Photography: Aksa Creative
An engagement ceremony is an event to make official of your engagement with your future spouse. You may have the proposal part sealed, but it isn't an engagement if your close family and friends aren't there to celebrate it with you. An engagement ceremony also means to traditionally bring the two families closer together, and so that the proposing groom-to-be can make an official statement to the bride-to-be's family on his intentions. Therefore, the success of this ceremony is vital, as it is all about first impressions. Here's a few things you need to pay extra attention to!
The venue is an important part because traditionally, the man proposing is supposed to come over to wherever the woman's family are. If her house is too far or too small for the number of guests invited, this can be a hassle. There isn't necessarily a proper type of venue, it just had to have a lot of chairs since everyone will be sitting during the ceremony. A restaurant, a function hall or a ballroom usually does the trick. Engagement ceremonies aren't usually too heavily decorated, but it's always nice to have just a few decorations for the photo session in the end. Also, ensure that the venue has a private room or some sort since the man proposing isn't supposed to see the woman being proposed until the Master of Ceremony introduces her to the crowd.
Food and beverages
An engagement ceremony is always finished with a lunch or dinner together. To ensure that you have enough food and beverages for everyone, we'd recommend setting up a buffet instead of boxed food. Of course, you don't want the guests to deal with their hunger too long, thus boxed snacks should be distributed during the ceremony. For the buffet, it's always nice to consider options for everyone's convenience. This means that, even though Indonesia is known for its spicy food, it's best to provide a non-spicy option for kids and others who cannot tolerate it. Make sure that a vegetable option is also available for those who do not eat meat.
The popular tradition is that the man's side would have to present gifts for the woman he is proposing, but sometimes the woman's side will also give a 'response gift' for him. It should cover her needs inside and outside, from head to toe. This includes clothes, toiletries, cosmetics, and food. Keep in mind that according to tradition, everything inside the gift boxes had to be an odd number. The fruits are also very specific, from what fruits to give and how it is arranged. After all, aesthetics is very important for first impressions.
For an engagement ceremony, the main members of the family usually wear a coordinated attire, either the color or the material. The woman being proposed is supposed to wear a simple kebaya with a proper make-up to make her shine and enchant her lover. For the man proposing, a collared shirt with Indonesian traditional fabric would be a fantastic choice. If both groom and bride-to-be are able to match their look, it is even better. For example, the man wears a batik shirt and the woman channels the same batik pattern to be her sarong.