MALAY GROOM'S GUIDE 101
by Hafeez Jefri - cakappasalkawin
Its an underlying fact that a wedding, big or small, is the bride's day! But please do not take that to heart grooms-to-be, it definitely your day too. One of Biggest day of your life cause you'd be the center of attention too. So follow us through the steps you need to educate yourselves to ensure a (hopefully) smooth and memorable day.
Weeks prior to the wedding, emotions would be running wild and physical exhaustion might set in. Take time to pamper and recuperate; there's always a first time for a facial appointment, a massage or spa session (but please, run this through or with your fiancée, the last is to have you both fighting over the pretty lady massaging your body! Always enquire and opt for the male massage therapist)
In the midst of planning and now, executing your upcoming wedding, do not forget to hydrate. Most grooms are so preoccupied that they start losing weight from all the stress, it is advisable to start delegating tasks and having a checklist of the things that you need to prepare, settle or even start paying prior the wedding (look through all of your invoices, should there be a need to settle any prepayment for your wedding vendors)
As a guy myself, I cannot deny that we love to procrastinate! Please, grooms-to-be, get a grip of yourself and prepare all the things you need for the wedding. For starters, your honeymoon luggage, do your homework and prepare a checklist for the items you might need. I.e. winter wear, socks, NEW undergarments and all the necessary honeymoon arrangements (chivalry is still alive gentlemen, be that knight in shining armor for your bride)
Fast forward wedding day itself; delegating is the way to go, D-E-L-E-G-A-T-E work to your bestman/groomsmen, they are there to assist and ensure that your day runs smoothly! Choose these people wisely, and if you need to run through the necessary details with them, do it a few days BEFORE the wedding.
If you've hired a Pak Andam for the wedding, he would've given you a set of details such as his reporting time and things that he might need you to prepare. Please try to be mindful of his requests, shower and take your ablution (wudhu', if necessary) before his arrival. Most Pak Andams would be applying abit of makeup on your face, do not be alarmed or give him sniggers (we do find that annoying! cause we know that we won't make you look like a girl) You wouldn't need to worry much with regards to the styling of the bridal outfits such as the accessories and kain sampin if you've hired a Pak Andam.
Should you decide to not have one for your wedding, its best to bring along one of your bestman/groomsmen to your final fitting, and its not wrong to video or take pictures of the final look. The least is to try to replicate the picture/video for your wedding day. More often than not, we've seen pakciks/makciks come and volunteer to dress the groom! DO accept any help rendered to you should you or any of the bestman/groomsmen start struggling with the preparations. But politely refuse should they start applying lipstick that are not in neutral or natural tones (grooms with RED lips are real eyesores to photographers)
DO NOT forget your identity card (IC) and those of your witnesses for the solemnization. It is nice to drop a courtesy call/text to your solemnizer (Kadhi) to remind him of your event, do also include your Name and Solemnization Address in that courtesy call/text (most of the time, you are not his only client for the day)
Try to be on time or earlier for the solemnization, its always polite to be ready for the Kadhi and ensure that the necessary Serah-Terima or Balas Dulang between the two parties are done before the arrival of the Kadhi, maybe a short Doa Selamat can be done prior to his arrival. During the solemnization ceremony, try to relax and clear your mind. Always remember that you are doing something noble and God himself with ensure a smooth ceremony.
Once the ceremony is over, it is polite to Salam the men gathered near you and your parents if they are present. One thing that I would like to remind most couples is the need to properly handover the Mas Kahwin. Grooms, please inform the bride her Mas Kahwin and the bride is supposed to accept, it can be formal or as casual as you want it. While placing the ring on her finger: "B, this is my mas kahwin to you!" and the bride must acknowledge cause don't forget guys, this is 'tuntutan akhirat' and like how the mention it in your marriage certificate, "Bride Price". Follow the instructions of your Mak/Pak Andam or Photographers, they will guide you through the whole process of the phototaking.
That hard part is over, do enjoy the rest of your wedding! Murphy's Law dictates that whatever can go wrong, will go wrong, so take things with a pinch of salt. Yes, you might've planned the most perfect day, but try to smile and go on should things start going off schedule.
I would recommend that you absorb as much as possible the Bersanding part, cause you WILL feel like a King in the full regalia and fanfare. During the Bertandang/Berarak, the Mak Andam would've given you a small cup/vase with flowers also known as the Sirih Lat-Lat, this is to be held with both hands while you walk towards your bride. Enjoy the hadang/gatecrashing (we always remind bridesmaids that they shouldn't make a fool of the groom cause you're RAJA SEHARI) But do come prepared with all the necessary money envelopes and most importantly, the Duit Kipas for the Mak Andam.
Once you've cleared the Mak Andam and the Duit Kipas gantry, you will hand the Sirih Lat-Lat to your bride and she will reciprocate by salam-ing you. Take your time and wait for your photographers to capture the moment. Once seated on the pelamin, there is only one thing to do, SMILE
The Keris or Malay dagger that comes along with the Songket Attire should be placed on your left thigh when seated, with the left hand over and clutching the keris. As much as possible, try to not use it as a prop for your candid photos! Take time to take mental pictures of your wedding, memories like these would remain with you for the rest of your lives (and savor the moment, and the hard work spent on the wedding)
Should you decide to have a Thank You speech at the end of the wedding; always start by thanking your parents (prepare for the waterworks), the relatives, friends and the vendors involved in running and gracing your event.
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