On a recent trip to Bali I was lucky enough visit one of the island’s most spectacular resorts, Karma Kandara to chat all things weddings with Events Manager, Julia Lorenti. Photographer Justin Hill came along to capture those cracking peninsula views and enjoy a cocktail or two.
Sipping on a mango passion mojito at the cliff-top di Mare Restaurant, I learned that Julia was a wedding planner and stylist in Sydney for the best part of a decade. She joined the luxury resort 8 months ago and has made it her mission to finetune its wedding and events offering, ensuring the best possible experience for her couples. “Here, everything is possible,” says Julia, who prides herself on an untarnished track record for getting the job done right. And when it comes to planning a destination wedding, the confidence to truly trust in your planner is seriously valuable!
Julia and her team work with a variety of vendors to suit the many different styles of weddings they host. “I don’t believe in working with just one florist or one hire vendor, as each wedding is unique and has different needs,” she says. Similarly, the resort caters for a range of budgets, from around $10,000 right up to crazy money (that I won’t scare you with). On average though, Karma weddings sit at around the $20,000 – $30,000 mark.
Most ceremonies take place by the resort’s iconic infinity pool, taking full advantage of the eagle-eye ocean views that Uluwatu is famous for. If poolside doesn’t quite cut it for you, perhaps consider strutting down the aisle on a glass catwalk over the pool, for what is known at Karma as a ‘wow wedding’.
If your heart’s set on a beach wedding, the cruisy private Beach Club is only a stunning hill-tram ride away. Voted ‘Best Beach Club in Bali’ by Hello Bali Magazine, it offers the best of both worlds – white sand and crystal waters, plus a full cocktail bar and restaurant cabana.
Reception options are many and varied. Of course, the classic sit down dinner at stunning di Mare is a popular choice, but a cocktail party might be more up your alley. Julia tells me “I’m trying to do more canapé style dining because it’s a little more relaxed than the three course meal. Plus it’s a great way for people to mingle and catch up.” The rooftop Temple Lounge really lends itself to this style of reception and is perfect for couples who don’t have an enormous budget. She also recommends food stations as a great way to add a little energy and atmosphere to the celebration.
When it comes to drinks, Julia suggests cocktails over wine and beer. “They’re fresh and delicious and are actually the cheaper option. Import taxes are the killer.” If you’re keen for some bubbles, Karma allows up to 20 bottles of wine or Champagne to be brought in (plus corkage). Remember, you can only bring 1 litre of alcohol per person into Bali, so it’s not a bad idea to ask guests to pack a bottle too.
One of the best things about a destination wedding is extending the party beyond the big day. There’s no shortage of options for a next-day recovery get-together, but a relaxed shindig at the Beach Club has got to be one of the best – swim, play beach volleyball or just get some well-earned rest in a comfy day bed.