Destination Wedding in Bali. Too Far for Relatives?

posted 1 year ago in Destination Weddings
Post # 46
37 posts

Bali is AMAZING (as is most of the Pacific), and you will definitely have a beautiful and memorable wedding there, but I would be really surprised if you have 40 guests in attendance from the U.S. and France, since that’s a pretty long trip from both countries. I personally love to travel, especially in that part of the world, and am in a position financially/with work obligations/etc. to take international trips with some planning, and I still probably wouldn’t use that much vacation time for a wedding unless it was my mom’s, my brother’s or my very best friend’s. 

That said, you and your fiancé should just make sure you know if there are any guests who it would be dealbreakers not to have in attendance and discuss with them in advance. You can always do post-wedding celebrations with friends and family in the U.S. and France to enjoy time with those who aren’t able to commit to Bali. 

Hope you have an amazing wedding!!

Post # 47
37 posts

Follow-up comment 😊 I think some of the feedback here has been a little harsh towards you. With family and friends  in two countries, there’s no solution that everyone will be happy with, and I would definitely go the route you and your fiancé are exploring of having some kind of destination wedding both to enjoy my wedding in an amazing place and to prevent anyone from one side from complaining about having to travel when the other side didn’t. 

I do think that you’re trying to be considerate of your guests by looking for ways to remove some of the burden of the trip where you can, and I think you genuinely understand that some might not be able to make it work and some might not attend because they have other priorities. I personally don’t think you should worry about anyone choosing to attend and resenting you for it. They are all adults who can make their own decisions and should be managing their own time and finances, and it would be unfair to put guilt for their decisions on you or anyone else. 

Again, hope you have an amazing wedding wherever it ends up being & hope you also have a great trip in Bali sometime 😊

Post # 48
1555 posts
Bumble bee

I live a three hour flight away from Bali, in Australia, and I have flown to Europe and USA a few times. The journey is horrible. The route to the US is worse, in terms of jet lag and flight duration. There is no way I would do this trip for a wedding, no matter how much I cared about the person, sorry bee. I think it is too much to ask of your guests. If you are deadset on Bali then elope, and celebrate with family and friends after.

Post # 49
4532 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

beeeyonce144444 :  As a long time Bali traveller I’ve noticed that prices there have jumped a lot. The Ritz is also in the more expensive gated are of Nusa Dua. A normal room goes for AU$400 a night. I’ve stayed at the Ritz. Cocktails, food etc are expensive in comparison to other hotels in greater Bali but are pretty reflective of the prices of hotels in nusa dua.

I’d seriously think about this as being a good idea, if you want people to come to your wedding. 

Bali has gotten really expensive for food and accommodation. Its lovely but it’s also not that exotic and the sea doesn’t look as good as it does in the brochures!   If you are looking for a similar resort vibe kind of place with nice weather that isn’t as expensive, look into phuket or koh samui in Thailand. Accommodation and food, drinks, activities are cheaper than Bali. Its also cheaper for flights as most countries have direct flights to Bangkok and its easy to get  cheap connecting flights to phuket from there.

With Indonesia, a lot of countries do not have direct flights to Jakarta or Surabaya. So most people would have to fly to bigger airports in Asia then catch a flight to Jakarta or Surabaya then get a flight to Bali. That adds an extra leg to your flight and more cost.

Have your wedding where you want but don’t be aware many may find a destination wedding prohibitive by way of cost and may not come.


Post # 50
184 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

I have no issues with couples who decide to have a destination wedding. Just make sure that you don’t take it against your guests if they say that they can’t come.

Post # 51
948 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

A lot of people are funny about destination weddings but you know what, it’s an invite, not a summons. If I got invited somewhere re that I thought was too far, expensive, dangerous etc I would just politely decline and offer to take the couple out for dinner next time we catch up.

In 20 years the only person that will ever think of your wedding is you so do what will make you happy. As long as you don’t make people feel bad for not going or end up secretly offended if 3 people attend. That’s part of the risk. However if guests ARE important than you have to compromise and go somewhere more convenient. 

Post # 52
8450 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

beeeyonce144444 :  

No matter how good a place for a holiday you think it is ( and it is, it’s lovely ) it is always risky to imagine everybody else wants  to go there and at the time  you want to  – even with your generous  plans . 

Go there for a wonderful honeymoon, and have your wedding at whoever lives in the easiest to get to’s town at home. 

ETA just took in this (and sort of dont mind if no one comes to the wedding hahaha.) If that the case , fine , though that doesn’t stop people feeling disappointed they couldn’t   go, or resentful they ‘had to ‘ as close family members can do . I did, even for a beloved  close family member , as I really,  really didn’t  want to go to the place of their choice,  using up my own holiday time and money. I know a  wedding invitation isnt’ a summons, but a decline can be very problematic – long term too .

Post # 54
119 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2019

beeeyonce144444 :  First of all, congrats on your engagement bee! It’s an exciting time, and I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying the planning process so far 🙂

I actually attended a Destination Wedding in Bali a few years back (I live in the US) and it was absolutely BEAUTIFUL. The couple had rented out an entire resort (boutique villa right by the ocean) and the guests were welcomed with never-ending courses of meals, drinks, local artists’ performance, and even a firework show!! Like you, the couple had offered to pay for guests accomodation (3 nights to be exact, and came with daily breakfast). It was no brainer for me to attend this wedding, because:

1) At the time I was working for a company that gave out 5 weeks of paid vacation/year. 

2) I LOVE to travel and typically plan at least 1 international destionation every year. I hadn’t been to Bali yet at the time of invitation, and with advanced notice I had plenty of time to plan and make their Destination Wedding a part of my bigger vacation (their generous offer to cover 3 nights stay in Bali helped too, of course!) 

3) The couple had also planned a ton of activities on days leading up to the wedding (welcome dinner, city excursions, etc) and arranged for shuttle to take guests from and back, basically coordinated the logistics well and it was no stress.


With that being said, I recently had to send my regret to another Destination Wedding invite to Thailand. I received the invitation right after starting a new job, and the date of the wedding would’ve fallen right on the 6 month mark from starting the job. 

1) I was now working with only 3.5 weeks of paid vacations a year, and I already blew through it with just the trips that were booked PRIOR to starting the new job.

2) Technically I could’ve still made it work if I pushed since the wedding date fell on the next calendar year. BUT I felt it was too early in the new job to assess how acceptable it is to take 1-2 weeks of vacation during that time (my job is highly cyclical). I also didn’t want to potentially give my new peers the wrong impression by being gone super often. Turned out it would’ve been just fine, but I didn’t want to risk it. 

3) I’ve also already been to Thailand before, but I guess that doesn’t matter since I would go back in a heartbeat if it worked out with my job.

I felt really bad turning down that invitation but I did go to her Bachelorette in Vegas and sent a nice wedding gift. She had a stunning wedding from all the pictures and videos I saw, and still had a pretty good turn out in the end. 


BOTTOM LINE: You know your friends/family’s situation the best. If I were you I would just talk to them/survey the crowd and see what’s the best solution for you guys. Good luck bee!


ETA: FWIW my circle is pretty Destination Wedding friendly – some of my friends were even disappointed when they found out I would be hosting mine local LOL. So I was actually surprised when I first found out that the general consensus on the Bee is anti-DW. 

Post # 55
119 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2019

 Here are pics from the wedding in Bali. 


Post # 59
958 posts
Busy bee

beeeyonce144444 :  lovely dream… Have you spoken to the VIPs whom you really really want to be there with you? What is the age group you’re looking at? For those flying out from Paris, it’s probably a flight or two away, 15hrs flight max, or less than 24 hrs with transfer time. For those in US, I think it’d be multiple flights, both domestic and international, to make it to Bali. I’m from Malaysia, and I couldn’t even think about the flights and transfer time involved just to fly back home for a visit. Skyscanner suggested ~30 hours of travel time via Chicago O’Hare airport and the cheapest would cost ~$600. That’s off-peak price. Summer price would increase tremendously. Both from Europe and US to Asia. It’s something to consider especially if there are elderlies involved in the wedding. Flying is exhausting, especially if there are multiple transfers involved. I’m unsure if you can get 50 people to agree to fly out, unless you are paying for their flights. So yeah, you might be super wealthy and your friends and families can afford to buy the tickets without a dent to their savings. Then it’s definitely ok to do it there! Keep us updated! All the best!

Post # 60
6771 posts
Busy Beekeeper

beeeyonce144444 :  If i have a Paris wedding, they will pay more because the cost of living here is a hell of a lot more expensive than the cost of living in Bali. 

The costs aren’t just $$–for a lot of people time is an even bigger issue. A 7-10 hour flight to Paris is a huge cry from a 22-24 hour flight to Bali. It would be hard for me to get my Fiance to Bali just because of the length of the flight–unless you have time to spend at the destination once you get there and time to deal with jet lag when you get home it’s not worth it. Imagine your guests flying to Bali, staying for 2-3 days, and then flying home. It’s an expensive trip to give up the year’s vacation time for a couple of days. 

I believe some of the responses you are getting are based upon expecting 40/70 to attend and some are based upon past destination wedding posts by brides disappointed that they gave their guests a year to plan and they all said they wanted to attend and she’s crushed and angry that they didn’t/couldn’t, and she needs to find new friends/family.

The idea of a destination wedding is fun–of course I’d love to go to Bali or Paris. But life happens–people lose their jobs, need a new roof, decide a new car is money better spent, can’t take that much time off, decide to TTC or become pregnant, develop travel anxiety–just because people say a year out they would love to be there doesn’t mean it’s something they can actually prioritize when it comes time to commit. 

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