As the largest archipelago country in the world, Indonesia has been blessed with diverse cultures and traditions, which naturally result in a variety of wedding customs and rituals. Although such rituals remain important to this day, it does not mean that modern brides can't incorporate their own personality into a traditional wedding. Brides nowadays seem to have become more and more creative in combining contemporary styles and traditional customs, creating one-of-a-kind festivities.
On the slideshow below are 71 best Indonesian wedding moments taken during various stages of the happy occasion. As brief as they may be, these moments are what make a truly memorable celebration, don't you think? Slide through the photos and tell us your favorites in the comments section below. Did you spot yourself among the photos?
Pre-wedding photos are always a delightful sight. This one in particular features the iconic Abang-None look from Jakarta's native Betawi culture.
These traditional attires come from West Sumatra. Look at how vibrant the couple looks in black-and-red attires! Simply ravishing.
Even in a black-and-white photo, traditional attires will always stand out and make any couple look fabulous.
For a different approach, take some cues from this couple. Making use of tenun fabrics, the photo looks modern yet somewhat traditional at the same time.
Notice how this two made use of batik fabrics to incorporate just the right amount of traditional touch.
Lately, more couples have chosen vintage-inspired looks for their pre-wedding pictures. Neutral-colored attires and a washed color tone make this photo look so magical.
A sepia wash can make modern-day photos look as if they were taken right out of an antique photo album.
Inspired by classic Javanese portraits, this couple’s engagement photo looks so elegant and timeless.
Compared to regular bridal makeup, traditional Indonesian makeup is a lot more intricate and laden with meaning. The paes, a Javanese makeup placed near the hairline, is deemed so sacred that it must be done with absolute precision.
In fact, applying makeup on a traditional bride involves plenty of steps that it can involve several people aside from the main makeup artist.
And when everything is done, what’s left is a flawless complexion that will amaze the guests and of course, the groom.
Pictured above is a Javanese groom in his white beskap suit and batik, looking dapper as ever.
Here’s the complete set that includes the blangkon headdress and the keris ceremonial knife, both essential elements for a traditional Javanese groom.
For the traditional Indonesian bride, hair accessories have important meanings. Clusters of jasmine and jewel-crusted hairpins adorn the hair of Javanese brides.
In different regions, though, the headpiece can be very different. Larger in size and bolder in color, this Balinese headpiece creates a strong statement
This shot should not be missed when documenting a traditional wedding. Embroidered or beaded, red or white, your kebaya reflects your personality and will be admired by every guest on your wedding day.
An intricate kebaya looks so harmonious paired with traditional wedding accessories; like a match made in heaven.
Although it seems trivial, a manicure should not be missed as all eyes will lay upon the bride's wedding ring. This bride chooses 3D nail art and silver polish to complement her silver-beaded black kebaya.
Gold nail polish adorns this bride's fingers, which has such a fabulous wedding ring. A foolproof way to look elegant without overdoing it.
This bride chooses red nail polish to suit the already glamorous gold accessories and traditional dress.
Looking for something simpler? Trust us, a French manicure works every time
After all the preparation is finished, it’s time to strike a pose. We simply adore this bride’s black-and-gold kebaya that matches the gold headpiece,
And this bride’s softer look with a pink kebaya and silver headpiece.
This bride had a more festive look and all the gold accessories adorning her clothes, necklace, hair, and arms make her look so glamorous.
Don’t forget to take pictures with your traditional wedding decorations as Kirana Larasati did during her beautiful Minang wedding.
You are getting married to the love of your life, so couple shots are not to be missed. Take one before you head to the venue,
One right before you enter the reception site,
Another one as you walk into the party area,
And of course, one while you’re standing side by side at the stage. Your matching traditional attires will look great on these photos.
Another great thing about traditional Indonesian weddings, the bridal party can also get creative with their attires. These girls cleverly matched their purple dresses with brown batik, while still letting their own personality shine.
Meanwhile, this pack has a calmer color palette, mixing together light blue kebaya and light-colored batik fabrics.
For a thicker traditional feel, have your bridesmaids wear matching Javanese dodot attires like these lovely ladies did.
And when you’re all dressed to impress, strike a fancy pose to remember the day by.
Decorations are an indispensable part of any wedding, so make sure to have yours well captured. Incorporating jasmine and tuberose, this stage decoration stands out while looking so simple. The batik screens on the back also add a more traditional feel to the whole setting.
If you prefer richer colors, use a combination of red, gold, and marsala like this setup. Surely, it will evoke a royal atmosphere about the wedding.
Another beautiful décor inspiration for a Javanese wedding; those strands of hanging jasmine are simply to die for.
And finally, who can say no to all-gold wedding decorations adorned with colorful flowers? Just perfect.
Traditional Indonesian weddings have always had grand entrances. Many couples even have parades welcoming them to the reception hall.
The parade usually consists of traditional dancers who create a pathway for the newlyweds to walk through.
There is also the Pedang Pora ritual, which is done in military weddings.
Some couples are even paraded through the streets, along with traditional music players and dancers. Such a feast for the eyes.
Wedding rituals are the highlight of any Indonesian traditional wedding. Prior to the wedding, Javanese couples go through siraman, a bathing ritual that is believed to cleanse them before entering the sacred marriage.
Meanwhile, this ritual is called sawat gantal. In this procession, the couple throws betel leaves at each other, with the bride aiming for his feet as a sign of devotion, and the groom aiming for her chest to get her heart.
This one is called wiji dadi, in which the groom breaks an egg with his right foot, followed by the bride cleaning his feet. This represents a husband's readiness in becoming the head of the family as well as the wife's dedication to her husband.
Pictured above is kacar kucur. In this ritual, the groom pours uncooked rice and coins to signify that he will entrust all his belongings to his wife.
The wife, on the other hand, has to catch everything that her husband pours. Some say that if she spills, she won’t be thrifty in managing the household finance
Hand-feeding rituals are also common in Indonesian weddings. Some require the couple to feed each other,
While other cultures require the couple to be fed by their parents.
To close the wedding rituals, the bride and groom serve tea to each other and drink it together.
Meanwhile, there is a procession called mangulosi in Batak culture. In this procession, elders of the family wrap ulos fabric around the bride and groom to tighten their emotional bond.
In every wedding, parents of both the bride and groom play important roles.
Which is understandable, since they will remain an important part in the couple’s life as well.
Javanese weddings have a custom called sungkem, in which the bride and groom bow before their parents’ feet, asking forgiveness for past mistakes and blessings for married life.
To us, it is one of the most moving moments in any wedding,
That it is rather impossible to not shed a tear.
It is one moment you don’t want to ever miss on your wedding day.
After the seemingly endless anticipation, the day has finally come. Let loose and dance the night away. Do a little twirl like this couple did here,
Or perform your culture’s traditional dance together!
Throw all your cares away and have some fun!
Don’t forget to smile and enjoy your once-in-a-lifetime moments.
For when you and your partner look happy dancing,
All your guests will be delighted to tag along on the dance floor.
Not in the mood for dancing? Hiring professional dancers would be a great idea as well!
But of course between all those moments, the ones you share with your spouse are the ones you will remember the most.
Smiling happily during the exchange of rings,
Posing together after being officially announced as husband and wife,
Or simply sharing the look of love.
We dare to say that the beauty of traditional Indonesian weddings,
Have simply completed all of these moments.
They are all perfect and we wouldn’t have them any other way.
There you have it, our favorite moments from traditional Indonesian weddings. Do tell us about your favorite ones in the comments section below!