HEY GUYZ. I AM BACK AND I AM MARRIED!
It’s been slightly over four months but it still feels just like yesterday. Ahh….
It took me a few staggered sittings to finish this first entry. I don’t know why but after the honeymoon, it’s been or rather felt pretty hectic. There’s always something to be done. The hours in the days suddenly seemed short. As excited as I was to share my wedding, I was also sometimes tired (no, not from wifely duties, just lazy bones!) and uninspired. But now, I finally got this entry written. Are you guys still here?!
Anyways! I’ll be blogging about my wedding in parts. Can’t possibly squeeze all in one. Let’s start with day 1 – my Nikah (solemnisation) ceremony and how I was feeling that very day.
People close to me know that I am emotional by default. I cried watching my mom cry over a Malay drama on TV and that was me not knowing what was going on! I have always worried about how I will ruined my make-up on my wedding day. I know I will cry when I salam my parents. I thought I can handle nerves better than tears and would be relaxed (at least calmer than Hafiz, my husband) but guess what?I I was a wreck. Certainly sleepless nights are normal for brides to-be. No exception for me. I remember dozing off only at about 330am that Friday night.
The morning of 22 February 2014 was sunny and the weather was beautiful albeit slightly humid. What’s new with Singapore, right. I woke up with a stomach discomfort + adrenaline rushes. Not a good combination, guys. The adrenaline rushes were so distracting and uncomfortable! I was willing for it to stop but of course, it didn’t. I told my father how I was feeling, asked him to doa for me and he calmly said to me, get a glass of Zam Zam water, niat and drink, Insyallah. 🙂
My getting-ready started at 1230pm. Fatimah Mohsin’s assistant (my juruandam) assigned to me, Ely, arrived first to start on my hair. Ely was such a fun juruandam! Fatimah Mohsin (FM), the make-up maestro herself, arrived an hour later and started doing my make-up. Here’s FM working her magic on my face.
Of course, a pimple had to make camp on my my right cheek a night before the wedding. There was nothing I could do about it. FM did not cake it up and it looked just fine. And those eyebrows were threaded and shaped for the very first time in my entire life.
By 220pm, I was beautifully dressed and ready to leave the house for the solemnisation venue. FM is truly amazing at what she does – she was gentle and calming. She held small convos with me and when she realised how nervous I was – I must have had ‘I’M NERVOUS YOU GUYZ’ written on my forehead – she told me to relax and to smile for the official photographer who had arrived by then.
And THAT, everyone, IS ALL MY OWN HAIR. Everything is mine, but the voluminiser bun at the top to prop my bridal scarf. I have always wanted to wear my hair down and curled to go with my traditional outfit. That’s almost 2 years of NOT cutting but just trimming my hair ONCE for it to happen. The litres of shampoo I have had to rub into those roots and the amount of time I took in the toilet… But all that was worth it. Look at my hair. I love it! I also didn’t dye/highlight my hair for the wedding. That’s my natural hair colour at the roots while the colouring on the bottom layers are the remnants from my last dye.
While I was busy getting made-up, Hafiz was already ready and set to leave the house after praying Zuhur.
Hafiz and his entourage had already arrived and were seated when I was walked down the aisle, escorted by my two nephews. I know it was my big day and that I should just indulge myself in all the attention but nah-uh. To have a sea load of eyes on me made me self-conscious and shy. I was actually shaking but I remember trying to smile as naturally as I could.
I like how the hall was arranged for the entire wedding. Uncle Rahim from Merpati Creations was my decor vendor and he did an excellent job working with my caterer on the hall settings. I have to also thank Uncle Mahmood Jan, my caterer, who had given his two cents way earlier on the set-up for the buffets. As a result of a well pre-planned arrangements, the hall was was not at-all stuffy during the two-days! And we are talking over 1,200 people coming and going and hanging at the reception hall. I have to also thank my father for spending more renting big fans to ensure that his daughter and son-law alongside our guests were comfortable. Look at how spacious the hall was:
Back to me walking down the aisle. After trying my best to ignore all the attention, soft murmurs and watchful probably gossipy eyes (Standard! Malay wedding pe!) and being very careful as to not trip over my red lengha, my eyes found Hafiz. My heart did a little jig; there he was, seated smack in the middle of the dais all by himself, looking oh-so-handsome in his kurta. He was the centre of attention and he was beaming, quite obviously and obliviously. There was no trace of nerves on his face. Nothing! I found myself thinking, this is finally happening! We didn’t meet each other for a while prior to the wedding and to finally see him warmed my heart. I also felt… proud almost. Because my husband-to-be looked so, so good. Can’t help myself. He was glowing. Seri pengatin, they say. I had to control my face from smiling too widely. Here’s my husband, oh-so-calm on the dais.
Ah, my beautiful pelamin (dais)! It was a work between Uncle Rahim and I. I had an idea of what I want and because I had no artistic bone in me, I worked together with Fadila, my bff, to come up with a visual of what I wanted my pelamin to look like complete with the colours and theme. Uncle Rahim incorporated his years of experience into it and tada! Love love love the outcome!
It was 230pm when I took my seat by the dais. The reception hall was almost filled up with family and close friends. By now my heart was beating so wildly that I felt like it would fall off limp. This was amusing considering the fact that I am quite the extrovert 99% of the time.
My beautiful nieces dressed in saris. The youngest was somewhere out there at the playground, I assume!
While waiting for the kadi, I had family members coming up to me; my sisters, nieces and girlfriends, asking me how I was feeling, commenting on how I was looking, talking to me to make me feel comfortable and all. Not that it worked with the nerves but it did saved me from awkwardly staring straight at random spots (avoiding eyes on me) while waiting for the proceedings to begin. My hands were shaking so bad that Farhan, my second photographer for Saturday, made me do some funny stretches because he couldn’t take a clear shot of my henna-ed hands! But he succeeded in taking this:
While I was literally on the edge of my seat, waves after waves of adrenaline still coursing through me every other minute, on the contrary, Hafiz was seated calm, sipping syrup his bestman had taken for him and offering me some (Hello, mom said tak boleh berbual kat pelamin remember! But I ended up speaking to him before the kadi came to verify some documentations. Sorry mom!). He was even laughing with his best men in full view of everyone. How was that possible?! Hafiz has always been the quieter and shy half between us!
Also, to those who were guessing why I was frowning – I WASN’T FROWNING. I was NERVOUS. Guess I’m just not one of those merenyam brides. Call me old-school but with this, I stand by the orang-orang tua rules when they say don’t talk to your husband when you’re on the dais. Don’t be touchy-feely. Don’t be too happy, laughing out loud and moving a lot. Don’t getek. Basically, please behave like a lady! I know it’s a wedding and a celebration of a beautiful newborn union but it is also a ceremony you’re sharing with many, many people. I believe in keeping myself in-check and behaving like a proper bride. Funny faces, candid pictures, small-talks with the guests while on the dais I’m fine. But if you expect me to stand up and do jump-shots or going to the karaoke stand and singing or joining in the dance performance, I’m out. All that were saved for our outdoor wedding photoshoot (minus the dancing/singing), of course!
Our kadi, Syakir Pasuni, arrived 20 minutes past the scheduled time due to traffic conditions. So, that was 20 minutes of extra and unnecessary anxiety for me. Because my thoughtful father had ensured the reception hall was well-ventilated, I didn’t sweat one bit. There was a fan for me and one for Hafiz at his side. With the arrival of the kadi and everyone (wali, wakils) ready, the ceremony began. My father started the proceedings by reading a doa. My dear father was going to solemnise us. As you all know, it’s the greatest blessing to be solemnised by your biological father. And my father was prepared to. You have no idea how much it meant to me.
So what ensued after my father recited the doa was the standard necessity where the kadi and my father came to my seat, verified the necessary with me and got me to pen down my signature if I agree to be married by my own will to the man sitting there. Of course, I do. So I signed my future, life, handbags and shoes expenses (HAHAHA) and all to Hafiz there and then! Then, everything else was a blur to me because all I could think of was, “OMG it’s coming its coming its coming.” I vaguely remember the kadi saying a few words and continuing with another doa. My mind was somewhere else. My emotions were running riot inside of me. I watched the kadi’s gestures – he was giving instructions to both my father and Hafiz and I knew it was already time. Then, I saw my father hold Hafiz’s right hand in his. I couldn’t watch. At this point, I was scared to death. Funny, isn’t it? I have waited years for this moment yet I was scared shitless. I looked straight at about 45 degrees down.
Then I heard my dad’s voice loud, firm and clear across the speaker, “Muhammad Hafiz… , aku nikahkan kau dengan anakku, Nurul Huda …., dengan mas khawin $…. tunai.” >> (Translation for my non-Malay readers. “Muhammad Hafiz…, I hereby solemnize/marry you to my daughter, Nurul Huda… with $…”)
-that 2 seconds pause before the groom answers-
And then, I heard Hafiz’s voice equally loud and clear but an octave gentler: “Aku terima nikahnya, Nurul Huda…, dengan mas khawin $…. tunai.” >> (“I accept the solemnization/marriage to Nurul Huda… with $…”)
I was still shaking here. My sisters were right beside me.
-that 2 seconds silence as the kadi turned the mic to himself, turned to the witnesses-
“Sah? Sah? Alhamdulillah.”
Hafiz and I had one official photographer and videographer each at our sides to capture our reactions during this special moment. I was trying to control myself and I ended up tonguing my cheek to control my face because I knew I was going to cry. There, me all tongue-in-cheek. And my second sister grabbing my shoulder going all, omg you’re married! You’re finally married! I remember one of my uncles (in black in the picture) had his camera phone right in my face after the nikah. I was surprised he didn’t ended up hitting me with it what with his awkward angling. It was so funny.
But yes, in one lafaz (saying), Hafiz made me his wife. Hafiz changed my title from single to married. From a Miss to a Mrs. We are man and wife. It was the happiest moment of my life. All my nerves disintergrated. I am married! ALHAMDULILLAH!
Then, I salam-ed Hafiz for the first time as his wife and he kissed me of the forehead for the first time as my husband and we exchanged rings.
The nikah (solemnisation) is the most crucial moment in a Muslim marriage. All else can fail but not this. There is immense pressure on the groom because it is his duty to deliver the vow correctly and accurately. If the bride’s father is to solemnise the union, there will surely be some emotions tugging on his heart as he prepares to marry his little girl off. After we were pronounced man and wife, a huge wave of relief surged through me. What worried me most had been delivered perfectly and soundly by both my father and Hafiz. The nerves and adrenaline rushes I struggled with earlier in the day disintegrated silently. I wasn’t even aware – next thing I knew, I wasn’t shaking anymore and I was very relaxed albeit slightly emotional.
Photo-taking with close family members, relatives and friends continued till 4pm after which we proceeded for our second outfit change for the day – which I will talk about in Part 2 of my solemnisation blog entry. Didn’t expect to write this much for Part 1. I’ll try to not take so long to continue.
Bye for now. Till Part 2!
Make-up, hair & outfits by Fatimah Mohsin & Ely from Fatimah Mohsin The Wedding Gallery
Hall set-up & decoration by Merpati Creations
Photography by The Pink Elephant Lab