Bali Wedding Wisdom from Elvira, a curator of magic at Hari Indah Bali Wedding Planning & Design
Hari Indah stylishly landed on the Bali Wedding Planning scene two years ago. Since then, head planner and stylist Elvira and her team have produced a spectacular portfolio of work. The detail, passion and love oozes from each wedding – and those deliriously happy couples…
PS Hari Indah translates to Beautiful Day in Indonesian, isn’t that perfect x
In a coconut shell, tell us about your lovely self? I am originally from Poland. After uni, where I studied Politics, I moved to the UK, where I lived for 15 years. It was in London that I got into events. I started in political fundraising. Once realised I was very good at it and how much I enjoyed that job, it quickly developed into full on corporate events, followed by wedding planning.
How did it all begin? Corporate events are, how to say diplomatically, challenging and not in a good way. There is little space for creativity and pleasing business people is actually the hardest thing a planner can do. So I branched out into weddings. UK home market is very different to Bali and destination weddings as brides don’t yet see the value on bringing a planner and stylist in early stages. Instead they hire a coordinator to hand the day. I was getting tired of those gigs, where you end up picking up a mess and trying to make it work with what you’ve got. It was a lot of work with little room for personal growth. I was bored out of my mind.
And what happened then? I spent some time travelling and discovered Bali and its opportunities to grow business here. I could see myself further developing my passion for design, as you can do so much more with destination weddings.
How did it start? It took 2 years of research and travelling back and forth before we were ready to launch. We wanted to know who we can work with and who we can really rely on, before we started. After all, the planner is helpless without the team and the vendors! We organised a few styling shoots and other small events before we decided we were ready to take on real destination weddings in Bali.
Was it hard to find your first clients? Starting from literally ZERO was a very difficult task. We had no portfolio, apart from the styling photos, there were no reviews on TripAdviser or anything remotely related. We were so blessed to find clients who decided to trust us based only on our Skype calls and meetings in Bali. They all decided to take a leap of faith to entrust us in styling and planning their big day. We are so grateful to them! You know who you are! :))
What’s unique about your business? We identified some gaps in the already saturated wedding planner market. No one seemed to offer a truly personal service. It was all about packages and quotes, without taking into account who the couples were and what mattered to them. Like a wedding supermarket.
What makes us different is that personal approach. We create concepts based on client’s style, ethnic background, their personalities and vision. We also want to be different and versatile, so no wedding will ever look the same. From classic white wedding to an ethnic boho, we love how it gets our creative juices flowing!
What is your super-power? Listening skills. It can take you very far when you take time to listen. Attention to detail. I am super picky and very particular. Relationships. Our clients become our friends. This is more than a business when you are passionate about the people.
Where do you draw your inspiration from? Inspiration? It’s everywhere. We all know Pinterest, Instagram et all but in reality I find it on a simple walkway to my yoga studio, a lamp shop, or when brushing my teeth. It simply comes when concepts are developing.
What was the nicest compliment you’ve ever received? One of our fave weddings last year was ‘Catch Your Dreams’, a Beach Boho Affair. One of the wedding guests said: “I have never seen magic, until today. What you created was magical”. It was then topped by the Bride who said she dreamt about this wedding since she was a little girl and we turned it into reality. I cried that night.
Who is your creative muse? There are a few people I look up to. My favourite is Nomad Styling from Australia, who specialises in boho / industrial style weddings. I LOVE what she does!
Why is it important to have a wedding planner in Bali? Professionals will know best who to work with. Consistency is still an issue with many vendors so we only work with those who deliver 100% and every time. A bride on a DIY project won’t know this from Google search or even a TripAdvisor. Vendors also know if they mess up, chances are that we won’t work with them again, so they try a little harder to keep us happy.
If you could give one piece of advice to couples planning a Bali wedding, what would it be? To be open minded. Sometime it is hard to find a venue which ticks all the boxes. The planner will know how to translate your vision into reality.
How big a part do your couples play in the creative process – or are they generally happy for you to run the show? It really depends on the client. We love receiving cohesive briefs from brides who have a clear vision on what they want but this is rare. Usually it’s somewhere in between and sometimes clients want us to take complete control over the design and create something on their behalf. All of them are fun to work with, just a little different.
What’s the trickiest part about being a destination wedding planner? Time zones. Our clients happen to be from all over the world, from New Zealand to the West coast of the US. Managing those Skype calls can be a little tricky. It is also nerve-racking when your clients see their wedding venue for the first time, as they booked it based on photos and our recommendations. Luckily, they were never disappointed!
What is the BEST part of your job? Seeing our clients tying the knot. They are no longer clients, they are good friends so it is always emotional.
Your range is forever changing and moving with the current trends, Where do you both draw your inspiration from? Everywhere! We’re both Instagram addicts so we’re always gazing at beautiful things. We love the Australian wedding scene too as the furniture is so relaxed, understated and elegant – which we love. Saying that, inspiration can strike anywhere and we found our incredible Cuban Lounge set on the side of the road last year! We loved the shape so much we gave it a lovely face lift and then replicated it and viola!
So far, what is the most memorable experience you have had so far working within the Bali Wedding Industry? It would have to be the journey we go on with our couples. We usually meet an excited engaged couple via email, sometimes we have the pleasure of meeting them (with their mums and bridesmaids) at our Showroom during a pre wedding visit and then we see their magical wedding come together. We really feel privileged to be a part of each wedding and we love it 12 months later when the pregnancy and baby instagram shots start appearing – we have a lot of Awwww moments!
So… what is the best way for anyone to contact you to either make a booking or see what your current range is? The easiest way to contact us is via email at email@example.com – an appointment isn’t necessary but we are always delighted to meet planners or loved up couples at our showroom in Canggu which is about a 10 minute drive from Seminyak, and there is always our website that showcases our entire range.
We all know planning a wedding can be hectic and get a little crazy at times, so If you could give couples one piece of advice leading up to their wedding day what would it be? That’s a big one but we would have to say that selecting your suppliers carefully is essential. If something is super cheap, there is often a reason for it. You need vendors you can trust, who communicate well, understand your vision and make you feel happy and confident – it’s your wedding day after all!
Being as style-savvy as you both are, What is your one, ultimate industry insider tip for couples currently planning a wedding within Bali? Stay true to your vision. You know what you want and if there is anywhere in the world where almost anything is possible – it’s Bali!
And finally, with the current trends that we are seeing coming out of Bali, do you have any style predictions that we can expect to see this upcoming season? With so many jaw-droppingly talented wedding professionals in Bali now, couples really do have the opportunity to stage weddings of a true international standard.
In terms of furniture and decor for 2017, we will continue to see lots of Natural Styling with raw tabletops and beautiful lush florals. What we call ‘Island Romance’ will never date, so think classic white chairs, soft, feminine florals and thousands of fairy lights. And Boho Luxe – who doesn’t love a braided, barefoot Bali bride!
As for our new season predictions, we’ll be seeing lots of Tropical Glam, combining Bali’s unique natural elements with clean, modern lines, lots of statement greenery and colour pops. White on White will be huge – think white long tables, white chairs with ridiculously magical lighting framed by an endless view! And a new exciting addition to the Bali Wedding scene is the Statement Bar – stayed to perfection as a fabulous central spot for guests to mingle under the stars.
There’s lots of inspiration in our 2017 Lookbook which is hot off the press – packed to the brim with our beautiful furniture, new pieces, new ideas and styling references.
Best coffee in Bali? Almond milk flat white at Alchemy in Ubud Favourite Cocktail? Too many to choose from Best Sunset Spot? My garden Yoga or Gym? Yoga, although I can’t remember last time I went…. Scooter or Car? Always a scooter, car only if it’s a must! Best place in Bali to relax and unwind? My garden Any secret spots or hidden gems you’d care to share? Around Ubud, but I won’t share them so they can remain secret. Favourite Insta account? Too many to name What quote or mantra do you live by? Follow your heart, always.