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In response to WordPress Daily Prompt: Buffalo Nickel. Dig through your couch cushions, your purse, or the floor of your car and look at the year printed on the first coin you find. What were you doing that year?

And the year happen to be 2008.

The most significant, meaningful and unforgettable things that happen in 2008 was that, I started dating a beautiful lady, which today become my wife for 5 years and counting.

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One of the most important thing stressed during our pre-wedding preparation course is that, the purpose of people to get married is to be happy. We couldn’t agree more. In fact, it shouldn’t be only the purpose of marriage, but the purpose of what we do in life. So, what limits the happiness a person can have?

I found the answer when reading an article here (in Bahasa). It is called: RESPONSIBILITY.

Many books said that happiness is depends on how you define it. Some found happiness through expensive bags, travelling, shoes, 3000 cc cars, or maybe doing charity. Responsibility however, is defined by people around you. Spitting in Singapore is considered irresponsible, and subject to fine. But in China, it is perfectly acceptable.

So, why does responsibility limits happiness? Some people might found happiness by driving well over speed limit. But does it feel responsible from other’s? Some found happiness by drinking a lot of alcohol, but when you start harassing people, do you think it is a responsible act? All people getting married with happiness. But when we break our vow for ANY reason, is it an responsible act?

Back to getting married or not, I’m yet to see someone exchanging  wedding vow while crying sadly. It is sure intended for happiness, whether for status, or for the sex. But can you be responsible with your vow? For better or worse, in sickness or health, for richer or poorer… till death do us apart? If your answer is not, then NOT getting married would probably the most responsible decision at the moment.

In our 2 months old of our wedding, we still manage to keep the promise….. Happy 2 months anniversary

During my college day, I made a promise to myself: I will get married after my 30th birthday. Thirty years old is the age, in my opinion, where I hopefully financially ready, and more importantly, mentally ready.

And on 23rd January 2010, I fulfilled my promise.

Our wedding plan started on 28 February 2009, when I propose her. “I do” she said and we hugged. We made a decision that night for a simple wedding. Not the lavish one in 5-stars Hotel Ballroom with grandeur stage, from which you are wondering who are these people. We want an intimate wedding, where you shake their hands while calling their names, where all our friends who knows us shaken with tears of happiness.

Housing is the next one to address. We spent long weekends, from houses to houses, agents to agents, trying to match location and budgets. We venture to places we haven’t been before, calculating budgets, negotiating prices. Until one day, we are at this place. This is not the perfect house we dream of, but the most acceptable so far, and fit the budget. I look at her eyes, holding her hands, and said: “I want to move on with our wedding plan. Lets buy this one”. We still have to wait for a couple of months until it is completed

Our parents are the people we mostly grateful for bringing us to this day. We can understand and fully accept if they have their own will on how they want to deliver us to our new family. But what we can’t accept is the people around them, whose voice are very confusing that, we don’t know anymore which one is our parents’ own will, or someone else’s will. For those people, whom we met maybe once, twice in couple of years, or maybe in our lifetime, we just wishes that they would mind their own business

The day has fianlly come, the day that we ahve been waiting for almost 1 year. It is also in that day that, you can really tell which one is your friends, and who among them that you can count on for important day. There are those who shops for flower in the middle of midnight, so they can gave us the most fresh flower available. A friend was so busy running errand that, he was like being washed with a bucket of water when we met him. But, there are another friend who seems occupied to check, whether his loved on has made it to the venue or not. There are another friend who took the precious time to don her make up. It is really moment of truth, and we are grateful that we have a lot of accountable friends.

The drama is a happy ending, with us finally standing before the altar, saying the sacred vow. Our friend sing the most beautiful wedding entrance song that we ever heard. We got a lot of wonderful picture, and in the afterparty, we enjoy the company of those who have helped us, we will be in debt to them forever.

At 11:00 pm, 23 January 2010, we lie down in the bed tired after months long of labor, phisically and mentally. It is the end of the day. It is the time, where, no matter how glamorous the party was, there will be two of us: Me, and the lady I proudly call my wife.

23 February 2010 – Celebrating 1 month of our wedding

To be honest, it still feels weird to see my name written on the wedding invitation. My wedding  invitation, our wedding invitation.

Seven days to our wedding date, and we have been through the most tough weeks of the preparation. Last weekend wasn’t feels like weekend, as we so busy driving to test food, looking for parents’ dress, discussing make up for the bride, talking with the photographers, and watching our friends who will sing for us. Just to make sure that they won’t hurt anyone’s ear :D.

New Year was spent with finalizing the book for the holy matrimony, reviewing invitation list, printing labels, putting invitation in the envelope, and sticking the label. A little celebration in the middle of hectic chores, as we celebrate the passing year with a bottle of Champagne, and boxes of Royce.

One thought last week, that I think we have been cruel to our parents. We got a lot of helps from our friend, either voluntary or due to our request. But we never allowed our parents to contribute, to help in our big day.

We are grateful for what they’ve done for us. Taking care of us for 30 years was never easy. All we want is for them to give their blessings as we said our vows in front of the altar, with tears of happiness in their cheeks. But well, parents is forever parents, and no matter how old we are, we’re still kids for them.

Seven days to our wedding, we wish that we have through the lows, so that the days ahead would always better until the date came. After that, when all the guess have gone home, there will be only the 2 of us….

I should have expected it. A wedding is a serious matter, and one of serious matter in it is to introduce the family. It is not only my family, and her family, but the whole big family to be introduced, including the distant one that you have met less than 10 times. And being part family those never-been-seen people feels that they have the ultimate say on how the family meeting should be run.

We planned the family meeting, and for my parents to propose her to be my wife to her mother, since few months ago. I has been pushed, part of it due to inevitable event, and part of it due to we can’t settle on the event detail. We want a simple meeting, where my parents propose her, and then off we go for lunch. So much we want it that, we handled the initial discussion badly with her family.

“Why should we let someone whom we met few times in our life runs our life?”

We gave in, finally. “This is the parent’s day, so let them run it”, I thought. So, with only 1 week left, I was running errand just to fulfill the offering: Pork legs, box of cookies, fruit basket and some sweeties. All this endeavor reminds me of pre-orientation period during high school time; it didn’t stop there.

So there come the day, when my parent officially propose her to her mother. All went well, and after that time, I should proudly say that: We are engaged!

Last weekend might be the most absurd day of our wedding preparation.

The first absurdity comes at the sollicitor office. We were there to collect the penupt agreement when somebody yell: “Scal!” My college friend. We still kept our wedding plan among families and limited friends whom we asked for help, and it is a little bit awkward when my friend cought us with our prenupt. Not to mention that, not eeryone will have open mind for a prenupt.

From the solicitor, we drop by at our house for a short discussion, then continue on long drive to photo studios, one of many item yet to be confirmed. We were so exhausted that, we stop for durian ice at nearby street stall. At the casheir, the old lady behind the counter asked: “Are you two going to get married?” Looking us puzzled, she continued: “I overhear your conversation, you two are getting married, right?”

Our quest continued to the jewellry. We need adjustment for the wedding ring, and to craft our name. “I’m sorry but we can’t craft both name with both ring. we need to keep our logo, so we know that it is bought from us, for the purpose of warranty.” OK, this is the first time that Im not allowed to do anything for something I bought! So, I gave him 2 names: “SMURF” for bride’s ring, and “SMORF” for groom’s ring. They are names we used to call each other. I can see the jeweller tried not to laugh – your fault for not allowing us to craft our names.

On then way back home, we were discussing where to eat. Options are all street stall, from porridge, instant noodle, toast bread, etc. But then we passed an Italian restaurant, we mde up my mind in a blink: “Lets dine there”. I have stomach problem, and need to unload, and I guess that restaurant has better toilet than street stall.

Italian food gave ur more booze than alcoholic drink, I guess. Soon after, we start halucinating about what will a man do when he approach a woman at the bar, and how the woman would respond. It turns to comedy-like conversation, which kept us laughing until the end of the night.

“This is my pre-wedding photo”, my friend handed over me a photo album. My friend adds as I browse through it: “It was taken at that place”. I smiled, while continue to browse through the album, but deep inside, I talked to myself: Is this the pre-wedding photo that I want to have myself, if I am about to get married?

Why should I pay to have a nice pre-wedding album, taken where almost 90% of married couple this year went for their pre-wedding photo? And even after that, what can I say to my friend is: “This is my pre-wed album, taken at <insert-the-place-where-every-couple-went-for-prewed>“, while handing over the photo albums with beautifully artificial pose.

Fortunately, She shared the same vision. Pre-wedding photo should describe the personality of the couples. The pre-wedding photo should shows things the couples do together during their relationship and places they visit, so that 20-30 years after the sacred vow, they can show it to their friends, telling about wonderful things they did at the magical places. It should contains the most natural expression, happy face, sad face, drunk face, so that both can laugh together when the memory came by.

It is priceless – no photographer can do that for you except yourself and your tripod. It is timeless – it goes way before the marriage itself. And that’s what we called the Pre-wedding photos.