Sunday, August 30, 2009

Merdeka 2009

The country has been getting some bad press lately. Some warranted, well mostly warranted, some not. It is unpleasant to hear of negativity in our country on any day. To have these distasteful events occur so close to Merdeka augments the bad taste, particularly when we should be celebrating our Independence Day as a united, tolerant, harmonious people.

I am not going to dwell on the bad, instead, I am going to focus on the good. I came across the photo of these multi-cultural cupcakes in Su’s blog this morning and asked her permission to reproduce it here. It is so heartening to see that those of us who are youthful in mind, body and spirit still hold to the belief that our diversity should be embraced and fostered. We are often more broadminded, worldly. We celebrate our differences and realise that these dissimilarities are our strength as a people. We are able to understand and complement one another.

As Malaysia rejoices on its 52nd birthday tomorrow, I remain optimistic that our diverse country will continue to evolve in more good ways, rather than the contrary. Selamat Hari Merdeka!

Photo courtesy of Delectable By Su.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Trying To Be Green

No one reminds me more of being kind to the environment than my cousin San. He is the poster-boy of the 'green movement' in the family. I don't normally engage in a conversation with San on the issues of conservation, pollution, animal rights and the like, as I am guilty of many sins. I do however pay attention to what he says in passing from time to time, take note and consider the circumstances. And in most instances, what he says makes sense.

I have a long way to go when it comes to 'being green' but I suppose some of my cultivated habits are positive signs that I am heading in the right direction. When staying at a hotel, I do not leave the air-condition running when I leave the room for the day; I re-use towels instead of getting them replenished and I use the same sheets throughout my stay. I decline plastic bags if I am able to carry my purchases in my hands or in my messenger bag. I do not order shark's fin soup when I am hosting a dinner but I am a respectful guest and will not complain if my host orders the dish.

On a lighter note, I am also appreciating the little things that we sometimes take for granted. A beautiful sunset, a clear cerulean sky, breaking waves, mist over a tropical rainforest in the early hours of the morning ... you get my drift.

Photo of a tiny, tiny orchid shot at Mount Kinabalu National Park, Sabah.

Friday, August 28, 2009

A Daydream A Day

The thing about going back to work after a holiday is that you wish you were still on holiday. The 1st day back is always the worst for me as a pile of paperwork often awaits. The thought of having to sift through the orders, contracts, invoices, vouchers and the like, snaps me back to reality-mode almost instantly.

Whilst I am pretty good at getting back into the groove of things work wise, the mind still wanders from time to time, re-living some of the happy moments of the most recently concluded trip.

I have been advised that the best remedy for the glum is to start planning the next holiday. In the meantime, I will rely on my sister Suk Harn's relatively new blog. Named Suk Harn's Perspectives, a new photo is uploaded on a daily basis, showcasing some of the places where she has had the good fortune of traveling to. For me, these photos are a means for a quick daydream, catalysts to help maintain our happy state-of-mind.

Photo of Glenelg in South Australia, courtesy of Wong Suk Harn.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Eileen And Richard

Those of us in the wedding industry sometimes get jaded after having attended one too many a wedding. More often than not, attending a wedding also means working the event. It is therefore a welcome change when we get to be present as guests, more so when it is the wedding of a good friend and fellow industry colleague.

Love, respect, hope and the power of friendship are what I came away with from Eileen and Richard’s wedding last evening at Kayumanis Nusa Dua, Bali. The love that brought both these individuals together as one, the respect they devoted to their parents, the hope that we all get to experience love of this magnitude in our lifetime, the mutually affectionate friendships that all of us share with the bride and groom, these were the affirmative vibes that permeated the atmosphere of the casual yet poignant wedding.

As I reflect on last night’s celebration, one particular thought stands out, and that is, those of us who are wedding practitioners are very much enthusiastic guests. We revel in the joyful mood, we make it a point to dress in accordance to the theme, we are game and participate when a good-natured situation arises. In short, we embrace the celebration, having as much fun as both the bride and groom have, being catalysts to a successful fete that both the newlyweds have planned so hard for. Here’s to the both of you, Eileen and Richard!

Photo shot on the beach at Kayumanis Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia.

Monday, August 24, 2009


I am in Bali. Eileen and Richard’s wedding is tomorrow but I’ve already been here for 3 days, on this 5th trip of mine to the island of the Gods. Bali is one of those few places where I feel totally relaxed once I hit the tarmac after disembarking. The spirituality of the people and the vast beauty of its landscapes arouse one’s positive outlook on life. Leticia, Tjun Hong, Debra and I have been spending time hitting the streets of Kuta, visiting the cultural heartland that is Ubud and appreciating the rice terraces of Tegalalang from our perch at the Rice Teras Café, the latter bestowing us with one of the most magnificent views I have set my eyes on. We’ve left the bride and groom to last minute preparations, and we look forward to meeting up with the rest of the Malaysian troupe, in particular Desmond, Cindy, Carolyn and Yeh who arrive today.

For me, a holiday is very much about experiences. Admiring the sunset on crowded, world-famous Kuta beach allows one to marvel at the multi-coloured hues of the sky, sharing the moment with total strangers united in awe of something we take for granted everyday. Relaxing with a Balinese massage refreshes the tired mind, rejuvenates the battered body and revitalises the weary soul. Communing with good friends over meals at restaurants with unsurpassed ambience enhances the sojourn.

And at the end of the day, in the stillness of the night, floating in the tranquil waters of the pool, looking up into the starlit sky, one can’t help but make a wish upon a star for all things good, whether it be for health, love, career or the opportunity to return to this island time and again. Bali instills in me the spirit of optimism, that there are always better things to look forward to, better encounters to cherish, better relationships to nurture. And that kind of outlook is what all holidays should inspire.

Photo shot at Rice Teras Café, Tegalalang, Bali, Indonesia.

Friday, August 21, 2009

It Is Better To Give Than To Receive

This evening, we gave away RM105,000 worth of wedding prizes, all contributed by industry colleagues from the 'weddingsmalaysia family'. 16 deserving couples were the lucky recipients by virtue of being winners of the 'A Virtual Treasure Hunt : An Online Search For Wedding Goodies' contest, co-organised by weddingsmalaysia and Chocolate Mousse.

I believe that when I say 'it is better to give than to receive', I speak on behalf of my fellow sponsors who were present at the finale at Covershots. The camaraderie that is always evident between our group of industry colleagues was again on display as we wholeheartedly congratulated each and every one of the 16 couples who made it a point to dress for the occasion and who had to undergo a Q&A session with our 3 judges from the Association Of Wedding Professionals. Their efforts in hunting for more than 50 answers in the online contest clearly paid off.

To the 50 or so prize sponsors, I say 'thank you'. Collaborative initiatives such as this is what makes the work so enjoyable, and to see that we have collectively contributed to the wedding plans of 16 couples is very much testament to our motto of 'making dream weddings a reality'. Cheers.

Photo of clock at Covershots, Petaling Jaya.

To Reciprocate

To reciprocate is a practice that I hold in high regard. If people treat you well, then treat them well in return. A simple notion, isn’t it? I try to do this, though I don’t always succeed, but by and large, I think I do pretty well, putting others first, albeit only for those who are deserving.

It is on this premise that I made the effort to round up a few friends to celebrate Danny’s birthday over dinner 2 nights ago. The ‘Cesar Ritz’ gang – originally consisting of Danny, Phoebe, Patricia, Faizol and I; now including Sonya, Faizol’s other half – tries to celebrate one another’s birthday every year. We keep it intimate, just the few of us, probably because conversation flows much more freely among friends who share a common bond. The only one missing? Patricia who is now living in Brisbane. Still, we have a good time and include her in our thoughts.

Now, if only every one of our friends, if only everyone that we deal with at work, subscribed to the ideal of reciprocating. It would certainly make our lives so much more rewarding, so much less stressful and our relationships so much more gratifying. So, have you done a good deed for someone deserving lately?

Photo of (L to R) Phoebe, Wesley, Chloe, Sonya, Danny, Faizol and Kris at Alexis in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


These 2 gowns have been generating quite a bit of buzz lately for That Special Occasion. Designed by my colleague Louisa, they were specially created for the launch of The Wedding Planners in Cambodia earlier this month. I gave her a free hand. My only criteria were that they should make an impression on our potential clients in Phnom Penh where the launch was held, reflect the deft touches of her Parisian training and showcase the simplicity and sophistication expected of a That Special Occasion gown. Such benchmarks I felt would then make it easier for The Wedding Planners to market our services to their potentially high-end Cambodian clientele.

Having not been at the event personally, I rely on feedback from my fellow industry colleagues who made the trip there, and all have been positive. Apparently, both Louisa and the gowns received rave reviews from the Cambodian guests and media alike. Now back in Kuala Lumpur, the gowns have also drawn admirable glances from brides-to-be who visit our design studio.

I believe in giving credit where credit is due. Louisa met the challenge I entrusted her with much success. I hope that these designs will adorn some of our local brides soon.

Photo courtesy of Bonnie Yap Wedding Photography.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

White Water Rafting

I had my first taste of white water rafting a couple of years ago when my friend Danny and I headed to Kiulu during one of my trips to Kota Kinabalu. This time round, I went down the same river again with another group of friends. We had initially planned to do either Padas or Liwagu but plans for both were thrown out the window because of time constraints.

Rain the evening before meant that water levels would be higher and we were in for an exhilarating time. Being terribly sunburnt from island hopping 2 days earlier, I also felt the cold water would do my skin some good! The thing about taking on a not-too-challenging river is that one gets to enjoy it more I reckon. There is less pressure, there are opportunities for silly antics during languid stretches, and we also get to appreciate the scenery more.

On a more serious note, white water rafting is one of those activities that reinforces one's belief that teamwork is paramount in many aspects of our daily lives. We rely on one another to keep us safe, we encourage each other to keep pushing forward, we ultimately achieve an aspiration together as one. Food for thought no?

Photo shot at Kiulu, Sabah.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Eco-Tourism Convert

Most of my friends would know that lazing by the beach doing nothing is my kind of holiday. And they would also know that I am not one who fancies trekking in the forest, camping or anything that is devoid of creature comforts that much. About the only adventure-type activity that I enjoy is white-water rafting, probably because I have an affinity to water. Well, my friends and I are heading off to Kiulu tomorrow for a bout of rafting and it's something that I have been looking forward to this whole trip.

I surprised myself somewhat today by thoroughly enjoying the treks we did at Mount Kinabalu National Park. Some of the lookout points were great photo opportunities and we had a good time preening and posing for the cameras, totally in touristic fashion. Surprising was the fact that I took interest in the flora and fauna, listening to the rangers where normally I would just wander off rather than paying attention to the knowledge being imparted. I have some beautiful photos as evidence!

I suppose one gets inspired and fascinated when surrounded by such beauty. My previous trips to Sabah have always been centred around Kota Kinabalu and its many beach resorts. Today was a departure from the norm. I tagged along, as 'majority wins' when traveling in a group. I have my friends to thank for perhaps initiating the eco-tourism convert in me.

Photo of Ken Lin, Elsie, Yean Mun and I shot at Mount Kinabalu National Park, Sabah.

Back Together On Holiday

You know a friendship is strong when after not having been on holiday together for more than 10 years, you still hit it off and do not get on each other's nerves. I'm on holiday with 3 of my friends from my undergraduate days at The Flinders University Of South Australia. We are in fact in Kota Kinabalu and the trip is to commemorate our friendship that has spanned 2 decades. We were supposed to be a clique of 6 but only 4 of us are making this celebratory trip. Still, it is rather quite an accomplishment considering that we have barely been in regular touch for the past few years.

So far, we have island-hopped to Sapi and Manukan and got sunburnt in the process, pink as lobsters we are. We have trekked at Mount Kinabalu National Park and marveled at nature's bounty, luckily for us including the Rafflesia, not only 1 but 2. We have witnessed sunsets that only Kota Kinabalu can accord. We have feasted on the freshest of seafood and sampled much of the local fare. But what really makes this holiday meaningful is just spending time together with those whom we came-of-age with. The transitional years from teenager to adult are etched in my mind and these friends of mine - Ken Lin from Penang, Yean Mun from Petaling Jaya and Elsie from Hong Kong (I know that Ken Bin and Cordelia would have joined us too if they could have) - form most of my memories of that chapter in my life. And whilst we may not be as close as we were before, they will always remain part of who I am.

Holidays always pass too quickly. We are midway through ours. We have had a wonderful time up to now, but realisation will soon set in that we will be parting ways again in 2 days. We will of course say how much we enjoyed our time together, which is true, wish each other well and promise to keep in touch more often. I will try to keep my end of the bargain and I hope my friends will too. Friendships like these do not come by easily and they certainly ought to be cherished.

Photo shot at the jetty on Pulau Sapi, Sabah.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Facing The Facts

As a self-financed entrepreneur, I encounter many of the same challenges that my industry colleagues come face to face with on a daily basis. For the most part, we creative-types are not known for being very disciplined, particularly in the areas of administration and finance, and to a certain extent marketing, even legalities. Many run their enterprises off-the-cuff, and whilst this may be exciting at the onset, troubles brew when the business starts to grow.

So many make the proclamation 'I am an artist. I am so bad at management.' Acknowledging this shortcoming is a positive step, but the question that begs to be asked is 'Are you doing anything about it?' If one is lousy at managing one's business, then get help, ask for it. Worst case scenario? Denial. Failure to see and admit that one has mismanaged one's own business venture, run it to the ground, and blaming everyone else for it. These are extreme examples of course but it is important to realise the severity of such possible situations in order to avoid being drawn into such a downward spiral.

Suffice to say, we are all not perfect creatures, capable of being good at everything. But we must at least be willing to seek knowledge that we lack, attempt to improve in areas which we are lacklustre at and solicit assistance when the circumstances warrant it. Any little knowledge that we gain can go a long way if we put it to good use, any modest improvement in managing our daily tasks can make a constructive difference when taken as a whole, and any little help that we get can lift our spirits and keep us encouraged. Let's face it, no one ever said running a business would be easy but we are all the better for it having taken this path in our lives, don't you think?

Image of

Boarding School

I seem to be doing good in making it a point to keep in touch with those I went to school with. Ching, Ken Bin, David and I attended Immanuel College in Adelaide, the latter 3 of us as boarding students in Year 12. I have always been in contact with the guys; I was even bestman at Ken Bin's wedding more than 10 years ago whilst David and I meet for coffee whenever our schedules permit. Come to think of it, I was also bestman at Ken Bin's brother, Ken Lin's wedding ... but I digress. As for Ching, I haven't seen her in a few years although we've been in touch on and off.

As luck would have it, plus a little bit of effort on all our parts, we all made it to dinner last night at Ken Bin's recently opened cafe, The Olive Tree. Theoretically, it shouldn't really be that difficult for us to meet, since we all live about 10 to 15 minutes' drive from each other. However, it's the complacency that gets in the way at times. Not last night though, and we had a blast musing over some of the fond memories of our days at Immanuel - morning wake-up calls, trips to the city on Friday afternoons, the dinner and dance (OMG ... some of the photos in Facebook; 'nuff said!), the Vegemite incident (does this ring a bell Paul Jericho, Tom Brown?), and many others.

Those were carefree days and don't we sometimes wish we could re-live some of those treasured moments? For me, the happy memories are meant to be cherished and laughed over from time to time. They are the foundations of our happy state-of-mind. What we should always strive to do really, is to harness the happy thoughts and channel them towards creating similar days ahead.

Photo (from L to R) of Ching, Ken Bin, yours truly and David at The Olive Tree, Petaling Jaya.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Comfort Zone

I rarely venture out of my comfort zone on my off-days, which means I usually hang around in the vicinity of PJ and the Lake Club. Yesterday was a little different. 2 reasons. The 1st - I had to go get a 'house gift' for a friend whom I will be putting up with in Kota Kinabalu this weekend. Another friend of mine, Kay, had introduced me to this chic homefurnishing/interior design store called Peter Hoe, which is located on the 2nd floor of Lee Rubber Building in Petaling Street. Kay has an eye for designer-wares and he is a good reference point when one is looking for something stylish. The 2nd reason - a long overdue lunch date with Yoke Choo, a friend and colleague of mine during my days up in Genting. Yoke Choo works in Maybank, not too far from Petaling Street. So voila, I decided to 'kill 2 birds with 1 stone' so to speak.

I probably haven't ventured into Petaling Street in years, even a decade perhaps. The variety of food and drink, the hustle and bustle of street vendors plying their goods, the throngs of tourists, the sights and sounds really, all these were a feast for the senses. A little over an hour is not sufficient to fully appreciate the allure, complexity and charm of Petaling Street. As I told my friend Yoke Choo after a lunch of 'char kway teow' and 'air mata kucing', I will make it a point to come back for a more thorough experience.

What all this boils down to is the fact that when we venture out of our comfort zone, we sometimes get to savour new experiences, or at least get re-acquainted with experiences of the past that have somewhat been altered by contemporary influences. Whatever the case may be, these are the encounters that keep life interesting, reminding us not to stop dead in our tracks, but rather to embrace what the world has to offer, no matter how trivial, no matter how significant.

Photo depicting the long queue at the renowned Air Mata Kucing stall, Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Industry Insights

Kid Chan, founder of Kid Chan Studio, a featured industry partner at The Wedding Hub was to have presented a workshop on 'How To Choose A Wedding Photographer' for soon-to-be-married couples yesterday afternoon. Unfortunately, a bad habit of some Malaysians - RSVP yes but don't show up - reared its ugly head, and the audience in the end comprised mainly of industry colleagues. What was a loss to couples became a gain for our fellow wedding professionals, as Kid, ever the optimist, decided to instead speak on his journey as a wedding photographer from the modest inception of his business to his present-day success, and shared ideas with new entrants into the industry on how to bring their business aspirations to fruition.

The session soon evolved into one of a discussion on the prospects of the industry in the immediate future. Our friends from Bridal Glam, TrulyScrumptious!, Wicked Wax & Craft, Classic & Vintage, Asha Carlos Photography and yours truly all offered views and opinions, encouraging each other to better ourselves in our pursuit of the goals we have set out to attain.

Here's to a motivated bunch!

Photo of Kid speaking to friends in the industry.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


I attended a birthday party on Friday night. Birthdays always get me thinking, especially when one gets older. I don't dread it when the yearly milestone comes-a-knocking, but I've been rather less enthusiastic about celebrating the occasion the past few years. The usual dinners with friends are commonplace but I've yet to experience the kind of excitement that once was part of my birthday celebrations. Perhaps next year. Anyways, enough about me.

The party 2 nights ago was clearly an enjoyable one though for the birthday boy. The smile says it all I believe. Couple that with a great-looking outfit and a huge dash of charisma, such zest rubs off on party guests to a certain extent. It takes a lot of work to make everyone feel welcome, relaxed and part of the party, and for the birthday boy to have to do that instead of the other way round considering it is his special day after all, speaks volumes of the value of the invite. I always maintain that friendships need to be cultivated when newly formed and nurtured along the way, and a birthday bash is definitely an occasion not to be missed.

I came away from the party with renewed hope. That so many of Alex's friends turned up to celebrate with him; that Alex played the part of a perfect host with aplomb. In a sense, the occasion was a true testament of the bonds of friendship that can be fostered, when the necessary effort is taken. Perhaps I'll take that enthusiasm with me till my own birthday next year!

Photo of cupcakes by A Slice Of Heaven.

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Wedding Planners In Phnom Penh

News hot off the press! Believe it or not, this weekend will see Phnom Penh inundated by a group of wedding practitioners from Malaysia. The brainchild of Eileen of Nupts & Such and Leticia of Events Wizard, their joint-effort The Wedding Planners will be launched tomorrow, Saturday, 8 August 2009, in Phnom Penh. The venue for the launch will be Restaurant 112, a classic French restaurant that I had the pleasure of dining at when I was there in June.

The who's who of high society in Phnom Penh will be attending I am told, including the Princess of Cambodia. No doubt there will be extensive media coverage, and it will be a good opportunity to showcase some of Malaysia's best wedding talents. Eileen and Leticia have amassed a reputable group of industry colleagues under The Wedding Planners banner, and these include Acadia Card, Angelina Skelchy, Angie Ng Makeup & Hair, Beauty Haven, Bonnie Yap Wedding Photography, Chocolate Chapters, Creativelines, Doodle Studio, Edmund Tham Photography, MDT Music Enterprise, Michelle Touche, Rintis Images, That Special Occasion, Wicked Wax & Craft, Wondrous Vision, Xocolati and Zach Chin Photography. I am happy to note that a vast number of them are part of the weddingsmalaysia family.

A contingent will be flying off later today whilst a few have already arrived there. I unfortunately won't be going along as I've got clients to attend to here in KL this weekend. However, That Special Occasion will be well represented by my colleague Louisa. Paris-trained, perhaps her smattering of French may come in handy! Good luck everyone and have fun! Here's to a great start of your business venture in Cambodia.

Photo of Leticia and Eileen, courtesy of the Association Of Wedding Professionals.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Hair Crisis

After a few notably serious recent posts, thought I'd be a bit lighthearted this time round. I'm facing a small crisis, a hair crisis that is. You see, my hairstylist of the past few years, Shane, has scooted off to Australia in search of greener pastures. I used to pay Shane a visit at his salon, just a few roads away from my office in Desa Sri Hartamas once a month, plonk myself down on a chair and let him work his magic. I try to practise what I preach. As an editor, I have my viewpoint; as a designer, I have my aesthetic; and I always prefer that advertisers and clients allow me my creative freedom. Similarly, I believe in giving creative-types a freehand when I employ their services. My standard greeting to Shane - 'Do whatever you want with my hair'. My only criteria is that it not be too unorthodox so as to get me into trouble with security at RTM and not too expensive so as to burn a big hole in my pocket.

With Shane gone, I am in search of a new hairstylist. My modus operandi - just walk into a relatively swanky-looking (yes, I am shallow at times) yet affordable salon, ask for an artistic director or senior stylist, preferably the former rather than the latter (hmm, this makes me sound rather elitist), deliver my 'Do whatever you want with my hair' speech, and hope for the best. Tried 1 last month, OK but not so great. Tried another tonight, better than the last. Will see what comments my hair elicits before deciding whether to stick to number 2 or proceed to potential hairstylist number 3.

One thing is for sure, if you ever see me in a cap like what violinist-extraordinaire Dennis is wearing (not that there is anything wrong with Dennis' hair), you will know that my giving a freehand to a potential hairstylist has gone terribly wrong haha!

Photo of Dennis of Mosaic Music Entertainment and I shot at Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Biz Partner Anna

I miss my business partner Anna sometimes. I say sometimes because I am a very decisive person, and while she's been on sabbatical for almost 20 months now, I've been charging ahead with new projects with my usual gusto and at 5th-gear rate. Anna is a great partner as she gives me carte-blanche and the independence required to steer our ventures. I always consider myself very fortunate to be in business with someone who is on the same wavelength when it comes to loyalty, mutual trust and respect.

Whilst Hong Kong is not too far for occasional trips back home, we mainly rely on email and Facebook to keep in touch, with the occasional phone call when I need to vent. Anna is pretty good at sensing when such phone calls are necessary. We joke that she is my long distance shrink! 2 heads with thinking caps on are without a doubt better than 1. So, when I hit a bump business-wise, it is a relief to have someone to shoulder the burden, even if it's just through some words of encouragement.

Good thing is, I snap out of these gloomy spells rather quickly and before you know it, I am back at my usual frenetic pace. All this while knowing that Anna is just a phone call away.

Photo of That Special Occasion, floral decor courtesy of Arada Designs.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Olive Tree

Being loyal and supportive are traits that I value, whether in my work or in my personal life. 2 friends of mine recently ventured into the restaurant business. Having had some F&B experience from the days when I was working in the hospitality industry, I know firsthand what a challenge such a venture presents. I am not one to pour cold water on entrepreneurial endeavours; I offer my 2 cents of what I think the potential pitfalls are and then I try to provide support and encouragement as best I can.

Cordelia and Ken Bin's cafe - The Olive Tree - is located at Damansara Intan, next to the spanking new Tropicana City Mall. Just minutes from my home, I make it a point to drop in for a meal whenever my schedule permits, mostly with friends. These lunch-dates of mine will then have the opportunity to make up their own minds about whether it is worthwhile to make the cafe a regular haunt of theirs. Case in point, I was there for brunch earlier today with a friend. Both of us live within the vicinity, so suggesting we meet at The Olive Tree was a no brainer. From time to time, I also offer suggestions and ideas. Another case in point, I am friendly with the people behind The QGuides, so I try to link them up (for all you foodies out there, The QGuides is a website you should check out).

As with any new venture, moral support is vital. I hope whatever little efforts I have made and shall continue to make will in some small way contribute to its future success.

Photo of The Olive Tree.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Good Friends

It is always nice to know that friends are thinking of you. Danny, Phoebe and I have been friends since the early 1990s, when we first met in Switzerland as students and room-mates at L'Institut Hotelier 'Cesar Ritz' in Le Bouveret, a tiny village of only 700 people on the edge of Lake Geneva. A picture paints a thousand words so they say, and this photo says it all really. They were fun times.

So, the 3 of us go a long way back. I was bestman at their wedding, and now with a kid in tow, they never fail to keep in touch. Over dinner and coffee on most occasions, well actually dinner and durian earlier this evening, we would talk about the latest happenings in our lives. Danny, Director of Sales & Marketing at Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur keeps me updated on the happenings in the industry that I was once a part of whilst Phoebe, now a 'domestic goddess', shares tales of bringing up their son. They in turn take a keen interest in my work and my personal life, more so the latter I suspect!

What so great about this friendship of ours is that we are still as close as we were back then. We often reminisce about our road trips round Switzerland - Bern, Basel, Zurich, Thun, Interlaken, Leysin - which we hope to do again sometime in the future, when the finances permit. But in the meantime, we have tons of memories and photos to fall back on.

Photo of L'Institut Hotelier 'Cesar Ritz', courtesy of Cesar Ritz Colleges.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A Validation

For those of us working in the wedding industry, being selected by a peer to be part of his or her wedding team is a validation that speaks much of the calibre of work that we are capable of. It is a gesture that we appreciate as there is no validation greater than that given by an industry colleague. And it is on this premise that all of us at That Special Occasion wish to thank Jessie and Yoong for including us in the journey towards your big day in November.

I have been friends and business associates with Jessie of Xocolati for many years, and it was with great pleasure and delight that we undertook the task of creating her wedding attire - for the civil ceremony, pre-wedding photography and the upcoming wedding in a few months' time. All of us in the industry constantly hope that our clients will trust us and listen to our advice, and Jessie played the perfect client to the 'T'. After an initial consultation, she left everything to us really, confident that we will do our best to make her the most resplendent on all 3 occasions. Always punctual for fittings, with our fellow colleague Zach of Zach Chin Photography in tow from time to time, the process of creating her dress and gowns was a thoroughly enjoyable one.

The photograph here is of the happy couple after their civil registration at Thean Hou Temple in Kuala Lumpur. The stage is now set for the pre-wedding shoot and come November, we look forward to participating in what will certainly be a milestone in your lives. In the meantime, have fun at the shoot!

Photo courtesy of Jessie Yap.