Jokowi's son to marry ex-beauty queen in June

JAKARTA - The Indonesian city of Surakarta, better known as Solo, is gearing up to host the country's wedding of the year.

President Joko Widodo's son Gibran Rakabuming will marry Ms Selvi Ananda, a former Miss Surakarta, on June 11, and the country's VIPs are expected to flock to the city where Mr Joko served as mayor from 2005 to 2012.

The publicity-shy Mr Gibran, 27, managed to keep his six-year relationship with Ms Selvi, 26, private, with the media only getting wind of it when Ms Selvi announced their wedding in April.

The couple, both from Solo, met in 2009 when Mr Gibran joined his mother Iriana Widodo on the judging panel at the Miss Surakarta beauty pageant. It was the First Lady, then the mayor's wife, who crowned her future daughter- in-law.

"In Javanese, it's witing tresna jalaran saka kulina (the seeds of love come from intense interactions). Gibran and Selvi experienced that but I don't know when they started dating," Ms Febri Hapsari Dipokusumo, chairman of the Solo Pageant Association, told The Jakarta Post last Friday.

Singapore also played a role in the couple's courtship.

Ms Selvi told the media in Indonesia that after the pageant, she met Mr Gibran again in Singapore, when she visited as Solo's tourism ambassador, and he was studying at the Management Development Institute of Singapore.

Mr Gibran, the oldest of Mr Joko's three children, runs a catering business in Solo while Ms Selvi worked at a private bank in the city.

She quit her job after the wedding was announced.

The wedding, a three-day affair organised by the bride's family, will start on June 9, with more than 600 security officers from the Indonesian military, police and the President's security force deployed to safeguard the event.