Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Wedding

Monday, 2 February 2009

Today was the big day, the whole reason we were in Bali: Richard and Maiko's wedding. After breakfast and a dip in the pool and lunch, we started getting ready for the ceremony. Juliette's Uncles Robert and Ross, and their wives Carol and Anne arrived about lunchtime, and by 4pm we were all in the foyer waiting for the transport to the wedding resort.

After a half-hour trip through Bali's chaotic traffic (including a truck containing a load of rocks and dirt that had rolled), we arrived at the resort. It had spectacular views from the top of a cliff facing the Indian Ocean. Pools of water surrounded the buildings, and the chapel had a glass end to provide unimpeded views of the sea.

We met Maiko's parents, one of her sisters, and her mother's sisters. Very nice people, and Takahashi-san's English is a lot better than he will admit!

After introductions, and a heavily-flavoured cinnamon drink, we got our first look at the beautiful couple while the photographer took photos. Richard looked very smart in his suit, and Maiko looked absolutely stunning. Once the photographer had finished taking the pre-wedding photos we were taken to the chapel. The altar was covered with flowers - frangipani and another tropical one I don't know the name of. The service was beautiful: simple, short, and very moving; it was conducted in both English and Japanese, with girls in traditional Balinese outfits as attendants, and a four-person choir. In the background was the Indian Ocean, with the setting sun streaming through the gathering clouds. We couldn't take photos or videos during the service, unfortunately, but I think no-one will easily forget it (and there'll always be the official photos).

After the ceremony we all got taken outside and given handfuls of rose petals to throw over the happy couple as they left the chapel...everyone had fun throwing those over them. While the photographer took some final photos of the now married couple --- including family and group photos and photos of the cake (sponge cake with cream and strawberries in the centre) being cut --- we had a few drinks. Then we went and sat down for the wedding feast. The servings were small, but there were lots of courses, every one delicious (even the seafood dishes). Ross, Anne, and I went through a bottle of Chilean pinot noir -- darker, more robust than a Kiwi pinot noir, but still very drinkable.

Everything started to wind up about 10:30. Everyone (except Richard and Maiko) piled into the shuttles and were brought back to the Keraton.

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