B a l i : Bespoke Destination Wedding Planning
Beautiful Bali : A place so rare in its personality that it’s hard to describe the island to anyone who hasn’t been. It’s cosmopolitan yet authentic. Hectic yet serene. Blissful yet energising. It’s a complete mishmash of everything you could want in an island, which is why is brings people back year after year, desperate for another injection of this magical potion. It’s known as the island of the gods and with temples around ever corner, the spirituality of Bali seeps through every pore. Ubud, the spiritual centre of Bali, leaves you feeling at peace, with spas nestled in-between a maze of traditional Balinese structures hidden behind every doorway while the verdant rice paddies and lush rain forest give you sanctuary from the baking sun, making it an ideal resting spot for a couple of days after you’ve stayed in the craziness that is Seminyak. This little vibrant hotspot leaves you breathless as you hop from beach to boutique to bar in the search for the latest happening party, sexiest outfit to wear and tastiest seafood to savour. Noisy and intoxicating, Seminyak is a must to visit, but make sure your villa or hotel is tucked away from the main streets for a peaceful escape. The traffic is intense and can sometimes take an hour to go only a short distance which can make you painfully late for dinner or drinks with friends. We stayed at Villa Kubu (tranquil and central to Oberoi Street) and Villa 888 (tranquil at night but traffic can be heard during the day close to the W Hotel).
Wide open beaches, although not the type of paradise sand one might expect from an Asian island, are breathtaking and rugged, with smaller dazzling turquoise water coves hugging the coastline towards the south east of the island. Uluwatu is one such special place if surfing and a chilled out beach are your thing. Padang Padang and Bingin Beach are some of our favourites for crashing waves, rock pool formations and quirky thatched architecture making the backdrop from the ocean look impressive. Bingin has some of the coolest places to stay, with Sal Secret Spot being our favourite. With two locations, both equally as gorgeous as the other, it’s hard to choose which to stay at. The cliffside location takes your breath away with the rare and unrivalled view of the amazing ocean below. Waking up early to watch the surfers fight for each wave as you eat breakfast has to be a highlight, but be warned as this is THE hardest place to get to. You have to trek down 50 broken stone steps, twisting and turning through tiny lanes reading dodgy signposts (which makes it all part of the fun) to find it, but still…THAT VIEW *sigh* makes it worth it. You must try the beautiful spanish cliff top restaurant El Kabron for their hypnotic Ibizan beats, dazzling infinity pool and unbeatable view (if you’re noticing a trend here for mind blowing views you’d be correct-Uluwatu is where it’s at for natural beachy beauty. The seafood paella is the only thing you should eat once the sun has dipped-it’s the best we’ve had and considering we’ve tried the Paella at the exclusive Juan y Andrea on Formentera for 50e a head (a painful memory I try to forget), this is saying something. Make sure you pay a visit to Dreamland Beach (a steep cliff stumble down from the moped parking area so be careful) for insanely refreshing waves and a pretty spectacular stretch of coastline, as well as Finns Beach Club until sundown for toasting marshmallows on the beach. Zipping around on your moped is where it’s at in this neck of the woods to make the most of exploring the unique caves of Uluwatu and making a speedy entrance for the sunset at Single Finn for their ever popular Sunday Sessions. Eat fresh delicious seafood with your toes in the sand as the waves roll in down on Bingin Beach for around £5 per person and check out Uluwatu’s temple on the hill for…you guessed it…amazing views!
When it was time to leave for Canggu, our hearts were heavy. How can we leave the blissed-out-beach-vibes of Uluwatu? Our taxi weaved in and out for what felt like forever in the mid day traffic through the heart of Seminyak, dozens of rice paddies and what we thought was (straight through) Canggu. Daring not to look at each other for the fear that we’d made a terrible mistake in booking our next place, we arrived at Padan Tree Villas to a pleasant surprise. Only 7 minutes by moped from the heart of what felt like dicing with death in the centre of Canggu, we’d arrived in a traditional village just on the outskirts…turning out to be the best decision we could have made. Travelling on the bike in the baking sun past local dogs, families and businesses all going about their daily lives without a hint of tourism in sight was a highlight and we fell hard for Canggu-an incredible metropolis of culture and style! The coolest organic, health food cafes such as Crate, Milk and Madu and Betelnut to mention a few of our favourites line the leafy street on the way to the beach, where surfers polish up their boards in front of ‘Old Man’s, a hip joint to hang out pre and post surf where the beautiful people go. Fabulous vintage stores, boutique interior places and french artists gather in this up and coming district-possibly one of our favourites.
Here to plan a stylish destination wedding in Bali for our gorgeous Sydney couple, we worked with the most amazing wedding team on this side of the world. Stunning design led decor pieces, exotic florals, hypnotic beats and a spectacular villa setting made this wedding one of a kind. As a Bali wedding planner, we can source the most diverse range of venues: From private villas in Seminyak and cliff-top private estates in Uluwatu to ocean front beach houses in Canggu and one of a kind architecturally impressive bolt holes in Ubud, Isla & Smith Wedding Planning and Design have you covered. As wedding planners who plan across the globe, we are perfectly positioned to bring unique and bespoke aesthetics (maybe incorporating a little South American, Ibizan, Scandanavian, Italian or South Pacific charm into your concept perhaps?) to your day for the ultimate bespoke wedding planning experience.
Photo by Terralogical. Other photos by Lisa at Isla & Smith
Isla & Smith’s Must do’s:
Sardine (Seminyak) for dinner in a stunning rice paddy setting. Book for 6pm to catch the sunset.
Milk and Madu: (Canggu) Insane breakfast, brunch and lunch place with incredible, healthy food.
Finns Beach Club (Uluwatu): Go all day, have a massage and stay for the sunset bonfires to toast marshmallows and make chocolate biscuit melted sandwich (do not get me started…)
El Kabron (Uluwatu): The most amazing sunset spot. Go at 5pm, take your swimsuit and have cocktails as the sunsets before diving into the paella.
Motel Mexicola (Seminyak): A cool hang out during the day serving great mexican food but it’s happening on a night time too.
Potato Head (Seminyak): An oldie but a goodie, this place just hits the spot. Book a table for gorgeous Balinese food in the restaurant, then sunbathe to the DJ until the sun goes.
Sandat Glamping (Ubud): The best experience with stunning tented accommodation from a lovely Italian couple.
Isla & Smith Wedding Planning: Bespoke Destination Wedding Planning. Available Bali and worldwide.