This edition of the Bali Exclusive Wedding blog focuses on the legal requirements of getting married in Bali and how to get your marriage recognized back in your home country. Taking into account the legal complexities of legal marriage in Indonesia, some 30-40% of foreign couples opt for a non-binding wedding ceremony in Bail and then register their marriage legally in their home countries.
Applicable Indonesian marriage laws:
Please keep the following guidelines in mind if you are planning on becoming legally married in Indonesia.
– In general, both a religious and civil wedding ceremony are required.
– You and your spouse must “declare” the same religion.
– Indonesia recognizes five legal religions: Islam, Christianity (Protestant and Catholic), Hinduism, Buddhism.
– Both the religious and civil ceremonies must take place at the same place on the same day.
– The religious wedding ceremonies can take place nearly anywhere. Under the Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and Protestant faiths, your wedding ceremony may be held at a private residence or villa, a resort, on a beach or at one of Bali’s specialty wedding venues.
Muslim Marriage, special considerations:
- Marriages under Islam are not required to take place in a mosque.
- Muslim marriages are also automatically recognized by the government, precluding the necessity of a civil ceremony.
- The religious ceremony is conducted by an official from Indonesia’s Office of Religious Affairs.
- Participation in a Muslim wedding requires parties to provide proof of their faith.
Catholic Marriage, special considerations:
- Catholic marriage services must be conducted in a recognized Catholic church..
- Bali does have a few of these in Kuta and Nusa Dua.
- Your wedding reception may be celebrated nearly anywhere.
Civil Registry Office: ‘Notice of Intention to marry’
- Non-Muslims are required to file a formal “notice of intention to marry.”
- This notice may be filed a the Civil Registry Office where the wedding party is staying in Bali.
Several documents are required for this filing, including:
- Passports, if foreign citizens
- Certified birth certificates
- Certified divorce decrees or death certificates to prove the legal termination of any prior marriages, if any.
- Four 4cm by 6cm photos, with both partners side by side, bride on right hand side. Please note that bare shoulders are inappropriate.
- Important: all foreign citizens looking to be legally married in Bali are required to secure and present a “Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage” from their Consular Representative for Indonesia
Several conditions should also be noted:
Foreigners’ passports must have forward validity for a minimum of 60 days from the date of entering Indonesia.
Certain citizenship’s require a valid visa to visit Indonesia. Check with your consulate or embassy to be sure.
Birth Certificates must be copies which are legalized by the foreign national’s embassy in Indonesia.
Formal declaration of legal marital status.
If the couple is Protestant Christian and wishes to be married in an affiliated church in Indonesia, they will need a letter from their own church confirming membership. If you plan to have your wedding in a Bali villa, resort, non-denominational chapel, beach, etc… then this requirement does not apply.
More about the Certificate of non-Impediment
Not every country has a consulate here in Bali. It may be necessary to procure your Certificate of No Impediment at your embassy in Jakarta. If you are currently located in your home country, you can usually get this certificate from your Home Affairs or similar Civil Registry office. The United States Government does not provide Certificates of No Impediment because marriages are recorded on a state-by-state basis. The US Consulate in Bali can provide you with an official letter stating this.
Organizing your dream wedding in Bali is easy, but becoming legally married in the process does have some additional steps. Our expert wedding planner team here at Bali Exclusive Wedding is happy to help you learn more. Please contact us today with any questions you may have about getting married in Bali.