October 25, 2022  •  6min read

What to Wear to a Bali Wedding – A Guideline for Guests

dress code wedding bali

Bali’s legendary romance has been seducing celebrities by staging Gatsby-like weddings. Perhaps you’ve received an invitation? Have you selected your attire? What should you wear to a Bali wedding as a guest?

Bali is blessed with wedding fever all year round. And being invited to a joyous ceremony offers the honor and opportunity for an unforgettable vacation and the ultimate justification to get into something sensational. 

Here are the basic attributes we consider wearing for your wedding invitation to the “Island of the Gods.”

What we wear to Bali Wedding


International Bali-style weddings are usually on luscious green lawns with tropical gardens or jungle or soft sandy beaches. Barefoot brides tend to raise a smile, but guests are also expected to dress appropriately. Choosing the proper footwear can be challenging. Choose flat materials that won’t get destroyed in water or sand. Add tie-ups that add another layer of glamor.

The worst mistake any guest can make for a wedding in Bali is to wear heels at a beach wedding. Even though heels will make you look like a superstar, walking on them in the sand is a recipe for disaster. This is why we highly recommend choosing a pair of stylish wedding flat shoes, as they are also ideal for the bridal party that will keep you comfy throughout the day. However, if you want to add height to your shoes, wedges are also the perfect alternative to heels. For men, we recommend wearing shoes that don’t need a pair of socks.

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Weather-Appropriate Fabric

Pick a wedding outfit made of light and breathable fabrics like cotton, mesh, or linen so you can comfortably be in the moment with your family and friends. The tropics can get a little humid, so make sure to choose natural fabrics that won’t let you bathe in sweat during the wedding ceremony. 

For the best accessories, you can wear a hat for a beach wedding, which doesn’t only enhance your look, but also protects you from the sun. Avoid any dull colors, especially black. Also, we recommend picking sleeveless or short sleeve outfits for both men and women. If you forgot to take your hat, remember to put on sunscreen.

Styles and Cuts 

Make sure your attire goes well with wedges, low-slung sandals, flats, or loafers for men. We recommend using neutral shades with floral designs for the colors and patterns. Extra-light resort-style dresses made of silk are the perfect partners for sexy slops in the hot tropics. 

If the wedding theme is more formal, wearing suits and ties is still possible, even for a beach-themed wedding. However, it’s still best to stick to neutral colors like gray, khaki or brown, as these are beach appropriate. For the ladies, choose long dresses and gowns with flat shoes or wedges. Choose outfits made from the lightest material, even for formal beach weddings, while ensuring it’s not overly casual. 

Ideas for Couples Attending a Wedding in Bali 

Whatever the wedding dress code is, frocking up for an unforgettable wedding in Bali should be enjoyable. We have a few recommendations on what you should wear to a Bali wedding as a guest. For the ladies, think of flowing maxi and chiffon dresses with shoestring straps, classic cotton sundresses and halter necks with open-backs. For the gents, wear seersucker suits of pastel, light, or navy shades with patterned or plain button-down shirts with chinos, linen pants, or smart trousers. Unless the couple has requested an al-white event, ladies should avoid any garments in white, cream or ivory. 

Even if the bride has a laid-back personality, other attending guests will be aware of this wedding etiquette and disapprove of it. The wedding couple must notify their guests of the event’s ground surface, especially if the reception or ceremony will be at a grass, sand or villa setting. 

Traditional Balinese wedding outfits

If you’re invited to a traditional Bali wedding and confused about what to wear as a guest, be prepared to be surprised, as you’ll need to push out your fashion boundaries a little. “Selamat menempuh hidup baru”, or “Dumogi langgeng rawikesan” is the Balinese way to say congrats on their wedding. 

Indonesians love to dress up. So choose something extraordinary, whether it’s traditional or formal attire. Due to the bride’s remarkable outfit, you can also expect the groom to wear an equally marvelous costume covered with jewelry and a face made into perfection. 

The Kebaya

Female guests at traditional weddings in Bali usually wear a lace kebaya as their top, which covers their upper area and shoulders. They pair it with a matching and colorful sarong and seal it with a gorgeous golden brooch on a waist sash. This combination symbolizes a crucial religious meaning, so if you want to pull off the traditional wear, don’t mess with the existing ensemble.

The kebaya is both traditional and modern that’s inspired by current trends with color combinations, fabrics and cuts that are continuously changing. It’s generally made from lace brocade that follows a floral pattern. However, the styles and designs of kebayas may have changed over time due to other cultures’ influence. It’s iconic clothing that can have a plain or unique design in colorful shades that matches the embroidery pattern. The kebaya can also be intricately detailed and hand-beaded, especially in a traditional Bali wedding dress

While we’re still on the kebaya subject, these traditional outfits have a code: “the tighter, the better!” The woman wears a corset undergarment under the sheer lace. You can find sarongs anywhere in Bali’s markets. You can find them in Seminyak on Jalan Double Six (known as Jalan Arjuna), Jalan Sulawesi, or Denpasar’s famous street or fabrics. 

Batik and Sarong of Indonesia

The gents at a Bali wedding are expected to wear a collared shirt. We recommend Indonesian batik paired with trousers or a muted sarong. Remember to choose lighter fabrics to keep comfortable. 

Bali’s heat can get intense, so to beat the heat, the ladies should get their long hair pinned up. You can find salons and barbers who will be happy to send hair and makeup artists to your wedding venue or villa. Lastly, make sure to leave make-up to the last minute, as it’s undoubtedly best to do it after you get dressed.

After you’re all stylish and comfortably clad, you’re ready to join and celebrate the big day, Bali style. Remember to enjoy the wedding! Whether you’re a guest or looking to get married in Bali, make sure to visit Bali Wedding’s blog page for tips on weddings on the island of the Gods.

Guntur author at Bali Wedding
Guntur has been writing tips and tricks for weddings in Bali since 2020. He has written everything from preparing a pre-wedding in Bali to the best wedding dress and makeup you should choose for a wedding in paradise.

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