And at the end I will give a few more links where you can explore the cost of a Bali wedding even deeper.
The tale of Oliver & Jasmine
Let me start this by sharing a little tale with you. The tale of Oliver & Jasmine.
Oliver and Jasmine agreed over a romantic Saturday candlelight dinner that their wedding was to be held in beautiful Bali. Because that is where they met for the first time. And it was also in Bali where he proposed to her.
They had already been saving money for their wedding during the last 18 months. But was their budget enough for that Bali wedding they imagined ?
The young couple knew that their wedding was to be a rather small one with only the closest family and a few of their best friends. They narrowed the guest list down to 34 guests.
Jasmine also knew she wanted a good photographer, makeup & hair services and a dinner reception with a DJ. How much will this cost ?
Jasmine thought that it would be best to contact a good wedding planner in Bali to get a cost estimate for their wedding in Bali.
What she received as a response surprised her… I’ll share the rest of the story with you at the end of this article.
How much does a wedding in Bali cost ?
Over the years, we the SOCIETY OF BALI WEDDING PROFESSIONALS have learned that the question of the cost of a Bali Wedding is the most frequently asked question.
Understandably. Because most of us have to work with a certain budget. Often a budget that is not exactly as much as what we hoped for…
In this article, I will not only answer what a wedding in Bali will cost you but also give you some tips on how to make your budget last for what you envision. And how to avoid unnecessary expenses which often pop in unexpected places.
For the purpose of this discussion, the cost for traveling to Bali and cost for your accommodation in Bali are not included. Why ?
Because obviously, a bride from Singapore can get a flight to Bali for a fraction of the cost from a bride in the USA. Accommodation I choose not to include because the duration for how long couples stay in Bali varies greatly. Suffice to say that ‘decent’ accommodation in Bali ranges from 60 USD – 150 USD per night per room.
A wedding in Bali costs 500 USD – 50.000 USD
Asking what is the cost of a wedding in Bali is a bit like asking how long is a piece of string.
An elopement wedding with a simple ceremony in the garden of your villa may cost you as little as 500 USD, or even less.
Whereas a lavish wedding in a luxurious Bali villa with hundred guests or more, with tonnes of fresh flower décor, and a lavish banquet for the reception, multiple entertainment options, fireworks, a monstrous cake, an international photographer, a team of videographers, makeup & hair services for the bride and an army of bridesmaids and and and … can set you back for as much as 50.000 USD or more.
I have seen also Bali weddings where a couple rented an entire 5-star resort for a few hundred guests. I can only wonder what such a wedding costs. Fair to say only the sky is the limit.
You may now say, but what I want to know what is the cost of a typical Bali wedding. An average wedding. And I will try to answer that.
But before I do so I need to tell you that destination weddings in Bali come in all sizes and shapes.
Anyway, let’s cut to the chase. Say you have a wedding in a 4-star hotel with 20 – 30 guests plus a photographer, makeup & hair for the bide and a reception dinner expect to pay somewhere between 7000 USD – 12.000 USD.
If you have your wedding in a glitzy 5 star hotel and you want international quality standards in terms of wedding planning, stunning décor, reputable makeup & hair services, a good photographer, perhaps a video team as well and a mouthwatering reception dinner with some entertainment such as a band and fire-dancers then you will end up paying 12.000 USD – 17.000 USD.
I always like to compare the question of the cost of a wedding to the cost of a night in a hotel. And you will certainly agree that this is hard to answer. Because it depends on the class of the hotel.
You see you can get a good night of sleep for as little as 40 USD but you can also sleep in a posh villa and pay thousands of dollars per night.
Why a destination wedding in Bali is often cheaper
If your main reason for choosing Bali as your wedding destination is to save on cost you may be in for a few surprises.
But let’s examine first why a destination wedding can be cheaper.
What often makes a destination wedding significantly cheaper is that you will need to pay for fewer guests … Why ? Because most destination weddings require a guest to commit for at least 3,4 days to visit the location of your wedding. Back home it would only be 3,4,5 hours to attend to your wedding.
Finding a few hours in our busy lives is certainly easier than taking a short vacation.
Consequently, your guest list will turn out much shorter as compared to having your wedding back home.
I had couples who told me that if they would have done their wedding back home they would have had to invited 100, 150 or more guests. Whereas to Bali only 30 – 40 could make it.
So the Bali wedding turned out to be much cheaper for that reason.
But if you were anyway planning to do your wedding only in the circle of your closest relatives and some friends then a Bali wedding may not offer significant savings, if any at all.
Bali is not a cheap wedding destination
Some things like accommodation and venue rental fees are generally cheaper in Bali than in most parts of the world.
Other components may cost the same as back home. And you may be surprised to hear that there is even stuff that is more expensive in Bali than back home. Most notably alcohol, which is heavily taxed in Indonesia. More on this later.
With a wedding of over 40, 50 guests your catering will become the biggest cost in your over-all budget. This is an often overlooked point when evaluating the cost of a wedding in Bali.
You may be surprised to hear that even though a restaurant visit in Bali is much cheaper than in your home country catering options for your wedding often cost the same as in Australia unless you want to seriously compromise on quality.
Careful you may be comparing apples to oranges
Often, at first sight, one venue looks cheaper than another one, but can turn out to be much more expensive actually.
What am I talking about ?
For instance, you may see a wedding package for a wedding at a hotel costing you say 6500 USD, for the venue, the ceremony, the priest / celebrant and the décor.
And you may compare this to wedding package with a wedding in one of Bali’s most stunning villas. Which costs say 15.000 USD.
So, at first sight, the hotel package seems cheaper… Emphasis on 'seems'.
But if you dig deeper you will realize that the 6500 USD package gives you a venue and the other inclusion I mentioned above but no accommodation. Whereas the villa’s package comes with 4 rooms which can sleep 8 people and gives you a stunning villa for 2-3 days. Then actually, the villa is the cheaper option, in spite of the high price tag.
So the devil is in the details – watch out.
Villa Wedding vs. Hotel / Resort wedding vs. Chapel wedding – which costs more – which costs less ?
Many of you have also asked what is cheaper: a hotel / resort wedding or a wedding in a private villa or a wedding in one of Bali’s many wedding chapels.
Those among you hoping for a conclusive answer I may disappoint you again.
Why ? Because it depends.
Generally, hotel / resort wedding are the best deal. But not by much.
The wedding chapels tend to be expensive when you consider you pay 2000 USD – 5000 USD to use a chapel for a mere hour. If you are set on a chapel wedding you have meanwhile over 20 wedding chapels to choose from. Usually, the ones which are not part of a fancy 5-star hotel tend to be less expensive.
You can learn more about the cost of a chapel wedding in Bali through a linked article at the end of this article.
What is the cost of a wedding venue in Bali
With over 300 different weddings venues to choose from it becomes extremely hard to answer that question.
There are some venues on the beach which can be had for a couple of hundred bucks – that is without decoration, priest and other inclusions, of course.
There are even some villas which will allow you to have a small wedding in their garden for no cost at all. As long as you stay there.
At the other end of the cost spectrum, you have some exclusive wedding chapels that charge you 3000 – 5000 USD to use the chapel and the accompanying facilities like bridal room for 2,3 hours.
I know you all want numbers. So here are some numbers.
Plan for a 20 – 30 guests wedding on a beach of a 4 or 5-star hotel to cost somewhere between 7000 – 12000 USD.
Yes, I hear you scream that this is a too wide range. You wanted an exact number. Sorry, no can do.
Because you may be able to find a 4 star hotel that has just entered 4-stardding market and offers low prices for as little as 5000 USD. Whereas many of the well established branded 5 star hotels will charge you more in the range of 8000 – 120000 USD.
Should you opt for an all – inclusive package ?
Often all-inclusive packages offered by hotels and/or wedding planners look very attractive at first sight.
And sometimes they are. But it is more common that this seemingly ‘cost effective’ package came with a few caveats...
Often those seemingly attractive offers can turn out significantly more expensive than they appeared to be.
Because they forgot to mention (or it was in that super tiny fine-print):
- You still have add to upgrade to a full-legal wedding
- The included photographer is only for one hour
- The altar décor is super basic and you still have to upgrade to that wonderful fresh-flower arch you saw on the pix that made you fall in love with that venue in the first place
- You still have to forge out significantly more because the package did not include alcoholic beverages
- Or that included dinner package has actually just fried rice, some meat on sticks (satay) and a few vegetables. Whereas you imagined spoiling your guest with delicious seafood and a mouth-watering buffet. Which of course you can upgrade to for a hefty fee…
- Oh, the package also did not mention that a high-season fee applies during the months you want to have your wedding.
- Oh and that sunset slot at this fantastic wedding chapels costs you more. The price in the advertised package only applies for weddings before noon..
And list goes on and on…
Worse yet, the photographer included was a complete dork and you feel embarrassed to show your wedding photos to family and friends.
That is because you simply believed that what is stated in the package as a professional this / professional that turned out anything but professional.
Isn’t a ‘simple’ wedding on the beach the least expensive option ?
Yes, it can be. But please keep in mind that you may not want to hold your wedding on a beach where your guests have to use a squatting toilet – if there is a toilet at all.
Or how cheap was the beach wedding you have been dreaming about when there was rain and that fantastic beach location did not have a backup…
Or how about that fantastic beach wedding venue you saw on that website where grandma could not attend because she could not make it down the stairs.
Or how about the venue which you paid for in advance and which on the day of your wedding turned out to be a pure eye sore because of a construction site a few meters away.
Those are just a few of the stories I have witnessed and heard about from couples who wanted to go ‘cheap’ … and ended up with a wedding from hell, instead of one from heaven as they had dreamed about.
How can you save on your budget ?
Skip the legal wedding
While the cost of getting legally married in Bali is not high, the time involved in sorting out the paperwork also counts.
Depending on the country you are from you may need to spend a few days in Bali to sort out things with your consulate.
So I recommend that you do the legal stuff back home and have in Bali a ceremony with only a celebrant instead.
Catering can be expensive
Remember, hotels / resorts earn their money from room nights and from food and beverages they sell. Knowing that you will most likely have your reception & dinner at the hotel they sometimes charge you quite high banquet fees.
So if you plan on having your wedding in a better resort you may want to hold the dinner somewhere else. Because the prices for food and beverage which some hotels charge are simply outrageous. You may be able to save 50% per person if you venture out and hold your reception dinner in a restaurant.
Well, there you have it. But as I said at the beginning of this article the cost for a Bali wedding can vary greatly.
Keep in mind that when sending out inquiries to various wedding venues in Bali that you may be comparing apples to oranges because of all the details involved.
Jasmine & Oliver
Now let me tell you the rest of the tale of Jasmine & Oliver’s wedding.
Fortunately, they had contacted a really professional planner in Bali. But what they received instead of a quote surprised them.
It was a questionnaire with 50 questions. Some of the questions were Yes / No questions. Others had multiple choices. Yet other questions again Jasmine and Oliver had to answer in their own words.
Those questions were asked to narrow down the sheer limitless options of venues, vendors, décor, catering and much more.
And indeed those questions gave our young couple a lot of food for thought and they had to take some time to answer all those questions.
However, they greatly benefited from this exercise because it saved them and the planner heaps of time and countless emails back and forth.
Oh yes, I almost forgot: the wedding of Jasmine and Oliver costed 12890 USD. And they had exactly the dream wedding they were hoping to have.
What to do next ?
Of course, I do not leave you out there with that information and no further guidance on how to realize your dream of a wedding in Bali.
So what would be the next steps ?
Join the Facebook group: GETTING MARRIED IN BALI !!
In that lively and friendly group brides to be, former brides and Bali wedding professionals help each other with any that revolves around having a wedding in Bali.
You can benefit from the experiences former Bali brides have made, you can pick the brain of wedding experts on the hottest venues and the best vendors.
Or you can simply lurk at the sidelines and tap into a constant flow or new and relevant conversations about having a wedding in Bali.
Dig deeper into the question about the cost of a wedding in Bali
If you want to dive deeper into the cost of a Bali wedding we have a series of articles that analyze the various cost components for a Bali wedding in great detail in the following link you will find all the answers:
Let us help you connect with a wedding planner who can help you further
Please take a few minutes and let us know what kind of wedding in Bali you would like to have and we will put you in touch with wedding planners who can help you further.
Whatever it is you want to do next in your quest to having a dream wedding in beautiful Bali I wish all the success, fun and a happy wedding in Bali.
If there is anything we can help you with please get in touch.
See also the following articles:
Spectacular views, complete privacy, unmatched luxury and comfort; plus complete freedom and individuality to design your wedding. These are the ingredients of a Bali villa wedding. This must be expensive you may think, right? I have good news for you: BALI VILLA WEDDINGS ARE NOT MORE EXPENSIVE THAN WEDDINGS AT OTHER VENUES
Yes, it is possible for most couples to get legally married in Bali. And in this article I am going to show you how to do that. I will also tell you what conditions have to be met. And also advise you on the paperwork involved.
Brides, you have told me over and over that the budget question is the most important one for you. So what does it cost to have a wedding in Bali ? What are the real cost components ? So how to budget for a Bali wedding ? In this article I will explain all this to you.