It finally happened, you’re engaged and planning your big day..
You and your spouse already decided… The wedding will take place in Bali!
However, picking a venue in Bali can often feel like a needle in a haystack.
For example, there are Villas, Resorts, Restaurants, Hotels, Wedding Chapels and Beaches.
Then you have different rules and regulations per type of venue, also different regulations per neighbourhood.
This already sounds complicated.
You don’t want to give a poor wedding experience for your family and friends. Picking the right venue will make your wedding unforgettable!
That’s why I’ll give you some practical ways to make a better decision.
Be flexible for choosing your wedding date
So you want to plan a destination wedding in Bali.
What if I told you, that it’s the worst advice to be fixated on a ‘perfect’ date? I’m talking about dates like:
Now, you might disagree with me. My advice is not romantic and all! But please, hear me out.
When you’re fixated on a certain date for cosmetic reasons, you are creating a recipe for disaster:
- It might happen that a mind-blowing venue is booked on your date.
- Your date eventually takes place in the rain season.
- Your date is in the peak season, and the venue forces you to book 3 more days.
- Your date has competition. Some venues like resorts or chapels create shorter time slots, to accommodate multiple weddings on the same date.
- It is more likely that your favourite vendor/photographer is booked by someone else.
Being fixated on a certain date takes away the flexibility, that you really need for planning a destination wedding in Bali.
Don’t be that bride or groom.
A wise takeaway:
Search for available venues first, and plan your date accordingly.
Decide the Style
The next question is: Which style do you like?
To sum up the beauty of Bali, you can get these beautiful views:
- Beach views
- Clifftops with ocean views
- Gardens next to the beach
- Venues surrounded with rice fields
Don’t forget that venues have their maximum capacities. Villas tend to have a smaller capacity than a ballroom in a resort.
Define your budget
You budget typically defines what kind of wedding you will have.
- Venues located on a cliff top or beach front are usually more expensive than venues surrounded by rice fields.
- Venues that have a sunset are also more expensive compared to the venues that have a sunrise.
However, most venues in Bali have different pricing depending on the season.
Venues have low seasons, high seasons and peak seasons. However, they are not always closely correlated to the weather seasons.
No matter the view or the location, picking a date in a more expensive season can heavily drain your wallet.
The high / peak season:
- Usually more expensive
- Villas, often require to book more days
- Fall on holidays (eg: Chinese new year, Christmas, New Year)
The low season:
- Usually cheaper
- Villas often require to book fewer days
These pricing ranges differ per venue, make sure to check their website if this is the case with your favourite venue.
When you plan in the rain season, make sure to also check if your venue has a backup plan in case of rainfall.
A good thing to know is that many villas offer a very attractive early bird discount if booked 150 days in advance! I’ve seen discounts being offered around $800 USD.
Budget wise, our wedding packages in Bali give a very quick insight into what a wedding can cost, without any modification.
Choose the location
So, you might already have your preferred style in mind.
Another question you have to ask yourself, which area will you choose?
- Close to the airport?
- Close to interesting destinations?
- Go a little bit further to give your guests a more ‘off-the-beaten-path’ experience?
Areas that are less than 1 hour from Ngurah Rai airport:
- Kuta (15 minutes)
- Jimbaran (25 minutes)
- Sanur (30 minutes)
- Seminyak (30 minutes)
- Canggu (60 minutes)
I know, it’s quite hard to make a judgement by seeing pictures online.
The best way to decide if a location is really the right fit is when you actually visit for an inspection.
This way you’ll find out if it’s conveniently reachable and it will give you a good taste about the surrounding area.
Inform yourself about the curfew times
Some venues have curfews until 10 pm (mostly Hotels / Resorts), which means all music should stop and the area must be cleared.
This can be terribly frustrating if you find this out after you’ve booked..
My advice is:
Ask for the curfew times.
Because you need to know when the main speaker should stop and until what time you can keep your indoor speaker on.
Visit Bali, and Inspect your Top Picks
Ideally, visiting Bali to see venues should be at least 1 year before the wedding date.
That’s when you have to make a selection between two or max three venues in your mind and actually inspect them!
The venues are available, the views are amazing, the rates are attractive, and all the details are exactly how you want them to be.
Plan your visit to Bali and inspect the venues together with your wedding planner.
Unless you are not able to inspect the venue, you could ask your wedding planner to visit the venue on your behalf.
However, it’s highly recommended that you actually take time to do a visit yourself.
Complete the booking
You completely fell in love with the venue after your visit. Great!
Now, don’t procrastinate on the actual booking. It’s a known fact that other people are interested in the same dates too.
Wait too long, and someone books on your preferred date. Next thing you know you might have to start all over again.. Ouch!
In order to secure the date, it is required to either complete the booking or place a downpayment.
That’s pretty much my practical guide to you how to pick the right venue and prevent you some headaches.
- Be flexible with the wedding date.
- Avoid High season if you’re limited by budget.
- Pay attention to t1he location and capacity.
- Visit your venues.
- If you’re 100% interested in a venue or wedding package, don’t wait too long, complete the booking before someone else does.
- Gather inspiration for decoration style
- Orientate the possibilities for Food & Beverages served.
- Make and send invitations
Retno Dwinika lives in Canggu, Bali. She is active as a wedding planner, blogger and Founder of Amora Bali Weddings. Retno is often seen working from Canggu’s gorgeous cafes and co-working spaces. Between her routines, she always takes the time to enjoy Bali’s romantic sunsets.