Didi x Dira : How to Get Married (#2 of 3)

(Pssst… you can read the part one here)

Have you ever been to wedding expo / festivals? They’re usually organized by a big wedding community, and participated by many wedding vendors such as; catering, decoration, fashion designer, photographer, videographer, venue, and so on.


Last month I impulsively went to Bridestory Wedding Festival, and I honestly didn’t know why I went there. Maybe it was because I hate wedding ceremony so much, that I need to dive deeper and find its silver lining. Or maybe, I just wanted to see Bramanta Wijaya—one of the best Indonesian fashion designer I really adore—from the corner without saying any single word to him 🙂 Sometimes the difference between a shy person and a creepy stalker is paper thin. This time, I’ll let you decide.


After secretly fangirling over Bramanta Wijaya from a distance, I then looked around the hall, and accidentally met a friend of my mother. AGGGHH! I quickly hid behind my DSLR camera, because it would be a disaster when your mother’s friends made a fake news of you getting married. Sorry ma’am, I didn’t mean to be impolite. It was just, everything was too awkward for me at that expo 😦


Then when I got home, I made a conclusion about what I found at the wedding festival:

  1. Everybody was so good-looking; the vendors, the other visitors, and the Bridestory team.
  2. Rendy Pandugo looked cool in real life.
  3. Bramanta Wijaya looked gorgeous.
  4. Bridestory played a very well-made playlist including: Marie Hines-Lovestung, Oh Wonder-Bigger than Love, and obviously Landon Pigg-Falling in Love at A Coffee Shop.
  5. All the booth display looked magical, but felt “meh” at the same time.

Even though I can’t relate much yet with all these wedding prep stuff, I still want to learn more about it from Didi and Dira, a couple who’ll get married a day after this interview is released.


It’s a couple days before your wedding. How do you feel?

Dira : Unexpectedly, I’m emotionally calmed enough. Even tough deep down, honestly it’s mixed feelings. I’m looking forward to the day.

Source: Dictionary.com

Didi : It’s a mixture of happy and exciting feelings. I’m also curious about what does it feel to be a wife, and still a bit worried of the preparation, especially the music and decoration. The rest is in God’s hand. Lillahi ta’ala.

How did your friends react about it?

Dira : My friends were mostly surprised when I sent them an invitation, and they couldn’t believe that I’m getting married as well. Perhaps it was because they know my past, and at the moment I used to be acknowledged with my ‘not available for marriage’ vibe. But in the end, everyone responded in their own way, and I did feel appreciated somehow. Let’s see who’s really coming, shall we?

Didi : They were quiet surprised and really supportive at the same time, especially the ones who’d been married. Those friends show much concern by giving me a brief summary and the do-don’t for a marriage, especially from the religious angle. They suggest me some prayers and devotions to do during my marriage preparation, and the day after I get married.

Classic question : Why don’t you guys hire a wedding organizer?

Dira : If you let someone else take care of your wedding, then don’t be mad if someone else ended up ‘taking care’ of your partner in the future (or might be taking him / her away). Anyway, within the process, you’ll see glimpses of each others’ character. So, whether you’d have second thoughts, It wouldn’t be too late to take drastic steps.

Didi : We took the decision because Dira and I do believe that we’re capable in organizing our own wedding. Basically, I doubt the wedding organizers in their time efficiency and ability to fulfill my expectation. I really want everything to be done swiftly, so I don’t have to worry about any other time consuming details. I determined to do as much as possible things with our own hands, and I believe that whatever result it may bring, it will still be delightful for the both of us.


Have you ever been to wedding expo?

Dira : I did. I was looking for Food tasting of course. What else?

Didi : I once went to a wedding expo in JCC [Jakarta Convention Center]. At that time, I already made a list of things I should seek at the expo. And because I knew that plenty of catering and souvenir vendors were going to be there, I also visit them to see their real performance.

What do guys need to prepare for the wedding day?

Dira : Catering, Decorations, Documentation, Security, and other details

Didi : Catering, Decorations, Documentation, Security, Wedding Dress, and Music.

How did you guys find the right vendors?

Dira : After the engagement, we were both doing research; asking some (already married) friends for references, asking our parents for suggestions, visiting food tasting, then discussed it together. Alhamdulillah so far, I’m quite sure in our choices.

Didi : I’m pretty much the same as Dira.

Which part should be taken care immediately after the engagement?

Dira : The catering and venue first, because both are related. Nowadays, venues have their own lists of catering organizer partners, so we should choose the right place and the right catering. That’s the tricky (also the fun) part.

Didi : We looked for the venue first, because they’ll usually give us special offer for hiring their catering partner. Instead, if we hire each venue and catering vendor individually, the venue management will charge us 20-30% higher than the initial price (it depends on their regulation). Or maybe, we can pick the venue of our choice first, then ask for their catering suggestions, so we can get the price list and food sample.


And, which part is most interesting?

Dira : Everything is both interesting and fun to handle. We know what we need, we don’t want much, we use what we have, so everything is taken care with smooth fashioned (so far, no panic and anxiety involved, alhamdulillah).

Didi : Everything’s fun and enjoyable actually. Besides the details we mentioned before, here’s the most interesting part: budgeting and its realization. Sometimes they both part the ways, and a lot of friends said that there was a solid build-up on their wedding budget, because things didn’t go as they planned. Hence, I see this part as the most interesting and challenging one.

You guys told me that there will be an exhibition on your wedding day. Can you tell us more about it?

Dira : “Waradhana” (meaning Love/Compassion/Blessings in sanscrete) is more like a mini showcase of very few friends who want to share their perspectives of what marriage is all about. It’ll be like a reminder, a warning, a suggestions, or maybe a representation of marriage. It’s for the enjoyment of the guests who’ll come, especially for me and Didi of course. I also think of it as the last exhibition I’ll handle, and I hope that the exhibitors may find it beneficial for them.

Didi : We were both talking nonsense, and the idea came out. Usually when I came to my friends’ wedding, all I saw was just the couple picture on display. I told Dira that the exhibition idea will be really exciting, because it’ll be something different for our wedding day. I also used to ask a friend of Dira to do live painting on our wedding, since I believe it’ll be amazing if that can really happen.

I also heard that Dira is preparing a special gift for Didi. A little bit sneak peek, maybe?

Dira : Oh, well, besides the dowries, I’ve been writing a book filled with my thoughts, my perspectives, also glimpses of my history, written in a form of short stories and poets. I’m inspired by Bung Hatta, who did similar thing for his wife. Alas, I have some thoughts; Whatever I’d give for her will be gone, instead I’ll leave my secrets, my legacy, a piece of my mind to her. The more she reads it, the more she’ll understand me more. Anyway, if I can only buy her things, anyone else can, eh

How about you, Didi? Any surprise for Dira?
Didi : I myself am a gift for Dira (what a self-confidence, yeaah!)


Is it important to improvise during the preparation? How much important is it?

Dira : A lot. Creative minds are the best way in facing any pressuring problems in life tho. Sometimes it may lead you further than what you’d hope to achieve.

Didi : It’s incredibly important. Lots of things we planned will eventually change along the way. For instance, Dira and I got an idea to have a night wedding party. Unfortunately, our parents suggested the opposite, so we switched it to the morning. That change actually made a lot difference to the other aspects such as decoration, and obviously, budgeting.

How much did things change?

Dira : 5% and it’s as expected, and already taken care of.

Didi : Uhm.. Let’s see:

  • The schedule’s been 40% modified, compared to the initial plan
  • The Venue’s been 100% modified, compared to the initial plan
  • The budgeting is still sticking to the plan.
  • The catering and wedding attire parts are also stay on plan.
  • On the music part, we didn’t plan to hire a band, but now we do. So it’s been 100% modified.

What about your parents? Did you guys discuss a lot with them?

Dira : Well, Our fathers are basically perfectionists and what can I say, they expect a lot. But then again, we’ve been living with them for more than two decades, so we already predicted it, and already dealt with their requests.

Didi : At first, they put trust in me to make every decision for my wedding. However, you know, they are parents, and my father is a pretty critical person. Things change in a sudden, but I already predicted it before. Hence, I tried to deal with it casually, and had a discussion with them when we face some differences. Many times in this preparation, my father eventually give in.

Any interesting stuff you guys find during the preparation?

Dira : I don’t agree with people who said “comfort is everything”. Peace of Mind IS everything within this relationship. It helped us go through as partners.

Didi : Patience and sincerity. Getting close to the wedding day, people will usually be tested. The test I talk about doesn’t come from the opposite gender, or the technical preparation. It’s more from the inside, and we have to stay patient so we don’t get confused or stressed out.

Meanwhile the sincerity I’m talking about is, the situation where I’m trying to accept the fact that I’m gonna be someone else’s wife after the wedding. It means that I’ll have bigger responsibility to bear, and the “me time” needs to be “we time”. After the wedding, It’s not about me anymore. It’s about us.

Dira said that he didn’t want people to wish them a good luck for the wedding day. Why?

Dira : Because nowadays, there are more Instagrammable weddings than working marriages. In fact, there are examples that show us that some people had longer wedding preparation period than the marriage itself. Wedding day is important, but more to it, the life after it is the most important. Your struggle begins there, as will ours.

Didi : Every word is a prayer, and it’s not a problem for me when someone says, “Good luck for the wedding day”. However, I feel more grateful and really appreciate those who say, “Good luck for the wedding and the days after.” It’s because the real journey starts after wedding. A lot of new things will have to be faced together in that journey.



See you guys tomorrow, Didi and Dira!