Saturday, October 31, 2009


Twilight-vampire wannabe, Lady Gaga apparently, our host for the evening and a cross between Harry and Hermione - the team from That Special Occasion with Natasha from The Peak Xperience who hosted a halloween party in conjunction with the opening of her wedding gallery.

It takes quite an effort to dress according to a theme for a party. Luckily for me, Michelle, proprietor and makeup artist of Michelle Touche agreed to help me out. An hour was how long it took her to get me looking like this. I wonder how brides sit through their makeup and hair sessions, I was practically trying not to fidget after 10 minutes.

As they say, effort is always well rewarded. I had a great time at the party, and one only gets to really do so when one immerses oneself in the theme. I could have done more with the attire but having to work a full day, I guess sitting through the hour long makeup was effort enough. Thanks Michelle for getting me into the spirit and thanks Natasha for the party!

Photo shot at Natasha's Halloween party.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Pat On The Back

I seriously think all those involved in the Association Of Wedding Professionals Malaysia should give themselves a pat on the back - the outgoing committee, the incoming committee, members. It is a challenge running an organisation, what more a non-profit and an association that has had its share of skeptics and critics.

AWP celebrated its 1st anniversay today. As I reflect on how much I have contributed to the association, I find myself thinking 'adequate' but definitely not as much as some of my fellow committee members, past and present. It is a testament to the persevering nature of my colleagues at AWP that has enabled it to reach this milestone. The road has been bumpy to say the least. Getting the industry to support the association has not been easy, getting the fact across that the association does not 'belong' to its founding members even more confoundingly difficult. Members vote for office-bearers, plain and simple.

Whatever the case may be, and having given AWP a fair chance of proving its authenticity in its aspirations, I would draw this conclusion. It is about partnerships. It is about different vendors coming together, developing a certain level of trust amongst each other, nurturing credibility within the industry, and ultimately supporting one another in our business endeavours. To fully appreciate its objectives, one has to be open-minded, be willing to support its causes by contributing one's time and effort, be able to take criticism, be bold enough to give criticism and most importantly be confident enough to work as a team. Here's to a smoother ride in the year to come AWP! By the way, here is the Vice President's take on the day's celebrations.

Photo shot at AWP's 1st birthday bash.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


We come face to face with self-doubts every now and again. Life is not always a bed of roses, no matter how much we wish it would be. We just need to cast aside the negative thoughts, throw caution to the wind and look forward to the twists and turns that are part and parcel of life.

I was touched by this story. Bernard Lachance appeared in an episode of Oprah which I caught by chance.

Watch this first.

Then this.

And finally this.

Have self-belief. Here's looking at you!

Photo shot in Bali, Indonesia.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Holiday, Where Art Thou?

It’s that time of the year when we are closing next year’s issue of weddingsmalaysia. The 2010 edition will be our 5th issue and whilst we always contend that the work process will be smoother and easier to navigate, it never really is. Somewhere, somehow, something crops up that throws a spanner in the works.

Still, we soldier on. We take note of the errors, correct them. We acknowledge what is sub-par and elevate them. We receive last minute requests from advertisers, consider them and then politely remind them that deadlines are long gone. We check, counter-check and when we are finally as sure as we can be, the files are sent to the printer.

A huge weight is off our shoulders; for a while only. In a week or two, it will be time for the factory visit to inspect pages that have come off the press. And when all goes well, the pages will be collated, bound and the publication will be shipped to our distributor. And if all goes to plan, weddingsmalaysia 2010 will be in bookstores and newsstands early December. Come to think of it, I still haven’t decided on the cover ........ OMG! Definitely need a holiday soon.

Photo of Sapi in Sabah, Malaysia.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Chance Encounter

I first came upon the work of Anggun11 at a wedding fair recently. Their creativity caught my eye and I took a business card.

Fast forward a couple of weeks later and I initiated a meeting with the people behind the company to get a better foothold on the scope of services they offer. It's part of my job as the Editor-In-Chief of our wedding publications and it is rewarding when one meets industry colleagues who share a like-minded passion.

Introductory pleasantries aside, it is inspiring to gain insight into new ideas and visions. I look forward to future collaborations soon.

Photo of table setting by Anggun11, shot at the wedding fair at Hotel Nikko Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Last One Please

I am bummed that another friend has taken ill. The count over the past 2 months - 1 family member, 1 acquaintance and 1 friend.

Notice some of my recent posts on keeping healthy and embracing life? One can't help but be adversely affected to a certain extent when close ones are dealt a life-threatening blow. The only recourse though is to trust the doctors, believe in the medication, a change in diet, rest, maintain a positive attitude and have faith.

On the personal front, I've given up my favourite drink, ditched certain types of food and have gone organic in others. Weekly swims continue, sessions at the gym are now more regular and am trying extremely hard not to let the stress get to me. And of course, take everything in stride. C'est la vie.

Photo shot at Spa Bliss in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


These are stressful times. Don’t get me wrong, it’s all good. The peak wedding season is no joke, even for seasoned wedding industry practitioners. One can sense the frazzled nerves when one meets an industry colleague, albeit one who is popular.

Other than it being the season for weddings, there is also a compounding effect – last minute orders. With all the preaching we have done in our publications and portal, it seems hilarious at times to see brides or grooms for that matter, placing last minute bookings. Seems that our preaching may have landed on deaf ears.

Whatever the case may be, we are always happy to have orders. Whilst the stress level rises, we are encouraged when clients appreciate the effort. We are afterall in the service industry are we not?

Photo of my client Katherine, courtesy of Zach Chin Photography.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Embrace Life

The passing of well-known and beloved public figures often results in an outpouring of grief from those whose lives they have touched. This year alone – Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, our very own Yasmin Ahmad and most recently Stephen Gately. Sadness aside, there is also the wish to celebrate the lives of these celebrities who have passed on way too early.

They have touched us in many ways; through their artistry, passion, craft, their personal achievements and struggles, the latter sometimes to a greater effect as the difficulties that they too face humanises them, that despite the celebrity, like us, there are challenges that need to be overcome. More importantly, their premature passing teaches us one lesson. Life is unpredictable. We need to embrace life, do the things that we have always dreamt of doing but have put on hold. Travel. Contribute to a worthy cause. Cherish that marriage. Tell our families that we love them. Take the plunge and start that relationship. Learn a new skill. Turn a hobby into a career. The list may be long but let’s just start by checking them off one by one.

As for the photo, I concede that Tjun Hong and I will never be models. At least we had fun with our stylist and photographer, Debra and Leticia. And we did get the setting somewhat right!

Photo styled and shot by Debra and Leticia at The Oasis in Bali, Indonesia.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Good Deed On Deepavali

I was reading my friend Eileen's blogpost today where she questioned if she made a difference by feeding a street kid. My take on it? Every good deed makes a mark, no matter how small.

Most of us enjoy a relatively good life. We are sometimes guilty of excess. At other times, we are deserving of the excess. But every now and then, we come across situations that make us reflect on how we have been blessed and how others are lacking in the basic necessities that we often take for granted. The solution? Do a good deed.

A good deed makes a mark. It makes a difference, however slight. It touches someone's life. We just need to remember to do so more often. Happy Deepavali.

Photo courtesy of Wedding Story.

ROM Celebration

I attended the ROM wedding lunch of 2 good friends yesterday at The Dining Room of Carcosa Seri Negara. Departing from the norm, it was a small and intimate gathering of 17 people over good food and great company. A few things struck me.

Firstly, I was very honoured to be the select few who were invited. I think this speaks volumes of our friendship which I hope will be further strengthened over time. Secondly, the bridesman’s toast (no, you did not read wrong, the bride had a bridesman and 2 bridesmaids). In a nutshell, he spoke of how the newlyweds had met 17 years ago in high school and how he had waited for this day to finally arrive, and in the process took a swipe at all those cynics and skeptics; that true love does exist and a long-lasting relationship isn’t that difficult to commit to if taken seriously.

And finally, I believe all those who were so lucky to be present would have left with one thought in mind, that love is indeed something to be cherished for those coupled, and love is indeed something to look forward to for the singletons. Much congratulations to the new Mr and Mrs Loh. Can't wait for the wedding celebrations next year!

Photo of my place card and menu.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Moral Support

In our service-oriented wedding industry, loyal and encouraging industry friends are a boon. Whilst we compete with on another for a share of the pie, we also share expertise and most importantly inspire one another to greater heights.

Moral support is a gesture I appreciate. An industry friend who epitomises the spirit of offering moral support is Wendy. She always shows up at our events. She continues to do so even now, after having taken some time away from weddings.

Keeping in touch and being supportive lay the foundations for a strong relationship. We can count on one another for advice, feedback and help. We can have a laugh when the going gets tough, we can work towards a common aspiration when the circumstances permit. Such bonds take time to nurture , what are you waiting for?

Photo of Ivy, Wendy and I.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Be Healthy

I have had family and friends face health challenges. One thing that I have always believed is having an affirmative attitude when dealing with illness. Most of them say that a positive mindset plays an encouraging role in recovery.

When a family member or friend falls sick, it is important to rally. Finding a good balance between offering support and giving the patient space is a delicate process but well-meaning advice should be appreciated by the patient as well as care-givers.

It is during such times that one realises how lucky one is to be healthy. It also reminds us to take care of ourselves, eat healthy, exercise and have a happy outlook in life.

Photo shot at Mount Kinabalu National Park in Sabah, Malaysia.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Keeping A Secret

It is not easy keeping a secret. Especially when it involves 70 persons. My cousin Lynette was planning on surprising her mum, my Auntie Mary, with a birthday celebration, and boy did she succeed. Months of hushed discussions and imaginative strategies worked to perfection as the extended family and friends gathered at Passion Road yesterday afternoon for the tea party.

To say my aunt was surprised is an understatement. And that's when the organisers and cohorts get the biggest thrill. The icing on the cake? Great company, good food and a beautiful setting.

Being caught unawares aside, it is the thoughtfulness of family and friends that make such a celebration a memorable one. The care taken to plot, the cooperation extended by all the guests, the effort of having to take charge of the event as a whole, all these make the occasion meaningful.

Photo of Auntie Mary and family at Passion Road in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Newfound Respect

I have always maintained, and it is common knowledge, that whilst the wedding industry is a pretty big one, the practitioners are relatively close-knit. In doing what we do, we cannot operate alone. The nature of the business is such that we will have to cooperate and coordinate with fellow industry colleagues at some point or another, be it vendors, publishers or any party who has an interest in our line of work. Being petty and narrow-minded is therefore a silly attitude to adopt.

I have had my fair share of spats with those in our industry. But once we iron out our differences and an ‘olive branch of peace’ is accepted, we put the disagreement behind us and move forward. There is no reason why we cannot work together once we see eye-to-eye again. I can attest to this as I enjoy good working relationships with most, even those whom I previously had rows with.

I have newfound respect for a business associate who earlier this year approached me to collaborate, someone whom I did not always concur with. We agreed to put the past behind us and we have embarked on an alliance to promote each other’s services, bundled together. Things have been going well and a recent incident was proof that we can indeed develop good working relationships if we are loyal to one another, hold true to reciprocal principles and business ethics, and practise common decency. Do unto others what you would have others do unto you. I think that says it all really.

Photo of ring pillows by That Special Occasion.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


I have a reputation of being long-winded when praying at temples. Just ask my travel companions and most of them will tell you so. When on travels, I make it a point to stop by a temple if there is one in the vicinity. I also forewarn those traveling with me for the first time that it will take quite awhile; those who know of this trait of mine just wander off and have a look-see until I am done. I try not to take too long but I guess when one is praying, one has to be sincere. I also have a lot to ask for!

I don’t face such time constraints when in KL. I normally visit Thean Hou Temple on my own, and I am often done in half an hour. Wesak Day and Chinese New Year are exceptions. The throngs of crowd aside, there is much to pray for and many deities to pray to. The sense of spirituality amongst the worshippers gives rise to a sense of hope and well-being.

Incidentally, I also see no harm praying at any other house of worship. I have no qualms stepping into a church, mosque or Hindu temple to offer a silent prayer when the opportunity presents itself. I believe in the universal faith.

Photo of the Silver Pagoda in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


I think I have latent stress. I am not sure if such a condition even exists. Of late, I haven't had the need to vent frustration as often as I used to. I feel that I am being a bit more patient with my colleagues, be it at That Special Occasion or weddingsmalaysia. Basically, there hasn't been that many outward manifestations of stress.

Having said that, I nevertheless feel that I am not 100 per cent. Subconsciously, I suspect there is some worry, some stress-induced fatigue. Good thing is, I am recognising the warning signs; and will deal with them!

Perhaps that explains my sudden craving for sweets, conceivably an antidote for the covert stress that I am experiencing. I had a slice of blueberry pie with vanilla ice cream for dessert during lunch yesterday. And now? I could do with the berries and meringue concoction in the photo ........

Photo of dessert shot at Alexis Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Play On Words

I took this photo while walking along Jalan Legian in Seminyak or thereabouts in Bali. I love the play on words.

Every now and then, someone comes up to me and asks, 'How come you got so much to write? Got mags, got portal, now some more got blog.' I don't have a clear cut answer. My work and my personal life have become interwoven to a certain extent. At times I write as a form of expression, other times I need to write for the business. One common motivating factor? I enjoy it.

It's as simple as that really. Actually, I need to qualify that. It's simple when the thoughts flow freely, when the mind is relaxed and uncluttered. But I also have days when I hit a wall, which is when I spew totally uninspiring words. Fortunately, the former seems to be having the upper hand.

Photo shot along Jalan Legian in Bali, Indonesia.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Gleaning Ideas

I was at the Hotel Nikko Kuala Lumpur wedding fair yesterday. It is always an eye-opener when I get the opportunity to meet wedding vendors for the first time. I obtain a fresh perspective, learn a bit about new products and services available in the market, and more importantly, get the chance to be acquainted with a wider pool of industry professionals. It is also nice to catch up with old friends and share some news on the happenings in our lives and work.

As an editor, it is necessary to keep abreast of the latest developments and fairs such as this are a good avenue to glean new ideas. Friends from the industry often make fun in jest about my going round taking snapshots with my Canon IXUS. These images will at some point make it into either our wedding publications, portal or blog.

I also take the occasion to pick up on new trends propagated by the industry experts, evaluate the feasibility of implementing such concepts on a larger scale and then decide if they will make it into our editorial content.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


I like to stay at small boutique hotels when I travel. More often than not, they have character. Some are weather-worn, some have been refurbished and re-designed with a new, contemporary aesthetic while others have retained their original features despite having gone through a bit of sprucing up.

Travel magazines such as Travel & Leisure South East Asia and Destinasian as well as my trusty Lonely Planet guides are references from which I choose which property to stay at. Good reviews aside, I also place my decision on price and location. A relatively affordable and centrally-located hotel normally gets my vote. When I arrive, I revel in the good, overlook the lacklustre, kick back and chill.

Just thinking about such a possibility is a nice form of escapism.

Photo of room at Villa Langka in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Friday, October 2, 2009


There are some things that one just can't control, certain circumstances that are out of our hands, and all that we can really do is have a little faith that everything will turn out alright.

A positive attitude, good eating habits and regular exercise are what's required when one hits a snag when it comes to health. The support of family and friends is also vital to keep one in an affirmative frame of mind.

For those so inclined, prayer helps too.

Photo captured in Tirta Empul in Tampaksiring, Bali, Indonesia.