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International

Wedding in Brunei: Brandon & Alison

Brandon, being an avid photographer, naturally was very involved in the selection process of a wedding photographer for his big day. We chatted over Skype months before the wedding, and I got to know that he and Alison had been together for 7 years, but they were currently living in two different countries – he in Hong Kong and Alison in China, her home country. Brandon’s family moved from Sarawak to Brunei years ago and this was where he grew up. It was my first time to Brunei, and it reminded me of Malaysia years ago… the wealth of the country doesn’t seem to reflect in its architecture. Jamie and I spent the night before the wedding going to the local night market and tasting red durian for the very first time.

Brandon’s wedding was held at the famous Church of Our Lady of Assumption in Brunei. The dinner was held at this location which I was told, is one of the best in Brunei – The Empire Hotel & Country Club. I was blown away at the grandeur of the decorations at their wedding. It was just so breathtaking. There were royalty VIPs present at the wedding, and from his dad’s speech, it was obvious that he was proud of all Brandon had achieved in life so far, including being listed under Forbe’s 30 under 30 list.

Thank you, Brandon for your hospitality and for making us feel so at home. I wish the both of you years of happiness and joy!

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Portraits in Singapore: Tang Family

Yee Ming and I have a long history together, from our primary school days in Malacca. As childhood friends, we used to play hide and seek together. Four years ago, when her daughter was born, I flew to JB to photograph some family portraits. I rarely get to see Yee Ming anymore since I hardly travel back to Malacca, but I was honoured that she asked me to fly in to Singapore to photograph her husband, Boon Hock’s extended family.

We went to East Coast Park for our shoot, but on a weekend, it was packed to the brim with people! It was pretty challenging trying to find corners to shoot without someone walking into my frame. But from the photos below, you might have thought that we had the entire park to ourselves!

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Wedding in Bangladesh: Navin & Faika

20170101_WEDDING_NAVIN_FAIKA_079Navin and Faika’s wedding trilogy ended with a big bang on the 3rd day…their actual wedding day. As usual, Faika looked stunning in her wedding dress. As with most Bangladeshi weddings I have photographed, their decorations are always very elaborate. The venue where their wedding was held could cater for a few events at once. The entire palace setting on the stage was constructed on the wedding day itself. The highlight of the day was when Navin and Faika looked at each other through the mirror as husband and wife for the first time.

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Mehndi, Bangladesh: Navin & Faika

Navin and Faika’s wedding celebration continued with the mehndi event, held at the poolside of their family home. Considering it was winter, the temperature was just right for an outdoor party (especially for a Malaysian like me who doesn’t like the cold!). It was quite an intimate event, with only close friends and family attending the event. I love the intricate mehndi art on the arms combined with the gorgeous bangles that were given as a gift to the guests.

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Holudh in Bangladesh: Navin & Faika

20161229_HOLUDH_NAVIN_FAIKA_1221.5 years before their wedding, Navin and Faika spoke to me over Skype, all the way from New York city. They were planning their Bangladeshi wedding way ahead of time, and soon, we were hired to photograph their event in 2017. By this time, I have been to Bangladesh a number of times, and it felt like familiar ground once I stepped off the plane in Dhaka once again. For Jamie and Jennifer who were with me, it was their first time traveling there, so the experience was new and exciting. The moment we arrived at our hotel, we were welcomed with a gift from the couple, which included wet wipes, chanachur snacks, medication for tummy aches, mosquito repellant and more! They were so thoughtful and we felt blessed to be part of this wedding.

As part of the usual wedding celebrations in Bangladesh, there are the exchange of gifts. It’s pretty similar to our Muslim weddings here with our ‘hantaran‘ exchange between the families. But one major difference is that we do not have this giant fish which is usually decorated to represent the bride and groom. It was a huge fish, and weighed about 20kg each!

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