200 days

“May these vows and this marriage be blessed. May it be sweet milk, this marriage, like wine and halvah. May this marriage offer fruit and shade like the date palm. May this marriage be full of laughter, our every day a day in paradise. May this marriage be a sign of compassion, a seal of happiness here and hereafter. May this marriage have a fair face and a good name, an omen as welcome as the moon in a clear blue sky. I am out of words to describe how spirit mingles in this marriage.” Rumi

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Shot on Minolta Hi-Matic AF2 on Kodak 400neg.

Reviews on our wedding vendors in the next few posts!

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Heart

Mak

Hi everyone.

My last entry was on July 18th. Ever since then, a lot of things happened.

My one and only grandmother (that I grew up with) passed away on the last day of Syawal, 24th July 2017.

I was out on shoot when my mum called me and my mum rarely calls me especially when I’m on a shoot. I was down to the last 3 scenes before calling it a wrap. I had to maintain my composure while finding a replacement for next day’s shoot. Thankfully, I can rely on my 2nd AD to finish the day and I quickly went back to my house to fetch my mom, nephew and nieces.

I was emotionally distraught the entire evening. You guys, I rarely write or speak about my feelings (especially when it’s matters of the heart) to people outside my circle. But here I am, sharing my feelings because I just feel the need to immortalize my memory of her.

I don’t really show how I love to people. I grew up with tough love and tough love is what I know. I rarely say “I love you” to my grandmother, my parents, my cousins, my relatives, my friends. I show it to them. Because of this nature, some people may think that I have no feelings because I don’t say it.

So when my grandmother passed away, I cried when I saw her body being carried into the house. I cried when my mum covered her face with the white scarf. I cried when I looked at her lifeless face. I cried when I was reciting the yassin to her. However, I did find strength when someone else was inside the room with me reciting the yassin.

I didn’t bawllah because I know Allah (swt) loves her more and she has lived a long and fruitful life (she grew up in WW2)! But I cried because perhaps I felt guilty that I didn’t tell her that I love her. And perhaps, I didn’t visit her enough.

Alhamdullilah, my late grandmother managed to witness my solemnization. Minutes after I left the venue to go back and change to the second outfit, my late grandmother had a seizure and was taken to the hospital. She was admitted to ICU and while I was busy running errands the day after the wedding (and preparing to leave for our honeymoon), I prayed so hard that she wouldn’t leave when I’m miles away.

Alhamdullilah, she managed to live and witness another Ramadhan and Syawal. I guess all the family members knew that her days are numbered because her vision has been failing her. Despite being in and out of ICU since my wedding, she survived until she couldn’t anymore.

My late grandmother, Hajjah Rasmina Bte Dasuki alias Sundari, has lived up to 90 years (or more because she/we don’t really know when’s her exact birthday), with 6 beautiful children, 11 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren (from a direct family line).

Picture above was the first time in years that she actually smiled 🙂

I would really appreciate if you could send a prayer to my late grandmother ❤ Insyaallah, Allah (swt) will reward you.

Insyaallah, we will see you in Jannah, Mak. You are always in my prayers ❤

A is for Anger

Ok you guys.

It’s going to hit 4 months soon and I have yet to receive the wedding photos. Prior to the previous post, I had a spark of hope that Wandi (photographer and owner) will message me and inform that the photos are ready.

Up till today, no photos. None. Nada. Zilch.

He promised that he will have the photos ready before Raya. That’s when I texted him on 1st of June. On 21st of June, I texted him again to ask why isn’t there any link given for us to choose our photos (so that the photos can be developed ASAP). He replied that he will give us all photos. No replies thereafter.

I had to message him on 14th July and waited hours for his reply. He said it will be ready by next week (which means this week).

I am this close to exploding. And when I explode, it’s pretty nasty. I am a very temperamental, emotional person and I get angry easily (that’s why I take yoga and cardio classes to vent my anger somewhere else! LOL). I don’t like it when people break their promises. Besides, he is the LEAST person/vendor I thought would do such thing!

Granted, he is my friend/ex-sec schoolmate but…COME ON. If you can’t handle a lot of customers or have a lot of backlogs, then don’t take more than you can handle!

If there’s anyone out there or ex BTBs who’s having issues with him and wants to reach me, please email me at syafiqahamid@gmail.

You do not unleash the inner dragon.

100 days of being Mrs.

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Salam everyone!

Finally putting a face to the name! 🙂 This is me and my husband of whom I’ve been dating for 8 years.

Alhamdullilah, it has been a journey of being a Mrs, a wife and a daughter-in-law. We are also in the midst of celebrating our first Hari Raya together.

People never fail to ask us questions like, “How has marriage life been”. Truly, I have no correct answer for that. However, I am grateful that I get to wake up and sleep with this man every single day and night. But of course, the 100 days were not all fine and dandy. We have our ups and downs and we are still learning about each other despite being together for 8 years. The other day, I joked with my friends that one good thing about being married in Islam is that we get nafkah.

Of course I meant it as a lighthearted jokelah. It’s not that I need the money but for my non-muslim/chinese friends, this is very new to them. And I emphasized that once we are married, the Husband serves as protector and the guardian of the wife and the nafkah is one of the duties he have to do (read more here).

But at the end of the day, I’m super grateful that I’m still living at my (parents) place so fortunately or unfortunately, I have no horror stories about my MIL. Kidding! In actual fact, there is no room/space for us to move to my Husband’s house.

Anyhow, we are still waiting for our official pictures from The Fotorika (despite it being more than 3 months since the wedding). I think we are one of the most rilek couple as we did not chase for the pictures. But once we have it (which I hope to be very soon), a review post of all the vendors for our wedding!

To all the BTBs getting married this year, this is my message to you –

There is so much that you can do. But at the end of the day, you have to learn to let go and let God. Everything will go well if it’s meant to be. If it’s not, it’s okay. It’s just a wedding 🙂 The marriage is THE MOST important aspect of it all. All the best and don’t forget to smile!

To upcoming BTBs and new readers –

Welcome and I hope the posts have been somewhat fruitful to your research. Remember, not everyone will get the same price/treatment based on the vendors that you choose. But that’s okay. If it’s meant to be yours, it will be! There are others. Happy planning!.

Until the next post ❤

3 days

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

I’m 3 days away from entering a new stage in my life. I have mixed feelings and I can’t seem to put it into words. Perhaps, a part of me is nervous and another part of me is scared. I know it’s normal and it might get worse the night before the wedding. I’ve always been the bridesmaid and/or have witnessed my friends that got married and I’ll always tell them, “Don’t be nervous. All will be well”. But truly, one needs to be in that shoes to know exactly how it feels.

The past few days have been a whirlwind of emotions. I was super stressed on some DIY stuff/bridal issues that weren’t coming together. But I’m at the last lap now and I’m telling myself every single day to LET IT GO. There’s so much that I can do but ultimately, what’s going to happen will happen according to His will.

Alhamdullilah that being said, all my pending items/to-do list have completed. All thanks to my family members (especially my sisters) and my pillar of strength and motivation, the GTB.

This will be my last post as a Miss BTB. The next post, insyaAllah will be when I’ve upgraded my status to “Mrs”. I will review all the vendors and let future BTBs know my experiences.

Until then,

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Time to get married! 👰🏼

25 days

In the last update, I know I said that I will write about how my fitting went with my bridal. However, I just can’t seem to pen my sincere thoughts without sounding cynical.

It’s not that something bad happened but I just…was expecting more from them. I was slightly disappointed with their collection. Although I must say that from the first visit (in their old office space) in 2015, their collection grew. Perhaps, I had ‘high expectations’ and was too eager to see if they had a wider variety of songket but none gave me the butterfly feeling.

Anyhoo, I still have my final fitting and trial makeup a week before my wedding. So let’s conclude my vendor review once the wedding is over. Until then, I will try to make the best out of it 🙂

Note to self, you have 25 more days. Please do not procrastinate and get out of the house to run errands!

1) DIY stuff for the guestbook table/hantaran trays (buy flowers days before)
2) buying the necessities for my room (bedsheet set/flowers etc)
3) dresses/accessories for the flower girls (to get it done by 11th March)
4) shirt for my close cousins and uncle (to get it done by 11th March)

Where did all the time goooooo?!

30 days

So are you ready?
Omg, I’m so excited for you!”
How’s the preparations going?”
Is everything okay? You booked for facial and misc. already?

You guys, I have not even finished reading this book –

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One of the main reasons why I have a hard time swallowing the contents was because… It portrayed women as a submissive person and someone who always have to listen to what their husband have to say. I read up till page 30 and had to put it down because I can’t handle how subdued the women were. However, a friend of mine told me that I should read it with an open mind. And so I did and began reading it again from the first page.

I must say though, it’s very interesting to read about our prophet’s (pbuh), their wives and daughters’ lives back in the day. I’m not saying that I agree with what they say in the book but some of them are relevant and related to the teachings of the Quran. My goal till the day I’m about to be someone’s wife is to finish the book. So insyaallah, may He ease my journey in finishing the book (disclaimer: I am an avid reader/bookworm but when a book doesn’t entice me, it has to go).

Anyhow, back to my 30 days countdown…

Caterer & Decor✔ (Met up with Kak Erra to discuss food & decor. Site recce will be the week before my wedding )
Wedding Favours for Guests & Children (Berkat)✔
Hantaran Trays✔ DIY (Pending buying the flowers/necessities.)
Bunga Pahar/Sireh Dara✔  (My caterer will be doing my sireh dara while my MOH will be doing for the Groom.)
Bunga Manggar✔ DIY
Bunga Rampai✔ DIY
Bunga Pahar – ✔ (My mother insisted on having one but it won’t be on my pelamin. My caterer will put it on her berkat table.)
Wedding Cake✔
Venue – ✔
Bridal  – ✔ (Went for my first selection and deeds about the selection with Nawwarah in the next post. Pending final fitting & trial makeup.)
Bridal Bouquet ✔
Henna✔ (Most likely will do the red inai but not on the nails.)
Photographer✔ (Pre-wed shoot done!)
Music/MC/Entertainment✔
Kompang ✔
Photobooth/Guestbook✔ DIY (pending the decor for the table)
Wedding Invitations 
✔ 
Wedding Rings
✔
Bridesmaids & Groomsmen Attire –
✔
Hantaran gifts – ✔
Bridal shoes – ✔
Honeymoon – ✔ (booked the flight tix last year, settled accommodation/attraction tickets in January. Pending itinerary.)

Alhamdullilah, I believe most things are striked off from the to-do list.

I’m mostly left with:
1) DIY stuff for the guestbook table/hantaran trays
2) buying the necessities for my room
3) dresses/accessories for the flower girls
4) shirt for my close cousins and uncle

We’re almost there…

60 days

Holy smokes. Down to 60 days.

Listing the things here to ensure I’ve most things settled.

Caterer & Decor – ✔ (pending discussion for the decor)
Wedding Favours for Guests & Children (Berkat) – ✔
Hantaran Trays – ✔ DIY (pending buying the flowers/necessities)
Bunga Pahar/Sireh Dara– ✔ DIY (my MOH kindly offered to do it for me)
Bunga Manggar – ✔ DIY (the GTB completed them last year)
Bunga Rampai– ✔ DIY
Bunga Pahar – No idea whether my caterer doing it for me or…
Wedding Cake – ✔
Venue – ✔
Bridal  – ✔ (pending first selection/trial makeup)
Bridal Bouquet – ✔
Henna – ✔ (have yet to decide which inai should I get)
Photographer – ✔ (pending pre-wed photoshoot)
Music/MC/Entertainment – ✔
Kompang – ✔
Photobooth/Guestbook – ✔ DIY (pending the decor for the table)
Wedding Invitations 
✔ (pending sending the invitations out)
Wedding Rings

Bridesmaids & Groomsmen Attire –

I’m left with:

  • buying the last 2 gifts for my hantaran trays
  • buying the bridal shoes (which I will use for the next few years of Hari Raya hence, it has to be practical)
  • getting/buying all the DIY stuff

Insyaallah, everything will go as planned. C R U N C H time!

A peace of cake

This post is a  long time coming. I’ve been dying to update a post about my chosen cake vendor. I’ve finally paid the deposit and it is safe to finally reveal the baker….

Who is none other than The Cake Anthem (TCA). I first heard of her since the very first Eiding the Feast.

Eiding The Feast is a charity bake sale which sees Singaporean home bakers from all walks of life come together, sponsor their bakes and with the money raised from the bake sale, founder Shereen Naaz and her partners, Kit Ying and Yasmeen, organise for cooked food meal donations to children’s homes in Singapore for children to break their fast with during the month of Ramadhan.

Apart from secretly salivating her bakes online, I was also loving how humble and down to earth she was (she was an ex-SQ stewardess)! I met her back in August 2015 when I was my friend’s bridesmaid and had to liaise with her as she was the baker. It’s the 2nd time I met her but the first to ever communicate with her. She has such positive vibes, super smiley and really humble (she’s really pretty too)! That’s when it hit me that I would want to have the same positive vibes from all my vendors when it’s my turn (tak kirelah you are well-known or what, but positive vibes are a must to have a great relationship between 2 people or more).

She was one of my top 3 choices (one of them was of course Fluff Bakery). Some time last year, I messaged TCA to ask if they are taking in 2017 bookings. Unfortunately, she’s only opening her slots at the later part of the year. Having said that, I was informed of her cake price list. Alhamdullilah, it’s within my budget for:

  • 2 tier cakes
  • Floral arrangement
  • Delivery

I was really keen on getting her for my wedding cake and I really love her designs! Luckily, she mentioned that she will do a ‘soft booking’ for me but still…. To me, nothing is confirmed until a deposit is being paid 😦

On the other hand, Fluff opened up their 2017 calendar towards the end of last year. Of course I had to inquire to know how much was the market rate (even though a friend of mine had their wedding cake back in January 2015). You guys… Like all other vendors, Fluff also increased their prices and it was way above my budget. But again, to each his own. If you really love her style/flavour/cake, then by all means spend all you want 🙂

When TCA finally opened their 2017 bookings late last year, I messaged them and asked if my date was still available. Alhamdullilah, she really did ‘soft booked’ it for me. As I was traveling back and forth in November to December, our conversations were left hanging. I only realized that I didn’t pay the deposit on the first week of January! So I quickly confirmed the flavours/look/details of the cake and wham bam…

Finally confirmed everything with TCA. Alhamdullilah.

P/S: Thought I might highlight this for memory sake/future BTBs memo:

TCA really went all out to advise me a few things on the cake. For example, I wanted a 10″base + 6″top but she recommended to go for the 8″base + 6″top as it will look better for the look that I’m going for. Even though there was a huge price difference (10″ vs 8″), she cared more about her aesthetic rather than getting more $$. To all future BTBs (in whatever stage of planning you are at), find the vendors that are sincere in getting your dream/visual a reality. A good rapport is a must to ensure things will go smoothly at the end of the day. Bonus points will be given to vendors that are honest and sincere and not out to cheat/take advantage of your money.

You do you and always remember the main intention of the wedding: Two families are coming together for Allah. This union is for Him.

It took me a while to get to this part but I’m beginning to realize that all these little details are trivial and small in comparison to His blessings. Insyaallah, everything will go smoothly with His blessings 🙂 Thank you Aida for this reminder.

Hustling (part 2)

A while back, the GTB and I went to JB Larkin to get my wedding invitation cards printed (read here).

That was in September.

Based on our conversations and hard copy of the receipt, it’s stated that within 2 weeks (10 days as stated in the receipt) from the first deposit, we would get a soft/digital copy of our card. After our approval, they will proceed to print. Within a month (stated 14 days in the receipt), we will be able to collect the cards.

That didn’t happen.

Let me give you the timeline:

24th September: Went to Thong Seng and paid 50% of our deposit
8th October: I emailed them a soft copy of our design and to add an additional 50 more pieces

10 days passed and still no email.

25th October: Dropped them an email to ask if the design fits the chosen card size

I received a call a week later and they asked if I already send in the design. I told them I already did AND emailed them again but still no reply. They told me they will check and get back to me.

8th November: Finally they replied and said that my design fits and they resend back my design
9th November: When they sent back the soft copy of the design, I was confused. Am I supposed to look for something? So I replied back and asked if the border fits and it should not be out of frame (bridezilla alert)
9th November: They asked if they could proceed with printing (did not reply my question)
10th November: I emailed and asked them again

No reply until…I emailed them again on the 15th November

15th November: They finally replied!
16th November: Replied them to proceed with the printing and to confirm additional 50 more pieces

No reply/updates.

29th November: I emailed and asked if my cards were ready for collection

No reply/updates.

6th December: Dropped them an email to ask if the cards were ready.
6th December: They replied and said that my cards were ready
6th December: I asked if total number of cards were 600 since they did not get back about this
6th December: They replied and said that it’s 600 pieces
27th December: Emailed them out of courtesy to inform that I’m coming down on 29th December

Came down on the 29th, braced the crowd and made it to Larkin after a 3-4hr jam at Causeway. Upon arriving, I checked with them again if it was 600 pieces. The Lady boss seemed confused and checked the receipt. I told her my copy of receipt was for 550 pieces but I already emailed a gazillion times that I need 50 pieces more. So the Lady boss and her salesperson took out one stack and “recounted”. Oh by the way, the envelopes were not even ready!

She counted one stack and said “Okay, 300”. And I asked how about the other stack? She said, “Oh…Ini sama height jadi should be 600“.

Holy moly. By this time, I was like….

So the salesperson came out with a box of 500 envelopes (written on the box) and another 100 more pieces of loose envelopes. She stacked them in and I asked her to reconfirm whether she counted the loose 100 pieces of envelopes. She said yes.

So I give you benefit of the doubt. No point tipu customers right?

The next day, I wanted to show the invitation cards to my sisters and casually counted them.

You guys….

I was missing 10 pieces of cards and 5 of them were defected (ie. printed wrongly). The 100 loose envelopes were short of 2. Luckily, the box of envelopes had 3 extra pieces (so the number on the box shouldn’t be 500 but instead 503 LOL). Oh my goodness. There was not even any extra pieces of the cards please!

So…

30th December: Emailed them with proof of the damage cards and told them I’m missing 10 pieces
30th December: They replied and I quote ” just double checked with supplier on this, they say normally they will print 10 to 15pcs card extra. Is the card enough?”

Which part of I’m missing 10 pieces don’t you understand?

So I replied on the very same day and gave them the breakdown. Again, I asked for 15 pieces.

3rd Jan: Finally they replied and said they managed to get 11 pieces from supplier and I can come down anytime.

I. Just. Can’t.

To the last few people that won’t receive the card, you will get a digital copy okay!

At the end of this whole traumatic experience, I’ll say that buat dekat negeri sendiri lagi afdal. It’s really not worth it going back and forth JB and the emails… You have to wait gazillion years for them to get back. Of course, maybe your experience would be better than mine. However, I strongly advise that unless you have the whole energy and time in the world (and you want to cut costs), by all means do it in JB.