I think the closer I am to the wedding date, the more itchy my fingers get… Idk if this is a blessing or a woe that most items on my to-do list have been checked off, such that my mind starts wandering to places that are daaaangerous for a close-to-broke bride-to-be like me.
Well this fervent obsession with the traditional songket kebaya started about 1 month ago when I realised, scrolling through more and more bridal companies on instagram and facebook, that I wouldn’t be wearing the traditional long songket kebaya for my wedding. In particular, I was looking at Versari Ade and Sqeen Bridal Couture‘s page and it struck me that the pieces I’ve chosen for my wedding are very modern. The modern songket dress-types… and I so yearned to wear at least ONE traditional piece for my big day, something like this;
It didn’t help that I kept on thinking and thinking of the kuning keramat (bright yellow) songket outfit that appealed so much to me. I can’t quite put my finger on why, but I think it’s a unique and underrated colour that many shy away from because they think it looks dated and “orbit” – I personally think yellow looks good on me and in line with the trope of “Raja/Permaisuri Sehari“, I learned that most Malaysian and Bruneian royalties would don the “kuning keramat” shades for their special events. Hehehe
So I surfaced the idea of renting 1 additional outfit from a bridal house to be worn on my Sunday event.. because we planned on only wearing 1 outfit from 2-5pm, and I’m thinking like omg so boring? Alas, the idea didn’t really sit well with my fiance because he imagined Sunday to be a veeeery lepak affair. I understand his point because Saturday would already be jam-packed from 11-4pm with 3 outfit changes. He didn’t want another round of stress for us. Plus when I enquired with the bridal house regarding rental costs, it came up to about an additional $500-$600. I had to be realistic and rid my mind of all these unnecessary wants. $500-$600 for only ONE outfit and pakai setakat 1 jam? And because my MUA is another person, it just does not make any economic sense to go forth with the idea.
When we managed to meet halfway and found a cool concept that both of us liked…
Well, as weeks went by, I realised that I STILL yearned to be able to wear something very traditional, and to remember it as part of our special day for the years to come… I stumbled upon some photos of the 80s/90s-style indoor studio photoshoot and fell in love. I’m talking the kind of wedding albums that your aunts/uncles used to have, with them wearing like 5-6 different outfits (like a Chinese, Indian, Arabian, Western, and finally perhaps 2 different Malay songket outfits) and posing in front of harsh studio lights with a plain studio backdrop.
This would be an ala-carte service that both fiance & I would be taking up as a post-wedding photoshoot. Orang buat pre-wedding, kita buat post-wedding. Hehehe. But we’d never planned to do pre-wedding because our families don’t practise it personally and it’s just not us to display pics of us in close proximity before we are halal.I think it’s a beautiful concept for those open to try, but we prefer doing it after the wedding stress is over. 😀
It’s a long-forgotten concept and service. I think it’s something that we don’t need but something we don’t mind investing some money in, because these are photos we feel that would bring back many memories of our first year together. Something that we would be able to put in an physical album and show our kids and grandkids in the future insyaAllah. And when else would we get the opportunity to feeling2 pengantin and bersolek2 and dress up if not now? (Not to say that our actual-day photography wouldn’t serve as memories. In fact, they do, but the focus would be on the majlis and not on US as a couple.)
Some of the examples below, pictures credit to Versari Ade & Invogue Photography:
So right now I’m surveying service providers… if any of you have suggestions, do let me know of any contacts that are able to provide this service please!