Wedspiration

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How to (legally) get married in Bali

Planning on getting married in Indonesia? It’s worth flicking your eyes over this article to take note of what laws and customs you might need to abide by. Plus, we’ve put together a handy list of all the things you’ll need to take with you to make it legal while you’re over there. In need of a beautiful venue? Check out some of our Bali venues here.

In a nutshell, you’ve got two options: do the whole legal part in Bali (very do-able – though there are some firm requirements involved), or do the legal part in Australia before or after your time in Bali and simply host your wedding celebration there (probably the simpler option).

Getting married in Bali

The first thing to note is all couples planning to have a legally binding ceremony in Bali are required to declare a religion with the Civil Registry Office. When you arrive in Bali, it’s worth making the Australian Embassy or your consulate your first stop, who can assist in guiding you through this process.

Indonesia requires a religious ceremony to take place at the same location, on the same day as a civil ceremony, in order to consider it legal. The couple to be wed are also required to declare their faith, and only Christian, Catholic, Buddhist, Hindu, and Islamic faiths are recognised in Indonesia. It’s also worth noting that Atheism or Agnostic views aren’t recognised by Indonesian marriage law.

If you are declaring any faith other than Islamic and are looking to have both a religious and civil ceremony in Bali, you will need to submit an Intention to Marry document with the Civil Registry Office, along with the Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage to prove you’re allowed to get married, alongside 4x6cm photos of the couple with the groom on the left-hand-side, shoulders covered. On some occasions, you’ll be required to complete this at the Australian embassy in the capital of Jakarta, so make sure you leave some extra time to arrive in Indonesia before your wedding date in Bali.

For Catholic couples, you’ll need to marry in a Catholic Church. All other denominations can select their venue, and a member of the office of religious affairs will carry out the religious aspect of the wedding, often done with a translator.

The Ungasan, clifftop resort in Bali
Image by The Evoke Company

Don’t forget to take these items:

  • Both passports, valid for 6+ months
  • Valid visas used to enter Indonesia
  • Copy of Decree Absolute if divorced
  • Copy of Death Certificate of former spouse (if applicable)
  • Copy of Documentary evidence of any change of name (former marriage certificate, deed poll)
  • Birth certificates are normally required by Indonesian authorities, so it’s handy to have these on you too
  • A fee of $110, payable in Rupiah only, to obtain a certificate stating there is “No Impediment to Marriage”

If you’re looking for more info, we recommend heading to the Australian Embassy’s website in Bali.

clifftop bali wedding venue
Image by The Evoke Company

Getting married back home

If the religious requirements don’t apply to you and your partner, you can always host a non-legally binding commitment ceremony in Bali at your venue with a celebrant of your choice, and then sign the required marriage documents upon your return to Australia. This way, you’re not bound to any of the Indonesian marriage laws, including the ability for same-sex couples to legally be wed.

Consider an Australian marriage celebrant

  • You get to know your marriage celebrant back home, plan how your big day will run, the contents of your ceremony and any rituals or readings you’d like on your day. Plus, you’ll have a friend down the end of the aisle waiting for you.
  • Your faith, mixed-faith or lack of faith won’t complicate anything on the day or play a role in your ceremony if you choose for it not to.
  • Your marriage will be registered back home, before or after your wedding in Bali, which means you can easily arrange your marriage certificates, change your name and not have to abide by Indonesian religious marriage laws like same-sex marriage.
  • You won’t require a translator for your celebrant.

We’ve got a bunch of celebrants and MCs onboard WedShed, who will happily travel with you and your bridal party. Check them out here.

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Searching for a Bali wedding venue? Find our curated list here.

23rd August, 2019

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