Helpful Info

Here are some Bali helpful Information for your consideration before embarking to your very important event in your life… your wedding!


Alcohol

One of the biggest expenses associated with a wedding in Bali is the cost of alcohol (if you are hosting a group of guests anyway).  The taxes on alcohol are extremely high in Indonesia which is the reason it has been difficult to obtain good wines locally in the past.

Hotels and Restaurants of course markup the prices of alcohol considerably but most will allow you to bring your own wines and champagne if you prefer.  Keep in mind however most times you will be charged a corkage fee for doing so.  This fee can range from US$5.00 per bottle to US$35.00 per bottle depending on the property you are utilizing.

Catering companies will also charge corkage fees for bringing your own wines but of course they will be providing the glasses, refrigeration and staffing.

If you are in a private villa ofcourse you are free to bring as much of your own alcohol to your function as you choose and no corkage fees will apply.  Just be aware of the customs limitations on alcoholic.

Many people ask their guests to bring wine or spirits instead of a wedding gift so that’s always an option.

There are now two companies in Bali providing Australian Wines of reasonable quality.  On is known as ‘Wine of The Gods’ – recently changed their name to ‘Artisan Wines’.  This company brings the grapes from Western Australia but treats them and bottles them locally.  They currently offer only two types of wine – both white. Our personal favorite the ‘Artisan Classic White’ which seems to go well with all types of food.

Hattens Wines have come a long way over the past few years and now offer quite a selection of wines including Rose, Reds and Whites.  Bali Aga, Two Islands, Jepun sparkling and others.

Chilean wines are easily accessible and quite popular on the island these days and you will find them at any wine shop.

There is actually are large array of wines now available from all parts of the globe but, be prepared to pay far more than you would overseas for them.

Caterers

Catering services cannot be used within a hotel but if you are in a private location such as a private villa you will need this service.

There are a variety of catering companies available in Bali these days and some of them are excellent.

You will be able to obtain suggested menus and price lists from your wedding organizer if you have chosen to use one and, they will recommend the caterer most experienced at the particular style of event and type of food you require.

If you for example plan to service Indonesian or Balinese food then one particular caterer may be offered whereas for a western menu another may be recommended.  As mentioned a professional organizer will be able to match the best caterer to your personal needs.


Clothing & Dress

Indonesian Government remains concerned about people being dressed politely and appropriately when dealing with them.  Since legal weddings will have a representataive from the Government Registry office in attendance it is important to comply with their request for appropriate dress.

Men may not wear sleeveless shirts (singlets) and ladies may not wear see-through or midriff (ie: exposed stomachs) outfits.

This dress code applies not only to the Government Registry officials but to any Government office with which you might be dealing eg: immigration, police etc. and is something you should keep in mind when traveling to Indonesia if you wish to be treated with respect and good manner.


Flowers

There are certain types of flowers readily available in Bali although some are seasonal and may not always be there when you want them.  The more common tropical flowers such as frangipani, orchids, lillies and tuber roses are generally available year round but other types of locally grown flowers are not always available.

Because of the type of flower more commonly available colour selections are somewhat limited and if you choose something different you may need to pay the price for having them imported from Java or indeed from overseas.  If this is the case do allow lots of time when ordering or you may be disappointed.

An experienced wedding organizer will be able to give you all the information you need about just what is and is not possible


Gifts for Couples

Gift Registries such as those so easily available in the western world do not yet exist in Bali though there are some fabulous shops offering some excellent items suitable for wedding gifts and not too big to carry home.

Some of our favorites are :

Asia Living – Seminyak

A beautiful selection of  antiques, ornamnets and decorative objects from Asia.

Serene Bali – Seminyak

Offers homewares such as vases, candle stickes and zen slippers.

Vinotti – Galleria Mall, Kuta

(a new second smaller shop in Jalan Tuban)

In the new mall at the Simpang Siur roundabout

Candles, tableware, frames, furniture

A professional wedding organizer will usually have some excellent suggestions for gifts for your guests and likewise for gifts wedding guests may like to organize for you.  You will be able to either see their gift ideas on the net or have them email them directly to you.


Hairdresser & Makeup

There are a great many hairdressers and salons on the island of Bali.  Many locals have been trained as hairdressers and they can generally get the job done however, there are some important issues to consider if deciding to book a local hairdresser and they apply whether the hairdresser is located within a 5 star hotel or an independent salon :

1- Communications – you want to be certain the hairdresser can understand exactly what you are saying so the result will be what you have asked for and not just something they are used to doing for Indonesian functions which require an enormous amount of teasing followed by an enormous amount of smoothing out and applying hairspray.  A photo will probably help but do make sure they have the equipment they need before beginning eg: if you wish to have your straight hair curled ensure they have curling tongs etc.

2- Time – if you do choose ultimately to have your hair done by a local hairdresser, after explaining the hair style and being sure they have understood, ask how long they believe it will take.  Whatever their answer – triple it to be safe because our research has shown the local hairdressers are generally very slow workers.

You simply must not allow yourself to become stressed on your wedding day and because you do not wish to arrive late for your ceremony you must be finished preparing a minimum of 30 minutes before your scheduled start time – more than that if you are going out to a salon.

Being stuck in a hairdressers chair unfinished close to start time, knowing you still have to get back to the hotel and shower etc. will create dreadful stress that you simply do not want or need on this very important day.  Perhaps, if you are in Bali far enough in advance you could have a trial run at the local hairdressers’ you’ve chosen to use.

If you are booking your hair and makeup artists through a professional wedding organizer you will find that they work only with experienced professionals (or they should do).

If your oganizer recommends a local lady you can be pretty certain they are experienced at doing ‘wedding’ hair and/or makeup – but do ask to be doubly certain.  If this is the case then you don’t need to triple the time allowed but will be able to rely on your oganizer to arrange the appropriate schedule based on their experience and knowledge with the people they work with and recommend.

In recent months there seems to have been an influx of western hair & makeup artists claiming to be professionals but again, this is not always the truth.  If you are organizing this service yourself, don’t be afraid to ask for a copy of their certificate or teacher references showing they have actually studied the art.


If hair & makeup is important to you – take no chances.

Don’t book someone who has no education in the field but has just decided it is something they would like to do.  This is your wedding afterall – not just a normal evening out.  Unprofessional makekup may well spoil all your photographs and create great disappointment.

There are a few western hairdressers living legally in Bali and operating as hairdressers and also a few Indonesian artists who have lived an studied overseas.  The price for either of these excellent operators are all about the same and you may like to ask your wedding organizer if they work with any of them.


Photographers & Videographers

These days there are some truly fabulous photographer on the island of Bali and many of them specialize in wedding and event photography.

There are photographers from Australia, UK, Austria, USA and other places around the world each bringing with them years of fabulous training and experience. They usually enlist a local support team who benefit from being trained by these experts so it’s a true win-win situation for all concerned.Especially for you the wedding couple wanting truly professional wedding documentation in the form of digital still and video photography.

Our research has confirmed that local photographers use good quality cameras, lenses and flashes to capture a special event and, that the most experienced have an excellent eye for a good shot and can work well with couples to create a very special selection of photographs of their day.

The most experienced wedding photographers work with the most experienced wedding organizers and you should have no trouble in obtaining a number of samples of their work so, ask to see a selection of photographs – not just from one or two weddings but from a large range so that you can be sure of their experience.

Much the same conditions apply to the work of videographers however it is not easily possible to obtain samples of their work.  Rest assured that a professional wedding organizer will be offering a professional videography service.

Do look at the comments from past wedding clients on a wedding organisers’ website – here you will often find feedback from couples about the photography and/or videography services they received.


Pre-Nuptial Agreements

The marriage law of Indonesia requires that for a Pre-Nuptial Agreement to be legal it is presented to the appropriate Registry Office before the day of the marriage.

If you have decided to make a Pre-Nuptial Agreement then we suggest you have it prepared by your lawyer or other appropriate legal body (such as Notary).  You should keep one original each and put a 3rd original in a sealed brown envelope for delivery to the Indonesian Government Registry Officials prior to your wedding.

Before delivery you will need to have the document legalized by an Indonesian Notary.

A professional wedding organizer can advise on this and have the processed organized on your behalf.


Prices

We know that without a doubt you are wanting a dream wedding in Bali!  The form that dream takes for you is yours completely and you should be able to have it come true.

There is little that cannot be arranged in Bali. The people of this island are naturally talented in music, performance and the arts. Decorations can range from spectular to simply elegant etc. and there’s a multitude of different resources which can be called upon to give you just what you want.

You may be on a budget but even so, remember professional wedding organisers will usually be understanding to a certain degree and if approached politely may agree to at least a little discount to help.

Don’t be unreasonable and expect them to organize the wedding of your dreams for  nothing or next to nothing.  Professional wedding organizers – those with offices and licenses anyway do have real expenses in order to operate, rents, taxes, website and other promotional efforts, experienced wedding consulting staff, communications, transport etc.

Be grateful for any discount you might receive or any extras you may be able to negotiate.

Clearly you have many, many options but our serious advice is to go through a professional company with strong credibility and relax whilst knowing you are in good hands and will thoroughly enjoy watching your wedding dream become your reality on the Island of The Gods.

Prices are usually quoted in American Dollars since this is the far more stable currency and the Indonesian rupiah has always be subjected to large fluctuations. This has been the case in Bali almost since the beginning of tourism many years ago so it is not unusual but normal which yu will no doubt understand.


Spa Services

It is a wonderful idea to get a massage a day or two before your wedding. Not only will a massage help reduce your stress level, but can release painful muscle tension, improve circulation, increase joint flexibility, and reduce fatigue. In simple terms, a massage will make you feel great.

May we recommend a visit to one of the Spa’s below to toally relax you and your partner before the big day!

Puri Esthetics – Sanur

Mandara Spa -   located in many 5 star hotels

Bodyworks -   Seminyak

Jari Menari – Seminyak

Antique Spa – Umalas

Bali Garden Hotel spa – Tuban

Many hotels also have inhouse spa services.

Your wedding organizer may even be able to send massage and other spa services to your villa or hotel so that you don’t even have to leave.


Transportation

All sorts of transport can be organized in Bali; from horse & cart in certain areas for short trips, to the more often preferred chartered buses, minivans, sedans and limos.  For those with the more adventurous spirit ask your organizer about Harley Davidson bikes and helicopters.

Recently in Bali a true luxury transport service has opened.  It offers stretch limos, Hummers and more. Ask your wedding organizer for the details of what it will cost to take advantage of something as special as that!


Vows

If you have chosen to use a professional wedding organizer you will find they are able to give you much information and perhaps even samples of your wedding liturgy and vows in advance.

You are, in most cases, able to write your own vows and your own ring statements and add readings etc. to your certain parts of your ceremony.

Flexibility often depends on the type of religious ceremony you will be having and there are some which will not offer any opportunity for change at all.

Catholic ceremonies are quite strict but you are welcome to write your own vows, ring statements and change the readings to other (approved readings).

Protestant ceremonies – very flexible and you can almost re-write the whole thing.

Buddhist ceremonies – performed in Indonesian language and Sanskrit but you can write your own vows and say them to each other during the ceremony if you wish.  Your organizer will be able to obtain approval for this from the Buddhist Temple Priest.

Moslem – inflexible in terms of words.

Commitment Ceremonies are non-legal and therefore can be completely your own words from start to end.


Weather

March to September is the dry season in Indonesia and so rainfall is generally quite rare during these months. Average day time temperatures of 32c, low humidity and cool evening and morning breeze. The on shore winds are strongest on the east coast (Sanur) side of the island during dry season.

It is fairly safe to organize an outside wedding venue during the dry season. October to February are wet season months.  You can expect rain much more often during these months and certainly a higher level of humidity.  Average day time temperatures of 36c prevail and the stronger onshore winds affect the west side (Kuta/Legian etc) of the island.

When organizing a wedding between October and February rain must be a consideration and a venue offering a suitable wet-weather alternative should be selected.

Most caterers actually insist that you book marquee cover for your events if booked within the wet season months.

Although the marquee service will cost more money, it will save the stress and worry of the results of rain falling on your event and in fact once lit up these marquees add quite a sophisticated look to your reception.

Wedding Hours

Wedding ceremonies tend to be booked for 4-5pm in Bali.

Many couples would like to be married at sunset but it’s not always possible.  Earlier times prove more suitable because the sun sets very quickly in Bali and is gone before you know it.  Just a small delay and you will be marrying in darkness.

Also because, – if starting earlier you will not miss the sunset but can enjoy it in a more relaxed way for photographs after your ceremony has ended.

If you are staying on the east of Bali why not consider a early morning wedding and do ‘sunrise’ instead of ‘sunset’?  It is just gorgeous and most organizers will agree to arrange it for you.

Follow your ceremony then with a delicious breakfast instead of a dinner.


Wet Weather Alternatives

Some hotels are able to offer covered but still open venues to be used in the case of rain.  This is obviously a good thing because you can still enjoy garden views and the fact that you are marrying in Bali remains obvious.

Not all properties however, have a suitable wet-weather alternative and will instead allocate a closed-in ballroom or a function room for your event.  This obviously is not ideal since you don’t get to enjoy those tropical gardens for which Bail is so well known and which may well be one of the reasons you have travelled there in the first place.

Of course you might still be able to go outside and have photographs in the garden after the ceremony should the rain cease in time. If you are planning to marry between October and February do remember to ask the questions about the alternatives they are able to offer in case of rain (Source:aweddinginbali.com)


The following countries have a consulate in Bali .

American, Australia, Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom

The following countries have Embassies or Consuls in Jakarta.

Afghanistan, Aljazair / Algeria, Argentina, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil,, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgari, Cambodia, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Chili, China, Gambia, Greece ( Consulate ), Hungary, Iceland, India, Iraq, Ireland, Jordan, Korea, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama ( Consulate ), Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Rumania, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Vatican, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Syrian, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates