Countdown: (Almost) 5 months to the big day! (In shaa allah)
I think this would be a good time to recollect our past milestones in the relationship & wedding preparation – for keepsake & perhaps for reference if any fellow bride-to-be needs a guide. Plus, this blog seems to lack personal posts. So here we go:
(I will mention the wedding vendors which we booked but a full review of them will only be written up after our event is done)
Jun-Jul: We met while I was working at his company temporarily during my term break. We only started talking in July but by end-July we had become an official ‘couple’.
Aug: We started having talks about where this ‘relationship’ was going and hence we began talks of the future & marriage. We started doing our research on the kind of wedding we wanted – we collated info on mosques, some CCs, and restaurants. In this month I also met his parents for the first time, and he met my close friends.
Sep-Dec: We told our parents regarding our plans. It took them some convincing at first (mainly because I was still schooling and also the short time that we knew each other) but alhamdulillah they said yes. There was some disagreement on the plans; his parents and us wanted a simple nikah (solemnization) in the immediate future, while the walimah (reception) can be held sometime later. My parents, on the other hand, wanted us to get engaged, and the nikah and walimah should be held after I graduate. Eventually we decided to respect my parents’ wishes.
He met my parents for the first time.
His parents and my parents also met for the first time around this period to get to know each other and discuss the engagement terms.
We then commenced preparation for our engagement, which was to be a small event in my house for about 60 people. The food was prepared by a relative. I borrowed an outfit from my sister-in-law and a family friend did my make-up. The gift trays were loaned by a vendor, but decorations of the gift trays were done by us and our parents (after which we vowed that for our actual wedding we’re definitely not going to DIY anything anymore)
During this time we also attended our very first wedding expo just to have a feel. It was a nightmare x:
We were also heavily considering Gurame Restaurant for our wedding; we obtained quotes and even dropped by the restaurant for discussions but eventually this idea was scrapped.
28 Dec 2014: Our engagement day!
Jan: The second wedding expo that we attended. This time round, we came prepared and had shortlisted some vendors that we were interested in. We booked Farah Diana Catering Services (FDCS) for our food (with plate-washing), venue decorations (including dais) and gift-tray decorations. We also booked Bridal Concept for our outfits, make-up and photography.
Feb: We applied for our HDB Flat. We also attended the Marriage Preparation Course conducted by SPMC.
Mar: We started tracking our expenditures.
Around this time after our marriage prep course we had also started to learn more about the religion and attending more lectures. By around May (near the start of Ramadan) I had started to don the hijab full-time, alhamdulillah.
During this period I started a pinterest page to collate ideas for our wedding, and we decided on our theme. We also started contacting nearby CCs for details on cost, etc.
Sep: Second meeting with FDCS, mainly because we started to get worried that we haven’t confirmed a lot of stuff with them yet. Turned out that this meeting was pretty redundant because they only finalize everything 3-6 months before the date (Singaporean kiasu-ness got the better of us x:)
Dec: Since it was my school holidays and I was relatively more free, we decided that it was about time we booked the other secondary stuff for our wedding. We started doing research on vendors for door gifts (berkat).
At this time we were still unsure if we wanted to book a dj/ emcee because we didn’t want to play music. At the same time, we realised we needed an emcee for the flow of the event (i.e. to announce when the bride & groom were arriving, or to play the adhan when it was prayer time, etc.)
We were also not very keen on getting a cake and doing the whole “cake-cutting” thing. We were also undecided on what exactly to give as door gifts.
We booked my friend Syazana for the design & printing of our wedding cards.
Jan: We attended our third wedding expo, mainly because we wanted to book a vendor for our door gifts but turned out that there were no vendors for door gifts during this particular expo. Instead, we booked our dj/emcee company, MIS Entertainment. The lady dj that we spoke to, a hijabi, really understood what kind of event we wanted.
At this time I was having yet another disagreement with my mum regarding not having a cake. In the end, both of us compromised and decided on getting cupcakes.
We had phone discussions with Bridal Concept on some details, and for booking of our appointment.
We booked Little’s Spatula for our wedding cupcakes, and Zazeekart for my bridal henna; both are friends-of-friends or family-of-friends.
We also decided to give dates (kurma) as door gifts, and we booked Liza’s Dessert Favours after I found their ad on a forum of them providing Islamic door gifts for weddings and other events.
Feb: We finished collating our guest list from all sides (my family, friends, his family, friends) and getting our final numbers (no. of adults, kids, cards). We decided to also engage Liza’s Dessert Favours for our bunga rampai (the door gifts given to those attending the nikah, usually made of sliced leaves or flowers. I think.) My parents also insisted that we have sireh dara & sireh junjung (I don’t know how to explain these, just google it) and we engaged Liza’s Dessert Favours for these too.
(Side note: Regarding the permissibility of sireh dara & sireh junjung, one can refer to this fatwa. There are, however, different views regarding this. I won’t go into detail; if time permits I may blog my view on this topic and also regarding henna. Honestly I wasn’t keen on having the sireh dara & sireh junjung simply because they’re not needed and they’re not wajib or sunnah in Islam. Furthermore they’re quite costly and obviously we want to spend as little as possible on our weddings for the most blessings. But oh well, parents …)
This month we also booked our venue: Nee Soon South CC.
Started researching on honeymoon venues. Attended the travel fair and booked our honeymoon F&E package with Chan Brothers to Kuta, Bali.
Mar: Started researching on Naib Kadi and we contacted the Naib Kadi of our choice to check if he is okay with travelling the distance. Meeting with Syazana to settle card details before she started designing.
So that’s a summary of our progress thus far! It’s been a roller-coaster ride of emotions; obviously we’re excited for the big day but at the same time, we’ve definitely gone through a fair share of obstacles.
There were also so many who doubted the strength of our relationship because, well, in the words of Elsa from Frozen: “You can’t marry a man you just met”. To that I say, we’ve proved you wrong thus far and in shaa allah we’ll prove you wrong in the decades and decades to come.
Back to the topic on wedding preparations, our big day is about 5 months’ time, so I think it’d be wise to list out key events for next few months:
Mar: Book our nikah date on ROMM and also our Naib Kadi. Finalize itinerary.
Apr: Meeting with FDCS to finalize the details. Meeting with Bridal Concept to choose outfits.
May: I complete school at this time. Start planning the new configuration of the room with new furniture (a CAD model would be useful).
See completed design drafts of cards by Syazana. Choose final design to be printed & commence printing.
Head down to ROMM for document verification & meeting with Kadi
Jun: Start of Ramadhan. Around this time is usually the start of Great Singapore Sales (GSS), hence we should start scouting & shopping for furniture for our room, and also for wedding rings. It would be good to also buy our gift tray items and pass them over to FDCS at this time.
Jul: Hari Raya Puasa (Eid al-Fitr). Start disseminating the cards. New furniture should be in by this time and we should get the room ready for him to move in. Finalize who will be our helpers (i.e. our “best man” and “bridesmaid(s)”. As much as I hate using those terms, I can’t deny that we’re going to need them).
My official convocation! (in shaa allah)
Meeting with MIS Entertainment to finalize details and itinerary.
Meeting with helpers to brief and go through itinerary.
Meeting with Bridal Concept for measurements
Aug: Final fitting with Bridal Concept
Delivery of door gifts and gift trays
2 days before event – get bridal henna done.
Day before event – Bring his belongings over for him to move in the next day. Print and paste signs around vicinity for directions. Store door gifts and bride-to-groom gift trays in locked backstage room. Prepare prayer area backstage. Send a text to Naib Kadi for reminder.
21 August 2016 – EVENT DAY!
Start packing for honeymoon trip
22-24 August 2016 – Honeymoon!
So that’s the plan! Not sure if I’m missing anything. Of course, we plan but Allah swt decides. Subsequently we probably would have to start researching on home renovations.
I think the preparations are going well so far but of course, I’m making lots of du’a that they will continue to be smooth. For those who care, I’ve been super busy lately with my last semester of university, job-hunting, and of course this wedding preparation – hence the dire lack of blog posts.
I’ve really missed writing though, so I hope to find the time soon.