Getting married in Bali

The business of high-cost nuptial ceremonies has excellent growth prospects in Indonesia.

At least for marriages among foreigners.

Indeed, the tropical resort island of Bali is Southeast Asia's leading marriage and honeymoon spot. Most foreigners who go there to be married are from neighboring Australia; but the island also attracts couples from the world over.

Among Westerners to get married in Bali, Rolling Stones legend Mick Jagger must be the most famous example. He married model Jerry Hall there on 21 November 1990, in a spectacular Hindu ceremony.

But while it may seem romantic to get married in a place like Bali, what most foreigners don’t realize is that the marriage certificate might not be worth more than the paper it is printed on.

Which was, fortunately as it turned out, the case for Mick Jagger, as his “marriage” with Jerry went sour and the leggy American tried to screw the poor Brit for everything she could get. (She may have argued that Jagger had previously only wanted to screw her for everything he could get, but hey what do you expect if you “marry” one of the world’s greatest rockstars?)

Anyway, according to an authority on oversees weddings, “Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall's "marriage" was annulled because their 1990 Hindu wedding in Bali was not recognized in English law”.

But I’m sure Jerry Hall isn’t the only foreigner to think they’ve been married in Bali - or for that case Indonesia.

You may think you’ve been married, but if you’ve only done the religious part, and the extremely complex bureaucratic procedures – including notification of your own country via your Consulate – haven’t been followed through exactly to the book then technically you aren’t married.

And do you really trust that Balinese “marriage” company to bother with all that paperwork?

But does it really matter anyway? After all, marriage is more of a state of mind than just a piece of paper, surely?

So be warned. Don’t bother coming to Indonesia to get married.

Just come for the honeymoon…
Judging by the photos above, I’d say that Jagger got the better end of the deal in their “marriage”. And he didn’t even have to pay her off to get rid of her. Lucky old Jagger!

NB: The lead singer of the Indonesian band
The Upstairs bears an uncanny resemblance to the great Mr Big Lips when he was still young. And I bet he’s looking for a lass with Jerry Hall looks as well…


  1. i got married in bali and it is legal and recognised by the australian government. Get married in bali it is the most amazing experience, i dont think people should be detered from an amazing experience due to a few people too slack to have there marriage legalised, i had to go to the australian consulate in indonesia and it took and hour and had to have an extra 5 minutes on my wonderful ceremony to complete legal requirements. well well worht the fantastic experience i recieved.


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