Australian couples have been jetting to Bali for luxe destination weddings for years, but a wedding in Bali doesn’t have to be a beach side affair. The tropical Indonesian island offers so much more than beaches and when it comes to weddings there’s something for every kind of bride.
THE ALL-OUT BRIDE
‘Wed Your Way’ at W Bali, Seminyak
For the bride with a big family, big budget and big wedding plans, W Bali Seminyak offers the ‘Wed Your Way’ comprehensive wedding experience that will suit her perfectly. With seven event rooms to choose from, the largest hosting up to 330 guests, and both indoor and outdoor venues, you’ll have plenty of choice when it comes to planning your big day. W Bali’s Ice Garden is a fan favourite, the outdoor venue featuring lush greenery set right on the shoreline, making a perfect backdrop for any luxe wedding.
Though the venues are beautiful, it’s W Bali’s attention to detail that really makes it an ultimate destination wedding spot. The ‘Wed Your Way’ experience can cover everything from the pre-wedding planning to the reception, after party and honeymoon, an experience best enjoyed in one of the resort’s secluded private villas. W Bali can set up your wedding website where guests can book accommodation directly, organise the catering, style your chosen venue and even plan your honeymoon. It will be pricey, but worth it for the bride who wants it all on her big day.
THE INSTA-WORTHY BRIDE
The Harmony and Eternity Chapels, The Mulia, Nusa Dua
Nusa Dua is one of the most picture-perfect regions in Bali, making The Mulia a perfect fit for the bride searching for an Instagram-worthy venue. With a collection of ballrooms and outdoor locations to choose from, the resort’s chapels are its shining stars.
The Harmony Chapel is an intimate venue with understated modern stylings offering floor-to-ceiling views of the Indian Ocean, while the grand Eternity Chapel surrounds guests with paned glass walls looking out over the resort’s vibrant blue ‘lake’ in which the chapel is set. And the photo opportunities aren’t restricted to the chapels, as the resort’s massive 6-hectare grounds are home to lush gardens and ocean outlooks perfect for wedding photography.
Just make sure the air conditioning is working before your ceremony – all that glass and Balinese sun can turn the chapels into saunas, so make sure the A/C is cranked up long before you walk down the aisle.
THE BEACHY BRIDE
Beach weddings at Karma Kandara, Ungasan
Beach weddings are a Bali staple, but not every couple is lucky enough to say “I do” on the sandy white shores at the base of Ungasan’s dramatic tree-covered cliffs. For couples looking to keep to a budget, the ‘Beautiful Beach Wedding’ package offers a simple, elegant beach side ceremony for between 120 – 150 guests, complete with a one night stay in a private villa for the newlyweds. And for the bride with a budget fit for royalty (think $150,000 USD) there’s the ‘billionaire’s beach wedding’ package, which will pretty much let you take over the resort for your big day. Though few brides could – or would – pay for it, a girl can always dream.
After saying “I do” by the shore, couples can make the most of Karma Kandara at ‘golden hour’ for their wedding photos, which can be organised through the resort, as well as spa treatments, honeymoon packages and everything in between. Though you may pay a little more to organise everything in-house, it saves the stress of vendors not showing up or being late to the out-of-the-way venue.
THE NATURE-LOVING BRIDE
Outdoor weddings at Mandapa, Ubud
Escape to the rice paddies and tropical forests of Ubud, where Mandapa hotel offers wedding packages set beside slow-flowing rivers or atop terraced green rice paddies. Ceremonies set on the property’s lawn by the Ayung River can cater to up to 120 guests, the bride and groom exchanging vows under an arch of flowers and foliage by the rocky riverside. For a more intimate riverside wedding, opt for a ceremony at the two-bedroom pool villa, where a tiny party of 10 can celebrate the newlywed’s union in a private space ideal for an elopement. Meanwhile couples after the quintessential Balinese backdrop can tie the knot atop Mandapa’s Rice Terrace deck, where up to 30 guests can look out over the rice paddies and down to the river below.
The one drawback to these outdoor venues is their exposure to weather, from downpours in the wet season to sweltering heat in the dry season, that can quickly turn a wedding day sour. However, the resort works to accommodate unexpected weather shifts, and couples who plan ahead can easily make the most of even a wet-season wedding.
THE MODERN BRIDE
Tresna Chapel at Ayana Resort and Spa, Jimbaran
Modern elegance is given form in the shape of Ayana Resort and Spa’s Tresna Chapel, a clean white space reminiscent of one of the Sydney Opera Houses’ sails. Inside the chapel’s curved walls, brides can walk down a see-through glass aisle with a flowing, stone-lined river below and to say “I do” at the matching glass altar, set in front of expansive ocean views. Surrounded by shallow pools and filled with natural light and kept cool with air conditioning (thank god), the chapel can host 80 guests and is perfect for a mid-sized wedding.
Tresna Chapel is offered as part of Ayana’s ‘Sunset Promise’ wedding package, which includes everything from tropical bouquets to spa packages and – most importantly – use of the bridal villa before the wedding. An exclusively pre-wedding facility, the villa is the perfect venue for the whole wedding party to prepare and is beautifully located overlooking the Indian Ocean, making it perfect for pre-wedding photography.
HOW TO GET THERE
Jetstar operate multiple daily flights between major Australian cities and Denpasar, including six flights from Sydney every day. With one-way prices starting from $229 per person, head to Jetstar.com to view the latest fares.
The writer stayed as a guest of The Mulia, W Bali, and Karma Kandara, and flew as a guest of Jetstar.