Penang Wedding by Jon : Yein Fong and Eik Siong

Chinese weddings are elaborate affairs. The bride Yein Fong and the groom Eik Siong each hosted their own wedding receptions, and the dinners were held on two consecutive days. The highlight of Chinese weddings has to be the games. I shall not review too much of their games here, but I will tell you this much that it involved semi-stripping, wresting on the ground, kissing, having to hoist people, diapers, chillies – and I mean lots of chillies, a jarful of worms and even putting crickets in mouths! Their list of gate-crash games definitely topped all the other weddings I have attended before. I guess that if you can pass Chinese games… you can pass everything else in life.

The first reception was held at a restaurant in Bukit Mertajam. I must admit, I do not have the best sense of direction, but it took me more than an hour to get to this place instead of the expected 30 mins. I guess it’s true when people say GPS stands for ‘Guna Pun Sesat’ – Malay for getting lost although with aid. Thankfully I got there in time as I thought this could happen and have wanted to reach there early.

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Chinese wedding dinners typically have eight dishes, ranging from entree, soup, mains to dessert. After four dishes, the bride and groom prepared themselves for their second entrance. While the bride’s white gown gave her an elegant look, I felt that her bright red piece made her look absolutely stunning.

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And the hosts will toast to their guests with three roaring ‘YUMMM-sengs!’

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After the guests have all gone home, the bride and groom have to stay awake past midnight for prayers. Yein Fong had a 6.30 a.m. appointment with the make-up artist the next day, and as the studio is located in Penang island, the journey took half-an-hour by car.

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Back at her home, her bridesmaids are preparing the games for the day. They told me that they have no plans of holding back… the games would be very challenging, and that, I had to agree. I take my hats off to the gentlemen who had to take part in the games.

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I was taking some group photos for the bride’s party and after the more formal ‘look here and smile’ photo, I asked them to look at the bride. The guy sitting in front of her wondered how he should turn, so he leaned all the way back, which drew more laughter. I love moments like this.

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The tea ceremony is an important part of a Chinese wedding. The bride and groom will be introduced to their partner’s family and relatives and they will get blessings from them. The bride and groom will usually be presented with a red packet called ‘ang pao’ or gold jewellery and even cheques.

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After the tea ceremony at the bride’s house, the bride will follow the groom back to his house for another session of prayers and tea ceremony.

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The second reception was held in a hall at Butterworth. Likewise, the bride and groom made two entrances, with the bride changing gowns for each entrance.

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Although there were hired singers performing at their dinner, I believe that the wedding was made special when the couple’s friends went up on stage to sing for them.

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While it must have been very tiring to the bride and groom, their smiles throughout their wedding proof how special that day was to them. Although I have not met them before their wedding, I can see how much love they have for each other. They are such nice and warm people and I wish them the very best in life.

Also, here’s a shout-out to Shin Hau for being my second shooter. Many thanks, you have been a great help to me.

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