A Breathtaking Bali WeddingWords by Courtney Kellar
Photos courtesy of Love Flora + Fauna
Lianne and Christopher are a Florida couple who wanted their wedding to be defined by one word – epic! A large, hometown wedding wasn’t what they had in mind for several reasons. “We wanted to be more practical and it didn’t make sense to throw a giant party for 200 people when we could have an incredible journey with our family over a week, spending quality time together for a fraction of the cost, and in one of the most beautiful places in the world,” explains the bride. What was the couple’s final destination of choice? Bali, Indonesia!
While the couple had no doubts about hosting an epic, exotic destination wedding on the other side of the world, their guests had some reservations about booking reservations. “Initially when we told people that we were thinking about doing a destination wedding they were very receptive, however, we think that they were more so anticipating that we would do something in Mexico or Jamaica,” says Lianne. “When we decided to do Bali, it was a surprise to most people and they thought we were joking. We did get some pushback from a lot of family members in regards to length of the flight - and a lot of financial concerns. These were relieved over time and eventually everyone became very excited to go somewhere that they had never been before.
“The trip for everyone was a week long, so we had various excursions and dinners planned throughout the week for everyone to do as a group prior to the wedding. After the wedding, everyone also had a few days to explore things on their own. It was important to us for everyone to spend time together prior to the wedding so that the day-of both families could bond, as well as getting adjusted to the time zone to avoid tired faces in pictures!”
When it came to planning, the bride didn’t hire a wedding planner and did all the booking and organizing herself – a serious feat! She did lots of online research and communicating virtually via WhatsApp and emails. Thankfully their venue, The St Regis Bali Resort, was also very helpful. “Everything was done in a very short period of time (3-4 months) and mostly over WhatsApp,” the bride says. “We weren’t able to see anything or really talk to anybody due to the distance and time differences. Fortunately, the staff at the St Regis were very responsive, so it wasn’t difficult to get everything organized. They also had really nice paperwork with multiple checklists, like a menu, that made it easy for us to choose what we wanted.”
Not only did their venue have helpful staff who assisted in the planning process, but the couple were impressed by their accommodations. The property’s on-site villas were a large selling point for the couple. “The villas had a bedroom, multiple bathrooms and large living and dining areas,” explains the couple. “To boot, they included private pools and beach access. It was unreal and everyone was very impressed upon arrival.”
The couple aided their guests in the travel logistics by booking a lot of the flights and accommodations themselves. They also put together a thorough itinerary for both their guests and their hotel. This way, everyone knew where to be when and all of the transportation was prearranged. For the wedding itself, the couple wanted to embrace their exotic, gorgeous destination wedding location. “We opted to have a Balinese priest, traditional Balinese music and Balinese dancers to keep the traditions and culture of the area we were getting married in,” says Lianne. “[Our resort] even included Balinese flower girls in the ceremony, which was a really nice touch.”
Because the couple had traveled so far, they extended the celebrations beyond the wedding day, in order to make the most of their breathtaking backdrop! “We ended up doing day after photos to capture the landscape and vibe of Bali. We traveled in a van the next morning along with our photographer and videographer crew to the elephant sanctuary, rice fields and various temples to get epic footage. We were actually able to do sightseeing at the same time were taking photos and videos.”
We asked Lianne and Christopher how the cost and vibe of their destination wedding differed from a potential hometown wedding. “Doing a destination wedding for us was not a matter of being cheap or because we were trying to save money. We wanted to get the most bang for our buck and get things that were quality while eliminating things that (to us) were not necessary. We also felt that going on a trip to a place that nobody had been before would be more memorable and we wanted to have epic wedding photos.” It’s safe to say, “mission accomplished” for these newlyweds!
The bride did all the planning on her own, so we asked her what advice she would share with couples also planning an exotic wedding from afar. “If you’re looking at photographs on a vendor’s website, I suggest looking for photographs that clients took instead. Hotels and vendors always want to show their best work and sometimes it’s edited to the point where it doesn’t reflect the reality. We almost chose a completely different hotel looking at pictures on the hotel’s website, but when we looked at TripAdvisor’ we were able to see the property was not as beautiful as we thought it was on their website.”
Check out the couple's professional wedding highlight video below!
Vendors: Photographer: Love Flora + Fauna, Ceremony/Reception Site: St Regis Bali Resort in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, Stationery: Momenti Design Studio, Florals & Cake: The St Regis Bali Resort, Hair & Makeup: Anja Buerck, Gown Designer: Kitty Chen, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Bonobos & Videographer: Max Cutrone
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