humid in Bali, so get a lightweight dress and consider this for the boys too. Drink lots of water in the day and encourage guests to do the same – we had 3 guests faint at our wedding. Have FUN!

Nathan + Melissa | Van Middleton Photography


Venue: Pandawa Cliff Estate

Photography: Van Middleton Photography

Videography: Leura Films

Florist + Lighting : Bali Tropical Florist

Catering + Bar: Lumbung Catering

Band: Lydia Rose

Furniture: Heaven Furniture Rental

Cake: Butter Bali

Hair + Makeup: Glo Day Spa

Dancefloor: Alpatra Productions

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