#tjokandella

23 articles in category #tjokandella / Subscribe

By now, you’d have probably heard the news: I am married. Tjokro and I tied the knot in a simple, intimate ceremony in Melbourne last weekend, and the day was just magical. I don’t just say that because I’m biased (wait, maybe I am), but it really was a blessed day.

I am yet to find time to sit down and tell you all the crazy stories about preparing two weddings and a marriage, (believe me, this is going to be my next book), but over the past few weeks I did write a few bits and pieces on my Instagram account.

This post is a compilation of those stories in leading to the wedding. And since I am no longer obligated to keep our prewedding photos a secret (not that I ever did), here they are.

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Planning a wedding is tiring.

Yes, it’s a happy time—I’ve been looking at pretty things with hefty price tags and dreaming about them in an obsessive-compulsive way, albeit never going to have those things at my own wedding. That kind of happiness.

A friend has recently, politely, told me that it’s two months to the big day. It hasn’t really sunk in, actually. Should I panic? Is it actually still a long time away? Or is it such a short time away? Should I start obsessing about every single little thing?

Like, I probably should contact my florist and talk about the details. Yet I’m still indecisive on the exact colours of the bouquet I want for that day. I probably should finalise the transportation for our (my fiancé’s and my) big happy family during their stay in Melbourne. Yet I’m still too lazy to make any decisive plan.

We haven’t decided on the songs. Yes, we’ve decided on our walking-down-the-aisle and first dance song, but I never realise that we actually have to choose a song for signing the register, ceremony recessional, reception processional, and so on.

And that’s just the Melbourne wedding.

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Last weekend, my fiancé and I looked at each other in the eye way much more than in the six years of our relationship combined.

I mean, how often do you actually stare into your significant other’s eyes for more than three seconds? Rarely, I’d presume. Perhaps when you say ‘I love you’, or when you’re extremely annoyed of him being late and thus giving him the look. But still, rarely.

Oh yes, we’ve survived our prewedding photo shoot. Two full days of it.

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My fiancé was sitting down beside me, watching the Australian reality TV show My Kitchen Rules. But he was distracted with his phone and scrolled through a lot of unread emails. I was surprised on the sheer amount of it, because he doesn’t seem like the type that would opt for newsletter subscription.

I said, ‘You should unsubscribe. Like, you’re basically deleting everything now.’

He laughed and showed me his phone. ‘Hun, the emails are from Pinterest, telling me you’ve pinned something.’

Whoops.

So let’s talk about Pinterest: the wedding inspiration platform that has successfully brainwashed me into wanting things I don’t need and needing things I don’t even know exist before.

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Consider I’m one of the lucky ones – I get to plan for my wedding twice.

Or consider I’m one of the unlucky ones – I get to plan for my wedding twice.

After finding and securing the big vendors (read: venue, make-up artist, photography and the like) for our Melbourne wedding, my partner and I are now planning for our second wedding celebration in Jakarta. This means we need to find another venue, another make-up artist, another photography and another everything.

To the ladies who say that planning for one wedding has caused them much headache, well, try planning for two.

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It’s September, and I’m now officially one year away from my own wedding.

After getting engaged in March and securing the venue of the Melbourne wedding, both my partner (or should I say fiancee?) and I were taking a break. We haven’t done anything wedding-related since May, but now that I’m back home in Jakarta, probably we should pick up the pace once again.

Yes, I’m back in Jakarta. With frequent travels to Singapore and Melbourne, of course, but back in Jakarta. At least until Chinese New Year.

So for the past week, I’ve been researching on vendors in Jakarta. We do have another dinner celebration here, and we haven’t really done anything for this one. So I start by stalking them on Instagram, and asking for their price list and packages.

Here’s something that I’ve known for a long, long time: Wedding is expensive.

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Here is what I thought I would feel when I finally sign the contract with a wedding venue: ‘OH MY I CAN’T BELIEVE WE’RE GETTING MARRIED!’

Here is what I actually felt: ‘Hunny, let’s just get this over with.’

Wait, what? I’m not supposed to tell everyone that I have a date and a venue? I should share those details a few months before the big day? Ah, you know I’m a blogger.

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Having been engaged for almost one week, I want to tell you that life’s pretty much normal. Despite what my friend told me on the day, I slept very well, thank you very much. I cleaned my apartment and had coffee and went out with friends.

I’m happy that I’m engaged, but apart from being self-conscious about the ring on my left hand’s fourth finger, life’s still, pretty much, the same.

A lot of people see proposal as something life-changing. It’s such an important day, and there’s so much pressure to make it perfect. It has to be a surprise. It has to be something very meaningful. It has to be grand. It has to be magical. And remember the year where everyone seems to propose with a flashmob? Yeap, good luck topping that off.

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It was our fifth anniversary.

We actually never knew the exact date when he first asked me to be his girlfriend. I thought it was on a Thursday night. He thought it was on a Wednesday the next week. So we settled on something: let’s make our anniversary the day when he first asked me out for coffee.

Our fifth anniversary, or five years after he wrote on Facebook chat, ‘Let’s have coffee’, started like any other day. The only thing that was weird that day was the fact that he was already on my doorstep at nine-thirty in the morning. Usually, we would have just started saying good morning at nine-thirty on a Saturday. As he lived one-hour away, he would have woken up at seven that morning. It was weird, but probably he was just wanting to prove something.

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Some show their love through a hundred red roses. Some buy her ice cream even when he tells her to lose weight. Some walk her home. Him?

He went to his boss and said, ‘I need to change my leave – from Friday to Tuesday.’

He understood when she didn’t able to come home to him that Tuesday, and he waited for her, again.

He woke up on Saturday morning, excited, and braved the traffic.

And when he finally saw her for the first time in months, he smiled, rushed towards her, took her bulging luggages, and gave her a kiss on the cheek.

‘I’ve missed you,’ he whispered.

And so she beamed, and wondered if she could ever be even more loved than this.

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