As a wedding planner in Bali, we are pretty spoilt for choice when it comes to amazing locations. There are so many different options, it’s like a never-ending Sunday Brunch that we feel we are always grazing from. Wonderland Uluwatu is the oyster bar, cocktail lounge and dessert station all in one. When we had the first opportunity to organise a wedding here, to say we were excited may have been an understatement.
Last year we were contacted by Melbourne based couple Amanda & Ephram who had their wedding cancelled by a private villa at the last minute. Enter Botanica + Wonderland Uluwatu to the rescue. Within 2 weeks their wedding was booked, planned and celebrated on the most glorious Uluwatu day.
So to help you plan your wedding here, we’ve put together our Top 10 Tips for Planning the Ultimate Wedding at Wonderland Uluwatu to help you plan your wedding:
1. More than an Elopement? Choose the Full Day Hire There are a number of venue hire options to choose from at Wonderland Uluwatu and we absolutely recommend taking advantage of the entire venue, which means choosing a full day hire option. This means that the property is privately yours for the day and you can use all of the spaces. It also is a must if you want to style your wedding as your wedding stylists and planner will need the time to set-up your chosen elements to bring your wedding vision to reality, which can take about 6-8 hours to set up.
2. Create a Journey for your Guests We are letting you in on a little one of our secrets here at Botanica with this tip. One of the reasons we find guests raving about our weddings for years to come is because we really think about the journey of the guests on the day. Think about your favourite holiday. Then think about that totally new experience you had that you will always remember. The element of anticipation and excitement that you felt. That is what you want your guests to feel on your wedding day. You have invited them to Bali for the most amazing experience so think about the journey they will take at your wedding. From arrival to walking down the winding paths out to the ceremony area through to your post-ceremony and party celebrations. Create the opportunity for the mini-events on your wedding day to happen in a different space for each event to keep the momentum and the excitement building. Here is an outline to help you out:
The Guest Welcome
Post-ceremony group photos
Garden Party drinks & canapes. Hold this in one part of the garden or set up different carts/stations for your guests to roam and experience.
Perhaps garden games in a location of its own that guests can discover whilst enjoy their garden party drinks, exploring the gardens
Your photo tour
Maybe a break-out lounge area
Wonderland Uluwatu is the perfect location to host this type of experience because it actually has these spaces on its own and if you have the full day hire you can use them all. You don’t have to try to create these different spaces with staging and styling because the gardens have been designed with this in mind.
3. Power Up When you are planning your wedding the last thing you might think about is power. It’s a given that you need electricity on your wedding day, but it should just be there right?! Well not exactly. At most villa’s or venue only options, you will need to factor in hiring a generator for some power, or back-up power. You will need to power up those gorgeous hanging lights and your DJ booth. Your planner or production team will be able to work out what the requirements will be and costs can range anywhere from AU$300-$1000 depending on what you need to power up.
4. Go Wild: Be Inspired & Get Creative
If there was any place to be bold and take a little risk with your styling, Wonderland Uluwatu is that place. Let the garden-scape be your tropical canvas and start imagining what your day could be. Use striking colour to contrast against the gorgeous green foliage and make those bright bougainvillea pop or if you are a little more conservative and like your neutrals think about layering elements to build effect. This could be with draping and tents, layered with white and antique florals with lighting coming to life at night.
Pin your hearts out and draw inspiration from all of your favourite places or pages to imagine recreating that in some way on your day. Pinterest and Instagram are brilliant sources of binge-worthy wedding inspiration.
Take a chance, remember you only get one so make the most of it!
5. Plan your photo locations
Talk to your photographer and planner in advance about the locations/backdrops that you want for your wedding day. We are talking about your post-ceremony photo tour. It’s important to list out the locations that you must have and make that known to ensure that you don’t miss it on the day. Timing needs to be factored in as does natural lighting as the sunsets. The great thing here at Wonderland Uluwatu is that you don’t have to go anywhere else in between the wedding for photos, your photographer already has their fully-equipped backdrop playground prepared for them.
6. Post-Wedding Recovery BBQ
If you don’t want the party at Wonderland Uluwatu to end, extend the hire the next day and have an all-out fun-in-the-sun pool party for a post-wedding BBQ. Think inflatable unicorns, Bloody Mary’s and carbs to soothe that wedding hangover into party mode all over again.
7. Provide Guest Transport
Get off to a good start with your guests by opting to provide transport for your guests to and from the wedding. By doing this for a relatively low expense you can take the stress out of the logistics for everyone and increase the chances of your wedding starting on time. At Botanica Weddings we recommend asking your guests on your RSVP to advise where they are staying. Then you can choose one or two pick up locations that are centrally located and arrange transport for the guests only after your RSVP’s are confirmed. Late at night, it can be hard to arrange a taxi or go-jek especially in the Uluwatu area so plan ahead to keep everyone safe, happy and on time.
8. Plan for the Weather
While the dry season is typically May to September, we all know that the weather will do whatever she decides to do on any given day anywhere in the world. In Bali, it’s more like a shower here or there. However, rather than just hoping for the best and freaking out on the day it’s always best to have a Plan B. Often in Bali this means that you need to hire a marquee and that needs to be set up the day before, which means more hire costs for both venue and marquee; unless you are getting married at Wonderland.
The gorgeous Glass Joglo is simply stunning and the safari-style Tent that we love on any given day is the best in case of emergency reception saviour depending on your guest numbers. The best advice we can give is to be prepared to be flexible IF you have to. If you can take that mindset from the get-go it will help you to adapt to any situation on the day. For example, in the event that you have to move your ceremony location on the day, you don’t want to let that dictate how you feel for the rest of your wedding day. So have a plan for the just-in-case.
When you are planning an event like a wedding, which chances are you have never done before, you will definitely feel the pressures at some point to follow some sort of tradition or convention. Be it how a wedding ‘traditionally’ runs or an actual tradition like the garter toss (eww! Whoever thought that having your new husband with his head under your dress in front of your Grandmother was ever a good idea?!). Don’t hang onto an idea or tradition just because you feel like you have to. It’s your wedding and you should be able to do what you want to. So if you don’t want to have a formal 3-course dinner, then don’t. Having grazing food stations with live cooking instead works SO well at this venue. Leave the conventions at the alung-alung entrance gate to Wonderland Uluwatu and have the wedding that you want. The main point is, personalise the wedding to be the day that you want it to be. One that is truly yours and reflects your personalities. Talk to your planner and find out what will work, what won’t and make the day a unique experience.
10. Engage a Wedding Planner
Now you may be thinking, “Of course the wedding planner is going to tell me to hire a wedding planner”. And you are completely right, we are going to tell you that you need us and it’s absolutely the truth. If for nothing else but your sanity, you will want to engage someone to look after all of the annoying and difficult elements in planning a wedding. You will want to engage different suppliers to create your ultimate Wonderland Uluwatu wedding which requires local sourcing and logistical planning. We spend on average 60-70 hours working on each wedding. The fact is that you are probably living on the other side of the world and find it hard to find time to schedule your next dental appointment let alone plan your wedding. So rather than be a project manager for your wedding you should choose to be a Bride or a Groom and enjoy the process. It is supposed to be your wedding day after all!
Your planner will be able to help guide you on the best suppliers close to Wonderland Uluwatu or who have the best experience providing services for a dry-hire venue. They will help you through every step of your planning so that you can have the most amazing stress-free day of your lives.
Now that you have our Top 10 Tips on how to plan the Ultimate Wedding at Wonderland Uluwatu you need to get planning! If you want to check out our latest wedding at the venue please head over to our blog.
If you are looking for that perfect venue in Bali that is something completely different from the standard villa or resort wedding, something unique with personality and edge, then Wonderland Uluwatu should be at the top of your venue-scouting list.
About Botanica Weddings
Botanica Weddings is the premier go-to wedding and events planning team on the gorgeous island of Bali. They are a team of Australians & locals living in Bali who just simply love making each and every couple's day exactly what they want it to be.
They create amazing wedding experiences that are full of love, luxury, laughter and dancing in the most incredible locations. “Our aim is to make your wedding day one that you and your guests will never forget. Our speciality is beautiful intimate destination weddings full of fairy lights, heart + soul. We offer services for weddings from luxury elopements to over-the-top events.
Our planning and events crew are the best on the island. We offer our very own online planning system tailored to your wedding to help you plan your wedding from afar, as well as personal planning appointments for each stage of your planning.”
About the Author:
Selina Clunes is the Creative Designer who works on wedding planning, designing and visual communications at Botanica Weddings. Living on the mid-north coast of Australia she gets to travel to Bali for ‘work’. When away from the desk she can either be found in the paddocks with her dogs on the farm or binging on Netflix with a glass of Red.