5 amazing Bali elopements + tips to plan your own
After seeing a slew of incredible Bali elopements, like this remote waterfall ceremony + other dreamy weddings there the past few months, we knew we needed to get a proper Bali elopement guide up for all you in planning mode. Lucky for us, the team at Wed Bali and photographer Maria Shiriaeva have no shortage of experience with intimate elopements on this incredible island, from cliffside ceremonies to the best waterfalls and so much more. Keep reading for their top 5 Bali elopements and be sure to save this post for the tips to plan your own:
1. Sarah + So. The oceanside location of Balangan Cliff is one of the most iconic in Bali. Couples rent the area for the ceremony, but the surrounding spots are open to the public. It’s a popular spot if you’re dreaming up a sunset elopement, and the area is perfect for building a gorgeous arch overlooking the ocean.
Maria tells us that this location is just as beautiful at sunrise. She recommends choosing the early morning to avoid all the tourist activity and capture great light.
The perfect place for cliff and beach portraits. Make sure you opt for a dress with lots of moment so you can explore easily and capture the natural flow of the fabric.
2. Hitesh + Vanessa. There are several waterfall locations in Bali to choose from, and Nung Nung is the biggest one to hold a ceremony at. Wed Bali was the first to produce ceremonies in this location, so they’re the experts on the subject: It’s a 15 minute walk down from the parking lot to the area, so they encourage brides to switch shoes and possibly even bring the dress down and change upon arrival. The actual ceremony location is quite small, so this is ideal for an elopement between just the couple and not additional guests.
Such stunning detail on this dress, don’t you think? And for hair + makeup, the team recommends keeping in mind that it can get quite misty next to the waterfalls, especially Nung Nung.
Being such a lush, natural location, this spot is not as easy to decorate. Your planners can adorn the ceremony arch with different flowers, but there isn’t as much versatility with what you can bring to the site. But we mean… less is more when it comes to a waterfall elopement, right?!
3. Daniel + Leslie. Another option for a waterfall ceremony in Bali is the Tibumana waterfall. It’s a lot easier to get to than the previous one—a quick five minute walk down and you’re there. The flat terrain allows for more options with your decor and ceremony arch, and there’s less mist from the waterfall to worry about.
There’s also a bamboo bridge near the waterfall which is a popular portrait spot!
If you’re planning to have a few guests at your elopement, this is the waterfall spot to choose. The area is large enough to bring in some chairs, and even a little spot for dessert.
Wondering about timing? When it comes to waterfall locations all of them are in the Ubud area, and all Wed Bali’s ceremonies take place in the early morning. Ceremonies around 8am are one of the few times you can have a private ceremony here, otherwise it’s frequented by tourists.
Maria’s photography tips…
My advice is to find a beautiful place to stay before the ceremony in Ubud. It doesn’t have to be a luxury villa or hotel. One of our couples found very unusual houses with a beautiful surrounding area. It is important to think about shooting the getting ready part. This is not just a closed room, so we can make really interesting pictures. This is a reportage-style shoot that takes a little time. After that, we can go to the rice terraces by dawn before the ceremony and shoot a little there.
I focus on an individual approach so after the ceremony the couple chooses where they would like to go to shoot next. Along the way, we can stop in some interesting locations and shoot a little. Bali is diverse with its locations and that is why shoots are always different and there is always a choice.
4. Vitaliy + Ylia. These two also chose to have a waterfall ceremony, but they also enlisted Maria for portraits at the lake. Something to keep in mind about the lakes are that they are in the center of the island and take the most time to get to. It’s also possible to have a ceremony there, if you want something more remote (and minimal in terms of decor, as you have to put it on a raft!).
5. Anton + Aleksandra. A + A’s wedding ceremony also took place at the Nung Nung waterfall, along with portraits deep in the forest.
If you’re not so sure about the idea of a morning elopement, keep in mind that in Bali the sunrises are *amazing*. You can truly capture the best light just as the sun comes up.
In my opinion, the most important thing for a couple is to understand which place suits them best in its atmosphere. Choose a place that means something to you. For example, couples who care about the breathtaking view and the ocean as a symbol choose the cliff. If a couple wants to stand out and for them Bali is an exotic island with volcanoes they can choose a beach with black volcanic sand or go to a volcano. Bali is a huge and diverse island. Therefore, the couple can spend the wedding day after the ceremony in an adventure around the island.
Bali is not only nature, it is the people who live there, it is a beautiful authentic village. Balinese people are wonderful craftsmen, they make very beautiful things. And such places create an unusual background and unique photos.
Their #1 tip? Comfort! Bali is an incredible and wild place. If you’re choosing an adventurous elopement, always have comfort in mind. From waterfall mist to humidity to heat to untouched terrain, Bali is full of surprises and if you have comfort in mind you’ll have a better time exploring the island. Not to mention how much happier you’ll look in those photos!
The private Candidasa cliff, beach weddings, and this remote waterfall are additional options for a Bali wedding.