Category: Reflections

First Night

All your life, you’ve been protecting and saving yourself for your dream man. And when that night comes, the climax builds and you’re ready to present yourself to the other half and so you spend the hot and steamy night…

At home. In your bedroom. Where your siblings/parents/grandparents/pets/even neighbours are literally a wall and a door away. And when you wake up to make breakfast in bed for your husband, you open the door to see your entire family eating at the dining table. Out of politeness, your dad asks you, “How was your night?” AWKWARD. Hahahaa.

So after our last reception on H’s side, we are definitely spending our special night away from home. But we’re not planning to go lavish lah, since we’re going to check in late anyway, since the reception ends at 6pm. Studio M Hotel seems to fit just right into our budget. Plus I love the loft concept of their rooms!

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According to their website:

“Enjoy a sense of elevated living and privacy in your bedroom on the mezzanine with a dedicated work and living space on the lower level.”

Best perrrr! A room is usually split into two levels, with the top floor called a mezzanine, where the bed usually is, macam a private sanctuary of your own to enjoy each other’s company. And can tabur rose petals on the stairs, tweak the lighting, kasi atmosphere sikit. Romantic kannn!!

And one of the best things about this hotel is location. Some of the rooms also overlook Clarke Quay, and the view can be enjoyed through the the ceiling high clear glass.

Exe Loft

Jangan susah payah dah book, nanti menses. Hahaha.

Baby Blues

H has always been dropping subtle (but clearly not subtle enough) hints about his love for kids and eventually having them, even when we were first courting. He’d plan out his future plans, and always referred to how he’d set aside for their university tuition fees and how he’d want them to turn out. Then, gradually the phrases became “our kids”, and it warmed my heart to know that I was part of the equation.

But we’ve never really talked about our plans for children, till about recently he brought it up quite blatantly when we were discussing our honeymoon:

Me: Because of Umairah’s (maid of honour, who will be getting married a month after us) wedding in mid June, we don’t have much time to go for honeymoon. Pergi December nak?

H: Abih kalau you pregnant macam mana?

Me: [dengan mata terbeliak, mulut terngangam air liur meleleh semua] You want kids THAT early ah??

Quite simply put, he wants kids right away. GULP. I definitely know that they were going to be part of my future, but I’ve always thought of practicing extra “precautions” and living a honeymoon life for a few years (okay maybe just one) before deciding to have kids. But knowing H, who has never asked me for anything knowing he had it or could work towards it, it must have taken a big chunk out of him to bring the topic up. So I took a step back and reconsidered. Because I knew that, in all cheesiness, for the boy who has given me nothing but all the care, attention and love a fiance could ever need, and more, the least I could do for him was to surrender my ovaries and carry out my duty as a vessel of reproduction, however early he wants it. Atas nama cintaaaaa. And plus, macam best ada “mini-me” boleh main-main camwhore and boleh buat bahan gambar Instagram. Confirm banyak likes punya kan kan?? Wakakaka.

My only condition was to hold it off till after out honeymoon in mid June, but this is mostly because H has strong values against travelling while being pregnant. I did ask him what would happen if I did get pregnant right away (ala-ala bunting pelamin i think that’s what it’s called?), and with all nonchalance he said:

H: Kalau you pregnant, we cancel our honeymoon okay.

Me: What! Abih kalau tengah-tengah Europe jugak we find out about the news?? Macam mana?

H: Kita balik okay?

Me: WHHHAAAAAAAAATTTTTTTTTT!!???!!!!!

No kidding, strong values betul dengan berakar-umbi punya. That, and my mom’s endless drilling about how “anak pertama kene jaga betul-betul. Apa-apa boleh terjadi…”. So memandangkan one month and a half is a LONG time, and I don’t want to have to balik halfway, I shall brainstorm ways on how to keep the baby bells at bay, at least until our hornymoon starts that is. Eh gatal sia. Hahahahaa.

Adat Resam Perkahwinan

I have to admit, I’m a sucker for all these “adat temurun” practices, but there are many terms that I don’t understand, or certain customs that I’m not even sure of the name. Even my mom, when wanting to pass down these customs to my wedding, found it hard to explain the terms in a way that I could understand, because most of her wedding preparations was done by my grandmum. Kirakan, she just sailed through her wedding pretty obliviously heheh. Luckily enough, my aunt from KL, who does kahwin2 stuff in her free time like arranging barang hantaran etc, came down to give our family a visit recently. I knew she would be knowledgeable about all the customs practiced in our family, so I asked her if she could explain some for me. Some of them were:-

 

Malam Berinai

Unlike current “Henna Night” practices where professional henna artists are hired, traditionally this night is where the closest female relatives will come over to the bride’s place to help put on her bridal henna and also take turns on each other. This sounds like it can be potentially kecoh and fun! Brings families closer together, especially when your henna is done lovingly by your family members. In the past, the bride even goes through some costume changes for photo shoot purposes, which is hardly done anymore.

 

Mandi Bunga / Siraman

In the past, especially pre-Islamic times, usually the family will call upon someone yang berilmu to siramkan air bunga on the bride to cleanse her and ward off any unpleasant things. Nowadays, my aunt mentioned that “kita hanya ambil adat yang baik aje”, so if we were to practice this, tak perlu lah panggil bomoh segala. Moreover, she said that flowers contain this natural, pleasant-smelling aura that can have a positive effect on the bride, and also to signify her as a “flower” that hasn’t been touched. Cheyyy bedah! And unlike being previously done depan khalayak ramai, this siraman should only be done among closest mahrams untuk menjaga aurat pengantin perempuan. This really appeals to me, as my mom also had this done on her, and she mentioned it was very refreshing after that! All we need is a big container (tembaga) and mix water with some of your favourite flowers, and a gayung to scoop the air bunga onto the bride. But of course kalau semangat, boleh buat cantik2 macam gini lahhh (but truthfully I’d prefer an intimate one with just me and my mom) :

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Usually flowers used are comprised from the bunga rampai as they are sweet-smelling.

(Source: Jentayu Gallery)

Merenjis

This used to involve sprinkling air mawar onto the palms of the bride/groom, then lightly throwing dough or rice onto them, as a sign of good luck and warding bad spirits away. Since this belief cannot be taken into account anymore as it is syirik, plus throwing beras/tepung is like tengah buang rezeki, again we take only yang baik by preserving the adat but switching them to throwing bunga rampai or rose petals instead, just to pass on the aura to the newly weds. I’m seriously love this adat; I find it intriguing, and gives a chance for the elders to have some personal time with the newlyweds to slip in some words of advice and blessings, symbolising our Malay culture of respecting the older generation. So glad that my mom still keeps the apparatus (i think it’s called tepak sirih and the alat perenjis) so I can use it during the wedding and continue passing it on yayyy!

 

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(Source: Chase Hasemi)

 

Bunga Pahar / Bunga Telur

By right, this should be given to those sedara-mara terdekat yang merenjis. So after merenjis-ing, they proceed to take one. One would need only either bunga pahar or bunga telur, because basically it’s the same thing. Just that you have a choice; if you give a full-size boiled telur (usually wrapped in a net and attached to a flower) then it’s called bunga telur, and if you were to give pulut pahar (which is usually pulut and boiled quail eggs) then it would be called bunga pahar. This symbolises fertility, with the eggs and also the pulut(rice) which means rezeki, probably in the form of offsprings.

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Bunga telur by Jentayu Gallery

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Bunga pahar at my friend Lily’s wedding. So creative kannn!

Bunga Rampai

Commonly used interchangeably with bunga telur/pahar, this berkat is actually to be given out to people who attended the majlis pernikahan as a token of gratitude. But since the practice of merenjis is rarely carried out anymore, these three types of berkats are almost all regarded as the same thing now.

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I love how current trends do not stick to the conventional bunga rampai mixture, and venturing into using other flowers like full roses which can be much prettier than the traditional kind!

(Source: Chase Hasemi)

Sireh Junjung / Sireh Dara

From the name, I think it’s supposed to symbolise the “dara-ness” of the bride. I feel it’s quite weird to portray the bride’s virginity out in the open and to symbolise it in this form. So kalau kahwin dengan janda macam mana? Tak dapat ke? Wouldn’t that be rude? So yeahhhh I kind of feel this is an unnecessary display, but memang ikut our culture, shows that it really values and respects woman ahhh. ANYWAYS, it’s supposed to be initiated by the groom and has to be reciprocated by the girl’s side as part of the exchange of wedding trays. After that, it’s supposed to be placed in the centre of the pelamin, in between the bride and groom, as a centrepiece but also to show that distance between them and to symbolise that dara-ness is still there because they havent well… spent their first night hahaha. Then the bunga pahar/bunga telur, usually two of them, one will be placed on the right and left of the pelamin, like so:

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(Source: Jentayu Gallery)

I feel much clearer after talking to my aunt and more confident to use these terms now that I understand them more thoroughly. There may have been some things she said that you many not agree with, but like I said, these are what my family has been practising and customs differ across different families and heritages, so to each his own lah kan. And it would be so interesting to incorporate all these into my wedding! Extra cost? Maybe. It may also be an extra step for some, melecehkan even, but if we as the current generation do not practice these precious customs, then there might not be any left for us to pass down anymore. Sedih or whaaaat. Jangan macam gini ah please guys!! Chey passionate ke pe, hahahaha.

I’m back!

Hello! After an eventful two months, I’m back with vengeance and armed with truckloads of updates!! But to keep the suspense going, I shall stagger my updates muahahaa just for the fun of it. Slowly lahhh, I have to find a way to maintain readers’ interest, yes? Hehe. Anyhoos, the past two months have been so fast-paced that I seriously have no idea where my term break went and now I’m left with less than three weeks till school starts pffffft. Apart from having gone through wisdom tooth surgery and painfully learning after 22 years that I’m allergic to a strand of Penicillin through a trip to the A&E, the wanderlust in me was screaming to travel during this last long stretch of holidays before the wedding that somehow I managed to fit in four different countries into my travel itinerary. Lepaskan geram babe, next year dah kena kahwin.

I feel so blessed to have been able to immerse myself into the culture and sights of Japan, Melbourne, Bintan and Sabah; from staying in an authentic Japanese capsule hotel, visiting cat cafes, experiencing snow, then autumn consecutively, scouring through eccentric vintage markets in Melbourne city, while enjoying the beautiful coastline on other days, relaxing on powder white beaches and clear waters of Bintan, and embarking on land and sea adventures in Sabah.

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Semangat kan prepare collage semua? Hahaha. Layankan je lahhhh.

BUT I’ve been diligent enough to some squeeze wedding-related errands in between these trips so as to not let my term break go to waste. Though most brides and grooms only do this a few months before their wedding, I’m happy to say that we’re almost done with purchasing all our dulang / gift tray items yayyy!! We made full use of the GSS in June and also Bazaar Ramadhan to get the telekung, sejadah, songkok, and matching traditional outfits to be placed on the dulang. ANDDDD I’m done DIY-ing the gift trays which is a huge accomplishment for me, considering how I’m doing them for both me and H (but the lovely fiance is paying me to do it so who’s complaining weeee). I’ll craft a detailed post regarding our wedding gifts trays soon, but before that, I thought it’d be interesting to know a general overview on what kind of budget couples usually set aside for wedding gifts, and since it isn’t mandatory, I’d be expecting a wide range of amounts. Poll away!

Stretching the Holidays

Exams just ended, and that means loads of extra time to do up wedding stuffs yaww! I think some full time student brides and also Raudhah would share my sentiment, how it’s almost impossible to achieve any concrete wedding planning during the semester and so when it comes to the holidays, we really have to make full use of the time we have. And eff yeahhh I have around three months to do that yo! At least till the semester starts in late July.

And because my wedding is directly after my final exams, that means I only have the current semester break and another 1 month break in December to settle any major tasks and errands, leaving only the mandatory and unavoidable meet ups with the vendors and fittings to during my last semester. This also means that all the DIY projects I plan (berangan) to do should be done nowww. That brings me to this.

DIY Project List for May – July holidays:

  • Handmade flower bouquet – Angan-angan nak hand-sew all the flowers but tengok lah mana jadinya
  • Matching bridemaids bouquet – Ni kalau rajin ehh
  • Hantaran / gift trays – Finally I get to DIY my own trays! And H said if I have time I could work on his too. Nyehehehe.
  • Bridal room decor ideas – Okay this is highly ambitious hahahahaaa but let’s hope it happens!
  • Invitation cards – I’m not going to be crazy and design my own card. I’ll leave that to professionals and purchase the design online. Only after that, I’ll do my own printing at a local printing shop and DIY the envelopes. I’ve set my eyes on the inspiration of doily paper envelopes but we’ll see!

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Simple and classic. So excited to start on these! So far I’m working on the invitation cards first because I’ve recently gotten the information I needed from Gurame regarding the shuttle bus pick up points and timings etc so better start on it whilst the info is fresh la kan. Plus I’m in the process of crafting the map of Gurame that will be on the card and I swear it’s fun stuff to do!! Will craft a tutorial post soooon!

“Benda Baik Jangan Ditangguhkan”

I’m sure some of you might have noticed, I haven’t been updating / booking any vendors for a while now. Honestly, the disruptions to the planning were caused by the reviewing of our wedding date. And so after countless discussions with the parents and H, we have decided to move up our wedding. Mesti you all pikir, mak ai minah ni tak sabar sangat ke nak kahwin???

Being 22, I’m in no rush to get married, yet I’m open to the idea. On the other hand, H has always wanted the wedding to be in 2013 (blame the seven year age gap) and he did mentioned it  when he proposed. But when H surfaced the idea to my dad when he came over to ask for my hand in marriage, my dad  told him that it’s better to wait till after I graduate next year in June. Hence, our initial wedding date in November 2014, after I got my first job and was pretty much settled into my career.

However, things change, and my dad started to reconsider certain aspects, like if H is stable enough to support a poor undergrad like me, then why not? Plus, my dad is still considering to take up an overseas assignment, so another man in the household might be good for our family. But all parties merely agreeing to the idea was not good enough. The vision of a December 2013 wedding was not meant to be when both our caterers clashed and had no dates that synchronised with each other. The next available dates that H’s caterer, Cik Anis (family business) and Decorama (their partner for decor) could offer were in Feb, May or June 2014.  February would mean the wedding would be held in the middle of classes during the semester, which personally I didn’t mind but H was against it. June was the next best thing, but the only date available was the last week of June, and the following week would be the fasting month which means no honeymoon till November bleaarrggghhhh.

So finally, we agreed on May which is just nice because I would’ve just finished my final exams (hahaha lepas exam terus kahwin tak tau sabar betul ni budak) and we still have time to go on our honeymoon before the fasting month! Plus, H’s sister aka the SIL would also have just finished her confinement period after her birth insya’allah so the planning wouldn’t be too hard on the MIL. Don’t you just love it when things work for everyone?? Weeeeee.

So yes. I’m happy to announce that my wedding date has been brought forward to 3rd May (nikah and girl’s side reception) and 4th May 2014 (guy’s side reception)! Dengar tak kakak-kakak kahwings? Yes, you may adjust your bridal roll order now if applicable, ehem ehem, and sorry lah kalau I dah langkah bendul siapa-siapa tapi faham-faham sikit lah okay. Hehhhhh. And yessss now my planning has to be brought up to speed by X10000000000 lah please.