Beau and Leisa’s Dream Bali Wedding – The Bali Bride Wedding
(Sing it!) CEL-E-BRATE good times come on!
Our founders are celebrating their 5 year Bali Wedding Anniversary this week (Holy Moly) so to celebrate our Social Media Manager (& general, all round epic girl) Courtney sat down with The Bali Bride Leisa herself to ask her all of the (tough wedding) questions you’ve always wanted to ask. With a few from our loyal Instagram followers too.
After the excitement of getting engaged what was the first thing you did to begin the wedding planning process?
We asked our whole family if they would travel to Bali for a wedding, our wedding! And when the answer was yes from every-single-person we asked? It was decided. What’s a wedding without your favourites yeah? And it was followed closely by venue spotting. Beau had picked out a venue already… more on that later.
What was the best piece of advice you were given while you were planning your wedding?
Don’t sweat the small stuff! The most important thing is each other during the planning process and on the big day and it becomes all about how you’ll react to things that might not necessarily go to plan. When you look back, they don’t matter. So learn to control your reactions, it will save your day. There are ALWAYS things that don’t go to plan.
Sometimes the excitement of planning a wedding can take over, was there anything you went over budget on and what was it? Definitely the villa. We had no idea the cost of venues when planning a destination wedding, it adds up. But when we saw it, we had to have it. We walked through 12 villas on our villa tour day with Anapuri being the first on we saw and we went back to it after number 12 and for us, it was perfect. We could instantly see where everything was going to be set up (both being event managers) and where our guests would be enjoying, hanging out and partying.
Was there anything that you really wanted but couldn’t have (flowers, furniture, etc)? Yes, we weren’t allowed a sparkler sendoff for safety (fire) reasons so make sure you check with your individual venues if there is something you have your heart set on. We also requested balloons but they were eliminated unless they were tied down due to environmental reasons.
Is there a special moment that stood out to you on the big day? Two actually, the moment before my Dad walked me down the aisle. I was about to turn into a big ball of nerves but he just grabbed me and said, “Let’s do this! Enjoy sweetheart!” and it was everything I needed to hear. He actually talked me the whole way down the aisle. It was like nobody else was there. We laughed and giggled together until he handed me to my future husband.
No. 2. Someone told Beau and I to take a moment right before the reception and share the day with each other. Beau whisked me away just as the sun was setting and our fairy lights came on in the reception area. We watched it all come alive, it was magic as we looked back to our guests having the best time at the pool bar, singing at the top of their lungs and the night hadn’t even started. Make sure you do it too! You don’t get many moments alone together on your big day (it sounds strange) but it just doesn’t happen so it was nice to share it.
How many trips to Bali did you take to plan your wedding?
Only one. We travelled there every year for a holiday together so the next holiday booked was our planning trip. We looked at 12 villas, did food tastings, cake tastings, explored furniture, flowers, you name it we did it and Beau was with me every step of the way. Planning our wedding was so fun!
Was the planning a joint effort for you and Beau? How much responsibility did you give him?
Absolutely! Anyone that knows us knows Beau has the style in our relationship, it comes from his mother (who was a wedding stylist for years). So you can imagine the conversations around the styling between us. Nothing a bottle of wine didn’t fix, ha ha! We took it in turns and if there was something he really wanted he got it and vice-versa. You’ve got to give and take as it is two personalities coming together as one for the big day. Just because they’re male doesn’t mean they won’t have epic wedding ideas.
What was your biggest source of inspiration for planning your wedding?
Instagram! I can remember searching every day on the hashtags #baliwedding & #balibride and thinking how amazing the stylists were in Bali. Which then led me to start an Instagram page (well you all know that story!) and I posted all of the photos I really liked and wanted to show our planner on that page. Little did I know it would still be going 6 years later. That’s a lot of hashtags!
Your bridesmaids all wore different dresses, how was that to coordinate?
My girls were amazing! I had four bridesmaids in 3 different countries who had four totally different body shapes. I had the colour ivory in mind and from there all I wanted was for them to feel comfortable and beautiful on our day. We aimed for a little longer than a party dress but shorter than the knee and they all sent me photos from their changerooms whenever they found something. They purchased their own dresses so the budgets were also up to them. They nailed it, they looked absolutely beautiful.
Did you feel overwhelmed by your guests at any point at your destination wedding? Not at all. We planned some key events for guests to enjoy so they got plenty of us time and then everyone also hung out in groups during the day and the other nights. It’s important to remember that although everyone has travelled to Bali for your wedding, they are also there for their own holiday too so don’t lock them into an event every day. They will want to relax and enjoy the experience on their own too.
Were there any last minute changes you had to deal with?
We had 7 guests, 3 different sets of people who had to pull out within 3 days of the wedding. We were of course disappointed that some of our friends couldn’t make it due to last minute changes but no more disappointed than them.
What was your budget and how much did your wedding cost?
It was important to Beau and I that we didn’t use credit to pay for our day as we didn’t want an outstanding payment after the day was all over so we were limited to what we could spend. We budgeted for 30K and I think we came in between 27K-30K. We ended up spending the lot in the end as things just popped up.
No regrets. Just so grateful to have the time with most of our family and friends in the one place at the one time. We still talk about it so much!
If you could change one thing about the day what would it be?
I would have started getting ready earlier. I underestimated how long it takes to have your hair and makeup done. So I took my time in the shower and didn’t realise we were behind schedule when we started. It meant that I rushed putting on my dress and hanging out with my bridesmaids before heading down the aisle 20 mins late. It didn’t affect our day but if I had it over again I would have started an hour earlier. (When I was supposed to)
Any tips for future Bali Brides?
*Start early on your wedding day
*Write your speech before you get to Bali, you can always change it whilst there but you won’t stress over it not being done.
*Write your thank you cards before your trip, I wrote them for my bridesmaids the morning of the wedding day and the emotions were running high! Meanwhile, it was lucky I did. My bridesmaids were busy choreographing an act for speeches.
*Choose a wedding planner that FEELS right, not only for the work you’ve seen them do.
*Create a photography shot list so you don’t miss anyone out.
Questions from ‘The Bali Bride’ community
What’s something you stressed over when planning but didn’t notice on the day?
Having all eyes on us for the ceremony. But it went away. You are so wrapped up in the day and emotions and everything else, you kind of forget to be nervous. The nerves are there but they are so real, it just doesn’t matter.
What was your favourite thing about the day, pick one only?
The speeches! So much time and energy had gone into what people said and they were so beautiful, funny and thoughtful. The highlight? Our maid of honour got up and rapped to ‘Fresh Prince of Bel Air’ with our bridesmaids as her backup singers and dancers. It was hilarious!
What made you choose a villa over a resort?
Definitely the privacy of a villa. Knowing that only our guests were on the property made everyone get to know each other so much! Also, the freedom to do what we wanted to do.
What was the highlight of the planning process?
Coming in under budget! Or just discovering we could afford everything we wanted to have. (Don’t get me wrong, we had to go without a few things for this to happen!) AND! Pulling off the monumental task of a destination wedding in another country.
Why did you choose Bali?
We always wanted a 3 day event that came with having a destination wedding. I have lived in Whistler, Canada & London, England and we’d both travelled the European Summer so we have lots of different groups of friends. We liked the idea of our friends all finally meeting each other and getting to know one another at the welcome party, spending the wedding day together and then partying at the recovery together. We loved when people shared with us who they loved meeting at our wedding and all of the Facebook friend requests that happened post wedding too. Plus the price of a Bali wedding helped too.
And then who could forget the Balinese people, the sunsets, the day spa’s, the beach club’s, THE FOOD! and the overall vibe we wanted to share with our guests. There is no place like it!
Did the Bali Wedding process feel easy or was it complex?
I wouldn’t say it was easy or complex. It required a lot of research and organisation but both Beau and I come from an events background so we could easily feel our way through what needed to be done and what needed to be done. We chose to plan a lot of it ourselves and our wedding planner brought it all together for us with a month to go and ran the day. We used a lot of spreadsheets and saved a lot of photos to show people we were working with so we were really clear on what we were after. 5 years ago we didn’t have the options there are today and they also didn’t all have Instagram pages so you only found them through planners. If I had to describe it I would say it was constant, creative and fun! The only hard part was waiting for replies from vendors, some of them are on Bali time. (Slow!)
Order of ceremony to make it fun? Worried about guests being bored.
As soon as everyone was seated at the reception our MC welcomed everyone and the first speech. (Grooms Parents) This followed nicely into my parents. (Brides Parents) We did this strategically so that two lots of speeches were finished before dinner. We then had dinner which were food stations and when the last person had sat down with their plate we started the next two speeches (Maid of Honour & Best Man) Some people were still finishing their plates but it meant the night flowed and there was no downtime. The MC invited everyone to grab a drink and then bought everyone back to their tables for us. (Bride & Groom) Some of our speeches were longer than usual but it didn’t feel that way starting them before dinner. It was a game-changer!
Don’t worry about your guests being bored, they have jumped on a plane to help you celebrate, they love you and will want to hear the speeches.
The Bali Bride Wedding
Beau and Leisa first crossed paths in their hometown on the east coast of Australia, but it wasn’t until many years later that their romance blossomed upon crossing paths in a bar in London. Continuing to meet up all over Europe that Summer kept the romance alive. Fast Forward 5 years and they were planning their dream wedding in Bali after travelling there every year for their holidays since moving home. They couldn’t wait to introduce their family and friends to the Bali way.
Drawing inspiration from the surroundings of Bali itself these two created a destination wedding to remember at the luxury Anapuri Villas. Located on the East Coast of Bali where Beau had previously seen Kelly Slater surfing an epic right-hander out the front. (Priorities! And yes the wave was firing on their wedding day!) Working closely with the talented wedding planner Lynley from Lynley Bali Events, (who also became their caterer) their day was a heartfelt celebration filled with beautiful rustic styling, white and green blooms and thoughtful, personalised details.
One of our favourite elements from this loving celebration would have to be Beau and Leisa’s pool covered platform for their ceremony surrounded by friends and family overlooking the ocean. Not only was their ceremony decked out with incredible decor from our friends at Bali Event Hire (including some statement peacock chairs!), but the music that had been so strategically planned out per hour that had the guests saying, “cheers!” when enjoying sunset drinks or the feet tapping amongst the swing dinner music.
Following their sun-setting ceremony, beachfront bridal portraits and video were captured by superstar teams Terralogical and Bali Metro underneath a stunning afternoon light, all while guests enjoyed the cocktail hour at the pool bar. An alfresco reception was brought to life underneath a canopy of rattan lampshades, with some of our favourite furniture pieces from the Bali Event Hire range. Wooden dining tables and natural teak cross-back chairs created a warm and intimate vibe, with lush tablescapes adorned with white flowers, greenery and luxe gold lanterns.
We love that Beau and Leisa weren’t afraid to go all out just to show their guests how much they really meant to them and they created a day with lots of bells and whistles. A welcome sandwich and cocktail, mini desserts were delivered on the dancefloor, a late night gelato cart and a secret surprise after party in the underground media room of the villa were some of our favourites. (And yes, they danced till sunrise!)
As the sun set over the villa, guests enjoyed a night of delicious food, dancing under the stars of a tent canopy of fairy lights, with every guest on the dancefloor enjoying the 8 piece band only to break for a piece of the divine cake supplied by Ixora Cakes Bali! So much fun!
Check out all of the gorgeous details from this loving Ketewel wedding below, along with the incredible team of Bali vendors involved. Plus, Leisa shares her advice on how to plan the perfect Bali wedding.
On the Day Planner & Catering: Lynley Bali Events
Furniture: Bali Event Hire
Makeup & Hair: Yeanne Makeup Art
Video: Bali Metro
Cake: Ixora Cakes Bali
Lanterns: The Wedding Shop Bali
Dress: Anna Campbell via The Babushka Ballerina
Wedding Venue: Anapuri Villas