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The Perfect Fit: The Wedding of Richard & Melissa, Tirtha Uluwatu, Bali

20151220_WEDDING_RICHARD_MELISSA_0006Richard and Melissa’s story is one filled with God moments, revealing His goodness in their lives. Before 2015, Richard & Melissa’s lives were worlds apart; to be exact 767 km apart! Richard was working in Indonesia managing a plantation company in South Sumatra. While Melissa’s world revolved around the newsroom as a journalist and news anchor in Malaysia. The likelihood of their paths crossing was almost zero.

However, 1st January 2015 was a turning point for both Richard & Melissa. Their mutual friend Charles Mohan was led to arrange a coffee session for them. He had a hunch that they would grow beyond acquaintances and eventually their interactions would develop into something special.

At the point when both of them met, Richard was ready to date again after coming to terms with the death of his late wife who battled with cancer. While Ryan, his three year old bounced back to his usual cheerful self. God’s timing is perfect and led them to meet in a season when both of their hearts were ready. For Melissa, she had ‘almost’ given up on meeting potential partners, somehow never finding the person who was the right ‘fit’. But in her heart, she longed to meet someone whom she could spend the rest of her life with.

20151220_WEDDING_RICHARD_MELISSA_0761Little did they know, Charles had gone to church that morning and asked his priest to pray for his two friends whom he was bringing together to meet that afternoon.

And yes, Charles was absolutely right! The supposedly ‘just a short coffee session’ at Dome Café, Bangsar Shopping Centre turned out to be a 9 hour long conversation that only ended because the mall was closing. The time spent was interesting & heartfelt—and of course; leaving a tug on their heartstrings.

Richard & Melissa got to know each other over the next few days before he left for Indonesia, and Melissa for a mission trip. The time spent together was short but God was speaking to the core of their hearts. The Lord had also sent individuals at the right place & time to speak to them about being open to explore this potential relationship.

The rest, as they say is history, or rather His-tory! Throughout their growing relationship, the Lord’s blessings, favor and intervention in their relationship has been obvious and deliberate.

Both their prayers were answered. God met them at their place of need and helped them discover each other. It was the perfect fit.

View their wedding ceremony photos in the slideshow below, taken at Tirtha Uluwatu and Tirtha Luhur, Bali. Congratulations, Richard and Melissa!

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Wedding of John & Hazel at St Irini Chapel, Santorini

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Santorini… the gorgeous island that has captured the hearts of many all over the world. There is something about the sea, cliffs and amazing sunset that makes us feel as if this is the place for romance. I was really thrilled to be invited to John and Hazel’s wedding in Santorini last month (by default since my husband Alex was invited!), but in the weeks leading up to the wedding, suddenly, I wasn’t just a guest anymore… I was their photographer! And then suddenly, Alex was also appointed as the ‘pastor’ and ‘celebrant’ (though the official Greek celebrant was present too).

That was the start of our Santorini adventure.

John and Hazel wanted an intimate wedding, with just 11 guests (including us!). When we arrived the day before the wedding, it was really windy and cold. Apparently, winter had not left this beautiful island, and most of the locals were also complaining about the weather. It rained on the wedding day (with no contingency plan), so we prayed really hard that the rain would stop…which it did! I applaud Hazel for braving the elements in her strapless gown… it was absolutely freezing that day! (I had 4 layers of clothing on, one of which included a leather jacket).

Naturally, the breathtaking view of the Caldera and the Aegean sea from the Santa Irini Chapel trumped the cold weather we had to endure.

I truly enjoyed this wedding for so many reasons, but most of all, it was a meaningful ceremony filled with love. You could see it in their eyes. The family and guests who were there truly loved John and Hazel. There were many things that happened that day (rain, flat tyre on the way to the chapel, Hazel almost falling flat on her face as she walked down the aisle) but they took it in stride. Everyone had fun, and it was a beautiful day.

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Wedding at Ayana Resort, Bali: Ka-Meng & Mary

20141129_WEDDING_KA-MENG_MARY_1101A dreamer meets a realist.

It was a match that was meant to be. Mary, in her fun, loud and expressive manner, added lots of colour to Ka-Meng’s palette. The fact that she also spoke non-stop added lots of flavour to this unique partnership. On the other hand, Ka-Meng, in his secure manner, made Mary stay put in one country and gave a lot of security to the relationship. The 8 year age gap they share is hardly an issue but of course there were times when their age gap became apparent. Especially when Ka-Meng recalled going to work in a pink mini bus and doing audits using a blue/yellow marker pen instead of the laptop!

They could have met in university but they didn’t. He was studying his Masters of Business Systems and she was doing a degree back then. In fact, he was tutoring some of the subjects she studied, but their paths never crossed.

Ten years later…

They got to meet each other at work, even though Mary was in the Singapore office and Ka-Meng was in Melbourne. In her words…

“It was purely work matter back then (wink wink), although I thought Ka-Meng was quite a cute guy…and I was the prettiest lady he ever met! We got really close when I moved to Melbourne. He helped me with my house move, chose my first bed, gave me iMac 101 lessons and made sure I was not left out in the office social events. That… created a lot of rumours in the office.”

Well it all worked out well professionally and in the romance department too, because here they are, married at last!

20141129_WEDDING_KA-MENG_MARY_1118The wedding was held in a gorgeous chapel at the Ayana Resort & Spa, Bali. Their friends and family members traveled to experience a ‘wedliday’ as they coined it… a combination of a wedding and holiday! The mood was really relaxed and despite the rain over the past few days in Bali. Planning an outdoor wedding overseas is pretty stressful, and because of the weather forecast, Ka-Meng and Mary decided to hold their dinner indoors. Thank God it didn’t rain during the ceremony! Ka-Meng and Mary were really hands-on with their wedding and Mary even created the wedding invite and photobooth props themselves!

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Destination Weddings: Bali

Some time back, I blogged about Destination Weddings, a TV program that I worked on for the Travel Channel with Deborah Henry as the host. I finally got my act together and managed to sort through some photos that I took during the shoot. This episode is my favourite out of all the episodes I directed, so I’d like to share some images from 2 very different weddings that we covered in Bali.

Firstly, a traditional Balinese Hindu wedding that was held in a small village about 1.5 hours away from Kuta. One of the sights that greeted us when we arrived was this man walking his giant pig! It was seriously huge and apparently a gigolo pig! I got so excited, I ran across the road to photograph it. Ok, I digress…back to the wedding…

The local wedding was held at this home which was a dedicated space for community events, and even for tourists to come and learn cooking from Pak Wayan. The couple dressed up in elaborate costumes with ornate headgear. I heard that some foreigners actually go through a traditional Balinese ceremony like this for their wedding. Personally, I still prefer my groom to be in a suit… (more of this wedding in a bit).

The second wedding was a western beach ceremony held at the Westin, Nusa Dua and dinner reception at the Melia, Nusa Dua. The weather was perfect, and it was a really breezy day… I wish all my Langkawi beach wedding shoots would be as cool (temperature wise!) as this! Here’s Deborah posing for a promo shot.

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Hyatt Regency Sanctuary Cove, Gold Coast Wedding: Jamie & Ann

Photographers: Grace & Alex
Wedding Gown: Brides Desire
Groom’s Attire: Le Grand Wedding, Singapore
Make Up: Rebecca Calvert
Ceremony Location: Hyatt Regency Sanctuary Cove Chapel, Gold Coast, Australia
Ceremony Decorations: Watabe Wedding
Flowers: Always Fabulous Flowers
Videography: Net Productions
Cake: Deliciously Decadent Cakes
Dinner Reception: Palazzo Versace, Vanitas Restaurant
Stationery: Designed by Ann, the bride

“You’re an Asian Barbie!” gasped one of the guests who saw Ann on her wedding day. She was stunning and completely graceful. All those months of meticulous planning had finally paid off. The amazing venue, gorgeous decorations, everything down to the stationery was carefully thought through and planned (even the pre-wedding shoot). Ann even designed all the wedding stationery herself. In my books, she’s super-bride. I am still amazed at how beautiful this wedding was.

I can see how much Jamie loves Ann. They complement each other so well. Jamie & Ann, Alex and I enjoyed ourselves completely at your wedding. It is to date, the longest wedding day I’ve ever photographed (13.5 hours!). Thank you for being so hospitable and caring towards us. You treated us like long lost friends, and I truly appreciate that.

Enjoy the looong post of images. :)

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