Sunday, May 17, 2015

My Wedding Story #2 :: Dulang Hantaran 1

Disclaimer: The English language in this post is tailored to suit the Malaysian writer, and readers!

Ok, so yesterday I announced my engagement date; 8 Nov 2014!

I've just got to know that dulang-dulang hantaran are to be sent during bertunang (engagement). I thought they are to be sent during bernikah (solemnisation).
So what is a dulang hantaran?
Dulang literally mean "tray" and hantaran is "gifts".
So the couple will buy gifts for each other and the gifts are presented in trays.
The gifts are usually personal accessories eg watch, ring, belt, wallet, handbag, purse, Quran etc.

The girl should send 2 dulang more than the man. So in my case, since Akmal will be sending 9 dulangs, I need to give him 11!
But worry not, not all 11 dulangs have to be personal gifts. It can be fruit baskets, cakes, chocolates and any other food I deem interesting.

My main problem is......decorating the dulang!
I am very very bad in arts, like really really bad.
I can't even draw a straight line.
How can I decorate my own dulang?

But hey, we can always buy ready made dulang!!
So mama and I went to the nearby kedai barang aksesori pengantin.
And these are our catch ♥

RM 338 for five dulangs!
That means I need to buy 2 sets of this, plus one more.
So it will cost me at least RM700 *gasping for air*

This is even simpler, but is the same price with the previous one.

This is in one of the shops in Nilai 3.
I will still need to spend at least RM700 for the 11 dulangs *cry cry*

So after seeing the prices, I felt so sad and depressed.
Money is almost always the problem, isn't it?

I have decided.....

To decorate my own dulang!
I am going to take this challenge and decorate them myself!
But of course, I need to drag my sister into this project haha.

Akmal and I bought most of the items for the hantaran in UK last year.
We grabbed the boxing day opportunity and managed to buy quite a lot of items for a cheaper price.
So what I need to do now is to have a proper look at the items I bought and look for ideas to decorate the trays.
I have decided to copy the design I find most interesting.
Since my theme colour is blue, my trays must be in blue as well.

Hmm...light blue and white is a good combination right?
Or light blue and pink.

I googled around, and these images below are the results when I searched for "design hantaran jam tangan":

This is beautiful. But the bicycle is quite pricey

Simple and elegant eh? I may do something like this

The flower is heavy, but I like the concept.

More examples

I have been to a few kedai barang-barang pengantin to survey the prices and the decorations they have.
These shops usually have some ready made dulang for customers so that gave me the chance to have a proper look at the dulang, how did they stick the flowers together, how did they arrange the flowers etc.

One tip, if you want to go and survey a few shops, a camera is very handy.
I used my phone camera to snap the picture of the items, and a closer shot at the price tag.
This way, I will be able to compare prices from different shops.

I have also bought the October 2014 Pesona Pengantin magazine.
Did you know that is cost RM14.90?! My God...

Well, there were many hantaran and wedding dress designs in the magazine. But the dress design bit is not so practical for me.
How could they suggest sleeveless wedding dress to Malay readers?!
Well, we can say majority of the magazine readers will be Malay.
Anyway, that is a completely different topic.

You know, the Akmar that I know two months ago will not know where to find barang-barang perkahwinan.
I can only think of Nilai 3, since their advertisement as "Kedai Pengantin Terbesar di Malaysia" is so big along PLUS highway.
I can never imagine trusting myself to decorate my own dulang hantaran.

But now, since I have actually started to open my eyes to these things; it all became clearer.
I have just realised that there are 2 very big kedai barang pengantin within 10km of my house.
I have never paid attention to them before. I didn't have to.
That means, if you open your eyes enough, you will see it.
That's one life lesson for us.

I actually wrote this post on October 8th 2014.
But I have scheduled it in such a way that it will only become public on 17th May 2015.
So that is my little brother, Kean Chye's birthday!
Happy Birthday KC!

Tomorrow you will read more about my engagement dress *weewiitt* and how I surveyed for the dulang hantaran.

-Because life is a test-

Saturday, May 16, 2015

My Wedding Story #1:: Merisik


Ok, harini nk cerita about merisik.
Well, as far as I know, merisik ni tradisi zaman dahulu kala.
When a man (or his family) is interested in a girl, he doesn't approach the girl. Instead, he will send his family to approach the girl's family (sweet kan?).
His family will ask, Is this girl available? Will she be interested in our son? Can we have a better look at her? etc etc.
The family doesn't come empty handed though! They will usually bring a gift; most of the time, a ring.
So they will give the ring to the girl via the family and if the girl accepts the "risikan" (which literally means the peep), the ring will be hers.
If she is not interested in the man, then the family will return the ring (not necessarily on the same day, I think). time passes, and men started travelling out of their hometown, they don't approach the girls via the family anymore.
They approach the girl on their own.
Hence, he will know whether the girl is available or not, is the girl interested in him etc etc.
But because the tradition is already there, the man's family will still come to the girl's family to "merisik" - that makes it official between families.
Sometimes it's funny, the couple has known each other for years yet the man's family has to come and "merisik", to ask the availability of the girl. Obviously lah perempuan tu available kannn...

Akmal's rombongan merisik came to my house on September 21st :D *grin grin*
I was very very nervous. Mama and I went to scout for a new dress for me.
The dress cost RM221 in total! RM190 for the dress and RM31 for alteration, since it was quite big for me.
I wore the same scarf I wore during my convocation, a satin scarf which I bought for £7 in Rusholme.

One thing about merisik, the man does not come.
Remember the motive of a risikan? To ask if the girl is available.
It will be embarrassing for the man if the girl's family replied downright that the girl is not available, or is not interested in him.
So to avoid any embarrassment directly, the man does not follow.
Such a thoughtful custom.

So on that day, Akmal waited in the surau in my taman.
My father sent my youngest brother to accompany him there.
His rombongan consists his parents, elder brother and his wife and daughter.

He bought me a gold ring *wee mata kelip2*
He went to shop for the ring with his parents about a week before the risikan, and apparently it was their choice.
I was so nervous as he refused to give me even a picture of the ring; I do not know how will the ring look like.
Weyh, mak mentua yg pilih weyh. Tak seram?
Besar ke? Kcik ke? Emas ke? Kosong ke? Ringan ke?
The more I think, the more nervous I get.
But I needed to advise myself, tu org bagi tau. Bersyukur laaa...
Be thankful!

According to Akmal, merisik is only between the nuclear families.
But my mum invited my first uncle over to be the spokesman.

Akmal's family arrived at 1pm.
I was not supposed to be there (according to my mum), so I waited in her room (because her room has aircond and I put on some light make-up and didn't want it to melt. Also, her room faces the front gate so I can see them arriving).

Akmal gave me a heads-up, saying his family arrived and he is already in the surau so I ran to the window and peeked out.
His mother was holding a nice tray with something on it! That must be the gift! Wow...
I thought she will just bring the ring in her handbag. I didn't know there will be a proper gift.
*ahaaaa excited*

And then I saw my dad walking out of the house to open the gate for them.
I was so nervous I can't sit still in the room.
My heart pumped so fast and strong it felt as if my chest is going to burst open.
I tried to eavesdrop and when I heard "datang ni nak merisik anak perempuan.....", I felt so *undescribable* and can't continue listening. I went back into my mum's room and waited for my sister to come up and fetch me.
When the time is right i.e. my family accepted the risikan, my sister will call me down for the mother to put the ring on my finger.

Just some happy pictures during the discussion. Credit: my beautiful sis, Aisyah

Future in laws

Future in laws, insyaAllah~

Before long, my sister came up.
I came down with her, all eyes on me (or so I thought), and sat on the sofa.
When my uncle gave the cue, my sister took a large cushion and put in front of my future mother-in-law, for me to sit on (bersimpuh weyh...), and the mother put on the ring on me :)

Here are some more pictures!

Sarung cincin, la cincin...

Close up :)

And the hugging that comes after.
Moga dipermudahkan.
Jgn la jadi mcm cite cite Melayu tragedi ibu mertua and menantu. Amiiin..

After sarung cincin, I sat down for a while and then was asked to go up again because my family wanted to discuss "further".
I went up, and admired the ring on my own.

Then Aisyah gave me the cue to call Akmal and bro to come from surau and have lunch.
I went down too but did not have lunch with them.
I'm afraid I will stain my pretty dress.

The gift from them. There was kain in the box - for me to make baju kurung

Our gift for them - a fruit basket and two pieces of mooncake

My outfit for the day. And the ring.

-Because life is a test-

We have decided that our engagement date will be on the 8th of Nov 2014!
I am now planning for my engagement pula.

I completed this post on Oct 7th, that means I have a month before the engagement!
I am going to Masjid India with mama in a little while. She is still in her raya haji school holiday.
This post is scheduled to be published on May 16th 2015. Tomorrow another post will be published: my plan and thoughts of the engagement :)

Friday, May 15, 2015

My Wedding Story :: Intro

Assalammualaikum :)

My Wedding Story.
Mcm pelik sikit, segan pulak.

I am writing this on Oct 2, 2014 but I will schedule it in such a way that it will only be published on 15 May 2015.
I will write my journey and experiences in planning my merisik day, engagement and wedding day.
That will include where do I look for my dresses, how do I decorate my dulang hantaran (which I decided to do myself) and many others.

It's a bit embarrassing to let everyone know about my wedding, because I consider it very personal.
But I also find blogs that write about their experiences helpful, because I do not have anyone to really guide me through the steps.

I am the first child of the first child; I am the first grandchild.
My mum is a Chinese while my father was born in Indonesia.
Malay culture is not in my blood, but since I am going to marry a Malay man, I will need to do it the Malay way (but of course, with some Chinese touches).

InsyaAllah, I will marry Dr Mohd Noor Akmal, a man I met while doing my phase 2 MBBS in Royal Preston Hospital.
Things have not been a bed of roses for us, but I doubt they are for other people too :)

So yea, from now on I will write my journey in planning my wedding under this headline: My Wedding Story.
And it will be scheduled to be published on 15th, 16th, 17th and the rest of May 2015.

Wish me all the best! :)

-Because life is a test-