Translated from German, Zeitgeist means "the spirit of the moment", and is the key principle underpinning AYANA's service philosophy. Here, we share our inside tips and favorite haunts to help you experience the AYANA Zeitgeist.
Kyra and John, a couple from Western Australia, decided to escape their everyday hectic life and instead of getting married in Australia, get married in a more peaceful setting at AYANA Resort and Spa Bali. Kyra shares her wedding experience.
Why did you decide to have a destination wedding? How and why did you decide on the location of your wedding and what makes this location special to you as a couple?
Not long after our engagement we went on a preplanned holiday to Bali. Whilst we were there I saw the Rock Bar in a magazine and made it my mission to visit the very next night. As soon as we arrived at AYANA we were amazed by the beautiful resort and friendly staff. In the inclinator on the way down to the Rock Bar I was so taken by the sight of the stunning bar and the ocean just below, I started tearing up, it was just the most magnificent place I'd ever seen! It wasn't until we were down there, sipping on some cocktails that we entertained the thought of being married in such an individual and original location. The conclusion was, why not? We must investigate this further. After further discussion we decided that a destination wedding would allow us to have an intimate celebration with only our closest family and friends. It also appealed to us because it's different and original nobody else we know had done a destination wedding. We were able to have a relaxed wedding and break a few traditions, plus everyone was in "holiday mode", and thoroughly enjoyed a whole week of wedding activities instead of just the wedding day itself. This allowed us to spend more quality time with everyone, which was great.
Tell us about the wedding ceremony, including where it was held. (E.g. vows, religious ceremonies etc).
The ceremony was held at AYANA's Tresna Chapel. We wanted our marriage to be recognized in Australia so decided on a full legal ceremony. This includes a religious and civil ceremony where we chose our own vows and readings. Both my fiance and I were very nervous as the ceremony approached, mainly because we were going to be married in front of all our friends and family, we are not used to being the centre of so much attention. I couldn't believe that the moment had actually arrived, all the planning and hard work had come together and I was about to walk down the aisle.
Tell us about your flowers, cake, and bonboniere.
Our flowers & cake were arranged by AYANA, I held a round bouquet of ivory roses and the bridesmaids had a mix of pink, purple and ivory roses to match their dresses. The cake was not the traditional wedding cake, you see in Perth. It was a Torte Regina Chocolate Castle Cake, absolutely delicious!
Describe your thoughts and feelings from the day.
We were both extremely nervous, but not about marrying each other but doing it in front of so many people. We were excited and amazed that all our hard work had finally paid off. I was a little emotional in the morning, but thanks to my bridesmaids we got it all out of the way early, so there were no tears once my makeup was on! I think I was just overwhelmed with the realization that I was actually getting married today!
What was the most memorable and unique part of the day?
Our wine box ceremony was the most unique, it was similar to a time capsule. My Dad made a wooden box with a glass front containing a bottle of wine, two glasses, and two love letters. My fiancee and I described in the letters, the good qualities we found in one another, the reasons we fell in love, and our reasons for choosing to marry. The letters were sealed in individual envelopes and we had not seen what the other had written. The box is prominently displayed in our home as a constant reminder of our commitment to each other. If we ever find our marriage enduring insurmountable hardships, we are to as a couple, open the box, then separate and drink the wine and read the letters we wrote to one another. The hope is, however, that we will never have a reason to open this box. And if this is the case, we will open the box to share and enjoy on our 5th wedding anniversary!
Would you recommend a destination wedding to other couples?
Yes, I would recommend destination weddings to other couples. It's a wonderful opportunity to break tradition and have a unique wedding in your favorite holiday destination. It's more than just a wedding day. It's a wedding week, which gives you the opportunity to spend quality time with every one of your guests, whilst in a beautiful tropical location. All the hard work definitely pays off and both the guests and the bride and groom will have memories to last a lifetime.
What is the best piece of advice you received for your wedding day?
Not to stress the little things and enjoy every moment as the day goes so quickly.
I Made Madra, one of the 24 members of AYANA's Hindu Committee, led a ceremony at AYANA on 10, 11 and 12 October, to mark the resort temple’s anniversary. All Balinese-Hindu staff took part in this sacred 3-day ceremony, which included a parade, dancing and competition for the best gebogan (offering) which was won by Dava restaurant (AYANA's fine-dining venue).
What was the reason for the temple ceremony?
Every Hindu temple has a yearly ceremony, you can compare it to the birthday of a person. Ever since the temple was built in 1996, this ceremony has taken place every year, so you can say that this was the temple's 15th birthday. The ceremony's function is to bless the hotel and the people who work and stay at AYANA.
What exactly happens during the ceremony?
The ceremony takes three days in total. The first day is a preparation day also called "nanceb", when all the decorations and offerings are created and everything is set-up. The second day is the day the big ceremony takes place also known as "odalan", when all Hindu-employees wear their traditional Hindu attire and bring their families. The third day is the clean-up which is called "ngelukar". Most of us try to attend all three days, but you can probably imagine that it is very hard for AYANA's 763 Hindu employees to all be there every day. It is not compulsory to join the ceremony but basically every Hindu makes the time as it’s a very important day.
Is there a head of the temple? A priest?
Yes the AYANA temple has a female priest. The Mangku (priest) was chosen by the owner of AYANA, Rudy Suliawan, back in 1996. She was a friend of Pak Rudy before AYANA was built and helped him to choose a good piece of land to build the resort on. After the resort was opened, Pak Rudy decided to make her the Mangku of the temple. The Mangku is also the one that receives the honor to name the temple, and she named it Giri Wangi (Giri means mountain and Wangi means smile in Balinese).
Is it possible for Hindus to be members of more than one temple?
Yes it is possible to belong to more than one temple, almost every Hindu also has a family temple and a smaller temple or shrine at home (pelinggih). In the end we all honor the same god, it doe not matter in which temple we do that. We only have one god however our god makes his appearance as many different spirits: Vishnu, Siwa, Brahma and more. In total there are 33 spirits in the Balinese Hindu religion.