Where the Heart Is

By Avery Khuan
Home is where the heart is
     And my heart is anywhere you are
          Anywhere you are is home
               I don't need a mansion on a hill
     ​​​​​​​     ​​​​​​​     ​​​​​​​     ​​​​​​​     That overlooks the sea
​​​​​​​     ​​​​​​​     ​​​​​​​     ​​​​​​​     ​​​​​​​     ​​​​​​​     Anywhere you're with me is home
                                                                  - Elvis Presley, Home is Where the Heart Is

Rowena and Stephen’s wedding day started with a steady trickle of the couple’s closest friends and family into their homes (or, for Stephen, his hotel room), a warm and cosy atmosphere already bubbling around breakfast. Family and friends chattered in the familiar way that families could as they ate and drank their morning coffee while Rowena’s mother bustled about getting everyone fed. Theirs was a Malaysian wedding celebrating all things that made up the home: food, family, tradition and most of all, heart.

With the couple being based in the United States and Rowena’s family in Malaysia, their wedding was the perfect occasion for their relatives and friends to come together under one roof in a beautiful blend of Asian and Western influences. Rowena’s ji muis were made up of her closest cousins and best of friends while Stephen’s heng tais who flew across the world to support him, were his best buds. Rowena even included some of her friends with Stephen’s heng tais to help out the unsuspecting guys who had never played the challenging gate crashing games before. And these heng tais went all out! Although completely clueless about the challenges set up by the ji muis, they were filled with a healthy enthusiasm for playing the games, getting their hands dirty and helping Stephen pick up his bride. 

For the dinner reception, Rowena and Stephen had a very clear idea on how they wanted to welcome their guests both local and from overseas. From the menu of Asian fusion flavours to the decor, it was to be a celebration of Rowena’s Malaysian heritage and the marriage of Asian and Western elements. Set at the Pool Bar and Gallery at Le Meridien against the backdrop of the Kuala Lumpur concrete jungle, Stephen and Rowena brought nostalgia to their dinner reception with a backdrop stylised after a traditional Peranakan home and a dessert bar filled with the vibrant colours of our local kuihs. And they kept their main table decor elegant but simple, making it feel warm and cosy.

Rowena and Stephen kept their dinner reception a simple one. With only eighty or so guests, they wanted their wedding to be a time for friends and family to gather and be in each other’s company. The dinner programme was kept minimal and more time was spent with their guests, catching up with relatives and reminiscing with friends about their school days. In fact, the dinner reception felt just like how their family and friends came together in the morning for the bride fetching and tea ceremony. The emcees were friends of Rowena and Stephen and Rowena’s maid of honour even sang her two songs! It was warm, it was inviting, it was like home away from home.

Even though Elvis Presley sang that home is where the heart is, home is much more than that. Home is the relationships that you share, the people that you love and the warm feeling of love and hope that only grows stronger each day. 

Venue: Le Meridien, KL
Planning & Coordination: Moments
Photography: Jane Lee Photography
Videography: Bean Pictures
Décor: Dayco
Makeup Artist: Panny C