Editorial in Bali with Elizabeth Messina

I had the pleasure of speaking at the very first Asia Pacific Wedding Masterclass in September of 2016. Hosts Bridestory and the Wedding Atelier were joined by Elizabeth Messina, Bows & Arrow and I for 3 inspirational days alongside attendees. This editorial was produced during the workshop as a behind the scenes look for attendees to assist with.

Stepping off the plane in Bali, you are immediately swept into its magic. The smell of incense blowing through the humid air, bright floral offerings at every doorway. The people are genuine and kind, the earth green and bountiful with life. With a temple in each home and offerings made three times a day, the culture and religion of Bali are infectious, infused into the experience of each traveler. I created this editorial out of love for the beauty and magic of Bali.

The story of Rama and Sita is integral to Balinese life, a part of the Hindu religion and one you can see throughout the islands arts and festivals. Deities outside temples are periodically dressed in black and white, signifying the balance and struggle between good and evil. This delicate balance is at the heart of the story of Rama and Sita, a Prince and Princess whose love was wrought with trouble.

Swept into the magic of the island, I designed an editorial to tell the story of Princess Sita through color and texture. Our venue, the beautiful Alila Soori sits on a black sand beach, and immediately became the canvas on which to paint my story. Signifying evil, I balanced the black sand with whites and creams to signify good. To symbolize the forest in which Sita was tricked and lured, I chose a wild and organic palette of flowers in purple hues, using multiple types of orchids which are native to Bali. We are caught in delicate balance in between the struggle of good and evil, out of which magic and beauty are born.

For the larger pieces, it was important to me to choose textures that I saw everyday in Bali including light carved wood for the benches, chairs and ceremony and woven rattan for the baskets, and chargers. The delicate cotton linen draped over the table was embroidered with a creme pattern representative of the beautiful carving work Bali is well known for. Mother of pearl silverware and local ceramic stoneware was used on the tabletop and paired with handmade cotton paper menus. Organic yet feminine florals in shares of purple sat between carved Balinese pilar candles.

The heroine of my story, Sita, wore a top and skirt made of strung Jasmine flower. To represent the forest, we created a strung Jasmine chandelier and filled woven baskets with overgrown orchids. The beautiful cake had the same intricate design that was embroidered on the table linen, with small accents on top emulating the architecture of Balinese temples. 

Photography: Elizabeth Messina | Creative Direction, Concept & Styling: Joy Proctor Design | Floral: Bows & Arrows Flowers | Hair & Makeup: Yeanne and Team | Paper Goods & Stationery: Yonder Design | Cake: Butter Bali | Candles: Volcanica Candles | Attire: Oscar de la Renta, Claire Pettibone, Twigs & Honey Model: Alaiza Malino | Planning: The Wedding Atelier | Production: Bridestory | Venue: Alila Soori, Bali