just married!

hello assalamualaikum! alhamdulilah, really happy to share that our wedding went smoothly last weekend 🙂 🙂 I was really happy with the vendors I engaged — super love my mak andams (ishQ) and photographer (an analog affair), and was very happy that my decor (elly weddings) sought my feedback on fri night during the set up and worked to address the areas I wasn’t too keen on. my photobooth company (hello forever) — don’t say lah. they have one of the best pre-event customer service. on the wedding itself, I left them in the good hands of my brother and bridesmaids and sadly I couldn’t mingle with them much. 

our kadi (uztaz Ismail) put us at ease and was fast and breezy. I found out that my dad had actually wanted the kadi to represent him, but the kadi insisted for my dad to do it himself. since my kadi was 20 mins early, they took the chance to practise together. alhamdulilah, our marriage was sealed within the first lafaz … our friend even caught it on a 15s Instagram video! I was also so very impressed with my dad for his clear delivery despite the last minute preps + being on stage in front of so many people :’)

it’s taking a few days to sink in that I have a husband, to be honest. the wedding day passed by in a blur; I was just following the motions per my admin programme without it really registering that hey, I haz a husband now and that today my life has changed. at the end of the night when we dropped by ninja groom’s house, I remember thinking to myself that this isn’t NG’s house anymore, this is my in laws’ house. scary! I mean not scary scary but like… wow. we have new roles and responsibilities now.

oh yeah and NG’s reception was so gorgeous! for a groom who was all like, can we get married without a wedding, his decor was so pretty and splendid. in the months leading to the wedding, he tried to keep his concept a secret to me but I think he was also too excited and kinda revealed that he had put together a MOODBOARD with lots of PINK and WHITE. emphasis for all the parts that (pleasantly) surprised me back then hahahah. thought it was pretty brave of him to pick pink (but hey! it was LKY’s favourite colour) but yeaaah together with all the light bulbs and paper lanterns and rustic touches like typewriters and flowers in glass bottles, it was really so lovely lah. sampai my relatives asked my mum how come I didn’t pick those colours instead. thanks eh. 

ok so photos! here are some of my favourites that I stole from relatives, orang kuat and vendors. wanted to upload more but I don’t wanna kill my data plan heh. can’t wait for the official ones 🙂

us in our nikah outfits, with four out of five bridesmaids. love them all!

at the photo booth with our sanding outfit. super love my make up. ilah gave me a bronze-y look … never seen my skin and face structure look so good!

the groom’s pelamin as uploaded by his decor vendor, @kassimbabawedding. this photo don’t do justice cos it looks sweeter in the night, together with the lanterns and light bulbs and gorgeous cake table which was set up by his friends.

one of my favourite moments of the entire day: marching in together as husband and wife at NG’s reception. his guests/friends had crowded around and cheered. ’twas so nice cos can step celebrity for a second hahah.

and finally, a product of our late night outdoor shoot at the place where NG and I used to have teh tarik dates (until we went on that horrible pantang). it was not easy because everyone was so tired by then but again major love to NG’s orang kuat who really are kawan setia :’)

alhamdulilah for we are really blessed to have lovely family and friends help us for our wedding. till next update!

in 50 days… pre-BEAST mode

hello! 50 days left siaaa. though frankly it feels the same as when it was 150 or 100 days away… macam still very far. but preps wise, won’t be soon before long till it gets into BEAST mode. hur.

so some quick (or not) updates on preps:

– I’ve become less of a procrastinator. These days I feel more anxious to strike things off the to-do list, in anticipation of crunch time later.

– More honeymoon preps. Applied for my visa and my international driving permit (trying to step brave here), booked one of our intercity buses, emailed our hotel to request for early check in (“we would just have completed a 21h red eye flight and would much appreciate M&C’s hospitality,” I wrote pitifully.) Also starting to plan a skeletal itinerary and research on the attractions so we can group the nearby ones together-gether.

– Parents met caterer to bring them on a site visit, finalise menu and deliverables, work out the little details, and pay (a pretty huge) deposit. Though it’s also worth noting that it’s our first payment to them since booking them last year. Conclusion is that the package we’re getting is mad generous. Lots of types of food and nasi berkat to give to guests, not inclusive of the berkat for our relatives. Also, she will provide cutlery for my meja pengantin. Selamat!

– Selected outfits! I was soooo excited about this! I even packed a bag with a baju kurung I was 50/50 about on wearing for nikah so that I could show the mak andam in case the dress I wanted was not available! I also brought tudungs that I bought in anticipation of the dresses I wanted! And then! I was told that I would not be allowed to try out the baju during selection!

Wait… what?

Yeah, terus hampa seh. Hah. It was a good thing I found out about this a few hours before my apmt. I happened to be SMSing them about package prices and all that. Otherwise, my face would have turned black during the apmt seh. Sian lor. But what to do? We chose the dresses off the rack based on the colour, and referenced a lot to previous photos of brides on their FB. So turns out all my stalking was not actually stalking, but legit homework for my selection. 

So anyway, heads up to the relevant BTBs. So you know what to expect. Also I thought my selection apmt was relatively late (<2 mths to wedding), compared to what I hear from my BTB friends who took other bridal houses.

Separately, I’m really glad I brought a bridesmaid with me. She helped to filter the outfits and I pretty much just said yes or no. Hee. Meanwhile, NG sat on the couch and played with his phone most of the time.

– Got a sketch of my pelamin from my decor company. It looks pretty good! And also a floor plan which needs to be rejigged… big time.

– Seems like my skin is deteriorating. Thinking of ordering a new pack of The Regimen from Amazon to salvage it.

– April will be the month of pampering, I think. Salon trip, dental visit, and maybe a spa? 😀

– But April will also be the month of doing my room makeover furreals. Not super looking forward to the work involved, but reminding myself that nothing worth it is ever easy! Must. Work. Hard.

– Speaking of which, I’m also stressed about my majlis khatam Quran. I was just thinking this morning about how I don’t regret at all going on this journey. If I didn’t have this event objective, I think it would have been a lot harder to get over the inertia + nafs of occupying my time with the other things to get into the groove of regular ngaji again. Even if I made a personal resolution to khatam by XX, I think it would have taken truckloads of discipline to strive towards it. However, I also do wish that I started earlier. I now have about 7 weeks to finish the second half of the Quran. It’s a stretch goal. I’m sure at the end of it I would feel a huge, huge sense of accomplishment, but right now I often fret about whether I can clock enough hours each week to ngaji.

– Also, insyaAllah I won’t be the only one to khatam. Mama Kraken, and her friends (10? 20? of them) are sharing the majlis with me. It’s good I guess, though I also feel pressure. My mum is catching up on me! (Ni pun nak competitive eh.)

– Bordering on TMI, some weeks back I went to the GP to get pills. You know, that sort of pills, cos we don’t plan on having kids so soon. I thought I would start about 2 months early because it’s a new routine to get used to. You have to pop the pill around the same time every day. If you miss them, it backfires. I was also pretty worried about potential side effects, and would rather find out now than later. The thing is that every body reacts differently, so the only way to find out is to take a leap of faith and try it. Manufacturers also say it takes about 3-6 months for some side effects to go away. On the advice of UndercoverBride, I doa’ed for a smooth journey before popping my first one. Alhamdulilah, it’s been uneventful thus far though I’m still fairly new. The upside about being on the pill is that your period becomes fairly predictable, so I did my calculations before choosing what date to start 😉

– My invites were long ready. I’m just waiting for a socially acceptable time to start approaching for addresses and sending them out. Lulz. I can’t reconcile the Melayu logic of “not sending too early or people will forget.” Cos in the corporate world, the earlier the notice, the better kan? Nonetheless some cards have gone out, espesh the ones by hand. I also approached some of my Chinese friends and colleagues already, not because they’re higher priority, but because I think it’s more normal for them to receive invites more than 4-6 weeks before a wedding. Two have even asked me “so… where’s my invite?” Haha. 

That’s all the updates for now. To smooth preparations ahead, insyaAllah. 

Oh yeah one last thing! I have my previous years’ raya bajus which are too small for me. Does anyone know any organisation or disadvantaged family whom I can donate them to? The kurungs are generally sizes UK6-8 and more suited for orang muda. Thank you! 

lessons from work on wedding planning

I’ve been learning a lot of hard lessons at work, and thinking what I can apply to wedding planning. my biggest lesson from the month of January (and early February) is the merits of being more kiasu (afraid to lose) or “KS”, as my manager refers to it.

I think the term kiasu tends to have a bad nuance, but I’m learning that it’s better to have all my bases covered than be half-hearted and pre-sumptuous — only to be caught unprepared later. And that all this checking and double checking actually takes hard work, so being KS is almost a virtue. And it’s good to over-estimate and plan for contingencies, cos sometimes you will really need them. And when you do, you will feel thankful and relieved that you decided to be KS.

I’m still a bit sore about my stickers, I guess. And thinking which parts of wedding planning I should be KS about, to save myself from future heartaches later.

anyway. mama kraken and I met our decorators at our venue on Mon. we had asked if we could meet earlier (otherwise the apmt would be closer to March) because we’re DIYing our guests’ table top decor and also making the bunga pahar for the pelamin, so my mum wanted to be able to have more time to plan / change plan, etc.

I was quite excited about the appointment in the weeks leading up to it, though I also felt some dread cos I was expecting that after our discussion, we would find that we needed to top up for this and that. however! the price tag remains the same so yay, syukur alhamdulilah. however! the apmt wasn’t that exciting after all. we basically just reconfirmed the details of the concept that we had discussed last year in April (nine months ago!) I whined to ninja groom that they didn’t start off by reconfirming that the decor concept remains the same and he was yalah, they expect you to tell them if you want to change, what. meh. I did have half the mind to change concept to something safer ok! I initially had some concerns about the look and the materials that will be used to make my pelamin backdrop, but during our discussion I managed to tell them what I didn’t want, so hopefully they get it and all will be ok.

everything we discussed was still abstract: we will put flowers here. we will hang cloths there. we will fix scallops here. so it was a bit hard to feel excited cos I don’t know whether my visualisation is the same as theirs! skali bukan eh. they explained that they have stopped providing sketches for the time being while they sort out T&Cs to prevent any misuse. so ya I feel like I’m at their mercy. just have to trust their taste and delivery. the corporate part of me says “noooooooouuu” (with a bit of Australian accent at the end) and “I need assurance!” while the muslimah in me goes “tawakkal je, sis.”

meh. I feel so conflicted.

wedding decor: lights, lanterns and…Tiffany chairs?


from Bliss Photo+Cinema’s FB – wedding of Fariz + Nora. super love the decor! if for some reason our CC plans fall thru and we end up hosting the reception at my void deck, I would love to have this style done: loose pastel-coloured drapes over pillars, and lights and lanterns hanging. only thing is that I’m not so willing to top up for Tiffany chairs, although they really suit the decor theme here!

elly weddings – booked!

pinching magazines

true story. this happened at my earlier apmt at elly weddings where I paid the deposit 🙂 woohoo, that’s decor settled! we’ll be customising the guest tables’ centrepieces ourselves, cos my mum wants to get dry hydrangea flowers and let our relatives take them home after the wedding.

to be honest, i didn’t think I was an Elly Weddings kinda girl. their decor seemed a little too simple with not enough flowers for me. but I was won over by their professionalism and prompt service, something that seems lacking among the smaller players among decor vendors 😡 insyaAllah with the right service attitude and some creative vision, I hope they’ll be able to decorate the space beautifully for my wedding. decor makes up one of the biggest expenditures so it better, better be nice ok!

anyway two pics from earlier this morning, when my mum was helping my niece (who got married today) do her hand bouquet and sireh dara. the thing about me and mobile phone photography is kalau tak apply filter, tak sah! so don’t mind the funky colours, i can’t help it…

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i don’t really fancy orange, but i must say the shade of the roses was really nice. these are african roses, apparently. pretty!

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my mum said she was excited to see the small yellow flowers (not the roses but gosh idk the name) cos usually they sell them big. so she decided to try something new by having them spill out… not sure if it works, but ok! think yellow roses go so well with the daun sireh

when feeling crappy about wedding planning, go to…

Kahwin Khronicle’s amazing collection of GIFs, and instantly felt better.

anyways i thought about my earlier entry about dreaming up my decor theme, and realise i was being a lil unfair by not mentioning that i did get prompt response from decorama, jentayu gallery, SID events, and anggun wedding services.

of course it’s not a coincidence that they also charge higher than the smaller decor companies. justifiably so, considering their higher level of professionalism and years of experience. these guys seem to have dedicated sales people to help answer the million questions that we btbs tend to have.

following my post on my decor woes and gameplan (which i think is not going to happen already, judging from how it’s hard to even arrange an appointment plus i’m starting to feel more heck-care) i decided to increase my budget so that i could engage at least one of the above, if everything else fails. sooo i do have a pending appointment with jentayu in about a week’s time. insyaAllah if everything with elly weddings goes well within this week, i’m likely to cancel cos no point wasting jentayu’s time. i already told my mum about the wedding theme i discussed with elly weddings, and she’s started spinning off ideas for matching bunga rampais etc. lol. i’m glad my mum is onz.

yesterday i talked to a btb-friend about how some vendors are not responsive, and she  shared that she too has been ignored. i shouldn’t be happy but i’m glad i’m not alone ha ha.

i hate to be the kind of person to breathe down people’s necks but i just can’t wrap my head around this one… why would you open yourself for business only to turn interested people away…?

dreaming up my decor theme

my hunt for the Perfect(ish) Decorator didn’t start out too well. the one decorator that i have a super maaAAaad crush on (vibrant colours! attention to details! different looking wedding every time!) takes too long to reply so about two days ago i told myself to just drop it. <insert heartbreak icon> i guess no point getting too hung up over a service provider who’s not responsive eh.

then i had another decorator who’s taking about 2-3 days to confirm his availability for appointments. haix. if you take that long to confirm whether you can make it on the dates I suggested, i think nevermind lah eh.

and then there’s another one who replied my initial sms/request for more details but went silent after that.

so it was like sianz, nobody wants my business issit.

but my luck changed a little after tonight, when i met the two lovely ladies Izyan and Liza from Elly Weddings 🙂 i was initially supposed to go alone (the bf is a ninja groom after all right? and me the solo bride) but last minute he oh so kindly decided to accompany me. which turned out to be a good thing because (i) i could’ve missed the bus stop and (ii) the warehouse they’re located in ader seram sikit, especially at 7.30pm.

during the appointment i whipped out my manual pinterest — obsessed btb style — and showed them the kind of look i wanted for the pelamin. they said it was doable and also gave suggestions on how we could add/complement the look for the guest tables etc. i’m kinda excited to see what they’ll come up with.

plus they are within my budget, based on tonight’s discussion. so alhamdulilah, i’m happy 🙂 so nice to have a combo of business owners i like + are flexible + within my budget. hopefully things work out from this point. this weekend my parents are still headed to try pak haji’s food. if it turns out to be drop dead delicious, i’ll have to get his decor :/ otherwise, i think i can look forward to customising my wedding. tawakkal aje lah eh.

remember the days before Pinterest? 🙂 i kinda enjoy browsing thru the malaysian mags and cutting out pics i like. therapeutic max!

decor woes

planning for my wedding decor has been challenging because

1. i don’t really fancy a lot of the photos posted online by wedding decor vendors

2. yet i’m not willing to pay more than $4,500ish for CC decor. this rules out the experienced and/or high-end vendors.

3. the one vendor that i do like + fits my budget isn’t very responsive. alarm bells?

game plan

1. meet short listed vendors to find out more
2. draft decor specs to help me make a fair comparison among their prices
3. lower my own expectations
4. pick the vendor I feel most comfy with, since given my fickle mindedness, God knows what theme I’d want 12 months from now. so someone flexible and open to client ideas would be great.