"This is the one of the best resorts to get married in Bali... " We searched and searched for an affordable venue in Sydney, our home town to get married in. When someone says "Wedding", have you noticed how prices seem to go through the roof?
With over 180 guests to invite, that's alot of mulah to part with for one day.
My husband's sister was organising a family trip to Bali in October 2009. I said to my husband, why don't we get married there? I love Bali. I've been there so many times, it was right for me. Craig, my husband, agreed that it sounded like a good idea. I liaised with the hotels and villas over there, both over the phone and email.
Villas got a little expensive and a bit restrictive so we opted for a hotel / resort.
We chose the Bali Mandira Hotel in Legian on the beach. My husband was very particular about food. There has to be alot of food and good menu choices also. My main concern was ambience. The place had to be by the water and have an ambience that's seductive yet fun. Bali Mandira was the winner.
At the time, I was right into scrapbooking. So, I went ahead and made the invitations with beautiful gold textured paper, ribbons, star fish and fancy fonts and100 or so invites went out. Now, we knew we would disappoint people, we also knew we would inevitably be disappointed by friends and family unable to make our momentous occasion. We eventually got an RSVP list of about 60 people; not bad really.
Time was coming closer. My best friend who is married to a Balinese man informed me a few months before, she wouldn't be able to make the wedding as she was pregnant and scared of flying so close to the birth. She would send her mum and her husband instead. Yep we were disappointed, however, her husband organised our entertainment for the wedding and I had their presence. My other best friend couldn't afford to go; bills sky high. Fair enough. Then my other good friend also informed me she was pregnant and couldn't fly so close to the birth. Of course lots of friends weren't able to make our big day, but we already knew that.
We had 3 girls at the time. Paige was 12, Sophie was 2 and Sienna was 1. So, that was going to be a challenge going overseas with them also.
I bought my dress from Lisa Ho in DFO Sydney for only $700. There were some alterations, so the total cost was only about $800. I also bought the girls dresses here (DFO, Sydney) and spent $300. Craig had bought an outfit from Oxford, for less than $200. This was all a good start to a budget wedding.
When we arrived in Bali we went and met our wedding organiser at the Bali Mandira Hotel. We weren't staying there but a little further down the road. On our wedding night however, we did stay for 2 nights.
Days were spent running around organising cakes, taste testings and doing some last minute shopping for those 'ambient' pieces I wanted for the day.
Wedding Day. Craig was struck with a severe case of bali belly. Yep, 5 hours in bed, whilst me, the stressed bride had to run around trying to get our girls hair, makeup and nails done. The day before I had also decided it was a good idea to get fake eyelashes glued to my eyes that are semi permanent. Not a good move. My eye glued together and caused it to be quite red on wedding day.
Finally Ready After our photographer had taken some photos of me, the girls and my friends and parents getting ready, he then went to the very sick Craig for photos; not great.
This was the only part of the wedding I would probably wish to do all over again.
Here comes the bride With our wedding coordinator speaking to ground staff via walky talky while we were at the top of the hotel waiting for her instruction, Craig waited nervously in the beautifully adorned garden with the priest and all our guests. I was only 45 minutes late apparently.
My father who was very ill, walked me down the path and my gorgeous children walked in front with their posies of frangipannis.
My posy of flowers I had fallen in love with while researching in Sydney was a posy of vander orchids in orange. The theme for our wedding was oranges and golds.
We were married in the garden opposite the beach. Our entertainment provided by my friends was amazing.
Balinese gamellin and dancers who danced with all the guests for a long time. The food was absolutely delicious and plentiful, Craig was very happy. Our music was downloaded here before we left and put on our laptop, so it was everything we liked.
All in all, our wedding was just perfect. For a wedding and a 2 week holiday for 5 of us, inclusive, it cost $13,000. That also included our 16 hour honeymoon in Ubud, Kupu Kupu Barong, a rather expensive resort in the hills.
We couldn't have got married here for that price.