Beautiful Album of a Sacred Royal Mangkunegara Wedding Filled with Tradition
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Sacred and cultural are two words that well described the wedding situation of Tunku Atiah and Muhammad Zaini (Zizi). Atiah is the daughter of GRAy Retno Astrini, who is the daughter of KPGAA Mangkunegara VIII, with KPH Tunku Abu Bakar Duta Hadiningrat of Johor Baru. Even though the wedding carried a strong Javanese Solo tradition, Atiah pointed a contemporary designer,
Didiet Maulana, to create her kebaya.
After having in-depth research about Mangkunegara's traditional costumes, Didiet was inspired by a long kebaya which was often worn by keraton's princesses. Using a French lace as the kebaya's main material, the neckline copied the shape of kutu baru kebaya with a central panel. "The colors of the beads, such as gold, copper, and olive green, was actually inspired by elements at Pendopo Ageng as the wedding venue," said the designer. For the bottom, she put a silk cinde fabric, similar to what her mother had on her wedding day, which was worn down-sided.
For the groom, Didiet made him a Javanese langenarjan styled suit which was also inspired by the wedding attire of Atiah's father. Zizi combined it with a handmade sogan batik with Luhur Temple motif.
The bride who had been preparing since two o'clock continued her make-up process at Keraton Mangkunegaran. Inside the dressing room, every accessory of Mangkunegara's heritage, from batik to jewelry, had been displayed to be worn by the bridegroom. Before donning the wedding attires, Atiah and Zizi had to undergo several traditional rituals.
After that, the couples headed to Prangwedanan Hall at the east side of Keraton to be ready for a chariot parade. During their arrival at Pendopo Agung Mangkunegaran, the sound of gamelan played by Keraton's Langenpraja domestics humbly welcomed the contingent. The served dinner couldn't be any better with performances of Bedhaya Bedhah Madiun Dance, which is a classic piece choreographed by KGPAA Mangkunegara IV, and Merak Subal Dance. At the end of the reception, the guests were spoiled with various Javanese desserts. A keroncong orchestra which played nostalgic songs invited the invitees to sing along and dance together.
Having this special opportunity to capture this traditional sacred wedding, Vega Pribumi fro Owlsome Projects felt honored, and at the same time, surprised by the humble attitude of the keraton's family. "At first, I thought it would be filled with strict protocols," confessed Vega. "In reality, they are really friendly. They even invited us to have a Keraton tour one day in advance. Eventually, we did not find any challenges during the shoot."