Hello! Thanks for still being here! Here’s another follow up to the previous entry.
PS: Long read ahead.
This is actually THE most important part of your wedding, the solemnization / nikah. You may want to share this to others, I’ll appreciate it.
I am NOT covering the solemnization done at ROMM. Today’s entry is generally for the majority who would have their solemnization done at the void decks / multi-purpose halls.
These images are generally what’s happening during the solemnization / nikah. I’ll break it down to a few points below;
1- a) The arrival of the groom
a) Just because #iMalay does not mean you can On the way your own sweet time. For this once, please be early, at least earlier than the kadi.
During your registration, if you have stated a 2:00pm slot for solemnization, you should / must / mesti / wajib be there BEFORE 2:00 pm – no excuses. You should have known the travel time from Bedok to CCK, for example. You should have used Google Maps, or Waze, or whatever reliable GPS to make sure that your entourage reach BEFORE the kadi. Rain or shine, or rainbows or traffic congestion… please have your alternative routes ready.
Be sure, extremely sure that you have your IC / ID and your witness’ IC / ID ready too. Oh yes, your witness SHOULD be with the entourage, so that everyone reaches on time.
b) The Bride should be ready at the pelamin too.
In fact, she should have been seated before the arrival of the groom’s entourage. PLEASE, be sure to have your mother / godmother / nenek / whoever deserved to be seated beside you. WITH tissue paper ready. The bride shall NOT be seated alone.
The Mak Andam shall be nearby within the pelamin area. Its very tempting to take selfies and make up shots, but please refrain the moment the entourage has arrived. There shall be NO MORE guests asking for photo taking once the groom arrives. Bridesmaids please take note. (Bridesmaids too, please refrain from taking anymore photos, thank you.)
There has been numerous occasions where the groom, or the bride or both, get settled down in a hurry. This is very unfortunate, and should have been avoided. You are about to step into your next phase of your life, the least you should be is in a state of calmness – close to zen if possible.
You’ll be excited. Nervous. Butterflies in your tummy, dry throat, cold sweat… you need enough time to calm down.
Many grooms I’ve met whose hands turned cold during handshakes. While some can appear to be jovial and cheerful, God knows whats happening inside. There could be tears of joy, happiness and perhaps sadness too…
You need time, to calm down. Have a glass of water, bismillah. All will be fine. Start this proper, Insya Allah it shall proceed as per His plans.
2- The exchange of gifts
Most times, you do NOT come empty handed. There should be at least a few trays of gifts, (odd numbers, even numbers? These traditions are no longer practised, so you need not worry. In fact this should be discussed and finalised BEFORE the wedding day.)
Still, be sure, be extremely sure you bring the most necessary – her ring (if there is) or other jewelry set/s or piece/s. Always be alert with what you have brought along, and who had been handling them. Thefts can happen, and had happened during these events. Please be on guard.
It is just basic courtesy that there would be someone awaiting the arrival of the groom at the pelamin area. The bride’s representatives, including her father should be ready to receive the entourage with at least cold drinks served.
There shall be a brief exchange of words, usually in pantun, between both sides. However, this has always been cut short between the representatives from both sides (usually the uncles) and usually it is about acknowledging the amount of “hantaran” / dowry and the wedding ring / jewelry.
Before this moment, both the bride and groom SHOULD HAVE briefed the representatives from both sides. There should not be any form of disagreement of sorts from anyone at this crucial moment. (Makcik-makcik, please hush… stay in your corners, thank you.)
3- The arrival of the kadi
Yes, Kadis are 99% super punctual.
There have been cases whereby the kadi had asked to leave, because he had to attend another solemnization, and that he could have up to 4 events to attend that day.
Everyone should recognise the kadi, usually dressed up as shown in the image above. As a matter of courtesy and respect, everyone especially the important individuals for the event should welcome him with handshakes and smiles, and guide him to his seat.
4- Seating plan
This might be a little overkill, you say but when you know where everyone should sit, it helps to minimise the confusion.
Bride’s Father – kadi – Witness (bride’s representative)
Male Sibling / Groomsman – Groom – Witness (groom’s representative)
An ideal seating arrangement.
Everyone else not involved is to be seated away from this core group. There will be a photographer and / or videographer on duty who would need space to move about, especially with their tripod/s and camera ready to capture the crucial moments.
The gifts should be away from this area, possibly on the tables. Except the dowry / hantaran and the mas kahwin / jewelry.
Get the audio system ready, preferably a microphone so that everyone can hear clearly, the sermon (Khutbah) on marriage by the Kadi. This has always been overlooked, with the crowd / audience not paying attention / respect to the sermon.
4- The procedure (in brief)
Usually the kadi expects both sides to be ready for him. This means that both representatives have their exchange of words and gifts BEFORE he arrives. Even if you’re late, sometimes, he will be kind enough to let both sides to continue with the exchange properly.
He will ask for all your IC / ID and witnesses’ IC / ID. Once checked and verified, he would proceed to the pelamin – the bride – for her signature. However, he will foremost ask the bride to verify the groom. Some kadi would ask, “Are you sincerely willingly ready to be his wife?”
Would you say no? Well, no one has said no before… hehe…
So the bride FIRST puts her bouquet to the side, and signs – TWO copies. And smiles for the camera/s.
After the sermon, the bride’s Wali appoints the Kadi / Naib Kadi to solemnize the marriage or otherwise agrees to solemnize the marriage himself. The solemnization begins.
“Aku terima nikah, (insert bride’s full name here) dengan Mas kahwin tersebut.”
(As long as you have pronounced it clearly for both witnesses to hear, all is good.) Of course there have been cases whereby the groom fumbles with the words and phrases, drawing laughter from the audience, but it has always been very very seldom. While this could be humorous, it could shatter the groom’s pride and confidence.
It is a scared moment, it is a wedding vow, a vow made between you and Him, in the presence of your wife, both your parents and the many other witnesses. Let that sink in, that you are crossing over a phase in your life, with roles and responsibilities on both your shoulders, as a husband.
The Groom shall recite the taklik, reading of special marriage conditions, loud and clear for your bride to hear. Use the microphone please. Or raise you voice loud enough for her. The bride shall be attentive, not time for selfies yet please. Hold on to those tears, if possible.
At this very moment, you’re both husband and wife. Alhamdulillah, congrats!
5- What happens next…?
I’ll continue in the next entry.
I may have overlooked some other factors, so please leave me a message so that I can add on to the list.