I must admit, I used to have high expectations on my future wedding. This was during my own version of zaman jahiliyah, when I was more shallow-minded, thinking that having a massive grand wedding is the ultimate goal in life. How? Because I watch TONNES of Bollywood movies since I was a toddler (I still do). As I grow older, of course I get wiser (lol), and then when it’s really time to really get married, reality sets it.
With the baggage of the Malay culture especially in weddings, I realized that a (Malay) wedding lasts only one or two days, but a marriage lasts a lifetime. But how much effort and resources do we invest in preparing for a wedding, as compared to a marriage? I did some reflections and analyzed our culture, society and society’s expectations, and had discussions with my other half. One thing we agreed on, is that we should only do what is required and encouraged by Islam. (Though we still have a few differences in opinions on some other stuff.)
Eventually, I concluded that if it was entirely up to me, I would prefer to just nikah at ROMM and that’s it. No wedding.
It’s not that I don’t really want to have a wedding. I mean seriously, who could resist a really perfect and beautiful wedding? I really love all that glitz and glamour stuff. But for myself, nah. And it’s not that I can’t afford a wedding, I just rather not do it. For a few simple reasons:
- The moolah! Yup, a wedding costs 5-digits. Wouldn’t it be better to spend that amount on a 6-month honeymoon across the world? Or for your future house renovation? Or save it for umrah/hajj? Or simply donate to charity or spend it to treat your family/spouse?
- I am not a people person. I can be considered mildly anti-social. I dislike being around big groups or being in the centre of attention. And I really really dread being psychologically forced to socialize and make small talks with people. I have to do and be all these at a wedding. And why should I be forced to do something I don’t like, with a fake smile on my face, on the happiest day of my life?
- In a Malay wedding, the typical number of guest is 1000 pax. More often than not, the bride and groom only know 25% of these people. The rest are just the parents’ guests and kenalan-kenalan. And we spend 5-digits, feeding these people, some of whom don’t even know the bride and groom personally, and attending just because it’s polite to accept a wedding invitation. In my honest opinion, I would only invite people who are dear to me to share my happiness with them because I know they are the ones who will be truly happy for me on the biggest day of my life and will keep me in their prayers. This is what will really make me happy at my wedding, though I understand that a wedding is not just the couple’s event, but also the parents’ event. Oh wells.
- On the first day of marriage, the couple is expected to just sit on the dais, smiling at people and in front of the camera, with absolutely zero quality time spent together. It simply makes the wedding day the least important day of the marriage. Sad, isn’t it?
My justifications totally remind me of this Thought Catalog article. Can’t agree more with it. Again, no offence to anyone. To each his own. 🙂
But of course, we can’t expect everything to go our way. Yes, I am still having a wedding hahaha. But we are trying to keep it as simple and as easy as possible. And we all know, once we get into the exciting part of planning the wedding, it can be difficult to keep our excitement in check. Even parents get excited and can get carried away sometimes, not just the bride and groom. Not easy work, there, controlling ourselves.
Loads of discussions, negotiations and compromises were made between myself, my partner and the parents. But alhamdulillah, I am just thankful to have understanding and thoughtful parents and partner. We all have different sets of expectations of how the wedding should be, but none of us got 100% of what we wanted. It wasn’t easy for any of us to make the compromises and finding the balance between having what the couple wants, what the parents want and what the society/extended family expect the way we handle the wedding planning. I am glad that we could come to an agreement without raising voices. Afterall, a nikah is about to take place, which is one of the greatest good deed a Muslim can ever commit.
May Allah ease our journey.
Next post will be about vendors yay!