Legal Wedding in Bali

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DISCLAIMER: While we have thoroughly researched this article we cannot guarantee that all the information provided here is 100% accurate or complete. Use this as a guideline only. To get legally married in Bali, we strongly recommend that you seek the assistance of a wedding company in Bali.


Getting Legally 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 Embassy or your consulate your first stop, they can assist in guiding you through this process. Then your marriage must be in accordance with the marriage law of Indonesia. Please note that the requirements and the paperwork involved to get legally married in Bali can vary slightly depending on your nationality and whether your country has a consulate or any other legal representation in Bali/Indonesia.

To get legally married in Bali, you are required to have both a religious and civil ceremony. Although in recent years the civil ceremony is often consolidated with the religious ceremony. For further details on this please consult your wedding planner in Bali.

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

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 except for 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 the 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.


Can I get legally married without a religious ceremony?

Many couples have asked if they can get legally married without a religious ceremony.

The answer is NO YOU CANNOT!

Indonesia is a very religious country and therefore it is an absolute must for a wedding to be legal to involve a religious ceremony.

Also, you cannot have a Balinese Hindu ceremony as a substitute!! You can only have a legal wedding under the Hindu faith if you can prove that you are Hindu. The same applies to Buddhism.

You may now ask what about the many photos where you have seen foreigners in Bali wearing Balinese attire and involving a Balinese priest. Those were mostly just blessing ceremonies and do not count as a 'real' Hindu wedding ceremony.

You can also have a non-legal wedding.

Before we go into the details, you need to be aware that you can also have a wedding ceremony without getting legally married in Bali. Just a symbolic ceremony.

A lot of couples have their legal marriage back home.

They then have, in Bali, a non-legally binding blessing ceremony or commitment ceremony.

Doing so you do not need to worry about the legal requirements. It is also cheaper. For this kind of ceremony, you do not need any papers, and no authorities are involved. In the end, no document or legal Certificate will be issued.

These kinds of Bali weddings are usually performed by a celebrant, who may or may not be a real priest.

Some couples choose to have a wedding ceremony that closely resembles a Christian wedding ceremony. Others prefer to have a ceremony that resembles a traditional Balinese ceremony.