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)
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).
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?
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!)
#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!
#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 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.
#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!
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.
#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!
#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!
#6. Other vendors
Here are a few other vendors we used as well – hopefully these help!
*Gorgeous bridal nails (SG): 3D Nails
She does wonderful customised calligraphy works – perfect for many wedding items!
*Customised shoes for J (SG): Custom Made SG
*Tailored Suits for J (Thailand): Jesse & Son
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 ❤