actual wedding programme (one day, separate receptions)

before I trash the docs in my wedding file (and make way for materials on reno!!) I thought I might as well share my admin prog.

I previously blogged about my admin programme and also the family meeting closer to date to discuss the programme. in the weeks leading up to the wedding, I think this admin prog was one of the most painful tasks, thanks to the disagreements I had here and there with ninja groom and mama kraken etc.

ok so here are some of the more interesting insights I had from my wedding admin programme:

1. squeezing a quick meal after nikah and before reception was a good move …

… which I can’t believe NG disagreed with during the planning stage. what! why! well anyway, ours was a 11.00am nikah, with my reception entrance at 2.00pm. so if we didn’t grab a quick bite then, I would have starved until 3.00pm or so.

for this post-nikah meal, I decided that we would eat at the common tables so that the cutlery on the meja pengantin wouldn’t be disturbed. assigned my bridesmaids to help scoop food for NG and me, non-hadang style. they did an overly fantastic job sampai kita tak sempat habis.

2. what happens right after nikah

NG and I united on our pelamin and did the salam, sarung cincin etc, while the guests ate as the lunch buffet opened for business. we had a small stream of close friends and relatives taking photos with us. and then we got bored because nobody was coming up to the pelamin. so we thought now would be a good time to go down. right? wrong! cos lepas orang dah makan baru dorang sibuk nak amik gambar. haha. we obliged a little before heading off to eat.

so yeah you may want to bear this in mind. either wait it out patiently on the pelamin till nikah guests have eaten and are ready to congratulate super newly married you, or you eat while they eat and resume photo taking when they’re ready. if that’s not too messy.

3. bridesmaids — an integral part of the admin programme

I believe a typical BTB thought process on bridesmaids goes like this:

just started wedding planning – “I don’t think I need bridesmaids. I don’t want to trouble or bore my friends.”

halfway mark of wedding planning – “eh cantik lah this photo of bridesmaids in matching clothes and the bride. I also want.”

days leading to the wedding – “yay I’m so glad I have bridesmaids to help me do the things I don’t want to do”

day of wedding – *batman voice* WHERE IS SHE?! I need her to do this NOW.

ha ha. but of course after the wedding, it’s all “thank you, sayaaaaang korang.”

I tried to give my bridesmaids meaningful things to do because if anyone has been an idle bridesmaid, you may have found it boring and not a good use of your time. I believe that close friends love to know that they can contribute to our wedding, love to help, and love to be needed by us.

in my mind, my bridesmaids’ duties eventually worked out nicely and equally. some helped with pre-event conceptualising e.g. photobooth, kickstarting the birth of my hashtag, helping me choose baju. the two that weren’t as involved in preps due to work/travel, spent a weekend rehearsing a special performance for me. and the one who couldn’t be too active on that day because she has a baby to look after, was the one who gave me emotional support in the weeks leading to my wedding. being the only married bridesmaid, I could talk to her about wedding prep woes and anxieties on being a wife. alhamdulillah for everything falling into place. trust Allah swt :’)

apart from assigning tasks here and there to them, I also requested them to help me layan guests who are our mutual friends. by layan, I mean to chat with and catch up with them, and invite them to eat more more more. (my bridesmaids come from different circles, with some overlaps) I thought this was clever (sorry, masuk bakul angkat sendiri, I know) cos it was win-win. my bridesmaids get to sit and talk to friends as an “official duty” without having to feel bad that they’re not “helping” or “looking busy”, and my guests get to feel warmly received (I hope!). cos the ironic thing about Malay weddings is that it’s more of a place for you to catch up with mutual friends than with the couple themselves! hence I sent my bridesmaids to catch up on my behalf. anyway I think this worked too well cos when it was time to leave for my outdoor shoot, I couldn’t find them. lol. semua bersepah.

4. the devil is in the details

unless it’s super close to the wedding, say less than 50 days, one might easily dismiss a detailed programme as the works of the bridezilla. and then you try to visualise your programme. and you realise that all the bridezilla details are in fact, necessary. haha.

some details to look into: who’s gonna get into whose car? (you don’t want an orang kuat to feel forgotten or left behind) who’s going to hold on to your NRIC and marriage prep course certs before the nikah? who will jaga your duit hantaran and dulang items after? who will hold on to your house keys for you? who will liaise with the groomsmen on the groom’s arrival? do you want your DJ to page for relatives for photo taking? do your parents want to take photos with you after your sanding? (mine didn’t, ok… said they would be too busy greeting guests at peak hour to run up and take photo with us) will your groom fetch you to go to his reception? (unfortunately this also cannot be assumed… kwang kwang kwang)

on with the programme

ok lah, that was a lot to download right? so here’s my one day, separate receptions programme for reference. the order of the smaller items got mixed up a little (much to my annoyance) and we had to play by ear for photo taking and lunch, but the programme largely stayed the same. no regrets!

the underlined timings reflect the agreed timings. NG had his own bujang programme (probably involved a DOTA game or two in the morning, ok kidding) so we made sure to at least have these key timings synced.

for my admin programme, I created a table in MS Word with 4 columns: time, programme, action by, remarks/advance preps. this is the non-admin versh, which should be enough to give a rough idea 🙂

07.00am – call time for mak andam at bride’s house

09.00am – breakfast served at venue
09.15am – bride leaves home for venue
09.30am – majlis khatam quran

10.30am – end of majlis khatam quran
10.40am – agreed time for bride’s and groom’s delegations to meet

11.00am – akad nikah, sarung cincin etc, photos with bride’s and groom’s parents, photos with bride’s and groom’s nuclear families, photos with guests, bride and groom to grab quick meal with bridesmaids at common tables

12.30pm – bride and groom leave for outfit change. bride to change at venue’s changing room, groom to change at his house.

1.00pm – start of Hello Forever photobooth
1.50pm – bride to be seated at dais

2.00pm – agreed time for groom’s delegation to meet. hadang, silat performance by bridesmaids.
2.30pm – start of pelamin photo taking with guests

03.00pm – cut cake + makan + go photobooth
03.30pm – resume pelamin photo taking

04.00pm – bride’s thank you speech. bride and groom to salam-salam guests. end of photo booth.
04.30pm – bride and groom leave for short photo taking session around venue.

05.30pm – start of tear down
06.20pm – those involved in bride’s delegation to groom’s reception to go to bride’s house to wash up

04.45pm – bride and groom to head back to respective homes. bride to eat, remove make up, shower, pray.

05.25pm – start of make up round 2

groom’s reception
07.30pm – agreed time for groom and wedding car to arrive at bride’s carpark. bride’s delegation to gather at void deck. to meet again at *landmark near groom’s reception*
07.45pm – bride and groom march in with bride’s delegation

10.00pm – end of groom’s reception


  1. aemii · July 1, 2015

    Thanks for the tips. Very useful especially for a noob like me.

  2. Himidila · July 2, 2015

    Thank you for sharing this!I’m starting to worry about my one day event so this is really really useful!

    • the wedding kraken · July 4, 2015

      my pleasure! yeah planning the prog was one of the toughest parts, but it’ll work out insyaAllah. enjoy it!

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