I know what some of you might be thinking, isn't the proposal by the guy enough to amount to the couple being engaged to one another? True as that may be, in the Malay custom, an engagement ceremony usual officiates that the couple are truly engaged especially in the eyes of the family members. What's even more interesting is that for the engagement ceremony to be held, the future groom is not even required to be there because the engagement ring would be put on future bride by the future mother-in-law. But of course in the slightly modern version of an engagement ceremony which my family adopts, after all the protocol events are completed, the two lovebirds would get to see each other for the first time as their bethrothed in front of the whole family. A truly heartmelting moment.
By 4pm or so, the last of the aunties finally left and off we were to the florist to check out our last minute preparation of the 'hantaran' or gifts. Amids our exhaustion of the travel and lack of sleep, we were all fueled with excitement to see how the hantarans would look like. Expecting beautiful masterpieces fit for a king, what we saw there was... unimaginable!
10th January, D-day
The house was abuzz at 5 am. Vacuum cleaners whizzing, showers turned on, kids being woken up, and before long the rest of the relatives arrived for breakfast. The function was to begin at 11 am, which got me a little panicked since I was to do FSR's makeup. We started at 8.30am and Alhamdulillah, she was "done" up beautifully within an hour. The hairdresser came and had to practically wrestle with my mom, my aunties and so many other women who wanted to fuss over FSR.
Finally, 5 minutes before showtime, she was completely done. Touch ups, a spritz of perfume, adjustments to her jewelry, last smoothing out of her attire, shoes slipped on, photos snapped and 40 minutes later, the women folk from the "other side" marched up the stairs to see her. It was just a flurry of movements, with people giving their blessings to the future bride, hugs and kisses were shared.
The "other side" left with our gifts, exchanging with theirs and FSR finally got her chance to open her gifts.
At the end of the day, the ceremony was a major success despite the underlying mama-dramas. Everyone was happy and satisfied, tired but content. We made our princess really happy with a gleaming ring on her finger. Some of her friends even told her after the ceremony that all in all the theme of the engagement were nicely put together as traditional and grand. Yay! Seriously, we couldn't have done it all without the rest of the family.