It’s really exciting to make your own wedding plans in a destination like Bali. There’s the benefits of fewer guests, and the guests that do come are really into you guys and will no doubt make for a great party. But the biggest question that couples ask, or that some couples forget to ask is: how do I get legally married in Bali?
How to get legally married in Bali
An Indonesian marriage ceremony of course has to take place in Indonesia, so you need to abide by their laws and customs.
Along with your bikini and sunglasses you’ll need to pack your:
- Copy of Decree Absolute if divorced
- Copy of Death Certificate of former spouse if applicable
- Copy of Documentary evidence of any change of name (eg, former marriage certificate/deed poll)
- Birth certificates are normally required by the Indonesian authorities and it is recommended that you bring these with you
- A$110 (payable in Rupiah only) for the Australian embassy in Bali
At the Australian embassy you will need to request a “Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage” to prove to the local priest or officiant that you’re allowed to get married. If yo’re not Australian you need to find your embassy.
Your Indonesian marriage will be recognised in Australia as long as the couple being married would be allowed to be married in Australia had the ceremony taken place in Australia, that is, the couple are 18 or over, not already married, not related, consenting and willing, and one was a boy and one was a girl. You’ll be exempt from the free-name change facilities if you get married overseas though.
Legal or non-legal Balinese marriage ceremony
Many couples choose to legally marry in Australia before or after their Bali trip and in Bali simply have non-legal ceremony. Some also will bring an Australian celebrant so the ceremony isn’t weird, but is custom designed for them. And then some will choose to legally get married in Bali. I can’t speak on behalf of the Indonesian government, but this is how it would happen today:
To get legally married in Bali you are required to have both a religious and civil ceremony. The bride and groom need to declare the same religion. The following religions are recognised in Indonesia: Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christian (Protestant) and Catholic faiths.
The religious ceremony and the legal ceremony must be held at the same location on the same day.
Religious ceremonies under Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christian-Protestant faith can be held at a home, a villa, a hotel, a restaurant, a beach or a purpose built wedding venue excepting temples. The religious ceremony is carried out by a member of the ‘Kantor Urusan Agama’, translated, ‘The office of religious affairs’. If you intend to marry under Catholic faith you are required to do so in a Catholic church in Bali. Couples of non-Islamic faith require “Notice of Intention to Marry”. This is done at the Civil Registry Office in the regency where they are staying in Bali. You are also required to present a ‘Certificate of non-Impediment’. This document is usually obtained from your consulate or your embassy in Indonesia. You may then need to obtain this document from your embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital. Which is over 1000 km away from the island of Bali.
For your notice of intention to marry you require:
- Certified birth certificate
- Certified divorce decree (absolute) or death certificates regarding the termination of all previous marriages if appropriate.
- Four 4×6 cm photos, both partners side by side, bride on right hand side, with no bare shoulders showing
- Certificate of Non Impediment to Marriage’ issued by your Consular Representative for Bali or Indonesia.
Being married by an Indonesian priest requires couples to declare a recognized Indonesian religion and both partners must also be of the same faith. Hindu, Buddhist or Islam are acceptable, however Atheism or Agnostic are not recognised by Indonesian marriage law.
Benefits of taking an Awesome Australian marriage celebrant
Please note, I am an Australian wedding celebrant that is passionate about three things: a) my wife and family, b) creating meaningful, enjoyable, and inspiring wedding ceremonies, and c) travel. So there may be a little bit of bias in this section!
There’s five main benefits to taking an Australian celebrant, like me, to your Bali wedding:
- Your marriage will be registered in Australia before or after your Bali trip which means that you can easily request marriage certificates, easily and freely change your name, and not have to abide by Indonesian religious marriage law
- You get to plan your marriage ceremony, the contents of the ceremony, any rituals, and readings and everything, with a person you like right here at home. So when you walk down the aisle in Bali there will be no surprises.
- You’ll have a friend at the end of the aisle, instead of a stranger
- Your faith, or lack of faith, or different faiths, doesn’t even play a role in deciding if you are allowed to be married
- The ceremony will be in English!
The average travel price for to take me to Bali is $1000-$1500 dependant on time of year and flights. Plus I love going to Bali. Convinced? Let’s do this! Contact me to make a date!