Natalie Palmer is the Creative Director and Head Stylist at Paper Diamonds, a bespoke wedding planning company in Bali. We classify Natalie as an artist — the magic she sprinkles on her weddings is mind-blowing. Nat shared some of her favourite images with us (incredible) and we asked her a few questions about how Paper Diamonds was born, what she loves most about her job and her favourite cocktail (we are in Bali, after all!). Enjoy!
In a coconut shell, tell us about your lovely self and your business. I am half-Indonesian, a Graphic Designer and Art/Creative Director that has been in the wedding industry since 2007.
How did it all begin? After graduating as a Bachelor of Graphic Design, I got a job at a wedding publication and immediately began working on wedding trend research for magazine articles, shoot styling and fashion styling. Alongside that, I planned and styled my own Bali wedding in 2010. Soon after, friends starting asking for tips, advice and help and it quite naturally turned into a business.
What’s your superpower? And what’s unique about your business? I think our dedication to stylised weddings that try to achieve international finishes is what we offer on the island. Our amazing partnerships with so many incredible vendors is something we pride ourselves with and being able to shoot and work alongside other amazing creatives such as fine arts film photographers and couture designers is a real kick.
Where do you draw your inspiration from? Anywhere and everywhere. Movies. Music. A paint swatch. Fashion. The pattern of a leaf. The colours of the sunset. My son’s smile.
Who is your creative muse? Without a doubt, my husband.
Why is it important to have a wedding planner in Bali? Wedding planning alone is loaded with unknowns. Add a remote destination and a language barrier, and something simple could turn into the impossible. A wedding planner should be able to help you translate through all the information and make things a little bit easier to do. Trust is key.
If you could give one piece of advice to couples planning a Bali wedding, what would it be? As with wedding planning anywhere in the world, be open-minded. Always remember what you are doing. I’m in the business of creating life long memories, the flowers should be pretty but the feels should exceed all other things.
How big a part do your couples play in the creative process — or are they generally happy for you to run the show? It depends on the couple. Some know exactly what they want, some come to us for our style and give us free reign. Skype meetings and secret Pinterest boards are usually the best way to plan what we’re doing.
What’s the trickiest part about being a destination wedding planner? It varies with each couple. It really depends on priorities and individual needs but some of the hardest things would be when you are dealing with a lot of guests and their needs. Planning guest accommodation, transportation and activities can be the most time consuming and stressful because you are working with so many different people and their schedules.
For you, how has the Bali wedding industry changed over the years? Immensely! When we first moved here five years ago, options were limited, access to creative and high quality vendors such as Bali Event Hire were scarce, basically non-existent. Demand is now high, value is better, options are real and working with real professionals and their high standards is now available and makes styling and planning our weddings so much easier.
Can you tell us about your most memorable wedding moment or ceremony? As cheesy as this sounds… Every ceremony. Just as my couples are married or the vows… OMG… Tears.
Every. Single. Time.
What are the wedding trends that never go out of fashion? Trends for us are ever-shifting since we are focused on design and style, but tried and tested at every event, it’s flow. It’s how you want to spend the day. Who are the important people in your life and how do you include them in that day? The speeches, the photographs, the vows. It’s one day to really share with all the people you love and most importantly, the one you love the most.
What is the BEST part of your job? I constantly thank the universe for giving me a job that not only allows me to be creative but to be part of one of the happiest days of a persons life. The energy feels good. It’s a happy job.
Best coffee in Bali?Revolver pit stops — you can find them all over the island at some of the best cafes and restaurants. Just look for the Revolver logo. Favourite Cocktail? Negronis at Potato Head. Best Sunset Spot?The hammock in my backyard with my sons. We’ve got a killer view of Mount Agung. Yoga or Gym?Neither, can I pick naps? Scooter or Car?Scooter. Best place in Bali to relax and unwind?For me, hanging out with my boys is what I cherish the most. Anywhere is good for me but a day at the beach or hotel pool is probably the preferred. We take hotel day passes whenever we can and spend the day swimming and ordering food. Any secret spots or hidden gems you’d care to share?The Ayana Aquatonic Pool, a good friend of mine got us a voucher there, wasn’t sure what to expect but felt leaving amazing! What are you listening to?Outkast –The Love Below. Favourite Insta account?Too many, but to keep inspired I follow loads of amazing interior design accounts and of course all my favourite fine arts wedding photographers. What song changes your mood instantly?Again, this is a case of too many but any song that reminds me of happy memories or a time in my life. Cue: Bill Withers –Lovely Day(instant smiles), Stevie Wonder, A Tribe Called Quest, Sigur Ros, Portishead… I could go on… What quote or mantra do you live by?I’ve always believed good energy breeds good energy. So far, so good.
Get in touch with Paper Diamonds. You can also email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and find them on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.