Commitment Ceremonies (Non-Legal Weddings) in Bali

Previously, we discussed in detail the requirements and extra costs involved for a legal wedding in Bali.

This week, we are going to touch on the difference with commitment ceremonies and the pros and cons.

A commitment ceremony is a non-legal wedding ceremony which would be the same as a normal wedding except it will not be legally binding in your home country and you would arrange this side of things prior to coming to Bali.

These ceremonies are popular for couples wishing to renew their vows, same-sex couples, and couples who would prefer to sort the legal side out in their home country prior to coming to Bali so that it’s all done and they can enjoy their holiday and wedding without any hassles.

This type of ceremony can be a lot easier and less stressful to arrange due to many reasons which I will outline below –

1 – No paperwork required. With a legal ceremony, we require a few documents including passports, birth certificates, witness passports, certificate of no impediment from your embassies, divorce certificates (if applicable), church letters etc. With a commitment ceremony, none of that is required you just show up on the day and enjoy!

2 – Western/English speaking celebrant. With a legal wedding, there isn’t much choice as to who your minister or government official will be, yes they will speak English, but how good it will be can be quite up and down. Our minister and official for our wedding were quite hard to understand, which unfortunately made our vows not as special as we had to have them repeated a few times. With a commitment ceremony, we hand pick your celebrant and ensure they speak perfect English to make your ceremony perfect.

3 – No running around prior to the wedding. In addition to the paperwork, Bali Brides required you to put aside a day a minimum of 2 business days prior to your wedding so we can get your photos for your certificate and take you out to the Australian Embassy to apply for your CNI.

4 – No extra fees. With a legal wedding in Bali you need to fork out extra cash for a few things – certificate of no impediment (CNI) which is about $110 per person, the bride will also have to lodge and pay to change her name if she wishes to apply for a passport under her married name (which is not required if marrying in Australia legally).

5 – You know it’s done. Weddings give you a lot to do without having to run around prior to your wedding day to sort out last-minute things. In the unlikely event that something should go wrong prior to your days like Bali belly or anything that might prevent you from making your meeting at the embassy, at least you know you are legally married already. It has never happened to us yet but these meetings cannot be rescheduled so if you miss them, unfortunately, we cannot perform a legal wedding on the day.

6 – Only one ceremony. We mentioned in ur legal wedding blog post that for a legal wedding you effectively will have 2 ceremonies, one religious and a second one performed by a government official making it legal. With a commitment ceremony. you can completely choose your own text which is great for those who do not follow any religion, and you only have one ceremony and once it’s done you can celebrate!

If you do decide to have a commitment ceremony and save the hassle we have the pleasure of working in conjunction with some amazing celebrants in WA, QLD and SA and are looking for some in each state.

What this means for you is we can still arrange a complete legal wedding but you can do the legal side in Australia and then have your wedding and party in Bali. Our Bali celebrants can meet you at a restaurant or location of your choice including the airport which is much nicer than going the registry office.

So let’s weigh up the pros and cons:


– Easier to arrange.

– No paperwork needed.

– Less running around.

Western celebrant.

– Can be cheaper.

– Less hassle to change name.

– Only one ceremony

– Perfect for vow renewal and same sex couples.

– Help arranging legal side in Australia.


– 2 wedding dates, the date you legally marry and and the date have wedding.

To be honest, besides the above I cannot think of any other cons, a commitment ceremony really is a great option but here at Bali Brides we are here to help with all aspects of YOUR wedding so the choice is up to you.

For more info please contact us at – Tristan@

Please also see our amazing partner company – My Bali Celebrant 

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