Don’t. If you are thinking of dressing like a pair of Balinese newlyweds for a quick souvenir photo shoot, please, don’t. You will feel awkward dressing up this way for a photo session with no real meaning, in the back of a random photo store. And, sometimes, your make up and outfit will suck big time. Now, if you are going this way, take it in full stride. Get a Bali wedding ceremony in a real Bali royal palace, founded in the 17th century, with the royal family actually taking part into your wedding. Let the whole royal village dance elaborately for you, before and after a wonderful dinner. Celebrate with your family and friends in an unforgettable evening. Your money will also help ancient traditions stay alive, as the Kerambitan royal family painstakingly tries to maintain its own orchestra. Quite a few Bali wedding packages and photographes offer this option, at the Puri Anyar (“new temple”) of Kermabitan.
Imagine your Bali wedding at the royal palace
Your own royal Bali wedding. At night, a spectacular Balinese procession opens the way for you. Dozens of villagers hold torches along your way. The two of you, bride and groom are in the royal carriage. You are wearing royal Balinese dress – You changed earlier in the palace and had make up applied, with the help of the palace servants.
A troupe of traditional dancers, trained by the royal family, welcomes you in front of the royal palace. You enter the sacred main gate, the Kori Agung. The procession leads to the altar, where a traditional Balinese blessing ceremony is performed in your honor. Then, the head of the family, the Prince, comes to congratulate you and wish you marital happiness.
Your guests have a buffet dinner in the courtyard of the royal palace, while you go and greet them, one table after another. Then, after dinner, here comes the traditional Legong Dance, a show unique to the village of Kerambitan and saved from by the royal family. You are invited to join the joyful, flirtatious Joged dance. What an extraordinary evening.
Now, a quick word from me, a French guy who’s been to numerous chateaus in Europe: a Balinese royal palace has nothing to do with the chateaus of Louis XIV of France and of Ludwig II of Bavaria or with Buckingham Palace. Basically,it is a traditional Balinese house, but built on a much larger scale (30 royal buildings of all sizes in Kerambitan). Still, the paintings and the gilded décor do make the palace … royal, in a Balinese way.
If you are planning a wedding in Bali, with a lot of friends and family attending, this is a great option. Yes, it is expensive, but this is once in a lifetime. Now, in case you simply want to experience dinner at the Kerambitan palace, you can also simply attend to a Puri Night, where a group of tourists is feted with a royal reception. If there is just the 2 of you, it is probably the way to go. Contact the palace staff directly to know when is the next royal reception: email@example.com
Turning to the arts to revive the family’s fortunes
In a way, I am indirectly connected to the Kerambitan royal family. My nearby villa Bulung Daya sits on a cliff above one of the royal family’s temples/ The Bulung Daya temple, located right on the beach in our village of Antap, was built by the king a few generations ago to celebrate the good fortune of the family. The close-by Bulung Daya cave ( “was full of swallows, whose nest is considered a delicacy by the Chinsese.
Why does the royal family of Kermambitan open its royal grounds (“puri”) to tourists? Well, for the same reason that European aristocrats let your stay overnight in their château: they have lost the revenues that their lands used to gove them. And somebody has to pay for the new roof over the venerable mansion.
In the 1960’s, Indonesia went through a lot of turmoil. One of the results of this was land reform, where big swaths of lands formerly detained by big landowners were split up and given to local farmers. In Bali, this meant that royal families suddenly lost revenues and taxes. There is no way that they could still maintain their way of life and a lot of traditions had to shed, for better or worse. But this also meant that a royal family that of Kermambitan could not afford anymore t pay for elaborate ceremonies. Some art forms linked to such ceremonies, like orchestra and dance, were threatneded.
Joged, Tektekan and Legong, 3 spectacular Bali dances performed for you
In this type of Bali weddings, you are the heroes of a spectacular show. You will probably see three very famous Balinese dances performed in your honor:
– The Joged Bumbung dance, typical of the Tabanan area, is famous all over Indonesia. I call this the Ladies’ Night dance, as it is performed b young beautiful girls dancing with sensual and flirtatious gestures aimed at attracting the male spectators to join them on stage. Gamelan (bamboo xylophone) music is performed by the the palace orchestra.
– The Tektekan dance. The mystical trance dance is believed to have magical powers. It is a dance drama, with dancers and fabulous beasts. The royal tetekan orchestra plays on its bamboo instruments, while some dancers wear the famous giant wooden cowbells.
– The Legong dance is usually performed bu 3 young girls, orginally to entertain the king and the royal family.
Bali wedding package in Kerambitan
The Kermabitan Royal Palace at Puri Anyar has created the following Bali wedding package, which usually lasts 3 unforgettable hours:
- The Bride and Bridegroom arrive at another side of Puri Anyar Kerambitan
- Changing to Royal Balinese Dress
- The Bride and Bridegroom in spectacular procession going to the front side of Puri Anyar Kerambitan riding by Royal Carriage.
- Welcomed by welcoming dancer in front of the Palace & entering the Kori Agung (main gate) of the Palace proceed to the special altar.
- Traditional Balinese blessing ceremonies & Congratulation from the head family of Puri Anyar Kerambitan
- The Procession of Old Balinese Traditional Royal Dinner
- Buffet Dinner
- Attending Balinese Legong Dance
- The Bride and Bridegroom are kindly invited to dance with the dancers
Royal Carriage, Balinese Royal Wedding Dress, Make-up, Dinner, Soft drinks, Balinese Dances.
You may wonder what you are going to offer for dinner to your guests. Here’s a menu example from the palace:
- Welcome drink
- Brem Bali (Balinese rice wine) and crackers
- Chicken vegetable soup
- Main Courses
- Chicken satay
- Shrimp crackers
- Balinese grilled chicken
- Grilled fish sweet and sour sauce
- Kerambitan’s saffron yellow rice
- Green vegetables with soya sauce
- Steamed chopped fish covered by banana leaf with coconut milk
- Steamed chopped beef with egg
- Roasted pig
- Fried crabs with potatoes
- Balinese steamed rice
- Fried noodles
- Fish satay
- 4 kinds of fruits
- Balinese kue
- Black forest cake
- Fruit pie
More than one Bali wedding planner and organizer offers the Royal Reception package. I have listes a few here:
- Bali Melali Tours Travel, see Royal Wedding Package
- Kanabali Destinations Wedding, see Puri Agung Kerambitan wedding
- Exotic Bali Destination, see Royal Reception and Wedding
Bali wedding photographers
Bali wedding photography has become an industry of its own. Here are some of the most renowned Bali wedding photographers:
Among all the Bali weddings, choosing the Kermambitan royal palace is a memorable option. It’s grand, expensive, but unique. If you prefer a Bali villa wedding, in a smaller scale, you can contact me to see what other options are available.