The Exquisite Mariah and Sham

I’ve been putting off this post for way too long, but here goes…

Guess who can haz Mariah & Sham decorate their wedding???

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YES MUA!!! Mehehheee.

As some of you would have probably known, my wedding venue provides basic decorations as previously mentioned here. And I really mean it when I say BASIC; one size-fits-all pelamin, guest table centrepieces, arch and chiavari chairs. Any additional components like drapery or real flowers will have to come at a costly add-on. Thankfully, the management is flexible with substituting the value of the decoration elements in the package to additional food if I didn’t want to use them, which is unavoidable anyway since the fathership plans to add on a whooping 400 guests to the initial 1k pax plan. So after a ruthless realignment to the wedding budget and countless temptations from attending weddings with gorgeous decor done by reputable companies, I decided forgo decorations at Gurame and consider other options.

So H and I went to the then on-going wedding exhibition at the expo for some inspiration and saw that Anggun Decor showcased the exact beautiful setup they did recently at the Japanese Garden, as seen below:

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Anggun2(Source: Anggun Decor)

I was so glad that more companies venturing out of their safe zones to customising designs from scratch that I sat down with their owner/stylist to enquire about customisation options. But I was met with reluctance from her part:

“Kakak dah penat tau, I spent so many months customising for that wedding. Kalau you suka vintage, you pakai design ni je lah ok? Exactly what you see, is what you get.” 

MEHHH. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I’m being picky and refusing “hand-me-down” designs, but it was her un-enthusiasm that reminded me of adamant vendors who don’t allow changes to their niche designs despite requests from the bride/groom. Among other contenders were The Wedding Chateau , whose gorgeous work I was lucky enough to see at Aida‘s wedding at Orchidville!

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And some other pictures kapo-ed from their hashtag #decadeoflove2013, because I could only attend the dinner reception:

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I was whatsapp-ing Aida about how gorgeous her wedding was (!!!), and also comparing the quotation TWC gave me to what she was paid them. And there was a LARGE difference okay, considering only two years have passed since Aida first placed the deposit with TWC till now so I was a bit apprehensive despite their reputation.

And just in time, I received a reply from Mariah, one half of the sister and artisan extraordinaire, Mariah & Shamwho agreed to an on-site visit to Gurame to talk about my ideas. Which was really sweet of them considering how it was a non-obligatory meet up and also the inaccessibility of the restaurant. The duo has been around for as long as I can remember, known for their gubahan designs and candy buffet tables, or designer isles, with arrangements so detailed that it will literally blow your mind okayyy.

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(Source: Mariah & Sham)

Only in early 2012 (and I’m glad they did!), did they decide to embark on major wedding decoration projects that further showcased their polished look and a suave penchant for customisation. Some of my ultimate favourites are:

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Classy, London-inspired design

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(Source: Mariah & Sham)

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(Source: Bliss Photocinema)

….. The infamous Arts House Wedding!

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Loving the clean, yet vintage look!

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And not forgetting their latest work at Burkhill Hall earlier this month!

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(Source: Mariah & Sham)

And did I mention the whole family is talented??! In addition to their mother who doubles as their co-designer and seamstress, they also collaborate with Haz Workz, who is actually Sham’s husband, for calligraphy, monograms and fine stationeries:

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… and even invites!

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(Source: Haz Workz)

During the fruitful meet up, I was immediately thrilled by Mariah’s keen listening ear (thanks Kak Mariah for layaning my kerenah yang nak ni, nak tu, semua nak hehhh), her husband who was dutifully snapping pictures of the venue, and Haz’s enthusiasm because he was literally hovering around taking measurements and conceptualising the space around Gurame. Most importantly, what I truly appreciate is that never once did they shut down any of my ideas that might not work, but instead enhanced them with their input.

So with that, I decided to place my faith in them to frill up my wedding venue yayyyyy! Orang kuat, Ili, insisted that I would have never settled for Gurame decorations anyway. Guess she was right ehhh?? HAHAHA.

Clique Studioworks + Inspirational Weddings Exhibition

Yesterday, a special friend of mine, Ridwan (by special, I mean he’s the reason H and I met but let’s keep that story to another day shall we. huhu), enlightened me about an upcoming wedding exhibition!

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We are inviting everyone to our showcase at The Inspirational Weddings 2014, 2nd November 2013.

Unbeatable discount rates for the closing end of the year sale.

Be apart of this extravagant wedding show.

Participating Vendors:

Bridal – Lyanaz Bridal Gallery
Decor – Estheme Weddings
Caterer – Sue’s Catering
Photography – FPB Productions
Cinematography – Clique Studioworks
Bridal Henna & Gubahan – Pesona Belle
Wedding Invites – Card Maison
Wedding DJ – MIS Entertainment 
Wedding Favors – Saljalti Wedding Favors
Wedding Photobooth – Onetwothree Snap Studio

It’s nice to see some fresh names on this list, and not the usual companies who already receive enough spotlight. I’m quite keen to see what some of these vendors have to offer, and Sengkang is not too far, so yeah who knows I might even drop by to kepo-kepo. Hahaha.

On behalf of Ridwan who is a photographer with Clique Studioworks, they’re giving an additional $100 off their exclusive packages if you RSVP them. And since I’m on this topic, let me show you some of their recent work okayyy.

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(Source: Clique Studioworks)

Cantik kan (somehow the brides are also equally cantik)!! Loving the edge and artistic vibes I’m getting from these pictures! And if that’s not enough, check out their cinematography package that is meletopzzzz!

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Definitely one to look out for, do head down to their showcase next Saturday at the Inspirational Weddings if you are interested to find out more.  Or, if you just want to have a friendly chat with Wan. Either way works. 🙂

The Wedding Brocade Lah Sey!

Recently, I attended a cousin’s wedding (not Hafiz, but his brother Faiz. They both had their sanding on the same day huhu. Macam best je) and met his bride for the first time during their nikah ceremony. And I actually gasped at how pretty she was! Her makeup was flawless and I loved her eyebrows!! I have this thing with eyebrows, for me if the MUA can shade them in really well it means her skills are top notch. My view lah okayyy. Yeah, so this Zakiah also had this hijab style on that was still quite uncommon in the nikah scene, because usually the hijab styles would involve just a sarung kepala thing that wraps so tightly around the face, making the face look super tembam and “out there”, then with a veil over the head ( i shall not post any pictures but you get what i mean). Hers was modern and up-to-date, what I would call “the messy hijab” style. If you’ve read my blog post here, then you’d know how particular I am about hijab styling.

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So bila I balik, I buat research lah sikit (padahal boleh tanya Zakiah eh, tapi malu), and low and behold, found out that it was the work of The Wedding Brocade lah sey! Patutlah chaaaantik bangat!

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(Source: The Wedding Brocade)

I love how the inner shawl flows around her face, very graceful and slimming! At first, I didn’t care too much about this vendor, because I saw that all of their customers fit the profile of being “kurus and tak pakai tudung” so their hijab collection might not be wide enough. And I know of a BTB who has enquired with them before and found out that their outfits range up to UK 12 only. So I tak favourite sekali companies who don’t really care for the big, bold and beautiful ladies. But when I saw Zakiah in her nikah outfit, my faith in them went pretty high ok!!  I’m so gonna tell Kak Nur from Weddingku to fix my hijab like this because I love it THAT MUCH.

So when I went for Faiz and Zakiah’s reception that weekend, apa lagi their sanding outfits were also super nice lah!

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I have to admit that The Wedding Brocade’s strongest point is their collections. Their outfits are unique and bold. Very flattering, especially on the tall and slim girls like Zakiah. More of her outfits below:

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(Source: The Wedding Brocade)

Orang buat train kat belakang, diorang punya train kat tepi shoulder. UNIQUE OR WHAT. This seems to be their niche design, since I’ve seen them in a few colours yang sungguh menawan. MOAR DESIGNNNSSS BELOW:

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(Source: The Wedding Brocade)

I swear, seeing all these pictures sungguh mencabar my iman to (be crazy like Farhana) and switch my bridal vendor, joining past Hipster Bride and future BTB Love In November in the #teamweddingbrocade. But even if H and my mom doesn’t kill me first, nak tukar pun dah tak boleh because word came out that they are FULLY BOOKED for 2014. I take this as a sign k that I have to be syukur with what I have. Also, at the back of my mind, I see Kak Nur’s disappointed face and H looking disapprovingly at me so takpa lah ehhh.

Kursus Kahwin Checked!

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So H and I attended Suchi Success’s Kasih Sejati marriage course last weekend, together with the MOH, Umairah, and her fiance ,Hafiz. Truthfully, I love that our weddings are only a month apart; because you’ll know there’s always that one girlfriend that totally gets what you’re going through, and give opinions honestly, only because she’s going through the same thing herself. And it’s helpful to have each other to remind ourselves of the tasks we need to complete before the wedding. Including ticking off things off our bucket list like traveling to Japan to see sakuras which we did together earlier this year weeeee. AND when we were seated in our rows, pusing kiri sekali terjumpa BTB cik adik manis Shahera Shaila pulak. Hello hello! Hehe.

Okay back to the kursus. Haha. All three trainers, Ustaz Khair, Ustaz Abdul Jalil and Puan Suriati were effectively influential speakers who were generous in sharing each of their “on the field” experiences with us, which I thought was really useful. One of the most shocking (and disturbing) facts I learnt from them was when three years back, the top reason for marriages to end in divorces in Singapore was due to financial issues, this year the top reason is now infidelity and the presence of a third party in the marriage. Can you believe it. Jauhkan pleeeease.

The programme itself was strategically divided and arranged to three stages; pre-wedding, the wedding itself, and three years after (which is apparently the most trying period). Bila dah petang-petang sikit, start ngantuk please, tapi kena topic macam gini:

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Terus terbangun you. If you know what I mean. Hahahaa. There were other activities that involved our active participation and discussion, so when I thought I could just relek one corner, I was wrong okay. Game twister pun ada, but nasib ni only the boys kene main hahaha.

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You see that boy yang kena balance on one leg and bau ketiak orang? Yes, that’s H. Hahaha!! Actually dia tak kesian sangat lah because actually there’s another mamat bawah ketiak H, which explains why that mamat doesn’t show up in this picture. Tunang sape ntah. HAHA.

What I loved the most about this course is that we were provided this little handbook as a guide throughout the course, but not only that, it was where we had to write our deepest, darkest thoughts and then exchange with our partners for them to read. Can you imagine the horror, the first time the speaker told us to exchange our books, I just finished writing out all of H’s qualities that I, ehem, don’t quite like. “Part ni awak semua jaga-jaga eh, steam confirm keluar dari telinga punya”, were the wise words of Ustaz Khair. WHICH IT DID OKAY, after I read what H wrote about me, but terus cair when I saw this scribbled at the bottom of the page:

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Truce ke pe bang?? Wahaha.

But with this technique, I found that I learnt more about him then I would ever know, his preferences, what he disliked and what annoys him the most about me, all these priceless information that I could not have possibly learnt even if we dated for 10 years before that. I also learnt that there is no perfect relationship, that in reality, those who are successful actually work real hard to make things happen, knowing your duties and responsibilities as a spouse, and to be the best partner for each other. CHEYYY okay lah I won’t bore you with any more nitty gritty details so if you alls nak tau, sign up okay. Kakak highly recommend course ni.

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And of course sebelum balik kena amik groupie picture dengan the proud owners of Suchi Success!! Kudos to them for surviving more than 20 years of marriage themselves okay woot wooot!

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Oh and look at the goodies that arrived in the mail today! Yummehhhhh. Who wants to guess what I’m up to next?? 🙂

Favourite Skincare Products

Yayyy finally have the time to write out a skincare post!

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I’ve only started to take care of my skin recently, so that’s many years worth of catching up. Before this, I don’t remove my make up regularly before I sleep, never used toner because it was an extra fussy step and exfoliation wasn’t even in my skincare dictionary. What I was left with was remnants of teenage ache, blemishes, oversized pores, oily skin and occasionally dry patches. So I forced myself to step up, even more so especially with the wedding coming up (just checked, is it really 7 months away??). What I wanted was for clear, radiant skin, and also to keep the breakouts at bay. Barulah boleh jadi pengantin jambu cheyyy hahaha.

First thing I got myself was the Clarisonic Mia 2 (wanted to get the predecessor but it was sold out at Sephora, but the difference is merely the speed settings) because I heard rave reviews on how it;

  1. promotes deep cleansing
  2. controls oil secretion and prevents constant breakouts
  3. exfoliates for radiant and youthful skin

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Basically the Clarisonic is a cleansing tool that goes a step further than your average facial cleanser and scrub. My initial thoughts about it was how soft the brush was on my skin, and how no matter how hard I cleansed off my makeup before that, there was still some residual makeup caught on the brush, which showed how deeply it cleansed my face.

I also noticed how my complexion slowly evened out and became really smooth! Not baby smooth, but less blemishes and bumps definitely. I loved how make up glided more smoothly on my face! Previously, foundation used to sink into my pores and crack in between my laugh lines which was so unflattering really. I have been using it once a day with my daily cleanser, for the past few months now, and I have to say that I’m loving the results!

Himalya neem face packWorking together with the Clarisonic to clear blemishes and prevent breakouts, I apply the Himalaya Neem Face Pack as a weekly mask. Since Neem is known to be beneficial for oily and acne prone skin because of its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, it was a good weekly fix to keep the pimples from coming back.

Since Neem and using the Clarisonic can dry out the skin, it is important to moisturise regularly in order to help the skin regain its natural oils and remain supple. I am currently in love with Philosophy products, and have been experimenting with their cult products like Purity and Hope In A Jar (i sangat suka nama-nama product dia). I finally found my favourite moisturiser, Miracle Worker because one, it is so moisturising and two, it is good prevention for pre-aging purposes (a.k.a takut tua).

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As for beauty supplements (not just on the surface, must make sure beauty comes from within pulak wei), I did try El Marino Blanc after hearing success stories from fellow bloggers like Shahera but it had little effect on my skin and even made me itch a little (it claims to contain marine constituents) so I stopped drinking it right away. On the other hand, I have been taking Bird’s Nest Drink for its natural collagen, though T’ve even heard of other benefits like joint mobility and ensuring healthy lungs. I currently am taking the Brands one (because my mom bought a whole trunk full of them in JB), but there are many other brands that carry bird’s nest drink.

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Like Blanc, bird’s nest can be expensive (6 bottles can be about $25sgd or more in you buy in Singapore), but it’s always a good investment if it’s for your skin, no? Because at the end of the day, it’s always about choosing the right product that is suitable for you, and sticking to it.

So what are your favourite skincare products? 🙂

Assalamualaikum Cinta

I really admire couples who give off an aura of calmness and purity during their ceremony. Especially if the bride is sweet and demure, while the groom stands tall and ready to uphold the pillars of marriage in Islam. As I was witnessing the solemnisation of my cousin, Hafiz, an undergraduate of Al-Azhar University in Cairo, and his blushing bride, Izyan, both alumnus of Madrasah Aljuneid and Madrasah Al-Arabiah Al-Islamiah respectively, I couldn’t help but realise how beautiful and long-lasting a marriage could be if it was executed the Islamic way.

“And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquillity in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.” – Surah Ar-Rum, 30:21.

Here are some stills from their wedding montage video that will make you melt at their sweetness ( I know I did… :)) :

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Very “Aku Terima Nikahnya” / “7 Petala Cinta” worthy scenes!

And I love how the videographer added beautiful quotes from the Quran in between pictures like this:

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When they performed their first prayers together as imam and makmum.

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Such a beautiful couple, really. Congrats and welcome to the family, Izyan! The full video montage can be viewed below:

(Source: my.lens.of.love.photography)

Let us all prepare ourselves to be the best muslimah we can, so that when the time comes, we are ready to stand by our husband’s side and accompany him on the right path, because as how our Prophet s.a.w. said, “When a man marries, he has fulfilled half of his religion, so let him fear Allah s.w.t in the remaining half.” – Al-Bayhaqi.