The ultimate guide to planning a destination wedding in Bali with costs included!
Updated: Jul 18, 2020
As the sun set to the backdrop of the ocean, kites were flying in the warm breeze and our guests were cheering. Flowers were thrown to the sky as we walked down the aisle of our dream wedding. Love was in the air. This was 2 years in the planning, and now we want to share our insights into absolutely everything you need to know to plan your dream destination wedding in Bali, including the costs.
Why get married in Bali?
If you're thinking of a destination wedding in Bali, congratulations! You've already passed the first step of choosing your location. If you're still on the fence about choosing Bali, here's why we decided on this beautiful tropical island for our wedding:
It is paradise: From the jungles of Ubud to the cliffs of Uluwatu and the beaches of Canggu, the island is a stunning backdrop for a wedding
It's a wedding and a dream holiday in one: Your wedding will be more than just that, it will also be a holiday to remember for a lifetime.
It is affordable for friends and family to visit and spend a few weeks there: Since we were already asking our friends and family to fly to a destination, we wanted it to be an affordable one where they too could enjoy a holiday without spending too much.
It is an affordable way to have everything you want in a wedding: As prices are lower, you really can afford to have everything you want out of a wedding.
It is special: We met in Asia, and we wanted our wedding to reflect a place that represented us both. We love travelling and we knew we wanted to go back to Bali many times.
When is the best time of year to get married in Bali?
This part is super important to consider before locking in your dates. Bali is seasonal, with wet season being between October to May, you want to avoid these dates, particularly if you're planning an outdoor wedding. Peak season, with the lowest rainfall, is July and August, however, this time will also be the busiest and most expensive. We recommend opting for your wedding in late June or early September, to get the very end or beginning of the shoulder season, where you get the lowest chance of rain, but also lower costs and fewer tourists.
In peak season when you book villas or hotels there's often also a longer minimum night stay requirements (up to 5 nights) versus shoulder season (often up to 3 nights) which will allow you to save more cost.
Selecting your wedding Venue: Villa versus a hotel?
So you've narrowed down your location and dates, next up is choosing exactly where to get married in Bali. We recommend to start by narrowing down your area, we opted for Arnalaya Beach House in Canggu, but here are a few things we considered.
Our biggest recommendation for choosing a wedding venue is to go to visit Bali! Scout your locations in person. What we thought was amazing in pictures, wasn't. What we found in pictures we didn't like, we loved in person. If you can, don't book anything until you see it in person first. Have that 'wow' moment and know for sure that this location is the one for you.
Which area in Bali is the best to get married?
Uluwatu: Perfect for a cliffside wedding over the ocean. However, we found it was the most expensive area in Bali to get married
Ubud: Perfect for a jungle wedding, full of lush green tropical locations and affordable. However, it is a fair drive from the central areas of Seminyak and Kuta and the beach.
Seminyak: Central and full of beautiful areas, but busy and also can be expensive if you want to be right on the beach
Canggu: Perfect for a beachfront wedding, quiet and less touristy with stunning views and full of luxury beachside villas. Plus less of a price tag compared to Uluwatu
Wedding venue choice: Villa or hotel in Bali?
Here are the pro's and con's of each, as well as why we opted for a villa. Price-wise, we think they both are fairly similar.
Villa: You have your own private space to stay in a mansion with all of your friends and family. You have full flexibility to plan what you want, how you want and generally keep your wedding running through the whole night long (Many hotels have early end times at 10-11 pm). Villa's often have a minimum night stay of 3-5 nights, meaning it's also a great space for a pre-wedding dinner, rehearsal and post wedding party or barbecue the next day.
Hotel: It's easy, you can often book full packages so it's less planning work and all your friends and family can stay together in the one venue. However, there's less privacy, flexibility and strict cut off times.
Our Canggu Villa & Venue: Arnalaya Beach house:
This post has some affiliate hotel links, if you book via our links, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.
We opted to have our wedding at Arnalaya Beach House in Canggu, Bali. We LOVED it. It had the beautiful ocean views we wanted, but a large grass area meaning we didn't need to do our ceremony on the sand. The space was perfect for an outdoor dinner reception and a pool party and barbecue the next day with all of our guests. The venue hosted up to 80 wedding guests.
The villa included 5 large bedrooms, a spa, and convertible bed spaces to Sleep up to 18 guests. We had a gym, tennis courts, a pool, and staff on hand for all meals with breakfasts included. We had a minimum of 3 nights stay at a cost of $14K USD, this was the most expensive single item of our wedding. However, if splitting the costs between guests, this can be very affordable.
Choosing your Bali wedding planner:
If you opt for a villa you need to plan all of the elements of your wedding individually so we highly recommend using a planner who knows the area and local vendors. They can help to tailor your wedding exactly as you want to your budget.
We used Sari Yusef, from Bali weddings in Real who helped us book everything. She shared all designs, options and quotes which so we could just decide what we wanted. She also had a full team supporting on the day to make sure everything run smoothly. The cost for almost 2 years of her support during the planning was USD ~$2.5K
Booking your services in Bali - Vendors and Costs:
Once you've got your venue sorted, next comes all of the smaller details, here is a list of every vendor we used, costs and our recommendations.
Decor and flower Package - Loudli Event Stylists: Including flowers, greenery, bouquets, tables, chairs, arbour, the bride and groom table. Cost USD ~$6K (highly recommended).
Acoustic Singer - Susi Saileen: For the ceremony and early part of the reception. Cost - ~$1K (highly recommended).
Band - Glo Band: For the late part of the night. Cost USD ~$1K (highly recommended). The band will also learn several songs of your choice.
Photobooth - Bali Snapz: We loved having a photo booth at our wedding and would do it again, however, would look for a different company to book with as this one kept freezing and needed restarting so many guests missed out on their pictures and they still made us pay extra to stay longer despite this. Cost USD ~$350.
Celebrant - Kim: We used Kim as our celebrant and would highly recommend him, he was flexible to our needs and told our story amazingly well. Do note, that he's only possible for non-religious ceremonies. Cost USD ~$400
Lighting, Floor and sound - Moonlight: This covered our wooden dance floor, all lighting and speakers. Cost USD ~$1.8K
Food and Alcohol - Bali Lazzetti: This covered free flow alcohol for the night, including wine and cocktails plus a 3-course meal. We felt the alcohol was amazing value, but were not as impressed by the food quality and would recommend shopping around for vendors here. Cost USD ~$7.5K
Cake - Ixora: We had a 2 tier cake with an added fake bottom layer for size and it looked and tasted amazing. We'd highly recommend Ixora. Cost USD ~$300
Gelato - Gelato Delicioso: Included a gelato cart with 6 flavours, plus we got to keep the leftovers for the next day. Cost USD ~$350
Bride and Bridal party hair and makeup - Yeanne: For full hair and makeup with touch-ups for the bride, 4 bridesmaids and mothers of the bride and groom. We would highly recommend Yeanne and team. Cost USD ~$1.5K
Neon lettering signs - Neon Sign: For 'All you need is love' sign, which we loved! USD ~$160
The little details of your wedding:
Once you've booked the main things here are a few other little things you might want to think about:
Guest Accommodation: Plan a list of places nearby that would be perfect for your guests to stay, here are a few recommendations from us around Seminyak and Canggu where we or our guests have personally stayed:
Zin Villas: Canggu, this was walking distance to Arnalaya and where most of our guests stayed.
Como Uma: Canggu, about a 15-minute drive from Arnalaya
Keonokei Villas in Seminyak: For 1-3 bedroom villas
Elysian Boutique Villa, Seminyak: For 1-2 bedroom villas
Booking a pre-wedding dinner venue: We booked a banquet dinner for our families, bridesmaids and groomsmen at Merah Putih in Seminyak.
The next day barbecue and pool party: If you have booked a villa for a few nights, why not have everyone back over for a pool party
Transport: We booked a few minivans for the day to get people to and from our wedding
Make it a holiday: Arrive in Bali a week beforehand and pre-book some beach clubs or restaurants for all of your guests to come together.
Other Bali wedding guest accomodation options: Find the right Bali hotel deal here
We hope you enjoyed our guide to planning your dream wedding in Bali. For more details on weekend activities in Bali, you can see our other destination guides click here.
Or for details on planning your Bali hens and buck party, check out our guide here.
Follow us @littlesherpatravels