To say that Bali beach weddings are a very popular choice for couples is an understatement.
In fact, we receive so many inquiries and questions about beach weddings in Bali that I thought it is high time to share with you all you need to know about the perfect Bali beach wedding in Bali.
So let’s take the plunge to make your Bali wedding literally a walk on the beach, shall we?
FACT 1: All beaches in Bali are public - no beach can be private
What does that mean?
No person or company can own a stretch of beach. That is the law everywhere in Bali and throughout Indonesia.
Even hotels or villas that are built on the shorefront do neither own nor have complete control over the beach right in front of their property.
Yet hotels which are directly located at a beach can often exercise some degree of control over a beach. For instance, such hotels have their beach deckchairs there. They also regularly clean their beaches. Yet they do not own that beach.
They also cannot deny access to that beach to anyone unless the only access to that beach is through the hotel itself.
But all that does not mean that you cannot have a lovely beach wedding in Bali undisturbed by tourists and bystanders. Though it is a bit tricky – I will show you how and where.
More on this further down in this article.
FACT 2: To have a beach wedding in Bali a permit is required (and it costs money)
A common misperception is that because beaches in Bali are public you can have your wedding ceremony anywhere for free. Just go there, set up a small altar and have your ceremony there.
Bad news ladies: That’s not how it works in Bali.🙁
Public that does not mean anyone can do there as they please. It’s not a free-for-everyone situation. Far from it…
Usually, the village closest to the beach holds authority and responsibility for the beach. So, the villagers have their say over what happens and what goes on at their beach.
And to have a wedding, even a small elopement the village’s consent and a permit is required. And such a permit costs money.
There is no fixed rate for this permit. It can be as little 50 $, but can go as high as 300 – 500 $ or more. And again, ladies that is only for the permit. You will still need some sort of altar / décor, a celebrant, etc…
I had many brides telling me that how can it be that for just standing on the beach, holding hands in front of a ministrant a permit is required and money is charged…
Well, that is how it is in Bali. Sorry.
Nowadays some of the well-known beaches in Bali even charge (or should I say 'extort') money from couples who just want to have their wedding photos taken there.
FACT 3: Popular Beaches in Bali are crowded
Let me say it loud and clear: Popular beaches in Bali are not well suited for you to have your wedding there.
Because those beaches tend to be very crowded with tourists.
Most of you want to have at least some sort of privacy and prefer not to have countless sunbathers standing around or show up in your wedding photos.
That basically rules out the following beach areas for your beach wedding in Bali:
- NUSA DUA
There are a few beaches in the Bukit area that are a bit hard to access and therefore not crowded.
Once you get up north on Bali’s West coast most beaches are completely empty – no tourists, no locals. But so far nobody has started offering weddings there.
Bali’s East coast on the other side, north of Sanur, has very few good beaches.
FACT 4: Beware of fake-beach-wedding packages
Some hotels sell ‘fake-beach-wedding-packages’. Sorry, I could not come up with a better term.
Here is what I mean.
Especially in the areas of Tuban, Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak, some hotels sell beach wedding packages which are not directly at the beach. Your ceremony will take place in the hotel’s garden which will have a view onto the beach. But it will be 150 – 200 meters away from the shore.
It is more a: View-on-the-beach-wedding-package… 😉
Therefore, if you opt for a beach wedding package from a hotel make sure you understand where exactly your wedding ceremony will take place.
For most beachfront villas the same applies.
FACT 5: Beach weddings at hotels & resorts in Bali are expensive
If you have your wedding at a hotel situated at a beach the hotel will take care of the permit.
However, having your wedding at a beach in front of a hotel is usually significantly more expensive than on other beaches.
Also, many hotels tend to inflate their packages with unnecessary inclusions. They offer rather inflexible packages that do not suit everyone.
Worst of all, many hotels in Bali force to you use their vendors. They do not allow you to bring in your own vendors. That is OK if you are not fuzzy about good photography or the way your makeup & hair looks.
The reason for such unethical policies is hotels want to maximize their profits. And they do that shamelessly by including vendors that are cheap and of questionable quality. You have been warned... 👈
Ladies, don’t think because you are booking a wedding in a branded 5-star hotel that the vendors that will be included in your package will be also of 5-star quality.
Far from that.
We here at the SOCIETY OF BALI WEDDING PROFESSIONALS regularly receive complaints from disappointed brides and couples who discovered this sad truth the hard way.
Therefore, you should at all cost stay away from hotel packages that force you to use their vendors or charge you entrance fees if you want to bring your own photographer or your own stylist.
Sometimes this can be negotiated.
Try to tell the hotel that if they do not allow you to bring in your own photographer, videographer, makeup artist, etc… then you will move your wedding to another hotel. But there is no guarantee that this will work.
FACT 6: Facilities matter
Beaches which are off the beaten track usually have no facilities.
No toilets. No electricity. No running water. Often you will not even find shops or restaurants there to grab a cold drink.
No problem – I hear you say. Well, how about you suddenly before your ceremony have an upset stomach and urgently need to go to a toilet ? As we know all too well such things do happen...
If you just have an elopement and you prepared yourself for this you should be fine.
But if you also have guests then this can be a problem. What if your ceremony gets delayed ? Your guests will have to wait in the baking heat and cannot even get themselves some cold water or visit a bathroom.
Also please note that without toilet facilities and no electricity a dinner / reception on such a beach is ruled out.
However, often within a short driving distance restaurants and other venues for your reception dinner are available.
If you do not mind access issues and the lack of facilities then you are in beach-wedding-heaven.
Because once you move up the West coast of Bali then there is an abundance of deserted beaches. Whether you will find someone who can and wants to arrange a wedding for you there is another matter.
FACT 7: Mind the tide
An often-overlooked factor is the tide. Why does it matter ?
Because some beaches during high tide can become so narrow that holding a wedding there is challenging or even impossible.
Low tide can also pose a challenge. On some very flat beaches, it can be that the ocean is so far away during low tide that it hardly counts as a beach wedding…
Therefore, it is best to consult in advance what tide conditions will be on the day and time of your wedding.
The good news is that high and low tide alternate every 6 hours. Therefore, in most cases, it is just a matter of scheduling to avoid adverse conditions.
That also means that on certain days a late afternoon wedding may be impossible and the best time for your wedding may fall late morning or early afternoon.
Be flexible guys.
Consult with your wedding planner or whoever is arranging your wedding. And make sure that your ceremony time falls in line with good tide conditions on the beach you choose.
For tide-tables you can see the following websites:
FACT 8: It rains in Bali (a lot)
Many people see Bali as a tropical paradise where the sun always shines.
The reality is quite different though!
Bali like many tropical regions receives some of the highest amounts of rainfall in the world. Especially during the monsoon season between November and March, there are more days with rain than without rain.
The good news though is that rain in Bali usually comes in the form of intensive but short showers. It is rare to have days where it constantly rains. So often it is possible to simply wait out the rain and delay your ceremony.
Therefore, one of the best ways to deal with this challenge is to schedule your ceremony rather early in the afternoon. No later than 16.00 h.
So in case, it rains you can delay your ceremony by 30 – 60 minutes and wait for the rain to stop. Whereas if you have scheduled your ceremony for 17.00h or even later you will not be able to delay because it would then be dark by the time your ceremony starts.
But the very best preparation you can do is to find a beach wedding venue that has a back-up venue.
Not every beach venue has a backup location. And you would not be the first bride whose wedding had to be canceled or moved to another day due to bad weather.
During the monsoon months of November – March you should not book any beach wedding venue that does not have such a backup location.
Because during monsoon the chance that it rains on the day of your wedding is over 50%. Please feel free to contact me to find out if your beach wedding venue has a backup location.
FACT 9: You don’t need to have your ceremony on the beach for great photos
This may come as a surprise to many of you. Quite a few couples have chosen a beach wedding because they were so in love with the image of them on a wide empty beach against a colorful sunset background.
And many were disappointed because neither was the wedding great nor did the end up with the kind of photograph they were hoping for. I have a dedicated article that explains why. Here is a link.
The point is that if for you the most important thing is those gorgeous photos of the both of you on a nice beach you may be better of having your ceremony somewhere else. And then after the ceremony go with your photographer to a beach for those gorgeous shots. That way your photographer can select the perfect spot, the perfect time for your beach photos.
FACT 10: Yes, you can have an amazing beach wedding in Bali
Now comes the good news.☺
YES, you can have a great beach wedding in Bali.
There are even a few beaches which are not in front of a hotel where you can have a wedding in privacy.
Such beaches are less known and more off the beaten track. They offer a high degree of privacy because they are hard to access.
Usually, the village in charge of the beach will be able to cordon off part of the beach where your ceremony takes place.
If you want more info on such beaches just make an inquiry below and I will send you more infos.
The other alternative is to choose a hotel/resort that offers beach wedding packages which suits you. Especially when you want to have a beach wedding with guests a hotel/resort may be a good choice.
There are many, many hotels offering beach weddings - just keep in mind what I told you above about beach weddings at a hotel/resort in Bali.
The other good news is that you may not even need a wedding planner because most of the hotels offer complete packages that take care of every aspect of your wedding.
If you want me to help you find the perfect beach wedding venue for you then please press the button below:
There you have it. By now you know everything you need to know about having a perfect beach wedding in wonderful Bali.
And if you have any additional questions feel free to drop me an email or leave a comment below.
See also the following articles:
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