by Eunice Chan
“I will stand by you
Even when we fall
I will be the rock, that holds you up
and lifts you high so you stand tall
I won't let you go
No one can take your place
a couple fights & lonely nights
Don't make it right to let it go to waste
I won't let you fall
I won't let you go
No matter where you are
No matter where you are, I'll be there”
- No Matter Where You are, Us The Duo
I could vividly remember that very evening, as we looked up to the sky anxiously, having to make the most difficult call, it was only by grace and mercy that everything could still be as how it was meant to be, and even twice the favour received.
These two hometown sweethearts are by the far the most fun-loving, down-to-earth and hilarious duo I spent most of our nights goofing and breaking into boisterous laughters with; and bearing witness to the familiar episodes of Ai Ling occassionally throwing Jireh a smack across his chest (or his adorably prosperous tummy) for second opinions, only to receive unopiniated, neutral responses from the ever-so-chill groom who would nod agreeingly to everything his wife says, innocently sipping away his coffee or sneaking away micro naps in between.
Growing up with these two as childhood friends, church buddies and 11 years of being school mates, there are more than often times that words fail me to truly describe the platonic yet loving relationship they carry; one filled with mutual respect, understanding and a truckload of Hokkien humor that cracks the world up. They have come a long way and the journey has been nothing short of a beautiful story to tell.
As she knew exactly what she wanted, Ai Ling was a complete darling to work with; meticulous and detailed to the very end in providing everything we needed and had a clear vision of what she wanted, at the same time giving us the flexibility and room to explore our creativity to challenge ourselves in surprising her with the best.
With Saujana’s impeccably gorgeous landscape featuring perfectly manicured lawns to the majesticly tranquil lakes, it did feel close to heart and couldn’t have resonated better for their matrimony, reflecting the quaint and picturesque little town of Taiping they both come from; the hometown of Malaysia’s most beautiful and iconic Lake Gardens. Bathed in rustic splendor of an ethereal dusty blue hue and tinges of blush pinks and peaches, every frame captured paid off in a picture perfect moment.
The lush vinery and abundance of pastel blooms that clung to the signature round arch definitely stood out as an iconic, show stopper; its whispy dusty blue drapes billowing gently with the evening breeze, and the glistening gold chiavari chairs fussed with sweet baby blue and blush floral posies paved a whimsical, magical aisle for the adorable pair. The fusion of these gentle hues somehow elevated the entire garden to a different realm, in some ways, bearing much resonance to elements from a Cinderella-like fairytale.
Undeniably, wedding venues are significantly the biggest highlight that wraps the entire ceremony; creating the atmosphere and setting the tone and ambience. For outdoor venues, the blessing lies in having the best natural lighting and a generous option of exquisite backgrounds at nature’s best to offer, a definite photographer’s playground; but at the same time the larger risk factor will always be the weather. In this tropical weather of perpetual summer, too sunny and you might find yourselves walking down to a half-filled aisle with less sportive guests standing beneath shadier trees; and having grey skies to rain on the parade is always the biggest bummer, sacrificing all the gorgeous setup for a plain plan-B-function-room.
That evening, we spotted moody clouds hanging above the skies, looking down demeaningly as our hearts raced anxiously and thoughts raged like a war in our heads. As strong winds continuously billowed every few minutes, I remember receiving a call from the weather forecast team of Saujana, notifiying that it has been raining consistently for the past three weeks at the golden hour, and advised that we should start making plans to shift the décor indoors to the much-dreaded-plan-B-room before it was too late.
Lumps in our throats, we took the risk to wait it off, praying with the assurance that somehow God knows best, holding off any shifting plans and keeping the faith that it will clear out. As minutes ticked and the hour passed, we witnessed a glorious miracle as golden specs of rays peeked through the clouds, and the sky cleared right on time before the beautiful maidens and bride herself graced down the aisle.
And as the unmistakable notes began to play and melody wafting through the peacefully breezy evening, the couple raised their arms with tears of gratefulness rolling down their cheeks, as they knowingly sang the lyrics that echoed the very grace poured they received; “God, You’re so good to me”.
As the couple bowed their heads, receiving the anointing to the pastor’s words of supernatural blessing, an intense gush of wind billowed by with immense force that tipped the metal arch. Despite a slight bruise at the tip of his nose, the couple’s gleeful laughter and joy could not be contained as they marched down the aisle blissfully as newly weds and laughed it off as a joke even after.
Coincidentally or not, the first drop of rain fell at the very last group picture taken when the entire matrimony came to an end. It’s funny and mysterious how God always seems to have His ways planned out and how every wedding will always have that perfect imperfection that makes it memorable.
But one thing for sure we know, Jireh and Ai Ling, you are ever so bountifully blessed :)
Venue: The Saujana Hotel and Resort
Planning and Coordination: Eunice Chan
Photography: Foo Wai and Jason (Photography by Foo Wai)
Live Band: Frances and Melissa