Bali is an incredible island to visit, especially if you’re planning an adventurous elopement or intimate wedding. If the idea of running off to Bali intrigues you, then this post about how to elope in Bali is a must-read! From waterfalls to black sand beaches to cliffside ocean views, Bali has it all. You might be surprised at how easy it is to pull off an epic elopement in this island paradise.
Where to go in Bali
Bali is a diverse island in terms of landscape, so you can choose a location for your wedding that means something to you as a couple. There are black sand beaches with volcanoes, centuries-old forests, cliffs with ocean views, and waterfalls – just to name a few.
If you have something adventurous in mind, there are amazing waterfalls in the Ubud area. Nung Nung and Tibumana are beautiful waterfall locations. They have just enough space for you and your partner, so are great for two-person elopements! They’re about a 15-minute hike through the forest, so are still adventurous without being super difficult to get to. Because the area for the ceremony or arch is so close to the waterfall, though, you will end up getting misty, so make sure that you choose outfits that will dry fairly quickly (more on this below!).
Balangan Cliff is a popular oceanside cliff that you can rent for your ceremony. It has a flat platform with just enough space for you, an officiant, and a beautiful arch, with ocean views as far as the eye can see. The rest of the space surrounding the cliff is open to the public.
If you love the idea of adventurous photos in an amazing location but want a more controlled setting for your ceremony, that’s definitely an option. There are lots of tropical garden venues in the Ubud region, and there are also many in Seminyak, Canggu, and the southern areas of Bali. You can hire a local wedding planner who can recommend the best options, and still do amazing adventurous photos in a different location afterward.
Another thing to keep in mind is that all beaches in Bali are public. Not even oceanfront hotels own them the beach directly in front of them. It is possible to have a beach ceremony in Bali, but if you’re concerned about privacy – or beachgoers in bathing suits photobombing you during the ceremony! – this is something to keep in mind!
| Read also: What is an elopement?
What to wear for a Bali elopement
Bali is a beautiful island, but it’s also a tropical one – so it gets hot. If you plan to elope in Bali, make sure you dress for comfort. Bali gets hot quickly during the day, which is why most wedding ceremonies take place in the early morning.
It’s also a very humid island, so choosing light, airy clothing (like a chiffon dress or linen suit) is a good idea. Also wear comfortable shoes, especially if you want to take photos in the jungle or have your ceremony at the base of a waterfall. Hiking or trekking through the jungle in uncomfortable shoes is not going to be fun!
If you opt for an oceanside ceremony, make sure you opt for a dress with lots of movement to catch the wind. You can get more tips on how to find your adventurous elopement dress here!
Best times to travel to Bali
Knowing when to plan on having your adventurous elopement is key. Couples who elope in Bali often plan for the off-season, which is September/October, and March/April. These two times of year are still considered off-season (but not rainy season), and accommodation, venues, and flights tend to be much cheaper.
(For example, I found a flight from NYC to Denpasar, Bali in March for $775 USD round trip)
Rainy season in Bali is December + January. You can get amazing deals on flights and accommodation during these months, but you may end up with more rain. However – even in the wettest months, rain showers usually don’t last more than a few hours. And rainy photos are super romantic if you ask me. Christmas and New Years are high tourist season, which makes it crowded and pricey.
I’ll be in Bali from January 16th till February 4th, so let me know if you’re there and want photos!
When to have the ceremony
Most ceremonies take place in the morning before it gets too hot. The sunrise in Bali is amazing, so I always recommend planning for an early ceremony! Especially if you’re hoping to have a popular beach all to yourself! Alternatively, you can spend the whole day adventuring around before having a sunset ceremony.
Vendors for your elopement
There are a lot of all-inclusive packages available from Bali resorts and hotels, but I’d caution against them, as they’re not always the best quality. Choose your own photographer, hair-stylist, and makeup artist. If you book an all-inclusive package, you may get stuck with an “ok” photographer or just a junior hairstylist.
If you’re hoping for a beach wedding, hotels may not be your best bet. Even if they advertise that they host beach weddings, they’re usually in a garden facing the ocean – not right on the beach.
If you want an indoor, controlled setting for your ceremony, you can book a chapel. Just keep in mind that a lot of the chapels that are available to rent (which are usually owned by the hotels) require you to use their vendors. So if you decide on a chapel wedding in Bali, make sure to find out if you can bring in your own vendors.
Most couples who elope in Bali choose to get legally married at home and then have a symbolic ceremony in Bali. Indonesia is a very religious country, so if you and your partner are not the same religion, the marriage isn’t legally recognized. It can also be a lengthy process to file the paperwork in Bali. Doing paperwork at home is usually easier and faster.
One last note about planning your Bali elopement. Don’t just think about the ceremony!
You can find an amazing Airbnb to stay in and use for your getting ready photos (like this Ubud Airbnb for less than $150 per night). You can also have your wedding dinner for yourself and any guests at a cute cafe or restaurant. You can definitely hire a wedding planner to help with all of the details, but you can also make the day your own. There are so many beautiful places to elope in Bali, and so many ways to make your wedding day unique.
I’m based in Europe but travel worldwide and absolutely love Bali. If you’re thinking that you might like to elope in Bali, get in touch and I can help you with your planning!