Bali Wedding? Think again!

Bali wedding celebrant Liz Hayes

  1. You should think again –  if you are easily upset when things don’t go according to plan.  Indonesians and Balinese are generally pretty relaxed when it comes to planning and organisation. Everything will happen. But maybe not exactly the way you envisaged or at exactly the time that you hoped.   If you ‘sweat the small stuff’ then a Destination Wedding in Indonesia might not be right for you.  I conducted one beautiful wedding on Gili Trawangan, where there were wedding planners and organisers galore.  Everybody had worked so hard to plan every last detail – and it was stunning.  However, that didn’t stop one hapless waiter from walking across in front of the bride and groom, at that very quiet part of the ceremony, just as they were about to speak their personal vows…. to put the wedding cake on a nearby table!  The poor wedding planner was going purple in the face with embarrassment and annoyance, waving frantically at the waiter –  but the fabulous Bride and Groom simply laughed good naturedly.  We waited for the poor waiter to turn around, still carrying the cake, and go back to the kitchen!  The ceremony continued……
  2. You should think again – if you want to control your guests’ activities.  You may think they have come to Indonesia for your wedding and that they should be joining in all the activities that you have planned for them.   However, for some of your guests this might be their one annual holiday – and so they might have other plans, that don’t revolve around your wedding.  If this is going to bother you, then maybe reconsider that Bali Wedding, preceded by days of well-intentioned Group Activities.   Many couples will plan hens and bucks ‘do’s’ in the days before the wedding, but perhaps have these activities available, but not compulsory?
  3. You should think again – if you are a very private person and don’t want onlookers.  Bali, in particular, is not a place where privacy is highly valued or understood.  Expect to see locals watching your wedding – in the same way as we watch their ceremonies….    And if you are in a beachfront hotel, or even on the beach itself, then expect to see bikini clad holidaymakers, clutching a beer in one hand and a mobile phone camera in the other, walking around your wedding ceremony – and getting up close and personal, if nobody has been asked to act as ‘security’ for you.  I was at a wedding on the beach in Seminyak recently and an overweight, middle-aged man in very tightly fitting Speedos, was standing right in front of the groom, taking photos of the bride as she walked down the aisle.   This very rude man, not only spoiled the moment for the groom, but would also have been in all those photos himself.  Make sure that you have an ‘assertive’ celebrant, who can help with at least some of this.  (Or stick to a more private villa wedding where this won’t happen).
  4. You should think again – if you are going to be upset if all the family and friends don’t want to travel to Indonesia (or to any wedding venue that involves more than 2 or 3 hours travel, in fact!)  Not everyone can afford either the money, or perhaps the time away from work. Or there might be elderly or nervous relatives who simply don’t want to do the trip.  Don’t project your disappointment onto them.  Perhaps have a second ceremony later that can involve those who can’t or won’t travel.  It can be lovely to conduct a Renewal of Vows ceremony over a lunch or a bbq at a local park, where everyone can feel that they are included and valued.  In fact, it can be a great idea to actually conduct the Legal Registration of your overseas wedding, at this smaller event.  That way, the second ceremony is also important, but in a different way.
  5. You should think again.  And if you have thought again – and you still believe that Indonesia is the perfect romantic destination.   If all the above, just made you laugh, or if you completely understood, then you should definitely go ahead and get Married in Bali or Lombok or Flores or Java – or indeed any one of the many stunning locations in Indonesia.  How about a beautiful deserted tropical island near Bali, with a dozen of your closest family members?  Contact me for ideas about this and other fabulous locations.