Assamualaikum, Farah! I came across your wonderful blog probably a year ago when you first commenced your wedding preparations. My name is *** and my intention of writing to you is not to provide an article of my own. Instead, I have some key queries with you regarding your decision to embark on the great journey that is marriage at such an early age.
I, myself, am keen on embarking in this very same journey, to ‘halalize’ my relationship with my boyfriend of five years but the costly wedding as well as living expenses have always made us dither on the idea.
Just to give you a quick introduction about myself: I am a Year * English Literature Student in ***, aged 22. While I do not have a full-time job, I work three part-time jobs to sustain myself and insya Allah, savings for my wedding day. I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for five years (we turn 5 this November) and he is a full-time NS man, about to be Operationally Ready in four months’ time.
We have discussed how we would like our wedding to be and have agreed on a small-scale event that includes an akad nikah ceremony in the mosque followed by a small dinner banquet. We are never keen on the idea of wasting a lot of money for the sake of a wedding – we believe that small weddings will have more blessings from Him. But some things are hindering us from hastening our marriage, such as follows:
1) We do not have a house of our own. My boyfriend currently lives with his grandmother in a 2-bedroom apartment. Meanwhile, I am living in my sister’s house after my parents divorced when I was 7. Housing issues have always bugged us because we wish to have a place of our own. How do you go about overcoming this problem?
2) We do not have a secure income as of yet. My boyfriend and I always revel at how couples our age (he is a year old than me), get married when they’re unemployed/students/going through NS.
While we have planned to go about planning our wedding after he gets a job, how much time did you take to fully save for your wedding expenses? Any tips on cutting back costs? How do you cope with monthly expenses after marriage?
3)Parents – As of now, I still don’t have a good relationship with my boyfriend’s parents. How do I make myself closer to them and gain their trust? How do I improve communication with them?
I know that my email is a little heavy but I really do appreciate your help. Sorry babe if I have inconvenienced you with the length of my email. But I really do look up to strong women such as you who have the strength to go through such significant responsibility that marriage entails. Looking forward to hear from you. 🙂
Thank you so much for being a reader of my blog!
First of all, I really admire your enthusiasm on wanting to bring your relationship on to the next level with great intentions along with it. Believe me, great things don’t come easy. But when you want to embark on such an important journey, thinking of the present and staying stagnant in that mind-set won’t help you progress.
In fact, you are in a much easier position than I am, because your boyfriend is going to be Operationally Ready soon. That’s one positive point! For my husband, he’s enlisting late this year so that’s a different story. While you’re studying in NTU, I’m sure you’ll find a good job with a decent pay to live comfortably in Singapore one day, in shaa Allah.
So that’s another positive point!
I don’t deny that living in Singapore is indeed very costly. What’s more, Muslim marriages is becoming more and more pricey it’s ridiculous. It didn’t take long for me and my husband to plan all this actually, because we are focused on one thing and it’s super important to set goals, even if it is just a small thing.
The main thing is, try not to cause any inconveniences to both families (especially in terms of financials). Whatever you may plan, let it only be the two of you and if it is the best for you and in Allah’s eyes, focus on it. Don’t let anything get it the way.
1) Please, don’t let housing matters be an obstruction in making your relationship ‘halal’. Since you are still working part time and your boyfriend’s currently in NS, why not apply for a rental house under HDB? Me and my husband applied in May 2015 and got the keys in October 2015, only five months of waiting.
Just in time before our marriage, which was in January this year. Nowadays, sadly, there’s a stigma about people living in rental houses are ‘poor people’, ‘can’t afford to buy BTO/RESALE houses’ and loads more disgusting remarks. But me and my husband don’t care about those remarks actually. It’s not going to be forever!
As long as we’re living on our own, we are not causing any inconveniences to people, we work hard to fend for ourselves, there’s nothing wrong about it. We are happy that we are living on our own and still surviving, alhamdulillah. We are slowly learning on how to be independent. We have privacy, we have two pets at home and no matter what house we have as for now, we are grateful.
We are stabilising ourselves for now and we will soon apply for BTO/RESALE once all is good. There’s no rush to having a big home because unless you’re planning to have kids right after marriage, a one room apartment would be nice for only two people. Check out more at – HDB Public Rental Scheme
2) Alright let me start from back when we got engaged. Honestly, my salary is barely $2000 and my husband back then was still schooling, believe it or not. I think we spent less than $2000 for our engagement! I think the most expensive costs were just our engagement rings and the food buffet.
The main thing is, do research for affordable yet great services! For me, I had a family member (not closely related) who did my henna for me and it was less than $100, my sister is a makeup artist so that was free, my mum had a close friend who could cook up a buffet so we saved on that too. So you see, it doesn’t have to be hard! You get to choose how you want to spend your money as minimal as possible, so choose wisely!
Right in the middle of our engagement, we decided we do not want to live in neither of our parents’ places. So we just rent a one-room apartment! We managed to get quite a new unit so it’s all good! All our engagement, house and marriage expenses were just money from my husband who’s working only ONE part time job, and me with a salary that’s barely $2000.
When we say we want a simple wedding, simple it is! We spent less than $5000 (trust me) and all the services we rendered were of satisfaction. You can read more on some of my previous posts regarding my wedding expenses.
The main thing is, don’t be in debt because of a good thing like marriage. Stay focused, save up for your future be it even $50 a month and be strong against people’s opinions. After marriage, as long as both of you are working, in shaa Allah, there will be no problem. Save up for your cpf and future.
Spend wisely, but don’t be a cheapskate of course! When the time comes for the both of you to buy a house, ensure both of you are really ready financially and emotionally. Don’t rush okay dear! If your intentions are good, Allah will always let you overcome anything.
3) Maybe the reasons are unclear to me as to why you don’t have a good relationship with his parents. I mean, as long as both of you are not causing any ‘trouble’ or doing something bad to make them lose trust, then I guess the way to improve your relationship with his parents is to always ensure them that you can take care of their son and also you are always visiting them; vice versa for your boyfriend.
The main channel to go through to his parents is of course through your boyfriend. I hope he is helping you in improving your relationship with his parents.
It’s important to have a support system here, you know what I mean? We all can’t deny, parents’ blessings are so important. Therefore, take time, don’t rush and don’t make promises. I think actions are much much important in showing our parents that we are really ready. Make time for them too, include them in all preparations and discussions so that they know they are important to you guys, in shaa Allah.
No matter what dear, you’ll always have my best interest and I hope all will go smoothly one day for you. Hope my reply helped you in a way or two. Stay strong alright? Remember you’ll only need to impress Allah SWT, not negative people.
Jazak Allahu Khayran.