Our editor Noel's wedding story started two years before her wedding day. "The proposal was nothing grand. We talked about getting married in our second year of dating, but I asked him to wait for a year or two because I thought I was too young at the time. And somehow in our fourth year, which was 2015, I was ready. So I gave him a go and jokingly dared him to go ask my dad for permission. On my 25th birthday, we had dinner with my parents and he did ask my parents for their blessing, and the rest is history," she said.
The couple decided to embrace their cultural roots by having a traditional Javanese wedding, something that Noel had always dreamed of. Dosir also wanted their wedding to be not too formal, and preferably held outdoors. When Noel's father proposed the idea of getting married in Jogja, a city known for its Javanese culture and laid-back atmosphere, the two happily agreed. "The city also has a strong sense of familiarity and historical value to my family," Noel said.
The couple initially planned to wed in December, but unexpected circumstances pushed their wedding date two months earlier. "When I found out that a friend of mine was planning her wedding on the same day, my sister proposed an October wedding instead. At first, I was hesitant because I thought I wouldn't have enough time to prepare. It turned out to be a great decision, as it was the low season in Jogja, so our guests didn't have to spend too much on airfare and hotels," she said.
Her wedding was truly beautiful, with the akad ceremony looking very sacred and the nighttime reception filled with cultural charm. The couple solemnly did the panggih, a traditional wedding ceremony that symbolizes the union of the bride and groom. We also adore the Javanese attire that the couple had on the whole day. Noel was exceptionally pretty with Jogja-style paes, Javanese bridal makeup, and bold-colored lips that paired well with her white kebaya for the akad and silver kebaya for the reception.
Their favorite thing about the wedding, though, was the fact that their guests were so eager to visit Jogja to attend their wedding as well have a quick vacation. "We had guests from all over the place. Jakarta, Bandung, Bali, Balikpapan, even Amsterdam and Munich. I felt absolutely blessed to have them celebrating our special day and to hear what a great time they had in Yogyakarta."
Take a look at Noel's wedding pictures taken by Storia and read her tips on planning a destination wedding below.
Planning a destination wedding was tricky; I had to do it all the way from Jakarta. Thankfully, my mom stayed in Jogja the whole time and played the role of my proxy. She scouted the venue, had meetings with the planner, and picked the menu. It also helped that my venue provided a complete package including catering, decoration, entertainment, even the dress and attire, so I didn't have to waste much time and money. Having worked in Bridestory, I was exposed to numerous wedding vendors. The site really helped me to find out-of-town vendors that I wouldn't have known about, and I did find the perfect photographer and wedding cake vendors for my wedding. I also relied a lot on my family and friends. The kebaya was made by my mom's old friend, my best friend did my makeup, a good friend from work designed the invitation and souvenir packaging, and my florist aunt helped with the flower arrangement.
The whole affair felt very personal and close to my heart. During the planning phase, I was the controlling and tense one. I micro-managed every little detail, while Dosir casually did his daily activities. But on the wedding day, it was like we switched roles. He was nervous and quiet, while I was more on the cheerful side. I trusted the vendors completely and was able to relax. It was such a relief to see how my hard work in planning this wedding turned out just the way I wanted and even more. One tip, when planning a destination wedding, always think about your guests first. Also, pick vendors that you can trust completely.