SO IN RECENT news, Danial and I are now officially engaged!

Officially in a sense that I had two separate engagement events, kinda. Danial had initially proposed on the week of my birthday. It was a sweet affair – we were at a family karaoke session with his cousins when he got down on one knee, singing the words to Savage Garden’s Truly Madly Deeply.

And I was so oblivious. Staring intently at the karaoke box to my left, not noticing him on my right!

All’s well that ends well. 

Eng 02 Collage

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But of course, we had to stick to Malay adat or customs by having a proper (hence, official) engagement ceremony. The engagement is known as bertunang and is commonly held in the home of the bride-to-be. 

So a date was set by both parties to be held on the last week before Ramadhan – the 4th June on the Gregorian calendar. 

Eng 04 Collage

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And I had an impromptu sleepover pyjama party with my bridesmaids-to-be the night before! This happened super last-minute with an offer for a 1-night stay at Village Hotel Katong. I appreciated having that get-together with my bestest friends in the world… bubble baths and squeezy queen bed and all. The girls were such darlings presenting me with a quirky engagement gift! Shamsydar even went to the extent of arranging a floral bouquet for the next day’s event. SO DAMN TOUCHED.

No, pre-engagement parties are not part of Malay customs. I digress.

Eng 06

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Eng 09 CollageDanial’s family and I

The Saturday affair saw Danial’s representatives paying a visit to my family’s. Representatives would normally include family members and elders. For him, they included his siblings, eldest uncle and aunties. It is customary for the groom-to-be and his mother not to be present. 

The discussion and prayers were left to men of both sides. It was agreed upon the period of engagement, the wedding date and the dowry. I was seated away in the bedroom during this whole time, as per traditional customs. Couldn’t keep still nor keep my giggles down though. In the later part of the ceremony, I was then presented with a ring by his aunty (the same ring that he had previously already placed on my pinkie finger during Engagement Part 1 hahaha). 

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Eng 07 CollageDulangs for the groom-to-be

This was followed by an exchange of gift trays, or dulangs. Both our mothers had earlier on agreed to keep the gift trays to food items.

How lucky I am to be born into a huge family – my mother alone has 8 siblings of which 5 are sisters. All my aunties chipped in to help with the makings of my dulangs and the buffet spread. From baking to cooking to decorating. Semangat bergotong royong. My second aunty had spent the entire night baking a sponge cake adorned with pretty yellow sugar-flowers. My third aunty whipped up a lovely yellow glutinous rice dish decorated with prawns and quail eggs. Truly a work of art!

Eng 08“The most Malay I’ve seen you”, my cousin commented 

Eng 13My sisters and I

Eng 11 Collage

Eng 10 CollageOf mummy and daddy, aunties, cousins and nieces

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4/6 of my bridesmaids-to-be

Throughout the day, I felt so very blessed with the love that surrounded. So pleased by the presence of both friends and family, and excited at becoming a part of an even bigger family in future. The ceremony went well, Alhamdulillah, and I only have them to thank.

Will keep writing on the happenings leading-up to our wedding in February! Till then, Ramadhan mubarak xx

Photos courtesy of friends and family. ‘Cos well, I didn’t hire an official photographer.

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About Nani Adilla Zailani

Essentially, living in the moment and loving all things beautiful.


#danxnani, General


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