My Destination Wedding: Bali (Vendors & Tips!)

Wedding: September 2017

Starting Budget: SGD $20,000
Ending Budget: approx. $27,000 (incl. accommodations for guests, our own flight tickets and extension at the wedding villa)

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As most of you may know, I have just recently held the wedding of my dreams in the Island of the Gods – Bali. Looking back, it was the most amazing night of my life so far, and everything turned out like a fairy-tale. I’ve decided to finally get down to sharing contacts, vendors & tips (sorry it took so long… i got lazy haha).

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WHY BALI?

Having a destination wedding is the perfect reason to keep it small, and the closest of the closest who REALLY WANT TO BE THERE will fly overseas to be there. People also wouldn’t be offended if we didn’t invite them. yasssss!

Location-wise, Bali is only a couple of hours away and quite affordable to fly to. It also has a wide variety of affordable villas and hotels away from the main touristy areas. Plus, who wouldn’t mind an excuse to take a short vacay in Bali?

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Having a Wedding Planner

Before looking for wedding venues and all that jazz, it was essential for us to find the right wedding planner. Let’s face it, it’s not impossible to pull off the entire wedding on your own but having a local wedding planner would be able to bring costs down a little (as they have local contacts), save you tons of stress (non-stop skype calls, emails and flights) and let you enjoy the process a little more. Having a good wedding planner was ESSENTIAL to this whole event.

My wedding planner Amor (Amor Eternal Weddings) was referred by my husband’s colleague so we were assured with her experience and portfolio. From venue searching, decor to catering – she took care of it all extremely well. In addition, she provided unlimited calls/emails before the wedding and a team of coordinators for the actual day. For couples thinking of a destination wedding – I’d suggest to focus on a good wedding planner first. It’s worth every single penny.

For those who are interested, you can contact here via email. (Don’t forget to say hi for me!)

PROCESS

#1. Venue Hunting

With a smaller budget, we skipped over hotels (although the hotels are gorgeous) as the dreamy ones were way too costly. We decided to go for a villa in a quieter area so that everything could be more intimate, customised and we could even book the whole villa for 4-5 days to relax and enjoy after. Trust me, you are gonna need that time to relax.

We viewed 3-4 villas (as well as hotels nearby for the guests) and fortunately, found the one that we liked. Only then did we place deposits to confirm the wedding planner AND the venue. Yay!

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Literally my dream come true.

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Gorgeous set up for dinner!

#2. Moodboards and references

With 6-7 months to go, the planning process began with moodboards. I used Pinterest to look for references, from colour schemes to decorations I liked. It was then a back and forth process with Amor to talk about what was possible (within budget) and what was not.

#3. Confirmations

3 months before the wedding, we made another trip to confirm vendors and caterers. We met with the shortlisted caterers for a tasting (with a fee, of course) to decide which caterer to book, and which items to have on the menu. This was probably the trip with most negotiations and decision-makings – not to mention deposits.br0ke.gif

#4. Saving Money

With a limited budget, we had to get handy and do what we can to save. We ended up designing our own invitations, getting them printed in JB (T&T Printing @ Citysquare Mall) and DIY-ing our own invite folder with paper bought from Fancy Papers. Luckily I had talented friends and a decent score in Art.. lol!GUN_7396.jpg

Even for the wedding gifts, we decided to do customised sunglasses (Alibaba) and dreamcatchers (Bali) – buying the paper bag, stickers and stuffing separately.

For alcohol, instead of purchasing the package from the caterers (who were charging $60/pax for house wines & beer), we decided to purchase them externally from their local brand Hatten Wines which were good (and less than $20 a bottle), and of course, many crates of Bintang beer & Radler.

We also bought quite a number of items from Taobao/Ezbuy to save costs – which you can check out in my previous blogpost here.

WEDDING VENDORS

#1. Wedding Planner (Bali) – Amor Eternal Wedding

As mentioned above, our wedding planner sourced for everything (caterers, cake, décor) and put everything together, giving us the peace of mind to fully enjoy our big day. There was not an ounce of stress and to me on my big day, that’s the best I could have wished for!

#2. Pre-Wedding Photography (Bali) – FIRE, WOOD & EARTH

I found Andre (@firewoodandearth) on Instagram, loving his style of photography and vibes. Even though his rates are not the lowest in the local market, but I believe that the quality of work is worth it. He specialises in capturing candid, raw moments beautifully, instead of posed studio shots. Here are some shots below.

#3.Wedding Gowns (Singapore) – Bqueens

One of the most important decisions I made! Bqueens allowed me the flexibility to rent a total of 3 gowns for both my pre-wedding photoshoot and actual day wedding, both held overseas. The package included grooms suit, father’s suit as well as a dress for my sister-in-law. Unlike other places which limit the gowns you can pick to bring overseas, I was given the freedom to choose any I liked (and even to choose again when new gowns came in)!

Valent was super nice and helpful, and made the whole experience very delightful!

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My midnight blue gown

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Gorgeous white lace ball gown

#4. Actual Day Photography & Videography (Bali) – Sal Photography & Maxtu Photography

Our photographers and videographers for the day were very talented and friendly. They put in the extra effort to make us feel at ease. In terms of output, both delivered above expectation. Sal Photography gave us a ton of edited photos to choose from (so much so that we were spoilt for choice on which to upload and print) and Maxtu gave us both a highlight video (which even made us a little teary while watching it) and a long compilation video of whatever that went on during the day (this we didn’t really ask for, but it was a nice bonus).

Here’s some photos below & you can find the link to the video on Facebook here.

#5. Makeup Artist (Bali) – @jl_makeupart

I found Jen on Instagram (as well as with a recommendation by the pre-wedding photographer) and used her for both the pre-wedding photoshoot AND the actual day.

Her rates are highly competitive and her skills are great. During the pre-wedding photoshoot, she followed us throughout and went above and beyond to make sure I look my best, from consistently touching up my makeup to helping me change my gowns. I was so happy with her service that I decided to engage her (and a team) for my actual day wedding!

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#6. Other vendors

Here are a few other vendors we used as well – hopefully these help!
*Gorgeous bridal nails (SG): 3D Nails 

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Gorgeous acrylic extensions with blings to match my dresses!

 

*Customised Aisle Runner (SG): @nehohmee (on Instagram) / website

She does wonderful customised calligraphy works – perfect for many wedding items!

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so chio right?

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*Customised shoes for J (SG): Custom Made SG

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*Tailored Suits for J (Thailand): Jesse & Son 

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Tailored suits & shirts (with our initials on them hehe)

So that’s it for today – here’s all the contacts I can think of! If there are any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me via email or leave a comment, and I’ll do my best! If you like this post, remember to share and spread the word!

May your dream wedding come true ❤

XOXO.

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5 Things I’ve Learnt from an Ex-Best Friend.

So even though this is super different from my usual posts (which are full of pictures, memes and funny gifs – so you should definitely read them ha), I felt the need to write about it at some point of time as a step towards letting go. I’m also hoping that if anyone reads this, it might be relatable and possibly even reassuring in some way.

Like everyone else, I’ve experienced being hurt by someone close. Last year, I had an encounter with a close friend of mine which left me deeply hurt. I felt used, manipulated and very angry. Was it me? Was I imagining things? Despite these thoughts haunting me, I chose not to confront.  I was afraid of confrontation and escalation, and feared damaging more friendships.

A year later, and hopefully wiser, these are some things I’ve learnt.

Don’t count on Closure

Everyone uses “closure” as the ideal way of wrapping up things. But more often than not, this never happens. As humans, we justify our actions in every way possible. For most people, it’s not easy to look through someone else’s perspective of yourself – especially if it doesn’t portray yourself as a good person. Perhaps ten years down the road when all the emotions have faded, two people can sit down objectively to discuss about what happened. Then again, maybe not, so don’t count on it being the “only solution” to feeling better.

Don’t pull others into your fight

Why didn’t so and so stand up for me? Why didn’t someone take my side? These are thoughts that went through my head as it was all going on. It’s probably natural human psychology to want to feel accepted and supported. However, as shitty as this sounds, it’s just not their fight.

Don’t pull friends or family into it, and make them choose sides or fight with you. More feelings are going to be hurt, and you will be responsible for it. Yes, you might feel alone now, but don’t be selfish and put all your other relationships on the line by asking them to choose.

You’re not a bad person for not wishing them well

Even though some time has passed, it’s perfectly normal that you aren’t going to want to hear about how fabulously that person is doing – be it your ex moving on with someone better, or that friend doing oh-so-well somewhere. That’s okay, you’re not an evil person.

Healing takes time, so don’t fight with yourself. Instead, try to refocus that energy on improving yourself and making you proud.

Take whatever baby steps you need

Time won’t magically heal all wounds and make it sparkly again, so it’s up to you to take baby steps to empower yourself. If you feel like cutting off all points of contact or blocking someone on social media is going to help you feel better, then do it. Just be sure that you are not doing it out of maliciousness or impulse.

If you ask “What’s the point? Will he or she even care?”, you’re doing it for the wrong intentions. It shouldn’t matter whether he or she cares, or if it even impacts that person. You aren’t doing it to prove a point – you are doing it to help yourself heal and gain back a little control of your feelings.

It’s okay to not be okay

Chances are, you aren’t going to be okay for a long time. Life goes on as usual, and suddenly the emotions hit you all over again. That’s just how it’s going to be, and you have to learn to be okay about not feeling okay.

Accept your feelings as an opportunity to prove how far you’ve come and talk about it if you need to. Remember that you’re not alone – everyone around you has felt this way at some point of time, or they might even be going through their own personal struggle at the moment. So be kind and sensitive, to yourself and others.

When you talk about it over time, you’ll feel that it carries lesser pain than the previous time, and one day it’ll be bearable. This too shall pass.