So remember a couple of weeks ago when I got a taste of the Jakarta night life? And remember when I said I went to the mall to find my outfit for that night? And remember when I said that I was also looking for something else at the mall but I’d tell you about that at another time? It’s time. I was looking for something to wear to a wedding.
Remember my jogging partner from the next Sunday morning? She invited me to a traditional Indonesian wedding. But not just any traditional Indonesian wedding; she invited me to a traditional Batak wedding. I know, you have no idea why that should be more exciting. Don’t worry, I’ll tell you.
I love weddings; I think it’s the romantic in me. I just love to see people committing to each other for life and loving on each other. I love dressing up to go watch people committing to each other for life and loving on each other. And I love eating wedding cake while I’m dressed up to watch people committing to each other for life and loving on each other. That’s because I love wedding cake. No, I don’t think you understand; I LOVE wedding cake. I love it like, wedding cake and Christmas cake should be their own food group.
OK, sorry, I got a little carried away with the thought of yummy wedding cake. Back to the business at hand.
Since coming to Indonesia and being exposed to other cultures, I’m always curious to see the differences between what happens where I am versus what I’m used to happening. So I gungo ho to go to the wedding when she invited me, but then she told me it was a Batak wedding and my excitement got turnt way up. Because here in Indonesia, Batak weddings are a big deal.
Batak people come from North Sumatra, where I went for my August days off days off. I heard that their weddings are beautiful, with bright colours and rich fabrics, lots of food, and lots of rituals and tradition, including traditional Batak dances. When I was in Samosir back in August, I missed seeing a traditional Batak dance because of Pak’s poor planning, but Ani, my lovely Huta Siallagan tour guide, assured me that what I would see at the Batak wedding would be far better than what I had missed on Samosir. Excitement turnt up even more.
Of course, I started thinking about what I would wear. I mean, I admit that my Indonesian style is kampung, but I had zero interest in showing up at these people’s wedding looking like I hadn’t made a concerted effort to put myself together nicely. So one Sunday about 2 weeks before the wedding, I hit the mall. My Saturday-night-on-the-town outfit was easily sorted, but H&M was a little too casual for wedding-appropriate clothing and Zara was a little too pricey for my pocket. I hit 2 different malls and couldn’t find a thing that I liked, that was in an acceptable price range, and that would do for a wedding. Finally, in the dressing room of 1 final H&M effort, I had a brain wave: why not get something made? Yaaaaas!
When she had invited me, I had asked my wedding date what was appropriate to wear and she said a nice batik piece would be a great choice. I had 2 pieces of batik fabric, acquired months ago in Banda Aceh and in Bali but I had planned to get them made when I got back to Jamaica. However, over the summer, we had a volunteer from France staying here for about a month. She had bought some fabric and had a nearby recommended tailor make 2 dresses for her. They were so well made that they looked ready-made, like she had bought them in a boutique. So I felt comfortable having him make me something. I checked Pinterest for styles to make my 2 pieces of fabric into then arranged to go have a consultation. By the time we met, it was a week and a half before the wedding. But I wasn’t worried because he had made the dress for the French girl in about 5 days.
At our first meeting, he said getting my pieces ready in time, based on the styles I had selected, wouldn’t be a problem. He wasn’t lying. A week after I dropped off the fabric, I was picking up my perfectly fitting wedding pants from him, as well as a perfectly fitting skirt. The guy barely needed to make an adjustment to the waist – that’s how good he was.
The day of the wedding, I started getting ready at about 10:30 am because my date was picking me up at 11. Yes, I only take 30 minutes to get ready, even when I’m dressing up. I did hair and makeup (a very light, nude look is how I roll), pulled out some dangly earrings and my other hippie jewelry that I wear occasionally, dabbed on a little perfume and I was ready to go.
I had worked with what I had as best as I could and I was pleased with the results. It wasn’t my best look ever (for example, I would have added a statement necklace but I didn’t have one) but, still, I thought it was pretty good and, more importantly, I felt really good about how I looked.