How to plan a Bali elopement

Your dream Bali elopement – the ultimate planning guide

UPDATED FOR 2024-2025

A tropical island that epitomizes the look and feel of a paradise. Bali is surrounded by turquoise warm waters of the Indian Ocean and the circumferenced by pristine white sandy beaches (you will definitely fall in love with the beach scene in Bali). However, head inland and your eyes will always be awe of the beauty of the lush landscape with its rainforest canopy complemented by the rising peaks, a unique culture heavily influenced by Buddhism and an inviting people with an unmistakable warmth that has made Bali so famous.

In the past decade, the island has gained international fame and has become a favorite destination for many backpackers, holidaymakers, adventure enthusiasts, and surfing connoisseurs. But even before its rise to fame, the island has gained international claim among explorers who sought the road less traveled. And today, Bali is one of the best destinations for couples seeking to elope in a tropical island paradise with an enduring history, unique culture, and a landscape scenery befitting a blockbuster movie.

Herein is a comprehensive guide on everything you need to know with regards to Bali elopement. As the only guide you will need for eloping in Bali, we cover every aspect of intricate details.

Let’s dive in…

Welcome to the Adventure of a Lifetime

Amber, elopement photographer

Hey there, I’m Amber! I’m your elopement photographer and planner – your one-stop-shop for absolutely everything you need for a magical, incredible elopement day. 

I offer all-inclusive elopement packages for couples who want to relax and let me handle absolutely everything, as well as options for couples who like a little bit of DIY! I’ll find the perfect place for you to exchange vows, recommend vendors, help you figure out travel and lodging, make a timeline, and more – personalizing each part of your elopement day to perfectly suit the two of you. And of course, I’ll be there to take the photos and document this once in a lifetime adventure.
You aren’t like every other couple, and your wedding day shouldn’t be either! I’ll help you craft a day that’s true to you, authentic, and real, allowing you to immerse yourselves in the experience as you say your “I dos.”

First, let’s be sure we’re talking about the same thing:

What is an elopement?

Elopement has had a different meaning in the past. For instance, eloping was frequently used in the past to mean running away and getting married in secret. However, in colloquial terms, it means marriage ceremony that takes place in an intimate setting. It represents a marriage ceremony that is pure in purpose and lean in the number of guests. Unlike the bloated ceremonies that involve hundreds of guests, countless venues, and a savings-draining budget, an elopement involves the couple with a small number of their closest family and friends – usually up to 20 guests.

For a modern twist to the concept of elopement, you can opt for an adventure elopement. This is a contemporary take to what elopement should be. It involves a couple with their small number of guests heading to an exotic location where the elopement is staged. Whether it is at the beach, atop the mountain, or next to a waterfall, adventure elopement breaks the monotony of tying the knot in traditional venues.

In the case of Bali, couples have plenty of choices when it comes to choosing a spot to stage their ceremony. From beaches, tropical forests, waterfalls, next to rice fields, to the backyard of a 500-year-old temple, their a unique spot for everyone to enjoy.

Why you should consider a Bali elopement

Weather

Bali is a true tropical island. The annual temperature averages about 31 degrees Celsius. You are guaranteed of experiencing warm sunny days no matter when you visit the island. This means your Bali elopement will be a stunning and memorable occasion for you and guests (if you have any).

Culture

Unlike the other Indonesian islands, Bali is predominantly a Hindu island. The culture of the over 4 million inhabitants, their unique architecture, and the cuisines have borrowed heavily from the Hindu religion. Unique to the island, however, is the people practice of blending their past with the modern present. There are plenty of rustic guesthouses that you will be forgiven to think they are a century-old temple. Get inside, however, and you have access to all the modern amenities that you will get in a typical guesthouse.

Stunning Scenery

A favorite spot for adventure seekers, Bali is blessed with spectacular scenery and, arguably, unmatched tropical beauty. The large untouched tropical forests give you a peek inside what an enchanted tropical paradise looks like. The numerous mount peaks tower the island, providing contrast to the relatively flat beaches.

Pristine Beaches

Speaking of beaches, Bali has stretches of untouched beaches that are not picturesque but also the perfect spot to enjoy some water sports. Bali has gained renown among global suffers for having some of the best surfing spots in this part of the world. However, if you are in a chilling mood during your elopement adventure, the always sunny beaches are perfect for relaxing and enjoying the company of your better half.

How to get legally married in Bali

How to Get Legally Married in Bali

Getting married in Bali is strictly a religious endeavor. As such, couples from the U.S. need to be from one of the officially recognized religions (i.e., Buddhist, Christian Catholic, Christian Protestant, Hindu or Islam). To get legally married in Bali, couples need both a civil ceremony and religious ceremony, unless you are undertaking a Muslim wedding. Additionally, couples need to attain and present the following documents during the application process:

  • Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage (which show you are both single and eligible to get married),
  • Copies of a valid passport for the groom and bride,
  • Copies of birth certificates for the groom and bride,
  • Copies of a valid passport for two witnesses, copy of Divorce Paper, if applicable,
  • Copies of a death certificate of the former spouse if applicable,
  • 8 recent photographs of the couple together, and
  • A filled out Legal Wedding Form.

Do note that for a catholic wedding, the ceremony has to be held in a catholic church.

In case you find the process of getting married legally in Bali to be too extensive for the available time, you can make your Bali elopement a symbolic and official wedding in your home country. You will have fulfilled your dream to elope in Bali without having to go through the hassles of getting married officially.

For couples from the US:

In certain states, you can ask your county clerk the authorization to sign your wedding license abroad. If they agree, as a registered minister, my team and I will be able to legally marry you without the hassle of a legal wedding ceremony in Bali.

How to Get to Bali for Your Elopement

Getting to Bali for your dream elopement is a breeze, and the journey begins with a flight to Denpasar, Bali’s capital city and the entry point for most travelers. Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS) in Denpasar is the primary airport serving Bali and connects the island to major international destinations, making it the perfect starting point for your Bali elopement adventure.

Upon your arrival at Ngurah Rai International Airport, you’ll step into the tropical paradise that is Bali. Be sure to have all your travel documents, including your passport and visa if required, ready for immigration and customs procedures. Once you’ve cleared these formalities, you’ll be free to embark on your elopement journey.

As you leave the airport, the island’s natural beauty and vibrant culture will embrace you. Whether you’re planning to exchange vows on a pristine beach, amidst lush rice terraces, or at a sacred temple, your Bali elopement promises to be a truly enchanting experience. Work closely with your elopement planner to arrange transportation to your chosen venue and make all the necessary preparations for your special day. Bali offers a wide range of elopement locations and possibilities, ensuring that your Bali elopement is a memory you’ll treasure forever.

After your magical elopement ceremony, take the time to explore Bali’s diverse landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and delicious cuisine. Whether you’re exploring ancient temples, enjoying traditional Balinese dance performances, or simply relaxing on the island’s beautiful beaches, Bali offers endless opportunities for adventure and relaxation, making it the perfect destination for your Bali elopement.

Getting Around Iceland During Your Elopement

Certainly! When it comes to getting around Bali for your Bali elopement, you have two primary options: scooter rental and hiring a private driver.

Scooter Rental: Renting a scooter in Bali can be a cost-effective and adventurous way to explore the island at your own pace. It’s ideal for couples seeking a sense of freedom and adventure, but it’s essential to consider your comfort with riding a scooter and Bali’s road conditions.

Private Driver: Alternatively, hiring a private driver provides convenience and local expertise. Your driver can navigate Bali’s roads, offer insights into the culture, and ensure punctual transportation to your elopement locations, making it a hassle-free choice for your Bali elopement.

Choose the option that best suits your preferences and comfort level to ensure a seamless and memorable Bali elopement experience.

Did you know?

As a guide and photographer specialized in Bali elopements, I extend a comforting service to all my couples by providing complimentary transportation on their elopement adventure. This ensures that they can fully immerse themselves in the joy of their elopement experience while I handle all the logistics with care and expertise.

Lodging for Your Elopement in Bali

Bali offers a diverse range of accommodations that cater to various tastes and preferences for couples planning their Bali elopement. Here are three of the most sought-after accommodation options:

Luxury Beachfront Resorts

Bali is renowned for its luxurious beachfront resorts that provide an idyllic setting for a Bali elopement. These resorts offer private villas, exquisite dining options, and world-class amenities. Imagine exchanging your vows with the backdrop of a stunning beach sunset, followed by a romantic dinner under the stars. Many of these resorts also offer dedicated wedding and elopement services to ensure your special day is flawless.

Boutique Villas

Bali boasts numerous boutique villas nestled in lush tropical surroundings, offering an intimate and secluded atmosphere for your Bali elopement. These villas often feature private pools, beautifully landscaped gardens, and personalized services. They provide an ideal setting for an intimate ceremony and an intimate, romantic escape for your Bali elopement.

Eco-Friendly Retreats

For couples seeking a more sustainable and nature-centric Bali elopement experience, eco-friendly retreats and jungle lodges are a popular choice. These accommodations blend harmoniously with Bali’s natural beauty and offer eco-conscious amenities. Imagine saying your vows amidst the sounds of the rainforest or in a serene garden surrounded by tropical flora and fauna.

Did you know?

When you book your elopement experience with me, I’ll give you access to my concierge service and recommend incredible hotels and talented local vendors.

Top 9 spots for your Bali elopement

The best places for a Bali elopement - the beaches

The Beaches Of Bali

Like a tropical island, Bali has some of the beaches you will ever visit. Many of the beaches rival what the Caribbean islands have to offer. From world-famous Seminyak Beach, White Sand Beach, Uluwatu Jimbaran Beach, Nusa Dua Beach, Sanur BeachBukit Peninsula Beach to the more secluded and private beaches such as Mushroom Bay, you have plenty of beaches to explore. Crucially, with numerous beaches on offer, you will not have a hard time finding an elopement spot if you are interested in a waterfront elopement.

Denpasar

While being the capital city of Bali and gateway to the island, the city has grown to blend age-old traditions with modern marvels. Never neglecting its past and traditions, Denpasar has is dotted with spectacular historical museums and temples. Additionally, the city still has natural beauty. For instance, the 1,375 hectares mangrove forest right by the sea gives you plenty of natural spots to stage your elopement.

Best places for a bali elopement - denpasar
The best places for a bali elopement - ubud

Ubud

If tropical flora and fauna are your main interest, Ubud is the perfect destination. The cool highlands are covered with lush vegetation, making the valley a scenic landscape with unlike anywhere else in Bali, and I dare say, anywhere in the world. The town is covered in natural beauty while local wildlife and exotic birds dot the sky.

The center for traditional dance and craft, Ubud gives you the perfect opportunity to learn about the Balinese and the island. There is plenty to experience and a lot to enjoy. However, for your elopement, Ubud gives you the perfect opportunity to elope in nature.

The Little Grotto And Green Cliffs Of Undisan Bangli

Trekking and hiking to this location will be an adventure in itself. Along the way, you pass spectacular rice paddles, ravines, forests, and stunning waterfalls. Reaching there, however, is the ultimate treat. The sight of the moss-covered cliff walls as they converge to form the Little Grotto is a natural wonder like no other.

While absolutely picturesque, the secluded spot impresses more with its privacy and peace. If you have some time after the ceremony and you are feeling adventurous, you can take a dive and swim into the cave. One thing for sure, though, you will never get stunning photos of the ceremony.

Where to plan an elopement in bali - Undisan Bangli
Where to plan an elopement in bali - Bhuana Sari waterfall

Bhuana Sari Waterfall

In a tropical island paradise, you would think that all waterfalls are popular tourist spots. However, Bhuana Sari Waterfall, this is not entirely true. The waterfall is one of the best-preserved waterfalls on the island. It remains largely untouched, exhibiting its beauty just as nature intended it to. Just two and a half hours away from Denspar and a 20-minutes trek, you will be rewarded with a picturesque site like you have never seen before. Encased in a canopy of the rainforest, it is a good spot for an adventure elopement. Later on, you can take time to explore the other waterfall, namely Banyu Wana Amertha Waterfall.

Tanah Lot

A cultural icon amongst professional photographers, Tanah Lot has gain international claim owing to its stunning beauty and dramatic scenes. Set right by the sea and sculptured by the splashing waves, with the Tanah Temple right in the background, the spot encapsulates life in Bali – beautiful landscape, the enduring love for the ocean, and great history and tradition. Arguably, the Tanah Lot is one of the most important locations in the whole of Bali.

Best places for a bali elopement - tanah lot
Where to plan an elopement in bali - Kintamani

Kintamani

Fancy eloping with the best view of the island in the backdrop? Just head to Kintamani, a highland village renowned for its panoramic views of the island. Crucially, you get an unimpeded view of Mount Batur, the active volcano a magnificent caldera lake. The picture-perfect green forest that lines the hillside with the cloud formation right beneath you or in your eyesight, Kintamani should be in your shortlist, should you decide to elope in Bali.

Nusa Lembongan

If both of you love the marine ecosystem, you should shortlist the Nusa Lembongan as a potential spot for eloping. While it is famous among snorkelers for its crystal clear water that make snorkeling a pleasure, the same crystal clear water will give you elopement photos with a stunning background.

And if you have the time to explore what Nusa Lembongan has to offer. You can explore the coral gardens filled with flora and fauna. You could also decide to snorkel and explore Manta Point, Crystal Bay, and Toya Pakeh.

Where to plan an elopement in bali - Nusa Lembongan
Where to plan a bali elopement - Beji Guwang

Hidden Canyon Beji Guwang

Located near Sukawati, the secret canyon is incredible and awe-inspiring. The entire canyon has been sculptured by water for millenniums to millions of art pieces. Every section of the canyon is resembles something familiar, yet so indistinguishable. Look hard enough, you will see a crying skull. Look long enough, you will see the face of a cat. It’s a mesmerizing place to visit and an even more unique place to stage your elopement. You could even exchange your vows right in the middle of River Oos, with your feet in the milky blue water. Do not leave this spot behind in your shortlist of elopement spots as it might end up being the perfect place for you two gentle souls.

Did you know?

There is so much more in Bali than its beaches. When you choose to book your elopement with me, I will provide you with a personalized list of 4 to 5 extraordinary off-the-beaten-path locations that perfectly align with your preferences. Allow me to lead you to the hidden treasures of Bali, far from the usual tourist spots.

Best season for a bali elopement

The best time for a Bali elopement

In a nutshell, any time of the year. It will depend on what your ideal elopement scene looks like. In terms of ideal whether Bali has conducive weather all year round. The tropical monsoon climate that characterizes the climate on the island means you get sunny days all year round. Moreover, the seasonal changes in weather only take place in the form of a wet and dry season.

During the wet summer season, which runs from November to April, the weather is characterized by plenty of rain and high humidity. During the dry fall season that runs from May to October, the weather is a tad drier with less humidity in the air. For a more comfortable experience, visit the island during the drier months. You should also consider the peak and off-peak seasons. The peak tourist season in Bali spans from July until late August or early September. During peak months, the island is busier and everything is more expensive. The peak season coincides with the dry season of the year and many school holidays around the world. Off-peak season, on the other hand, spans from October to March, when it is less most of the attractions are less crowded and prices are much lower.

Example budget of an elopement in Bali

When it comes to elopement budgets, I understand the challenges of providing a precise estimate for vendors outside of my own expertise. The cost can greatly vary depending on your chosen destination and the quality of vendors you desire.

Elopement expenses are significantly influenced by factors like your chosen location. Rather than providing generic budget estimates for vendors I don’t work with, I recommend exploring my elopement packages. They include all-inclusive options, giving you a clearer view of your budget and costs.

Unique Things to Do When You Elope in Bali

Bali offers a plethora of eco-friendly adventures and activities for couples seeking unique experiences beyond the beaten path. Here are five off-the-beaten-path adventures to consider during your Bali elopement:

What to do on you Bali elopement - trek to Sekumpul Waterfalls

Trek to Sekumpul Waterfalls

Located in the northern part of Bali, Sekumpul Waterfalls is a hidden gem. Embark on a trek through lush jungles and picturesque landscapes to reach these stunning cascades. The journey takes you across bamboo bridges and through small villages, providing a glimpse of traditional Balinese life. Enjoy a refreshing dip in the natural pools beneath the waterfalls, surrounded by the tranquility of nature.

Visit the Bali Green School

Gain insight into Bali’s commitment to sustainability and education by visiting the Bali Green School. This unique institution promotes eco-conscious practices and offers guided tours where you can learn about their innovative bamboo architecture, organic gardens, and sustainable initiatives. It’s an inspiring destination for couples passionate about eco-friendly living.

What to do on you Bali elopement - visit the Bali Green School
What to do on you Bali elopement - Tegalalang Rice Terraces

Explore the Tegalalang Rice Terraces

While the Tegalalang Rice Terraces in Ubud are a popular attraction, you can escape the crowds by visiting during the quieter hours of sunrise or sunset. Explore the intricate irrigation system and verdant landscapes while supporting local farmers. The terraces provide a serene and picturesque setting for your Bali elopement photography.

Experience Sunrise at Mount Batur

For an unforgettable adventure, hike to the summit of Mount Batur before dawn to witness a breathtaking sunrise. This active volcano offers panoramic views of Bali and its surrounding islands. Guided treks ensure your safety, and once at the top, you can enjoy a romantic breakfast cooked using the volcano’s natural steam.

What to do on you Bali elopement - Mount Batur sunrise
What to do on you Bali elopement - Menjangang Island

Scuba Dive at Menjangan Island

While not technically on Bali but nearby, Menjangan Island offers exceptional scuba diving opportunities. Explore vibrant coral gardens and encounter an array of marine life, including colorful fish and unique coral formations. The island’s crystal-clear waters and relatively untouched underwater world make it a perfect spot for eco-friendly scuba diving.

What to wear for your Bali elopement

What To Wear For a Bali Elopement

As you can appreciate, Bali is a hot, and depending on when you visit the country, humid country. The traditional tux and tie (bow tie) for the groom and the princess dress will not work in this environment. This is especially true when you opt for an elopement involving a hike to a scenic but remote spot.

The Dress

The best choice is to choose a free-flowing lightweight dress that is flowering and bright to celebrate the occasion.

The Shoes

The shoes you wear will be influenced by the envelopment spot you choose. For a beach spot, a pair of sandals will suffice. However, if you are hiking up a trail to reach the mountain top or a remote spot in the jungle (such as waterfall), hiking shoes are mandatory.

The Suit

Men, as well, should throw away their preconceived ideas of wedding attire. Lightweight clothing is king in Bali, even when you are tying the knot to your better half. In fact, a pair of shorts combined with a lightweight and bright shirt is the perfect combination.

Traditional Attires

Traditional Balinese wedding attire borrows heavily from Indian fashion. As such, with traditional attires, you get colorful yet comfortable clothing that you will stand out whilst wearing.

Typical food and dishes from Bali

You might want to integrate into your elopement day

Balinese dishes to try on your elopement day - Babi Guling

Babi Guling

Babi Guling is a famous Balinese dish consisting of roasted suckling pig. The pig is marinated with a blend of spices, including turmeric, ginger, garlic, and chili, before being roasted over an open fire. Babi Guling is typically served with rice, lawar (a mix of vegetables and grated coconut), and other accompaniments, creating a flavorful and satisfying meal.

Nasi Goreng

Nasi Goreng is a popular Indonesian fried rice dish, and Bali has its own unique version. It is made by stir-frying pre-cooked rice with a variety of ingredients such as vegetables, shrimp, chicken, and spices like soy sauce, garlic, and chili. Nasi Goreng is often topped with a fried egg and served with prawn crackers, making it a staple and delicious choice for both locals and visitors in Bali.

Balinese dishes to try on your elopement day - Nasi Goreng
Balinese dishes to try on your elopement day - Sate Lilit

Sate Lilit

Sate Lilit is a traditional Balinese satay made from minced meat, usually chicken, pork, fish, or a combination of them. The minced meat is mixed with grated coconut, spices, and sometimes with a base of grated coconut as well, giving it a unique texture and flavor. The meat mixture is then wrapped around lemongrass or bamboo skewers and grilled over charcoal. Sate Lilit is commonly served with a spicy peanut sauce and makes for a delicious and popular street food option in Bali.

The Complete Eloping In Bali Checklist


Think about where you’d like to go

Bali is, in many regards, the tropical paradise we’ve always read in storybooks. A land of diverse geographical features bound together with inviting weather and lush vegetation. Whether you want to elope at the cool slopes of the mountains or you want to exchange your vows at the shores of a tropical beach engulfed in a cool breeze, the world is your oyster. Dream big but dream fast. Your ideal scenery to host your ceremony will determine where to start searching for locations and, crucially, a venue to start narrowing down.

Pick a date

Bali has been a hidden gem for many years. However, owing to the exposure this tropical paradise has accrued on social media in the past few years, the island is receiving an increasing number of tourists every year. To things into perspective, in 2019, Bali received about 6.3 million direct foreign tourists.

As you can appreciate, the crowds can get overwhelming quite easily. With this in mind, pick a date outside of the peak tourist season for an intimate wedding with the huge and suffocating crowds of tourists. Moreover, while it is counter-tradition give weekdays a try. Officiants will be more flexible and you will have access to a range of venues choose from.

Find more informations about travel visas and wedding documentation

To make your dream Bali elopement work, you should prioritize making travel arrangements. Gather up all the information you need to make informed plans with regards to matters of visa. If you have any information gaps, contact the Indonesian embassy and make inquiries. Alternatively, use an experienced travel agent adept in handling visa application to Bali.

All things considered, traveling getting a visa to Bali is not a world of pain. You can make the application without the help of an agency.

Book your accommodation

After taking care of your visa arrangements, the date and the area you want to elope, the next issues to take care of is your accommodation. Booming your accommodation well in advance will ensure you get the best deal possible while also accessing a wide range of accommodation. Leaving accommodation bookings at the last moment will make it difficult to find suitable accommodation. And if you do, you might end up paying a premium for the accommodation.

There are plenty of available options on platforms such as AirBnB, Booking.com, and HomeAway.

Book your photographer

If a picture is worth a thousand words, you want a full photo gallery of your elopement to tell your story. To this end, find and hire the very best photographer to capture every moment of your loved-up moments. Of importance is to choose a photographer who jells well with you as a couple and one who can bring the style of photography you want to light.

Additionally, ensure the photographer is not only knowledgeable in photographing in the always sunny Bali but also experienced in all matters of photography and editing. After all, this is your once in a lifetime opportunity to capture your wedding photos. Finally, ensure you book the photographer early. For the best experience and the best deals, book your photographer 6-12 months ahead. As soon as you have a place and date, contact the photographers.

Find a place to exchange your vows

For such a special day, the spot where you say your vows must befit the occasion. Your accommodation might offer a picturesque spot to say your vows such as garden, beach, or you might be in a position to hike to a serene spot in the jungle. On the other hand, you might not have a clue as to where to stage your ceremony.

This is where your photographer can come in handy. Ask for his or her advice. Ensure the spot you settle for meets your needs with regard to the number of people who will grace your ceremony and accessibility. Once you have narrowed down the spot, plan accordingly.

Book your other vendors

Typically, for any elopement, you need an officiant, clothes designer, and wedding rings. Furthermore, depending on how intricate your elopement ceremony will be, you will need a florist, private chef, florist, and much more for your ceremony. Nonetheless, you need to plan for all these suppliers and vendors whilst making plans.

Plan your travel

There is so much adventure to be had whilst in Bali. It only makes sense to take advantage of your Bali elopement to explore the width and breadth of one of the most adventurous destinations in the world. From enjoying the awe-inspiring site of flapping butterflies at the Butterfly Park to enjoy stunning views of the rising sun at the Mount Batur, you will not run short of exciting things to do.

Live your dream elopement

It’s the big day, enjoy it fully!

DOES BALI SOUND LIKE YOUR DREAM?

How to plan your peaceful elopement in BALI with me

Process-how to plan an elopement

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Experience a place close to your hearts, or a bucket-list dream.

LATEST Bali ELOPEMENTS

Discover here the latest elopements in Bali I had the chance of planning and photographing.

Why eloping in Bali

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Are you eager to start planning your elopement in Bali? I’m here to help you envision, plan and immortalize this beautiful adventure! Contact me now for a free consultation!

How to plan your bali elopement - the ultimate guide
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