Considered by most as an exotic remote island, Bali is actually one of the top locations for destination weddings.
Aside from the romantic resorts and seaside views, there are two important reasons that make it a perfect location for a destination wedding. One is the abundance of wedding suppliers to choose from and the range of activities your guests can do while on the trip for your wedding.
Activities aren’t only a way to add excitement and have something to do for your guests. It is also a way to get your family & loved ones to connect and know each other better. A wedding is a merging of two families, after all. And Bali has a lot to offer in this regard.
To maximize your destination wedding, it’s likely you would want to make the most of your trip, not just for you as a couple but for your guests as well. Also, since destination weddings usually take up more than just a day for everyone to take part in. Typical would be three days to give everyone ample time to rest & enjoy the chosen location.
“We decided to have a yacht party for our entourage and friends to break the ice and for them to get to know each other since my friends and Karen’s friends don’t really know each other. And I really wanted everyone to be close during the wedding day so this was really a good activity to break the ice. Since Bali attracts a lot of tourists, there are a lot of shopping venues to choose from which our mothers together with our Ninangs really enjoyed while their husbands were busy playing golf.”
Last time, we shared breathtaking photos of Fiel & Karen’s Bali wedding photos as shot by Mayad Studios. As promised, in this second part of that wedding feature we’ll be sharing our learnings from wedding preparation tips Fiel shared with us based on their own Bali Wedding experience.
Now, how to choose the right venue?
While you’ve decided to make Bali your wedding destination, the next question to ask is “Where in Bali will we have our wedding ceremony & celebration?”
In selecting their lodging, ceremony & reception venue, Fiel & Karen had the following considerations in mind because they believe that the choice of the venue plays a big role in setting the tone of the wedding.
1) Lodging must be conducive to bringing both families together.
And why not? A destination wedding such as this will be the perfect opportunity to bring two families from different cities together to bond and get to know each other better.
“Having to take them away from their usual daily routine is one thing, but it would be a refreshing break for everyone to have a platform to freely interact. The only way is to house them in a villa that would really act like a home where we can all sit down at one table & enjoy each other’s company”
For this, they decided to book the Longhouse Villa. Renting out a villa, as opposed to staying at a hotel, gives you more freedom to do what you want because you don’t have to worry too much about the usual hotel/resort rules since it’s practically having a home away from home.
What they did at the Longhouse Villa was hold a barbecue party a day before the wedding. Here the Villa’ staff & chef were happy to help as long as the couple provided the groceries for the food. One could also have the staff buy the ingredients you need which will just be reflected in your bill at the end of your stay.
Most important, however, is the kind of bonding that such a venue will provide between the members of both families.
“Seeing my father & father-in-law swimming in the pool the following morning and enjoying the view over a good talk gave me happiness to the point that I actually realized this is something you cannot put a price on. If there was something that I would really cherish, it was the stay of both our families and friends in the longhouse”.
Now, won’t it be wonderful to have so many precious memories and moments created beyond the wedding day & ceremony itself?
2) The Ceremony & Reception venue must have the capacity to accommodate their number of guests, provide good food and offer cliff side views.
Normally, destination weddings would entail inviting an intimate set of family & friends given the cost it would entail. But looking for the right venue that can accommodate your guest can be quite tricky. They initially wanted a place where all the preps, ceremony & celebration can take place in one area. Fiel realized, however, that the moment you have more than 30 guests, venue section becomes limited because only a few chapels can cater to more than 50 people.
But then aside from capacity, there’s the aspect of the type of menu it can offer and, of course, whether the venue will have a cliff side view. As Fiel puts it, “the Bali experience won’t be complete without you experiencing the epic cliff side views”.
Given these considerations on capacity & specific food menu without compromising the view, they decided on picking Tirtha Luhur — which can accommodate around 80 pax max – for their chapel and the Jumana Restaurant for their reception. Jumana Restaurant has won numerous awards as the best restaurant in Bali. The best part, both venues are cliff side locations.
With these, you’ll already be able to reach a decision on a major component of your wedding day needs – the venues.
There are two main things that Fiel & Karen did which they recommend as well during the actual planning:
1) Have 2 sets of event planners.
Especially if you’re both very busy, this would help make things go smoothly for you. Here’s how the work was divided between the two:
Philippine Wedding Planner: Responsible for coordinating with guests since they had 3 separate venues during the day in a place that none of the guests are familiar with, which could be a logistical nightmare. Here, it’s important that your coordinator has the contact details of all your guests.
Bali Wedding planner: They played a big role in suggesting venues given the couple’s specifications and budget.
2) Conduct an ocular
This helps in taking away the anxiety of fitting everything within your budget. It goes without saying to include the ocular in your budget as well. Given your expenses, you may want to make sure of the venues you’ll be booking. So best to check on the venues and clear out the final expenses associated with them since some of them require a minimum amount of spending. There are some things you would only find out once you’re there. Better to learn about it during the ocular than to discover it on your big day itself, which might cause unnecessary stress that would ruin such an important day.
“One thing I realized during the ocular trip is that aside from food, you really have to set a separate budget for your drinks especially during the wedding day and be mindful of the (++) that’s always specified when hotels present their prices which represent service charge and tax which would end up around 21% of the total cost.”
Since you’re already there for the ocular, meet with your other suppliers there as well. In this case, Fiel & Karen met with their suppliers for their cake, stylist for the flowers during the reception and check out inclusions in their ceremony venue package.
“Our ceremony venue already included the choir, decorations, welcome drinks. cold towels and chairs, but charged extra for the additional people above 30”
Essentially, when having a destination wedding, you already have your reasons for choosing a certain location because there’s a certain experience, mood & memory that you want to create for such a milestone in your life. So better to take care of big and small details as you plan and make the most of what you can.
So as something to take away from this article, Fiel summarized their thought process in putting together their destination wedding, which is as follows:
Choose visually appealing venues that are beautiful on its own.
Invest in pre-wedding activities with your guests.
Invite only the people that are close to your heart.
Shower it with emotion by expressing things to all of your loved ones.