Bali chose us! We had considered getting married overseas in Bali however it wasn’t until we went to the Bridal Expo in Perth that we entered a lucky door prize competition and, to our great surprise, won! The prize was a very generous package from Botanica Weddings for a wedding in the beautiful Royal Pita Maha Resort in Ubud.
The best aspects about having a destination wedding were that everyone was relaxed and in ‘holiday-mode’, including us as bride and groom, which made for a very stress-free and enjoyable experience. Once we arrived in Bali (which was a week prior to the wedding) we had nothing more to organize or think about, which meant we would wind down and really savor the moment. The whole 3-4 day weekend was very memorable and fun, with lots of times shared with family and friends who travelled to be there. This is something we feel is unique to a destination wedding.
We did have a lot of guests who were unfortunately not able to make it to Bali, including our grandparents who we would have loved to have been there, however we really appreciated having a smaller more intimate wedding and felt those who came were friends and family who really wanted to be there for us.
Lastly, as a couple that love to travel and got engaged overseas, we loved having an international wedding embracing the Indonesian culture and food.
It is important to mention however that we do not believe a destination wedding would be as stress-free, enjoyable or well executed if it were not for the fantastic wedding planners at Botanica Weddings! The Botanica Team are really the ones who made our whole wedding experience something we can look back on with only pleasant memories.
Prior to winning the Botanica wedding package we had not been to Bali! We did travel to Bali to visit the Royal Pita Maha Resort 6-8 months before the wedding, which helped us to visualize the day and get a good understanding of the Ubud area. Having now been to Ubud twice, we are in love with the area and plan to travel back as it will always hold a special part in our hearts.
We stayed in Bali for a total of 9 days, 5 days before the wedding and 3 days after. The appointment to the Australian embassy was on the Monday before the wedding hence arriving earlier.
We caught up with family and friends prior to the wedding but our only organized event was a nail appointment for the bride, bridesmaids and mothers the day before the wedding at Bali Nail Spa in Ubud.
The night after our wedding we had a BBQ dinner (for 35 of our guests) at the Pita Maha Resort. This was absolutely fantastic! The Pita Maha had a beautiful buffet BBQ style dinner set up with lovely Indonesian decorations and table settings. It was a great chance to catch up with family and friends, reminisce and have more time to talk to one another.
The following day we arranged white water rafting as a spur of the moment decision. Our family joined us and it was a good chance to see the Royal Pita Maha from the river, as well as being a fun day out.
Other, more causal, activities we did together included going to the Ubud markets, swimming in the resort pool and trying some of the fantastic restaurants in Ubud. The theme of our wedding was ‘classic elegance’ with a definite fusion of traditional Balinese culture. We wanted to keep our wedding simple but classy.
We chose gold as our colour theme as we felt this bended with the beautiful Balinese buildings and architecture. We kept with the traditional white/ivory wedding dress and black suit, and the bridesmaids’ dresses were a champagne/blush colour with gold accessories. We chose to include white phalaenopsis orchids with the gold/yellow centers as these are our favourite tropical flower and mixed these with white roses, etc.
The venue itself is so incredible that it was not necessary to go overboard with decorations or additions. We simply included personalized white paper fans for guests at the ceremony, a gold “Mr and Mrs Sloot” sign for the bridal table, as well as a wishing well, puzzle guest book and photos of our grandparents both past and present. We had a total of 51 guests attend our wedding. As mentioned before, we wanted to keep our wedding relatively small and intimate, and being overseas we did have a lot of guests that were not able to make it. Furthermore, the wedding package that we won was inclusive for 50 guests hence trying to stick closely to this number.
We chose a sit down alternate drop menu as opposed to cocktail or buffet as we felt this was more formal whilst allowing people some choice in meal options (they could swap if the wished). The menu options were to a high quality and despite not having seen or tasted the food prior to the wedding, we were very happy with everything presented. It is too difficult to choose just one favourite memory from the day! We both have the whole weekend in Ubud with our family and friends as a cherished memory. We would not have changed a thing about our wedding and look back with only fond memories. We just feel so grateful to have been given the opportunity to not only marry the person of our dreams a lot sooner than we would have otherwise been able to, but to have also the wedding of our dreams!
If we had to chose some specific special memories they would be getting ready with our bridal party and parents, seeing each other for the first time down the aisle, hearing each other’s wedding vowels and sharing our first dance together as well as our first dance with our father/mother.