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 have to plan for my wedding twice.

After finding and securing the big vendors (read: venue, make-up artist, photographer 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 photographer and another everything.

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

And why is it such a headache? Because Instagram and Pinterest have taught me to have such a ridiculously high expectation on weddings. Weddings have to be picture-perfect. The food must be good. The decoration must be pretty. The photographer must be able to capture the moment of your once-in-a-lifetime magical event.

A few weeks ago, I met up with some old friends and we talked—guess what—about weddings. One of them, who just went to a wedding in Bali, said, ‘All the pictures look pretty. But the food was not good at all. And it was so hot.’

Here’s an a-ha moment: Picture-perfect weddings, in reality, are not that perfect after all.

Since we have virtually unlimited options, how should we choose? What aspects are important when we’re planning for a wedding (in Jakarta)?

My Dad cares a lot about the food. For my parents, the abundance of food, and its taste, is the epitome of a good wedding. ‘No one remembers the decor,’ he said, ‘but everyone remembers whether we have enough food, or if the food is any good.’

My first sister doesn’t care about the food. ‘Splurge on decor,’ she said, ‘so you can have good pictures.’

My Dad also cares about the venue’s geographical location and the size of the parking lot. ‘That place is too far,’ he would say on some venues I’ve considered. ‘The security on that hotel is crazy, our guests would be irritated right away.’

Oh, I care, mainly, about my make-up and dress.

My partner cares about the photography and videography, because he actually does understand those things (lighting, editing, composition, aperture, shutter speed, candid shots, other photography languages).

My second sister cares about the wedding that requires less work. ‘If it’s a buffet, it’s less planning. You don’t need to care about the program.’

My partner’s family cares about the family, and about having a sit-down dinner. ‘Isn’t it more exclusive?’ my partner said.

So after one month of searching for the right venue, (and visiting half a dozen places and asking for the price list of a dozen more), we have finally decided on the place that ticks most of the boxes.

And the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Some days before we were about to meet the sales representative, he mentioned that there is a wedding fair happening that weekend. Then one day before we visited, my aunt called out of the blue and talked well about the venue and its food.

I couldn’t help but think that my prayer has been answered.

Now, we can breathe a little. The venue’s set and the date’s set. We can start securing other vendors.

(I mean, it’s an Indonesian wedding after all. Starting to plan one year before the wedding is flirting with the red line, especially when my date falls right in the middle of one of the busiest wedding months.)

Yet with all the headaches, I’m actually giddying up with excitement. I mean, the up-side on being able to plan for a wedding celebration twice, is having twice the fun (and hopefully not twice the stress), and realising two very different wedding concepts.

All in all, I’d consider myself lucky.


Photo is used with Creative Commons Zero license.