15 of the Most Captivating Weddings in Indonesia

by Barbara Jackson
indonesian weddings

Indonesian weddings are traditional events inspired by regional and religious beliefs. Every aspect of an Indonesian wedding holds immense cultural significance, from the dowry payment to the traditional dances, attires, and exchange of gifts. Many Indonesians are Muslims, but we still have Buddhists, Christians, and Hindus. Each celebrates their weddings per their religious traditions. In today’s article, I’ll review 15 of the most captivating weddings in Indonesia.

1) Minangkabau Marriage

Minangkabau culture requires women to propose to their men. The religious exercise known as Minangkabau marriage involves the bride visiting the groom’s house for the two families to exchange gifts. The process takes place within two weeks, involving several ceremonies and Islamic rituals.

2) Pengadangan Ogan Marriage

The Ogan people of the Southern Sumatra region have several wedding ceremonies. The Pengadangan is one of the most sacred weddings, involving the groom performing several rites. The bride’s family will block the groom with a long scarf before meeting the bride. It is a form of respect and a way to strengthen the bond between the two families.indonesia wedding

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3) Batak Toba Traditional

The Bataknese people of the Batak ethnic community celebrate the Batak Toba traditional wedding. This wedding involves discussions about dowry. Dowry quotations depend on the bride’s family social status, educational level, and career.

4) Ba’usung Traditional Wedding

Banjarmasin people have a traditional marriage ceremony known as the Ba’usung wedding. In it, the bride and groom don’t walk down the aisle. Instead, masculine dancers carry them on their shoulders while proceeding to the altar for the official exchange of vows.

5) Maso Minta Wedding

The Moluccan Ambon people celebrate their pre-weddings following distinctive traditional rites. The pre-wedding involves the groom announcing their marriage intention to the bride’s family. The bride’s family will then send an invitation letter known as Surat Bertamu. The meeting entails discussing wedding details and other essentials.indonesia wedding

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6) Maweh Wedding

The Dani people have many traditions, but the Maweh wedding is one of the best. Once every four or six years, the Dani people conduct a communal wedding. The brides gather to prepare for the Indonesian wedding while the bridegroom watches over the community.

7) Tokencai Wedding

Tokencai is an Indonesian wedding held by several ethnic communities in East Nusa Tenggara. The dual-part event involves the bride and groom gathering for the celebration. The community prepares and secludes the bride before leading her to the groom’s house for the customary ceremony. A village elder leads the occasion. The customary marriage is followed by the official wedding involving the offering of gifts and dowry.

8) Melah Pinang

Melah Pinang is a traditional wedding held by the Dayak Iban people of Sarawak. The groom presents a betel nut to the bride’s family as part of the marriage ceremony. This ceremony opens room for formal discussions between the two families. Nut-sharing reinforces the bond between the two families.weddings in indonesia

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9) Bakena Kao

Bakena Kao is a sacred event conducted before the actual wedding by Buton communities in Southeast Sulawesi. The bridegroom’s family prepares and offers a basket laden with traditional fabrics, betel nut, sirih leaves, or Kapur lime. They then present the tray to the bride’s family through the elders.

10) Menyenggung Wedding

This traditional wedding among the Palembang community of South Sumatra marks the beginning of the engagement process. It starts with the groom’s family dispatching a delegation to the bride’s home to propose the marriage. The bride’s family then has to accept the delegation and the proposal for the ceremony to continue.

11) White Cloth Dowry

Weddings in Indonesia are expensive, and dowry payments are, too. However, the Bajo people only require the groom to present a white cloth. The groom drives to the bride’s home on a boat to present the dowry.indonesian weddings

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12) Badudus Ceremony

Badudus is a cleansing ritual by the Banjar communities of South Kalimantan. This Indonesian bathing ceremony involves seven older women bathing the bride using coconut water, flowers, and citrus fruit.

13) Bebalai Marriage

For the people of Rimba, weddings are a community occasion where everyone comes together to celebrate. They celebrate by constructing a new building or hall that will be exclusively dedicated to the wedding after the proposal. This proposal is known as Bedok Semang.

14) Siraman

One of the best Indonesian weddings is the Siraman. This wedding ceremony initiates the first stages of the official wedding. The occasion involves bathing the groom and bride in a mixture of spices, flowers, and herbs. This bathing session cleanses and purifies the couple before their marriage. It washes their impurities and prepares them for the new chapter of their lives.indonesian wedding

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15) Seserahan

The last great wedding occasion celebrated by Indonesians is the Seserahan. The event involves the exchange of gifts during and after the official wedding ceremony. The two families can exchange gifts such as sweets, jewelry, fruits, and clothing. It is a famous Javanese tradition symbolizing the coming together of two families and the blessing of a marriage union.

Wrapping Up

Every community in Indonesia has a unique way of celebrating the sealing of marriages. From pre-wedding to gifting and after-marriage celebrations, every process takes a different phase in the various Indonesian communities that exist. These are 15 different ways diverse communities in Indonesia celebrate their weddings.

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