Javanese Wedding Procession

In meeting the future bride/groom, there are chronology sequences;
1. Babat Alas means opening forest. In this sequence the parents of the future groom find out if the girl has yet a boyfriend or future husband or not. Or in javanese, this is called as nakokake (asking).
2. If the man does not know the woman yet, then he would be invited to go to see woman that is picked by the parents.
3. If the man agrees, the parents will propose the woman where the man parents hand in set of full clothes for woman, or in Javanese called as sandangan sapangadek
4. Before the wedding, the family of the groom give wedding gifts to the future bride. The gifts are crops, household items, livestock and sometimes money.
5. Seven days before the wedding (in the past it was 40 days,means the bride will be pingit means she may not go out of the house and may not meet the future husband. After the pingit period over, the woman will be showered and treated like in traditional spa.
6. One or two days before the wedding procession, the woman house is decorated nicely with tarub (tent).
7. Siraman Ceremony is a ritual to shower the bride with water and flower of rose, jasmine and ylang and proceed with ngerik ceremony. Ngerik ceremony is to remove hairs on forehead,neck, nape and on the cheek.
8. After Ngerik Ceremony, at night held Midodareni Night, where the groom come to the bride house and the groom should undergo Nyantri ceremony.
9. In the morning or afternoon, the wedding procession is held to officially wed the bride and groom.
10. After the procession, the panggih procession where bride and groom meet.
11. Five days after the wedding procession, Ngunduh Mantu ceremony is held. Ngunduh means taking and mantu means son in law. Usually in this phase, the wedding party is held.

Chronologically, Javanese wedding from the beginning to the last sequence is;

1. Siraman Ritual for the bride and groom (Shower Ritual with flower water)
2. Midodareni Ritual
3. Akad Nikah (Wedding Procession)
4. Panggih Procession (Bride and Groom Meeting)
5. Wedding Party
6. Post Wedding Ritual

Here are the deeper meaning of each ritual sequences:
1. Siraman Ritual for the bride and groom (Shower Ritual with flower water)
This ritual is held before the wedding procession that is undergone according the religion of the couple. The important things in Siraman Ritual are:
-Siraman Pengantin Putri (Siraman for Bride)
The bride wears grompol batik motives and doubled with 2 meters white fabric with hair loosened. The parents of the bride shower  her, and then followed by parent of the groom, and other family members that can be seen as good example for her. The make up artist also showers her afterwards and the the bride herself shower. It is recommended to use warm water, so the bride will not get cold.

– Siraman Ritual for The Groom
This ritual similar to the bride siraman only parents of the groom will shower him first.
After the ritual, the groom will be placed in a house not far from the bride house/room. As the bride and the groom may not live together yet. After siraman, the bride will wear Kerik costume, that is when she will have her forehead hair cut entirely.

2. Midodareni Night Ritual
In this ritual the bride wears plain costume and may not wear any jewelleries except wedding ring. At that night the groom comes to the bride house. For Yogyakarta style, the groom wears surjan, blangkon Yogyakarta, necklace, keris. For Surakarta style the groom wears beskap, necklace, and keris. But for simple, the groom can wear suit and tie but not bow tie. Round 19.00, the groom comes to the bride house to know the bride’s family and friends. Arriving at the bride house, the groom will be submitted to the bride’s parent. Groom will reside at house not far from the bride, and then meeting guests, but he may not bee too tired as there are still few sequences to go. The bride should reside in the wedding bedroom, and she could sleep after 24.00. Guests on Midodareni night usually are couples. On 22.00 to 24.00 the guests will be entertained with Javanese cuisines.

Here are equipments for Panggih ritual:

1. four sindur (shawl) worn by parents.
2. four meters white fabric and cut into two.
3. 2 sheets of mats to sit for bride when make-up process is ongoing.
4. 2 jar to shower the bride and groom.
5. 2 ivory coconut with  stalks
6. an egg of hen
7. various flowers
8. 1 basin and bailer to wash the feet of groom
9. 2 shawls in square shape.
10. Daham Klimah is a ritual when bride and groom feeding each other. For this ritual should be prepared yellow rice, chicken curry. And in Tanpa Kaya ritual should be prepared with coins, rice, peanut, green bean, soya bean, corn.

3. Wedding Procession
The procession held according to the couple religion. For moslem, this can be undertaken at Mosque or asking penghulu to come. After procession, the groom waits outside for the next ritual. In the procession the groom should not wear keris (should be removed from the groom first), and the batik or blangkon used is not animal motives. For moslem, christian or catholic, the religious procession should be preceded and then afterwards the custom tradition can be carried out.

4. Panggih Ritual
This ritual is preceded with Balangan when the bride and groom throwing each other betel leaves and then shake hands to symbolize introduction. Afterwards is Wiji Dadi ritual where the bride wash the feet of the groom. And then Sindur Binayang is ritual where the bride and groom walk behind the father of the bride while mother walks behind them.This symbolizes that father always give guidance to the children for happiness while mother push them and support them ‘tut wuri handayani’. Timbang (Pangkon) and Tanem is when the father of the bride let the bride and groom to sit his legs as symbol that he blesses them. Tukar Kalpika is exchange ring ritual to replace the ring from left ring finger to right ring finger and they do this to each other. This symbolizes husband and wife should love each other to be happy. Afterwards then kacar kucur ritual that represent husband works for wife and family.And Kembul Dhahar ‘sekul walimah’,when the bride and groom feed each other, symbolizes that the fortune is from God and happiness and sorrow should be born together. The Groom patiently waits for the bride to finish the meals, as usually a mother care about food and does not like to throw away food, this means that God always give fortune and the they should be thankful. Mertuwi Ritual is ritual of parents of the groom picked by the parents of bride parents to see the legalizing of the marriage. After that they all sit and then proceeded with sungkeman ritual where bride and groom should sungkem (kneel) in front of all parents. This is a message that the bride and groom should respect parents even after the marriage.

Tarub is an emergency building built nearby the house where wedding will be held. Here are items should be prepared for tarub are;
-Pair of banana plant is a symbol of hope that the family will be a good leader for family and nations. Banana can grow anywhere that the couple is expected to easily adopt to their new environment to succeed.
-Black Sugar Cane (tebu wulung). Tebu derives from antebing kalbu means a strong will and wulung means rape = smooth. The couple is expected to think of everything rape not prematurely and have strong will or mulat sarira hangrasawani.
-2 set of young ivory coconut
This symbolizes that they should have strong will to reach their goal.
– Leaves of banyan tree, Maja, Koro, Andong, Reeed and Apa-apa. They symbolize that couple in the future will be like banyan tree to protect the environment, and that everything will be in good circumtances (aja ana sekoro-koro alangan sawiji apa)