Monday, October 21, 2013

ITS FINALLY DONE!!! end of a chapter... start of a new one

Marriage for most is a blissful and exciting time. But lots of people do not see the entire scene before the whole marriage. I for myself had my moments of ups and downs.

It all started one and a half year ago when I decided to take the leap of faith or for some the plunge to the next phase in life. Like most guys, this means letting go our bachelor life and for some, total freedom.

First hurdle was to find a good way to propose. With the emergence of bloody "cool proposals" on youtube, life for guys has been a living hell. When ever your other half showed you the video... in your mind you will go like "fuck!... shieat..... how am I gonna top that!". You know now the standard has been set! its not an easy task. But in real fact, yes, doing that may be great but it is more on keeping it personal and sweet but most of all memorable as this is something for just both of you. Unless you and your partner are some attention freak! gila glamour type, then I got no comments. What I did was something simple and subtle and something that only both of us will know and cherish. Something that we can talk and laugh at in years to come... something... us!

Second hurdle was to prepare to break the news to our family. That wasn't that hard coz both of our family were already expecting it to happen anytime soon as we have already been together for 7 adventurous years. We decided to register first and have the marriage one year later. We set the date of our ROM to coincide with our 7th year anniversary as a couple. 

Right after the ROM we have to start looking for our dinner venue. My family wanted us to pick certain auspicious dates based on our birth dates, saying that this a Chinese culture. Well, I don't really got a choice there. Its to make everyone happy. Then the first real challenge came. Choosing the venue.We sat down and shortlisted all the venue that we wanted and started doing our research. Once that is done, then we went to all of those places to check with them on the availability. Then the first real problem came. All of the location on my top 10 shortlist was booked on the dates that I wanted. Mind you this was almost one and a half years ago. I started to get worried. We looked and looked and looked but all venue for dinner was taken. After sitting down and thinking, we decided to just do a lunch instead of a dinner. Location? the first location on my list, HGH convention center. 

We then decided on the theme of the wedding. How would it be? We decided to make it not like the typical Chinese wedding. Why? it wont be memorable. I will be "JUST ANOTHER WEDDING". I wanted to stamp my ideas and style all over it. It will be me and my wife's wedding. Something people will remember. Something different.... So I decided to do what I do best... an animated wedding! 

Then as the months went by, both me and my wife were busy with our work and also both me and my wife took our MBA course together. Hence more work. We were both heavily involved in BNI too. So it was all work and work and work for the next few months. 

At the start of this year, we decided to do another function in my wife's hometown, Kota Kinabalu (KK), Sabah. As my wife wanted to be blessed in the church she was baptized in. Hence the second part of planning started. This was rather a more frantic one as this we have less than a year to do. We started checking out hotels for the reception and also checking the available date for the church. Being a Catholic church, we then need to go through the marriage course. We checked most of the places in KL but it was quite a hassle as my wife was baptized in KK and they needed us to get approval from the KK church and this and that. Then when we got our documents, the KL churches say that we were too late and there was no more space. We were furious, and decided to call up my wife's church and to our surprise they were very welcoming. Saying that its free seating and everyone is welcome. Hence the frantic booking and planning was done.

Next was the food testing. It was at Sekinchan, some 2 hours drive from KL. It was well worth it as the food was good. 

As the wedding approaches I realized that the venue do not provide any wedding card, hence I have to design it myself and find my own printer. Printing took a rather long time as there were many festivals in between.  That took a while. It was a challenge as I was pressured by all sides on this. The constant question "Is the wedding card done?"... "Have you printed?"... "When is it done? need to send out already!!!"... I was helpless... all I can do is just call up the printer to ask him... and all he can say is... on the way! I cant scream at him nor rush him as I know he too is busy. I cant change printer as he is already printing... By the time it came we were already too busy to send it out. Then we realized that the size of the card was not a standard size and we have to find the right envelope.

The day for the wedding course came. We took a week off to go for the crash course. Since we were in KK, we decided to check out and book our dinner reception venue and settle some of the church stuffs all in one trip and at the same time do our pre wedding photo shoot. It was a hectic week as we have to stuff all 3 things into one week. I have to say it was a productive week. 

One and a half month before wedding. At this time I was already bogged down with so many things. First at work, my management wanted us to rework our entire block and wanted to change lots of things. To make things worse is that my team is a small team. And of all time, around 1 month before my wedding!! When things are already so hectic for me.

By now without sleep, and minimal assistance, I was under immense pressure. I didn't wanted to bother others and I took every task and duty to myself. At the same time we were on the verge of a change of leadership team in my BNI. This was where my balancing act to juggle work, BNI, MBA and wedding at the same time. I didn't even have time to spend with my wife to be. I forgo my friends and social life and I was quite depressed. But I held up my head and told myself... this is a test I must pass! and one I will pass!!

1 month before the wedding, its time for RSVP. Both KK and KL wedding. No one was confirmed. Some did, some didn't. Some maybe, some "I will tell you later"

Then  came the KK wedding. By then I was already a train wreck. Tired, stressed and exhausted. I was lucky my wife's sisters helped out and organized it for us. By then I was not only exhausted, I was nervous. As this is my first Catholic wedding (yes the first Catholic wedding I attended happens to be mine!). It worked out well and we had fun at the dinner reception. Thank god!.

Right after the KK wedding, I was back to KL to prepare for my KL reception. This was rather stressful as it was the first time a wedding will be conducted digitally. I have to sit down with my team and work things out. And I realized that I was running out of time. I was juggling the RSVP, animation and slides and also the recording of the hengtai and jimui's wishes.  All this in just 1 and a half week.

By this time, the irritating yet common thing happened. One week before the wedding, those who we confirmed coming, tells us at the last minute that they cant make it. But it is a common thing right? my sis and friends say that this is a common thing. But I would say, its just disappointing. But again, no time to be bothered. By now I was very stressed up on my animation and slides as we are facing hiccups after hiccups. At the same time I need to re-confirm my cake, hall payment, transportation and guest list. 

It was starting to hit me physically, emotionally and psychologically. I was sleeping 1-2 hours daily. I was easily irritated but the one thing that was keeping me going on was my wife, family, my buddies and the determination to make this a memorable event. I wanted everyone to enjoy the day. Its my personal mission to make the difference.

Then came the wedding day, by then I didn't sleep for 2 days due to the last minute glitches of my slides. In the morning, mind is floating, my house packed with relatives. I called my wife and told her "behold as you are going to witness the first of its kind wedding today... its show time!". Put down the phone and dressed up. 

Went to my wife's house to pick up the bride. My heart was racing with anticipation and excitement. Then came the games... it was very nice of the brides mates to not torture us too much. Then finally, I get to see my beautiful wife for the first time in 2 days... ever so beautiful... sitting there waiting for me with a gleaming smile. Took her to my place and have a tea ceremony. Then came the show... our show. Went to the HGH hall and first thing I noticed was the awesome hall decoration. I was stunned at how well they decorated the hall. Then the moment of truth came... the show that I planned for months began. Me and my team was holding our breath when we hit the play button...... and there it stood...

two gigantic digital emcees... we were almost in tears as they spoke. The very first digitally hosted wedding ever in Malaysia.... as the lunch went by, videos and animations went on... there were some minor glitches... and it was over. Most of the people I met was amazed by the show... the hall and the food... I was a happy man. It wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for my buddies and family's help... By then I felt 30kg lighter. The huge burden is taken off... 

After the long journey... I am officially married.... legally, religiously and culturally...

It was a wonderful experience... one that would stick to me all my life... 

Before I sign off... I would also like to apologise to those who I offended directly or indirectly... and apologise for any wrongdoings... for I wasnt myself for the last few weeks.
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