My dear friend of 20 years got married last night. I didn’t realized that we have known each other for so long until a friend of hers asked. We first met in primary school. Later in our life we went away to further our study. I moved to other towns. But we kept in touch. Every now and then we met and exchanged news. So what do you do when you get a wedding invitation from your best friend? You ask when is the solemnization ceremony and attend it.
The wedding ceremony began with the solemnization (also know as “akad nikah”) at the bride-to-be’s house. In my dear friend case, her brother’s house. The make up artists (or commonly called as “mak andam”) were already ‘on-site’ when I reach my friend’s place. The artists were frantically preparing my friend for the wedding. After about an hour of make up, the bride-to-be was finally ready. Just in time for the “akad nikah”.
In some families the father or the male next-of-kin would ‘give away’ the bride. But more and more people are handing the task to “juru nikah”. The bride was brought forth to the living room. The “juru nikah” asked the bride-to-be whether she agrees with the wedding. Then he proceed with the ceremony. Unlike Christian’s wedding, it’s the groom who take the wedding vow (in Malay language, “akad” is loosely translated to vow and “nikah” is wedding). By taking the vow, the groom agrees to take all responsibility that a man have to his wife and his family.
Once the groom took the vow, my friend is officially a wife. The vow is followed by a short "doa" (prayer). Then the “lafaz taklik” by the groom. The bride is required to listen to it. “Taklik” is actually a contract between a man and his wife. It spells out his and her responsibility. After some paper works, my dear friend lawfully weds her husband.
After that, they exchanged the wedding rings before proceeding to “berinai” ceremony. It is very much like the “bertepung tawar”. The bride and groom sat on the “pelamin”. Family members put “bunga rampai” (a mixture of flowers and “daun pandan”), “air mawar” (rose water) and “inai” on the bride and groom palms.
The whole ceremony ended around 12 am. I was tired, but I was glad I made time to attend my best friend’s historical event.