Seven years ago today, on 10.11.01, Eugene and I got married at his family's church in Klang. What I remember about our wedding and the days leading up to it:
Our parents meeting for the first time over dinner at our reception venue and getting a preview of the place. It was a pleasant and cordial dinner with slight awkwardness which was to be expected. Eugene and I had fun playing 'intermediaries'. I remember wearing a black dress for the dinner.
Getting fitted for the wedding dress, getting trial make-up and hair do. Time-consuming yet exciting but I doubt I'd want to go through anything like that again! I'm not the type to sit in a salon for hours to get dolled up.
Getting caught in a terrible traffic jam in Klang's Little India on the way to church for the wedding rehearsal. It was at night on a weekday very near the Deepavali festival when the Indian community flocked there to shop. Upon arrival at the church, we found it locked and had to wait for it to be opened by the caretaker. The rehearsal ended later than expected with everyone hungry for dinner and we proceeded to 'sapu' (sweep up) all the 'bak kut teh' at a popular shop. My poor older brother who had just arrived the day before from the US tagged along and was probably bushed from that episode.
Irritating my close friends to the hilt by being over-anxious about the arrangements which they were helping me with. They didn't dare tell it to me in my face but I sensed it via body language. I appreciate their patience and help.
Dinner and a mini bridal shower among close friends at my place. Hmm, I wonder what happened to all the props and 'notes'. SE, if you are reading this, I remember you were in charge...
Waking up early that morning to get my face and hair done, walking out of my place accompanied by family, bridesmaid and best man to the bridal car for the drive to the church. Thankfully, it was early enough on a Saturday morning for me to avoid too many stares from neighbours and other residents of my apartment as I took the lift and walked out of the lobby to get into the car.
Arriving Klang a little too early and having to tell the driver to pull over and wait for a while before proceeding to the church. I felt so conscious as passing cars were just peering in to see what the bride looked like! I must admit I do that too sometimes when we pass a bridal car. Ha ha!
The cue for the processional music was given without checking if the priest was ready, or rather PRESENT upfront! So my bridesmaid, dad and I walked down the aisle confidently with happy smiles towards the front of the church only to notice the priest scrambling in from outside! Aiyo...
My dear friends MC (Michael Chan)the MC (hmm, how appropriate) and IC (I'Ching) the EC (event coordinator) pulled a brilliant job in getting the reception going with some fun, games and dancing.
The wedding cake, fruit cake with sugar-paste flowers, which we had frozen leftovers up to last year, I think...
My good friends who owned/ran a wine shop letting me down at the last hour by delivering one case short. You know who you are...but I forgive you lah.... only my poor guests didn't have enough to 'yum seng'!
My parents, whom I later found out would have prefered a grand dinner instead of a tea reception, commenting that guests didn't have enough to eat. The typical Chinese wedding involves a banquet of at least 8 courses to treat guests to their fullest with delicacies including shark's fin soup. Eugene and I didn't want the hassle of handling seating arrangements and felt that a dinner was just too passe for our liking. We wanted something casual and light minus the formalities. Later, I also heard over the grapevine that some colleagues of mine commented that they didn't have enough to eat. Oh well, we can't please everyone, especially those who are not open-minded or gracious enough to accept practices outside the norm or attend our wedding to share our joy instead of expecting to eat their angpow's worth (not that they were that generous). Food is featured very prominently at celebrations among Malaysians, that's the problem, and if food is below expectations quality- or quantity-wise, your event gets the thumbs down most times. We served wine, fruit punch, and Malaysian teatime favourites like satay, chicken, cake, samosas, mee siam, sandwiches, mini pies...
Our witnesses/sponsors arriving a bit late for the church ceremony. We didn't see them at the pews when the proceedings started and quickly turned around to check if they were there when the priest said it was time to sign the papers! A few seconds of uncertainty but relief took over when the dear couple and young son stood up from among the crowd and came forward. Hmm, you guys got us there for a bit.
Not having enough time to meet and chat with my old classmates, some of whom travelled from outstation. I got held-up being introduced to respected 'elder guests'.
Arriving late for the tea reception thanks to my make-up artist. He was supposed to only touch-up my make-up and change my hairstyle quickly but after I emerged with my dress for the reception, he was so inspired that he re-did my make-up entirely and spent ages perfecting my hairdo...
Returning to our Mandarin Oriental room to 'lepak' with some close friends of mine from my campus days. Some ended up watching 'Friends' the sitcom, probably releasing stress from putting up with me, while a few others were catching up with each other. Removing a great bunch of hairpins from my hairspray-crusted hair and then slathering like half a bottle of conditioner on my head before shampooing it, a good tip someone gave me for 'bride's hairdo syndrome'.
Feeling hungry at midnight and going out in the hotel's bedroom slippers (too lazy to go to the basement parking to get proper footwear out of our car) to Tengkat Tung Shin for the popular beef ball noodles.
Fast forward seven years, today has been pretty much like any other ordinary day. We received some well wishes via Facebook today, and had a simple cake cutting do with Eugene's family yesterday (parents' and all siblings' wedding anniversaries are within the first 10 days of November).
Our first official dance together
Happy anniversary Eugene. "Bubbles". That's our short code for "I love you". You must wonder why but that's another story which I may or may not tell here in this blog!