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5 Years Ago Today – Our Balinese Blessing Ceremony

Jonathan and I eloped and were married 5 years ago today, at the the Indus restaurant in Ubud, Bali. They have a really beautiful terraced garden behind the restaurant that has views down to a large valley. We found the location online and arranged the wedding via email. It turned out to be the perfect secluded spot for our little wedding.

A lot of people have asked what our ceremony was like so I thought I would give you the play by play breakdown of a traditional Balinese blessing ceremony.

The Balinese Blessing Ceremony

1. The Mangku (priest) rings a small bell to speak to the God (in Sanskrit mantra) that today a sacred wedding is about to be performed. He rings the bell for a couple of minutes.

2. The bride and groom receive this Balinese dadap leaf, holy water, and burnt rice, which means purification and cleansing of the body and the spirit. The assistant priest then burns 3 stalks of bamboo on fire to symbolize the burning of any sinful past as individuals by the God Brahma (Batara Brahma).

3. The bride and groom receive holy water on their chests to purify and prepare their hearts for a blessed marriage.

4. The bride and groom receives coconut water on their heads using a palm leaf (3 times), and their hands to drink (3 times), and then on their hand to wipe on top of their heads (1 time). Disclaimer: Patty only pretended to “wash” her face so she didn’t mess up her make-up.

5. Muspa- The bride and groom pray:

a. Putting both hands together and raise between eyebrows.
b. Muspa Puyung: Praying without holding flowers. This is to concentrate and centralize all the senses to ask Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa (the highest God) for purity of the soul.
c. The first Muspa: Holding flowers between the two hands and raising them between the eyebrows. This is to ask Dewa Surya (the God of the Sun) to share with us His compassionate radiance to the people of the world.
d. The second Muspa: Holding Kwangenâ (little flower arrangement) between the two hands and raising them between the eyebrows. This is to ask the specific God of the Padmasana (this small tower/temple protecting the hotel) so that we will always be protected and safe.
e. The third Muspa: Using similar Kwangenâ to pray to all the holy Gods and Goddesses to always give us happiness and health.
f. Muspa Puyung (similar to point b above): To show gratitude for everything that we have, every blessing of life that we have received until now.

6. The assistant priest takes floral water using a coconut shell and pours on a bamboo cylinder, symbolizing straining all the past shadows of wrongdoings. The bride and groom then drink this water.

7. The groom and bride receive rice on their foreheads.

8. The bride and groom then eat treats from the offerings.

And that’s it. That is the ceremony.

Then headed upstairs to our private terrace and had out wedding feast. The menu we pre-selected consisted of tofu curry, chicken satay, corn cakes, braised red bean & young papaya in Balinese spices, fragrant yellow rice and coconut crepes with banana filling and gula merah. The food was excellent, but I think we were kind of too excited to eat much.

My head and neck was throbbing from the weight of my head decorations. I think it was at least 20 lbs. So I had to cut the evening short and start dismantling the hair ornaments. I’ll post photos of that process sometime.

We are planning to go back to Ubud for our 10th anniversary, in 2020. 5 years down, 5 years to go!



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