Last month, Surya, my friend from college, got married. Her wedding reception was in traditional Padang style. What you may want to know about Indonesian traditional weddings are that the customs can be very different depending on what ethnic group the bride & groom celebrates it.
The wedding reception may be held in a hall, hotel or at home.
The typical Indonesian wedding reception goes something like this :
- If you come early, you may see the beginning of the procession as the bride & groom enter the wedding reception hall. Traditional dances may be carried out & speeches containing advice may be given to the bride & groom by someone elder in the family.
- We, as a guest, must bring a gift. Nowadays, the gift is usually in the form of money that you put inside an envelope. Goods or flower bouquets are not favorable anymore. However, when the bride/groom are your close friends, it is still acceptable.
- This gift is then given at the entrance where some family members are behind a desk & you write your name in the guestbook. Sometimes, your envelope/gift is numbered according to your number in the guest book so that the bride/groom knows who gave what & can send a thank you note later on. I personally think doing this is rude.
- Inside the building where the reception is held, the bride & groom stand on a podium in the centre of the room. On their left & right side, stand the parents. The rest of the room is filled with food stalls.
- First you congratulate the happy couple & their parents, and after that you are free to roam around and eat ! :)
- A typical reception usually lasts about 2 hours. At the end, there are photo sessions.