Alam & Ita Halal: Biggest Project of My Life (so far)

Every love story is beautiful, but ours is my favorite. – Anonymous.

I’m married!!! Yeay~ hahaha. Apparently the 4.5 years long love story of  my ex-boyfriend-now-husband and I, has come to a highly anticipated end, alhamdulillah, but it is also the beginning of our new lifetime voyage and struggle ahead of us, we’re developing our own mini civilization, insha Allah. The wedding is special (yeah, of course), I still can’t move on from all the joy and excitement and it was my biggest project so far, because we managed it without wedding organizer or whatsoever, which was fun and exhilarating.

I knew all along that we were getting here, but it took us a long journey with lots of flounders, fights, tears, and smiles. The whole process was magical, if it’s not a blessing and miracle from the Mighty God, then I don’t know what it is. I always wanted to be married at young age, I want to nurture my children while I’m still full of youth’s spirit, idealism, and optimism, but I don’t think it was possible, until both of us got a scholarship and admitted in the same university. Originally, I didn’t plan to go to the same university, but somehow I was captivated by a program in the university he was going. That’s why it felt so magical, I tried to examine and consider many universities, but nothing can conquer this program, so I decided to apply.

The process of getting the scholarship was also very intense and nerve wrecking but I believe a divine intervention helped us to achieve it in the same period so that we can go pursuing our dream together, at the same time. I will tell you guys my scholarship story separately, so long story short, we were ‘forced’ to get married soon, before we pursue our master degree in Newcastle University, UK.

When I knew that I was getting married, I started to check Pinterest, outdoor wedding venues, decoration ideas, concepts, and many other How-Tos of wedding and marriage. It got me very anxious and stressed and even caused tearful fight with Kak Alam. Fortunately, I had to prepare for my IELTS test and involved in several projects so I managed to get over it for a while.

The real and serious process began after lamaran or our engagement in May, 6 2016. The two families officially agreed and encourage us to do the preparation meticulously and immediately, so we start to survey any possible wedding venues, both directly and online correspondence, since we can’t afford and don’t wanna hire a wedding organizer, we have to do it all by ourselves, gathering information and references from the web and our friends, we even have a shared folder called “Wedding Repository” 😂😂

We started by doing online research about the concept, the decoration, color palette, venue, party rundown, committee needed, outfit, and everything else, it was such a blessing that both of us have the same vision and taste about wedding ceremony and party. We were very tight on budget, although, if we did have huge amount of money, we didn’t want to spend too much on our wedding  day. So we decided to do a simple, intimate, all-DIY decoration garden party, we also rely on our golden-hearted friends and family for the preparation and D-Day execution.

Our adventurous project started by visiting the venues we had seen on the web, we started with Sari Sunda and went along Soekarno-Hatta street to see any potential venues like Pendopo Papuri. We even literally drove under the rain to inspect Rumah Makan Ponyo, but in the end, we chose Sari Sunda because deep inside I already decided and fell in love with the venue. I insisted on checking the other venues just to make sure we made the right choice (typical women, I know… but it was for our friggin wedding! So don’t judge me 😛). Later that day, we made our wedding budget based on each venue, as expected the cheapest option was Sari Sunda, and we decided to limit the budget around 30 million rupiahs.

After decided on the venue we consulted our artsy and talented friends Warda and Endah about the decoration. Thanks to Pinterest we were inspired to use burlap and lace as our main theme and material for the decoration. Both of us and Warda paid another visit to Sari Sunda to measure the venue, identifying which spot to décor and what kind of ornament we should add. We spent hours to discuss and list all the items we needed. After the offline meeting we continue our discussion in WhatsApp group and I started to hunt the items with my Mom in Pasar Baru, Pasar Cibadak, Tamim, etc. It was around 60 days before the wedding.

While brainstorming about the decoration I was also did a hunt for our family’s uniform and materials for my wedding gown which was made by my Mom (love you, Mom, thank you for the lovely dress ♥). Next, after all the brainstorming we started to recruit our friends to help. They kindly and excitedly willing to help, some of my friends even offered their help long before we have a fixated concept. I got Muti, Fitri, Adinda, Padma join the group and discuss the rest of the concept and also helping me to shop the stuffs I needed and even making the ornaments, while Kak Alam hired his bestfriend to capture our special moments.

Several days before the wedding I asked Kholif, Ikhsan, Firda, Wuddan, Kak Sri, Faizah, Kak Noy, my lil sister Aca and her boyfriend Ardi, to help for the D-Day execution and decoration, and they did really great work, even my family were very surprised, saying they were like a professional wedding organizer. I could never thank them enough or repay them :”). Also thanks to my relatives, cousin, even my neighbor who helped me on the D-1 in making the decoration– Teh Gilang, Teh Eka, Icha, Rai, Wa Mira, they were all involved and busy, but of course my Mom was always the busiest, making the ornaments etc :”).

Before the wedding ceremony, my mother held a pengajian, she gathered my neighbor to recite Al-Quran and pray together in my house, they were very kind and sincere, I was never a very sociable kid in the area, but they came, prayed for me and express their happiness for the good news. It was such a blessing to start a new chapter in my life with  all the love and support from people around me, I was so lucky to have  so many lovely friends, neighbors, family;  I could never ask for more.

Here’s a glimpse of our wedding:  Alam & Ita Halal ♥.

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