The Engagement: Everything I Envisioned

It may not have been the conventional Malay engagement ceremony (whatever that entails), but it was everything I envisioned.

The turnout was just right, allowing me to be completely at ease on that day. My worries about the engagement turning into an open invitation was put to rest, as he managed to keep his party to a minimal 11 persons: his dad and step-mother, his dad’s BFF, his uncle, four aunts, two of his closest friends and last but definitely not the least, himself.

There were 16 people on my side: my parents and sister, my dad’s religious teacher to head prayers, my grandparents, my aunt, my uncle and his wife, my godmother, a husband and wife duo who is friends with my grandmother (they contributed some cupcakes to be given to the guy’s side) and 3 of my closest-est girlfriends. Another 2 of my closest guy friends and 2 family friends came but weren’t present for the actual ceremony itself — bringing the total number on my side to 20.

So in total there was nicely 31 people! We had catered for 40, which would’ve been sufficient, but because my mother had decided to cook her specialty suji and baked black pepper chicken wings and because my grandmother had also brought some mee goreng and fruit jellies, there was sadly some wastage.

I woke up pretty early on the day to make sure my hair was dry and my face all made up before Seri came over to help me with my hair. My girlfriends were so thoughtful — they bought me a bouquet of flowers, which really completed the look. I can’t imagine how much plainer I would’ve looked without it.

Aida & Fazli's Engagement

The girls, together with Sham and Syafiq, who dropped by for a short while

My lovely girlfriends Isra, Su and Seri played a huge role in distracting me from otherwise being a total nervous wreck. Thanks to them, I wasn’t the least bit nervous until my sister uttered to me two words that would put not butterflies, but freaking bats in my tummy: “They’re here.”

Aida & Fazli's Engagement

My guests streaming in

His party arrived at about 4, a little later than what was planned because we were also waiting for my grandparents to arrive. I also got to know from him later that they actually got into a minor accident on their way to my place. It was drizzling and a taxi had scratched the car he was in when it tried to squeeze past them on the road. To this day I thank God that nothing more serious happened.

When they arrived it was kinda awkward slash funny because I had zero clue what was expected of me. Even seemingly little things became an internal dilemma. Like…should I go out and salam them, or would they come to me? Sounds silly but this was exactly what went through my mind.

<Enter sheepish look>

Sidetracking for a bit, I don’t understand tradition. Why is it that the guy cannot be present during the discussions? Why is the girl usually in her bedroom while discussions are underway? It doesn’t make sense not to be present because it’s our future they’re talking about. What if they get some facts wrong? We won’t be there to correct them. Syafiq tells me in the olden days, the girl is often very shy about the whole thing, so she usually retreats back to her room — to coyly bask in the moment, I suppose?

Well if that’s the case, then that makes me one very tak-tahu-malu girl because I insisted on being present to listen in on the discussions.  If I had it my way, I probably would’ve occupied first row seats! But I knew better than to make a fool out of myself, so to the study room I went. Alas, I couldn’t really make out what they were saying. All I could hear was the tone of seriousness in their voices, which made the bats in my tummy flutter even harder.

Aida & Fazli's Engagement

Discussions underway

In my mind I was all like, “Wow is there a need to be that serious? Wait, this IS that serious.” And then I freaked out in my head.

After 8 years of being together, we were finally taking things to the next level! I almost couldn’t believe it.

His Mak Ngah, an adorable little ol’ lady, slipped the engagement ring onto my finger. We took photos (we hadn’t even thought about where we would take photos, so in a hurry we ended up in a rather odd location in the house), ate, mingled, and got to know each other’s families a little better.

Aida & Fazli's Engagement

New relatives

And before I knew it, they were already bidding their goodbyes. Time really flies when you’re having fun. It was truly the simple, classy affair I had envisioned. And I have these people to thank for that:

  • Allah, for making everything smooth sailing
  • My signficant other Muhamad Fazli Bin Muhamad Zaidi, and his family for being such lovely guests
  • My family, for prepping up the house and for being such wonderful hosts
  • My sister, for helping me out with the dulang
  • Nenek, for contributing food
  • My godmother, Aunty Sapiah, who contributed the absolutely essential ‘Selamat Bertunang’ cake to be given to the guy’s side
  • Cik Tipah (Nenek’s friend), who contributed cupcakes and tarts to be given to the guy’s side
  • Isra, Su, Seri, Syafiq and Sham, for keeping me in high spirits
  • Everyone who graced the humble occasion


Aida & Fazli's Engagement

One with the cake

Aida & Fazli's Engagement

The dulang hantaran for the ring I made, accompanied by the last minute gifts his family and relatives presented


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