Bali wedding ceremony at sunset

What to Wear to a Wedding in Bali

in Weddings by

The legendary romance of Bali has long seduced celebrities when it comes to staging Gatsby-like nuptials. Thus, the ‘Island of the Gods’ is now a celebrated wedding destination. Perhaps you have already received your invitation? But what to wear to a wedding in Bali?

Bali simmers with wedding fever all year round and being invited to such a joyous celebration is not only an honour and an opportunity for a superb vacation – it’s also the ultimate justification to slip into something sensational.

 

Bali Wedding guests at Pandawa Cliff Estate

WEDDING GUESTS AT PANDAWA CLIFF ESTATE - THE BUKIT, BALI

DESTINATION WEDDING

International weddings, Bali style, are often set on luscious green lawns flanked by tropical gardens or jungle – a horror for high heels; or on soft white sand – shocking for stilettos. Selecting the right footwear can be a challenge for Bali wedding guests. While barefoot beach brides are bound to raise a smile, guests are expected to be suitably shod.

Be sure that your outfit works with flats or low-slung sandals. Super-light silk resort styles are the perfect partner for sexy sandals in the sultry tropics.

Whatever the dress code, frocking up for a Bali wedding should be fun. Think shoestring straps and flowing maxi-dresses; black & white prints and halter necks. Floaty dresses in feather-light silk do well with a stretch cotton underdress to guard against humidity. Another sizzling look is a frilly off-the-shoulder top paired with loose linen trousers or a slender skirt. Classic cotton sundresses, aptly accessorized, are an elegant choice, while the fashion-forward jumpsuit (which American Vogue has tipped to conquer this season’s cocktail parties) works wonderfully at a Bali wedding.

 

Wedding guests in Bali

BALINESE DANCERS JOIN A PHOTO WITH THE WEDDING PARTY

BALINESE WEDDING

If the wedding is traditional Balinese style, be prepared for some striking surprises and be ready to push out your fashion boundaries. Selamat menempuh hidup baru - is the polite way to say congrats.

Indonesian’s adore dressing up so choose something spectacular, formal and traditional. Given the extraordinary outfit the bride will be wearing – complete with a massive golden crown - it will be impossible to outshine her. And expect to see the groom bedecked in an equally magnificent costume; draped with jewelry; face made up to perfection.

Female guests at Balinese weddings usually wear a traditional lace kebaya on top, which covers their shoulders and upper arms. This is paired with a colourful and coordinated sarong and sealed with a stunning golden brooch on a waist sash. This combination holds significant religious meaning; so if you’re going traditional, don’t mess with the ensemble.

Aiun in a pink kebaya at Bayu Gita Bali

AT HER PRE-WEDDING EVENT AT VILLA BAYU GITA, BEAUTIFUL BRIDE AYUN  WORE A PINK KEBAYA

While deeply traditional in style, the kebaya is nonetheless inspired by current trends; fabrics, colour combinations and cuts are constantly changing. The sharpest style for 2017 is a kebaya with a sheer nude-coloured mesh for the shoulders and décolletage that contrasts dazzlingly with brightly coloured lace for the body and sleeve trim. It delivers a slinky off the shoulder style without trespassing any tradition or crossing social boundaries.

While we’re on the subject, the Balinese kebaya code decrees ‘the tighter the better’! A corset is usually worn underneath the sheer lace so check out for the all-important lingerie.

Sarongs of all styles can be found in Seminyak on Jalan Double Six (which is also known as Jalan Arjuna) or visit Jalan Sulewesi, the famous street fabrics in Denpasar.

 

Ainun & Martyn Balinese wedding party

AYUN AND MARTYN'S FAMILY MATCHED TRADITIONAL SARONGS WITH WHITE TOPS

Male guests at a Balinese wedding will be presentable in a collared shirt – batik is best – paired with trousers or a muted sarong. The lighter the fabric the better.

To beat the heat, wedding guests should wear long hair pinned up; note that some salons are happy to send hair and makeup artists to your villa. And be sure to leave make-up until the last minute – certainly best after you are dressed.

Coolly and comfortably clad, you’re ready to celebrate the Big Day, Bali-style. Enjoy the wedding!

Ondy Sweeting is an international gipsy journalist who wines, dines, reads and writes relentlessly while looking after her clan of chickens, Bali dogs and herd of local cats.

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