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  • The Wedding Mood

Legal vs. Non legal Weddings In Bali

Updated: Nov 20, 2023

Getting legally married in Bali is possible for most of our couples. In Indonesia however, that comes with a bit of paperwork. This article will guide you through the necessary steps to get the legalities out of the way as fast as possible.

1. By Indonesian law, every couple that wants to get married legally in Bali must be a part of one of the 5 officially recognized religions by either committing to a Hindu, Buddhist, Christian (Protestant), Catholic or Muslim ceremony.

This means that even if you don’t actively practice your faith or participate in your Church or believe in one of the mentioned religions, you will still need to get married in the name of one of them. The easiest is to choose is Protestant, as the Protestant Church does not have any per-requisites for you nor your partner to get married in Bali. An official Indonesian Protestant priest will lead your ceremony in English on the wedding day and your marriage certificate will be signed by him in the name of the Protestant Church of Bali.

The other religions follow a slightly different path but only the Catholic Church will require you to get married in a proper church, a hotel chapel won't cut it, I'm afraid. You can inquire about a list of churches in Bali as your reception can still take place in your private villa or at a different venue afterwards.

2. Submit your paperwork to us about 3 to 4 months prior in case we need to get your embassy involved. As some countries do not have an embassy or consulate in Bali, often the paperwork needs to get sent to Jakarta. As this might take a few weeks, we always recommend to plan in an extra month.

3. An expat celebrant (or a local celebrant) can still lead your ceremony and the priest will just step in wherever it is necessary to make the ceremony official. This arrangement still allows you to have a completely personalized wedding ceremony and liturgy.

4. Here is a list of documents that we require in order to arrange a legal Protestant wedding. We do our best to keep this list up to date but as the law can change unexpectedly, we cannot guarantee that other documents might be required on top of what is listed below.

  • Copy of passports of the couple (valid for 6 months from entry into Indonesia)

  • Copy of passports for witnesses (2 witnesses required, must not be immediate family)

  • Copy of decree absolute if divorced

  • Copy of death certificate of former spouse if applicable

  • Copy of documentary evidence of any change of name if applicable

  • Copy of birth certificates of the couple

  • Certificate of No Impediment (CNI), obtained from the respective Embassy / Consular of the couple’s nationality or your local civil registry office, declaring that the individual is free to marry

  • Completed wedding arrangement form and civil registry form

  • Translation into Indonesian of all documents (legalized!)

  • Affirmation letter from the local authorities and villa you stay at during your wedding celebration

For requirements to arrange legal weddings with other religions, please contact us here.

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