Stefani + David

Raffaele Ciuca bride married in Bali in our Prunelle wedding dress by Pronovnas

“The RC ladies made me feel like a superstar, full of positive energy and excitement. I actually don’t know who was more excited; them or me! It was a wonderful feeling knowing that people you’d just met were so happy for you.”

#RCREALBRIDE STEFANI


RC – How did you meet David?
We were both teenagers when we met at a party. Over 8 years together now we have really grown with each other, as individuals and together as a couple.

Raffaele Ciuca bride married in Bali in our Prunelle wedding dress by Pronovnas Raffaele Ciuca bride married in Bali in our Prunelle wedding dress by Pronovnas
RC – How did David propose?
Completely and utterly surprising that’s for sure, I didn’t think we’d get engaged for another couple of years as we never really spoke about it and we were saving for our USA & Mexico holiday. I surprised Dave with a day trip to the Yarra Valley, we’d never been before and unbeknown to me for weeks and weeks he had been researching and designing my engagement ring, intending to propose on our holiday. After contacting my mum to let her in on it, her advice was that “holiday proposals are too predictable… Stef’s surprising you this weekend so why don’t YOU surprise her back!”

So there we were sipping wine on the grounds of De Bortoli Winery where I was too busy taking photos of the vineyard, to turn around to find David with a shiny black Paul Bram box in his hand – my heart stopped and I froze. I just remember putting my hands over my face because I could not believe I didn’t see this coming, I usually always know when something’s up and he got me good! We return to that same spot for a picnic on our engagement anniversary which is nice.

Raffaele Ciuca bride married in Bali in our Prunelle wedding dress by PronovnasRC – Is there a particular reason as to why you chose your venue?
We chose to get married in Bali for many reasons, after holidaying there quite a few times it was our home away from home as we call it. After going to some of Melbourne’s stunning venues, something still didn’t feel quite right. We wanted our dream wedding and for our guests to come on the journey with us. It was a must to have our wedding on the beach, we both feel calm and relaxed near the ocean and nature, away from the hustle and bustle of city life we experience daily in Melbourne. Our wedding planner, Chimene from HarperCo Events, worked relentlessly to find us our ideal venue even when I had moments of giving up.  We had a specific budget and all of the most amazing clifftop venues we just couldn’t justify the expenditure. It was difficult to find a ‘venue-only’ in Bali and Chimene found us Watermark in Nusa Dua. The venue worked perfectly because it is situated on a long stretch of international resorts which meant our guests could choose where to stay based on their own budget!

Watermark is a water sports centre during the day and transforms into a magical fairyland at night. We worked with a blank canvas and Chimene brought our vision to life with the exact lighting we wanted, furniture, florals and so on. Watermark ticked all the boxes; it had the beach, lawn area and venue facilities (an undercover, open air dining area which was a great back up plan because it did rain a little!) We worked with all of the natural elements the venue had to offer which we loved..the greenery and gardens, sand, wooden decking and ocean so we kept the styling fresh and elegant with a neutral palette.

Raffaele Ciuca bride married in Bali in our Prunelle wedding dress by Pronovnas Raffaele Ciuca bride married in Bali in our Prunelle wedding dress by Pronovnas

RC – Your favourite part of the wedding?
Waiting in the bridal room for our reception entrance. We opened the curtain to soak it all in..our guests mingling, the ocean, the magical atmosphere surrounding us. We turned to each other and smiled, it was everything we dreamed of and more. Our married friends gave us the advice to take a step back to take it all in, and we’re so glad we did it together in that moment.

We wrote our own vows, something we felt was truly important to bring our guests on the journey with us. When I heard Dave’s vows I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. Just feeling the genuine love and happiness from our guests throughout the ceremony, laughing and crying with us, really touched my heart.
The experience: Smooth, easy and quicker than expected! But most importantly, FUN!

Raffaele Ciuca bride married in Bali in our Prunelle wedding dress by Pronovnas

Raffaele Ciuca bride married in Bali in our Prunelle wedding dress by Pronovnas

RC – How did the dress make you feel?
For a very long time I’ve always known I would wear a Pronovias wedding dress, I absolutely love their collections and designs. The Prunelle by Pronovias is a classic mermaid gown with a modern twist! I wanted a dress that could incorporate a modern aspect to a classic and timeless gown. Lace was a must as well as a sheer back.

I felt very elegant and glamorous, yet relaxed and comfortable at the same time. I despise wearing outfits that make feel uncomfortable, especially when I know I will be on the dance floor all night. It was so light and breathable which was exactly what I needed in the tropics.

Raffaele Ciuca bride married in Bali in our Prunelle wedding dress by Pronovnas

RC – How was your bridal shopping experience?
Carmela from the Armadale store could read my mind, I literally showed her one inspiration image and she brought me 3 dresses to try on as a starting point. The Prunelle gown was the second one I tried on and my mum, mother in law and maid of honour all gasped when I came out wearing it. We knew it was the one, it was just “me”. The RC ladies made me feel like a superstar, full of positive energy and excitement. I actually don’t know who was more excited; them or me! It was a wonderful feeling knowing that people you’d just met were so happy for you.

Raffaele Ciuca bride married in Bali in our Prunelle wedding dress by Pronovnas

RC – Tips for brides-to-be!
Get a wedding planner! It was the best thing we ever did, especially getting married overseas. Our wedding planner was so amazing, the whole process was stress-free and fun.

Also, do not try to please everyone..Do what makes you happy whether it is an elopement, destination wedding, backyard wedding or a 500 guest festival! Plan your dream day around what you and your partner envision and what best reflects you both as a couple.

Raffaele Ciuca bride married in Bali in our Prunelle wedding dress by Pronovnas

Photography – Terralogical Wedding Photography

Wedding Planner – HarperCo Events