Modern Twist on Traditional Wedding Styles

Indonesian brides are being encouraged to look beyond white when it comes to their wedding gowns. (Photo courtesy of Arselan Ganin)

Indonesian brides are being encouraged to look beyond white when it comes to their wedding gowns. (Photo courtesy of Arselan Ganin)

Weddings are never simple in Indonesia. They are not only a joining of two hearts but of two extended families, and celebrated with parties involving thousands of guests.

Everything, of course, revolves around the sight of the bride and groom together. Before the venue, catering and photographer are worked out, the first order of business is deciding on a wedding costume.

“The bride and groom will be the center of attention on their wedding day,” fashion designer Amy Atmanto told the Jakarta Globe. “Choosing the right wedding attire is of first and utmost importance in any wedding party.”

Multi Kreasi Enterprise is expert at coordinating lavish Jakarta weddings.

Since 1998, the company has handled many high-profile ceremonies, including the wedding of Indonesian actress Nia Ramadhani to Ardie Bakrie, son of Golkar Party chairman Aburizal Bakrie; and Edhie Baskoro Yudhoyono, the son of president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, to Siti Ruby Aliya Rajasa, the daughter of Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Hatta Rajasa.

MKE director Engelbertus Emil Eriyanto said many couples become overwhelmed thinking about wedding planning.

“That’s why we presented this wedding exhibition to help them prepare for their big day,” he said.

MKE, in collaboration with Jakarta’s Shangri-La Hotel staged the event, titled “Embrace, Worlds Coming Together,” last month.

More than 100 wedding service providers, including fashion designers, photographers and decorators, took part in the three-day showcase in the hotel’s grand ballroom.

Priority list

The choice of wedding attire will also help set the theme of the wedding party — traditional Indonesian or more international, for example.

Everything else — including invitations, decorations, food and beverages — follows on from that.

Eighteen fashion designers presented their work in a parade on the first day of the exhibition, showcasing the latest trends in Indonesian and international wedding garb.

For her, for him

Designer Amy presented a royal Javanese bridal outfit.

“When everything and everyone is ‘going international,’ we shouldn’t forsake the true beauty of Indonesian ladies, which is very feminine, elegant and sophisticated,” she said.

Her bridal gown was made of a long black velvet kebaya, embellished with ornate embroidery and Swarovski crystals extending to its long train.

The kebaya was paired with a slim-fit batik skirt enhanced with drapery.

Amy said the outfit was a more lavish version of the traditional Javanese bridal costume of simple black velvet kebaya and batik sarong. She believes developing new twists on classic looks is the way those traditional styles will survive into the modern era.

“We should not only reflect Indonesian culture, but develop it to meet modern standards,” Amy said.

For the groom, fashion designer Ai Syarif presented a structured light brown tuxedo combined with crisp white shirt and elaborate Victorian cravat.

His clothes spruced up the usual black-and-white “penguin suit” tuxedo.

“Black is old and boring,” Ai said. “Modern grooms now prefer brown, gray and silver colors for their wedding jackets.”

Ai combined the suit with an elegant pair of dark brown striped pants.

“They create a slimming effect on the groom,” Ai said. “These days, men, as well as women, want to look pangling [different or stunning] on their wedding day.”

Designer Ferry Sunarto also presented an adaptation of traditional Javanese wedding attire.

The groom wore a silk satin shirt, dark silver jacket and trousers, with a sogan (traditional brownish hue) batik sarong tied around his waist.

His model bride wore a beige kebaya, made of sheer brocade and lace, paired with a simple batik sarong.

The kebaya was enhanced with embroidery and sequins in ornate floral designs. It cascaded into multi-color layers from the hips down to a long train.

“It’s kebaya with a modern international look,” Ferry said. “With this style, I hope everyone, from many different backgrounds, will want to wear kebaya.”

Fashion designer Marga Alam wowed the audience with his creamy white wardrobe, similar in tailoring to the traditional wedding attire of Lampung in southern Sumatra, but which is usually crimson.

Both the groom’s jacket and the bride’s kebaya, as well as their songket sarongs, were encrusted with Swarovski crystals.

The couple looked dazzling on the catwalk.

Some of the designers showed more Western-style costumes.

Fashion designer Didi Budiardjo presented a streamlined white lace wedding dress enhanced with ornate floral appliques.

The dress was combined with a ruffled tulle cape and an oversized disc-hat adorned with a single black feather at the center. Very chic and sophisticated.

Other designers presented Oriental themes in the parade.

Fashion designer Eddy Betty showcased traditional Chinese wedding attire, with a groom in a simple brown changshan, while the bride wore a dazzling white halter-neck dress adorned with ornate embroidery across the bodice.

Crystal appliques, in the shape of a peacock, enhanced the front of the gown.

Widhi Budimulia presented all-white traditional Japanese wedding attire.

His groom wore a short kimono jacket and trousers, while the bride wore a kimono-styled mullet-top and a long pencil skirt. Both bride and groom wore obis (belts) enhanced with white pearls.

“The simplicity of the wedding attire will allow the happy aura of the married couple to shine through,” Widhi said.

However, the fashion designer admitted white was no longer mandatory for modern wedding dresses.

“Some people look dull in white,” said Widhi. “Their complexion will look fresher and healthier in beige, ivory or pinkish hues.”

The parade finished with Indian wedding attire by Andreas Odang.

The groom looked gallant in his red silk Nehru jacket and turban, while the bride looked very exotic in her dark crimson sari dress.

Presented with Indian songs and dances, the wedding attire received a round of applause from the audience.

“I don’t think a certain trend applies for wedding attire,” Amy said.

“You should choose clothes that really suit your personality and style.”

Designer Widhi added: “You should consider the size and status of your party, as well as the guests coming to your wedding.

“After all, you don’t want to look less dazzling than the guests at your own ceremony.”

In Jakarta, excess and glamour are expected when a couple exchange vows. It is meant to be a once-in-a-lifetime event, after all.

According to MKE’s Emil, weddings do a roaring trade year-round in Indonesia.

“We have weddings almost every day of the year in this country,” he said. “We’ve had weddings during the fasting month, Christmas and even on Easter.”

He expects business to be especially good from now until the first half of 2014.

“Many are keen on getting married before the presidential election,” said Emil.

“That way, if anything bad happens, they can escape from the country as married couples,” he added with a laugh.

Multi Kreasi Enterprise

Jalan Salam 15
Bendungan Hilir, Central Jakarta
Tel. 021 5785 1773