Getting Legally Married in Bali
Congratulations on choosing to have your destination wedding in Bali! If you are reading this post, it means you are thinking about doing the “legal” part of your marriage here. Hopefully we can clarify the process for you while helping you make the best decision about whether or not to have your legal wedding in Indonesia.
The first thing to know is that a marriage performed in Indonesia legally, following Indonesian laws regarding marriage, is considered your “legal” marriage in most countries around the world. There is no need to get married again in your home country; and usually there is no need to “register” the marriage. Indonesian authorities provide you with English-translated marriage documents. These should serve all the purposes any marriage license would in your own country.
The main “complication” in getting married in Bali (or Indonesia) is that your wedding must be done by a religious figure of one of the five religions “recognized” in Indonesia: Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Catholic, or Protestant. You and your spouse must claim to be of the same religion, and have a “religious” ceremony. Also, your legal marriage will be witnessed by a representative of the local Catatan Sipil, or legal wedding authority. The two religions we can facilitate here are Christian/ Protestant (non-Catholic) and Buddhist.
The second “complication” of having a legal wedding in Indonesia is that you must obtain a “certificate of no impediment to marry” from your country’s consulate (not included in the cost of your legal wedding). In Bali we have easy access to American, UK, and Australian consulates, so you can do that here in the days before your wedding. For other countries, please contact your nearest consulate, as rules and regulations, costs, and ability to acquire this document will vary. Also, the time needed to acquire this document can be long (up to 2-3 months for some countries!); and the CNI must be issued no more than three months before your wedding day.
Once you decide to go this route and your wedding is booked with My Bali Celebrant, you will start working with our Legal Wedding Specialist. A Google Drive folder link will be provided to you, where you will upload the following:
- Copy of both bride’s and groom’s passports and birth certificates
- Copy of 2x witnesses passports, 18 or older, who will attend the wedding (we can provide for a small fee)
- Copy of divorce certificates/ death certificates/ change of citizenship or name (if applicable; extra charge for translation)
- Legal form (will be in your folder), signed by bride, groom, and witnesses
*Baptism certificates if you have them
For the CNI, you must book your own appointment, and pay with a credit or debit card on the day. Our legal wedding specialist will help you with links to the appropriate appointment setting sites; please send her a screenshot of your appointment notification, and let her know where you will be staying on that day. She will then arrange transport to and from your consulate; escort you to the appointment; take you to the photo studio for your "official" marriage certificate photos; and obtain signatures needed for your marriage license. Please be dressed “business casual” on this important day, with shoulders and knees covered as well as proper footwear.
This all may sound “too complicated” for you, or you may be unable to get your CNI in time for your wedding. That’s okay! My Bali Celebrant still has many amazing Indonesian and Western celebrants who can make your wedding ceremony extra-special. Your guests don’t even have to know your Bali wedding is not “the real thing”.
Either way, we can’t wait to help you celebrate your big day!
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