Behind the scenes of a “Simple” Wedding or Vow Renewal…
It’s easy to fall in love with – or even in – Bali. Some of us choose to vacation here regularly, some of us choose to live here, and some of us even choose to start a business here. And some of us choose to get married here. Who wouldn’t want to get married in Bali? It’s an island paradise with so much to offer.
Something we hear quite often here at My Bali Celebrant is that couples want a small, simple wedding celebration – just the bride and groom or maybe a small gathering of family and friends. We actually really love these small, intimate celebrations and do quite a few of them. We offer “flash specials” on them during Bali’s low season, both to provide great value for couples who travel here during that time, and also to keep our vendors and ourselves working and “fresh.”
However, there are a few things to remember when planning that “small, simple” ceremony.
First, we have to have a venue. The word “venue” might sound “big and fancy,” not “small and intimate,” but it’s a 100% iron-clad rule in Bali. We cannot just “rock up to the beach” (waterfall, cliff, etc.) to perform a ceremony. The local government controls all of the property in Bali and what is done there. We as visitors have no way of knowing what sites are holy, when the big Hindu holidays are happening, or what local rituals need to be followed and where. We need the help of the locals to understand these things. And for this we usually must pay some kind of fee.
We do have low-cost beach solutions that suit smaller weddings. Many times the hotel or villa you are staying in will allow you to do your ceremony there for free or for a small fee. And sometimes local restaurants will permit you to have a ceremony provided you purchase a certain amount of food and/ or drink. So your venue doesn’t need to be expensive, but it needs to be found, arranged, and usually paid for in advance of your ceremony date.
And that takes us to the second point: your ceremony might be small and simple, but it still needs to be organized/ arranged by someone. We at My Bali Celebrant have direct access to some cheaper and smaller venues that we use regularly, and we do have a local photographer and florist who work for us readily and at a discount. But finding a new venue for your ceremony, or adding more vendors (hair and make-up, arches and other decoration, etc.) is out of the scope of our celebrant services.
For these additional items, we team with a wedding planning company - Budget Weddings by Bali Brides. There is, of course, a small fee associated with this service. But by paying that small fee you have access to the breadth of knowledge of a wedding planner in addition to that of your celebrant. Our wedding planner does the research and arranging for you, and is on-site on the day of your ceremony to make sure everything goes as planned. They take the worry out of the details for you, so you can focus on your spouse and your celebration.
Finally, your celebrant will work just as hard (and sometimes harder) on performing that ceremony that’s just for you and your special someone as s/he would work on writing a ceremony for 200 guests. We at My Bali Celebrant pride ourselves in writing original, customized ceremonies – not the same thing for every couple. This writing takes time to get to know you, to draft ceremonies, to send them to you for approval, and to get right before the big day. We also provide you a certificate, and have to work travel time and expenses into our pricing.
This is not to discourage you from having your small, intimate ceremony in Bali, but rather to explain why it might not be as bear bones inexpensive as you might expect. As stated before – small, intimate ceremonies are some of our favorites, and some of the most beautiful celebrations we do. We would love to help you with yours if and when you decide to do it in Bali!