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Making Your Big Day Fun For All

Need some inspo for your wedding! This post is all about that!

I’ve actually been asked this so many times by clients and friends: Why do you give away so many tips and ideas that can be accessed by anyone? Couples that are not your clients? Other planners? Wedding bloggers?

I think, why not? Not all couples are getting married in Bali, not all planners are going to read my blog, and if it helps to make someone’s day that extra bit better, then it’s a no-brainer.

I’ve always thought of myself as a creative type, and my ideas bank is always brimming to the top. I feel proud to have those assets. But I’m also super proud of the Bali wedding industry and if something I write or suggest can help someone else turn their day from great to incredible then I feel I’ve made my contribution to it, whether or not I directly benefit from it.

Plus, whatever I’m putting out there, is just the tip of the ice berg. Of course I’m going to save surprises for my own clients only, so I see no harm in sharing ideas that have worked for me and that I think will work for everyone!


Photography: Motion House Weddings


A wedding is going to be fun no matter what – especially in Bali. I’m not here to say it won’t be.

I mean technically, as long as it’s the two of you stepping into forever together in a way that is meaningful to the both of you, it’s going to be a day to remember. All the other extras are just enhancers.

Or if you’ve chosen to be surrounded by your nearest and dearest, then the more the merrier right?

 

But if you’re travelling to Bali to have a wedding, it probably means not only have you chosen to tie the knot on an island that holds a special place for you, you also want those who are making the effort to come all this way to have a day and night to remember too!

So here are some suggestions you may want to consider that is going to take your wedding to another level. And I don’t necessarily mean visually or in terms of WOW factor.

I’m talking details that may seem benign on the day, but it’ll be those details that make for happy vendors, happy guests, and most importantly, happy YOU!


Photography: Balimakna


Make sure all your guests can see you say I do

Setting up the ceremony may seem straight forward…and it is essentially.

The bride and groom stand at the end with their guests seated before them to witness their vows. However not all spaces are created equal. Some are narrow, some are asymmetrical and if there is no elevation on the ground, all chairs will be seated back-to-back.

You’ll need to get creative in these instances. There’s nothing worse for your guests than to sit toward the back with just a sea of heads in front of them. They’ve all come to see YOU so make sure they have visual access to that!

Play with various layouts which may include a circular seating arrangement or a runway style so that everyone gets a “front row” seat. Another option for the more traditional layout of even rows, is to place the chairs in alternate numbers so that one row seats 4 people, the next seats 5, then the one after goes back to 4. This reduces the number of heads your guests have to sit behind to see you by creating gaps.

And don’t forget a standing option. Honestly? People don’t mind standing. The ceremony generally doesn’t go longer than thirty minutes, so consider having a 60/40 ratio of seated and standing. This is especially effective for larger weddings where no one wants to sit at the back row – they’ll see nothing! Having the last rows as standing option means they can see above all those who are seated.

If you have a huge guest number, then don’t underestimate the power of installing screens. Having screens positioned half way on either side of the seating ensures everyone can see the close ups!


Photography: Diktat Photography

 

Multiple bars

I’d recommend having multiple bars for any wedding above 80 pax.

While the bartenders will always be going around serving cocktails and beers, there’s always a group of people who insist on going to the bar and ordering direct.

Not only does this slow things down for the bar, and by extension, the rest of the guests by having orders placed on top of the multitude of drinks being prepared on a larger scale, but it causes congestion. Having beers and wines which are simple single serve drinks at a separate bar will make it easier and faster for those wanting those drinks rather than waiting for five espresso martinis to be made before getting a sip of beer.

Dividing your bars into separate services helps streamline service and speed.

You could even have a large vessel with ice and beers for guests to self-serve if you want the bar to focus solely on cocktails or get a self serve bar service which allows your guests to pour their own drinks as well as have the main bar option.


Photography: Balimakna

Bar proximity

While I’m on the topic of bars, lets chat about proximity.

In Bali, your drinks are served to you until after dinner is finished. This means, you and your guests will be handed drinks served on trays from arrival, all through cocktail hour and during dinner. There is literally no reason for people to go up to the bar and order drinks.

After dinner however, the tray service finishes, and it’s up to the guests to go to the bar themselves to place their orders. So, to make it faster and easier for both you and your guests, make sure the main bar is close to where the action is after dinner.

Having the bar close to the dancefloor or dinner area means you’re not going to lose the crowd or the atmosphere by having people constantly leaving to another area of the venue to get drinks. Chances are, you’ll have a portion of your guests just milling around the bar and if it’s far from where you want everyone to be, you’ll feel the whole mood of the night decline due to how spread out everyone is, especially if your venue is a large one in comparison to your guest numbers.


Photography: IMAJ Gallery


Keep it short

There’s nothing worse than a cocktail hour that goes for too long.

Remember, you’re having a wedding, not a regular party, so you want to take your guests on a journey with you.

Cocktail hour is absolutely essential in my opinion. It breaks away from the formality of the ceremony, allows everyone to relax and let their hair down, and acts as an ice-breaker for guests who don’t know each other to meet and have some fun.

But if your cocktail hour goes for too long, you’ll end up with people milling around, losing interest, getting hungry, and getting increasingly drunk, all things you DON’T want on your special day.

The cocktail hour is supposed to be the appetizer of your night, the taste of what’s to come.

Too short and it feels rushed and people feel like they’re on a schedule, not a day of having fun.

Too long, and you lose the momentum, people won’t pay attention to speeches later in the night, and you’ll likely lose many to tiredness after dinner or complete intoxication, taking your wedding night from fun and elevated to tacky and messy.

Yes you want the drinks flowing and people to be laughing, but you don’t want them passing out on their food.

Keep boredom and inebriation at bay by ensuring you keep the cocktail hour just the right length of time.

My tip? Smaller weddings need a shorter cocktail hour – there are less people to talk to and generally less things to do to keep guests occupied. Larger weddings can stretch out a bit longer as it will take more time to get everyone drinks, and due to the amount of guests, they’ll likely be entertained for longer with the many options of people to chat to.


Photography: Vargamurphy


Don’t limit entertainment to only music

Music is what ties the day and night together. It’s the symphonic glue that can wordlessly escort your guests from mellow cocktails to pumped up dancefloor. You and your guests will naturally alter your state based on the beats and rhythm of the night. But remember, not all entertainment comes in the form of music, and not everyone likes to dance.

Ensure you have other forms of entertainment so that guests of all ages and personalities can enjoy themselves. They can come in physical forms such as lawn games and I Spy cards that are handed to guests, or it can be interactive extras such as photo booths and audio registries.

My point is, keep it varied. Having something for everyone really makes a difference.


Photography: Motion House Weddings


Dance the night away

For those of you who do have a guest list who you know will hit the dancefloor, then you may not need to invest in the add-ons mentioned above, and instead put that towards a fantastic band or dj (or both!) and that’ll be one of the best things you spend your money on at your wedding.

A good entertainer will know when to lift the mood, when to keep it chilled for dinner, and know how to get everyone out of their seats and burn holes in the dancefloor.

A great way to increase the chance of everyone dancing is when you send out your invitations, have a space where each guest can put in a favourite song request. This way, you’ll know that everyone will dance at least once when they hear their song! It also makes them feel valued and more included on your big day.


Photography: Kadek for Diktat Photography

 

Lastly, wedding favors – yay or nay?

I’m getting asked this more and more these days.

It’s not as common to have wedding favours as it used to be, particularly for destination weddings.

Its an extra cost on the couple’s side, and its an extra thing to bring back for the guests that they may or may not have space for – depending on what it is.

My tip for this, is if you are going to give out favors, make sure they fit into one of these categories: functional or consumable.

Functional – make them useful. Whether it’s a handheld fan they can use to combat the heat or a wall of themed sunglasses, having something they can use there and then is much more appreciated than a random keyring.

Consumable – if they can eat or drink it on the night, it ticks the box of having given them something personal, and they don’t have to bring it with them or have an issue remembering where they left it. Things such as personalized sugar cookies on their place setting, mini bottles of alcohol or even cupcakes to eat on the way home, all work well.


Photography: Flipmax Photography

 

So there’s my lates thought and tips on making sure your big day is fun for all.

There a loads more ideas, but honestly I’d never stop typing.

Hoping this helps some of you in making your special day the little bit more WOW.

 

xxx


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