Indonesia has some very curious and unique wedding traditions. Indonesian brides are expected to show off at their wedding, so their parents often spend a fortune to prepare for the event. The gold jewelry and bridal headpieces worn by the local brides are usually passed down through several generations. Maybe some of the wedding traditions you’ll read about below appeared because Indonesia is a rather poor country, so they try to organize grand weddings for their children to make them feel rich and famed at least this one time in their life.
So, here are some of the most well-known Indonesian wedding traditions.
Obligatory adornments of the bridal attire
In Indonesia, there are several key pieces that traditionally should be present in the wedding apparel of every bride. They are lace, gold, diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and leather. In this country, people love gold and gems and aren’t afraid to show off.
Traditional wedding dress of Hindu bride and groom. Bali, Indonesia. Photo from Wikipedia.org
Number of wedding guests
Indonesian weddings are known for their large numbers of wedding guests. People invite practically everybody they know, even if they’re not too close. Unlike American or European weddings, Indonesian marriage ceremonies and parties are populous. There can be hundreds of guests, not only the closest friends and relatives. And actually, this can be easily explained – this country lives in poverty and such grand weddings, where there is plenty of food, help a lot of people survive. So, this tradition also survives throughout decades and centuries.
Formal clothing of wedding guests
The female guests at Indonesian weddings usually wear pretty cocktail gowns. But the male guests have two choices – a Western-style formal suit or a national costume, and they often opt for the latter. The traditional formal men’s outfit in Indonesia includes a long-sleeved batik (special shirt made from hand-dyed batik fabric) and a sarong (skirt-like garment, like a wrap-around skirt used by men). The local men honor their folk costume very much and, even in the 21st century, continue to wear it for special occasions.
Indonesian batik shirts
Unusual wedding invitations
There is a very fine Indonesian tradition – to send food invitations to a wedding. Of course, it depends on the family’s income level, but wealthier couples (or more accurate – couple’s parents) traditionally prepare food invitations for their guests. They send not only just cards with an invitation but also bundles of delicacies or snacks to show respect to future wedding guests.
In general, a lot of Indonesian wedding traditions and rituals are connected with food.
In the past, the wedding guests often brought flowers to congratulate the bride and groom. They were left outside the ceremony and were considered a wedding gift. But today, people usually bring both flowers and a real present for the newlyweds. Yay for the bride and groom!