Planning a Wedding?

Hello, there! I I have been busy (mostly) preparing my trip on Christmas and write for some other jobs, so sorry for abandoning this blog for a long while. In light of the wedding season this year, I would like to share some tips on wedding preparation. Since I got married earlier this year, so many people came to me and ask how I did it. Of course, with the husband being a foreigner, and I am being by myself… with no parents, nor siblings. People have been wondering, how did I do this, how did we afford stuff or what was the most frustrating thing about it.

First of all, let me tell you that, I have some amazing best friends and I wouldn’t be able to do this without their supports. Second thing, being by myself has given me the advantage of not having to face the dilemma of other Indonesians of having parents/ families trying to intervene my wedding. I said to many people it took a year to prepare for my wedding, but liaising with vendors are actually only takes 3-4 months in total. The whole year was actually reserve for financial preparation. I was going to have a very simple, small wedding but Peter said that it’s a celebration of love, so he wants something very special for both of us and the people we love.

Now, a few things to consider when (budgeting) preparing a wedding:
1. Wedding dates
For Indonesians, some still believe in calculating wedding dates based on Javanese calendar, or Chinese calendar. I set the date by my own standard, of course 🙂 This wedding date or at least the month of your wedding, will be a good base for negotiating with wedding vendors/ suppliers. The earlier you contact/ book them, the better. This works especially for weddings held in popular hotels/ venues since a lot of other couple might want to use this spot for their weddings.

Since I had a Catholic wedding, having a set date is also good to book a spot at your church and to inform your officiant/priest to make sure he will be there.

2. Number of guests
Calculate the number of guests you would like to invite, especially if your parents would like to invite their business colleagues/ friends. My wedding was considered small by Indonesian standard, of 70 invites which made up of 180 guests. Rough number of guests will make a great base for you to define catering package. For example, the hotel I got married at had three package of 200 pax, 300 pax, and 500 pax.

Another example is, before we decided the wedding venue, there is this beautiful restaurant by the beach that does wedding, but their minimum pax was 300. I don’t want to invite 300 people just because, nor I know that many people haha.

3. Legal documents
Most bride-to-be gets so excited about the dress and the party and do not even consider about legal documents to get married. Some of my friends are lucky enough to have their mums/ dads did their documents to the local community. Here are a few documents you have to consider when marrying an expat in Indonesia:

-For Indonesian citizen: N1-N4 from local kelurahan, or the village where you are registered to; birth certificate; statement letter stating that you have never been married before, renewal of baptism certificate (Catholic wedding), and two Catholic witnesses
-For expatriate: permission letter (affidavit) from respective embassy, birth certificate, renewal of baptism certificate (Catholic wedding), two Catholic witnesses

For me, the most frustrating one was gathering documents for the church since the person helping us from church, was to be fair, being very unhelpful. We also had to make a prenuptial agreement in local notary, not that we wanted it, but a friend suggested to make one for me to be able to buy houses/land in the country.

4. Photography
Photos are the only one thing to cherish that memories of your very special day. I do like taking photographs and this makes me a very fussy person when choosing photos. However, the photographer I liked cost like IDR 20million so I said no to that. I found one photographer whose ‘style’ of photography suited me and they came with a very affordable rate. However, there was no meeting with the photographer prior to the D day (which I think very important for brides to build chemistry with them), so in the D day, we ended up very confuse the whole time and the photographers looked ‘puzzled’ every time due to bad communication. So yes, meeting and chatting with your photographer beforehand is very , very important. If you had done some engagement photos, it’s better to use the same photographer for your wedding day.

5. Wedding Decoration
For most of my friends, and most of fellow bride to be during my time of preparing the wedding. We missed out to put ‘decoration fee’ in our budget. Most of us thought that, if we get married in a hotel, the package surely comes with free decorations… but hey, there’s nothing free in this world. I was rather shocked when I found out it cost at least IDR 7-10 million for standard decoration, and probably billions for princess-ey wedding. I personally think that, decoration is something people won’t notice that much, yet it cost quite much. I went with Fun.factor decoration, which was a very helpful and very understanding vendor. I was very happy with what they did for our big day, the details of my decoration can be found here .

There are of course, a looooot of other things to prepare like wedding favours, cakes, rings, and the usual stuff. But these (sort of) tips above are actually things that I thought was either important or sometimes being forgotten.

I also understand that different people have different priorities, so let me know what you think of this or drop me an email for Indonesian wedding/vendors recommendation 🙂

Bear it in mind that I also did a few DIYs for the wedding: wedding invitation, wedding advice cards, unity candle for ceremony, and a few of other stuff which helped us to save quite a lot of money. My best friends and their amazing friends also did amazing job at supporting me and even did my nails the night before, or my friend’s sister who helped me with my wedding video. I am very grateful for them 🙂 so.. good luck! and cheers x

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