muzmatch member Shasha’s wedding was cancelled by her fiancé 3 weeks before the wedding date without any good explanation. Though this was a hard time for Shasha, she stayed strong and brave, and decided to have a wedding shoot anyways, to show that even though she’s not a bride today, she will be someday!
“So, what are you going to do?” asked my close friend L when I told her I have met the “one”.
This was literally 5 weeks before my flight to Wellington, New Zealand. The global COVID-19 epidemic made me want to get on the next available flight to my family members in New Zealand. I had tendered my resignation, gave notice to my landlord and was living out of suitcases. It had been 4 years since I moved to Singapore for work and in all honesty, to remove the distance from a previous long-distance relationship. That relationship did not work out and I found myself swiping on muzmatch a couple of years ago.
R was a divorcee with 2 beautiful children whom he has shared custody with. I met, fell in love with and accepted them as I yearned to be a mother and felt that any child is a God-sent blessing who deserves all the love they can get. After 3 dates and knowing that I was close to flying out of Singapore, he proposed to meet each other’s parents and do the Nikah, to start our lives together. I thought this was God’s test and an answer to my prayers, so I said “yes”.
I postponed my flights and stayed on in Singapore. Within 4 weeks, we got engaged. My parents were upset that I changed my plans and they could not travel to Singapore for the engagement ceremony due to COVID restrictions, but they were present via video call and blessed us to get married. We set the Nikah date in October 2020 and spent the weeks that followed planning the wedding together. Some people thought it was too rushed and too fast. But I believed it was jodoh (fate) and that when things are meant to be, they will be as Allah has written them.
I was completely shocked as we had met on the pretext of working things out. We have had ups and downs, and he was reliant on me financially during our engagement due to his employment being impacted by the COVID-19 situation. I was busy in the midst of wedding preparations, and we had a few conflicts that often confused me about his behaviour. I heard that this was a stressful period for many couples. But I never imagined that we would not be able to resolve anything together. I firmly believed that we could work things out as long as we make time to listen and compromise.
As weeks went by approaching the wedding date, there was no word from him or his family. There was no closure. I deeply missed his children, whom I had grown attached to and prayed that their innocence would protect them from my sudden absence in their lives.
The vendors were amazingly kind and empathetic but every cancellation just made me sink deeper into disbelief.
As I grieved day by day to the supposed wedding date and tried to accept that everything that I dreamt of has dissipated, I started googling for articles on stories about brides-to-be whose weddings get cancelled. Many of the stories were about runaway brides and brides who would “trash the dress” when being stood up on their wedding day. It all felt quite negative, sad, and full of vengeance, which did not feel uplifting at all to me.
And then of course, I hear of stories of how Muslim women are often blamed or shamed, as the cause for when a wedding is called off. “It had to be something wrong with her” if she stands unwed on her wedding day. Families and communities get divided. It was unfair and unjust. Everyone was asking me why and what happened but I could only truly say, I do not know. I had no opportunity or platform to seek clarification or closure. I had to just accept everything as decided. I had only Allah to confide in, through all of this.
Then I think about all the wonderful people that have showed kindness and support to me through this devastating time, I felt motivated to do something positive. I thought about the dress that I had designed with the bridal designer, the make up artist that was excited about having me as her first bridal client, and my aunts and uncles who had helped me to prepare the decorations and gifts for the wedding ceremony. And of course my parents, who designed my wedding invitations and did whatever they could from miles away in New Zealand. These were the people that continued to remain in my life and reminded me that there was simply so much beauty and kindness in my life for me.
That’s when I decided to go ahead with the wedding photoshoot… by myself.
Click here to read part 2 of Shasha’s story