I am a huge fan of the 2001 movie, The Wedding Planner starring Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey. There is a line in the movie and it goes, "White, silk tents, thin enough to see the stars. Candlelight. Wedgewood. Exotic waringin trees imported from Bali."
And waringin trees from Bali is exactly what I have in mind when I chatted with Ellen of Villa The Sanctuary Bali (VTSB)
Ellen, let’s start off by telling us about Villa The Sanctuary Bali.
VTSB is a luxury 2 hectare villa with 10 bedrooms. We have unobstructed jungle view on all areas including our 2 lawns for events and pool area. We have 26 staff who will be taking care of our guests round the clock. Our location is superb, only 5 minutes from the trending Pererenan and Batu Bolong area in Canggu, where all expats and tourists seem to flock to these days.
Designing, planning and producing weddings or events are not the easiest, especially when it comes to details - which is pretty synonymous with weddings. How do you and your team ensure you get it right all the time?
Planning ahead is the key. No procrastinating and no last minute surprises from our side, because there will always surprises from other sides. Our team make sure we follow our timeline accordingly, and communicate closely with the clients. We also adopt “there is no such thing as a silly question and always triple check”, this avoids us from assuming which further avoid us from future mistake! We always put 100% effort and treat every wedding as our own. We know we cannot be emotionally attached, however, by treating every wedding as our own, we make sure we always do a great job, optimize cost and maximum result!
In your years of experience, can you tell us what component or factor makes a wedding stand-out from the rest?
The personality of the clients play a big role on making each wedding unique, and therefore stands out every time. For us its important that each wedding has its own identity, so when a bride see posts on our social media, she can recognize her wedding and bring back happy memories.
Which part of the world are most of your clients from, Ellen?
Mostly Australia. We have increasing number of clients from Hong Kong and Singapore, and also USA.
When selecting a crew member, what quality do you usually look for?
We always look for passion for weddings and events, creativity, willingness to learn, attention to detail and punctuality.
It is hard to stay away from the pandemic topic when talking to anyone these days. When the world finally opens up again, do you think destination weddings will still be on the list of many?
Definitely. Right now we cannot deny that a lot of people are getting tired of being stuck at home or city, and most of them have started browsing for their first holiday destination, the moment the borders open. The same for weddings, we are sure that destination wedding will be rocketing back , although we suspect that many adjustments will take place – like people will prefer more intimate weddings rather than big fiestas due to the requirements of travel, ‘new normal’ regulations etc.
Bali is the place for events and weddings. We all, at some point of time or the other, have Bali in our minds when planning a special day. What makes Villa The Santuary Bali the place of choice for many of your clients?
Although we are located only 5 minutes away from famous beach Pererenan, Canggu, we offer a magnificent jungle view. Something you cannot find – we are unobstructed, considering area. This will for sure impress our clients and our guests. It’s like finding a hidden gem in Canggu. We also offer many flexibilities on planning a wedding and all its perks, including an in-house wedding planner, and many others, making us a one-stop wedding/event villa.
On a personal note, you have been in the hospitality industry for the longest time, which makes this career as Head Wedding Planner perfect for you, Ellen. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was actually an architect, however, life took me in a different path –I joined an airline and was based in Hong Kong. That is when I met my husband. He was already living in Bali that time, and as you guessed, after we got married I moved permanently to Bali. Our wedding was the first wedding I planned. It was first, because of budget restriction and I’ve got nothing else to do after I quit my job in Hong Kong. Turned out, it was a really exciting process and I liked it! I remember it took me the whole note book to plan my wedding, which now I can do it with my eyes closed! After our wedding, we both decided that I should try wedding planning as my new job which I am still doing up till today.
Oh wow, that was amazing – inspirational even; and living in Bali, I’d do it in a heartbeat! Ellen, as mentioned at the start of this chat, Villa The Sanctuary Bali has an amazing presence on Instagram; beautiful, vivid pictures. How important is social media to a business like yours, Ellen?
Most definitely important! Nowadays, people only believe what they see and social media is a way to communicate to our clients and future clients to tell them that we are here and we can plan amazing events for them. This is also a way to feel close to them. It’s pretty often that my brides and I share ideas we found on previous weddings I had done, or found from other accounts on social media. Many other times I also post live ‘behind the scene’ of the weddings I have done and people love to see that. Its honest and un-edited. Making them more excited to experience the real wedding day of their own.
I am so excited to share with Fab! Luxe readers details of Villa The Sanctuary Bali. Go ahead tell us how they can get in touch with you and all the promotions you might have when we are allowed to be back in the Island of Gods once again.
Thank you for this opportunity. We are ready to swing back next year with new in-house packages for smaller weddings, which include a lot of items in-house. Therefore a better and competitive price!
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