JOHOR BARU - Royal couple Tunku Mahkota Johor Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim and Khaleeda Bustamam will tie the knot in an akad nikah (solemnisation of marriage) ceremony at the Istana Bukit Serene here.
While the ceremony, set to take place at around 10am today, is a private affair, the istiadat persandingan (sitting together on the bridal dais) and the proceedings on Nov 8 will be shown live on large screens at Dataran Bandaraya here.
Johor Royal Council president Datuk Abdul Rahim Ramli said the rakyat could congregate along Istana Besar to catch the royal couple in an open-top car from Istana Bukit Serene to Istana Besar for next month's ceremony at about 8.30pm.
"However, due to security reasons, only invited guests are allowed into the Istana Besar grounds though large screens will be placed at Dataran Bandaraya for the public to view the event," he said.
The state and its people are gearing up for the royal wedding, Johor's first since January 2006 when Tunku Bendahara Johor Tunku Abdul Majid Idris Sultan Iskandar - the brother of Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar - wed Tunku Teh Mazni Tunku Yusuf.
Major roads along Istana Pasir Pelangi, Istana Besar and Istana Bukit Serene are bedecked with state flags, colourful lights and other decorations.
Excited Johoreans are also getting ready to share in the joy of the royal celebration.
Clerk Syahirah Nasir, 23, said she and another colleague immediately applied for leave on Nov 8 after the event's announcement on Monday.
"Fortunately, our superiors approved our leave applications or we would miss out on witnessing Johor's wedding of the year.
"We are huge fans of Tunku Ismail, who is also Johor Football Association president, as we follow Johorean football closely," she said.
Textile retailer Zuraidah Ahmad, 35, was eager to see what the bride would be wearing.
"I wonder if she will opt for classic traditional wear or a simple, modern piece," she said.
Tunku Ismail, 30, is the eldest of Sultan Ibrahim and Raja Zarith Sofiah Sultan Idris Shah's six children.
Khaleeda, 21, daughter of Bustaman Daud and Aziyah Abdul Aziz, is the youngest of five siblings and was born in Kuala Lumpur.
After the akad nikah, the bride will be officially known as Che' Puan Khaleeda Bustamam, consort of the Tunku Mahkota of Johor.