Especially for all the future Bruneian brides out there 😉
If you haven’t read Part 1, here is the link.
To continue, let us now talk about the engagement bit. This is the event most bride-to-bes look forward to–the moment you and your loved one become one step closer (but not too close, if you know what I mean!) towards a holy matrimony. I liked to think of my engagement as a ‘mock’ wedding, in the sense that you get to experience a gist of what planning your one-of-a-kind wedding would be like.
The things you need to consider are:
Most couples opt for a low-key affair by having their engagement at home. This not only cuts your expenses but also lessens the hassle of trying to secure your venue for your ceremony before somebody else does. Most venues need an advanced payment to secure your booking, and sometimes they won’t be available for your selected dates. If you’re like me, you can save the headache for when you’re trying to find a place for your wedding reception instead!
Of course, it all depends on your preference; whether you think having a huge hall for your engagement is wise or not. Some well-to-do Bruneian ladies have recently delved into having ultra-awesome *ultra-expensive* engagement events that most people would easily mistake for actual wedding receptions; so whatever floats your boat, I say!
I’ve put this as second on the list, but in my opinion, it is as important as having a venue for your engagement, especially if you’re planning to have it in a hall. An unorthodox suggestion would be to have your event whenever your selected venue is available; for instance, if that hotel near your house is only available to cater you on the last Friday of November, you can have your event set for that date.
A word of advice: Try to steer clear off school holidays for your engagement since these periods are notoriously dubbed as ‘time orang ramai kawin’. I’m sure you’ve been in a situation where you’re invited to as much as five wedding ceremonies–all happening in one noon! So when this happens –not ‘if’, but ‘when’–, the people you’ve invited may have to unwillingly choose to attend one event over the rest, and undoubtedly a sense of rejection will loom over you when you realise that only half of your guests came to celebrate one of your milestones.
Usually, engagements are often done on a Friday or a Sunday (morning or afternoon), but some may opt to have it on a weeknight. Again, it all depends on you, Bride-to-be. Venues and catering services may be more readily available on a weeknight than the weekends, but guests may find it a bit difficult to slip it into their routine schedules; you know, “Just came off work, and I’m exhausted. I need to cook dinner and pray too. Tomorrow’s another work day, so I have to sleep early,” so on and so forth.
What you’re going to feed your guests is another thing to think about; not just for your engagement, but for everything that involves having people over to your house! It’s nice to keep track of restaurants or companies that offer catering services, especially those that you have had good experiences with (amazing food quality, good table decorations, good service, and top notch punctuality).
You would also need to know how many guests you will be inviting to your event; for example, maybe 200 guests for an afternoon ceremony (in Brunei, Kelupis and chicken curry would usually be on the menu). Now, don’t get me wrong. I LOVE me some Kelupis with chicken curry, and most catering services offer good prices for them. Again, it depends on the time of the day your event is taking place. So you would spend more on providing lunch for your guests than an afternoon tea–as long as the food’s delicious, your guests will go home happy and satisfied.
4. Door Gifts or campur
Usually door gifts or campur are items that your guests can use or enjoy. Most give out simple door gifts during their engagement event, like a carton of juice drink or a roll of hand towel. You can certainly go and give out unique items like a battery-operated handheld fan for your guests, which I am sure they will definitely love to have; so again, it depends on you, you bride-to-be 🙂
When you have settled on a type of door gift to give to your guests, it is wise to overestimate the number of people who will be coming to your event and have extra door gifts hanging around. You will find that close relatives will either give out more than one to an individual or sneakily take a few more for themselves. This is just one of the things that come with having events, so embrace the shenanigans, ladies!
5. Your attire and Dais
When we got engaged back in 2012, I only opted for a simple (I should say boring) all-pink lace Baju Kurung with a satin shawl and veil, while my then-fiancé wore an all-grey Baju Melayu ensemble (no matchy-matchy). We chose a pink-grey theme for our engagement, and didn’t even have a Dais. Our chosen seats for the event? My yellow living room sofa. No, really. I’m being serious.
There are a lot of packages now that offer simple Dais and attires at affordable prices, so it is definitely easier now compared to years ago to achieve a more elegant and refined look (I can honestly say that the yellow sofa was not so elegant). The best way is to have a simple but coordinating outfit with your fiancé, and accessorise accordingly. The same goes for your dais as well, but if you would prefer sitting on a yellow sofa while he puts a ring on it, well, it is your choice 🙂
That is all for part 2! I realise that this post was long overdue, so I hope I can go around getting the next part up in less than 2 years! (I kid).
Have a good Eid, ladies!