A 12-Step Planning Guide For The New Bride-to-Be
Which type of bride are you? Your engagement party is over, the last guests have left, the sun is coming up and whilst lying in bed trying to finally go to sleep, your head is racing with ideas: color combinations for the outfits of the bridesmaids and groomsmen, cake flavors and a fairytale-like reception setup by the ocean. Some brides cannot wait to get started on planning the Big Day, even though the date is not even picked yet.
Other couples leave the planning and inviting of the guests until 6 months before the wedding day, everybody is different. This is a quick guide to help you not to get stressed but also to make sure you don’t get ahead of yourself.
1. First Things First – Choose a Date
What would be your ideal wedding date? Narrow down the months that would suit you and your closest family best for the wedding. Do you have to take low and high season into consideration for certain guests that might have to watch out for school holidays?
There is a lot to consider, but especially for Bali, the dry season months remain the most favorable ones: from May until October Bali is considered dry. Although the climate change has made that rule a little less predictable over the past years, it is still safe to stick to these months if you are set on an outdoor wedding celebration.
2. Choose a Venue
Bali offers a wide range of villas that are suitable for events. Think of what you and your partner love about this island: whether it is the quiet and peaceful coast line of the East, or the busy buzz of Seminyak and Canggu. The private villa rental market has developed into a very mature industry over the past years. There are villas available for every budget and reception size. We are proud to provide you with our yearly changing carefully curated top wedding villa list and would love to take you on a tour to see your favorite venues.
Some venues will recommend to use a wedding planner or even make it mandatory for you to hire an organizer as the intricate details of such an event usually cannot be taken care of by in-house staff.
3. Embrace New Technology
Sending out traditional paper cards and invites are still favored by most engaged couples. However, nowadays, most guests will reply to your invitation via email to get in touch with you.
Try using a wedding website to send out invitation emails and reminders to guests. Post accommodation options or give your guests quick updates; just create your own homepage for the wedding and the surrounding days! Some ideas: www.withjoy.com; www.theknot.com
4. The Early Bird catches the…
Since you are planning to get married abroad, inform your guests as early as possible to ensure great flight connections with small price tags. Send out your ‚Save The Dates’ up to one year in advance if possible. Once you have picked the villa and paid a deposit on the accommodation, send out the actual invites.
5. Planning of the Day
The actual planning process, where you and your partner decide on the caterer, entertainment, color themes and flowers starts about 6 to 3 months prior to the wedding date. Each planner has their own recipe for success, but we all agree, planning a year in advance doesn’t make much sense since wedding industry trends change, new suppliers and equipment come available and quite frankly, a lot of brides change their minds often within one year when it comes to picking the wedding theme.
One small but important exception are the photographers and videographers: These vendors tend to book out faster, we therefore recommend to decide on the photographer a little sooner, about 12 to 9 months prior to the date if possible. We work with a number of excellent artists of the wedding industry, email us here for recommendations.
6. Legal or non-legal wedding
There are pro’s and con’s for considering for either option. This blog article deals with these questions in more detail.
7. Let the Planning Begin!
About 4 to 5 months prior to your wedding date, the detailed planning begins. Together with you and your partner, we will go through a range of different topics such as:
Catering OptionsWedding Cake vendorsYour color scheme and wedding style, flowersEntertainmentTransportationFurniture and other decor rental to achieve the look you’re afterLegal or non legal wedding arrangementsOther events around the Big DayHair & Make-up artists
8. Speaking of Hair & Make-up
Thanks to the high demand over the past years, Bali’s hair and make-up artists have become as professional with international credentials as they are in your own country. Trust that there will be no shortage of good & reliable vendors to ensure you and the girls will look picture perfect on the day. We work with a variety of artists in Bali who will come to your villa on the day of the wedding. We would be glad to help you choose the right one!
Latest 90 to 60 days prior to your wedding date your guests should let you know whether they will be able to attend your wedding. Most caterers will want to know your final number of participants for the dinner about 60 days in advance and we assume that you will want to know who is coming by now too!
Set a cut-off date and continue to plan with the smallest number of guests as it is always easier to add guests to the tables at a later stage than take them off the seating chart.
About 2 months prior the basic decisions should have been made. Now is the time for smaller details. Think about special dietary requirements for some of your guests, and double check on the final guest numbers. Since you now know your final number of guests, let’s sort out transportation to and from the wedding venue as well!
About one month out, the first run sheet draft will help you to map out the entire wedding day and maybe even the days around the Big Event. Some run sheets will tie in all confirmed vendors, others might just hand you a slimmer version of the run sheet noting down only the most important cues of the day. In general, however, this document will take note of the timings of everybody involved, mention the names of the bridal party to make communication easier and mention other important details of the day that must not be missed. This document is mostly a joined project where the couple contributed actively to fill in some gaps and details from their end.
11. The Rehearsal
Once you have arrived in Bali, most event professionals will setup a meeting to go through all details. Use this to settle possible open bills, ask last minute questions, tweak the run sheet and maybe make the necessary changes. A day or two before the wedding, a ceremony rehearsal is setup if your schedule allows it. This is important as you can not only try out your wedding shoes, but a rehearsal also allows you to go through the ceremony in your own time, double check on the position and line-up of the bridal party and your own walk-in timings so you don’t get nervous the next day.
Now is the time to get spray tans, manicures or massages with the girls :)
12.Your Big Day is Here!
After the rehearsal meeting, there is not much to do apart from relaxing and letting the planners do their jobs so you can start the happily ever after in style!