Three months ago, I married my best friend. You probably have read his name written here and there, in the span of my 10 years of blogging hahahah. I refer to him as K, or Wiramihardja most of the time.
Looking back, there’s no way I could’ve seen this coming. Part of it is because I was (am) such a hopeless romantic and K has always been the logical level-headed one (and so doesn’t do illogical stuff like dating your best friend or marrying her).
But my, oh my, here we are promising to brave the storm together and cherish life for what it can be. I feel like we have been doing that for so long – being best friends for fourteen years and all. But last August, it feels like we are starting a new journey altogether.
Basically headache. Preparing the wedding was heavy. Not sure if it’s unique to Indonesia’s culture, but weddings here are celebrations that not necessarily only celebrating the couple. There are families involved, so there are more customs, styles, habits, and different needs to be satisfied. Covid-19 also happened, so plans changed A LOT. The prep was the most challenging part of the wedding, yet it also revealed important things such as differences, conflict management style, expectation setting, the meaning of true love, companionship, and what matters to us as partners. I will cherish these moments forever, as part of the relationship’s growth, as part of life’s lesson.
After months of preparations, these were the keywords to having a wedding during a pandemic: intimate, physical distancing, creative. The holy matrimony was only for 30 people, dinner celebration was limited to 60 guests, tables were arranged following the regulations, it had to be outdoor (yay!), and the party couldn’t go more than 3 hours long.
I was nervous, but extremely happy too. When I saw K on the other end of the aisle there was a rush of gentle happiness. The kind that I felt when for the first time, I realized that I love him.
The funny parts were in the details: our rings (or fingers??) somewhat shrank, it was difficult to put the rings on each other. K said it was measured on the wrong side, we did not realize Indonesians wear they rings on their right hand. My veil was not properly set, there was a gap that showed my bun, and K and I had a good laugh over it when we looked at the wedding pictures.
With Covid-19, it had to be an intimate wedding. As happy as we were about it, we knew our parents had wanted to invite more people. K proposed to have a drive-thru wedding style, so we can see more friends and family, and celebrate the special day with the I resorted to Canva and created an e-invitation. Almost everyone asked me what in the world a drive-thru wedding is. I eventually came up with an answer template: “it’s like going to McDonald’s or Starbucks drive-thru, but instead of getting coffee or burgers, you got to see us.” My mom was the one who laughed the hardest at this answer.
I was serious though. It’s pretty much the same and it follwed the regular wedding flow in Indonesia. But even better, because you don’t have to step out of your vehicle.
Step 1, you enter the venue. There’s a check-in point where you’re greeted by the wedding organizer team and surrounded by our huge-sized pre-wedding pictures HAHA.
Step 2, you collect the food package and wedding souvenirs. Crystal designed the pretty logo on the souvenirs (thank you, nek!). I ended up putting the logos everywhere: the church book, the name card on the tables, the invitations and the souvenirs!
Step 3, you see us and wave and laugh at this new and unusual set-up.
Step 4, we take pictures and videos, of course!
Step 5, you go home and we see the next guests.
Check out the drive-thru wedding video here. It was a brilliant idea! It ensures everyone’s safety during this pandemic time, parents are very happy they got to see most of their friends, and we got to see more of our friends and family too!
I absolutely loved the dinner! I was a tad more relaxed too after the matrimony, it feels like, “yay now it’s party time!” Our friends and family gathered. There was music and Batavia Marina’s food was delicious! K surprised me with a video from Crystal, too. I was happy to see her and laughing listening to her “speech”.
My two other best friends gave their speeches, K delivered an emotional speech and I read the “Meant for You” poem for him. The poem was a close one to my heart. I wrote it right after my second visit to California years back.
I think my favorite part of the night was the dancing! It was a bit different, since we actually planned for Indonesian’s famous line dances for the wedding. Covid-19 safety precautions forced us to cancel it. I told K he should dance with his mom, since I don’t have my dad to dance with me. They agreed but then, K’s mom told me LITERALLY minutes before the supposedly mother-son dance, that I should dance with K’s dad. Me, the awkward with my feet me, should dance with my father in law.
I mean, I get along well with K’s dad and I think he is a loving, caring and protective dad. But the man is also the quietest person alive and barely say words to me, excuse moi, what do you mean I should dance with him instead?
He turned out to be quite a dancer. I was bloody nervous! The band played the intro for what seems like forever and as K’s dad took my hand, I was on my feet wanted to move already. But my father in law’s grip was firm on mine and he calmly said, “wait.” Months after, in a chat with K’s mom, she described how her husband’s calmness has kept her centered and grounded during the most difficult time in her life. Sitting today writing this and reflect back, I think I caught a glimpse of what she meant.
For the next 5 minutes or so, I grew steadily calmer and calmer and just followed my father in law’s lead. He is a rather reserved man, but through our dance and basically the whole day, I hope he got to know me a little bit better, as I did him.
Alas, the night was ended with K and me dancing! We wanted to do a silly dance for 2 minutes first, before slow dancing to Lion king’s “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”. I think the band might have enjoyed our silly dance too much, to the point that they forgot to play our slow dance song altogether! There are lots of pictures of us laughing as we danced, people just didn’t know what we were laughing at back then.
3 a.m Thoughts
The wedding itself was not exactly how I imagined it would be; in fact, it was better and it was what I needed. In my mind I imagined it would be an intimate wedding under the stars in a forest somewhere.
I am in awe with how the Lord gave me all that through very curious means. Had it not been for Covid-19, I seriously doubt we could have an intimate wedding without fighting our families. It was not in the forest, but the dinner was enveloped in sunset and later, stars, by the ocean.
And we were surrounded by people who matter the most to us. People who have been there with us since the beginning, people who have witnessed our journey and sincerely prayed for our happiness.
I thought of my dad the whole day.
I wonder if he would’ve liked it, to be there and to witness the whole event folding out. I wonder what he would’ve said and my heart aches for that opportunity to see him golfing with K and his dad, or to discuss places to eat and to see them bond as in-laws.
My heart aches for the possibility of narratives that would never come. At the same time though, I took comfort in knowing that I was surrounded by the best people on earth. I took comfort in knowing that I am surrounded by love, completely and undeniably.
All is well.
2 thoughts on “The Day We Got Married in the Middle of Pandemic”
Aha I saw my name two times xD
And I shed a tear reading the last paragraph.
Yass girl, your presence was literally everywhere! Thank you for being there.
The last paragraph – I did too! 😭 a whole bucket of tears probably xD