18 November 2014, by Tan Li Lin

Bali Wedding Final Day: How To Do Awesome Without Breaking The Bank

I could not have been happier with the outcome of our ‘Barefoot Bali Sunset Wedding’ that happened on 20th September. From villa hunting, to confirming our stunning location, preparations, and pre-wedding jitters, everything came together perfectly on our dinner day.

Of course, it wasn’t perfect. We started late (when in Indonesia, do as the Indonesians), my make-up looked all ready for Halloween 2014, guests were shivering from the night sea breeze, main course was delayed because strong winds kept blowing the stove out, fire-dancers almost colliding into each other…

But by ‘perfect’ I meant these little rustic inperfections didn’t overshadow the overall guest experience. Friends said it was the most memorable wedding they have been to and absolutely enjoyed themselves. I’m guessing its the authenticity of chatting barefoot on the cliff edge enjoying wind, para-gliders and that freaking awesome Red Velvet cake.

All in all, you CAN do an awesome wedding without breaking the bank. It is common knowledge that all too often young Singaporean couples spend way too much on a 1-night affair, with some going into loans which can be better used for housing or children. Of course, some couples are obliged to because of parent’s expectations, but Ronald and I would advise creative ways for doing something meaningful and affordable. After all, it IS your big day BUT this is barely an event with much ROI (red packets don’t count – you’d get them even without holding a dinner). You don’t need big bucks for a bang of an experience.

Here’s how we did it:

1. NOT doing it in Singapore

Hotels will charge an arm and a leg for substandard food and a cookie-cutter experience. We didn’t feel it was meaningful for us or our guests who are obliged to pay for a predictable experience. Inviting selected guests to join us overseas meant they are paying instead for mystery, excitement and a personal holiday . Plus in Bali, costs of practically everything there is significantly lower.

4-bedroom villa + view + compound which can comfortably sit 50 guests cost us S$8222 (with 4 days 2 nights accommodation and villa staff. Actual ‘event’ fee is only S$2000).

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You can always count on Mother Nature to take breaths away.

2. Engaging a local Wedding Organizer

She took care of EVERYTHING (vendor coordination, generator, sound system, lights, decor, balloons) and was there on that night to oversee the event. Her services cost us S$520 in exchange for all the headache and worry that we’d get cheated by locals.

3. Ordering THE CAKE from a local bakery

We threw out the need for a 3-tier (3 layers each tier) wedding cake and ordered a 2 layered Red Velvet Cake directly from a local bakery. It cost us only S$90.

And it was the BEST RED VELVET I’ve ever put in my mouth. My foodie guests agree.

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Cake didn’t come with flowers, but the simplicity was GORG.

4. Everyone is the photographer

Our designated photographer was iPhone and Samsung. Figured there wasn’t a need to engage one (or fly one down!) because guests would end up taking candid shots with rich stories to tell. Going through their photos allowed me to view our wedding in their eyes – and that was the fun bit! Cost: S$0.

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5. DIY Odds & Ends

Those photo-props? Found online and printed out. Less than $10.

Bubbles? Borrowed Coco’s bubble machine. Free.

Guest favors? Customized metal luggage tags that doubled up as name placecards. $8 each, shipped right to my doorstep. Bundled in twine and a thank-you card I printed myself.

6. Getting practical with my GOWN

“Here comes the… gown”. All eyes on the gown means brides end up splurging on fancy dresses. Of course, nothing wrong with that. I just wanted something that won’t sit in my wardrobe for the next half a century. Something I could still pull off at other events. Plus it helped that our theme was quite slack hippie.

This, in all its humble glory, cost me S$90. Dressed up with a headdress (S$40), ALDO accessories ($40) and Charles & Keith bling bling sandals ($50).

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Hoping I won’t cringe at our dressing 30 years from now, or get laughed at by our kids for being old-fashioned.

7. Ridding the “Pre-Photography” or “Wedding Album”

So, we all know that stuff is never looked at once the wedding’s over. I attribute it to that it’s too dressy and posed for it to be an integral part of our daily lives. I wanted to make sure we were captured naturally. I hope I can still stand to look at our wedding photos years later. So, Ron and I took a ‘walk’ along the cliff, caught the best sunlight of the day, and crossed our fingers that my brother and dad could work their phones to make us look good.

Here’s the S$0 outcome:

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8. Focusing on the KEY ingredient of any party

Our SENSES. What we hear, touch, feel, see, taste, smell comes together to form an orchestra of feel-good. The cheapest form of enhancing any experience is the music. It’s known that good music is the life of any party. To make sure my guests loved the music, I compiled all their requested songs. Including disco. Seriously. How could anyone resist DISCO. Other things like, the unexpected view, the smell of sea in the wind, the sound of waves, nibbles, little props to get busy with like sparklers and wise love quotes kept people busy taking photos, blowing bubbles and releasing balloons bring out the kid in people and (highly optional), super strong light beams that shone right up into the sky and across the cliffs. Just. Magical.

Of course, a pool helps. By the end of the night, we found ourselves frolicking in the cool water, staring out into the comforting darkness of the ocean with the stars shining down on us.

Priceless.

All these elements come together and binds the story of the couple into the whole experience – making it personal, memorable and meaningful for everyone, because they were free to do what they liked.

(Did I forget to mention some friends gathered in the living room to play a chinese card game? At a wedding?! Love how it’s so brutally casual.)

And that’s what made the wedding perfect. Simply, the freedom to be themselves and enjoy our union with us – feet and soul bared.

Don’t crack that piggy bank; crack that brain instead. Being creative and a lot less hard on yourself can produce a beautiful wedding at a low cost. Remember that most importantly, your presence is what counts, not the pennies.

All in all, our wedding came up to S$10,000. That’s before any offset with the red packets πŸ˜‰

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Lin Tan is an Entrepreneur and an Executive Coach who dedicates more time to making society a better place over making babies (for now). Follow her blog on ilovechildren.sg/blog and journey with her as she embarks on all things β€˜life after 30β€².

Posted on : November 18, 2014

Filed under : Life After Wedding

35 Comments

Claire

October 11th, 2018 at 9:42 am    


Hi! Came across your post while researching on Bali wedding πŸ™‚ would you kindly share the vendors / wedding planners that you engaged for your wedding? As that would be really helpful!! I’m trying not to break a bank by holding a wedding in Bali as well! Thank you! πŸ™‚

Charmaine

August 26th, 2018 at 4:44 pm    


Hello! Came across your blog while researching for my Bali wedding, would greatly appreciate it if you could share your contact for the wedding cake thank you πŸ™‚

Chitra Kusnadi

February 19th, 2018 at 1:35 am    


Hi Lin, your article gave us better insight. I’ve been searching for better clarity on what it takes to do a wedding in Bali. We just got engaged and looking for hosting the wedding end of year.

Will you kindly share with me the details on your wedding organizer, #of people you have during the wedding and some vendors detail that you recommend?

Thank you!!

Eugene

December 5th, 2017 at 7:09 pm    


Dear Lin,

Loved reading this and thanks for shedding the light on something quite difficult to get any resource on. Is there any chance you could share with me the vendors details that you’d used for this wedding?

Much appreciated, and thank you!

Tan Li Lin

Tan Li Lin

June 27th, 2017 at 4:50 pm    


Hi Jo, I’ve dropped you an email with the Vendor’s details. Hope you find it as yummy as my guests did!

Jo

June 13th, 2017 at 8:58 pm    


Hi dear, may I know which bakery did you order the cake from?

Thank you!

Tan Li Lin

Tan Li Lin

June 6th, 2017 at 4:50 pm    


Hi Lisa! I just saw your comment, hope this isn’t coming too late!
It was totally simple and that’s why I reckon I could relax and have fun πŸ™‚
Congrats on your engagement and I’m sending you the vendor details now! Wish you all the best for your big day.

Tan Li Lin

Tan Li Lin

June 6th, 2017 at 4:43 pm    


Hi Gloria!
Happy to share the details with you. I’ll email you in a bit.
Yes, only some villas are willing to accommodate weddings, and different villas have different event terms & conditions (like some don’t allow pyrotechnics). I’m not sure about certs, but heads up also that you’d need to pay a “village fee” for holding events, so that’s normal.
Congrats on your upcoming big day and remember to enjoy every magical moment!

gloria

June 6th, 2017 at 4:09 pm    


Hi Li Lin,

Chanced upon your article when planning for my upcoming wedding πŸ™‚ would appreciate if you could send me the details πŸ™‚

Is it true that only certain villas are able to accommodate weddings held in them? like they need certain certifications and stuff like that.

thanks in advance πŸ™‚

glor

Lisa

May 19th, 2017 at 3:18 pm    


Hi Li Lin,

I just stumbled on your blog. Love how simple and fun your wedding looks like. πŸ™‚
We are recently engaged and are planning to have a small wedding in Bali instead of Singapore too!
I would be grateful if you could give me the contact of your wedding planner and team.

Thanks!

Tan Li Lin

Tan Li Lin

April 25th, 2017 at 10:57 pm    


Hi Zhiying,
I’m so happy to hear that my experience has inspired your dream wedding. I loved it and I’m sure you’ll find a way to create your perfect celebrations! I’m emailing you the details now. Congrats!

Zhiying

April 25th, 2017 at 8:34 pm    


Hi Li Lin! Was doing some research and chanced upon your blog and right now I’m so inspired to have my wedding at Bali too!! Could you kindly email me the details? Thank you so much!!

Tan Li Lin

Tan Li Lin

April 4th, 2017 at 1:12 am    


Hi Wan Sean, I’m glad you found my article useful. Your dream Bali wedding CAN happen! I am emailing you the details now. Congrats and have fun with the process!

Wanxuan

April 3rd, 2017 at 11:28 am    


Hihi, Your article is great start for my dream Bali wedding!! My fiance and I are looking at having one as well… are you able to provide me with your wedding planner’s contacts and also some further details of your wedding?

Tan Li Lin

Tan Li Lin

March 8th, 2017 at 12:45 am    


Dear Zaxong, I’ll be happy to share details with you! Will email you. Congrats on your upcoming wedding πŸ™‚ Thanks for reading the blog!

Zac

March 6th, 2017 at 10:08 am    


Hi Li Lin,

I came across your blog while planning for our own destination wedding.
Would you please kindly share the detail such as the wedding planner, venue, caterer, bakery etc?
We are also working with the same budget you had!

Tan Li Lin

Tan Li Lin

February 3rd, 2017 at 1:32 pm    


Hi Belinda, dropping you an email now!!

belinda

February 1st, 2017 at 2:42 pm    


Hi!

Can i have the info for the cake?… was planning against a cake…but if you say its good as it is…wouldnt mind giving it a try!… and…..the bubble machine???? i know you got it from Coco…but…i have no idea how to get it in Bali!… Help? …

Tan Li Lin

Tan Li Lin

November 28th, 2016 at 1:55 pm    


Hi Janelle, happy to share. I’ve dropped you an email with the details. Remember to have fun and enjoy yourself!

JAnelle

November 2nd, 2016 at 9:00 pm    


Hi Li Lin,

Do you mind to email me the contacts of the Wedding Organizer, bakery and dinner catering.
Thanks!

Tan Li Lin

Tan Li Lin

July 18th, 2016 at 12:18 pm    


Hi Sophie!

Thanks for reading our blog. Happy to help – I’ve emailed you personally with the details.
Have a wonderful wedding and congratulations!!!

Sophie

July 16th, 2016 at 10:04 am    


Hi Lin, your photos look beautiful! Completely agree with you we should all spend our money meaningfully and wisely.
Would be grateful if you could share the villa name, planning team, as well as the BEST VELVET CAKE information please.

Thank you!

Yvonne Kua

March 20th, 2016 at 4:53 pm    


Hi, I am planning to hold my wedding in Bali as well, and my budget is SGD10k. Your posts helps a lot – would you be able to let me have the contact for your wedding planner?

Tan Li Lin

Tan Li Lin

January 24th, 2016 at 10:11 pm    


Hi Santa!
I’ve sent you an email with the information you requested. Let me know if you need anything else. COngratulations on your upcoming wedding! Enjoy!

Santa

January 10th, 2016 at 10:28 pm    


Hi Lin, congrats. Its a gorgeous wedding. Btw can u email me the contact of that local bakery? And whats the name of the villa? Thank you πŸ™‚

Tan Li Lin

Lin

December 9th, 2015 at 3:40 pm    


Hi Junie!
I’ve sent you an email with the details that you’ve requested.
Have a lovely wedding and Congratulations to you!

Junie

November 27th, 2015 at 5:34 pm    


Hi Li Lin,

Really enjoyed your article! Can I also ask for the contact for your local coordinator and the local bakery? Many thanks!

Junie

Tan Li Lin

Lin

June 12th, 2015 at 3:00 pm    


Hi Kerry!

Thanks for dropping in and for your kind words. Glad you enjoyed the post, it was just as enjoyable sharing the photos and the tips with our readers πŸ™‚

Kerry Woods

June 12th, 2015 at 1:15 am    


Very nice article. This could be a guide for those who want to carry out a wedding. so they do not need to worry about the costs incurred for the marriage. very interesting. great for reference. I like the photos. very POP. thanks for share. Congratulation for the wedding.

Tan Li Lin

Tan Li Lin

May 22nd, 2015 at 12:09 pm    


Hey Precilla!

Thanks for dropping by the blog πŸ™‚
I’ve emailed you the cake contact already. Hope you enjoy it as much as my guests did!
p/s – The flowers on the cake were added on… but they will provide a beautiful white textured cake for you to begin with.

Congrats, and enjoy your wedding!

Precilla

May 21st, 2015 at 3:46 pm    


Hi there,

Thank you for sharing your lovely wedding, it helps alot.
May I know what is the local bakery’s name for your wedding cake?

Feby

January 31st, 2015 at 8:49 pm    


Hi Li Lin,

Thanks for your inspiring and valuable sharing.
Could you please share with me the following:

1. Name & Contact Details of Wedding Organizer
2. Name & Contact Details of Wedding Caterer

Many thanks for your kind sharing.

Cheers,

Feby

Celine

November 23rd, 2014 at 11:18 am    


Such a lovely dress! Love x3 it! Looks like all family and friends had a blast πŸ™‚

Tan Li Lin

Tan Li Lin

November 21st, 2014 at 12:31 am    


Thanks Mandy!!

Mandy Loh

Mandy

November 21st, 2014 at 12:07 am    


Congrats on a superbly gorgeous wedding! Love the pics! πŸ™‚

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