Our Destination Wedding at Villa Taman Ahimsa in Bali
When we decided on Taman Ahimsa and all of our vendors, I scoured the internet for reviews and photographs. Now that it’s a year later, the villa is becoming a more popular wedding venue (they had 5 other weddings in September after ours). The trickiest part was communicating with the staff with day-of meals, transportation, and charges. Most of it was verbal and some was via e-mail so there were inevitably a couple mix-ups, like the masseuses who showed up on the wrong day.
However, Bali is home to the nicest, most hospitable people and the villa staff was so accommodating. They quickly remedied any mistakes without extra charges and graciously went above and beyond to help with bartending at our Welcome Lunch, constantly cleaning our rooms and common areas, and setting up a beachfront BBQ on our last night. We were so spoiled and it was the absolute best send-off.
We chose the “By Your Side” package with Avavi Weddings. This meant that our coordinator Adria would help provide a list of recommended vendors within our budget, but it was our job to vet them out and choose who we wanted to work with. We started by interviewing photographers — and there were a lot. Ultimately, we resorted back to Adria’s recommendations and chose someone who had worked with her before, had experience shooting at Taman Ahimsa, and spoke English very well (in addition to having a beautiful style).
Afterwards, we chose vendors for hair and makeup, videography, caterers for the wedding and Welcome Lunch, decorations, and sound and lighting. Almost all of this was squared away within 2 months, even before we had bought our outfits or plane tickets. Also, we were simultaneously renovating the house so we wanted to get all of the wedding details wrapped up ASAP.
In our final stages of wedding planning, we almost didn’t have a cake because our catering menu already included four desserts. However, as much as sticking to our budget was important to us, we also didn’t want to pass up on parts that we might regret later. So we put down a deposit for a delicious, fluffy, creamy, semi-naked, two-tier Irish coffee cake and we’re SO glad we did. And like many of our vendors, it was so much more affordable in Bali than if we had done the ceremony in LA.
The only vendors we decided to skip out on were an emcee and DJ. Our officiant Arya was more than capable of emceeing and graciously rose to the occasion. And since we were unsure if Balinese DJs would be familiar with American songs, we chose to customize our playlist. We personally selected all the songs, downloaded and edited them if they were too long, assembled the order of the playlist, and just asked our sound dude to press play!
We practiced our first dance routine every night for about 2 weeks. I choreographed it and frantically hemmed my dress a few days before we left so that I wouldn’t trip over it.
And right before we invited guests to the dance floor, we added a fire dance performance to the reception because Alex got really excited about more fire.
Here is the list of all the vendors we had the pleasure of working with. I’ll be writing Tripadvisor and Yelp reviews for each of them because we loved them all so much. It was the most pleasant, enjoyable experience and we’re so glad to have friends in Bali now. Having a destination wedding requires a lot of organizing and even more blind faith (more on that here), but everyone exceeded our expectations and flawlessly brought our vision to life.
Coordinator: Adria from Avavi Bali Weddings
Photographer: Max from Maxtu Photography
Videographer: Adi from Aki Photography
Hair & Makeup: Alvin from Yeanne Makeup Art
Cake: Le Novelle
Fire Dancers: FOF Entertainment
Lighting & Sound: Dwi from Twin Brother Sound System
Decorator: Susy from Bali Wedding Florence
Welcome Lunch Caterer: Emiliana and Imelda from Kaki Lima Bali
Welcome Lunch Decorator: Supply & Demand