Although anything and everything seems to be found on the internet– especially when it comes to wedding planning, Peter and I didn’t want to spend an extravagant amount of money on our wedding, but we also wanted to have an amazing wedding day. Destination wedding planning can be challenging enough, but planning a wedding without a professional wedding planner and with a pretty significant range of local vendors online in terms of both price and quality, it can be even more challenging. On top of being over 2000 miles away, Peter and I needed to find vendors that were reliable, affordable, and could provide great services without us being able to meet them in person before the big day.
We ended up thrilled with how well everything went for our wedding weekend and of course I still credit the Alila Ubud with ensuring everything went as smoothly as it did, but I hope my recommendations for our Bali wedding vendors encourage and aid other couples planning dreamy, exotic destination weddings on this special island.
Butter Bali made and delivered the cakes for both my bachelorette party in Seminyak and our wedding reception in Ubud. Both cakes were designed and ordered over e-mail and both cakes were so so delicious. For our wedding Gita designed a 3 tier wedding cake with a heart shaped monstera leaf on top. Now whenever I see a monstera leaf I always think of our wedding day and this freaking delicious cake.
There are so many amazing flavor, filling, and frosting combinations you can choose from and ultimately Gita sold us on 3 combos — apple cake with cream cheese filling, brown butter cake with salted caramel, almond praline and vanilla buttercream filling, and chocolate chip cake with Nutella ganache filling.
I asked the Alila to save a huge chunk of the chocolate chip cake tier for Peter and I to save for our 1 year anniversary and it took a lot of self restraint not to eat the whole thing the morning after our wedding.
Hair and Make Up
I found Anja online and just by browsing the photos of her beautiful hair and make up from past events, I knew I wanted to work with her. There is definitely a range of styles you’ll find when browsing for hair and make up artists in Bali and I definitely found several that were well, not my style. But I loved how Anja’s sample photos were all very natural and actually very similar to what I had in mind already. I sent Anja a few photos of hair ideas for my maid of honor and bridesmaid and a couple for myself as well before the wedding. Then the morning of, Anja and another stylist arrived at the Alila Ubud and groomed our group (including my mom and my new mother-in-law) to perfection.
Anja gives you the option to use airbrush make up which I highly recommend– not only did it make my skin look glowing and smooth, but it lasted all day and all night. Despite Bali’s humid climate, the afternoon rain shower, and plenty of tears — I didn’t feel like I needed to touch it up even once.
DJ Rob – Majestic Wedding & Events
I’ll admit, Peter and I paid almost no attention to the details of our wedding music before the wedding. I think we managed to fit in a single Skype call with Rob and I didn’t manage to send Rob specific song selections/ideas until 2 days before our wedding at the end of my bachelorette party in Seminyak. Despite having limited input from us (he did ask, we were just terrible about responding!) and just an outline of the timeline for the day from me, Rob was incredibly professional and managed to lead our wedding reception from the entrance to the final dance.
Not only was he a great emcee but his music selections throughout the night were perfect both during the dinner and while we were all on the dance floor. Over the course of the reception we had so many guests commenting about how amazing the music was and what a great job Rob was doing. I can’t recommend him enough for anyone planning a wedding in Bali!
Photography and Videography
Danny Halim Productions
Finding a well priced and quality photo and video team for our wedding ended up being the most stressful part of the wedding planning process. I’m only going to have one wedding day in my lifetime and I ended up pretty paranoid that I would end up with terrible photos.
When we started coordinating with Danny Halim and his team to capture our wedding I was still nervous about our decision but didn’t give it too much thought until our wedding. We negotiated for a great price for their services and Peter was super confident that all would turn out well.
And in the end, it definitely turned out great, but that’s not to say it wasn’t without a few hiccups along the way. The day of our wedding there were absolutely no issues and I do think Danny and his team probably ended up staying a little longer than we had agreed to in our contract so he could make sure to capture every bit of the end of the reception.
At the end of the night, Danny offered to give Peter and I all of the files from their cameras so we could have the unedited photos immediately. Of course we were too busy soaking in the last few minutes of the night and agreed to receive the files over Dropbox later.
After the wedding we had received a few e-mails from Danny’s team about song choices for our wedding video, but we were told our photos weren’t ready. We expected that the photos and videos could take a while since the team told us when we signed the contract that it could take 3 months and Peter and I knew we were working on island time.
So when we received an e-mail from Danny’s team with a link to our wedding photos, 2 months after our wedding day, we were super excited. That excitement quickly diminished though when we realized what we had received was a Dropbox link to over 5000 unedited, unsorted photos.
We learned that while our contract promised us wedding photos, it didn’t specifically say those photos would be edited. Peter and I assumed that meant they would be. Danny claimed that meant they wouldn’t be, but he also never bothered to ask us if we wanted edited photos…
Oh the woes of planning a destination wedding in a foreign country!
After several calls and a lot of frustration on my part, Peter and Danny came to an agreement to edit a selection of photographs for us and Danny’s team actually ended up editing more photos than they had agreed to initially which I am very thankful for. I will say that the photos, edited and unedited were really beautiful and that Danny’s team handled the situation very well once we expressed how incredibly disappointed we were.
I really can’t explain why it took 2 months for them to upload unedited, unsorted photos on Dropbox for us but I’m glad to finally have the end result– amazing photos and videos of our big day.