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International

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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Bali Pre-Wedding: Ken & Regina

Since we’re on this series of posts about international shoots, here’s another that was done in Bali with Ken and Regina. This is one amazing couple that we’ve had the privilege of knowing. They are really friendly, thoughtful and kind. (anyone who gives us cupcakes after their wedding is on our best friends list. Haha we’re that easy to bribe). Well, they recently tied the knot in Dec and we’re sooo happy for them. Thank you for an adventure in Bali… lots of love to the both of you!

20150923_PRE_WEDDING_KEN_REGINA_08520150923_PRE_WEDDING_KEN_REGINA_042 Continue Reading

Wedding overlooking Tanah Lot, Bali: Terence & Sarah

20150926_WEDDING_TERENCE_SARAH_0331It’s been a few months since my sister-in-law Sarah tied the knot with Terence, but the photos are too good not to share! I am really proud of my team Weiming and Jamie, who did such an amazing job photographing this wedding. Their ceremony was held on the lawn of the Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Resort overlooking the temple at Tanah Lot.

It was a beautiful day, breezy and cool. The ceremony was personal and special as my husband Alex officiated the wedding. Personalised vows made everyone crack up in laughter, and the dancing at night, including the surprise performance by Terence’s family was hilarious. At the end of the day, it was a gathering of loved ones, celebrating the union of two people who had been dating for over a decade.

“We met back in university, many moons ago, but nothing really happened until after we came back from Melbourne. We’re opposites in many ways, I’m an introvert, whereas Terence is an extrovert. He’s a neat freak, and I’m…not. I love reading, Terence rarely picks up a book. Terence loves football, I don’t see much point in men running around a field kicking a ball!

We also have common interests, we enjoy watching movies, having a cuppa coffee at our favourite cafe, and travelling overseas. I’d say we’re both pretty practical people, after Terence proposed, one of the first questions I asked was, “Which credit card did you use to buy the ring?” He laughed, and said he was debating the same thing just before he paid for it!” – Sarah

I’d like to share a quote written by the groom’s dad, and shared by Alex during the wedding itself. A lovely analogy about life and a bicycle, which I think is really good advice to a couple starting life together!

“Today it struck a chord within me that riding a bicycle is a mirror representation of life itself. When the bicycle is in motion, on the move, however slow, you are able to keep your balance as long there is a forward momentum. The slower it gets, the harder it is to keep balance. The minute you do a dead stop it will fall.

In life we were fast paced in our young days to get an education, find a good job, build a career and settle down with family and as we reach retirement we literally slow down. In my bicycle analogy we must avoid slowing down to the point of almost no forward motion. We have to keep ourselves moving and occupied, socially, mentally and physically. Towards the later part of the journey many will also enhance their spiritual development.
Therefore, whether you are in your 50s, 60s or 70s, keep moving enthusiastically. Plan things ahead to keep you looking forward. Do what you love and if this ties in with helping others in one way or another, it’s fantastic and a double bonus. As for me, I love to travel, read, teach, play music and plan surprise parties to celebrate moments. So please join me and together we will keep moving forward and enjoy the ride of life into the final sunset, enjoying the scenery of humanity and all it has to offer. When the time is ripe to really stop, we can park our bicycle and hang it up on the wall. Everyone will look up and say silently “it was a wild and well ridden machine”. Live life full.”

Naka Island Wedding, Phuket: Andrew & Katrina

20151017_WEDDING_ANDREW_KATRINA_387Part 2 of Andrew and Katrina’s celebration continues, after their KL wedding events. It was my first time to Naka Island, Phuket and it was such a good experience being there. Thanks to the couple, I managed to also have a little break before the wedding and dipped in the sea, tried paddle boarding and cycling to my villa (which I decided was definitely more tiring than my full wedding day shoot, even though the ride lasted 10 minutes uphill).

Their ceremony was held at the royal horizon pool villa and it was just gorgeous, despite the rain that delayed the start of the ceremony. When we began, there was a beautiful rainbow overlooking the villa. It was a full rainbow too! Well, Andrew definitely found his pot of gold at the bottom of the villa, and it was Katrina!

So one of the things I discovered about Andrew and Katrina was that they can carry out an entire conversation by singing it in tune. They certainly know how to have fun together!

20151017_WEDDING_ANDREW_KATRINA_463You have to watch the wedding video highlights below of their wedding day. It’s a pretty long highlight – 10 minutes, but there was just so much going on that we had to extend the highlight! Their first dance at The Majestic was sooo much fun too. Check it out here.

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Two Middle-Eastern Weddings

libyan-wedding01Traditional Libyan wedding outfit

A few months ago, I was approached to photograph two very interesting weddings. Both were Middle Eastern weddings and required an all-female photography and videography team here in Kuala Lumpur. Since I love a challenge (despite not speaking Arabic) and have always been fascinated with Middle Eastern culture (I’ve read lots of biographies especially of women living in this region), I decided it would be wonderful if I could photograph these weddings! Somehow, I gained favour in the eyes of the couples, and my team was engaged to cover their events.

The first couple was from Yemen. They were originally meant to be wed in their home country, but because of the civil war that is still ongoing, they had to move their wedding to Malaysia. Up to one week before the wedding, they weren’t sure if their family could come for the wedding as the Yemen airport was closed due to unrest. Thankfully, the couple had already left Yemen by then, and were sure that at least they would be there to attend their own wedding! This couple have known each other for a few months before getting married.

yemeni-wedding03The second couple was from Libya. I really had a tough time communicating in English for this wedding but thankfully, even though I couldn’t understand their verbal language, I understood universal body language! I found out that this couple have only known each other for 2 months and that the groom worked with the bride’s father.

One common theme during the two weddings were the separation of gender during the parties. I knew that it would happen, but I never understood how it would unfold on the wedding day. Interestingly, both cultures had different standings on how strict they were on allowing men to view them unveiled. I am not sure if it was specific to these families, or it was a cultural thing. The Yemeni family I photographed was particularly strict about this, so there were two grand entrances (one with the bride only to a roomful of unveiled women), and then the bride and groom to the same room of women who covered themselves again before the groom entered the room. There was a lot of cheering, clapping and singing as the couple made their entrance. Many of the women who were at the Yemeni party specifically told us not to photograph or film them, so it felt a little strange for me to mainly focus on the couple during the wedding. Naturally, I had to respect their wishes but it was not possible to completely ignore all guests! (one lady specifically made me delete her photo from my camera when she saw that I had photographed her). I found it challenging knowing who I could photograph and who I couldn’t.

However, at the Libyan wedding, the guests kept on asking for photos (repeatedly and in many different poses)! It was quite entertaining, really! Continue Reading