I wanted to share my latest status a day after my wedding but I decided to save it to myself for a while. I wasn’t ready to spill the happy news to strangers yet although, many close friends and families knew about it already. This past two months has been amazing and I hope it will continue to be so for a long time.
Our Love Story
Our love story was not the average love story. We didn’t court each other for very long.
For a few years since my last biggest break-up, I only dated about a handful of men and none of them were taken too seriously. Just as I told my best friend once, I think my heart has completely left the planet. Sometimes my decision-making compass went a little haywire and I ended up trusting the wrong person. So I decided to safe-guard my heart and conscience by making a transparent wall to every men I meet: they can see me, but they cannot come near me.
When I first met Syazwan, I regarded him just as I did other men – a friend. We first met in early 2016, only a week or two after he came back from Umrah in Mecca. Many times he tried to get close to me and every time I would reject him. Sometimes when his behaviour annoys me, I would complain to him directly, advising him to change some of his habits, which he actually did.
At one point he informed me that when he was in Mecca, he prayed for three things and one them was to find the woman Allah created for him. He told me that the first time we met after he came back from Mecca, he felt something that he never felt before with his other female friends. Of course, my cynical self thought it was just a cheesy pickup-line and I brushed it off as just empty words.
That same year, I was looking for a change. My heart and mind was restless. Many times I questioned my decisions and thoughts. And praise Allah, in the month of Ramadan 2016, on a night that was similar to every other Ramadan nights, I felt a very strong urge within me. At the end of that Ramadan, I decided to wear the hijab. In the following weeks, I started to feel more settled, I started to feel calmer, I started to enjoy myself again and I felt very different.
On the eve of 2017, I promised myself that I will delete all toxic people in my life (playboys and over dramatic friends had to go). I also decided that 2017 would be a good year for me to open up my heart and fall in love again.
Early that year I started seeing three very nice guys who were completely different from each other. Each had their own special personality traits, different family backgrounds and careers and distinct connection with me.
What made me pick Syazwan though was his patience, his perseverance, his acceptance and his simplicity. I was very grateful of these traits and how he handled himself (and me!) during my good days and my typhoon-like days.
We became an item in May 2017 and by end of July 2017, he asked me to marry him. I didn’t know why I accepted the marriage proposal right then and there (since I’ve rejected his proposal to become his girlfriend 3 times only a year before!). I even surprised myself at the swiftness of it all – especially considering I am the type of person who needed to have a plan in almost everything.
So yes, I accepted his marriage proposal. There was no engagement (ceremony and tradition) because I strongly oppose unnecessary spending of money. He asked for my parents’ blessings and they were okay with it. After his parents also gave the green light (because we had some differences), we decided to get married in 2018.
At first I thought it would be great to have a wedding in August 2018. 8.8.18 or 1.8.18 would’ve been a nice date but Syazwan didn’t want to wait that long. After many discussions, he wanted it to be done on 1.1.18.
It was quite shocking to both our parents because that would mean we only have less than 5 months to plan, manage and execute the wedding. Even my brother’s wedding the year before took more than 1 year to get everything in place.
Once again I surprised myself for agreeing and going along to the 5-month-deadline wedding. It meant we would have to rush on many things :
- Pre-marriage course
- Clinical test
- Marriage application
We went for our pre-marriage course in Putrajaya Sentral, Presint 7. We found out about it online – that it was JAWI and JAIS certified and immediately booked for the course. We paid RM120/person for the 2 full-days course. We received the certificate a week later with the option to either pick it up at the same venue or pay RM10 for the certificates to be mailed via registered mail to our home.
Clinical Test (Marriage)
Getting the HIV blood test, blood pressure and sugar level test, height and weight calculation for marriage purposes was a little bit of a hassle. Syazwan had to take the day off from work too (because I read online that it was a long process – which it was!) and we went to the clinic as suggested by the reception (when I called) according to “appointment” time. It turned out that we actually didn’t have to make an appointment at all (unlike what the reception said). So when we arrived, the queue was already quite long. We first had to fill in the forms and booklet (questioning us on our health, family history, our sexual activities, etc) before we were given numbers for the blood tests and body check-ups.
Clinical test (for marriage) must be done at a government health clinic and approved by a government doctor or health officer. The “short” procedure took us more than 4 hours to complete.
This one took a while.
First, we had to fill up our marriage application online. Syazwan applied his marriage application at Sistem Pengurusan Perkahwinan Islam Malaysia since was from Negeri Sembilan. He had to get signature from imam masjid near his home, submit the application with the required documents and wait a week for the approved application.
After receiving the approved application, he gave them to me so that I could proceed at my end. For marriage application of Selangor residents (even though I was born in Johor but I have lived in Selangor for more than 20 years), I had to fill up the online marriage application at Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor, print them, add other documents required (IC copy of myself, my Wali and 2 witnesses) before bringing the application, my Wali and 2 witnesses to the Khadi in charge of the qariah at the mosque near my housing area.
After the Khadi left his official stamp and signature, I had to bring the application to Pejabat Agama Islam Daerah (since I live in Kajang, the one in charge of my district is in Bangi), submit the application (both mine and Syazwan’s) and wait for the approved marriage application.
This whole process took us about a month to complete.
Mahr & Dowry
Syazwan’s mahr to me was 1 Dinar Gold (which at that time was valued at about RM700+). Mahr for women in Selangor is RM300. As for the dowry, we decided to trade 5 trays (men) for 7 trays (women).
Him to me:
- Ring & Dowry cheque
- Perfume Set
Me to him:
- Perfume Set
- Baju Melayu Set
- Wallet & Belt
- Sirih Junjung
This was my least favourite part of the whole thing. I hate having to search for different things at different shops and trying to choose the best items with the best price. Luckily though, a month before our wedding there were so many Christmas sales that we got many of the branded items at a good bargain.
The solemnisation was held at the mosque with only close friends and relatives in attendance. It totalled up to almost 60 people. I didn’t want to have the solemnisation at home, which would mean renting a mini-dais (all these traditions) that would cost about RM500-800. I would rather spend that money on the reception instead.
My makeup and videographer started their job at 7am sharp (which sucked because I stayed up until 3am the night before trying to fix my “problematic” henna). By 10.30am, my friends and family converged with his family and relatives at the mosque. The solemnisation procedure took about an hour to complete (including exchange of trays between the two families) and the feast after that took about an hour too.
I am very grateful to my parents and aunt for helping me out on the feast and door gifts for the guests.
It was still a long day after that – his side of the family came to see our “marriage bed and room”, we continued our indoor video shoot until 6pm and was so tired that by 9pm we were fast asleep.
You would think that preparing for and going through the solemnisation process was stressful, but it was way easier compared to the reception. I held my reception dinner at Tenera Hotel, Bangi on 20th January 2018.
The reception on my side was 3 weeks after the solemnisation – which I regretted. If I could change it all, I would make it on the same day as the solemnisation – get tired in one-go!
Looking for the right hotel was a bit of a problem since we had an issue on our initial hotel choice. Going through the whole procedure of meeting with the chef, meeting with the wedding dais company, meeting with the hotel executive, meeting with the sound system, looking for an MC, looking for someone to recite doa during ceremony, choosing wedding songs, preparing video montage and so on was stressful to the max!
Luckily, my dress was gorgeous or I would’ve just cancelled the whole thing and retire in a cave.
More than once, I felt like jumping off a bridge because I didn’t like being the centre of attention – never did, never will – and the idea of walking towards the wedding dais, sitting in front of a huge crowd and try not to make any mistakes scares the daylight out of me.
It was because of this, (amongst other tiny details) that made me decide to only invite 300 pax (in total) to my reception. It was tough for my parents, since they wanted to invite 1,500 people at least. But I was adamant with my decision and even though financially it was settled for me, I still didn’t want to invite more than 300 guests. So my parents had to choose amongst their very close and old friends while I only chose my best friends, those I meet regularly and those who are dear to me.
I tried to make it a Game Of Thrones theme, with Game Of Thrones wedding invites, Red flowers around the restaurant, Game Of Thrones names for the tables, Hand-Of-King pins for all my “helpers” and other little things that could help make the reception livelier.
In the end, we made it through and I did not embarrass myself by stepping on my own dress and falling flat on my face. By the end of the photoshoot at 2am, I was ready to crawl on the bed and never wake up until the end of the month.
My parents compromised with many of my requests except one : wearing sneakers under my wedding dress.
My solemnisation apparels, make-up and accessories was by Kimie Andaman Kajang. I love Kimie and his bubbly personality. I love that he can blend in with my family, my crazy best friend and me. His price are very affordable too, which I love. And I absolutely love how he transformed me through his makeup.
My solemnisation video (Jan), reception video (Hasrul) and photography (Noorehan) was by PVHX Kajang. Video editing by Ana. I was lucky to purchase all these at a discounted price when they were having an offer. In total it was almost RM5,500. I am yet to receive the final products as I’m typing this but will update once I get the final products soon (photobook, printed canvas, reception video, iSmart photo, etc). However, if you’re looking for photographers and videographers, these gentlemen I named above are amazing – very professional, fun and understood my requests without much prompt.
I asked for a Brandon Woelfel inspired photos for my indoor shoot. We did the photoshoot after the reception ended (at 10.30pm) and wrapped up the whole thing at almost 2am. By then, both my photographer and videographer almost slept on the hotel couch and both Syazwan’s and my eyes were bloodshot.
Change Of Status
After nearly 3 months of being married, I am finally here to share my happy news.
“Are you sure you want to get married?” one of my friend asked when I first informed her that I accepted Syazwan’s proposal.
I think, like many things in this life, you just can’t be 100% sure of everything. However, I am sure that my decision to answer, “Yes, I will marry you” to Syazwan was not just a whim. For many years I thought I would never marry (because of all the bad things I see happening to married people around me) and that I would never fall in love again (I was just too cynical and jaded on the idea), but now slowly yet surely, I love being married and love being with my husband.
Love, like life, often catches you (and me!) by surprise.