Many people from around the world get married in Bali every year, but there is often a question of the wedding’s legality. A legal wedding in Bali is not simply a matter of booking a package online, turning up to the ceremony with friends and family and then returning home married. It is actually more more complicated that and we will try to point you in the right direction so that your wedding in Bali is legal.
Non-legal wedding in Bali
To get a non-legal wedding in Bali is pretty easy. Simply sign up to one of the many packages online that offer you to get married in Bali. They will arrange all the details for you so that your wedding looks and feels like a real wedding. Except it will not be legal nor have any status anywhere in the world. In fact, it’s a bit of a sham to call it a wedding at all because a wedding is a legal act and many weddings in Bali do not offer this legality.
A non-legal wedding in Bali will often have a priest present going through the motions with you in a chapel with all your friends and family witnessing it. It will feel real. You will even sign certificates. But unless an official from the Kantor Catan Sipil is present, it cannot be legal anywhere in the world.
Legal wedding in Bali
Ok, so you want to have a legal wedding in Bali. What do you have to do? First things first. You need to have a religion. You cannot state your religion as atheist even if you have never stepped inside a church in your life.
Once you’ve decided what religion you are going to be, you need to arrange a person from that religion to marry you. If you are Christian, you will need to find a priest. Many wedding organisers can arrange a priest for you as one part of your legal wedding in Bali.
Letter of no impediment to marriage
Next, if you are a foreigner, you need to obtain a letter from your consulate in Indonesia stating that you are legally allowed to be married. The letter is called “a letter of no impediment to marriage“. To get this letter, you will need to go to your consulate in Bali with appropriate documentation such as your passport and death/divorce certificates if you have been married before. This letter is mandatory for foreigners wishing to have a legal wedding in Bali.
Kantor Catan Sipil
The next step when arriving in Bali is to head to the Kantor Catan Sipil either in Denpasar (for wedding in Kuta/Legian/Seminyak) or Gianyar (for wedding in Ubud). The staff here don’t speak a lot of English, so you are going to need to take someone with you who can translate for you. At this office, you need to do a few things in order to make the wedding legal. Firstly, you need to submit a range of documentation at least a few days before your wedding. These documents include photocopies of passports (or KTP for Indonesians), copies of birth certificates, the death/divorce certificates if previously married, a few side-by-side photos of the prospective couple (these can be done by asking a local photo shop for photos for the Kantor Catatan Sipil), the letter of no impediment to marriage from your consulate and “form A” (the form from your hotel which is submitted to the police to prove where you are staying).
Once these forms have been submitted to the officer at the Kantor Catatan Sipil, you have to make sure an officer from the Kantor Catatan Sipil will be at your wedding to ensure a smooth registration process. The official fee is 200,000 rupiah for the registration, but it is widely accepted that if you want an officer to attend your wedding that you should pay about double that for petrol and food money. Once you have an agreement that the officer will be present at your wedding, you are almost there!
Legal Wedding Day!
On the day of your wedding, you will have already arranged the religious side of things by having a priest conducting the service and have already arranged the legal side of things by having a officer from the Kantor Catatan Sipil present. This is almost a legal wedding in Bali. But not quite. There is a requirement from the Kantor Catatan Sipil for more documentation. This documentation relates to certification from the church that you are in fact married under that religion and this may cost money to obtain. Once the officer has this letter, he can then proceed with the official registration which makes the Bali wedding legal. The priest will usually give this letter to the officer from the Kantor Catatan Sipil after the ceremony.
To speed things up, the officer will bring an official marriage certificate to sign on the day of your wedding. Even though the marriage hasn’t been registered yet, you will get the certificate because the officer will head back to the Kantor Catatan Sipil and enter the details into the database AFTER the wedding. You now have a legal wedding in Bali.
Many wedding organisers arrange all of this for your for a flat fee in order to ensure you are having a legal wedding in Bali. They use their Indonesian skills and contacts to make it a smooth process for you, but it can be extremely expensive. Being quoted Rp. 10,000,000 or US$1000 is not unusual. You can do this all yourself for less than Rp. 500,000 or US$50, but it does require you to do a lot of running around and to have an understanding of the correct procedure for getting married in Bali. This is the correct procedure for having a legal wedding in Bali
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Kantor Catatan Sipil Denpasar
Jl. Surapati No.4, Denpasar
Telp. (0361) 237501
Kantor Catatan Sipil Gianyar
Jl Kebo Iwa No.14, Gianyar
Telp. (0361) 943236