Walking with two cameras, a small bag and a ladder is a daily activity for me. But today, I have a different assignment. I must change into a different kind of clothing to cover the marriage of GKR Bendara (youngest daughter of Yogyakarta King Sultan Hamengkubuwono X) to her husband KPH Yudanegara.
Since it’s not an ordinary assignment, today I will need more help in dressing for the wedding ceremony. Usually I wear something simple, but now I need something more traditional. Out of respect to the old traditions of my country, I figure I must dress the part or else I won’t be able to take pictures inside the palace.
The wedding ceremonies don’t happen in just one day, but over the course of three days. Sultan Hamengkubuwono X spread out the 4,000 invitations across two receptions in two different palaces, as well as stationed around 200 street food vendors to serve people out in the streets.
My concerns are not with the reception, but with the Javanese ceremonies during the wedding. The wedding is in Yogyakarta Palace, the center of Javanese culture. The palace has been the capital of the Yogyakarta Kingdom since 1755 with Sultan Hamengkubuwo X as the 10th king of the kingdom.
As for clothing, I must wear the traditional Javanese style, consisting of a blankon (headcover), a blue peranakan shirt and a jarik, which is like a sarong made from batik. Also no shoes or sandals. Wearing these kind of clothes means we must walk slowly and gently. No running, jumping or climbing.