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Planning a Destination Beach Wedding

Langkawi-panoramaPlanning a destination beach wedding in Malaysia? Without a doubt, Langkawi is at the top of the list. It has everything – deep blue seas, white fluffy clouds, white sandy beaches, great 5-6 star resorts, duty free shopping and great Malaysian food. Of course the other famous beach wedding destinations like Maldives, Hawaii, Bali or Phuket has its own charm, but if you are hoping to have a beach wedding in Malaysia, Langkawi is the place.

As a team, we would take the one hour flight from Petaling Jaya to Langkawi pretty frequently to cover beach weddings there. Organizing a beach wedding can be relaxing and yet stressful at the same time. Everyone is away at an exotic location, just ready to have fun in the sun. But planning for a destination wedding from a faraway country on your own can be a pretty daunting task.

To make your life a little easier, I’d like to share some thoughts about how to best organize your day so that you can get the most out of your photography. Since I consider sunset as the focal point of the day, I’ll work backwards from there and give you a pictorial journey of planning a beach wedding from a photographer’s viewpoint.

1. Do check on sunset times for the date of your wedding. 

On average, the sun sets about 7.30pm in Langkawi, so a good time to start your ceremony would be 5.30pm. It will be slightly warm at that time, but starting this early would give you ample time for portraits and formals after the wedding ceremony. There’s always a rush to document all the dinner reception details too after the wedding, so if your ceremony starts too late, we will be running around like headless chickens trying to capture all the important shots before night falls. Ideally, I would like to have at least an hour for portraits after the ceremony ends. Continue Reading

A blend of cultures: Roy & Pek Yee

It was an epic wedding – full of wonderful moments that will be etched in my mind forever. Roy’s humour brightens the day and keeps us entertained while Pek Yee’s infectious (loud) laughter reminds me of my childhood friends who are equally boisterous. The wedding was split to 2 days… the first half was the Chinese wedding ceremony in KL, followed by a beach wedding at the colonial-looking Danna, Langkawi. Seriously, I consider this a 6-star wedding…not just because of the gorgeous location and beautiful decorations that adorned the venue, but because it had all the elements that made it special – a superb couple that was so easy to click with, really fun guests who made the party happening, and family members who treated us like… family. Most of the decorations were done by Roy and Pek’s friends and family members… amazing flower decorations by Pek’s aunt June and stationery by her friend Hooi Yee.

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Through out my stay at The Danna, my team were treated so well by the staff there. I appreciate it that they didn’t see us as merely vendors, and saw to our every need, making sure we had water to drink all the time, made sure we had a decent place to have our meals, brought us cutlery and even offered us home made butter when it wasn’t necessary! Needless to say, the team ate well and slept really really well the night before and after the wedding, which made us really happy campers!

I love it how Roy and Pek Yee blend so easily into each other’s culture. Swiss and Malaysian cultures are worlds apart, yet, they seem so at home with each other, and even speaking a little of each other’s language. Roy’s Mandarin is definitely better than mine, since I am a pure ‘banana’ as how Malaysians would put it (yellow on the outside, white on the inside – someone whose first language is English).

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So, they met in Shanghai, China about 3 years ago… and here’s how the story goes…

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Pre-wedding at The Danna, Langkawi: Derrick & Fanny

Derrick & Fanny:

It was very early morning at 8am that we reached Langkawi.  Grace and Alex were very kind to wake up so early in the morning (after a full day shoot they had a day before) to pick us up from airport to the hotel.  I wouldn’t say the weather was great but good enough for us as it wasn’t raining heavily in Langkawi as it was in KL.  We started the shoot after lunch and went on all the way till sunset.  It was really fun and both Alex and Grace were so accommodating and patient.  We were a bit uneasy at first, not getting used to “showing our love” in front of the camera, but they guided us through all the way.It was a long and tiring day until nearly at the end when I was chit-chating with Grace and Alex that I found out the lovely couple are expecting a new family member!  Grace was so energetic and dedicated to her work and Fanny and I were feeling bad to have made her work so long!  The Stories team made our day and Diane has been very helpful in connecting things up for us from Day 1 when we started to engage them and got me hooked on chosing Stories as our photographer.  The video clip was wonderful! We can’t stop repeating it again and again, how great would it be if there is one song that could fit all the photos in! =D

Fanny and I knew each other since we were kids.  We were classmates when we were 10 in our primary school, little did she know that I was already admiring her back then!  Fate brought us back again together 10 years ago and we had been through loads of highs and lows, we are gladly thankful to have found each other and for being able to start our own family.

The proposal was really a spontaneous thing I did last June 2011 and I forgot about the previous few plans which I was cracking head on. We were both busy with work after our ROM in August last year. Needless to say, when it is the right time, you know what you ought to do.

Once again, a very big thank you to Stories, for making it work and capturing the once in a lifetime memorable moments for us.

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