Wedding Diaries

Getting Married: Venue, catering & canopy, etc.

On the blogs I’ve read, about 99% of the brides say that their big day was perfect.

Here’s me keeping it real: my big day wasn’t. It was meaningful (married my longtime partner yay!) but perfect, in my dictionary, is when everything goes according to plan. Either those responsible didn’t do a satisfactory job… or I’m just too anal and difficult to please. Anyway, here are my accounts on the other areas on my big day:

The itinerary

Nobody seemed to care about having an itinerary. Parents said they knew how a ceremony is run so there wasn’t a need for it, but I didn’t believe them. I needed to have everything in black and white so everybody would be clear about the itinerary and their responsibilities.

The closest to a solid plan we had was a document I prepared filled, with tables listing the agenda, responsibility of family members, the seating position of those involved with the akad nikah, etc. Since I was doing it on my own, the itinerary was only finalized days before the akad nikah.

Sadly, nobody really read the itinerary except for my cousins lol. The event wasn’t as smooth as I hoped, some impromptu decisions were made by the elders and I don’t blame them, because nobody had direction and did what they thought was right. It happens.

So, when your time comes, get someone to do a detailed itinerary and share them with influential members of the family. Get them involved, your parents wants the best for you and they’ll make it happen. Let me stress this, too — DELEGATE the tasks. I didn’t, thinking it’ll burden others, but you should do it. Most of the time, people are willing to help.

The venue

Reza + Amira-144

We were initially confused about the venue. Parents ideally wanted to have the akad nikah ceremony done at a the newly built mosque near our home. At the same time, they also wanted a reception right after the ceremony — a revolving reception from 12PM to 4PM for 500 people, something the mosque may not be able to accommodate.

My dad told me that we could have the akad nikah ceremony at the mosque. Once it’s done, all of us — family members and close friends — could drive home, to join the guests for the reception.

I disagreed with it. There’s so much to do on the day, the least we move the better — I could foresee the unnecessary logistics issues we’d face! Knowing that my parents didn’t really have a solid plan for the operations yet, I strongly suggested that we hold everything at home.

So the event was held at home. Not sure whether they believe in the logic of my argument or whether they let me have my way because they don’t feel like it’s worth it to argue with me.


Reza + Amira-735

My grandaunt owns a catering company who serves really good food. So like any other major open houses we’ve held previously, we naturally hired her. On the day I requested her signature dishes — the ayam masak merah, daging kicap and tempoyak ikan patin. In terms of food, we were satisfied.

It’d be good to designate a relative to oversee the caterer — making sure that there will be enough staff to handle the number of guests and to make sure that tables and chairs are promptly set up and food are not “kept” and served adequately on the day.


The canopy was arranged by my grandaunt. I’d have wanted to see sample of canopies before hiring any canopy companies, but since she was handling it for me, I chilled a little.

The canopy dudes came a day before to set up the canopies.

CanopyView from the window.

I don’t know whether I’m just too anal, but I was so bothered by the quality of the canopies! The fabrics were crumpled and some parts, stained. Didn’t quite fancy the ribbons tied to the chair either.

Told my mum and she said I should give my grandaunt a call, so that she’d deal with the canopy company. Oh well, canopies were already up. I didn’t see the point of being demanding and difficult, so I reserved my comments. Although the sight of the canopy made my eyes sore, I lived with it lol. At least it doesn’t look bad in pictures!

If you’re looking for canopies, make sure that the canopy company you’re eyeing on has a reputation for providing clean canopies. If you like the canopies you see at a wedding, get the hosts to refer you to the company.


When my mum said that we’re having a DJ… sigh. You know, I keep telling people close to me that there’s NO WAY I’ll have a DJ playing Selamat Pengantin Baru songs while making sad jokes with that irritating DJ voice on my wedding. I even tweeted about it. So when my mum broke the news… HAHAHAHAHA. It’s like life saying, “In your face!”

The DJ is a distant relative who’s close to my grandaunt. My parents insisted that this is no typical DJ — that we were hiring him because he’s great at reciting doa and selawat. I was like, “Ooh, for doa.” OK, I calmed down.

Everything was fine until the men at the sound systems started playing seemingly old school, depressing, screeching, Malay ballad songs out loud -_-‘ So I asked my brother to hand them a jazz compilation CD and strictly play that — to stop welcoming the guests or say anything like a DJ would. I also told him to make sure that there are absolutely no karaoke sessions.

(I was cautious, having heard of cases where DJ and co. singing without being welcomed at weddings.)

Anyway, during the doa recital, the DJ proved his talent. No wonder he’s hired for corporate functions to recite doa — he’s good!

During makan beradap, the DJ approached me to confirm that he would only play songs on my CD and I nodded. Felt bad to take away his autonomy and stop him from playing his songs, but figured it’s okay it’s my day!

*Throws hands in the air*

To be frank, I’m not at all opposed to the idea of a karaoke… as long as its my family members. People who are actually part of and involved in the event. As soon as I was done with the meal, my brother and I went to the karaoke machine and requested a song. After that, we called our mum (who’s a great singer, by the way). But not long after that, the men at the sound systems got up and sang on the karaoke machine anyway -_-‘ I gave up hahaha.

*Flips veil, skirt and throws away flower bouquet*

If you’re particular about this as I was, find modern DJs who’d actually play songs you’d enjoy. A friend of Reza’s had very tasteful modern Malay songs played at his wedding — the bride and groom didn’t have to do anything, it’s how the DJ run his shows (I’ll try to get the guys number if you guys want).

Final thoughts

Reza + Amira-528

Friends who have married told me that there’s no point stressing on the big day. First, because it’ll show and you’ll look like crap in pictures and second, because at the end of the day, you won’t feel like any of it mattered. Now that I’ve experienced it, let me tell you — it’s the truth! After it’s all done, you’ll be like, “That’s it?!” wondering why you poured so much energy and emotions stressing over something so petty.

I know it’s hard when you’re the type who needs to have everything in order, brides aren’t supposed to handle the show on the day! So what you can do is plan early, hunt reputable vendors, delegate the tasks to your family members and make them report to you or something. Finally, learn to chill. When things don’t go your way, shrug it off and focus on your most important role — getting married.

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1 Comment

  • Avatar
    June 20, 2014 at 9:28 PM

    I couldn’t agree more on this post,Mia!
    Got married 3 weeks ago, and lotsa drama happened at my solemnization & reception ceremonies. Can u imagine the bride in a full beaded baju nikah-with-heels driving from the hotel to the mosque,all alone! What a big drama. But i tried to calm down, and not to screw up my mood. Its MY big day.So its okay.

    For ceremony, i strictly told the Emcee, to play all songs that i have picked and handed him. Coz i just don’t want him to conquer the event with his songs.

    He ended up, played a Malay song “Dia datang, dengan lenggang lenggoknya” when my husband came with his entourage. -_-

    He insisted for karaoke session too, which obviously i said BIG no.

    I wrote a comment on ur previous posts about henna too.I finally did manicure a day before nikah,and put the henna on the top of the nails, sealed it with sealable top coat. My verdict : twas SO gorgeous,Mia!At least to my liking.Haha. Of course, i got compliments from many people, but there are people who talked behind my back too.They thought i was wearing nail polish. Sheesh.I would appreciate, if at least the ask me before simply judged me. *sigh*

    During the reception, my dad gave a speech, and he said, “anak saya ni tak pandai masak!” , to which he thought was a joke. Twas such a VERY silly joke, dad! *insert angry emoticon*

    I actually cook now, btw.

    I believe that we shall only talk about good things of the bride and the hubs on the wedding.

    Please people, don’t be plain rude.

    Gosh.i shall stop now,Mia. Its too long, dah macam entry plak!hahaha.

    Thanks Mia. I learnt a lot from ur blog 🙂

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