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Monday, February 4, 2008

Ning & Omar's Marriage Bliss

I'm very very sorry I haven't the time earlier to upload my stories and pix of all the events leading up to the big wedding reception that night.

Now I shall pile all the events that took place between Jan29 - Feb2. As Maid of Honor, I stayed very close to the bride throughout this whole time, looked after her, looked out for her, helped make invitation cards and did all the fun things with her too! Like clean her butt - just kidding. But I'm sure some of you WOULD think that's fun;)

Well, just some background for you, my friendship with Ning started 16 years ago. I was an emerging dancing queen whereas she, was a rising star. We've come a long way... but it's a wonderful rare thing to have - this chance to be around an old friend who's about to embark on her new life journey, to be right beside her when she's given away to the man of her life and to celebrate this sort of happiness with both of them in the most extraordinary way. Ning's wedding is therefore something very close to my heart...more so when she asked me to be her maid of honor.

Now unfortunately I didn't get the chance to snap pix coz I was constantly at 'work' plus at times, battery died. But Sasha has tons of beautiful pix especially the Nikah, so please go look there as well. I'll start with the MALAM BERINAI on Jan29. Didn't really know what to expect coz I've never been to a 'malam berinai' but I imagined it to be more like a bridal shower, you know a girls' thang...
....hardly. There was press interviews and photography and filming too. Especially now when Colin & Maureen (Omar's dad & mum) had arrived in town.
It was my first time meeting them too. Colin told me he already knew who Maple Loo is before we even met coz he reads my blog!! He said that's one of the only ways both him & Maureen get updates on what their son and Ning's up to. It's funny coz it just never occured to me like that! Well, I'm so glad at least my blog will continue to keep them informed of things over here;)

Everyone got their chance to get 'painted'. Meanwhile there was food, damn good food that night...

Ning's plams - before and after

We all had a meeting about the BERSANDING reception. That was the first time we saw the plan for the incredible set design that was to be Kampung Nekmat.

Omar looking cool, calm and collected... he did recite his line in full Malay and in one breath. Bravo, he did in a heart beat! Heh...after all that practice, patut lah... Then on the same night at a secret location with ambience and setting to match Kampung Nekmat's theme, family and close friends celebrated Ning & Omar's poignant affair with overwhelming emotions.

The night was PERFECT. It didn't rain a drop! It was magical. Maureen was in tears during the exchanging of vows, so was Ning and Omar and Sarimah and even Omar's brother, Mark.
And my message to Chris that night was :
Chris, you’ve found yourself a highly adaptive tropical creature with incredible compassion. She will morph into what it takes to create happiness, this I know.
Her big heart will help you champion any challenges in life and I know you’ll appreciate and love with all your soul, this very easy-going, fun-loving, forgiving beautiful human being you now call wife.

It was SO important we get our foot massage. I'd be vertical quite alot and Ning too,only worse. Her feet will succumb to abuse the whole night by things of beauty as such...

Well, before we send our feet for defence, we went for a face fix here at our secret place....
Tips to stay fresh and glowy from our beautcian, Agnes. This little haven of ours does such a great job on our skin we decided not to share it with everybody else, so sorry folks, can't tell you where we got our magic from!
Of course Astro followed us all through - Ning talking to the camera on her bridal pampering session.

We were running slightly behind time but were happy anyway that we got to do everything we planned to do for the day. Strangely, things had been unbelievably smooth for us - I didn't feel anxious at all which was nice coz I could really enjoy my time with my darling Ning.
On the way to Matrade, we had one more thing to pick up - the extra posey Datin had requested to match this outfit which Ning's wearing for the first march-in. Smooth like I said, the florist so happened to be in the area! Hmmm....must be Aunty Stella's meditation that morning...

If you remember correctly, when Ning & Omar got engaged, all had thought it was the actual wedding. So what would you call that night's extravaganza? T'was more than a wedding. It was an experience... a feast for the senses.
The BERSANDING night was really the reception for the people of Malaysia. Matrade went through a metamorphorsis - convention center turned Kampung Nekmat - Ning & Omar's ideal place of bliss. The back to basics 'kampung melayu' theme was truly a brilliant idea. Not only was it aptly refreshing compared to the usual wedding scenes we see, what can possibly be more authentic than displaying culture and demonstrating traditions in a 'real' robust and charming kampung atmosphere?! Omar's family (including himself!) and foreign friends were really in for a holistic treat!

Of course, a good idea is nothing if not properly executed. So, the entire makeshift village was brought to life like a movie set; complete with live animals, a wooden jetty, a river, a balai, the groom's house, wide verandahs for common gatherings - elements one would find in a typical kampung, we brought it to town that night! Quintessentially kampung. It was perfect!

The brain behind this imaginative set was none other than Ning's surrogate sister and close friend, Datin Seri Farida. It takes a dynamic being with vision and powerful imagination to think this and pull force to execute it. Really. She worked not only her brains but her hands tirelessly too - from the grand dulangs for the nikah to the pretty favors and grand flower arrangements with NingClix for the night's reception.

Pernikahan at the Bangsar mosque Jan31 morning

What I found too cool to be true was these old-school bottled sodas which many have not seen in years (perhaps forgotten).... the sweets and candies you could buy only from a village kedai runcit (grocer), the village cuisine served, plastic chairs + vinyl table cloth and the communal seating style, flanked by goats and chickens and people dressed like typical kampung folks....and then the procession with the entourage accompanied by sounds of kompang. There was this sense of innocence - something so simple can be so beautiful. It's a way of life many may have easily forgetton, which is why the night was even more so meaningful.

I couldn't stop binging on these peanut cakes! Again, thanks to Sasha for the yummy pic.

Both Ning's & Omar's designer outfits, however promised iminent surprises - they were anything but typical...

The first outfit for the night - Omar the pahlawan (warrior), Ning the traditional diva in an all GLAM-ed up baju Pahang by Rizman.
Omar's outfit for the BERADAP and SUAP, like Ning's Queen Elizabeth I-meets-Balinese Princess dress was designed by vintage-chic designer Jovian Madagie. Like I said, Ning is the case of a paradox found. She's best described as a delicious kerabu - sweet, spicy, zesty & savoury, Ning's these things all at once....
My sayang Ning, being ever-evolving yet highly adaptive, she handled her 3 transformations that night like a piece of cake. Omar sayang, WELCOME TO SHOW BUSINESS hahahaha!!

This is a stunning pic of Ning's hour-glass figure accentuated by Jovian's cut. (Thanks to Sasha for the snapshot:)

Ning & Omar in their cake-cutting number designed by Michael Ong. Her dress is a kebaya-inspired gown with a a little bop skirt behind successed by a long layered chiffon train.
This dress actually looks so much better in real life! Pictures don't do it justice lah... Or maybe it's my camera?Pretty in Pink - Colin & Maureen, the wonderful in-laws who've finally adapted to the camera flashes and interviews. They've so thoroughly enjoyed every moment of this wedding right from the start. They would like to think it was a normal wedding, well in many ways it was as there was so much love and affection within our clique. But it's undeniable as Colin put it, this wedding is for the people who admire and respect Ning and most of all for this country.
with Elyna Effendi - the PENGAPITs

People worry about saying stupid things when making a speech whereas I worry about not saying enough. Well, that night I didn't say enough. And I can't say enough how much I love Ning and Omar as real friends and wonderful human beings. So to you both, here's what I wished I had said :

We may have many many friends in a lifetime, but Ning you're one true friend. Humility is your greatest virtue. I see where it comes from – your remarkable mother Aunty Stella... you’ve kept your feet on the ground all through your stardom. And because of this you have such a big capacity to love and care for others genuinely. For that I love you Ning, and you know there's nothing I wouldn't do for you. I'll always be there for you, this I promise.
Chris, 2 beautiful human beings belong together. From the way Ning talked about you, I liked you already even before I met you! You deserve each other.
Federico and I, we love every moment we've spent with you. We'll be in your lives forever.
The family I feel I'm so much a part of now.

Things friends do for each other

Juwita – the pengapit at the Arkad Nikah who was also the most important person on the night's operation. By far the most efficient floor manager, the most precious thing Ning could have as friend, she had only 2 bananas to eat before running the 'show'. Kesian Jui...

Vernon – the dedicated partner, commited manager and great friend who had spent sleepless nights thinking, planning, pulling resources together and strategizing for the most awe-inspiring wedding to ever take place in Malaysia. Must be karma to have a business partner who'd walk through fire for you.

Datin Farida – the penghulu, the omnipresent, like oxygen; although she had preferred a role behind the scene, didin't wanna be seen but she was all around, influencing everything. Like Ning had said at the end of the night when MC Mahathir Lokman handed her the mic:
What have we (Omar & I) done to deserve all of this... to deserve you.

the wedding team

Ning & Omar together with family have escaped for their honeymoon this morning. I know they'll all have the chance to really recoup and enjoy doing nothing at all;)
If you don't already know, a coffee table book which consists of stories, writings and many many more pictures from their preparation, pre-wedding shoot (which I haven't even seen) to the kampong night and beyond will be published. So go get yourself a copy for keepsake... or better, buy now to sell in the future for triple the price - again, just kidding.
Also watch out for the BERSANDING which RIA will air (if i'm not wrong) on Feb7 whereas the exclusive coverage on wedding preparations done by NONA will be aired on Feb17.

A sigh of relief from me, it's finally over. Ning, for you, this is just the beginning jeng jeng jeng!!

1 comment:

(in nothingness) said...

happy chinese new year maple ;p from faiz