Our 4th Year Together

It’s my fourth year of marriage today. Even though the memories of our wedding day are still pretty fresh in my mind, it also seemed like such a long time ago. Thinking back about the wedding day, I guess it was pretty perfect in my eyes. On hindsight, I guess I would have liked to do certain things differently, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter.

What matters now is the marriage itself.

I woke up this morning feeling excited about the day. I glanced over at Alex, and said a silent prayer of gratefulness to God for our lives together. I truly believe that I am more in love with Alex today than 4 years ago. I am excited thinking about life, and what the future holds for us. I know that life will never be perfect, that there will be times when heartaches will fill our hearts and make us feel as if life is cruel. But despite all that, today, I choose to give thanks for what I have.

Marriage has taught me to be less selfish. Since I am the youngest child in my family (with my 2 other siblings 12 and 16 years older than I am)…I’ve been a little ‘pampered’. (Not complaining! I COMPLETELY enjoy being pampered. Hehe). I tend to sit back and expect things to happen or someone to do the hard work for me. But Alex made sure that I became more independent and responsible for my actions. It definitely takes a conscious effort to think of others first before yourself, but I think I’ve improved. :)

I’ve also learnt that it’s so important to have someone who shares the same passion as you do. Before I got married, this question always stood out in my mind… “How do you know if he is THE one?”. Now, I think I have the answer. He needs to share the same values and passion as you do. I don’t think that there is one perfect person in this world for you (now think about it, if you married someone ‘wrongly’, you would have robbed someone else of their perfect partner, and therefore the entire world is doomed cause SOMEONE made a mistake).

So the person is only perfect because you made an effort to make it perfect. And boy, it’s a lot of hard work. I am so thankful that Alex and I are excited about the same things and that we can journey along this path of life together.

Dug up some old photos from our wedding day… This was taken by Joseph Siew.

And these photos by Andy Lim. Thanks guys, for capturing memories for us!

Alex and I wrote our own wedding vows to each other and I thought I’d post them here.

Alex’s vow to Grace

From this day forth, I, Alex Lam take you, Grace Tan,
To be my wife.
As long as I shall live, before God and all my family and friends,
I pledge my life to be your friend, your lover, and your fellow dreamer.
Let me be the shoulder you lean on, and the rock on which you rest.
I promise to be honest with you, and to love you always.

This life of ours is a voyage,
Which I will sail with you,
Through the calm of the sea,
And the raging storms,
Though we cannot see past the uncertain future,
God will be with us, and my ship will always remain by yours.

Today marks the first day of an eternity as two hearts on one journey.
And as inscribed on your ring, I vow to “Grow old with you”.

Grace’s vow to Alex

Alex, today, and as long as I, Grace Tan, shall live,
I take you to be my husband and give you my heart.
Intertwined, two hearts, one journey.
With God as the glue that binds us together,
I promise to always love you, submit to you, and be honest in
all that I do.

Today, I pledge to stand with you, come what may.
When the sun is shining brightly, I will laugh with you.
When the sky is dark and grey, I will hold your hand.
When a storm rages outside, I will hug you and never leave you.

Sharing dreams, hopes, tears and joy.
I am proud to say that today, I am marrying my best friend.

Calvin + Audrey’s Indoor Garden Wedding: Part 1

Ceremony & Dinner location: Royale Chulan Hotel, Kuala Lumpur
Wedding gown: Neoromantic
Evening gown: Sophia Bridal
Cheong sam: Emerald Brilliant
Make Up: Hebe Leng
Cake: Wong Li Lian
Flowers: Lee Wah florist
Photographers: Grace & Mark

Audrey and Calvin sure know how to have fun. There’s never a dull moment when they are around. One of the stories that was told during dinner by the maid of honour, Jessica, was about how she and Audrey sneaked out of the house when they were 16 – with Audrey ‘borrowing’ her mother’s car and driving them to 1 Utama! I love the spontaneity and creativity that is so much part of who they are. Their wedding had all these elements combined together – lots of fun, laughter, spontaneous ‘madness’, and lots of creative moments!

I totally enjoyed myself at this wedding. The first part of the day was Chinese themed, and then garden style, and finally, ending up in a classy ballroom!

Introducing… gorgeous Audrey.

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Pre-Wedding: Lisa + Henry, Balinese style Eco Resort

Hair & Make Up: Shinny Ong
Gown: That Special Occasion
Location: Di Sini, Negeri Sembilan
Photographer: Grace, assisted by Shu Wan

I can’t recall the first time I got to know Lisa, but sitting almost next to her for 2 years at the same office has definitely been a fun adventure. Lisa was one of the key persons behind The QGuides.com, an online portal for restaurant reservations in the Klang Valley, which was built by Integricity Press. She is a really really fun person to be with, always saying funny lines and making everyone laugh with her bubbly personality. I appreciated our office lunch sessions… which I will sorely miss as she has just moved on to another job.

Lisa and Henry will be signing their ROM this coming October, and I am glad to say that I will be there to witness and photograph the event! When I first met Henry, I thought that he was a really quiet person (Lisa did all the talking, you see!) who had an aura of authority about him. His quiet demeanor has a calming effect. Together, it looks like the phrase “opposites attract” are apt to describe Lisa and Henry!

I had a great time at the shoot… the both of you are so natural in front of the camera! I had a blast! Here are some of my personal favs:

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Family Portraits: Dr Tan & Dr Helena

How apt that little Bernadette would be holding a book called “God Made”, when it is so obvious that God put His love and perfection into creating this little bundle of joy. Her twin brother, Benjamin, and older sister, Brigitte are equally precious creations in God’s eyes.

Dr Helena and Dr Tan are both gynaecologists – and they are such a warm couple. I got to know Dr Helena through Pitter Patter, an online pregnancy guide for women. I have done a number of maternity shoots with Pitter Patter, and after a few months, Dr Helena said “I’d love to have you photograph my family too!”

If you ever get to meet Dr Helena, you will instantly feel a connection and warmth that radiates from her. She smiles and laughs a LOT – which I am sure makes all the first-time pregnant mummies all comfy and less nervous! She is personable, and even has time to comment on my photos on Facebook! Hahaha…I always thought a doctor’s schedule is really hectic!

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Marketing yourself as a photographer

Alex and I are speaking at a photographers’ conference called WPPM, in less than two weeks. There are several simultaneous sessions and being the person I am, who is afraid of speaking to an audience of five, I decided to put together a video to try and market our session to the delegates. Please, PLEASE, come and listen to us share!

Who better to rope in to act, than Alex?

Details of our session are:

Topic: YOU, unleashed!
Date: Saturday, 14th August 2010 at 11am-12.30pm

We will share the story on how a new brand for photography was launched, the initial marketing and secrets on how we got the word out about the business. Also, you will find out tips and tricks on how the Internet can be harnessed as a vital tool for marketing yourself. If prospects cannot find you, how will you get business?

Oh, we did have a shortage of actresses, so I had to make a clone of myself! Hope you enjoyed the video. Let us know which parts you liked best. We may share a behind-the-scenes clip on how we filmed it, especially on the clones.