Jisan and Kwan Yeow’s themed wedding

Chariot of Fire

wedding banquet

That is the first dish that came out, complete with a rather dramatic presentation. It’s visually appealing and delicious to boot. You just can’t argue with lobster…and scallops…and abalone…well, you get the idea. Heh.

wedding reception

Anyway, I was at Jisan and Kwan Yeow’s wedding which occupied a couple of ballrooms at the 15th floor of Sunway Resort Hotel. I’ve been there for the second time in as many weeks. The cocktail reception was at 6 pm but I only managed to get there slightly past 7 pm – and even then, I had to rush from church.

bride groom table

I didn’t realize that my face was sunburnt and peeling too – been swimming a lot lately but it’s always at night so how I got that is a mystery…but it’s not my wedding so here’s one of the best themed weddings I had the pleasure to attend this year.

jisan wedding

The wedding invitation came in an old school record (as LPs – the CDs before cassettes). Dress code is Retro Glam but I decided to wear the bespoke suit (new word from Shah) that I got in Phuket, during the Club Med Phuket trip that Jisan took us on.

beer wine

The cocktail reception area had wine, beer and a variety of sodas. I haven’t had much to eat so I went with the latter.

candy floss

There’s also a cotton candy stand (that really works!) and a woman twisting balloons for kids (and kids at heart). It’s a precursor to what lies inside.

directions

When the doors to the ballroom opened I don’t think anyone went straight to their seats – there’s just too much to absorb at once!

writing wishes

There’s a place for you to write well wishes to the bride and groom on a record (the very same one that came in the wedding invite but with different words) and clip it using a tiny red wooden peg.

wedding wishes

Next to it is a kiosk called Pop Drinks which had mini soda bottles as well as Tora and Ding Dang!

tora ding dang

I heard a lot of entranced mutterings – these are the toy boxes we played with as kids! I was heartened when someone told me to help myself and I got a box. Heh.

pop drinks stand

I guess everything changes over time – Tora is now filled with individually wrapped candy instead of the chocolate balls that all 80′s babies remember (I barely scrape by – born in 1981). There’s also the stuff that you can blow into balloons – exactly the same brand as the ones I played with during primary school.

ding dang

Sweet nostalgia.

marshmellows

There’s also marshmallows (which were fluffy and delicious – ruined a bit of my appetite, this jar), rock candy and lollipops which you can indulge in at Candy Bites while waiting for the photo booth.

photo booth

Now, this photo wall is something that’s worth a bit of your time lining up for. There’s plenty of vintage items like scooters and props for you to fluff up before taking a shot.

props

Each item has a story behind it. This luggage bag is exactly the same one Jisan’s mom used when she studied in Australia way back in the days.

jisan mom luggage

It even has Qantas tags still on it!

group picture

We took a group photo here – there’s two photo booths actually.

retro props

You can also opt for their photographer to take a photo of you, which gets printed out instantly to the side. There’s a copy for you to take back and even an envelope to keep it in.

wedding photo

It’s little touches like this that elevates a standard wedding into something really quite memorable!

wedding photos

I like how the theme is consistent too – it’s always been a theatre production starring Jisan and Kwan Yeow – the movies of the ROM (Registration of Marriage) and the hilarious slides with speech bubbles of their childhood to adult photos inter-spaced throughout the banquet dishes makes it into a cohesive theme.

cake cutting

(BTW, her name is actually spelled Ji San, I just concatenate the two words into one coz that’s how I was introduced when we met each other years ago while working at different agencies in the same building on the same account – long story, I digress)

wedding hall

Back to the banquet, it must seem like a copywriter wrote the names of the dishes coz it was really fanciful and we were trying to work out what the dishes actually were. Heh.

One side has the beverages list and says:
Wine + Hard Liquor + Beer + Soft Drinks + Chinese Tea

…which was easy enough to decipher. No mystery there – I kept to my 3 drink limit (of whisky) which Aza had a hard time believing (most of the people I know here knew me when I was very much the raging alcoholic). The food menu is where it gets interesting.

Chariot of Fire

chariot of fire

This is a wonderful dish which actually deserves its name – there’s even a complicated rein made of links of carrots that’s a work of art in its own right. There’s also a dragon fruit that’s hollowed out and inserted with a candle precariously balanced on the tip. The traditional first dish at a Chinese banquet, this one is full of premium items – lobster chunks, juicy scallops, slices of abalone and a fruit salad with sunflower seeds.

Combination of Love and Blessings

combination of love and blessings

Dried scallops, shiitake mushrooms, kampong (free range) chicken, ginseng and fish maw double boiled into a wonderful clear soup. It seems to be the trend to go this route instead of the traditional shark’s fin soup which gets some PETA/Greenpeace types all worked up and I think it’s a good thing. It tastes even better and it’s good to have a nice double boiled Cantonese clear soup for a change.

Ocean of Love and Passion

ocean of love and passion

This is an entire fish and my favorite dish in wedding banquets. I just love fish cooked in this way – simple, with soy sauce and lots of spring onions on top. It’s delicious, usually my favorite dish but Jisan’s first dish just takes the cake – it blew everything else away. I refer to everything as Jisan coz you know how there’s always a “groom’s side” and a “bride’s side”? I only know the bride and was introduced to the groom today. :)

Hearts United in Love

hearts united in love

Medallions of tender de-boned chicken served with a sweet and spicy sauce and a side of crackers folded like warm bread. The crackers are warm and meant to be eaten with the chicken medallions like so:

chicken medallions crackers

It tastes good but I was really full at this point so I really can’t comment. I was stuffed silly by the good food.

Romance and Bloom

romance and bloom

A dish of flavorful Shiitake mushrooms pregnant with juices that practically bursts in your mouth combined with fu chok (a soy bean byproduct). You know how I feel about soy products but the mushrooms were awesome! I had several with the broccoli even though I was so full at this point I had to loosen my belt.

The carved dragon is made of flour. Our table had got into the discussion of what it was made of and I took the head up – it’s really heavy – and tried to get a piece off (salty).

Unity and Commitment

glutinous rice

This is a package of glutinous rice mixed with spring onions, salted egg, lap cheong (waxed sausage) and various other goodies in a wrapped leaf. I found myself eating more and more of it despite being full several dishes back. It’s really good and the presentation of every dish is impeccable – either with nice plating or individually served like this one…

unity and commitment

…with a thoughtful orchid by the side of the plate.

cheesecake

The menu also had an aside that went: Stay tuned for the Celebration of Love “The Sweetness of Marriage”

the sweetness of marriage

It is a veritable buffet of desserts!

chocolate mousse

A smorgasbord of delights sure to please anyone with a sweet tooth.

desserts

Again, I found myself overeating but I couldn’t resist the strawberry mousse and the creamy chocolates.

yum seng

I really liked how they did the traditional yum seng (toast to the couple) in one half of the ballroom. The wedding reception has tables on one side and the other side can be made into anything, depending on the occasion.

table

Jisan and Kwan Yeow got everyone to wear the sunglasses provided as a wedding favor on each table and get to the side to toast the bride and groom. See what I mean by a consistent theme from the movie style invites to the sunnies?

chan wedding

I really enjoyed myself at the wedding – it was a lot of fun I met a lot of old friends too.

jisan kwan yeow

My warmest regards to the newly-weds Chan Ji San and Teh Kwan Yeow!

hb jisan

I managed to get a photo with Jisan, the new Mrs Teh, too!

wedding pavilion

It was a great evening and I wish you both matrimonial bliss and happy endings! Congratulations Mr and Mrs Teh! :)

Kim and Gareth’s wedding @ The Saujana Hotel

kim gareth wedding

The first thing I noticed was the K&G for Kimberly and Gareth ice sculptures which dominates the entrance to the ballroom where the wedding was held. There’s also an archway above with roses – nice touch, that.

candy station

This is my favorite bit – there’s lots of nostalgic candy with witty place cards at the lounge where wedding guests can help themselves to.

sweet station

I haven’t had some of these since I was in primary school! It certainly brings back fond memories.

wedding registrar

…so much so I had a brain fart while writing the guest book. Lives, not lifes. -_-

kim gareth wedding rules

Kim and Gareth’s wedding was held at The Saujana Hotel last Saturday on the 27th October. I was there at 6:30 pm for the cocktail reception.

vintage coke

Vintage Coke bottles from Thailand.

yee haw

Here’s Yee Hau with Yee Haw! That’s the tag for the haw flakes of our childhood.

childhood candy

Rabbit Candy! Anyone remember these? I still love them.

kim gareth replacements

I think this was a really great idea too – having photo cutouts to take photos with while the bride and groom were busy, very tongue-in-cheek. Heh.

volleyball

The wedding favors on the table were hugely popular too – we had an impromptu game of volleyball while waiting for it to start, made by Nicholas with the goo you can blow up into a balloon (also an artifact of 80′s babies – we had them in school).

kimberly gareth wedding

Kim and Gareth both had speeches going and I thought it was really nice, what they said, weddings always makes me feel good.

chinese wedding food

There’s also an 8 course dinner, with the soup dish called “Save the Sharks Seafood Soup” – obviously no fins in there but it tastes surprisingly good with the mini abalone and other seafood inside and it’s a great departure from traditional wedding soups by being clear, yet flavorful.

A lot of us at the table went for second helpings, myself included…and I’m not even a fan of soup.

yamazaki single malt whisky

I love the single malt whisky that was offered too – had a dram each of Yamazaki 12 y/o and a The Glenrothers Select Reserve. I preferred the latter, despite the novelty of drinking a Japanese single malt whisky – it had more character and complexity.

yam seng

Here’s the obligatory table-to-table yam seng session!

kim gareth hb

…and a photo with the (real) bride and groom at the end. Hope you have a wonderful life ahead together, Kim and Gareth! :)

Timothy and Audrey’s Up Themed Wedding in Penang

up wedding

I just came back from Penang! Tim and Aud had their Up themed wedding last night, on the 28th of July 2012 – a date I’m sure will be plenty significant to them for the rest of their lives. :)

up themed wedding

The wedding was held at Straits Quay Convention Center and the place was done up really nicely according to the theme. I really liked the floating house held up by balloons.

tiah couple

It’s actually pretty cool to have a theme like that – there were helium balloons everywhere like in the animated film Up.

tim aud wedding dinner

The food was catered from E&O Hotel and I found the first dish with the ostrich meat really good. Also on the wedding dinner menu is the signature E&O Pe Pa Duck. Gotta love the wedding favors – it’s a mini jar of honey that says “Meant to Bee Together”.

aud tim wedding

I really liked how the couple looks so happy in this photo while pouring champagne.

timothy audrey wedding penang

It’s pretty much like a fairytale wedding in that everything was fascinating and wondrous to behold, since there were bright colors everywhere.

tim aud hb

Congratulations Mr and Mrs Tiah! Here’s to an adventure of a lifetime and may you both grow old loving each other for a thousand years! ;)

Polly’s wedding in Tangkak, Johor

polly

Polly had her wedding last Sunday and I drove 1 ½ hours (yes, it really is that near) down from KL with my girlfriend, Cherry and Susan in tow to get to Tangkak, Johor on Saturday to attend the festivities.

prep

My girlfriend was one of the sisters (ji mui) and after a night’s rest at a guesthouse the bride was kind enough to arrange for us, we arrived at Polly’s place at around 7 am to eat breakfast and start the preparations.

breakfast

There was chicken rice, buns and other stuff and we had to eat rather quickly since the groom’s delegation was due to arrive soon.

stuff

Padlocks galore to prevent entry.

water

There was also this drink of prayer paper being burnt into water – it’s supposed to bring peace and harmony and I took a sip, despite being agnostic in my beliefs. It’s a Buddhist custom.

arrival

As tradition goes, the groom and his entourage of cars came amidst a lot of honking to announce their presence.

sisters

They disembarked at the front gate for the “sisters” (female friends of the bride) to grill the “brothers” (male friends of the groom) – this usually involves various stages which the brothers will have to go through in order for the groom to get to the bride.

gate

The sisters act as a gatekeeper of sorts – asking the brothers to perform a multitude of tasks before being allowed deeper and deeper into the house.

panties

This is a Hong Kong custom and I’m told it’s supposed to make the groom more appreciative of the bride due to the obstacles he has to go through to get her.

soybean

I remember faces being painted with makeup, drinks of Guinness with a raw egg inside (which is pretty delicious actually), and panties being put on by the groom’s band of brothers before they get into the house.

It was all in good fun…

…for all parties involved.

yoga

There was also a lot of interesting yoga poses that they have to perform before being allowed entry.

makeup

The brothers got back at the sisters after that by hiding all their shoes. smirk

bride

The groom finally gets to the bride! *applause

tea

Anyway, the customary tea giving ceremony to the elders were performed at the bride’s place and at the groom’s place.

siesta

This took quite a while and sent us to three different places and we convened back at the groom’s place where the bride throws the flowers.

bouquet throwing

The bouquet of flowers somehow landed in Cherry’s hands.

cherry

Heh!

flowers

I also appropriated the flowers for a bit of camwhoring.

I like this mish mash of Eastern and Western traditions though when it comes to my wedding, I think I’ll forgo most of it in lieu of a more private ceremony at a beach or the highlands with an outdoor wedding ceremony.

us

There was a break after that before the lunch wedding reception so we took the opportunity to go back and take a 1 hour nap before showering and heading out again.

reception

I was quite sleep deprived and needed the shut eye since we’re driving down straight after the wedding reception.

guests

The lunch wedding reception was held at Bangunan Persatuan Eng Choon – a meeting halls of sorts. There’s a lack of restaurants with the capacity to fit the people invited in Tangkak since it’s a small town.

group

The bride and groom already had another wedding in Penang prior to this. It’s not uncommon to have multiple weddings due to relatives – my sister had 3 – one in New Zealand, one in KL and one in Sibu.

table

We were seated at a table labelled “Diploma Friends”. I don’t know Polly personally, she’s Jeanie’s friend and I guess that makes me the chauffeur cum +1 in this entire shebang. ;)

fruits

The first dish was refreshingly different. I mean that literally. It was a hot afternoon and the lychee, grapes and pineapple chunks on a bed of ice inside a hollowed out pineapple really did the trick.

sampler

There is also the more traditional “sampler” first dish. I think there’s a name to it, usually “Four Seasons” or something to that effect but I like to call it a sampler dish coz it comes in a smorgasbord of small servings. I like the unorthodox century eggs and peanuts in this dish. The satay was good and so was the cuttlefish.

pork

The next dish is a combination of pork, yam and sea cucumber braised in dark sauce. It’s really good as well.

shark fin soup

Of course, there’s the customary shark fin’s soup after that. I like the generous servings of shark’s fin inside – you can literally see the huge chunks in each bowl.

sharks fin

Here you go! I know a lot of people are against shark’s fin, but I’m neither a tree hugger or an environmentalist wannabe, I eat just about anything – my previous culinary adventures can be a testament to that. ;)

billionare

Polly works at a records company and she got this famous local singer to come and perform at the wedding reception. I don’t know his name but my girlfriend told me he’s the one who sang the Hokkien song “If I had a billion dollars”. No, not the “I wanna be a billionaire” song currently on the airwaves, this is old skool stuff.

He did a parody of other well known Chinese artists and I can’t get most of his references coz I don’t listen to that genre of music but it was quite entertaining.

prawns

During the interlude, there came a dish of prawns – it’s done in a yin yang presentation, with half of it being deep fried butter prawns topped with mayo and the other fried in hot sauce.

cheers

I preferred the butter prawns and it was so crunchy that you can eat the entire thing, head and tail. At least that’s how I eat my prawns. A lot of people are surprised that I can eat the entire thing without shelling. I guess it’s equal part laziness and having a taste for the shell – I think it tastes better whole.

fish

Another must have dish during weddings is fish – this is a steamed fish which I can’t identify. However, I really liked the soft texture and the sauce that it was done with. I like this kind of fish, I don’t know when I started liking fish, since I never used to as a kid, same with vegetables.

suckling pig

…then came the best dish of the wedding reception. This is hands down is the most delicious thing that I had that day. It’s roasted suckling pig.

pig

I like the thinly sliced crispy skin and the BBQ sauce served under it. The presentation is really awesome too – you can clearly see that the entire pig has been served.

tongue

The tongue of the sucking pig was something I had to work very hard to get. I like the taste of tongue – you can find canned versions of it but the best thing is to eat it fresh in England or Australia.

chicken

There were a lot of dishes that day – this is paper wrapped chicken. It’s cooked inside wrapping to produce meat that literally melts in your mouth. It’s tender and all the flavors are preserved due to the cooking method.

ham

I couldn’t eat very much after that but there was a serving of sliced abalone, ham, broccoli, mushrooms and a rare (and expensive) type of seafood that I don’t know the name of. It’s chewy and it tastes like clams.

ice cream

The final dish was rather unique as well – it’s ice cream! I found that it suits the weather rather well. We saw one person eating it with chopsticks and another eating it with a soup spoon at another table. Jeanie thought it was pretty funny and I took several photos of me doing it as well.

chopsticks

When in Tangkak…

spoon

…do as the Tangkak-ians do.

newlyweds

Cheers to the newlyweds!

grooms

All the best in all your future endeavors! :)

couple

I really enjoyed this experience and though I was just about nodding off on the drive back, a quick pit stop and an energy drink resolved that.

wedding

It was a really fun weekend and a good opportunity to meet the girlfriend’s friends. :D

Wilson and Eileen’s wedding

firecracker

Wilson and Eileen just had their wedding on the 8th of February. I got a call early in the morning asking for their “Firecracker Sifu”. In case you didn’t know I’m now working at I-Concept Event Agency – official job designation being as above.

I’m kidding – that’s Jeanie’s brother’s events company (look for Willie) – I’m just helping out. ;)

The preparation

flowers

I was at Jeanie’s place the day before the wedding to help out with miscellaneous stuff and prepare for the rehearsal. Eileen (the bride) is Jeanie’s younger sister and since I didn’t have anything better to do, I thought I might drop by and see if I could be of some use.

preparation

I spent most of the time stripping artificial flowers and using wire to make a hook and wrap around before setting it into foam.

break

It was quite fun working with pliers and I think I managed to do a decent job out of it (at least it was better than my attempts in wrapping a flower bouquet). You’ll have to ask Wendy (the youngest sister) though – she was the one directing everything.

work

The rehearsal was at the church not too far from their place so after a bit of a rush to meet the 3 pm deadline we packed up and headed over to transform the place of worship into a suitable place for the wedding service the next day.

rehearsal

We managed to wrap everything up by 5:30 pm although there were a couple of mistakes which you wouldn’t know unless you know where to look. smirk

The groom cometh

firecrackers

Jeanie woke me up at some Godforsaken hour the next day and I rushed over to fulfil my obligations as the firecracker master. ;) I quite like this job actually, nothing much to it except stringing up the Chinese firecrackers and lighting it.

The first string of firecrackers was set up on a pole beside the gate to be lit when the groom comes with his entourage and a second one was setup after everyone was inside to usher the groom and bride’s car out.

noodles

As one of the first to arrive, I quickly had a bowl of chicken soup and mee sua (longevity noodles) – a tradition in all Chinese weddings. You’re supposed to eat an egg too.

bride

The day started out proper with the “brothers” (friends of the groom) and “sisters” (friends of the bride) ritual. I think this is a Hong Kong tradition – the heng tai (brothers) have to gain entry into the bride’s house by completing a series of tasks thought up by the zhee mui (sisters).

brothers

This one wasn’t too bad – I once had to eat noodles generously doused with wasabi at my friend’s wedding. In any case, these things are supposed to be light hearted and fun. :)

respects

The bride and groom then proceeds to a lengthy process of paying respects to their elders. I learned that only married elders qualify since Jeanie is older than Eileen but isn’t married so the newlyweds didn’t bow three times to her. On the plus side, she didn’t have to give away any jewelry to the bride after the ceremony. Heh!

group

This is a shot with the cousins and sisters.

chillax

Meanwhile, I was just lounging around with Jeanie while all this was going on until the entourage headed off to church at 9 am…

car

…ushered by firecrackers of course.

smoke

The church service

service

*cue wedding song

This was held at Tien Dau church – a stronghold of Christian Heng Huas. I was seated at the front row along with the bride’s side of the family – the only non-family member parking his ass there. ;) I didn’t know anyone so Jeanie told me to just sit beside her.

church

There was the obligatory exchange of vows…

blessing

…followed by a sermon by the pastor about love and marriage.

choir

There was even a delegation from Miri who sang a song in the church (both the bride and groom are based there).

register

Anyway, there was a very organized photo session with the bride and groom after that and I realized I didn’t qualify for any of the categories. I can’t properly say I’m friends with the bride since I’ve known her all of 3 days so I decided to wait for the rather promising “Others”.

photo

It turns out that “Others” were also subdivided into groups of people of which none I can identify with so I just took a photo with them after the church service. This is actually rather hilarious, it became sort of an in-joke between us. smirk

The lunch reception

lunch

This was held at Joystar Garden – they booked the entire restaurant on top and it was buffet style but since I was sitting at the table with the newlyweds, someone actually brought the dishes to our table so we didn’t have to line up for the buffet. Heh!

janet

Oh! I also met Janet here while I was off getting plates. I saw her later at night at the wedding reception too. Hello Janet! :)

The interlude

makeup

I went home and passed out for about two hours before heading over to Jeanie’s house to pick some of them up for dinner. She was still getting her makeup done at that time and I think we were one of the last to arrive. I was driving her sister (Wendy, the younger one) and her boyfriend too so it’s a good thing we made it in time.

The dinner banquet

dinner

The wedding dinner was held at RH Hotel – same place my sister had her Sibu leg of the wedding a couple of years back.

They’re known for their first dish presentation – it’s changed a bit routine wise but it’s still the “lights out, dishes in” song and dance.

food

I really liked the customized wine bottles on the table too.

wine

This is Wilson and Eileen – the man (and woman) of the night.

Jeanie forfeited her place at the main table to sit with me and soon after that the bride and groom made their appearance.

jeanie

There were ballet performances and other entertainment before some people took to the stage and started singing – including Jeanie and Willie – the brother and sister of the bride.

singing

Congratulations to the newlyweds Wilson and Eileen!

end

May you both have the happy-ever-after and all that. :)

newlyweds

BTW, I ate an ENTIRE fish that night. There were leftovers and I took home a whole fish coz I love soy sauce steamed fish. In hindsight, it was quite a feat to finish it all by myself. smirk

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