When surfing is a big part of your relationship, you throw a destination wedding in Bali, Indonesia, overlooking one of the island’s most famed surfing spots. Lauren Law, a marketing manager at a creative agency, and Matthew Fawcett, who works in sports marketing, invited 60 friends and family to join them on three weeks of fun in Bali, including their wedding celebration at a private villa.
“The entire wedding was laid back and casual, but also felt very intimate, meaningful, and full of love, which is exactly how we are as a couple,” Lauren says.
The pair, who met in college at California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo, California, have long been fans of surfing. In fact, Matthew popped the question on their annual surfing trip with friends. When it came time to pick a wedding venue, the California-based couple decided on Bali. It would feel like a vacation—neither of them had ever been there—and they’d have some of the world’s best surf. As an added bonus, the villa, near Uluwatu, overlooked Impossibles, a left-breaking wave, and a coincidence for Matthew, who surfs goofy-footed. (Left-hand point breaks are better for goofy-footed surfers.) “He was stoked,” Lauren says of finding their venue.
Though there were stressful moments planning a destination wedding across the Pacific Ocean, Lauren advises to relax and enjoy the process. “It’s not all about this one day; it’s about the rest of your lives together,” she says. “Your relationship matters more than any small detail.”
Read on for all the details of Lauren and Matthew’s tropical wedding in Bali, planned by Sasha Barbara Newbold at Vara Wedding and photographed by Aimee Silver.
“We always knew we wanted to have a destination wedding,” says the bride. Ultimately, the couple decided on Bali because it "checked all of the boxes.” “We also knew we wanted it to be somewhere tropical with good surf," she continues. "Villa Pemutih was an absolutely stunning property. The grounds were beautiful and luxe, but still had that lowkey tropical Bali feel.”
Before the wedding, the couple threw a welcome party with their 60 guests. Everyone wore white and sipped drinks next to the beach.
“The actual wedding part wasn’t too bad, but we planned the entire three-week trip, which took a lot of time and energy,” Lauren says of organizing a getaway for their entire guest list. She relied on Sasha Barbara Newbold of Vara Wedding to help her get a sense of all-things Bali. “A wedding planner was a must,” she adds.
“Try to plan your wedding in a place everyone wants to travel to,” Lauren says of their guest list (who all appeared to really enjoy being in Bali!).
One of the couple’s favorite memories was writing their own vows. “They were filled with stories, unforgettable moments, comedy, and promises to each other for our future together,” Lauren says.
Lauren got ready with her three bridesmaids—and bubbles—the morning of the wedding. Her mother joined them too.
I would have bet anyone a million dollars that I would not wear a strapless dress, and yet, that’s exactly what I wore.
Lauren absolutely loved her blush-hued, strapless Watters gown that featured floral cut-outs and lace. “I would have bet anyone a million dollars that I would not wear a strapless dress, and yet, that’s exactly what I wore,” she adds.
She paired her gown with a cathedral-length veil—"Why not?!" she says—and her everyday jewelry. Her bouquet included imported white roses, white Matthiola, white delphinium, dusty miller and eucalyptus leaves.
Matthew wore a slim-fit, blue linen suit from H&M. Along with his groomsmen in sand-colored linen suits, he sported white sneakers, his go-to look.
“I wanted to make sure the bridesmaid dresses were not your typical bridesmaid dress,” Lauren says of the Petal and Pup peach dresses.
“We wanted a really intimate setting that was filled with tropical leaves and flowers,” Lauren says of the destination.
The couple’s dear friend Taylor Ehrlich officiated the wedding. “He had such a great balance of genuineness and comedy, making everyone laugh and cry at the same time,” Lauren says.
Lauren’s typical greeting is “Oh, hello. Let’s party.” So the couple used that on the bar that welcomed guests to Villa Pemutih, where they held the ceremony and reception.
The ceremony took place on the villa’s lawn overlooking the surf break. Using a tropical Bali chic theme, the altar was warped in large palm fronds, and guests sat in bamboo chairs with traditional fans. Customary Balinese umbrellas anchored the ceremony space as did rattan lanterns hanging from the trees.
Matthew had his own grand entrance to Frank Sinatra’s “Come Fly With Me.”
“Seeing him react to my song choice made me immediately start crying,” Lauren says of walking down the aisle with her father to Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” her father’s favorite song.
The couple exchanged personalized vows during the ceremony.
Lauren and Matthew wanted the wedding to be full of greenery and white flowers, including orchids. The arch was covered in monstera leaves and dangling orchids.
Our vows were filled with stories, unforgettable moments, comedy, and promises to each other for our future together.
“Our vows were filled with stories, unforgettable moments, comedy, and promises to each other for our future together,” Lauren says of their vows.
As the newlyweds exited the ceremony, guests tossed white flowers from cones hanging from all the chairs.
After the ceremony, the couple climbed down to the beach for a private photoshoot as guests transitioned to cocktail hour.
Lauren added a white flower crown to her look for the photos.
Lauren, Matthew, and their guests all waved to the camera for a group shot. After a few weeks together for the festivities, they say they all felt like "one giant family."
The seating chart listed guest names in alphabetical order rather than by table number.
The reception took place by the villa’s pool. The couple’s planning team covered the pool in floating candles and hung bistro lights and wooden pendant lights above the dance floor for a romantic vibe. Guests sat at wooden tables filled with monstera leaves and orchids for a robust dinner that included both Balinese classics and American favorites.
Each table featured low arrangements of palm leaves and white flowers as well as gold-rimmed plates and gold flatware.
The newlyweds sat at chairs adorned with “Mr.” and “Mrs.” signs and garlands of greenery and flowers.
The couple put a lot of time into the song list for a local DJ that heavily featured house music and classic rock. Their first dance song was Vance Joy’s “I’m With You,” and the couple’s friend gave a surprise performance of Lady Gaga’s “Shallow.” One thing they didn't hear at the wedding? “Our one request was that we never hear a Bruno Mars song,” Lauren adds with a laugh.
Lauren and Matthew cut into a two-tier, vanilla and raspberry cake adorned with white orchids. After, Lauren led the party into the pool, one of their favorite memories of the day. “The entire wedding was exactly how we are as a couple,” she adds.
Venue Villa Pemutih
Planner Sasha Barbara Newbold of Vara Wedding
Officiant Taylor Ehrlich
Bridal Gown Watters from Nordstrom
Shoes Sam Edelman
Hair Krisp Hair
Makeup Glo Day Spa
Bridesmaid Dresses Petal and Pup
Mother of the Bride Dress Halston Heritage
Groom’s Attire H&M
Groomsmen's Attire ASOS
Floral Design Silver Dust Decoration
Stationery Deborah Carter
Catering Lumbung Catering
Videography Jens Bracht
Photography Aimee Silver