The Physicist and the Opera Singer: A Whirlwind Romance that will Bring Tears to Your Eyes

Meet the couple: Gareth is British physicist brought up in Perth. Emma studies opera and works for a bridal and evening wear designer and was also raised in Perth. Gareth and Emma met in 2012 while performing in a local production of the musical “Les Miserables”. Their joint love of theatre and an immediate electric connection brought them together and into what they describe as “a whirlwind of a romance”. Realising their compatibility was unmistakable, the couple moved in together in 2013. And after another year of fun and laughter together, Gareth knew that Emma was the one. So he decided to move to the next stage and deepen their connection with a surprise proposal.


Photo credit: Terralogical Studios

His Surprise Eiffel Tower Proposal

The proposal itself was a dashingly romantic affair. Emma and Gareth were in Paris en route to a friend’s destination wedding. With a couple hours to spare before their next flight, they decided to take the train to see the Eiffel tower in the centre of Paris. Once they’d arrived there, Emma noticed that a mutual friend was already there with a camera. For a moment she didn’t understand the coincidence then she turned around to find Gareth on one knee! Thrilled, teary and absolutely elated, she said yes immediately.

The Search For A Wedding Venue


Photo credit: Terralogical Studios

The pair searched for venues in Western Australia but weren’t able to find one that spoke to them. They decided to have a destination wedding instead, and Bali seemed like the perfect place. Emma had always dreamed of having a destination wedding and loved the idea of turning their wedding into a holiday for all the guests. Only a three-hour flight from Perth, Bali was an easy enough place to get to for most of the guest list.

Despite the fact that Emma had never been to Bali, she fell head over heels in love with the stunning photographs of the Royal Pita Maha. The venue looked tropical, exotic and far from anything they’d seen in Perth. They also loved how it was enveloped in lush foliage and surrounded by so much foreign history and culture.


Photo credit: Terralogical Studios

Once they started doing research and contacting the relevant people, they were instantly hooked by Botanica Weddings’ level of professionalism. They felt that Botanica Weddings’ packages were so detailed and thoughtful inclusive of every detail that was impossible not to say yes. When combined with a location “straight out of [their] wildest dreams”, they didn’t even consider any other locations.

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Photo credit: Terralogical Studios

Their Bali Wedding Theme

The pair chose a theme that conveyed fun and jaw-dropping beauty. When choosing decorations and flowers, Emma wanted everything to be in harmony with the lush green rainforest and beautiful architecture found in the Royal Pita Maha. For the majority of the flowers, she chose a mixture of colours including pink and apricot shades drawn from Balinese flora to stand out against the lush green surroundings. The only exception was her bouquet, which was all white and green.

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Photo credit: Terralogical Studios

Emma recalls seeing the planning decisions they had made materialised like magic. Everything from the flowers and decorations to the dinner and the cake, she claims, turned out better than they dreamed. Soft gold tones were used as accents throughout the wedding, from the jewellery to the chair covers and they provided a stunning contrast with the jungle around them.

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Their Royal Pita Wedding Day Experience

Photo credit: Terralogical Studios

Emma gushes when she recalls the day. She loved getting ready in her amazing villa and being pampered like princesses with her bridesmaids. She remembers how the beautiful Balinese afternoon sun was shining down on them as they said their vows. After the wedding ceremony, they wandered the resort’s amazing gardens on our photo tour, walked into their incredible reception and ended the night with a gorgeous lantern ceremony.

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Photo credit: Terralogical Studios

The pair kept a few old traditions during the wedding. Although their ceremony was contemporary, her dad walked her down the aisle, and the reception speeches ended up following quite a traditional format. They also had some of the fun reception traditions including the bouquet and garter toss but gave it a fresh twist by adding a few extras such as the lantern ceremony.

Emma recalls seeing Gareth at the end of the aisle in the most beautiful surroundings in a hugely emotional moment. She was struggling to keep it together during the ceremony and she wasn’t alone. When she looked over to the best man for the support she found he was getting emotional too. It was intimate, human and very reflective of their love.

The Dress That Stopped The Show

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Photo credit: Terralogical Studios

As for the dress, Emma, fortunately, works for a wonderful bridal and evening wear design house in Perth and was able to collaborate with her bosses to create her dream dress. Once they had decided on the venue, Emma knew that such a picturesque location deserved something special so she arranged to have a three-metre train. She also selected the lace for the bodice and applied it by hand to create a gorgeous and unique pattern. The tailors then added a few extra pieces of the lace to the bottom of the veil to match.

Emma also wore two very special pieces of jewellery on the day. One was an antique watch owned by her Great-Great Grandmother, who was also an opera singer. The watch was worn by her mother on her wedding day and so represented something quite special. She also wore a pearl necklace that belonged to Gareth’s Grandmother. The necklace was given by his Grandfather, who sadly passed away during the engagement and was very missed on the day.

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Photo credit: Terralogical Studios

As for the rest of the wedding party, the bridesmaids wore beautiful silk halter gowns in custom colours and fabrics. Her sister and Bridesmaid, Jesse, wore a beautiful silk halter-neck gown in a custom colour and fabric. Gareth wore a suit that matched his best man’s. They had these made to measure just before the wedding by a Seminyak-based tailor.

Making Memories Last With Incredible Photography

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Photo credit: Terralogical Studios

The coupled splurged on photography because the photos were what made them fall in love with the venue. They understood the importance of keeping photographs forever and showing them to kids and grandkids. To balance costs out, they decided to save on decorations, sticking with what was included in their package rather than adding extras. Just as they suspected, the venue truly spoke for itself and the decorations they had were gorgeous and complimented their location perfectly.

After the wedding, the newlywed couple honeymooned for a week at Villa Pererenan, a little eco-villa in the village of Melayang on the other side of Ubud. Emma recalls how secluded and magical the villa was, with a stunning view overlooking the valley of the Petanu River.

Emma’s Advice To Future Couples

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“Follow your heart! It sounds like a cliché, but when it comes down to it your wedding day is about the two of you deciding to spend the rest of your lives together- that’s all that matters. Once we decided to have a destination wedding I felt that vision come true for us. It wasn’t about pleasing other people with our choices anymore, just about planning a celebration that fitted who we are and how we wanted to mark the occasion. Doing just that meant our celebration was utterly perfect and has given us so many wonderful memories to last a lifetime.”

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She also wants to thank her planner, Rebecca “for endless patience with our crazy schedules and indecisiveness! You made the whole journey so enjoyable and lovely- we definitely needed someone to keep us in check throughout the process and it’s thanks to you that our wedding came together so flawlessly. To Kate, our functions manager and the rest of the team, thank you for your professionalism and warmth on the day, for putting all our guests so at ease and for helping the proceedings run like clockwork.

So many of our guests commented on how amazing you all were, and how well the entire day was executed. I truly believe the success of the day is down to the people who made it happen, so thank you from the bottom of our hearts for looking after us so well.”

Planning Your Own Destination Wedding

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Photo credit: Terralogical Studios

Botanica Weddings’ planners guided Emma and Gareth through the process and with the help of the couple they were able to make everything seamless. As their lives were already pretty hectic, the support and advice given from Botanica Weddings the whole way through was priceless. With many years of experience and incredible venues in both Bali and the Whitsundays in Australia, Botanica has become renowned for creating unique destination weddings to suit your personality.

Planning a wedding is huge but we’re ready to take on some of the hard work. Don’t hesitate to contact us at Botanica Weddings if you’d like to share your ideas and have a chat about what’s possible.

All images gratefully credited to: Terralogical Studios