Sunday, October 3, 2010

Wedding Checklist Phase 1: Starting Up the Plan

I am now in the midst of preparing our wedding and instead of doing the planner in a piece of paper or notebook, I was thinking to keep the track of the wedding checklist in my blog - what have been done so far and what needs to be done ahead given the time frame. Plus, to make the whole wedding process preparation memory accessible again in the future, when dementia might attacks.

I have actually done some of the basic preparations and am currently using some online sources for guides but of course, the online wedding checklist that I found is customized to my husband's and my personal needs and tastes.

These are few things what we both have accomplished thus far in terms of counting down to the wedding date.

Step 1. Engagement

My husband and I have two different nationalities and practice different faiths, in terms of religion. Engagement could be one of the quarrel source since the way both parties practice this are not the same. To most of Chinese Malaysians, there's no such thing. To Chinese Indonesian community, engagement (订亲) is a big and must-do thing. I remember we quarreled a lot in meeting in the middle to determine the engagement procedure that satisfies both parties. In the end, his side agreed to do this before ROM and his core family members flew all the way to my hometown armed with the necessary 'equipments' to 'buy over' me  from my parents.

Finally it took place back on 10th of July in my hometown, Malang. My parents prepared a small lunch buffet for the bride's big family to witness the engagement. Full story of my engagement party is here.

He needed to give me a necklace as a promise of marriage

Engagement is done. The very first official step to marriage after the proposal is finally done.

Step 2. Registration of Marriage (ROM)

Due to different nationalities and current domiciles, we had difficulties in registering our marriage in Malaysia. ROM paperwork and procedures for foreign spouse were just madness there and not possible to be done in my current condition. Indonesia itself was not much a choice for conducting our ROM since I live in Singapore.

In the end, after some research, we decided to just do it in Singapore. The neutral place with doable and very practical ROM paperwork. ROM first application was done online and basically, it only required for IC and passport numbers.

For this, we flew my core family members over to Malaysia and Singapore to witness our legal marriage solemnization. We chose our mothers to be our ROM witnesses. I engaged a local ROM/Wedding specialist photographer, Nick Goh, to do the photo shooting and given the fact that he is a specialist in Singapore, his ROM photography time line planner was really already in order and easy for us to follow - from booking until the photo album  collection.

Pre-ROM photo shoot at the Telok Ayer Park

After the Solemnization

Next to-do-list:

Both husband and I need to go to Malaysia High Commission and Indonesian Embassy in Singapore and update them about our ROM. We need to get the legalization chops on our ROM Certificate from both embassies for paperwork purpose. I really need to get this done within 6 months since our ROM date otherwise we would have to pay 100RM penalty for the Malaysian side.

Step 3. Planning the Wedding - Choosing the Wedding Date

Both families had actually discussed on how to proceed with the wedding celebrations. In summary, we agreed that we would do a wedding dinner in my hometown, Malang, sometime before the wedding party in Seremban. So, we really have to do double wedding preparations and budget here.

Before we could do any further on the wedding preparation, the one thing that we need to settle is the wedding date. It was not that easy for us to do since both families believe in 'The Good Wedding Date' and for this we have to ask the 'Smart Person' (usually in temple) for his advice. We waited for almost two months for the new lunar calendar to come out before we actually could find the 'Smart Person' and get the wedding date from him.

A couple weeks ago, the whole family visited my mother in law's trusted temple in Muar and sought the advice on the wedding date there. The 'Smart Person' asked for the birthday particulars of the bride, groom and their respective parents for consideration. He jotted all the dates down and opened his lunar calendar book.

The birthdays' scribbles

In the end, he came up with 11th September 2011 (or 14th August in Lunar Calendar) as the best date for our wedding date during the Rabbit Year.

The chosen wedding date and the advised 'pick-up' hours. 

I am a Christian and my husband is a Buddhist. To me, it would be ideal if we could do a wedding matrimony again in church in Malang but sadly, I had to drop the idea since both bride and groom have to be baptized first to be eligible for holy matrimony in Christian church. I do not believe in forcing religion, faith or belief to somebody. So, we would just do the ceremony again in a traditional Chinese way in Malaysia - To suit his family tradition too.

Step 4. Book the restaurant

Right after we knew about the confirmed wedding date, my husband immediately called his preferred Chinese restaurant in Seremban and booked it for our wedding lunch next year. I quickly informed my parents in Indonesia on the final date and we decided to have our wedding dinner in Malang two weeks earlier before the one in Seremban, which falls on 27 August 2011. My Mom had booked her preferred restaurant for our wedding dinner sometime after Hari Raya holiday. At least, now the most crucial thing has been done.

Step 5. Research and Book the Wedding Package 

My husband and I had spent one day to visit some bridal houses in Seremban. We compared their wedding packages, gowns, prices and photo portfolios. Today, after careful considerations, we finally confirmed Passion Bridal Selection which we feel to be the best bridal house amongst all in town and paid the required early deposit. With this, basically for the Malaysia Wedding we have settled:
  • Wedding gowns
  • Groom's coat
  • Pre-wedding photography (together with the 7 different gowns, hair-do and make up plus photo albums)
  • Pre-wedding photo slideshows (in DVD) for the wedding lunch
  • Flower bouquet for the wedding lunch
  • Car decoration 
  • Make-up and hair-do for the actual wedding date
Next to-do-list prior the pre-wed photography sessions: 
  • Plan the dates for choosing pre-wedding photography gowns and photo shooting time and venues
  • Buy long-sleeve white shirt for the groom
  • Get inspirations for the preferred pre-wedding photos for the photographer
  • Buy hand-bouquet flowers for photo-shoot purpose
  • Buy balloons for photo-shoot purpose (since I knew that I wanted some casual and sweet photos with colorful balloons)
Next to-do-list for the wedding preparation in Malaysia: 
  • Choose the wedding cake
  • Browse and choose wedding invitation
  • Buy shoes that match the wedding dress
  • Compile photos for the slideshows during wedding lunch
  • Choose songs for the wedding lunch
  • Confirm on-site photographer for the wedding lunch
  • Browse for souvenirs
  • Think of the wedding lunch procession including choosing MC
  • Consult with Iris Tan and Rej for the groom's obstacle games, if need be
  • Learn to speak and listen more Mandarin so I can communicate with the photographer and make-up artist better. 要听,要讲。
That's all I can think for Malaysia wedding preparation for now. I can't think of the Indonesia wedding just yet and heavily rely on my parents to settle almost everything there. Indonesia's wedding would definitely be more complicated than the straight-to-the-point Malaysia's wedding style. I might even need to hire a Wedding Organizer to get the Malang Wedding done - and it means more money to spend! I'll get my hands dirty on this during my visit with husband to Malang this December.

Yehey! At least we finally did something about it! Slowly but sure.


  1. very nice and looking cool couple, God Bless you. My all wishes with you.

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  2. Hi Christine

    I really like your blog and get a lot of useful information from it especially the immigration and paperwork part.

    As I also Indonesian working in SG n my HTB is Malaysian too and we've decided to do our ROM in SG.

    We still haven't decide which photographer to work with..I've seen Nick Goh shoots and not really keen on it..but he definitely have a name on this..I prefer the shoots from Kent Wong but his package doesn't include printing and album..dono which one to choose..sigh >.<
    Do you know any other photographer?

    Did you do your own make-up and hair do? Mind to give me your MUA?Can they do it on the spot? meaning do it on the ROM(is there a place to do it at the ROM building???!!)
    As we are staying at JB and will drive in on the big day..Thinking to get it done there rather than get it done from JB(when the time i reach there i will be super 'kucel' already..hahahahaha)...

    Thanks so much...

  3. Hi Susan,

    Thank you for dropping by my blog.

    I didn't know about any other ROM photographers in SG other than Nick Goh. Sorry I am not able to help you with some leads on this. I didn't do much research about the ROM photographers back then.

    I did my make-up early morning in Seremban (done by a local bridal house's make-up artist) before driving all the way to Singapore for the ROM ceremony. What is MUA?

    Hope the above helps.



    1. Hi Christine..

      MUA is make up artist..=)
      You actually did it at Seremban??!!wah it's really a long journey to Singapore!!and u still looks good!!


  4. Hi Christine

    I am like you a foreigner married to a Malaysian the thing I am surprised to read about in this piece is that you were not allowed to marry with your husband in church my wife is a catholic and I am a free thinker I am not baptised at all but I still could let my wife marry in church like she wished

    1. Hi Peter,

      Christian and Catholic churches have different rules about this. I have a Catholic friend who is married to a Buddhist and they had their matrimony in her church.

    2. hey christine

      The Catholic church is a type of a christian church. but guessing on your answer your a protestant that would explain knowing that their rules in this part of the world a pretty tough compared to some parts of europe

  5. hi christine, i have been reading your blogs from your engagement and having your Application for MY PR and its been really helpful.. well to start im also a foreigner (filipino) soon to be marrying a malaysian. our first dilemma is we both have different religion, I am a Catholic and he is a buddhist, same as your case we have decided to stick with our relegion and beliefs and so now we're actually not sure we're to ROM. We're both working in SG for now but ofcourse after we get married we're planning to live in MY (but its another long story to settle nxt time, whew!) now we're discussing where to conveniently have our ROM since Im planning to apply MY PR next time. Is it better to register in MY or SG aside from given we need to have it also in my hometown. I hope you can give us advice on the first step of our misery.. hehe


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