The Ultimate Guide to Planning a Destination Wedding in Bali

Say "I do" in Bali with our destination wedding planning tips.
Bali destination wedding.
Pavel Ilyukhin/Shutterstock
Location: Ubud, Bali
Colleen Zewe - The Knot Contributor.
Colleen Zewe
Colleen Zewe - The Knot Contributor.
Colleen Zewe
The Knot Contributor
  • Colleen writes articles for The Knot Worldwide, with a speciality in venues and wedding stationery.
  • Prior to The Knot Worldwide, Colleen contributed to Vox’s Curbed and Her Campus.
  • Colleen holds a degree in journalism from Northwestern University.
Updated Mar 27, 2024
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Whether you've visited Southeast Asia or simply seen its natural beauty on social media, it only takes seeing a few swipes to prove Bali's status as a dream wedding destination. A Bali wedding can include a ceremony right on one of its stunning beaches followed by photos amid a lush landscape. In short, Bali's natural beauty lends itself well to a magical wedding. Moreover, some popular Bali honeymoon resorts may also play host to stunning destination weddings.

While Bali destination weddings have grown in popularity, planning a far-flung affair can have its challenges, including navigating the legal requirements and deciding where to celebrate. For expert tips, we spoke to Leisa Brenchley, founder of the blog The Bali Bride. Brenchley has curated the best of the best in Bali wedding vendors on her website, where she showcases photos and stories from beautiful Bali destination weddings. From elopements to grand events, Brenchley confirms that there are resources for every type of celebration. Here's a rundown of expert tips and advice for planning your Bali wedding.

Bali Wedding Planning in this Article:

Why Couples and Guests Love Bali Weddings

View of a beautiful temple in Bali waters during sunrise.
Sirintra Pumsopa / Getty Images

As a providence of Indonesia, Bali includes the island of Bali as well as a few neighboring islands. Bali is especially known for its beaches, mountainous rainforests and spiritual culture. Whether you want to relax in natural hot springs, hike through mountains, or explore historical temples, Bali has something for every couple and interest.

Many of the accommodations in Bali are intimate villas that generally sleep 10 to 20 guests. Those hosting an intimate wedding could book a private villa and enjoy an extended weekend with their closest family and friends. For couples planning a large celebration, Bali also includes several beach resorts where your guests can relax and feel pampered. Either way, both you and your guests will make amazing memories at your wedding weekend.

Brenchley herself got married in Bali. She grew up visiting the island and fell in love with the Balinese food and people. For Brenchley and her husband, getting married in Bali was a no-brainer. "We wanted the opportunity to show our families and friends the wonderful land of Bali and enjoy what would be a seven-day celebration with everyone," she said. "The food, the sunset locations and accommodations suit everyone's budget." It's also what makes Bali appealing for destination weddings.

Pro tip: Invite a destination wedding travel expert to join your vendor team. Browse travel agents near you on The Knot Marketplace for Bali wedding expertise, group hotel blocks, flight arrangements and more.

The Best Places to Get Married in Bali

Unfamiliar with the landscape in Bali? It's all simply stunning. Each spot offers something unique, and getting to know the sites and culture of various beaches and areas can help experts pinpoint the precise spot for their perfect day. Brenchley offered a few of her favorites to help you get started on your Bali wedding-planning journey.


Black sandy beach in Bali at sunset.
Per Engström / Getty Images

A small black-sand beach frequented by surfers, Ketewel's surrounding area features several wedding villas and beachfront resorts that can host destination weddings. Brenchley recommends staying at Villa Puri Nirwana, as they offer direct beach access and offers beautiful weddings of up to 120 guests.


Couples looking for a lively but luxe beach destination will love Seminyak. The area includes expansive beaches, resorts, shopping, restaurants and nightlife. You can host a beachfront wedding ceremony with views of the Indian Ocean before heading into your resort to the party the night away. Consider booking a tour while you're there to experience the best Bali has to offer, from traditional Balinese food to the Puri Saren Palace.


Woman walks on a path through the tropical landscape of Ubud, Bali.
Diamond Dogs / Getty Images

Couples who want to ingrain themselves in the local culture will enjoy wedding planning in Ubud. From cultural landmarks to art markets, there's plenty in Ubud to keep both the couple and their guests busy throughout the wedding weekend. Enjoy some pre-wedding sightseeing and meditation at the Goa Gajah (or Elephant Cave) sanctuary, or walk through stunning scenery at the Tegallalang Rice Terrace.


Jimbaran is home to several luxurious resorts and spas, including the Ayana Resort and Spa. Couples planning a larger event and seeking luxe venues and grand accommodations will find Jimbaran perfect for their big day.

Pro tip: As you consider Bali wedding locations, don't forget about your newlywed vacation. Plan an amazing Bali honeymoon, too, with our complete guide.

The Top Bali Wedding Venues and Resorts

Perhaps all of the above has you ready to jet-set to Bali for a dreamy destination wedding. First, you'll want to get an idea of what Bali wedding venues offer in terms of perks, packages and backdrops. The stunning spot in Indonesia is home to numerous resorts and hotels that make for picture-perfect settings for a big day. Some offer Bali wedding packages, which make finding vendors and settling on decor remotely a breeze. Your resort of choice may also have an on-site planner who can help you navigate the local pro scene and customize a day to meet your vision. Consider these top-flight resort suggestions a solid starting point.

Ayana Resort and Spa

A standout in a Jimbaran scene lauded for its luxury, Ayana Resort and Spa blends jungle and shoreline to perfection. Set on a cliff on the Bukit peninsula, the five-star retreat boasts numerous unique venues for an unforgettable soiree. Think an intimate affair for 50 or fewer along a Rock Bar set right on the edge of the Indian Ocean or a refined-yet-grand garden that comfortably fits 200 onlookers. Airy indoor venues include a white-washed chapel or room full of orchid blossoms and floor-to-ceiling windows. Guests are sure to adore bedrooms with garden or ocean vistas. For more space, such as for getting ready, couples and guests can book suites with sitting rooms and two-person free-standing tubes or villas with plunge pools.

Villa Puri Nirwana

Found on Bali's southeastern coast near Sanur, Villa Puri Nirwana offers a more intimate setting for couples who want to mix and mingle with each guest. Its quiet setting away from the traffic and crowds that flock to Bali doesn't hurt. Villa Puri Nirwana can accommodate 20 people in six spacious suites, but to-be-weds can invite up to 100 to 120 of their nearest and dearest, depending on whether they prefer a sit-down or standing-room affair. A small garden at the entrance (one of 50 on the property) is ideal for welcome drinks to kick off a multi-day destination wedding celebration in Bali. Suggested ceremony locations include a main villa lawn with black-sand beach vistas or another garden in the back full of a gigantic tree and lush, enchanting greenery. Expert planners can help you organize vendors, catering and more so you can relax.

The Ritz-Carlton, Bali

A stone's throw from Geger Beach, The Ritz-Carlton, Bali is a luxury waterfront hotel that offers beach access, an infinity pool and garden views — and that's just for any guest. Bespoke wedding services include planners and unique venues for a fairytale-like Balinese wedding. A spa offers couples treatments that make for the perfect remedies for jet lag and any pre-wedding stress. Tie the knot in an airy chapel set on golden sands or right on the beach. Receptions can take place in the chapel or outside on its lawn. The cliff's lawn overlooking the Indian Ocean can hold up to 400 guests, making it ideal for larger parties. For a truly exclusive feel during your stay, consider a villa with butler service and personal chefs. A package includes music, a non-legal ceremony celebrant, two preparation rooms for the couple and various other perks.

Meliã Bali

All-inclusive accommodations have endeared Meliã Bali to guests throughout the years. The beachfront paradise has a spa, a handful of restaurants and sprawling lagoon pool (plus access to the aforementioned beach). The five-star luxury extends to to-be-weds, who will work with expert planners to craft menus and every other detail large and small. A stunning beachside garden blends lush botanicals and waterfront vistas that people love about Bali (while ensuring pairs don't have to choose between the two). The aforementioned all-inclusive packages make it a worthy spot to stay for during a honeymoon as dreamy as your big day.

Planning ahead for the legal requirements for any destination wedding is a must-do. Brenchley noted that many couples get legally married in a small civil ceremony in their home country before having a second ceremony and reception in Bali. However, if you and your spouse-to-be would prefer to get legally married in Bali, there are some logistics you'll need to be aware of ahead of time, including understanding how to secure your marriage license in Bali. A wedding planner who is well-versed in Balinese marriage law can also help walk you through the steps, and the U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Indonesia is another useful resource to bookmark.

A legal wedding is when you and your spouse officially become husband and wife. Like many countries, Bali will give you an official wedding certificate to show you're legally married. Or, you may choose to get legally married in your home country before celebrating the second ceremony in Bali. This is acceptable in Balinese culture, and due to the prevalent spiritual life in Bali, you may want to consider incorporating ceremonies, hymns or traditions that represent you and your spouses' spiritual lives.

Couples getting legally married in Bali will need to bring their passports, birth certificates, as well as the passports of their two witnesses. You'll need to visit your home country's embassy to register your wedding and receive a letter of non-impediment. You'll also need to take eight four-by-six centimeter, side-by-side photos for the wedding certificate. If this is your second marriage, you may also need proof of divorce or a death certificate. If you are planning a religious ceremony, you may also need other documents, such as proof of baptism.

Weddings in Bali require a religious ceremony, and both couples must be members of the same religion.

If one partner is Muslin, the ceremony must take place at the local Office of Religious Affairs (Kantor Urusan Agama) and won't require a Civil Registration (Catatan Sipil). All other religious ceremonies require Civil Registration. The religious ceremony comes first, followed by the civil registration. These ceremonies must take place on the same day. You will receive two certificates.

Brenchley advises couples to arrive at least three days ahead of their wedding to ensure they can receive all required certifications from the embassy before the wedding.

The cost for a legal marriage in Bali can vary due to possible fees at your embassy. However, most couples can expect to pay between $300 and $500 USD.

Pro tip: Once you've decided on your Bali wedding venue, send out destination wedding save-the-dates with important info so your guest can book the time off and start thinking about travel plans.

Bali Wedding Planning Tips

Couple dances in a traditional gate of a temple in Bali.
Breslavtsev Oleg / Shutterstock

Planning any getaway can feel stressful, let alone a destination wedding. Luckily, we've compiled some expert tips to help ensure a smooth process for planning your special day.

How to Get There

Because Bali is an island, the main way to get there is by flying. Most direct flights departing from the US are from the West Coast, so those on the East Coast may have a layover.

Bali does offer a public bus and taxis. You can also rent a car, scooter or motorcycle, but Bali roads get chaotic.

Bali Weather

Bali's proximity to the equator creates a warm and humid climate year-round. November through March is rainy season, while the spring and summer are dry with a cool breeze.

Choosing Your Bali Wedding Venue and Vendors

Beachside wedding reception set up with round tables, string lights, and waterfront views.
jackmalipan / Getty Images

Bali offers any wedding venue and style you can imagine: those with clifftop views, villa celebrations, and beachfront or even poolside ceremonies. Brenchley's biggest tip for choosing a Bali wedding venue is to visit Bali ahead of planning.

"With so many beautiful locations and styles to choose from, it is so easy to get caught up and do the exact same things as something you've seen before," she said. "If you can, get to Bali, have a look around, and choose something to suit you and your partner. Then build your style and decor around the location. With so many jaw-dropping locations, sometimes you don't need much, and this can really save you in your budget."

Couples can also look to online guides to find recommended vendors and the best wedding venues. The Bali Bride has a list of some of the top vendors in Bali to help those planning a destination wedding. You can also search The Knot Marketplace to find wedding planners and pros who specialize in destination weddings.

Bali Wedding Cost and Budgeting Tips

A destination wedding cost in Bali varies (and the final price tag might require some currency conversion). Bali's currency is the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR). 1 USD equals roughly 14,467 IDR. Keep in mind that many hotels' online prices are listed in USD.

Brenchley said that generally, Bali weddings are less expensive than soirees in many other countries. "Weddings in Bali can cater [to] all budgets, as there are so many options to choose from," she notes. Because there are many luxe resorts in Bali, weddings can cost as much as $200,000, but $10,000 is also a reasonable budget.

Brenchley's number-one piece of advice for couples looking to save money for a Bali wedding is that every bit counts, even just a few dollars each week. She said that because there are so many different venue options and styles available for a Bali wedding, most couples can plan a beautiful Bali wedding that works within their budget.

Pro tip: Set up a free destination wedding website on The Knot with all the event details including your Bali wedding itinerary, things to do, guest travel information, RSVPs and more.

BethAnn Mayer contributed to this article.

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