Our wedding in motion.

Aaaaand here are the videos!

The Nikah

The Orchidville Reception

So much love! <3


A Decade of Love (Part 2: Orchidville Reception)

Just how overdue is this post?

Been very, very occupied with work, mainly and correspondence with Fadzil of Rolling Frames for our wedding video, as well as Fadly for our photos — which I’m happy to say are all now in our hands! I couldn’t be happier with they way they turned out and the fact that I didn’t have to wait like a year or something, unlike some of the horror stories I hear about other vendors.

So hooray, I get to use some of the photos here in my post! And I’ll post the videos in my next entry!

Continuing from where I left off, now that the serious and most important part of the wedding was over (phew!), true to my Mak Andam’s words, the next day’s reception was all about having fun.

That afternoon, while I was getting dolled up, my siblings and friends who were helping run some last minute errands at Orchidville texted me pictures of the decor which shot me straight up to cloud nine:

No words can describe the joy I felt when I saw the decor. Years of planning and seeing it on paper, and I finally get to see it in the flesh!

I knew from first sight that this hall in Orchidville would be the venue. I saw its permanent installation of rustic branches and traditional lamps set within birdnest-like fixtures and I was sold. TWC softened the look by draping soft chiffon in dusty pink from the branches.

I was a little alarmed though when I saw the dais (it wasn’t this green hedge backdrop that we fell in love with and requested), but upon explanation I had to agree with the last minute switch to a subtle white glitter tulle. The green hedge we wanted would’ve simply looked too crude in its soft surroundings. Well, sometimes plans change due to unforeseen circumstances, and I totally understand that. In fact, I came to LOVE our new dais. It was simple because it needed to be, but definitely classy! Kudos again to TWC for knowing design and applying it instead of blindly following requests.

Just how gorgeous is this outdoor seating area?! Love love love all the greenery! The vines hanging from the creepers gave a dreamy garden ambience and the parasols TWC added really completed the look!

Remember I had mentioned that one of my biggest worries was the weather? Despite my constant conversation with Him throughout my journey to Orchidville, the skies darkened and drizzled. I had begun to feel upset because I felt my prayers were in vain but I kept up my conversation with Him and although He didn’t give me sunshine, He did make me feel better about it.

By the time I reached Orchidville, it was pouring but any feeling of dissatisfaction completely vanished when I saw just how many people were present to celebrate us despite the rain. It was truly a heartwarming moment. In fact, the weather actually lended somewhat of a cosy feel to our wedding — but that’s probably because everyone was huddled together. I can’t speak for my poor guests who had a hard time making their way to Orchidville in the rain, though….

I don’t do so well in the spotlight so I felt pretty awkward sitting there all alone. But once I had the company of guests who started coming up to the dais for photos, I started to loosen up.

This was the pastel blue peplum songket I so fell in love with! Very Scha Alyahya. I have to thank Fatimah Mohsin for letting me be the first bride to wear this. My nikah outfit was brand new as well! I was ready to plunge into depression because I didn’t connect with any of the other dresses, but man, these two brand new pieces were screaming my name when she took them out to show me.

F+A-260

I arrive and the drama starts! Rainwater was creating a reservoir on the overhead netting that pushed against the metal structure, causing the metal to bend in precariously. So here Orchidville staff were trying to push the water over the edge. Kak Ros also had to shift the tables to make way for Faz’s alternate entrance. The plan if it hadn’t rained was to have the kompang accompany the groom from the carpark, about 100 metres away.
Photo credit: An Analog Affair

F+A-289

After what seemed like an eternity, the groom finally arrives! I waited up on the dais alone for so long lor!
Photo credit: An Analog Affair

F+A-295

This type of picture is the reason why I had asked him to go for a mani-pedi just before the wedding. He scoffed at me at first but now look who’s thankful I made him go (and alone at that because I wasn’t free to accompany him)!
Photo credit: An Analog Affair

F+A-298

Faz and his best men and close friends, with Andika Prak Bing Bing following closely behind. My heart was beating fast in excitement when the kompang started. I’ve always loved this part of malay weddings, and it was just surreal that it was finally happening to me, at my wedding!
Photo credit: An Analog Affair

F+A-314

First gantry: My godmother and cousins
Photo credit: An Analog Affair

F+A-305

Some serious negotiation going on here!
Photo credit: An Analog Affair

F+A-317

Second gantry: My girlfriends. Clearly, they were not impressed.
Photo credit: An Analog Affair

F+A-337

So they asked him to sing a Jamal Abdillah song because he does a mean imitation. But as usual, he couldn’t remember lyrics to save his life, and only lasted three(!!) words! Lucky for him my girlfriends were feeling kind that day.
Photo credit: An Analog Affair

F+A-335

Third and unintentional gantry: my grandaunts from Malaysia. They were so cute — they saw that we still had this “hadang” culture going on (they say it’s a culture fast fading in Malaysia), and automatically just formed a line to join in the fun! Faz tells me they got the best of the money stack — they had reserved bigger notes for last!
Photo credit: An Analog Affair

F+A-363

Finally together on the dais!
Photo credit: An Analog Affair

F+A-368

Andika Prak Bing Bing gave us a really superb performance!
Photo credit: An Analog Affair

F+A-356

There’s just something very ethereal about the branches and soft hanging chiffon.
Photo credit: An Analog Affair

F+A-381

Oh, the best thing about twin settees like this? You get to be close and have conversations, and not feel so isolated in individual chairs!
Photo credit: An Analog Affair

It’s entirely true what they say about not having the time to eat at all, because guests just keep coming up to you to take photos! We got to taste a bit of the food, and CJS truly didn’t disappoint. I wish we had instructed our family to put aside a bit of everything for us to eat later at home, because everyone was RAVING about the food — how it was a nice change from the usual malay wedding fare, and more importantly how good it tasted! In fact, I did make a mental note to ask my sister to put aside food for us, but the days leading up to the wedding got so busy that it completely slipped my mind. Anyway more on CJS later in my vendor review post!

At about 6.30pm, we retreated back to the changing room to change into our eveningwear.

F+A-546

Photo credit: An Analog Affair

And at about 7pm, we waltzed back in to the hall to The Piano Guys’ epic Titanium piano and cello cover.

F+A-585

Faz was so bummed he forgot to unbutton that last coat button!
Photo credit: An Analog Affair

We were welcomed in by our close friends standing on either sides of the aisle — something that wasn’t initially in the programme. We found out later that Fadly was the one who thoughtfully orchestrated it. I did think to do something like this for our entrance but I didn’t want to ASK that we be welcomed, y’know what I mean? So to have another person plan it was great!

That’s also the made-to-measure dress that I had done with Fatimah Mohsin. I found a pic of a dress I loved and asked her to replicate it, with some tweaks. I love it so because 1) it wasn’t a white wedding gown and 2) it was glamorous without being over-the-top. I had the option to top-up a couple of hundreds to keep the dress but I quickly decided against it because, really, when else am I ever going to wear it? But then just two weeks after the wedding I see Farisha Ishak wearing it during her Sinaran Hati performance on Suria and it pained me a little, well, because I’d put my heart and soul into looking for the right dress, and paid for the bulk of it — only for it to be worn by other people, at no extra cost. My heart says the dress should be mine, but the brain knows I’ll never wear it again and tells me we have no space for it in our new home. It hurts a little, but I know it was the right decision.

Anyway, moving on before things get depressing here…

By evening the rain had let up, and it was really just a relaxed and cool evening for everyone. We came in, fed each other delicious macarons from our pretty macaron tower, gave our speeches (which I really regret not preparing, especially taking into consideration how petrifying taking centre stage is to me — my speech could’ve meant so much more if I had actually been prepared!), and took more photos.

F+A-603

Photo credit: An Analog Affair

F+A-613

Thank God enough macarons were put aside for me to enjoy later at home because not only did my coral macarons look good, they tasted good too!
Photo credit: An Analog Affair

F+A-616

Giving the speech that I regretfully didn’t prepare.
Photo credit: An Analog Affair

F+A-634

Photo credit: An Analog Affair

F+A-635

Photo credit: An Analog Affair

After a while we just got tired of sitting, so we proceeded to our photobooth to get a couple of shots, and ventured out of the hall for a mini shoot, allowing Fadly to conjure his magic:

F+A-718

Photo credit: An Analog Affair

Orchidville had put up their orchids for sale outside the wedding hall — a win-win situation because they wanted sales and we didn’t want guests hogging tables. It was the perfect idea to get people out of their seats, and true enough once the rain stopped, they got up and checked out the orchids. I saw guests leaving with orchids in their hands, looking quite happy. And why would they not be? Orchidville’s orchids are CHEAP! Even Kak Najihah of TWC who deals with a lot of flowers said so!

As the day came to a close, I remember feeling two things: thankful and contented. After a decade together, I was just so thankful that Allah had allowed us to continue being together and loving each other but only better — this time as husband and wife. And I see now in retrospect that every time Allah met us with a roadblock, it was to lead us to even greater things.  Classic examples would be our venue and outfit selection woes.

I also remember my heart swelling with content. The day had gone exceptionally well despite the weather, it was almost unreal.

Wedding reception DIY projects

Ahh, my DIY projects. They were my babies, and I’m so proud of them!

Canvas tote wedding favours

IMG_9423

Canvas tote favours — our hard work.

The totes arrived only a week and a half before the wedding, which was pretty last minute but that’s because I took such a long time deciding on and designing the artwork. They didn’t arrive all bundled up and tagged like this, so there was no time to waste! I enlisted the help of my entire family, cousins and friends — whoever was available — and we’d form a production line. I think it took about five days to complete everything, inclusive of prep time for the printing and cutting of the thank you cards and jute twine. We did everything ourselves!

But the end product was worth all the trouble. Many guests complimented our totes and you wouldn’t believe how ridiculously happy I get when I see them in use!

Kids’ flower candy favours

F+A-2

Photo credit: An Analog Affair

I can’t say they were exclusively kids’ favours because even the adults were asking for them too! The idea was to create a flower bed of these bangle candy flowers (yes, it’s marketed as ‘bangle candies’ — though I think only the wrist of a baby would be small enough to go through).

A super inexpensive idea if you don’t mind the trouble of putting it together. We had to cut and sand the edges of the ice cream sticks to make them more child-friendly, gluegun it to the back of the bangle candy and tie ribbons around the stick to act as leaves.

Super cute, how it turned out!

Directional signage

F+A-1

Photo credit: An Analog Affair

My brother did an awesome job with this. He’s quite the handyman — the go-to person in the house to assemble any Ikea furniture we buy. But it was just unfortunate though because whilst the signage looked big at home, once placed at the roadside, it was drowned out by the surroundings. The heavy rain must’ve also affected its visibility. Nevertheless, I hope it did at least help those who saw it get to Orchidville.

And that’s it! I loved my wedding so much that I just wasn’t able to do anything much after the honeymoon except go over the photos in our wedding instagram hashtag over and over…and over again.

#kemarukweddingsendiri


A Decade of Love (Part 1: Nikah)

And so Faz and I have been married for…..TWELVE days now! It literally feels like our wedding was just yesterday. Guess time flies when you’re having fun!

Now that we’re back to the humdrum routines of Singapore life after our honeymoon, I’m experiencing all sorts of withdrawal symptoms. I miss the chaos of last minute errands, the busy chatter of family and friends who came by to help, our gorgeous wedding reception and of course, our freaking amazing Sri Lankan honeymoon.

It all feels like a sweet dream that ended too soon!

Alhamdulillah, God had mercy on us and gave us a wedding that surpassed all our expectations. I didn’t think it was possible, but I have NO major complaints! It’s just indescribable, the feeling you get when you see your years of planning and hard work come to beautiful fruition. Thinking about it makes me want to weep in joy and gratitude.

Having said that, there were still in fact a couple of hiccups before our nikah ceremony on Friday, 25 October 2013, that made us MEGA antsy:

  1. We didn’t know we had to fetch our Kadi — nowhere was this explicitly written or mentioned to us until he called Faz, who was already reaching Assyafaah mosque in Sembawang from Pasir Ris. One of his best men had to make a U-turn and fetch him from Tampines. He did mention in the teleconversation a couple of days prior what time he would be done in Tampines and even gave the address, but he didn’t explicitly ask to be fetched, and so Faz thought it was just for general information so that we could anticipate what time he would be arriving. It was a case of miscommunication, plain and simple.
  2. Faz’s dad, together with the entire entourage travelling by chartered bus, found themselves lost!
  3. When our Kadi finally arrived, I realised my brother, who was to be one of our two witnesses, was missing. My mother managed to contact him, and discovered he had forgotten to bring his IC, so he was on the way back to our place in Woodlands to retrieve it. I blame myself for this because in my business, I forgot to remind him as well. But I have to thank our Kadi for covering up by delivering the nikah sermon first.

Once we overcame these hiccups, Alhamdulillah it was all smooth sailing. My dad gave me away. Both he and Faz were calm and composed, and it was a one shot, one kill.

Some pictures from the nikah that were captured by our freelance photographer friend Zulkifli Abdullah (thank you so much for the quick edit!) which were also played as a slideshow on Saturday’s reception:

I never knew so many people were seated behind me till I turned around! It was a little nerve-wracking, but I had other more worrying things on my mind.
Photo credit: Zulkifli Abdullah

With my dear mother and younger sister. My sister is the opposite of me — tall, slender, fair. I think she looks damn elegant here in that outfit!
Photo credit: Zulkifli Abdullah

Love the modern architecture of Assyafaah mosque!
Photo credit: Zulkifli Abdullah

Finally, son-in-law and father-in-law.
Photo credit: Zulkifli Abdullah

Raising our hands to seek forgiveness and barakah for this new chapter in our lives.
Photo credit: Zulkifli Abdullah

My imaam.
Photo credit: Zulkifli Abdullah

Finally getting to exchange the rings we bought so early in advance! #kiasu
Photo credit: Zulkifli Abdullah

Best 10-year anniversary gift ever.
Photo credit: Zulkifli Abdullah

After we were done taking photos, we went up to the second floor where our nikah reception was held.

Taken before our nikah. This simple and basic decor was done in part by the mosque and in part by Doulath Wedding Decor. The mosque could’ve provided everything we needed but I wanted a more detailed bridal table set-up, so since I was engaging Doulath Catering, I got their decor team to do it. I also rented matching centrepieces from them for the guest tables.

Bridal table set-up by Doulath Wedding Decor. You can view more of the decor on their facebook page.
Source: Doulath Wedding Decor

Nikah DIY projects

I didn’t want to spend on bridal chamber decor services because you’re basically going to have to return all the fixtures, so it was a full-on DIY project. To make things more challenging, once the queen bed went into the room, I didn’t have much space for much else. I had so many things, I didn’t know where to start. My girlfriend Su had to come by and literally tell me step by step what to do! With her help, I managed to throw away a lot of things and stow away stuff in the right places.

The night before the nikah, my bedroom was still not ready. Another close girlfriend, Seri, stayed past 1am and together we fixed my quilt cover, steam-ironed it and vacuumed my room. This was the final result:

I love love love my new room! It’s a total makeover from how my room used to look like (you can see my previous room here). Sad thing is, my room is no longer this clean because all the stuff I chucked into other people’s rooms are now back in my room. And no thanks to 3M adhesive hooks, four of those frames you see on the wall have dropped off. By the way if you’re wondering why the frames are empty, I was too lazy to go find photos (coz I know I’d be very selective about it and take an eternity to choose 8 photos), and thought it’d be more artistic to leave it blank. Hey, use some imagination!

On the morning of the nikah, we also put together these amazing bunga rampai:

These were inspired by Kasai Sayang, but in the end I think mine looked better (haha obviously biased here)! We got the holders (they’re actually tiramisu cups from SKP) ready beforehand and much to my mother’s disgruntlement, we set out for Far East Flora on the morning of the nikah to get the flowers. Su and I were practically squealing when we were putting these together because they were soooooo frickin’ pretty!

Next I’ll be blogging about our Orchidville reception, vendor reviews and our fabulous Sri Lankan honeymoon, but meanwhile if you’re that curious or can’t wait that long, you can browse our official Instagram wedding hashtag, #decadeoflove2013, to see instant snippets of our nikah, our Orchidville reception and our honeymoon!

Till the next post! :)


La chambre nuptiale.

Would you believe I had tried to set up an appointment with The Wedding Chateau on Hari Raya?

That’s how far down the list Raya is on my mind this year. I haven’t even had the time to get all sentimental about this being my last Raya as a single and how next year will be different. However I did bother enough to get myself an outfit, tee hee!  Well what can I say, shopping is always a pleasure!

Most wedding vendors take a backseat during Ramadhan, especially the last two weeks leading up to Raya so since there weren’t going to be much of meetings, I had scheduled a bridal bedroom revamp. Our new queen bed will also be arriving end August, so it was a good time to do it.

I didn’t opt for bridal room decor service because I honestly think it’s a waste of money. You pay a couple hundred bucks for it but at the end of the day you’ll have to return all the fixtures and your room will go back to the way it was before. To me, it seems more worth it to do it yourself.

So the original plan was just to 1) paint my room, 2) replace my curtain rod, 3) get new curtains and bedsheets and 4) some small and inexpensive room decor items but somehow the tasks mated and multiplied! It all started after we painted my room a light tiffany blue, when my brother suggested I get a chandelier, or something with more oomph as a focal point for my room….

I was swayed, so off we went to Balestier Road. Crystal chandeliers can cost a bomb so I initially thought of getting a cheaper acrylic one. But I guess I didn’t know any better because when we did manage to find one, I discovered why it was so hard to find — they were downright ugly, compared to the glorious crystal ones.

Weaving in and out of shops, we found that Strass Lightings offered the cheapest price after some negotiation. I scored myself a clear crystal chandelier at $230 + $35 installation fee, when the original price was $698!

And while the contractor was there to install the chandelier, we got his help to drill new holes for my new curtain rod as well. I had initally bought an Ikea drill only to realise no good drill would ever cost $39, and then borrowed a Bosch from my friend, only to run into a metal beam at the first hole. The contractor’s arrival was very timely, but he left an astounding amount of dust all over my room.

The chandelier installation also revealed a hideous black mark around where my previous light used to be, so we had to repaint the entire ceiling, a task I had underestimated. And of course, after that I had to clean my room again for the nth time in three weeks.

All this, when the original plan was to execute four simple tasks. So much for hoping my room will be ready in time for Raya — it’s the second week of Raya and it’s still not ready!

But I guess it’s safe to say the hard part (the painting) of the job is over, and my room’s coming together slowly but surely.

Thank god for a helpful fiancé and siblings!


#DIYFAIL: Bunga manggar

Look who’s on a roll — this is my second post today!

I already had the skeleton of this post crafted weeks ago, but it was just sitting in my drafts waiting to be beefed up. I’d make quite a lousy reporter — almost all my posts are stale news!

Anyway, one of the things I thought I’d DIY is the bunga manggar.

Traditional bunga manggar

Bunga manggar — a seemingly unimportant feature, but makes a world of a difference.
Source: durrah on Flickr

I’d wanted to do something different with the bunga manggar, something like this:

But it didn’t take long before I canned the idea when I saw how much effort is needed to make it!

Mind you, the flowers you see on the wire didn’t come ready made. They were from pieces of material that you first had to attach to a shorter wire and twist into shape, before it can be attached to the longer wire that would be stuck into the sponge. I mean, just look at how many flowers you’d have to make!

Being the lazy ass (or smart ass, depending on how you look at it) that I am, of course I tried to find ways to cut corners. I thought, hey, if I could skip making the individual flowers and find small ready made artificial flowers, I wouldn’t mind giving it a go.

I haven’t gotten the chance to make a trip down to the kahwin-kahwin supplies stores. Any idea if they’d sell small flowers like these?
Source: Lovely Wedding by Shaja

Anyway googling further, I found this on a blog belonging to a former bride from Malaysia (they do everything differently there, don’t they):

Floral bunga manggar

A real floral bunga manggar!
Source: Yes…I do

Floral bunga manggar

Here’s a close-up.
Source: Yes…I do

I’m not sure if they used real or artificial flowers for this, but I am just in love with the idea! So much so that I went to look for artificial flowers that very weekend! I found myself at level 5 of The Verge at Serangoon, where I weaved through the four or five artificial flower shops there, and eventually found something that could work:

Floral bunga manggar

Here’s the super adorable and helpful Mr Quek from Ming Sing Flowers holding up some flowers for us to get a picture of how our floral bunga manggar will look like.

I think it has the potential to look stunning!

But — and this is a huge BUT here — a stalk costs frickin’ $3.90, and those were already the cheapest option we found! I think Mr Quek was holding up 12 stalks here, which may or may not be enough for one bunga manggar. So let’s do the math:

($3.90 x 12 stalks) x 2 bunga manggar = $93.60

And let’s not forget, we’ll still need 2 poles, 2 sponges, and some material to wrap the poles and sponges with. So the question is: Is bunga manggar worth spending over a hundred bucks on? Or if we choose to do the first option, is it worth spending so much time and effort on? It’s something we’ll use at most 15 minutes in the entire wedding.

I think not.

Until I can find cheaper artificial flowers (perhaps a trip to Malaysia is in order), it’s back to the traditional bunga manggar for me.

For those of you who have the luxury of time, energy or manpower, here’s an aggregation of ideas for your bunga manggar:

Satin bunga manggar

Satin bunga manggar
Source: Kanda Dinda with Love (with tutorial!)

Ribbon bunga manggar

Ribbon bunga manggar
Source: Hazlynda Kushairi (with tutorial!)

Straw bunga manggar

Straw bunga manggar, anyone?
Source: I’m Yourss

Bunga manggar gula-gula

Bunga manggar for the sweet-toothed. I guess the overall appearance depends on the sweets you choose for this. It’s quite a practical idea, because the sweets will be consumed after the wedding!
Source: Afie with Ayie

Ostrich feather bunga manggar

I know these are table centrepieces, but hey if it fits your theme, ostrich feathers can be used for bunga manggar as well! 
Source: Kimberley Lace

I thought I’d end with some trivia: Did you know that the coconut palm blossom (coco nucifera) may have very well been the original bunga manggar back in the day?

The original bunga manggar

We’ve certainly come a long way, haven’t we?
Source: Rimbun Dahan

Wow I think I just broke my own record for the most number of photos featured in a single post.