Pamela Hayes is the owner of one of GWC's most loved venues, the beautiful Villa Sungai located in Canggu Bali. Her personal approach and attention to detail is no doubt both the key to her success and also the successful creation of many show-stopping weddings.
What role do you play in helping couples arrange their big day at Villa Sungai?
If the couple decides that they don't want to engage a wedding planner then I will assist them with offering information in order for them to create their ideal wedding themselves. I do recommend that our clients engage our preferred wedding coordinator, however, if their budget doesn't extend to this (or they would prefer to handle most aspects themselves) I will give them the names of our preferred suppliers and help them through the process. I am always there for them to answer questions and make suggestions. Once they arrive at the villa the villa manager takes over from me to assist with everything including re-confirming with suppliers.
Please describe the role you play on the actual wedding day?
I live in Australia and am deliberately not at the villa/s when a guest is in residence. They love my help in the months leading up to their wedding day but my wonderful staff take over once they arrive at the villa/s. Everything has been put in to place well ahead of the event, so all the couple have to do is relax and enjoy!
What would you say is the most rewarding part of your job?
It's strange as I never actually get to meet the bridal couple and yet have put so much in to helping to create their special day. It is my Bali staff who get the privilege, however, I follow from afar and am across everything that is happening and am always available to the bridal couple and manager in case of any last minute decisions. I invariably receive emails from the bridal couple the minute they arrive at the villa/s and then of course a detailed one after the event. So much time goes in to such an event (most couples usually book both villas for their closest friends/family so that also needs to be arranged) however the results are very rewarding. I consider all bookings as a huge responsibility but a wedding hopefully will never be repeated so even more of a responsibility to make it wonderful.
Tell us about the most memorable wedding you've helped to organise?
This was a wedding for 120 guests in late November in Bali, which is the 'wet' season. The bride was insistent on those dates and yet there were few contingency plans in case of bad weather. I encouraged her to have the wedding venue blessed by the local 'rain' priest! Sounds ridiculous, however, in Bali it is a common occurance and the results were extraordinary. It rained in the morning and cleared for the ceremony and reception which was held poolside!
What do you personally think makes a memorable wedding?
Ideally I think a successful wedding occurs when the couple are both dedicated to the result, rather than just one of them. The happiest and most rewarding events I have been heavily involved with sees them both passionate about the finer points. It can be very high pressure, however, being an attention to detail person myself brings us together and working closely to achieve it.
What would your advise be to couples planning a wedding abroad?
I would suggest engaging a wedding planner. It is most important that on the day the couple has someone to handle all of the suppliers and be completely free to bask in the fact that everything will just 'happen'. My manager does this to a large extent but the couple should have their own spokesperson.
I also recommend that the couple should spend a few days at the villa before the wedding day to relax with their friends and family and to complete any last minute legal requirements for the ceremony that need to be done in person. If well planned, the minute they arrive in Bali it should be a dream run to the actual wedding day...as though they are already on holiday rather than stressing about the event.
What is the most outlandish request a couple has made for their wedding day?
I cannot recall anything majorly out of the ordinary. However, what often happens is that numbers end up creeping up as they have underestimated the number of guests who are willing to travel overseas to their wedding. Last month we had 45 guests increase to 70 which meant that the guests could not be seated for the wedding ceremony. The couple understood this and loved that they could stand poolside, even though it was a little squeazy!
What do most couples forget when planning their wedding day?
The work involved! And how hard it can be to get details and commitment from friends and family.
Do you have any final words of wisdom for our couples?
I believe that the couple needs to develop a relationship with the people helping them so that the months of planning are fun and efficient rather than a drawn out process. It is a joy to work closely with our wedding couples and I think this is so important no matter the venue.