We went to Iwan's wedding yesterday. It was as hot, noisy and crowded as every other Indonesian wedding I've been to.
The wedding ceremony start at 7am but I think that portion is more for the family members. We arrived at about 10.45pm and a quarter of the guests were there. The majority of the guests came about 15 mins before lunch was served (12noon). To show Iwan that we care and that we were happy for him, I thought it would be nice to arrive early. In fact, we were so early that he had not even emerged from the house yet.
The rituals are performed inside the house and then when everything is done, the couple and their families walk out and onto this raised platform. They sit there while prayers are said, words of wisdom imparted by various imams, dances are performed and singers deafen the guests. Take a look at these speakers.
I learnt something new at this wedding. Almost every wedding couple will cry at their wedding. The bride AND the groom. When Iwan walked out, his eyes were red and there were still tears on his face. He looked so distraught that I had to ask around. It turns out that the ceremony that takes place in the house not only officiates their marriage but also breaks the ties with their families. They stand alone now, no longer under the umbrella of their parents. And supposedly this causes a lot of newly weds to shed plenty of tears.
Take a look at this photo. Its not just that I caught them at the wrong instant. Look at the next photo.
They didn't look happy until the very end. Maybe they were also tired from carrying those heavy headdresses and glad that it was over.
Here's a look at the crowd.
I liked the experience of attending the wedding but I can't say that I enjoyed it while I was there. When we were saying goodbye to Iwan, he seemed genuinely happy that we had attended (and arrived early). So, that makes up for the incredible heat, chain smoking men and UNBELIEVABLE noise levels we had to sit through. Its a happy ending :)