Guide to Wedding in Bali (Part 2)
Venues for Wedding Ceremonies
In Part 1 of the BRW Blog to Wedding in Bali we introduced the theme ‘Wedding in Bali’ to our followers, and gave first insight into:
- Types of Wedding Ceremonies, and
- Wedding Locations
Part 2 will now take a closer look into the manifold Bali wedding venues currently available and recommendable. However, the below selection of dedicated wedding venues is this Wedding Planner’s personal and opinionated choice; it does not aspire to be complete or impartial. Thus, we extend our apologies to the wedding chapel managements whose venues are not listed here; if you feel your wedding destination deserves mentioning in this article series, you are very welcome to contact us under below email address.
3) WEDDING VENUES
NUSA DUA, TANJUNG BENOA, BUKIT/JIMBARAN
Those southernmost areas have developed in something like to the uncrowned champions of Bali Wedding Venues. Moreover, together with a wedding booking, many of the below venues offer complimentary 2-night accommodation for the couple – mostly including buffet breakfast.
The Grand Mirage’s tent-like steel and glass construction is a beach wedding venue that doesn’t look like much on first sight – but when decorated and with the wedding is in full swing it is a beautiful and romantic location. GraMi also offer simpler open-air beach weddings for the lower budget, but: If it rains? GraMi assures that their ballrooms will be available for back-up.
GRAND NIKKO BALI
On the grounds of the re-branded Grand Nikko Bali we find one of Bali’s most impressive wedding chapels, the Wiwaha. Nikko’s wedding ceremonies and receptions have excelled over the past decade – and they are doing it again: Grand Nikko just inaugurated its newest-born, the Kamita, a charming over-sized gazebo right next to the Grand Nikko ballroom. Btw: One of Grand Nikko’s Wedding USPs has always been their committed and experienced Wedding Coordinators; they truly enjoy cooperating with the outside professionals, the Bali Wedding Organizers and their couples.
Conrad Bali built its Infinity chapel together with the whole resort, so it is an integral part of the resort’s contemporary Balinese architecture. It is also the center piece in Conrad’s wedding venue portfolio and is complemented by their Water Garden, Floating Garden, and Beach Bale wedding venues. Infinity is another tent-like beach-side brick and glass construction, a style that seemed mandatory in many wedding buildings about a decade ago. Conrad’s weddings are certainly not within reach of everybody’s budget, but Conrad’s 5* service is worth the money.
This potent newcomer in the Bali hotel world offers basically two wedding venues: Its flagship Eternity is arguably the largest wedding building in Bali. But: Is it nice, charming, romantic? Hmm, probably not, but it is definitely big … Maybe Harmony at the lake does the trick? Again, very much depending on one’s taste. For the author of this article series Harmony is too dark and gloomy, rather hot, and not an AC in sight. But maybe The Mulia Bali does not target bule couples …
Small can be beautiful. St Regis proved that by introducing Cloud 9, one of Bali’s smaller wedding chapels, but nevertheless one of its most picturesque. A stone throw away from St Regis’ private beach and built like a little American church with a somewhat colonial interior, it is certainly different from the other occasionally futuristic wedding chapels, and has found its place in the Balinese wedding locations. At St Regis you need an even bigger bank account, but some of us seemingly have …
There are people who like the Bulgari’s black and dark brown architecture and interiors; admittedly the Wedding Planner isn’t one of them. Also, so far Bulgari has yet to build a real wedding chapel: Wedding ceremonies are currently conducted as Water Wedding on a stage over a larger pond – but unfortunately in full view of the near-by bar; on the private beach with limited guest attendance, at a Gazebo, and at a multifunction Pavilion. It is now heard, however, that Bulgari is planning to erect a “proper” wedding chapel – and that warms this author’s heart.
The complete opposite to Bulgari is the bright, sand-colored, minimalist, and very stylish Alila in Uluwatu. Their wedding venue, however, is nothing for the faint-hearted or vertigo-prone, since the Cabana hovers dramatically above the cliffs and allows spectacular sights (and feelings) while getting married. In times of rain Alila moves the ceremony to one of their elegant function rooms – one of them sporting church-like tainted windows. Truly intriguing.
One of the few Bali wedding chapels without the support of a big international brand name, and a stand-alone location. The Ritual is shaped in a stunning sails design and looks over Bali’s southern cliffs. Important: It also provides generous bridal suites, guest and day rooms, and a fully-fledged FB section. And: Absolute privacy.
“Words cannot adequately describe the feeling of Tirtha Bridal”, says the promotion text on Tirtha’s website. Well, let’s give it a try anyway : Tirtha is another independent wedding venue; it is in Japanese ownership – and it shows. Architecture, interior, and the ever-friendly Tirtha staff evoke a feeling of exotic difference. Tirtha is a truly stunning place with sometimes too narrow staircase steps and occasionally long ways, but the overall impression is amazing – not for everyone, but for many.
This resort’s mid-market wedding chapel ‘Blue Moon’ offers one of the most generous surroundings (think vibrant wedding party) and a spectacular view on the Indian Ocean. The building has seen better days but the management announces forthcoming renovations. Blue Moon’s Bridal Suites, however, can be evaluated as state-of-the-art. Good to know: Wedding Packages at BM usually include a complimentary 2-night stay at one of the resort’s villas.
Harris Bukit is the Harris Group’s first dedicated wedding chapel in Bali – and it is a pleasant addition to the growing range of Bali’s wedding venues. In the ever-so-popular tent design it is located right on the main building’s roof top with a 360° panoramic view over the Bali bay, truly spectacular: Get married and see the world. Although the resort is relatively new, it is obvious that its wedding department, under guidance of their GM Louis Poisson, know their stuff.
‘Tresna’ and Astina’ are the names of this legendary resort’s popular wedding chapels. Once being named ‘Best Wedding Venue in the World’ the chapels now unfortunately show some wear and tear. Ayana’s wedding coordinators, however, are ever attentive, helpful, and professional. Ayana (formerly Ritz Carlton) offers five more wedding locations on their grounds, among them an old Javanese Joglo, a traditional Balinese pavilion, and their Champa Garden. Something for everybody – with enough funds
There is just one proper wedding chapel in laid back and quiet Sanur – but it’s stunning.
THE DIAMOND BALI
“The World’s Most Spectacular Wedding Chapel” according to their promotion material; and if you walk by its 15m high filigree glass and steel diamond-shaped construction on Sanur’s beach promenade you may be inclined to agree. Located on the grounds of the Grand Bali Beach but owned and managed independently, The Diamond Bali has added an exclusive touch to Bali’s wedding locations: Three amazing bridal rooms, a separate beach lounge for the wedding guests and beautiful landscaped gardens make it one of Bali’s most favourable chapels among its international clients and wedding organizers – also because of its unforgettable dinner receptions and parties against the backdrop of this gigantic blue diamond.
TUBAN + SEMINYAK
Not everybody’s choice but definitely attractive for the couples whose bank accounts are not overflowing. The Japanese like its no-frills approach, and probably don’t mind the big diving pool right in front of the small chapel (seating capacity about 20 guests). Amanda could be called a one-stop wedding solution, since it also provides wedding dress and tuxedo rental at acceptable prices, and offers accommodation and tours around Bali through its attached travel agency.
Always a good choice. Built within the luxurious Kunja Villas, this glass chapel is set in a lovely garden scenery with suggestions of Balinese water terraces. Santi is a shielded and private venue, no public allowed: just the couple, the family, and the guests. And that makes Santi a perfect choice for the many lovers with alternative lifestyles – such as their community friends in New Zealand who finally can get married legally! You get it, don’t you?
Remark + Request: Until the end of 2011, believers of the two main Christian religions (Protestants and Catholics) were ‘the same’; at least when it came to celebrating your wedding in a Bali chapel. Not any more, my friends: As of last year and by order of the new bishop, Catholic couples cannot religiously marry in a wedding chapel anymore; they have to get wed in a Bali church. Hmm, churches as mandatory wedding venues? What happened to “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am in their midst” (Matthew 18:20), and its embedded meaning?
On behalf of all Bali Wedding Organizers, the Wedding Planner would herewith like to appeal to his Excellency the Bishop of Bali to revoke his 2011 decision and re-allow Catholic wedding ceremonies to be conducted also outside the Bali churches. Your Excellency, thank you very much in advance for taking our request into consideration.
This being said, let’s now take a look at two Bali catholic churches, not at all representative but unique, both of them, and in their special way.
ST FRANSISKUS XAVIER
Impressive church building located in Tuban South Kuta. It can seat up to a thousand visitors, and is in really good shape. Most Bali Wedding Organizers now work closely with Kuta FX, as it has re-branded itself, and the priests and admin workers are truly helpful.
Bali showcases the island’s religious tolerance and acceptance of cultural diversity with the Puja Mandala worship complex on Bukit Nusa Dua. It is home to a Protestant church, a mosque, a Buddhist temple, and a Catholic church – all on one compound! It is certainly a tourist attraction (fed on the ground-breaking ideas of former Tourist Minister Joop Ave) but it is also a place where followers of the above religions come together and celebrate Christmas, Waisak, and Idul Fitri. And their weddings. Puja Mandala, an amazing manifestation of Balinese open-mindedness.
Our next BRW Blog will provide comprehensive information on Bali’s Wedding Photo- and Video-graphers, Make Up Artists, Florists, and Wedding Choirs; we will also feature recommendable locations for your Wedding Reception, and point out which of the many Bali Wedding Organizers are trustworthy and capable.