Juan and Shahirah's Solemnization Ceremony
Juan and I recently celebrated our one year anniversary (alhamdulillah! yay!) and we haven't shared many of our wedding photos or videos online even on our personal and private Instagram accounts. I wrote a brief Twitter thread about getting married but that was about it. At the end of this post, you'll find out why I chose to be discreet.
Now that it's been a year since our wedding day, I'm excited to share some of our wedding photos on my blog. Until this day, being married to Juan and looking at photos from our solemnization (nikah) and wedding reception feels surreal. I was never the sort of girl to spend days dreaming about who I might marry or what my wedding would be like. When Juan and I decided to marry it marked the beginning of a major life shift on various levels. I had 8 months to plan our wedding and reception and he was not in Malaysia for 7 1/2 months of that time.
I've seen countless of wedding photos and videos but it's very different when it comes to your own. I'm grateful to have my best friend as my husband and to have our families and everyone who came together and worked hard to create two beautiful wedding events for us. We couldn't be more thankful for the presence of our family and friends who came from near and far to celebrate with us during this significant time in our lives.
As you can imagine, we have hundreds of photos from both occasions. In this post, I'll share photos and a video captured from our solemnization on Saturday, 4th August 2019.
The ever so bubbly architect-turned-make up artist, Nabilla/Warnabilla, dolling me up. I was very much a part of the preparations so I only had 4 hours of sleep the night before. Alhamdulillah for the talented Warnabilla who made me up so I could look fresh at 9 am.
I wish I could say this is a picture of me on my way to our nikah venue but it was taken hours after our nikah and during a photo shoot session. Getting married is hard work.
Moments before the nikah.
"I accept this marriage to Wan Shahirah Elaiza binti Wan Hassan..."
Officially husband and wife. Esposo y esposa.
In Malay tradition, when a bride kisses the groom's hand it symbolizes her love and respect for him and marks the end of all physical barriers between them through the nullification of their wudhu (ablution).
With the beautiful women in my family.
Goofing around with our families.
With the Mieles and Zambrano families from Ecuador and America.
I can't believe I had bridesmaids and they are the loveliest young women I know in my circle of family and friends.
It is customary for couples to exchange gifts on their solemnization day as a gesture of welcoming one another into each other's lives.
Sometimes all I need is to close my eyes and be thankful
for everything that led us to this moment.
The cherry on top of our solemnization post sundae: our solemnization video.
Make up artist: Warnabilla
Dress designer: Rizman Ruzaini
Photographer/videographer: The Wolvesome People
Decorator: Raja Sani
Caterer: Mak Tim
If you are curious as to why I chose to not share too many photos from our wedding, especially not right away, here's my reason: I didn't want our union to become a 'spectacle' — a public display for everyone to consume for entertainment and a mere representation rather than a lived experience. Plus, it wasn't something I felt I could claim because of the sanctity of the ceremony.
"In societies where modern conditions of production prevail, all life presents as an immense accumulation of spectacles. Everything that was directly lived has moved away into a representation."
"The more his life is now his product, the more he is separated from his life."
— Guy Debord, La société du spectacle (The Society of the Spectacle) (1967)
I don't avoid media or social media altogether but I do my best to use it responsibly and meaningfully to benefit others, not just myself. Media can be a powerful means to share useful, important and beneficial ideas and stories. Writing for this blog has empowered me to reclaim my narrative and identity and to be intentional about what I do. I intend to keep writing even when life gets busy.
So, who's ready for photos from the wedding reception?