My Dream Wedding

Again…this is a very late post(it took place in December 2015). At first, I wasn’t so sure whether to share about my wedding or not…but then since my blog is also part of my life, I think sharing a bit about my special day is okay.

First of all…my wedding isn’t like most Indonesian wedding reception. Far before I even had a dream of marrying someone, I already didn’t like Indonesian wedding. Typical Indonesian wedding is not a personal wedding, it’s always parents’ wedding. Every time I came to my friend’s wedding, I always see MORE parents’ friends than the couple’s friends…why? because wedding is the time for parents to invite their friends even though the couple don’t even know them.

Most Indonesian wedding reception will spent tens to hundreds of million rupiah. Extravagant party with the couple wearing traditional wedding dress sitting on a chair and stand up whenever a guest come to shake hand.

Copyright: Poetrafoto
Copyright: Poetrafoto (click on the picture to see the original pic)

You will just sit there throughout the reception while watching your friends laughing and having fun on the other side of the room.

As sign for people to know that there’s a wedding reception, Janur kuning is put/set in front of the street or the building used for the reception.

JIBI/Solopos/Reza Fitriyanto Pekerja memasang janur kuning di salah satu gang masuk kediaman Presiden Joko Widodo di Jl. Kutai Utara, Sumber, banjarsari, Solo, Selasa (9/6). Pemasangan janur kuning tersebut sebagai persiapan menyambut rangkaian acara pernikahan Gibran-Selvi yang mulai dilaksanakan pada Rabu (10/6).
JIBI/Solopos/Reza Fitriyanto

Well….I had none of that, because I never dream of having such boring wedding reception. It works for most Indonesian, they even dream of being on that stage like a one day princess. As for me, I always find American or European wedding reception more fun because we get to hang out with the guests, not only sit and watch all the people laughing from a far, I want to laugh together with them because my wedding will be my happiest day.

When we started dating, our mindset was already set for a long term relationship which was getting married. Dating for us was used to save money for our small wedding. I told him straight away that I don’t want extravagant wedding reception that will spent a lot of money. I want a very simple one with only family and close friends as the guests. I didn’t need the stage, the chair, the flowers, the janur and the traditional clothes…all I want was just family and close friends attending my akad and then we eat, talk and laugh together.

Akad is the most important part of getting married, it’s the time when penghulu (priest for Christian) helped my father to give me away to my husband. From movies, I saw the church weddingย  saying something like “Do you take this man/woman to be your loving husband/wife and so on” then the answer is “I do”

In Islam, it’s not like that. Under penghulu’s guidance, my father said ” …my husband name…bin (son of) … my father in law’s name … I marry off and I wed off my daughter … my name… to you, with the dowry ….., in cash” (this is called Ijab)

Then my future husband would say “I accept her marriage and wedding of ….my name… binti (daughter of) … my father’s name … with the dowry mentioned above in cash. (this is called Qabul)

They were doing it while holding each other right hand (like shaking hands) because it was a process of giving me away to my husband. Once the Ijab-Qabul had been said, we are automatically married according to Islam. But to make it official, we signed marriage books and some government papers with my younger brother and my husband’s in law as witnesses.


I never imagined that my father would cry when he gave me away. I thought I was the one who was going to cry. Seeing my father having hard time saying Ijab showed that no matter how old I am, I am still his little girl and to give me away to another man was a bit hard for him…even though he had been forcing me to get married since many years ago.

Once we were officially married, we had our small reception. It began with a small tradition in my husband’s place called Saweran. People, mostly kids and women, were gathering behind us trying to catch coins being thrown by my husband’s family.


After that, we had our lunch where we talked and laughed with family and close friends. I really enjoyed every minute of my wedding. I moved around talking and laughing…it was surely the kind of wedding I dream of.

My simple wedding didn’t cost much and that’s why we only need 3 months to save up. We didn’t use our parents money at all. AND we didn’t have to deal with all the fuss that most people feel when getting married. We didn’t worry about choosing the right wedding invitation or the right flower or the right catering or any other reception related things. We didn’t have anything to worry about.

After the wedding, we received a lot of questions “why didn’t you invite us?” … our answer was and still is very simple, because we didn’t have big reception, it was only akad and small gathering.

Typical Indonesian wedding reception invites hundreds to thousand of guests…while ours, probably less than 100.

My wedding definitely not the kind of wedding that most Indonesian women want to have, but for me it’s my dream wedding ๐Ÿ™‚


    1. Indeed ๐Ÿ™‚
      We were lucky because both of our parents agree with what we wanted. The problem with wedding is mostly with parents who want to have big wedding.

      Thank you again Bik ๐Ÿ™‚

  1. It sounds a little like my own. I tried to elope, but we asked my mother in law to be a witness at the courthouse when we did it. She told everyone on her side of the family so I ended up calling mine, and they all showed up. But we didn’t have to save up for it. I made the invitations myself – hand painted water color on computer printouts. We hosted the reception in our house. All it cost was the food. I even wore a hand-me-down dress.

    1. Thanks for the new term, I have to google hand-me-down dress to understand what it means.

      My dress was a rent dress (or is it a rental dress?). At first I wanted to sew or buy but then, it’ll be something I will never wear again and collecting dust in the cabinet…so we decided to rent one. What most important is the memory of that day.

      Same with me, in the end we only spent money for food and paying the government for the penghulu and the marital papers.

          1. Hand me down means that it was given to me after someone else had it.

            Actually, it was a bit more than that.

            My grandmother died two weeks before the wedding. I was afraid if I tried to change the date, then it wouldn’t take place at all. I found the dress in the back of the closet of the room in my grandmother’s house where I had always stayed. It turned out to be the one my grandmother had worn during my parent’s wedding.

  2. Very interesting to hear the details of your wedding! It sounds so much like the way Carolyn and I wanted things for ours too. Very small and very private with just the people who are closest to us both. Yours sounds very much like that in spirit. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I really like your dress! To me you look every bit the exotic beautiful princess on her special day. It’s so nice to see you enjoying your very own “tradition”! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. #highfive ๐Ÿ™‚

      I always think that private wedding is more memorable than huge wedding where we don’t know most of the guests.

      Aww..thank you Miyuki ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Oh so true, Novia. Me and my husband also want a simple and ‘sensible’ budget. But it was hard to ‘battle’ with the culture and also our relatives, also to simplify it. Indonesian typical weddings have so many additional culture that is not essential to a wedding. Like you said, ijab qabul is the most important.

    People was not happy when they didn’t get invited. But our goal was to be with our closest family and friends, and it did happen. Some people compliment our wedding for being intimate and was inspired.

    Congrats with your wedding and your baby. When is it due?

    1. We were fortunate because both of our parents agreed with our decision…but as you’ve said, the problem is with the relatives. Fortunately, I didn’t tell them anything until two weeks before the wedding so they couldn’t interfere with our wedding anymore. At that time, most of my relatives against the decision of doing the wedding in my husband’s place because to them it HAS to be in the bride’s place. My mom had passed away so I have no one to rely on if we were to do it at my place (I am not going to count on my aunties or other relatives) so we decided to do it at his place because he still has his mother to help around. And that decision was disagreed by most of my relatives.

      I can totally relate to you, that’s why I didn’t find it surprising when you suddenly got married.

      Thank you again…it has passed the due ๐Ÿ˜ฆ It was supposed to be on Oct 8. We will wait till Oct 12, if the baby is still not moving to the right path, then we will have a cesarean on Oct 15.

      1. Well, I don’t know the details, but if there’s no one to help to be held at your place,then your relatives should understand. Sometimes it’s just about ego.

        hope it all goes well and the baby is healthy!

  4. You did the right thing because the two of you and what you guys wanted is most important and you got your dream wedding. You look so happy!! I don’t think I’m one for a traditional wedding either, and I would go with something smaller and simpler or even just get married at the courthouse and skip the rest. I guess I just don’t know I’m not there yet . Some people like to have tons of guests and all these elaborate decorations but I think I would feel pretty self-conscious. My brother had a small wedding that was in a park in the woods with less than 10 people and then a picnic with food for those guests. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ I really like that coin tradition that is so cool. And it was thoughtful of you to explain the difference between the Christian and Muslim wedding so that people like me can understand it better๐Ÿ˜€

    1. I bet you will get your simple and private wedding one day if you fight for it, because sometimes it’s the relatives who are against such idea.

      I was very happy ๐Ÿ™‚ Your brother’s idea was also great, having a wedding in the wood will be very lovely.

      That was fun, the children are the ones who enjoy it the most ๐Ÿ˜‰

      I am glad you like that part. I have to include it because I know how different the two tradition are. Both have the same idea about fathers giving their daughter away but the wording are very different.

      1. Mhmmm, I loved it and it is interesting end especially so that our two countries (and/or religions for some) have that one part with the fathers in common.
        I have always wondered what the reaction would be if I was to say that my wedding was going to be private โ€ฆ I’m sure it would upset some people but I don’t think it is something I would want to compromise on. Your wedding looked so gorgeous though and that’s because you and your husband looked so sincerely happy and excited and you got it that way without spending a ton , that is inspirational โ€ฆ Even though you said you didn’t want to be up on stage looking royal I have to tell you that you really did look like a fairytale princess and absolutely gorgeous and glowing in the best way possible. Your make up and dress were amazing. Thanks for sharing the story!

        How are your turtles? ๐Ÿข

        1. Thank you for saying that ๐Ÿ™‚
          I was probably because after all these years i finally found the one ๐Ÿ˜‰

          The turtles are fine but the tanks are a bit dirty because I couldn’t clean it yet.

          1. It’s true… Your happiness from finally finding the one completely shines through. That just might be the best beauty “product”! And, glad the turtle friends are OK๐Ÿ˜ƒ

  5. It’s nice that you were able to have the type of wedding that you wanted, rather than having to have a more traditional one. And it sounds as if you really enjoyed it, which is as it should be. That last picture is really good.

    1. I really enjoyed it…I don’t think I would enjoy it that much if I was forced to have the traditional one because that kind of wedding is soooo boring.

      Thank you Peter ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I just realize this post after checking your reply in Anka’s post o_o

    In my opinion, it doesn’t really matter about the wedding reception. What’s matter is the life after that. Sometimes it’s kinda ironic to see people like celebrity, hosted a luxury wedding party, but ended up divorcing. So, small party or private one is ok. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    And agree with the parents’ wedding part. Mostly when I attend my Dad friend’s child wedding, I only care of the food. I don’t talk to anyone since I know nobody except my Dad.

    Again, congrats with the wedding (through it’s late and I had say that already in turtle post) and Anka!

    1. Yup…my husband and I also thought the same, after the wedding is more important than the wedding reception. We began from zero so we had to buy a lot of furniture. It’s a shame to waste money on the reception and ended up with an empty house. However, for me it’s more into I want to have a fun wedding not a showcase wedding. I want to laugh not just seeing people laugh.

      Thank you again Rita ๐Ÿ™‚

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