Welcome to Bali, where mesmerizing clifftop panoramas meet turquoise waves crashing against white-sand beaches. It’s a place where lush jungles meet rice paddies, Hindu temples abound, and there is no shortage of sublime food and dreamy resorts and villas. In short, it’s a stunning place to say “I do.”
It’s also ideal in that guests get to enjoy a bucket-list vacation as they witness the start of a new marriage. “Bali is the island of the Gods—spirituality is a common theme,” says Ria Kentjono, director of Luxury Weddings Indonesia. “And the Balinese are very friendly and accommodating,” she adds.
Kentjono specializes in the very highest-end affairs, which typically cost between $75,000 and $85,000 for 100 guests (not including guest accommodations). But that’s not the only price point on the island. Kentjono’s company, Luxury Weddings Bali, offers a lower entry price point with a set package that includes access to the company’s Rolodex of local, luxury vendors—and there is always the option to upgrade and customize the event with a la carte add-ons. The starting quote for 100 guests is around $22,200—not including villa venue rental. Furthermore, some resorts, such as the clifftop Uluwatu Surf Villas, offer options for full- or half-property buyouts that include three nights of accommodations (more on that below) and start at $12,390 for 46 villa guests.
“Uluwatu is famous for clifftop weddings; it’s our most popular choice,” says Kentjono, adding that Nusa Dua is another beautiful spot known for its white sands. “But we actually don’t have many inquiries for beach weddings—everyone wants a clifftop!”
And despite the richness of Balinese Hindu traditions, most of her clients opt for what is known as a blessing ceremony, and legally wed in their own country. Occasionally she organizes Catholic, Christian, or Buddhist ceremonies. Oftentimes, however, couples incorporate local traditions in the form of a Kecak dance performance. “It is based on the story of Ramayana, and it’s very popular with our clients—it involves lots of topless men chanting. We start the performance after sunset when it gets dark, and the performers lead guests to the dining area while spinning various objects on fire.”
For the best weather—ideal for fire spinning shows, fireworks, or simply capturing spectacular sunsets—Kentjono recommends booking venues in June through October, as the remaining months tend to have a much higher potential for rain. And one last thing to consider: Most resorts have a curfew of 10 pm for amplified music. Having a buyout is an exception, but not always possible at the larger resorts (some get around it by moving guests to a ballroom, a private villa, or a communal area with a Bluetooth speaker).
Whether you keep it small and invite only a few of your nearest and dearest to this slice of paradise, or go big—like the waves at Uluwatu—here are the top Bali wedding venues to consider.