Family Matters

by Avery Khuan
“Family is what happens when two people fall in love.”

As the old adage goes, “when you marry someone, you’re not just marrying that person; you’re also marrying their family” and that rings particularly true in Asian cultures who see weddings not just as the unity of two people in love but two families becoming one. And while that may sound like a warning for some, it is a blessing for most, particularly Vera and Lok. Despite having a destination wedding in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, miles away from their native Hong Kong, Vera and Lok’s closest family and friends came out in full force to celebrate their nuptials. Who would have thought that a crowd of only ninety plus guests had so much energy to keep the party going from morning to night?

Most bride-fetching ceremonies start off with a particular sense of calm coupled with a sleepiness that comes with waking up too early to prepare for the day. But at Vera’s sister’s house, it was a whirlwind of organised chaos in the small, cosy apartment. From freshly brewed coffee being delivered via GrabFood by the box load every few minutes to Vera’s multitude of sisters, their husbands and children running around the house solving problems only they knew the answers to, it was an atmosphere only a tight-knit family could conjure. 

Boisterous and loud, Vera’s family is a mirror of her personality: fun, bubbly and with an infinite amount of cheer. On the other hand, Lok, like his family is a breath of calm, collected air; his joy and excitement for the day only shown through his shy and private smiles, his caring and gentle nature. Despite their families carrying opposite energies, it is a testament to how important family is to both Vera and Lok that Vera’s sisters are completely comfortable with teasing Lok and embracing him into their circle and he’s taking the good-natured ribbing with a smile that only comes when he’s at ease.

Where most weddings center around the couple and their special moment, Vera and Lok involved their family as much as they could. Vera brought her sister along to meetings, Lok’s entourage was made up of Vera’s male relatives as Lok only had one sister and if we needed any help, we could turn to anyone of their family members. Even the younger ones of the family had a hand in making the wedding truly a family affair as Vera’s nephews performed a dance during the dinner. But perhaps the most heartwarming moment was when Vera’s family surprised the bride and groom with Ben E King’s ‘Stand by Me’, led by her nephews.

Every single thought and decision that went into the wedding was one that Vera had considered for the celebration and enjoyment for their families. Of the venue, the food and the deejay, Vera said that there was no venue like Glasshouse nor a caterer like Nathalie Gourmet nor wedding deejays in Hong Kong. And, she wanted her family to experience these things and have fun at her wedding. At the heart of it all, the reason for Vera and Lok’s dream wedding was one of selflessness.

For Vera and Lok are two opposites brought together by love and united by family.

When the night has come
And the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we'll see
No I won't be afraid, no I won't be afraid
Just as long as you stand, stand by me
So darlin', darlin', stand by me, oh stand by me
Oh stand by me, stand by me
If the sky that we look upon
Should tumble and fall
Or the mountains should crumble to the sea
I won't cry, I won't cry, no I won't shed a tear
Just as long as you stand, stand by me
Venue: Glasshouse Seputeh
Planning and Coordination: Moments
Decor: Wishing Tree
Photography: WeFreeze
Cinematography: Big Lens Studio
Makeup Artist: Remy Ngan