“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” ~ C.S Lewis
While Huiyoong Yong shares meaningful quotes on her Facebook wall, Ashish Mathews is the kinda guy who Facebooks about “Anyone else at work?”. Weeks prior to the wedding day, Huiyoong plans everything to the tee, while Ashish hunts for his wedding shoes the night before their big day. Yes, they are a colourful couple.
From the moment we met them both, there was this special something in the air. They are like two people who are worlds apart, and yet like Ying and Yang, you can feel that they were totally meant for each other. Unbreakable, Impenetrable, Irredeemable and yet completely in love. Being and living vulnerable is the glue that binds them together. This is Ashish and Huiyoong’s story.
About the Couple:
Ashish was born on November 9, 1985, in the east coast town of Pahang, and has the unique privilege of having a birth certificate with his father’s name on it as both father and official registrar! He invested many good years and miles travelling between Malaysia, The Gold Coast and Sydney while still studying, making sure that he reached today’s achievement of winning his beautiful bride. However, he has never, and probably never will lose his ardour for that other love of his life, and yes. He Will Never Walk Alone.
Huiyoong arrived on December 25, 1986, in Kuala Lumpur, thus ensuring her parents received a Christmas present like no other that year! She spent a few kindergarten years in Melbourne and Sydney, returning to Malaysia for Year 1-10 till she left again for Australia at age 16. Along the way she has accumulated a love for coffee, the now-everyone-can-fly travel bug, a rather confused accent and a penchant for challenging the boys at basketball, muay thai and running.
The bride’s outfit is a handmade Javanese Kebaya. The beautiful French lace, gold-weave songket cloth and beading were all chosen, designed and created in Jakarta for the bride with the guidance and inspiration of Andi Nadia Ikrana Hasanuddin and Andi Siswati Hasanuddin. It is a traditional dress from Indonesia, commonly used in Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Southern Thailand and Burma too.
And Huiyoong looked gorgeous in it.
A lot of detail went into the outfits for the bridal party.
The bridesmaids (Joy, Carlene & Zhiyoong) and bride worked together to design the bridesmaids’ dresses. It is a modernised Cheongsam also known as the qipao, originally developed in Shanghai in the 1920’s. It uses Chanel-inspired lace from Jakarta, the design of which is incorporated in the wedding invitations and the Order of Service. Pieces of the songket and lace have been beaded to be used as hair-pieces for the both the bride and her maids.
The groom and his men (Praveen, Vinu and Nik) have handkerchiefs made of songket fabric, and this material has also been incorporated into the flower girls’ and page boys’ outfits.
The church ceremony was held at the classic St Mary’s Cathedral in KL.
The first part of the ceremony was conducted by Reverend Andrew Cheah. Before the groom gets to kiss the bride, we can only guess what warning or advice Reverend Andrew was giving to Ashish.
The second part of the ceremony was conducted by Reverend Mathew Punnoose from the Mar Thoma Church. The tying of the Minnu is the foremost symbol of the Covenant of Marriage. Placing the Manthrakodi (Wedding Saree) symbolizes the protection and care the bridegroom promises to the bride. Manthrakodi also symbolizes the beginning of a new married life.
And.. Oh Yes.. Could you have guessed that the best man was still single?
The best man.
The dinner reception was a colorful and elegant event at the Palace of the Golden Horses.
Dear Ashish and Huiyoong,
You are both two amazing souls. May you keep on being vulnerable and live happily ever after.
Johan Sopiee and the Stories team
Photographers: Johan, Ben and Cheryl
Church: St Mary’s Cathedral Church
Wedding Kebaya : Andi Nadia Ikrana Hasanuddin & Andi Siswati Hasanuddin
Groom’s Suit : Armani
Make Up : Yong Sheh Yi (bride’s cousin)
Stationery : Lee Choi Wan (friend of the groom)
Flowers : Amy Wong & Suja Abraham
Dinner Reception : Palace Of The Golden Horses, KL