The Ultimate Bali Wedding Guide

Written & Compiled By Bali.Love

Welcome to Our Complete Guide to Getting Married in Bali!

Congratulations on your engagement.

If you choose to marry in a tropical paradise, you’ll be able to take advantage of spectacular settings, luxury, and low costs. However, if you don’t have reliable information or helpful individuals on your side, planning a Bali wedding may be quite difficult.

This is why, for your big day in Bali, we’ve compiled a completely impartial A-Z guide to Bali weddings. It will supply you with all the information you need before setting a date, choosing a planner, or signing any agreements.

In our years on the isle, we’ve acquired a lot of information, therefore the guide provides straightforward guidance on everything from the ideal wedding locations to selecting the most dependable vendors, as well as ceremony rules to know before getting married in Bali.

It’s not a marketing gimmick; it’s the result of years of study by professionals, and it’ll assist you in planning your dream Bali wedding. We’re going to release it bit by bit so you can choose which areas you’d want guidance on.

You can also download the full guide in a PDF here if you’d like a copy for later.

Interested in learning more?

Let us help you - wedding planning can be full on!

Chapter 1:

❤ Newly Engaged

You’re getting married, woohoo! We couldn’t be prouder to have you on this journey with us, and we hope you have the greatest Bali wedding ever. Once the engagement festivities die down a bit, consider starting thinking about the event early so that you can look into every possibility before making major decisions.

Where Do We Begin?

The secret to having the Bali wedding of your dreams is to stay on top of things. There will be a lot of emails and phone calls between now and the big day, so being prepared is crucial.

As a pair planning a wedding, you may anticipate dealing with everything from vendor quotes to cost spreadsheets and photo samples. There will be times when it’s worth pushing back, and other instances when going with the flow is the best option. Knowing when to push and when to give in during the process would make things a lot simpler.

It may also sound annoyingly obvious, but setting up a clear system of communication and living by some solid organizational norms will prevent you from getting anxious or overwhelmed.

We’ve included some wedding planning tools as a way to help you stay sane throughout this first phase.

Wedding Planning Tools

The finest wedding planning applications on the market are listed below. It’s as easy as downloading and filling in the blanks. We adore Joy; it allows you to build a website for your family and guests to use in the weeks and months before the wedding, which is really useful.

Having a pair of hands on the ground in Bali, however, is far better than relying on apps to keep you organized. You may learn more about this and get some planning ideas for planners in the “Choosing a Planner” section of this article or visit Bali Love’s planning services here.

1. Joy

2. Wedding Happy 

3. Wedmate

4. Wedding Planner Complete

Don't Be Afraid to Set High Expectations

We’ve learnt a lot about what works and what doesn’t in Bali weddings after seeing more than our fair share of them. There are some typical pitfalls that couples fall into, so we’d like to point them out to spare you from the same error. The objective is to set your expectations as high as possible!

To ensure you’re further prepared, we’ve also included a list of vital questions to ask before you pay any deposits. You can find that in the next chapter of this guide.

Chapter 2:

❤ Do Research

Planning a Bali wedding may be enjoyable in the research stage. You’ll be gobsmacked by gorgeous photographs of lush jungle locations, stunning gowns, and breathtaking sunsets. The trick is to know where to look and what questions to ask while you begin forming your own ideas.

While it may be tempting to simply search for “Bali weddings” and see what comes up, you’ll get better results if you visit specific websites so that you can compare and contrast your choices.

Keep your preliminary research general for now. In other words, try restricting yourself to photos that define the appearance and feel you want for your big day before you click on the pricing links for a certain wedding company.

Keep it simple to handle by employing Pinterest boards or, if you prefer, a bookmark folder on your computer. The aim is to enter the planning stage with some pre-saved photos on these two fundamental points, so one of the first things a wedding planner will want you to do is create a mood board.

1. Pick Your Setting

Do you prefer a beach wedding, a jungle-style ceremony, a cliffside ceremony, a waterfall setting, or an event held in a hotel or villa? Each has advantages and disadvantages, but they can all be overcome along the way! In the venues chapter, you’ll learn more about Bali wedding locations.

Beach Weddings

Clifftop Weddings

Villa Weddings

Resort Weddings

2. Decide on Colour Themes

Take into account the various color combinations utilized by other couples and select the one that best complements your skin tone and preferences. This is one of the first decisions to make because the colors of your costumes will be refracted in the atmosphere later on.

You’ll be a lot closer to making the key decisions for your Bali wedding once you’ve mastered these two ideas. Of course, as you look at gowns, haircuts, and cakes, don’t forget to bookmark them!

In the Styling chapter, you’ll discover more about wedding colors! In the meantime, we’ve compiled a list of websites and social media platforms to get you started. These are Bali’s most well-known wedding service providers as well as Australian firms that organize events on the island.

To name a few, there are hundreds of these websites that you can use to aid your search. We particularly suggest the first one on the list since it’s Bali’s closest equivalent to a wedding magazine. It covers a wide range of weddings and is free of prejudice towards vendors or locations. Have fun with it!

The Perfect Spaces to Do Your Research

Hello May Bridal Blog
The Wedding Notebook
bali love
Bride's Story
wedshed
bali wedding directory

Chapter 3:

❤ Legalities

The legal requirements for getting married in Bali differ based on your religion, country of origin (or countries), and whether or not there is a consulate for your home nation on the island.

In many situations, the legal intricacies make it much easier for couples to complete the paperwork in their home nation before having their wedding ceremony in Bali. Continue reading to find out if this is the case for you.

Declaring a Shared Religion

If you want to ‘officially’ marry in Bali, you are required by law to have a religious ceremony, and each of you will need to declare the same religion.

The religions recognised in Indonesia are as follows:

  • Islam
  • Protestant Christianity
  • Roman Catholic Christianity
  • Hinduism
  • Buddhism 
  • Confucianism

Because Indonesia is such a religious nation, you’ll both be required to declare a common faith in one of the aforementioned religions, or you may have a non-religious, symbolic ceremony with the official signing of papers done at home.

Skip down to the section called Symbolic Ceremonies to find out more about this.

The Documents You Need for a Religious Ceremony

If you both follow one of the above religions, then you can confidently begin preparing the documents you will need to have an official ceremony here.

The paperwork includes:

  • Passports proving you are over 18 years old.
  • Copy of Decree Absolute if divorced.
  • Copy of Death Certificate of a former spouse if applicable.
  • Copy of Documentary evidence of any change of name (i.e previous marriage certificate/deed poll).
  • Birth certificates are generally required by the Indonesian authorities, and it is recommended that you bring these with you.
  • Money (the amount varies) to pay the embassy.
  • A certificate of non-impediment.

The Process for a Religious Ceremony

Further to your declaration of shared faith, each of the religions has slightly different rules to follow. We have laid out the process for the three most common religions on the list, and you can visit the embassy website for more information.

Protestant Weddings in Bali

If you want to get married in Bali, the simplest and most frequent approach is to declare your religion as Protestant. To plan a wedding of this sort, follow these steps.

Step A: Inquire a Notice of Intention to Marry

To do this, you must go to the civil registry office in the region you will be residing in Bali. There are eight regions, but we recommend that you go to The Badung or Tabanan offices since they have more English-speaking employees. Once you’ve found the appropriate workplace, contact them and inquire about a document known as a Notice of Intention to Marry. This must be completed and submitted at least six weeks before your wedding date.

The regions: Denpasar City, Badung Regency, Tabanan Regency, Gianyar Regency, Bangli Regency, Bangli Regency, Karangasem Regency and Buleleng Regency.

Here is a regularly updated tourism website with the office addresses.

Step B: Get a Certificate of Non-Impediment (CIN)

This document basically states that there’s no reason you shouldn’t be married. You will be able to secure it in one of three ways. Either from your home country before you leave, from your embassy here in Bali, or with a quick flight to your embassy in Jakarta. 

Here is some more information on the CIN and how to apply for it here in Bali.

Note: Not all countries have an embassy here in Bali. You can refer to this website to discover whether yours is on the list and determine whether you will need to fly to Jakarta.

Muslim Weddings in Bali

Muslim weddings are quite easy to organise as Indonesia is predominantly a Muslim country. You also don’t need to have your wedding in a mosque. All you will need to do is provide proof that you are Muslim and contact the Office of Religious Affairs who will send out an official to marry you.

Catholic Weddings in Bali

For Catholic weddings, things are a little more difficult. To begin with, you’ll need a Catholic priest to officiate the ceremony. There are a few lovely churches in Denpasar or Nusa Dua, but this limitation eliminates the chance to utilize Bali’s other gorgeous wedding locations. Of course, throwing a big party in a beautiful location following the wedding is perfectly legal. Second, there’s considerably more paperwork to be completed.

  • Baptismal certificates.
  • A letter of freedom that states you have never been married.
  • A letter of delegation that states your own parish does not object.
  • A copy of your pre-marriage course certificate.

Symbolic Ceremonies 

Symbolic ceremonies are an excellent option for those who follow a religion that’s not recognised in Bali or those who aren’t religious at all. For foreigners, the number of symbolic ceremonies held in Bali outweighs the number of formal weddings, so this may be the better option for you too. Discover the benefits below.

  • No paperwork required other than the forms you complete in your own country at the registry office.
  • More cost-effective as you won’t need to pay embassy fees.
  • A celebrant can marry you instead of a priest.
  • There’s no need to declare your faith or to share the same faith.
  • Freedom of ceremony style – you can have religious themes or make it non-denominational.

Same-Sex Marriages

Unfortunately, same-sex marriages are not allowed in Bali, therefore same-sex couples may wish to choose another wedding location. While a personal symbolic ceremony is an option, you should be aware that authorities are extremely tough. Due to Indonesia’s strict legislation, it’s a risk we don’t advise taking.

Chapter 4:

❤ VENUES

Choosing a venue is the most important and expensive decision you’ll have to make while planning your wedding. In Bali, you will not lack for alternatives. We’ve included a list of options below, as well as some key questions to ask yourself so that you can be sure what you want before making a selection!

Important Questions to Ask

Do you want an indoor or an outdoor wedding?

What should you do if your wedding is during the winter season? How much does a Bali wedding venue cost depends on how big it is, where in Bali it’s located, and other factors. If your wedding will take place during the winter season, consult this post to see what options are open to you. The rainy season generally begins in December and lasts until early April. It may not be raining every day during these months, but if you’re thinking about an outdoor venue, make sure it’s included in the budget.

How many people will you be inviting?

The general rule is that the more people you invite, the fewer options you have. While there are bigger venues that can seat and cater for as many as 200 guests, you may want to consider cutting numbers so you can take advantage of one of the smaller, more exclusive venues.

Do you want your venue to include accommodation?

The ideal wedding locations offer the bride and groom their own private space. This is fantastic since you may chill out in one spot and enjoy the rest of the day. Alternatively, arrange transportation to a hotel or villa nearby. Some wedding locations are large enough to feed the entire bridal party, but few will have enough space for all of your guests.

Will the reception be held in the same place?

If you want your wedding to be held in a church, you’ll need to reserve a separate reception room. The ideal wedding place, on the other hand, offers enough area for everything. When the day starts with welcome cocktails and continues through the ceremony, then into a photoshoot session, and finally the reception, Bali weddings are fantastic. It is entirely feasible to arrange transportation for guests between locations, but this takes time and effort, so keep an eye out for an “all in one” spot.

How much privacy do you want?

There’s something very sacred about inviting everyone you care about to your wedding, and the presence of tourists or holidaymakers can destroy it. When considering locations for a resort-style wedding, this is something many couples ignore but is significant if you’re thinking about a hotel or hotel-style wedding. However, if you choose a hotel or resort, be sure to inquire about when and where you will have peace and quiet.

Do you prefer to have your wedding take place in a church?

If you’re having a religious wedding, we can suggest alternative churches for you, but bear in mind that you’ll also need to book a reception venue and your accommodation in the area. If you’re having a Catholic or Protestant wedding, ask your wedding planner for help. There are several companies that provide customized Christian weddings with pre-booked locations. Note: there are a few properties with churches incorporated into the design where if you love the idea of having a church ceremony on your villa grounds, then check them out below.

What setting do you prefer?

Choosing a wedding location is by far the most fun part of the process. If you’ve already read through the research chapter, you may have already chosen a jungle, beach, or clifftop location; if not, check out the photos of the locations below.

Bali.Love Venues

These wedding venues are located in different spots across the island, but we’ve started by ordering them according to the venue type – rather than the address – to help you narrow down your search. 

You can read more about the pros and cons of having a wedding in the different regions of Bali later in this chapter.

The Regions

If you prefer to choose your venue by area, then you should know a little about the four most wedding-friendly regions of Bali. You can certainly travel to more remote locations but here’s a brief rundown of the most common wedding areas on the island to help you in the research stage.

Seminyak

Bali’s city center is Seminyak. Here you will be near to a variety of bars, restaurants, shops, spas, and hotels. It’s a good location if you’re having a large number of people at your wedding, but it’s more crowded so expect heavier traffic and longer wait times. One advantage is that you can generally

Canggu

Canggu is a popular area for beach bars, as well as a busy commercial and residential hub with numerous restaurants and cafés. However, in Canggu, you’re more likely to find whole rice paddies than beaches. Canggu was formerly a laid-back surf town, but it has grown more densely populated in recent years. If you go to the neighboring village of Pererenan, you can still discover some of Bali’s distinctive peace and seclusion.

Uluwatu

The limestone cliff ranges of this coastal region are known for their beauty and offer a variety of lovely wedding locations. Approximately 40 minutes from Seminyak is Uluwatu. You’ll discover unpaved roads, incredible surf breaks, and a lot more seclusion here. It is a growing area, and there are still many restaurants and bars to visit, but you’ll need to travel by scooter or automobile since it’s more dispersed.

Ubud

Ubud, which is often known as the spiritual capital of Bali, is about an hour north of Seminyak. You’ll discover some stunning jungle-style buildings and rice paddies in this area. The air is considerably colder, and the rain falls more frequently. It’s a popular destination for yogis and spiritualists in recent years because of its cultural and artistic atmosphere.

Chapter 5:

❤ Time to Plan

A destination wedding may be complicated, and even the most prepared couples will require a trustworthy pair of eyes and ears on the ground in Bali. Using a wedding planner who lives on the island and can communicate in Bahasa is by far the best way to guarantee that your event runs smoothly.

From the start of your styling process to the moment you slip the rings on each other’s fingers, they will be your valued partner.

How to Identify a Top-Notch Wedding Planner

When you’re thinking about choosing a wedding planner, make sure they embody the following qualities:

  • Have excellent communication skills and display quick response time to your emails or phone calls. 
  • Possess the ability to fully understand your vision for the wedding and communicate it to others.
  • Understand mood boards with total fluency and have a vast library of image options to offer when you’re deciding on your wedding style.
  • Possess a well-developed sense of intuition to anticipate any negative outcomes and know how to execute damage control.
  • Give expert advice on which Bali venue you should choose for your wedding. 
  • Have an excellent network of vendors for food, entertainment, photography, and floral arrangements.
  • Have extensive knowledge of the island and know exactly how to pull together a stunning event without breaking the bank.
  • Works well under pressure! 
  • Friendly and fun — your wedding planner should see your wedding as an important event rather than just another day on the job.
  • Reliable! Your wedding planner must be responsible and show up when she says she’s going to or have a rock-solid plan B in place if illness happens.
  • Possess excellent social skills. Your wedding planner should be able to take charge of others who may be floundering.

Things to Consider with Your Prospective Wedding Planner

When you’re searching for a planner, there are a few main areas you want to get clear on. Read on to find out the right questions to ask.

Cost

On a first meeting, the cost is difficult to determine. There are so many variables involved that it’s almost impossible to supply you an estimate until you’ve had some time discussing your event’s ambitions. One thing you can do is provide a summary of your entire wedding budget, then ask them to find a way to stay under it.

Here are some pertinent questions to ask as you discuss cost:

  1. If the planner already works for a wedding company, make sure you ask which package would suit you the best.
  2. When considering a Bali wedding package, look for ways to reduce costs.
  3. Ask early about any hidden costs.
  4. Inquire about vendor services, such as food and photography, and see if you can get the same value for less by going with a lesser-known vendor or offering a different kind of cuisine.
  5. Ask about off-season and shoulder season rates; it may save you some money to book during a less popular time of year.
  6. Consider asking your planner to assist you in choosing where to cut corners and where to spend more money. Some things are essential, while others may be reduced without anyone being the wiser.
 

Creativity

Ask the planner if they have a portfolio of photos or an Instagram account where you may view it. The ideal planner would have created weddings in a variety of styles. There are a few Bali businesses that offer cookie-cutter weddings, so stay away from them! You want your day to stand out.

Make sure they comprehend your vision for the event before you begin planning. Inquire if they can create a mood board for your wedding. This will show that they have gotten your concept straight before staging begins.

If you’re using a color scheme or style that the planner has never seen before, ask if he or she has worked on any previous jobs with similar hues and styles. 

Ask for styling suggestions and whether you can be given a list of floral and venue decoration templates.

Experience

Indonesia does have hospitality schools, but unlike Australia or Europe, none of them provide any specific wedding planner qualification courses. It is ideal to hire a wedding planner who has planned dozens of weddings and would be able to offer testimonials from couples.

Ask how many weddings they do each year, you want to make sure you’re not being crammed into a schedule that’s so full you won’t get the attention you deserve.

Ask if they’ve done weddings at your venue before, if not, ask if they have experience with the type of venue you are interested in using. For example, beach weddings are very different from clifftop weddings, so make sure they know all the difference.

Ask if they can take you on a site visit pre-wedding to check out various venues and whether there is a charge for this service.

Communication

Ask them who their ideal client is. You want to determine whether or not you will work well together before you commit to paying a fee.

Ask about their preferred type of communication. Will they be open to hearing from you via Whatsapp or do they prefer email? Will there be weekly phone calls or Skype meetings? Most importantly, will they be available in person for a final meeting before your wedding?

Ask them about timelines. Do they have an idea of when the more significant decisions need to be made? Are they able to stick with a schedule?

Connections

Ask about their relationships with the various vendors in Bali. You want to know if you’ll be locked in to use their preferred vendors, or if they are open to you bringing your own people on board.

Ask if they receive a commission for using certain vendors and whether that commission can be translated into savings for you instead of kick-back for them.

Ask if they are willing to collaborate with the whole bridal party and manage all of the different services that you will be hiring.

Ask which staff they will have on-hand during the day as the wedding progresses from arrival drinks to reception.

Bali Wedding Planners We Love

In this section, we have listed a few of our favourite Bali wedding planners. Have a browse and see if anyone calls to you. Be aware that most wedding companies will offer you a planner as part of the service so you could save extra time and money by choosing a package.

Wedding Planners

Plan A Bali

Hitch’d Bali

Bali Brides

Q Events Bali

7 Agency

Chapter 6:

❤ Budgeting

One of the most important things to remember when you are creating a budget for your Bali wedding is to be realistic. While it is very affordable to get married in Bali, the growing popularity of the island as a wedding destination means it’s not as cheap as it was five years ago. 

However, when compared to the cost of getting married in Australia, Europe, or the United States, Bali still comes out as the clear winner for both cost and quality. A standard wedding in a more developed country will run between 60 to 80 thousand Australian dollars. 

A wedding in Bali will cost approximately half that amount and the quality is not even comparable. The venues here are exquisite and the ‘trimmings’ are affordably lush! This is one of the many reasons couples from all over the globe are flocking here to marry.

So the question becomes… how do you take into account the growing popularity of Bali as a wedding destination and still secure a great price? 

Here is our best advice: 

  • Do your planning and set a wedding date early. Specifically, you may want to avoid weekends to get the best price and the best choice of vendors for your wedding.
  • Have fair expectations around your budget. Remember that your best bet is to pay a mid-range price for a very high-quality vendor. 
  • Make the process easy by using a wedding planner who is ready to negotiate on your behalf and can secure you discounts and kickbacks.
  • Seek advice from experts rather than inexperienced companies.

Let's Talk About Package Deals

First of all, wedding package deals can be totally cost-effective! Here are some important factors to consider when choosing the right package.

Is the offer transparent?

You need to make sure you understand exactly what you’re getting for your money. That means checking in on the quality of the vendors they will be using for your wedding. 

Is the offer flexible?

Can you change any aspects of the package? For example, can you downgrade the flowers in order to upgrade the bar tab? Do you get to choose from different vendors? Will you be able to switch if you don’t like the celebrant or makeup artist?

Is the offer all-inclusive?

Is everything really included? This means asking about any extra costs in the beginning and making sure the package fairly allocates for all items. One common trap is the bar tab. Check to see how much the drinks are charged out for. While it may seem generous to allocate $2,000 to a bar tab, if they’re charging out each cocktail at $20 then 100 guests will easily plough through that tab and end up thirsty. You need to make sure it says ‘free flow’ to prevent the extra costs.

Setting Your Bali Wedding Budget

Wedding planners in more developed countries will recommend you use a ‘percentage of budget’ allocation to define the costs for each item. In Bali, things are a lot more simple. To help, here is a spreadsheet with the average costs of each expense in your wedding already defined. 

P.S. If you’re not a numbers person, feel free to contact Tom at Bali.Love for help. He can sort you out with a sweet budget and you won’t be pressured to use our services along the way.

Chapter 7:

❤ Styling

Styling is what makes your wedding true to you! When choosing a style for the event, make sure you cover the following points with your planner.

It pays to be aware that while some planners do their own styling, others will employ an outside party which could come at an extra cost for you. Your styling options should be made clear from the beginning.

Here are a few points every wedding stylist should know:

Colour Palettes

The first decision in your Bali wedding styling journey is choosing the colour palettes. You may have already determined your preference in the research section of this guide, but just in case you missed that part, here’s all you need to know about choosing a colour palette for your Bali wedding.

Start by answering the following questions:

  • What colours do you and your partner love?
  • What colours do you like to wear? 
  • What colours do you have in your home?

Six Tips for Choosing Your Wedding Colour Palette

We spoke to a few stylists and came back with the following tips for couples looking to choose a colour scheme for their wedding.

1. Start browsing

If you’re stuck on which colour combo to use, then try one of these free applications or websites. 

ColorHunter

This website lets you upload an image to extract the exact colours you see in the photo. It’s a great way to get the perfect match.

ColorHunt

This website has a nice layout that shows you how your colour choices will look when matched together. It’s almost like choosing from different paint samples at the home decoration store.

2. Make the colour palette global

Remember, it’s not just the dresses and the flowers that will reflect your colour scheme, it’s the whole event! Everything from the stationery to the table dressings to the background of the photos can be taken into account.

3. Try choosing just one colour

If you can’t choose three colours you like, just choose one and ask your stylist or planner to recommend some complementary colours that will set your favourite colour off perfectly.

4. Don’t forget to contrast

Contrast is impactful so it pays to choose one darker toned colour in your palette and then use medium or light toned colours to complete the look. This applies unless you’ve chosen to have a light coloured, shimmery wedding with a palette like white, silver and grey.

5. Don’t be too enthusiastic

Try not to match bold colours with bold colours, you may love purple and orange, but it’s best to pull back and use one or the other as you may run the risk of the event’s colour scheme clashing.

6. Pull in natural elements

If your Bali wedding venue has a lot of wood, stone or bamboo built into the villa consider incorporating that into your colour palette. It’ll make for incredible photos and your venue will match your wedding!

Themes

Your wedding theme is almost like a motif. It’s a styling principle that can further guide every element of your big day. To be honest, while it’s lovely, having a theme is not that big of a deal and can cost you more in the long run. We’ve often found that a colour scheme is enough, after all is has an inbuilt theme of love!

However, if you are after a detail-oriented wedding you need to be really clear about this in the planning stage as it will need to be reflected in all of your styling choices. When deciding a theme remember to consider the tones, textures and angles of your wedding. 

Making sure your theme is reflected and recurring throughout will mean it’s effectively received by your guests, AND captured in the wedding imagery. One small example is the typography and the table dressings you use, making sure these match is an easy way to get your theme across without too much effort.

Thematic Options

Below we’ve listed some theme ideas for your Bali wedding. Be aware that some of them will be more costly to assemble, but follow your heart and seek a quote at least! It’s almost 100% possible that a wedding planner in Bali can make it come to life for you.

Vintage

Vintage style weddings are simply stunning. A taste of the old world can be incorporated in everything! From the chairs you choose, to the beautifully aged floral arrangements. You could have a vintage style car to drive you away like Bonnie and Clyde, or even a horse and cart if you want to evoke an earlier era. You can ask for antique style decor and music then consider bringing a certain decade or period of time into your outfit and makeup plans. 

One lovely example is to have your bridesmaids dressed as sophisticated flapper girls of the 1940’s with long pearl necklaces, lined stockings and perfectly curled hair. The great thing about vintage themes is that you can simply choose an era and give your planner or stylist a brief to get creative.

Alternative

Alternative weddings are for those who just don’t like tradition. The scope for this theme is wide and varied! We suggest you start with an edgy colour palette and scrap all formality. Try punchy colours and mismatched furniture. You can do anything you like, but attempt to use some of your favourite hobbies to guide the theme. One tip though, even if you don’t like tradition, the day still needs to have some structure so you can feed your guests on time and enjoy each other. 

Maybe you have a late night ceremony, a shaman to marry you, a bonfire with belly dancers, or even just an anti-wedding party where the drinks flow all night and you don’t make much of the ceremony. There are so many cool ways to express your personality to don’t be afraid to push your stylist until they’ve found the perfect theme for you.

EcoFriendly

A biodegradable or recycling-themed wedding is not only good for the planet, it’s likely to save you money. In this case, think paper plates and cups, second hand dresses, plants instead of flowers, candle light instead of electricity, donations to charities instead of gifts and an eco friendly venue. Bali has some amazing eco village type venues so if you’re not worried about things being a little ‘rustic’ then ask your planner to find you something magic.

Bohemian

The guiding principles of bohemian style are cool and carefree. Bare feet, flowy dresses, casual low seating and lots of throw pillows or rugs. You can use tribal style artwork, have quaint glass bottles as candle holders and so much more. This is perhaps one of the most artistic themes and there’s space for all sorts of ideas. 

Conveniently, Bali is particularly famous for its hipster and bohemian lifestyle which means there are oodles of crochet and macrame weaved accessories here. If a Bohemian style wedding is your dream, then your Bali wedding stylist won’t be short of inspiration. 

Romantic

A romantic wedding theme is always very feminine and soft. The flowers will play a huge part of the day and your colour palette will be more pastel than bright. Think calligraphy, arches dripping with roses and subdued lighting. We love the look of hanging chandeliers, wicker bird cages, soft linen napkins and dresses in classic white or cream for this theme.

Chapter 8:

❁ flowers

There’s nothing more beautiful than the moment you walk down a rose petal scattered aisle and stand under a canopy of flowers to say ‘I do’. High-quality flower arrangement will really ‘up the ante’ of your wedding day and they provide a backdrop for stunning images. They visually create a romantic atmosphere, but their scent will also make the moment of your wedding day a lasting memory – one that can be conjured up anytime you smell your favourite blooms in the future.

The Challenges Of Getting Flowers In Bali

The main challenge to sourcing flowers in Bali is the climate. Not too many flowers are grown locally, which means wedding flowers here are generally imported from other places in Indonesia. Surabaya and West Java are the most common regions florists will source your flowers from because the soil quality is better and there are more stable temperatures. For you, this means ordering your flowers early and factoring in an extra cost for the freighting fees.

However, not all of the flowers used in Bali weddings are imported. There are some talented florists on the island who can use local blooms and jungle style palms and fronds that can save you money while still creating amazing arrangements. Check out our Bali flower dictionary below!

Choosing Your Wedding Flowers

Choosing flowers for your Bali wedding is actually easier than it sounds. Yes, it does pay to know the names of your favourite blooms, but the most important factor is your colour palette. Then you should also consider your venue location, if it’s on a clifftop, for example, the flowers should be more sturdily arranged to compensate for any wind.

Working with a good florist will ease the process, and your planner can probably connect you with them in person. See our list of florists below if you want to interview any of them now!

Things to keep in mind when you’re speaking with a florist – other than the colours – are the budget and the style of your wedding. If you’re going for a classical or romantic style event then they’ll recommend soft, feminine arrangements with orchids, roses and more classic blooms. If you want an edgy or alternative look then you can ask for more unique flowers like heliconia, fresh bamboo, anthuriums & even combinations of unusual vegetation, like berries and palm fruits.

One really good tip is to hand over the reins on the decision making and send your florist a mood board of the wedding style. Then you can ask for their recommendations and take full advantage of their creativity and knowledge.

Your Flowers Checklist:

There are many different types of floral arrangements beyond the basic bridal bouquet, so take a look down this list and speak with your planner about which flowers will suit your venue.

  • Bridal and bridesmaid bouquets
  • Groom and groomsmen’s boutonnieres 
  • Hair flowers or crowns for the bridal party
  • Flower girl posies and petals to scatter 
  • Altar flowers in an arch or canopy
  • Aisle flowers in urns to decorate the seating
  • Centrepiece flowers for the reception tables
  • Registration or cake table flowers
  • A pathway of rose petals for you to walk down

Discover A Florist’s Dream

During our research for this chapter we asked a well-known florist in Bali to think about the best, most beautiful flower arrangements he could recommend for a wedding. His response was inspiring and gives weight to the idea that it’s better to trust the florist’s creative vision than try to control everything yourself. Oh, and don’t worry, we’ve included the names and pictures of all the different types of flowers below so you will know what you’re talking about!

“My dream wedding client would allow me to use masses of phalaenopsis orchids, clumped succulents, mauve dolcetto roses, canopies of flowers & foliage over the guest tables to give a luxurious & lush appearance. We would also provide elegant table decoration using classic candelabras and a trail of flowers down the centre of each table to match the bridal theme.” 

“The ceremony area would be dressed in all white and green. We’d use a classic French-styled iron gazebo covered in white roses, trailing white phalaenopsis orchids and tropical foliage. Flower urns would be placed down the aisle then filled with matching flowers and branches with hanging crystals for the bridal party to walk under. Of course, there would be a thick pathway of all-white rose petals for the bride’s grand entrance.”

The level of creativity and joy florists embody when they’re imagining weddings is beyond most of us! So our best advice is to find a florist with good reviews and then trust them to create a wedding that resembles a dreamland! Below are some of the Bali florists we love so check out their websites and start getting excited!

Bali Florists

Your Bali Flower Dictionary

This list isn’t 100% complete but we’ve tried to include every flower mentioned in this guide and the common flowers you can source in Bali

As a rule, these are the flowers that grow on the island of Bali.

 Tropical flowers

Heliconias, anthuriums, ginger flowers, phalaenopsis orchids (purple and white), lotus flowers (seasonal).

 Classic flowers

Roses, gerberas, chrysanthemums, tuberoses, sunflowers, marigold, bachelor button, frangipani.

Flower Dictionary

 -Gypsophila Excellence

– Limonium Caspea Purple

– Lisianthus CH White

– Lisianthus Champagne

– Lisianthus Light Pink

– Lily Double Petals White

– Lily Double Petals Pink

– Eu. Populus

– Eu. Berries

– Eu. Cinerea

– Eu. Parvifolia

– Gr. Ruskus Italy

– Gr. Herbs Olive

– Viburnum With Berries

– Calla Lily Pink

– Bouvardia White

– Cymbidium White

– Cymbidium Red

– Cymbidium Orange

– Cymbidium Green

– Tulip Pink Dynasti

– Tulip Royal Virgin

– Tulip Strong Gold Yellow

– Carnation Peach Apple Tea

– Carnation Light Pink

– Carnation Green

– Roses Lavender Ocean Song 

– Roses Amnesia 

– Roses Sandy 

– Roses Hypnoses 

– Roses Red Explorer 

– Grose Mayra Red 

– Grose Caraluna 

– Hydrangea White 

– Statice CH White

– Protea King Pink

Chapter 9:

☾ furniture

Choosing your Bali wedding furniture is exciting! This is where you’ll start to see the shape of your wedding come into focus but it’s also a decision which requires taking into account a few important factors. Luckily, your planner will be able to guide you through most of the process, especially as she is likely to know the Bali venue well.

Below is a list of things to consider as you begin looking at your wedding furniture options.

Guest numbers

This is an obvious one, of course, you want to make sure everyone has a seat at the table and ceremony! But the number of guests you invite is also relevant as you begin to select the bar furniture or outfit the lounge area. You should cater for about 50% of the guests wanting a seat in these areas.

Your theme and colour

Your furniture choices should be made to fit the theme and colour palette of your wedding. As you will see below, a chair is so much more than a chair and a table can make or break an event! The furniture at your wedding is the foundation that your colours will be built on so keep these in mind as you browse your options.

The Venue configuration

Also, keep in mind the following points. Is it an indoor or outdoor space? Do you have multiple rooms to cover? Where will people be relaxing, where will the coats and bags be stored (other than the back of your chair) and do you have a smoker’s area planned? Also, does the bar area need seating and will you set up a lounge space for guests to use while you and your partner get photos.

Visualise the event

To assist with your furniture decisions it’s important to imagine your wedding as if you were a guest. As each person arrives they will need to drop off their gift at a gifting table, sign the guest book then enjoy a welcome drink at the entry area of the venue. They will then move on and require a seat at the ceremony. After this, they may head to the bar or the champagne top-up station and begin mingling with other guests in a lounge or other casual area. Finally, they will need to sit down for dinner somewhere and maybe even make a speech at a lectern before they move onto the dance floor to get down with the sounds of your resident DJ or band.

To ensure the flow and comfort of your guests, every stage of your wedding has different furniture requirements. You’ll notice that we’ve underlined a few key stages above so take these into consideration as you budget for your furniture package.

Start from the beginning

This may seem overwhelming so just start from the beginning and work your way up. For a sit-down wedding, the most important and possibly the most expensive cost is the chairs. So begin with deciding on the style and colour of your ceremony and reception chairs before you choose anything else. If you’re having a cocktail event then bar stools and tables will be the key feature you must select first.

Your Wedding Furniture Checklist

Here is a list of every piece of furniture you could possibly need to fit out your wedding. Of course, you may not want everything on this list, but it will help you to understand the ingredients you need to throw the event of a lifetime.

  • Entryway furniture to relax in upon arrival
  • An easel for your wedding signage
  • A gift table with a guest book for them to write in
  • Coat racks for storing bags and jackets
  • Ceremony chairs for your guests
  • A signing table for you and your beloved
  • An arch to dress the ceremony stage
  • The bridal table at the reception
  • The cake table for people to cruise past
  • Benches for the smoker’s area
  • Lounge suites for the older guests to congregate
  • Low coffee tables and beanbags as a cheaper option
  • A dry bar or drinks table for the wine and beer service
  • Stools for the bar area
  • Umbrellas for shade or decoration
  • Cocktail tables for the bar area
  • Reception chairs for the number of guests you have
  • Dining Tables round or long for dinner service
  • A Photobooth to capture memories
  • Letter lights for the photos
  • Cushions and Rugs for a bohemian look
  • Backdrops or hanging installations
  • Dance floor if you don’t want to use grass
  • Neon Frames for photos opportunities
  • Love Seats for private moments
  • A DJ table and sound system

The combination of the furniture you choose will depend on budget and your venue space but don’t hesitate to speak with your planner about the costs and logistics of hiring any of the above items for your Bali wedding.

Chapter 10:

⊚ lighting

While the natural light in Bali is exquisite, the heat of the tropical climate means most weddings are scheduled as evening affairs. Your event will typically last from 4 pm and run as late as 2 am depending on the location. 

As the sun sets at around 6:30 pm, the majority of the event will be in the dark, which makes artificial lighting an essential factor. Couples who want to create an unforgettable, mystical atmosphere for their guests should be prepared to plan this carefully with a wedding planner.

Luckily, it’s not too difficult. The key is to design your lighting to suit your venue, and once you have the right lingo, you can quickly start to chat about what you want. There are some genuinely excellent options to consider, and your lighting choices can vastly boost and compliment the overall style of your wedding.

The Language of Lighting

Below are some of the terms you can expect to come across as you research venue lighting. The combination of these lighting elements will vastly change according to your venue. 

  • Fairy lights
  • Canopy lighting
  • Festoon lighting
  • Spotlighting
  • Garden lighting
  • Chandeliers and table lighting
  • Gobo lighting
  • Pin spotting
  • Colour wash
  • Landscape lighting
  • After party lighting (mirror balls and strobes)
  • uplighting/underlighting
  • Tripod lighting
  • Par lamps 
  • Banana trunk candles 
  • Tiki torches

Your Ideal Lighting Triad

The three most important areas of your wedding to address are the property lighting, the reception lighting and the after-party lighting. Each should be considered and discussed in relation to your venue. Read on for the inside word on each of these lighting zones from one of Bali’s best lighting designers.

Property lighting

The first thing to consider in your lighting plan is the venues existing in-built lighting — most weddings dinners and after-parties are planned outside to take advantage of the tropical gardens. So an early review of the property’s outdoor lighting is a must. While some venues have been purpose-built for weddings, the vast majority of villas/venues will need additional outdoor lighting. This is important for the general event setup, including the boring stuff like the walkways to the toilets.  

The most common lighting options used for general event setup are basic par lamps on tripods, banana trunk candles and planted tiki torches. If your venue doesn’t permit the use of naked flame in this way, then LED lamps or candles can be used. Fairy lights draped in the boughs of trees or wrapped around tree trunks are a great way to spruce up your venue’s outdoor lighting and create atmosphere.

 Reception lighting

The reception in this instance refers to the seated area where everyone will be eating. The most common option couples choose is a lighting canopy that extends over the dining area and can be built up to also light the after party area. These canopies are usually created from a combination of fairy lights, or festoons weaved through with greenery and then installed with a pole & anchor system as they are not very heavy. 

Most venues will allow this kind of pole/anchor setup, and it’s widespread in Bali. Some venues have fixed anchor points for lighting rig installation, which can help the setup/tear-down time but doesn’t lead to any cost savings for the couple.  

To cover larger spaces where there are no fixed venue or anchor points, you may need truss-style elevation or rigging. This is more expensive to set up as the larger the area to cover, the heavier it will be, and the more truss and rigging gear will be needed. These types of setups can also be influenced by venue rules which are set by owners or managing agents to ensure guest safety and reduce any potential damage to the property. Your wedding planner will need to check the general contractor rules and the agreement or house rules to figure out the best approach.

Don’t just rely on the lighting canopy over the main reception tables to provide enough illumination. You may also need candles (real or LED) to further enhance the ambience at the table, and these should be thoughtfully laid out throughout the table florals to create the perfect balance of overhead and underlighting.

Another popular option is to boost the light of the canopy with the use of chandeliers that hang down over the tables. In these cases, the extra weight and cabling that’s needed to install the chandeliers can significantly add to the cost of the setup, but you can’t beat them for a romantic, dreamy atmosphere which can be complemented by hanging greenery.

One common trick for stunning lighting at your reception is to erect an extra lighting canopy just for the bridal table. This draws attention to the couple and makes for beautiful photographs. Many couples also opt for light up letters which spell out the couple’s name or simply the word LOVE. These are fantastic Instagrammable backgrounds.  

Party lighting

Even with a few drinks in them, people can be reluctant to get up and dance. This means the after-party lighting is almost the most important! You have to create the right ambience to make sure everyone feels comfortable to be themselves. 

From a lighting point of view, you need to make sure you get this right. Typically this means using a mirror ball, par LED lights, moving heads, a strobe light and the all-important smoke machine to give a sense of mystery to your once shy Aunty Judith. 

How To ‘Up The Ante’ On Your Party

For many couples, the after-party takes precedence over the actual ceremony and in our experience, making your guests comfortable will require more than just lighting. Below are some extra additions that will make your party fabulous.

  • A built-in dance floor that’s stable and big enough 
  • A projector to playback images of the evening
  • A bar service that’s close by to dispense social lubricant
  • Waiters with snacks, water and refreshing towels on hand
  • A great sound system with good quality speakers
  • A DJ who can read the crowd and take guest requests
  • Cocktail chairs and little tables for people to catch their breath

The Setup

With all of the electricity being used, it’s essential to get the setup right. So make sure you speak with your wedding planner about how the technical elements are being managed. Reputable wedding companies will always use a professional production manager and possibly call on subcontractors to assist in more tricky setups.

 To take care of your power consumption needs and insure yourself from possible power cuts, you will need at least one generator to take care of your lighting. As caterers usually expect the planner to provide them with the power, it’s often best to hire two generators to take care of the surge in kVA.  

Also, you should be aware that most venues will limit the amount of power you can use from their primary local connection. And funnily enough, that turns out to be positive. In Bali, the local provider is not 100% reliable, so it is good practice to run your event from a generator. The risk is small, but the last thing you want is your event ruined by a power blackout!

Chapter 11

⋒ photography

Other than cost, there are several things you should keep in mind while you’re making this pivotal decision.

Do your research!

Ask to see the portfolios of each photographer you consider and be super detail-oriented as you look through them.

Here are some questions to ask yourself.

  • Does the photographer capture the entire wedding? From the makeup and preparation shots to the ceremony itself and the reception afterwards?
  • Do the shots look well framed and considered or cluttered and rushed? 
  • Is the focus clear and do the images seem crisp and well lit?
  • Are the shots sensitive to emotion and has the photographer been able to snap the couple’s most intimate moments? 
  • Do the guests and couple look relaxed in the photos?
  • Is there a dominant style or a mix of different styles in the portfolio?
  • Do the photos tell a story?

Personality Matching

Once you’ve narrowed down a few different options for a photographer it’s time to get on the phone with them. You want to make sure they understand the type of people you are, and whether or not their personality will be a fit with your own! After all, they are going to be a big part of one of the most important days of your life. So it’s important to make sure you’ll get along and that they won’t make you feel awkward.

What Style Of Photography Suits You?

If you’re not yet clear on the style of photographs you want then take some time to do the research. Below we’ve laid out a few of the most common options you can think about. The goal is to find a photographer or videographer that can match your needs AND has his or her own ideas to add to the mix.

Traditional

Traditional wedding photographers will be able to capture the key moments in your wedding with skill and ease. There won’t be any surprises but you can trust them to capture the sunset moment and especially nail those posed family shots that are important to your mum.

Adventurous

This style is for couples who are looking for something different. The photographer should be ready to go the distance and make the most of the venue. They will take your lead and be willing to follow as you jump into the waves at the beach, pose on mountain bikes or even lay in a rice paddy.

Editorial

The style is what you see in glossy magazines but be warned, it may take some time to capture. If you’re working with a photographer like this you can expect chic, but dramatic images that are a little moody but spectacularly artistic and very sexy!

Photojournalist

This style is all about candid images that tell a story of the day. Rather than posed shots, you can expect a photographer or videographer to be watching for drama and emotion and capturing one-off moments that require no staging. The framing won’t be perfect but the story will be marvellous.

Alternative

A special effects photographer will have a portfolio with images that are moody and interesting after being altered and ‘improved’ in post-production. Their portfolio will likely include photos that look like old movies with different tones and light effects. This is a super cool style but it’s not for everybody.

The Details

If you’re not a photographer, there are bound to be some things that you won’t think about when you’re hiring someone to capture your wedding. Luckily, we’ve got your back, so read on to make sure you cover these points before you pay your deposit.

Delivery time

It usually takes around a month to get all of the photos back after your wedding. This is because the photographer will be shooting raw files which are then edited after the big day. Editing a wedding shoot takes around 40 hours so you’re paying for that time as well as their presence on your wedding day in the overall fee. If you need the photos more quickly, make sure you mention this before booking.

Format

Other than asking how many images you will receive for the fee, make sure you ask what format the photos will come in. Ask if they are high resolution and also ask if you will receive the negatives or data files. Then make sure you confirm any retouching costs before the photographer goes ahead with the edit. You should expect a set of proofs or unedited photos first as most photographers these days are aware that you want to post on social media quite quickly. Whatever your expectations, make sure you check in about how the proofs will be delivered. 

Ownership

Many photographers will retain the right to the photos so they can use them in the portfolios on their website. If you’re not keen on this then it pays to ask about the cost of ownership and whether the photos you do get will include watermarks. Ideally, you want to own the images but for a discount, some photographers will keep the rights and offer to supply your photos with watermarks for their own advertising purposes. They may also ask you to tag them in any posts on social media that include their photos so be prepared for this.

Packages

Many photographers offer packages so if you’re thinking about this option then ask the following questions.

  • Does the package cover just the shooting fee or also the edits?
  • What type of album do we get for the package?
  • How many hours do you cover in the package?
  • Do you do any pre or post-ceremony photography?
  • If your wedding is large, ask if they offer any extra shooters?

Bali Photographers we love

The cost range for a photographer is between $2,000 and $10,0000 AUD but here are some of the Bali photographers we love and you may be able to get them for a cheaper rate. If you do decide to go with a wedding company ask about whether their package includes a photographer or not. You could save a whole lot of money in this area if a photographer is already contracted to them.

Bali Love Photography & Videography

Terralogical Photography

Leura Film Videography

Axioo Photography & Videography