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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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

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

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

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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

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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

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo credit: An Analog Affair

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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

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

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Photo credit: An Analog Affair

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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:

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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

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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

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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

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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! :)


Eight days.

Ugh, just look at the cobwebs in here.

Before I start my (rather lengthy) entry, let me just point out that my countdown ticker on the right hasn’t been working and it has tricked me a couple of times into thinking I had more time. I am in fact just EIGHT short days away from the most momentous day in my life!

I really wish I had the time and energy to regularly check in here and share my progress, excitement and stress with everyone but both Faz and I have been stretched to our limits these couple of months, juggling mostly work and wedding preps. It finally came to a point where I decided we really needed help. So last month we made our smartest decision yet: hire a wedding planner to take over the reins! I guess we could’ve chosen to slog it out till the end, but between keeping my money and keeping my sanity, I choose my sanity, thank you.

I followed up on my two-year-old email enquiry to Kak Roslina Juri of Mahligai Asmara (a service of Wedding & Romance) and asked her (perhaps a little too desperately) if she would be available to take over our remaining preparations. It was a close call because she was going to be coordinating another wedding the day after ours, but was alhamdulillah available on our date!

Engaging Kak Ros has taken a considerable amount of stress off our shoulders, but it hasn’t eliminated it entirely. There still are things that Kak Ros couldn’t help me with, for example, my guest list woes, my DIY projects and the sorry state of my pimple-ridden face quite possibly due to an adverse reaction from a Depo-Provera shot (ain’t having kids for at least a year, so please don’t go asking me when there’ll be a bun baking in the oven), and stress from wedding planning as well.

Guest list saga
I managed to put an end to the guest list saga (my second worst challenge after our venue change) not because my parents relented, but because I decided that if I didn’t quit policing the numbers, my heart would eventually beat out of my chest. It was a long and hard battle, and I wasn’t winning, so I let them have their way.

Yes, they’re paying for the food and anything associated with the extra headcount (e.g. favours), but the reason I’m fretting is because I want them to save their money as much as possible. I want to make sure the people they were inviting really meant something to them — I didn’t want them spending their hard-earned money on people they weren’t really that close to but felt obliged to invite just because they didn’t want to hurt their feelings. They say their intention is to “kasi orang makan” and that the rezeki will come back, but surely there should be a line drawn somewhere and a balance maintained?

Wedding favours
My dear aunts and cousins rendered their help last Saturday and we packed the travel sajadahs for my nikah event. Since the number of guests had increased, we didn’t have enough. I managed to get a couple more pieces from Kak Liza of Xquizyte Favors but they didn’t suffice. Then my mom managed to snag some real cheap “sajadah kepala” at $.150/piece at Toko Warisan Joo Chiat Complex, so that got it settled.

My mom and aunts hard at work. Such focus is admirable — no time to even look at the camera!

We finished DIY-ing 200 pieces of kids’ favours for the Saturday reception as well and I’m LOVING how they turned out. Super cute!

My cousins and I

If you remember, I initially wanted to give loose tea as favours for our adult guests but try as I might, all the options I found and liked were a bit too expensive for something that would only last several sips. I’ve always wanted to give favours people would keep and actually use over and over again. My mom happens to be big on the environment and her planet-saving efforts have inevitably rubbed off on me, so I thought it would be a great idea to give reusable canvas totes as favours!

I designed the artwork and got CorporateGift Master to supply and silkscreen the bags. Delivery was on Tuesday, and I’m mighty pleased with the bags! Work is still in progress for its presentation — the bags will be folded and tied with jute twine to make it look like a cute lil’ parcel, and a brown kraft thank you tag will be attached to it. I have 720 pieces of these to do and for this, I’ll be seeking the help of my little elves (but don’t tell my siblings I called them that — my brother threatened to go on strike!).

I feel very tempted to post actual pictures, but I shall refrain till after the wedding to keep the surprise factor. But here’s a sneak peek:

Jute and kraft. My kinda thing.

Another thing that I didn’t plan on doing but will be doing is the bunga rampai. I personally don’t care much for bunga rampai but my godmother feels I should have it. She’s helped my mother and I a great deal with the preparations, and I feel it’s only right that I accede to her small request. We’ll be DIY-ing this as well.

Generous sponsorships
In other news, I’ve had some very generous wedding gifts from my dear girlfriends! Shima sponsored part of my huge Ikea loot for my bedroom decor, Rina is sponsoring one of my bridal bouquets, Su and Seri were so afraid that I wouldn’t make for a glowing bride on the dais because I wasn’t having henna done that they’ve sponsored a session by SyraSkins, leaving me with no choice, really.

On one hand, I feel really touched and appreciative of their sweet gesture, but on the other, I don’t know if I should feel insulted because…what, my face alone cannot make it that I need henna, is it? Lol.

My dad’s BFF, who happens to be Another Accidental Bride‘s dad (they’ve been our family friends for yonks and we’ve seen each other grow up — can’t wait for your big day Aisyah!) has also offered to use his car, since we gave up ours, as the wedding car and on top of that offered to get it decorated!

I truly am humbled by all the kind gifts. Thank you so much!

Other updates
I got a call from FM early last week saying my made-to-measure dress was ready and because they were in the midst of moving, they advised that I should come on that day itself, so I took an emergency half-day off from work. The anxiety to see how the dress turned out was unimaginable. To be honest, when I saw them take out the dress, I wasn’t that impressed. But when I tried it on, it was a totally different experience. The dress was so me and I loved it! But having said that, there were still some kinks that needed to be ironed out. I sure hope they can get it done in time for the final fitting next week.

If there was a tip I could give on choosing your bridal outfits, it would be to try on as many dresses as you can. I remember seeing a couple of gorgeous looking dresses on the rack, but when I tried them on, they didn’t look as good on me as the simpler looking ones. So really, don’t judge a dress till you’ve tried it!

Kak Ros came by on Sunday to brief my family on the itinerary and layout. So far so good, but one of the major concerns is the weather on our Saturday reception at Orchidville (our venue will be partly unsheltered). There will be a frickin’ thunderstorm on the day according to the weather forecast(!!) but God is greater than some ol’ weather forecast, so I choose to keep my hopes up.

Discussing the wedding itinerary with Kak Ros.

I’ve written a draft on Orchidville as our replacement for Grassroots Club and some of the other venues I considered, but I reckon it’s all mouldy now since it’s been sitting there for ages. I’ve been meaning to insert photos but it just seemed like too much work so I always get put off from doing it.

I promise it’ll be up…..eventually. Lol.

Well then, that’s all I can afford to blog about for now. Wish me luck!


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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!


Finding the perfect dress.

A huge part of my stress and anxiety, besides venue, was our outfits.

We went for our outfit selection two weeks ago, and no one could’ve expected (except me — but I’ll explain later) that I’d leave the boutique feeling…

…INCREDIBLY UPSET!

FM’s dresses, as gorgeous as they were, just weren’t ME.

Now I kind of expected this since I’d stalked their facebook page enough to know that their house style wasn’t quite what I had in mind. For instance, I’d always wanted to wear the classic songket, but I knew their style was more lacy. I had also established very early into my research that I’d have to tailor-make my evening dress because I knew I was going to have a hard time finding more covered-up options in their collection. What I had in mind for this was more red carpet glam than fairytale princessy. In all fairness I already had specific visions of what I wanted, so it made the selection all the more difficult. And my vision was this: a non-white, non-lace and non-poofy sheath dress (hand me the best shapewear please — I’ll need it) that covers my shoulders and upper arms. Non-lace because I don’t want to have to wear an opaque bodysuit underneath the lace just to cover-up because that would just look awful, unless you’re going to be wearing a hijab with it.

I knew there were going to be limitations. Yet I still took the plunge because I adore FM’s make-up. I just had to pray that somehow something will magically appear for me.

But unfortunately, as far as our first visit proved, no magic was conjured. I reserved the outfits I tried on, but believe me, I was not at all happy with my picks.

I had two options: settle, or tailor-make an extra outfit (this was going to be either the nikah dress or the songket — I can’t afford both), on top of the evening dress that I already knew from the beginning I had to tailor-make.

By now I think it’s pretty darn obvious how much I hate the idea of settling, but I did seriously consider going down that path because I didn’t want to spend any more money. Faz was already giving me grief, saying I was “spiralling out of control“.

It annoys me to no end when I excitedly tell him an idea and he immediately kills it, responding with “How much?”. I was merely telling him we ought to just make an appointment with Fatimah herself to discuss the dresses, but he was already starting to give me grief about the costs. What are you talking about? We don’t even know how much it’s going to cost, and that’s precisely what the appointment is for. I think I’m fairly reasonable — if it’s beyond what we’d be willing to pay, I’d decline. But what if it’s actually affordable and we missed the opportunity just because we thought it was more expensive and didn’t bother to find out?

Well, I wasn’t going to let that happen to me, so we made that darned appointment.

I obviously know cost is important, but couldn’t he have been a little more empathetic, try to see it from my perspective first, then get to the cost part later? I mean, it’s the saddest thing when everything else is in place except the dress on your own body — and you’re the bride!

So I took half-day leave yesterday, and we went down to the boutique for the second time. The difference this time was that I left the boutique ALL SMILES, WAY OVER THE MOON.

Alhamdulillah God granted me my (paltry — yes, I realise) wishes because Kak Fatimah brought out a couple of new dresses we hadn’t seen during our first visit, and I fell in love with them instantly!

So there — I’ve got my nikah and songket outfits settled, and as per status quo, I’ll only be tailoring my evening dress. No extra money spent!

As we were leaving the boutique, Faz remarked that this “trial” was a blessing in disguise so that we could come again and be met by these gorgeous new dresses. I can’t agree more, but also the moral of this story is to:

LISTEN TO YOUR WIFE!

I’m using this phrase a lot these days in place of “I told you so“. It’s become sort of a joke now, because he recently realised after almost ten years — would you believe it — that I actually give useful advice! Geez.

Anyway, after that we made a long-awaited trip down to Iris Tailor to make his medium grey three-piece suit. He kept putting it off at one time because he wanted to “tunggu second or third week bulan puasa ah, mana tahu dah slim sikit“. Err, not sure that was actually the case yesterday when they took his measurements, but we’re very excited to see how his suit’ll turn out because we’ve seen a lot of good reviews about this Iris Tailor!

Since this huge chunk of my worries are solved now, I’m feeling sooo much better, and ready to take on other tasks!

Alhamdulillah, alhamdulillah, alhamdulillah. Ya Allah, please let things pan out even better.


Nikah favours

The favours that we’re going to give out at our nikah reception arrived at my house last Saturday and I think I must’ve been feeling so miserable about being behind time in preparations that I was so unnecessarily over the moon when they arrived — it meant I could strike one more thing off my to-do list!

Giving Islamic-themed favours seemed more apt since our nikah will be the mosque. We first considered tasbihs, but quickly canned it because not everyone uses them anymore, and we wanted to give something practical. Something people would use over, and over and over again.

I think it was the FSIL who suggested travel sajadahs. We thought it was a superb idea, so we looked around and decided to order them from Xquizyte Favors. We tried to look for cheaper ones in Malaysia or on Alibaba, but our quantity was too small to get a wholesale price.

It was a pleasant and fuss-free transaction with Kak Liza. We paid a deposit to confirm our order, and when the sajadahs arrived safely at her place, we paid the balance and it was delivered to us within a week. On the whole it took less than a month as promised for the sajadahs to reach us from the time we paid the deposit (they had to be pre-ordered).

Our sajadahs came in varied quantities of dark green, bright green, blue, maroon and black. We weren’t at all fussy about the colours so we didn’t indiciate a colour preference, but I suppose you could check with her if you’d be able to do so.

We opted for the sajadah with a compass on its pouch. She has another type without the compass costing a little less, but since it is, afterall, a travel sajadah which a one might end up using in an unfamiliar place, a compass just seemed necessary.

She even threw in for free floral organza pouches to hold the sajadahs. I haven’t decided if I’ll use those because there must be a nicer way to present it, but I might just let it slide seeing as to how overwhelmed I already am.

By the way, anyone else doing away with bunga rampai?


Feeling like a fat sack of bad potatoes.

The double digit countdown has begun, much to my horror.

It’s quite sad to think that I’m not looking forward to my own wedding! I mean I’m looking forward to life after marriage, but thinking about how much there is left to do makes me want to delay it.

I never really could understand how some married couples can remark they wish they’d gone for a simpler ceremony. I always thought to myself, but it’s your wedding! Now I understand why.

It’s really tough juggling work and wedding preparations. It truly, really is. I’ve had so many things thrown on my plate at work that I come home so mentally drained almost every other day. And to have issues crop up in the preparations one after another is way more than I can handle — and I’m feeling and seeing the side effects.

I feel sluggish and unhealthy, my monthly cycle is screwed up, my skin looks horrible — and I’m still not at my desired weight! At the rate this is going, I’ll be the poorest excuse for a bride anyone’s ever seen.


Of hardship and relief.

This haze is crazy isn’t it! The latest PSI reading as at 12 noon today was 401!

I was silently thanking God that our wedding is in October (I can only assume the haze would’ve cleared up by then — I can’t imagine having to live through this for another day, let alone four months), but just as soon as I felt relief, I felt really bad also for couples whose weddings are scheduled this weekend, and in the coming weeks.

I wonder if they’re going to postpone their weddings? Unless they’re holding them indoors, I imagine it can get quite bad. Will guests turn up?

Whatever it is, I really hope the haze clears soon so no one will have to postpone anything!

Just the other day, as we were going over venue issues, Faz shared with me two lines from the Quran in Surah Al-Insyirah:

For indeed, with hardship [will be] ease.

Indeed, with hardship [will be] ease.

– Quran 94:5-6

Allah has assured us relief with every difficulty not only once, but twice! So for anyone who’s going through rough times with the haze, wedding preparations, or just anything at all, let’s remember this.

What could be more comforting than assurance from our Creator?


Wedding at The Joyden Hall — A Review

After spilling my venue woes, one of the suggestions that came from you BTBs (thank you!) was The Joyden Hall, located at Bugis+. And while we were on the topic, in a rather timely manner, Shazana (who turned out to be my fellow marriage prep course attendee — small world!), swooped in and very kindly provided a detailed review of her Joyden Hall wedding, that took place on the 11th of May 2013.

While I think the venue might be a tad too big for my own wedding, I’ve extracted her comment so that anyone looking to hold their wedding there can locate her review more easily. It does sound like the perfect venue for a combined wedding!

Shazana’s review of The Joyden Hall:

I just had my wedding reception at Joyden Hall (on Saturday 11 May 2013). And the venue was so perfect and suited us exactly. The main hall was spacious, the stage big enough, excellent overhead projection screen, the air conditioning just right, the atrium wide enough to accommodate guests who want to mingle over cocktails, the outdoor rooftop garden was so pretty, great lighting and sound system, 2 private rooms for prayers and for the older guests to rest, attached kitchen which our Malay wedding caterer could use for washing up and heating food and the best part for me: THE CHANGING ROOM.

Because the hall is designed for theatre events, the changing room was first rate: good air conditioning, full wall to wall mirror, perfect lighting, comfortable seats, 3 cubicles (for toilets within the changing room), wash sink right next to the make up table and a row of cupboards to hang clothes. The design was so thoughtful, my make up artist was so happy! My husband and 3 friends who helped him dress could fit in comfortably along with my make up artist and my bridesmaid and I. I could change dresses in any one of the 3 the cubicles with ample privacy!

Yes the management is unfortunately pretty slow to reply to emails but that’s because they get a lot of inquiries. But they are extremely professional and the technician and ground manager who assisted us throughout the event went above and beyond their duties to make our wedding a success. In fact, everyone at Joyden Hall was on the ball for our event. They made it a huge success.

Joyden Hall is love. We were so so happy.

All our 1,600 guests were comfortable and no one had trouble finding the place since it’s close to the train station. Plus there was ample parking. And haha no one had a problem wearing baju kurung to a shopping mall. It’s our traditional dress and we look good in it. In fact, my guests attracted a lot of admiring glances from the other mall goers. If they are embarrassed though, they can take the lift directly from the basement carpark or Level 1 up to Level 7 where the hall is. They won’t be bumping into the masses that way.

Price wise, the rate is $6,900 for a half day event plus $500 weekend surcharge. $2,000 for security deposit excluding tables ($25 per table) and chairs ($3.50 per chair) and a levy fee of $5 per head for external caterer and refundable security deposit of $1,500.

Thanks for the review, Shazana! :)