We got married in a Bondi cafe, between starter and entree


We don’t usually blog much about food, but two weeks ago we had a great lunch at Sean’s Panorama – a North Bondi institution that’s been serving residents of Sydney’s most famous suburb delightful dishes for more than twenty years. Against a backdrop of sand and waves, we supped fantastic wine, munched fresh sourdough, enjoyed a delicious beetroot and goat cheese salad followed by creamy pasta and rounded it all out with nougat for dessert.

And somewhere between the bread and the salad, we got married.

It was remarkably low-key, spontaneous and tonnes of fun. Despite hardly any planning, it ended up being special in its own Brad and Mesi way. Or maybe that was because there was hardly any planning.

The ‘ceremony’ – if you can really call it that – was held at the table by the lovely Tami, who managed to tune perfectly into our flowing, relaxed vibe. Noticing the chardonnay already on the table, she improvised a short wine ceremony – getting us to drink from the same cup while mentioning the symbolism of the gesture. She even prepared a Hungarian saying that roughly translates to: “Life is good when things are flowing”, which describes our relationship quite aptly.

We were smiling and laughing all the way through – even when the waitress interrupted to take our order. I’m pretty sure it was the first time that the waitress had been told ‘I’m sorry we’re not quite ready, can you come back after these two finish getting married?’.

Thanks to the patrons of Sean’s Panorama for giving us a round of applause when the whole thing was finished – it was one of those silly but cute movie moments that would’ve fit well into a Richard Curtis film.

And we also couldn’t have done it without our two good friends and witnesses Silvia and Bridget. Thanks for being there and for being flexible enough to show up with two days’ notice.

– Brad and Mesi, now husband and wife, according to the law in Australia.

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P.S. We are planning a larger, proper do in Ubud in the summer with our friends and family from around the world. However, in planning for this wedding we discovered that to get married legally in Bali the couple not only needs to nominate one of the four major religions (Hindu, Buddhist, Christian and Muslim) they have to nominate the SAME religion. We have no interest in being a part of this.

We toyed with the idea of getting married in Bali, spiritually and energetically, but without the formal recognition of the law. But at some point we accepted we needed to get ‘officially’ married, mainly because things are just so much easier when you have a piece of paper that makes you legally married. Sean’s Panorama felt like as good as a place as any to have it done.


A discussion with Komang from Calo: On weddings, family and freedom

Komang from Calo

Komang from Calo

View over Komang's family's fields

View over Komang’s family’s fields

Today we had an interesting encounter with a Balinese man Komang, 29. He lives in a small village of 2000 people, Calo (pronounced like the Hindi word for ‘let’s go’, challo!). He travelled the world for four years working on various cruise liners, learnt to speak four languages during that time and recently returned home this year, in August, to marry his high school sweetheart. They are expecting a baby in April.

Our friends and current house mates, Adam and Zsuzsi befriended Komang a weeks ago, while we were on a visa run to KL. Today, they decided to meet to catch up and also because Adam (a filmmaker) wished to shoot Komang’s family harvesting rice for a feature he is working on.

We followed A&Z, through a wonderful series of rural roads north of Ubud, past rice fields, gorges and rivers. The tourist density once you get ten km away from town drops dramatically, and you’re left with lots of simple villages and a glimpse into what life must have been like before the explosion of visitors to the island. Forty-five minutes later we found Komang in Calo, in his corner of paradise.

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A Bordeaux wedding (not ours)

A video of Marissa and Alex’s wedding

Alex and Marissa Wedding Jpeg


In April, Mesi and I attended the beautiful and touching wedding of Marissa and Alex in Bordeaux, France. The couple hired a chateau (!) and generously put everyone up there for three days. Suffice to say it was the first time I had ever stayed in a chateau and in the lead up to the event, I was somewhat obnoxiously dropping the word ‘chateau’ at every opportunity. Chateau – there I go again.

Their photographers recently finished a video which nicely captures the essence of Marissa and Alex’s wedding weekend – it’s in the link. One the best weddings we’ve been to!

Chateau drinking - photo be Lee Schofield

Chateau drinking – photo by Lee Schofield

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