Having a destination wedding may be a beautiful idea, but things can go south quickly, especially if you’ve run into vendors who’ve gone MIA, or just aren’t honest (remember the bloggers whose money got stolen at a reputable Balinese resort?). Here, the things to look out for when planning for your wedding in Bali.

1. Work with a reputable wedding planner
He/she can be a Singapore-based planner who’s worked in Bali many times, or a really established one there. Having a planner do the legwork for you, will help immensely as he/she will know who to approach, and how to score bargains there.

2. Consider reputable resorts known for their wedding packages
Think 6-star hotels or resorts, where you’ll know you’ll be in good hands. An established hotel or resort will have the resources, and a dedicated wedding team to handle all the nitty gritty for you, which is important, since you won’t be there all the time to pore through the details.

3. Check if the venue does legal ceremonies
This is only important if you’re not having a separate ceremony here (which we’d recommend). Some hotels and resorts don’t handle the legal paperwork, so make sure you know what you’re signing up for.

4. Beware of mark-ups!
This is why it’s important to get an established planner or coordinator you can trust. Certain wedding packages may include mark ups and hidden fees that aren’t instantly obvious at first. So make sure you check the contract, and ensure every expense is accounted for at the end of the wedding. Also, try not to mention the word “wedding” during your initial discussion, as prices may go way up. Instead, confirm your final prices after negotiations first before you reveal anything.

5. Hold it all in one place
Having your wedding in the hotel, resort, or villa may be easier for you to plan, as everything can be handled by the hotel’s wedding team or your wedding coordinator.

6. Don’t pay everything upfront
Like signing with your bridal salon, stagger your payments. A tip from Contributing Editor Steve: “If possible, try to have as many instalment payments – you pay for whatever is delivered of fulfilled based on your contract. Work out a payment plan with the bridal salon.”

See also: 7 Bali resorts with lovely wedding venues, and things to know when planning your wedding there.