According to Malay customs, the groom will give a certain number of hantaran (gifts), usually in odd numbers, which the bride reciprocates with additional two hantarans in return. The hantaran will be exchanged twice: once during the tunang (engagement ceremony), once during the akad nikah (solemnization ceremony). Usually for the engagement, perishable items are exchanged, along with one item that is meant for your fiancée-to-be.
He gave me five trays and in return, I gave back seven trays. He gave me:
- Tepak sirih
- Fruit basket
- A jar of chocolates
- Kain (fabric to make clothes with)
- Engagement ring
- Sireh junjung
- Fruit basket
- Chocolates (Ferrero Rocher)
- Chocolate cake (Secret Recipe sudehhh) this melted under the heat
- Pineapple tarts + cookies
- Macaroons please do not get this as it melts really, really fast
- 2 books - The Bounty of Allah and Ibn Al Arabi - The Bezels of Wisdom
Initially I was going to hire someone else to decorate the hantaran as I had no idea how to even proceed with such a task. After researching, I was quite shocked at the price demanded... and I read that many girls did their own deco for their hantaran, so I decided to visit Semua House (Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman) and GM Klang. I scored some trays and stands, flowers, ribbons, sequins, fabric, and details for a considerable amount less than what I would have paid someone else to do it for.
My choice of flowers was based on my dress (lilac); so I bought white, lilac and green paper roses (which looked pretty real), some lavender stems and some hydrangeas (not in picture). One bunch (had 5 flowers) was around RM 5.90.
The flower choices may look odd to you, but after we made the hantaran, it looked very nice hehe. Will update in part II about the hantaran... TBC ;)