Long overdue update – Wedding planning

SO. This is going to be a LONG post because I have some real grandmother story to tell.

It has been a hot minute since I’ve been here. I’ve been pretty unmotivated and at one point bored to death with how life was going. There was this itch underneath my skin that only vanished when things that were high risk (for me at least) happened, e.g. when the mat goes at 115km/hr. Past me would cry, new me was like YES I FEEL ALIVE FINALLY.

It was a strange period but now it’s more or less gone, I’m now back to glaring at him when he goes at 100km/hr. But I feel the itch coming back a little so I think I’ll have to come up with some less dangerous activities to keep myself in check. Like maybe an intense pilates class where I’m less likely to die.

ANYWAY. There has been some major changes to this wedding thing since I last wrote here. I think I was in that state of “meh” because I was kind of bummed out that we were using vendors that I wasn’t super excited about. So for all you creative types out there – don’t go for a package. I thought it was going to be easier but it isn’t and I’m not entirely thrilled with what’s happened. But with the changes that are happening/have happened comes a sense of purpose and urgency and now that we are 2.5 months away I am fully getting on board this wedding train….and I feel like I’m kind of becoming a little bit of a bridezilla? Does the shade of gold used in my decor and my signages really have to be the same? Do I really want to do a feature wall full of greenery to make the place less basic? I’m still struggling to answer these questions. My bridesmaids have been kind enough to bring me back down to earth a few times already.

Bridal

Let’s start with the biggest shocker, shall we? I’ve been trying to get on board with FM being my bridal for almost an entire year. Her company has never been in my top bridal companies list – not because she’s terrible or anything, but the styles I see on their Instagram never wowed me. I never looked at an outfit that wasn’t customized and thought of wearing it. Her style wasn’t my style, and so I struggled to accept this because everyone was telling me that she was established, that the makeup was good, that it was a good deal to have her company as part of my package. And because I didn’t want to spend unnecessary money, I decided to go with it. Surely there was something that I could choose from their outfits. Surely there were two outfits that would suit my tastes.

Towards the end of the year, I gave them a call to set an appointment for the first fitting and was told that my fitting was only in January next year because I was getting married in March. That was a bit of a shock, but I figured they should know what they were doing since they’ve been in the business for donkey years but I asked if I could go down to take a look at their dresses so that I roughly knew what I was getting myself into when I went for the fitting in January. The lady who took my call said that wouldn’t be a problem; I set an appointment and let the mat know.

So we went there and split up – I saw the dresses, the songket, the baju nikah. I was kind of surprised at how there weren’t that many options but maybe all of them were like that how would I know, I’ve never been to any Malay bridals before. I saw two that I would consider wearing – one baju nikah that I thought was nice and one gown. He went to see the men’s outfits. I never went to that side of the room. After going through the outfits, the lady asked if we would like to look at the exclusive pieces upstairs. If I wanted to wear any of those, I’d have to top up. I was like ok sure since I’m here right?

I would have to top up $800 to wear one of those dresses. Because most of them were only worn by models for photoshoots. $800. Eight hundred dollars.

No. Not paying that money to wear a dress for 3 hours, thank you. I know some brides will do it, and gurl if that dress is the dress of your dreams I say you do you, but I would rather spend that money on food. $800 can buy me 360 of that great fried chicken rice from Golden Shoe. That is chicken rice supply for a whole year. (That will also be how I develop high cholesterol but that is another story altogether)

So I left the place deciding that okay, I’ve got two outfits I saw I liked, I’m gonna hope that it will be available for me.

Then the shocker came. The real, honest to god shocker.

The mat was not happy with what he saw.

This changed the game entirely. I was like hold up, pause, rewind, what did you say??? Because the mat doesn’t really care about these things. The mat is the kind of man who goes to Bata, finds the cheapest shoe on the rack, and if they have his size and it fits he buys it. So when that kind of man says he’s not happy with the outfit selection, this is a real problem.

What was the problem, I asked. He said that he didn’t expect the mens’ outfits to be so few. And because there were so few, they looked like they’ve been worn.

He started talking about tailoring his suit. And at that point, all intentions of me using FM as my bridal just went poof. Because I had convinced myself to use FM since he was okay with FM. But now that HE wasn’t ok with FM and wanted to get his own clothes, why should I settle?

I told him since he didn’t want to use FM, I didn’t want to either and I explained my reasons. He agreed and said I should go find a bridal that made me happy.

Suddenly, there was this urgency in me because now I could use a bridal that I really wanted. I began scrolling frantically through Instagram, looking at the ones I loved but chose to ignore throughout the year. By then it was already December and I decided to narrow down to two that I really loved. I visited them and was completely blown away by the selection – one of them had a collection three times the size of FM’s. The other had a smaller collection but was still substantial. I saw so many pieces I imagined myself in. Both of them were so kind and lovely and I wanted to sign up with both but that would be ridiculous since my wedding was only 4 hours long. Both of them also told me that I was kind of late since my wedding was in March, whoops.

In the end, I got the bridal I had originally dreamed of – Lulu Alhadad. They were the more expensive option but they had a dress that I was thinking about for a whole week straight (and still am thinking about it now tbh).

Food tasting

This is a really, really, long story so in short: Everything was nice, but almost everything had problems. Some items the taste was nice but diluted, some items tasted nice but didn’t taste like what it claimed to be. Now all I can do is pray, because my mom’s friend attended a wedding at Red Velvet last week and the food was fine.

This was also the time we found out we needed to settle our pelamin by end of the year, aka about a month to go. How lovely.

Decor

Because I was so intent on getting the bridal right, I didn’t have as much time to think about the decor when I first met the decorator, Juliana from Sentimentals. She had sent over a list of items that were in the package, and things that we could top up to make our wedding look better/nicer/grander/prettier. I secured the pelamin I wanted, thankfully, but it wasn’t a very fruitful meeting decor-wise because my brain was on bridal and the contract draft I had to prepare the next day. We discussed no. of tables, where to place the berkat table, the reception table, centrepieces and decor for the walkway leading towards Red Velvet. She’s a really down to earth lady and now that I have a better idea of what I want my wedding to be, I hope she can execute it.

Since we are on the topic of decor – ladies. Do not expect your man to be interested in decor. Do not expect him to have any input aside from “don’t need this la so expensive”. You can be angry at him for like a week but eventually you have to realize that this is not of importance to him so move on and handle it yourself. Continue to ask him for propriety’s sake but don’t be mad when he says “up to you”. (Isn’t it good, though, if it’s up to you? You get to do what you want, gurl! Unless you have a mother who’s planning her dream wedding for your wedding then that’s another story and also my condolences)

Also tell your mother to not expect your man to be interested because for some reason she would have forgotten that your father didn’t give a shit about decor back in the day too. She should take about two to three weeks to calm down about this.

Berkat

Let it be known right now that there is a 95% chance your parents will be more invested in the berkat than you. This is what they are going to give their judgemental guests when they receive duit salam, so to them it must be good.

My mother has been talking about tea the moment the mat put a ring on it, so I decided to not even bother to venture out and consider other things. Sometimes she’d say just buy Toblerone and give to people but eventually tea will come back into the picture. The mat and I did check prices of Toblerone and other chocolates but after the first 2 times giving tea came back into the picture we decided to just stick with tea regardless of what she said. It’s not offensive, people with diabetes/high cholesterol/insert illness of choice can drink it, it’s something we both drink so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that we’re giving it.

For the past half year since we started our search it always led to a dead end. One tea supplier didn’t pick up their phone and a Google search showed a residential address. Redmart ran out of one type of tea we were keen on getting. The mat found a company that does customized tea but it was out of our budget. We kept saying we were going to JB to check out the tea there but never ended up getting there.

Then my friend got married in early December and gave us cookies in pretty packaging. There was an Instagram account printed on the package. It turned out that she ordered them from a company based in KL. I started going through Instagram, hoping to find something unique from JB that wasn’t tikar sembahyang or nuts or popcorn or the biscuits I buy in bulk for $1 – and by some miracle of God, I found a vendor in Johor selling cute tea favours. I contacted her to send over a sample and now we’re waiting for it to come so that my parents can test the tea and give their seal of approval. I am hoping very, very hard that it will be approved otherwise I’m going to have to DIY some magic and that is going to take up a lot of time.

In conclusion

I have 2.5 months to go. There is still quite a bit to settle so I’m just really hoping that work isn’t going to throw me a ton of things because I definitely need as much time as possible to settle all this wedding stuff.

My colleague once told me that he’d rather make his marriage work so that he never had to do a wedding again. I’m going to agree with him 100%.

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