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Javanese Royal Wedding - Keraton Yogyakarta Wedding.

Updated on September 26, 2012
The new royal couple in the middle of Yogyakartan crowds  .
The new royal couple in the middle of Yogyakartan crowds . | Source

There is always something interesting to talk about when it comes to royal wedding, even if it's a national-scaled royal wedding like the one held from 16 until 19 October 2011 in Yogyakarta.

Keraton Yogyakarta.

Keraton Yogyakarta or The Yogyakarta Sultanate is located in Yogyakarta Special Area in Central Java. The Yogyakarta Sultanate is lead by Sultan Hamengkubuwono X, who is known open-minded, egalitarian and is very respected and loved by Yogyakartans.

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The wedding has united the bride, Gusti Raden Ajeng (GRAj) Nur Astuti Wijareni and the groom Achmad Ubaidillah or also called Ubay. Nur Astuti Wijareni or nickly called Jeng Reni is the youngest daughter of Sultan Hamengkubuwono X and GKR Hemas, the king and Queen of Yogyakarta Sultanate.

Achmad Ubaidillah who doesn't have royal blood, comes from an ordinary family originally from Palembang, South Sumatera.

One of the carriages used in the wedding ceremony.
One of the carriages used in the wedding ceremony. | Source

The processions of the wedding were held for four days and night, at Yogyakarta Palace, Governor Residence, and the vicinities which were still parts of the Yogyakarta Sultanate.

Javanese Keraton Wedding is only eligible for the sultanate family members, so Ubay had to be inaugurated first to have royal status needed. While Reni, as The Sultan's descendant, she deserved another royal title regarding her marital status to-be. They were respectively granted (new) royal titles by the sultanate authority as Gusti Kanjeng Ratu (GKR) Bendara for Reni and Kanjeng Pangeran Haryo (KPH) Yudanegara for Ubay.

Here are the step-by-step of the wedding processions of Yogyakarta Princess as well as a moment for preserving Javanese traditions :

Women in kabayas are bringing all requirements  for showering.
Women in kabayas are bringing all requirements for showering. | Source

Nyantri (Schooling).

Nyantri or Schooling was the first ritual of the wedding ceremonies which took place on October 16 at Panepen, a mosque which was situated inside the Keraton area. In this ritual both the bride and groom were given teachings (including religious values) relating with their new life as husband and wife and introduced them with values that they must be aware and obey in undergoing their marriage life.

During Nyantri the groom mustn't have seen the bride until it was completely finished.

Siraman (Showering).

On the second day or October 17, 2011, a procession called Siraman or Showering was held. The ceremony took place at Sekar Kedaton or female hall for the bride, while the groom's showering took place at Kesatrian or Knight hall.

Showering or Siraman has some symbolisms behind the process, which takes place one day before the marital covenant is done. Siraman is symbolically intended to purify the bridegroom's body and soul using water which is ideally taken from 7 water sources, scented with 7 kinds of flowers, and carried out by 7 respectable persons in the family. Number 7 is chosen to symbolize 7 essential components in human life.

The princess is poured with siraman water to clean her body and soul.
The princess is poured with siraman water to clean her body and soul. | Source

To start the showering parents should have the first turn to pour the bride or groom with water. The other senior and respectable members of the family then follow and it's ended by the head of wedding arranger/organizer.

To keep the solemnity of the rituals, there are some conditions need to be fulfilled in showering ceremony. Those requirements, for example water container made of bronze material, 7 scenting flower consisting of rose, jasmine, frangipani, cananga, etc and are put into the showering water, and many more.

The whole conditions and requirements are numerous and meticulous so that families normally hire a wedding organizer to prepare them.

There were some other rituals following Siraman : Tantingan and Midodareni.

Tantingan was the next one when Sultan asked again her daughter's determination to marry Ubay. After getting a positive answer from Jeng Reni, the ceremony proceeded to the next step: Midodareni.

Midodareni was held at night and filled with some traditional and religious activities like chanting prayers and reciting Al Quran. The purpose of Midodareni was ask for blessing and protection from God Almighty so that the whole processions in that special occasion could be carried out successfully.

Ijab Kabul (Marriage Covenant): Among all steps in Javanese wedding processions, holding Ijab Kabul is the most compulsory, although it's not peak of the event.

In this sacred ceremony, which was held early in the morning on October 18, KPH Yudanegara orally declared his oath to accept GKR Bendara/Reni to become his wife and he obliged to hand in dowries to the bride containing Jewelry, a set of praying clothes, and Holly Qur'an.

The groom had to verbally state the marriage covenant flawlessly to be considered acceptable and appropriate since it brought consequence to the marriage legitimacy.

As the most important part, Ijab Kabul must be attended by officials from Office of Religious Affairs, witnessed by parents or close, senior members of family, and other relatives may also be present in the occasion. Once those people give their consent on the legitimacy of the Ijab Kabul, the bride and groom officially get their de facto status as a couple of husband and wife.

In one of the processions the bride, GKR Bendara, is lifted by the groom, KPH Yudanegara and the bride's close relative, symbolizing their intention to respect, love, and  keep her to be a beloved one.
In one of the processions the bride, GKR Bendara, is lifted by the groom, KPH Yudanegara and the bride's close relative, symbolizing their intention to respect, love, and keep her to be a beloved one. | Source

Panggih (Meeting) .

Panggih is a Javanese word means Meet. This part was done after the bride and groom have finished doing their wedding covenant .

Many VVIP guests were invited to attend Panggih and congratulated the couple's wedding.

As the continuation After Panggih, the ceremony went to the climax as well as the most tiring for the couple: Reception. The Bride, Groom, flanked by their parents, took a lining position on the wedding stage. They greeted the invitees who were mostly colleagues, friends, neighbors, and businessmen, shook hands with them, and the committee also gave opportunities for invitees to have photo sessions with the bride and groom.

Pamitan (Leave-taking).

Pamitan (Leave-taking) was the last part of the rituals when the newly wed couple asked for permission and blessings from their parents (in law), the Sultan Hamengkubuwono X and Queen Hemas, to leave the Keraton and have their own family.

At this moment the Prince and Princes knelt down in front of their parents, begging for apology for the wrongdoings and mistakes they have done while while they were leaving with them.

Pamitan as part of Javanese wedding tradition can be the saddest moment for parents considering their son or daughter was going to leave them to raise his/her own family .


Congratulations GKR Bendara and KPH Yudanegara for entering the new step in life. We hope that you'll always have happy-prosperous marriage ever after.


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    • agusfanani profile image

      agusfanani 4 years ago from Indonesia

      @Deneer :

      Thank you very much for letting me know the mistake. I'll make necessary correction on this hub.

    • profile image

      Deneer 4 years ago

      I'm sorry, there's a mistake around the pondonghan. the pondhongan symbolize the princess bride as the daughter of the king, so her position should always be honored. Because KPH Yudanegara married a daughter of the king so he had to carry GKR Bendara as a symbol that the princess should always be honored. Thank you!

    • agusfanani profile image

      agusfanani 5 years ago from Indonesia


      I'm so glad to find a friend from the same country here. Nice to see you too.

    • ivanmarginal profile image

      ivanmarginal 5 years ago from Jakarta

      Dear agusfanani, I'm an Indonesian too :) Nice to see you here.

    • agusfanani profile image

      agusfanani 5 years ago from Indonesia

      Salam kenal juga.Welcome to HubPages.

      Dengan senang hati kalau ada yg bisa dibantu, hanya memang komunikasi hrs dlm bhs Inggris, kalau tidak nanti ditegur adminnya :).

      HubPages mrpkn jaringan penulisan artikel dlm bhs Inggris yg akan membayar penulisnya berdasarkan banyaknya pembaca. The more your hubs are read\visited by readers the more payment you'll earn. So, please get started writing.

    • Durronn profile image

      durronn 5 years ago from Pekanbaru

      Sama-sama Pak Agus. Saya mohon bimbingannya ya Pak, karena saya baru di Hubpages ini, jadi masih sangat minim sekali pengetahuan saya. Apalagi kebanyakan Bahasa inggris, saya masih tahap belajar. Jadi jika saya ada salah dalam berkata, tegur saya saja. Saya sangat senang jika ada yang menegur saya. Pak boleh tanya? Hubpages ini sebuah jejaring untuk apa, intinya untuk apa garis besarnya. Karena saya gabung ini secara kebetulan saja, dan sepertinya menarik, maka dari itu saya sing up. Salam kenal dan terimakasih

    • agusfanani profile image

      agusfanani 5 years ago from Indonesia

      Hi Durronn, begitu juga dengan saya. Thank you for dropping by my friend.

    • Durronn profile image

      durronn 5 years ago from Pekanbaru

      hemmmm.... indonesia di sani aku lahir, di sini aku besar, di sini aku mati

    • agusfanani profile image

      agusfanani 5 years ago from Indonesia

      @SweetiePie: Thank you for reading and giving comments, SweetiePie.

      @Prasetio30: I highly appreciate your nice comments, Prasetio. Yes, I try to do what I can to introduce culture in our country. Thank you very much for rating up my hub.

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

      This was another "royal wedding" made in Java. I really enjoy this hub and how you share our culture to the world. My brother, our country is rich in culture. You are the best Indonesian tourism ambassador. Thank you very much for writing and share with us. Rated up!


    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA

      It is interesting to see a royal wedding we do not hear about on the news. I love her dress, so beautiful.

    • agusfanani profile image

      agusfanani 6 years ago from Indonesia

      Thank very much for complementing this hub Nell and I'm so glad that you like it.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

      Hi, what a beautiful wedding! the couple are really lovely and the ceremony and clothes look amazing, really interesting, nell

    • agusfanani profile image

      agusfanani 6 years ago from Indonesia

      @Peggy W: Basically all people may practice javanese wedding tradition which follow step-by-step of processions above, except the parade which is only done by royal family. Many common/non royal people mostly apply revised or only implement some important/compulsary steps of the whole processions due to some reasons, like cost and time considerations.

      I myself did only Siraman, Ijab kabul, Panggih and Reception when I had my wedding day.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      How similar are the wedding ceremonies between non royal couples? Except for the lavishness of it...are pretty much the same rituals followed? The bathing? Asking permission of the parents to leave, etc?

    • agusfanani profile image

      agusfanani 6 years ago from Indonesia

      @Peggy W: Yes, this is one of the most beautiful wedding ceremonies in the country that attracted thousand of people came to Yogyakarta, since the the wedding processions completely practiced Javanese wedding tradition.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      What a beautiful ceremony! Thank you for explaining all of the parts leading up to the marriage and the wedding ceremony. They make a beautiful young couple. Wishing them many years of happiness.

    • agusfanani profile image

      agusfanani 6 years ago from Indonesia

      Thank you so much for your comments Pak Bambang and I feel glad that you like this hub.

    • Bbudoyono profile image

      Bbudoyono 6 years ago

      Ecelllent hub pak Agus. I love watching the beautiful pictures. The princess is really beautiful. I wish they will have a happy life for ever.


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