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Visual memories

After every wedding that I attend, I’d feel the urge to go home and look through the photos taken on our wedding day.

It’s all v strange but as the couple walk down the aisle or cut the cake or pop the champagne or make their speech, my heart will turn to mush and then I’ll think back to the day when husband and I did all that too. Recently, it was W and T’s wedding and both Mr Thick and I were deeply involved in it. And it made me miss my wedding!

When people talk to us about wedding plans, I always say to them, what is your priority? For us, it was clear: food/atmosphere and photography were of utmost importance to us. So I bought a cheaper dress and inexpensive shoes, made do with decorations bought from the internet, skipped the whole evening dress nonsense and borrowed most of my jewellery.

And whadaya know, three years on and I still go all gooey when I look at our wedding pix. Love. Eadwine was definitely the perfect choice. I mean, the ROI has been astounding!

Thicknthin: Young ones

Thicknthin: Oops I missed that?

Thicknthin: Husband and wife

ThicknThin:

But well, the wedding was fabulous but the marriage has proven to be even more awesome. ♥ Although I wouldn’t say no to another ceremony, heh heh. Maybe for our 10th year anniversary?

Lombok Lull: the place

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Don’t you just love alliteration? Whee.
WARNING: Pictures galore.

Anyway, now that I have finished the wedding recap proper, it’s time to move on to the minimoon! It may have been just a short trip to our neighbouring island but we had a great time as newlyweds. If you are thinking of going to Lombok, Indonesia, for excitement, it’s best that you head straight to places with a pulsating rhythm, like Phuket or Bali, instead. No, Lombok is the exact opposite end of the spectrum – you go there to do nothing. People describe it as Bali before the commercialisation, I say it’s a quiet sanctuary perfect for hectic cosmopolitans like us.

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Nothing.
Doing nothing (such an oxymoron) on a holiday may sound alien to us because most of the time, we are trying desperately to fit in as many activities as possible. But it’s so easy to give in to the hypnotizing lull of Lombok such that you end up sitting by the beach and marvel at how sparkling blue it is. Everyday.

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We stayed in Qunci Pool Villas, the newer development to the popular boutique hotel, Qunci Villas. Since it was our minimoon, we decided to give ourselves a treat and get a one-bedroom villa with a private pool. Technically, all the “villas” are rooms too because they have the same floor plan, area and patio. The only difference is, the villas are individual buildings while the rooms are clustered together in two storeys. Rooms on the first floor also have a unique outdoor shower, which was both weird and wonderful. Before booking the room, we emailed the hotel staff for special rates and packages and they were fabulously prompt and polite. Highly recommended.

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When we got there via Silkair, we were seriously pooped from the wedding the night before. Had a great meal at the hotel’s Quali restaurant and went back to the villa to rest. Oh, one thing to note: there isn’t a television set in the room and while you could request for one (and a DVD player), the staff will inform you politely that there are no channels available. Poor Mr Thick looked at me with such abject horror, I almost laughed.

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You see, before we got there, he had been a little concerned about the lack of connectivity (the hotel’s computer was hooked to a 56K modem on our first night). “No wifi? No TV?” he asked incredulously as he packed his BundBook into his bag. But it was all good. We had our laptops so he watched all the television shows he had procured in the comforts of the deck chairs on our patio. Plus, Graec had graciously (hee) loaned me her set of hilarious and ingenious Thursday Next books so I was pretty preoccupied. And when you have nothing to do, you end up sleeping a lot. We were snoozing by 11pm almost every night and even took naps during the day. All the sleep debt that we had racked up were duly paid back during the trip. Yeah!

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Because the hotel had cleverly placed their happy hours from 4pm to 7pm, it gave us the excuse to sit by the pool to sip cheap cocktails and watch the sun set. And it was brilliant! Front row seats to the most spectacular show from Mother Nature. We would lie back in the chairs and watch as the sun sank slowly down into the sea, in silence and with a glass of margarita in our hands.

We really, really loved Qunci Villas during our short weeklong stay. The food was awesome (to be written about in detail in a later post), the people were friendly and polite and the peace was something we needed to slow the pace down and let ourselves breathe. The lack of activities meant that it isn’t a family-friendly place, which suited us just fine because the last thing we needed was screaming kids. Even Mr Thick, who had been skeptical at going to such a quiet place, was won over.

It is the perfect place for two people to start on their married lives together. We were cosily in love, always held hands and laughed a lot. And when you take away distracting things like the Xbox, Internet and mobile phone, you feel so much at peace. We spent lots of time with each other, be it chatting about everything or in silence, and it was just perfect.

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More photos in Mr Thick’s and my flickr sets

Thicknthin: Surprise, surprise

It’s been a long while since I wrote about the wedding. Hey, I’ve been busy trying to put out the damned magazine and I have insomnia! So back to the wedding.

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After we said “I do” to each other, we came out of the room to be greeted by rain. My husband pulled me aside and revealed the bad news: we were going to have to move our wedding indoors. The ground was muddy, all the linen was soaked and our lovely, lovely decorations were ruined. I was gutted but there was nothing we could have done. The hotel staff was already busy setting up in the ballroom.

This was where it all went a bit wrong. There was a bit of trouble regarding the table seating and more than a few disgruntled looks were spotted (sigh). The situation was further worsened by rude guests who complained about their seats (the nerve!). As if we weren’t stressed out enough.

At one point, I heard Peter, our emcee, announce that there was going to be a soundcheck for an event the next day and I positively freaked out. What the hell was going on? I asked. The husband moved me to one corner and made me stay there while the rest bustled around, making sure I was sheltered from the problems. I felt really loved but honestly? It was utterly, utterly boring to sit there and do nothing!

Finally, we managed to usher the guests to their seats and the gang was outside with us, waiting for our entrances. I don’t think I will ever forget that moment when we were engulfed in the group hug – it was lovely, lovely. I am glad that I “forced” them into doing the march-in with us; I loved that they were recognised for their hard work and Skunk’s rock on pose was just priceless.

When I got into the ballroom and saw the seats on the stage, I was a bit curious. But it didn’t occur to me to ask the husband. Maybe it was the wine, maybe it was all the anxiety, my curiosity was just not working that night. Good for him, because I am usually curious as hell.

And then, there were men sitting down with guitars and mikes in front of them on stage. He had engaged a band without my knowledge! The first song that The Goodfellas (they play at Timbre) launched into was my “It” song of the moment: Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours”. Oh, it was brilliant! The band made the stuffy ballroom environment so much livelier, although I did wish that it hadn’t rained and we were dancing under the stars and lanterns instead of some stupid lights.

But that wasn’t all. Why is the husband going on stage? He said something about singing a song that was special to us, and then the guitar strains of Snow Patrol’s “Chasing Cars” started and the was warbling into the mike! It’s going to sound mushy but when he fixed his gaze upon me as he sung, it felt strangely spine-tingling and surreal. And seriously, the dude even had his own fan club! I couldn’t believe it but he had really caught me by surprise. I mean, I had been joking about him singing to me at the wedding for months but it never occurred to me that he would really do it. My husband, the romantic man, who would have known?

And so the rest of the evening passed by in a whirl. We moved around the tables and chatted with our friends. We got on stage to do the yumseng and boy, those people were really letting it rip. We did funny, silly things while uncorking the champagne and slicing up that silly cupboard cake. We laughed and cried a little (oh well, I did) when the video he had made of us played (it was my first time watching it too).

Next came surprise number three. I had allocated some time for the gang to do a toast and when they trundled onto the stage, I was expecting a speech about our embarrassing moments and perhaps a little photo montage. What appeared on the screen astounded us. It was a video of how me and the husband met, supposedly. It was 99% rubbish (apparently nobody remembered how we met exactly) but 101% hilarious. I laughed and I cried and then suddenly, the images of our overseas friends appeared on the screen! It was mad and so funny, that I even thought it funny to see Skunk play me in a pink hairband. For the record, I do not have a pink hairband. And I am not fierce. And I do not shout at people.

At the end of the night, we danced in the ballroom as the band played on and more. He did a pole dance around me, I tossed the bouquet to a bunch of excited men and GQ was the lucky recipient of the gorgeous lilies (and Nyrtap’s loving embrace). And then they came up into the bridal suite and we drank ourselves silly with the remaining red wine. Ah, drunken bliss.

It was after all these that I came to the sensible realisation: the perfect wedding isn’t about the beautiful lights, pretty favours or gorgeous decorations. It’s about being married to the love of your life, and it’s about sharing that joy with people who genuinely want to be a part of that celebration. I could do without the tables of distant relatives, they were not important to me. And while I felt a tinge of sadness that the wedding we had been planning for so long did not materialise, what really mattered was that we had finally tied the knot and it was the happiest day of our lives.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Part I: The morning
Part II: Coffee, tea or me?
Part III: Sunny skies
Part IV: The “passing” rain
Part V: We finally do

All photos by Eadwine Lay of Plush Photography.
More photos here and here.

Thicknthin: We finally do

Walking down the aisle

When I reached outside of the ceremony room, there was a small group of people there but I just wasn’t seeing them at all. It’s very hard to explain it, it was like I was in a bubble and my heart was pounding so hard. Finally, my inebriated sister and brother-in-law ambled over and we stood outside the room, waiting for the cue to enter.

“Okay, go in,” said Peter, our saviour emcee and then he disappeared into the room. I don’t know why but somehow, that remark didn’t register in our brains and we stood there stupidly, waiting for the sign that had already came. According to poor Mr Thick, he stood at the end of the aisle as the piano refrain from Five for Fighting’s 100 Years played for four times, wondering where the hell his wife was.

“Eh, go in!” It was Peter, who had appeared again. I took a huge breath, linked arms with the Sista and A, and walked in.

The crowd was huge and my breath almost stopped. Okay, given that I was 30 minutes late, it wasn’t that unbelievable, but still, that moment was mine to savour.

Except to my right, my sister was almost dashing forward to my very handsome husband-to-be, and to my left, my brother-in-law suddenly let rip a loud and hysterical guffaw and I thought, What the hell is going on? It certainly wasn’t your typical stately and elegant walk down the aisle as the Sista half-dragged me while I looked on to the still-guffawing A in bewilderment.

At least, we got to the my husband-to-be. He looked mightily relieved and to be honest, so was I. We held hands and moved behind the table to take our seats. One thing that I am grateful for was that my uncle, as our justice of peace, had shifted the seats around, such that the two of us were facing the room while his back faced the audience. While most seating arrangements saw the audience staring at the backs of the couple, this new arrangement allowed everyone to look at us clearly as the ceremony was taking place.

As Mr Thick said his “I will” and “I do”, my eyes misted over and I almost cried. Surprisingly, I managed to curb the waterworks by taking a deep breath and telling myself that I cannot cry now. My mascara would run and I would terrible! That worked, almost instantly. Ah, vanity.

We reached the point where we had to exchange our rings and he said his vows without a hitch. As I slipped his ring over his finger, I started saying my vows. Except, it wasn’t complete. It sounded like this,
…To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish ’till death do us part…

Gah! I continued saying my vows as calmly as possible, hoping against hope that nobody noticed. Not a chance. As we sat there as our parents signed the certificate. Mr Thick whispered, “Did you miss out the for richer part?” I giggled and nodded, and we sat there shaking with mirth.

But the hilarity wasn’t over. We signed the certificate and it was time for the husband to unveil me and give me the first kiss of our married lives. But we were thwarted by…my mother! Even before I had put down the pen, my mother was ushering us and going, “Take family picture now! Quick, family picture! And remember to give the red packet to your uncle!” We dutifully took that picture, with me still wearing that veil, and then wondered how we were going to get to that kiss afterall.

His eldest brother, Steven, saved us from the blushes. “Kiss the bride!” he shouted and we duly obliged. Mr Thick flipped up my veil very coolly this time, having had his practice this morning, and we stared at each other for a second.

“We didn’t practise our kiss!” I murmured. No matter. We leaned in for a sweet, demure kiss and then…ah hah! The real deal! It wasn’t practised and it was damn satisfying. Heh.

We walked down the aisle as confetti was tossed at us and then we reached the end. Now what?
The newly-marrieds

Part I: The morning
Part II: Coffee, tea or me?
Part III: Sunny skies
Part IV: The “passing” rain

All photos by Eadwine Lay of Plush Photography.
More photos here and here.

Thicknthin: The “passing” rain

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Back in the suite, my make up artist Lawrence was busy trying to transform me into a princess. It was a tough job because the lack of sleep had given me ridiculously dark eye rings and I wanted to have smoky eyes. Panda alert! But he did a fantastic job and I cannot recommend him enough.

When Mr Thick came back to the suite, the prognosis wasn’t good. Dark clouds were billowing in the horizon but we crossed our fingers and hoped that the wind would blow them away. Unfortunately, it started drizzling lightly, and he received several frantic calls from the banquet manager, who wanted to know if we wanted to move indoors.

Frankly, that had to be one of the toughest moments in my life. I had to sit there quietly as my face was being painted but my mind was whirling with pessimism and prayer. Our perfect, beautiful wedding that we had been planning for the past year was about to be washed down the drain, literally. Poor Mr Thick had to quickly – he didn’t even style his hair! – move downstairs to survey the situation. Throughout the night, he kept all the stressful decision-making to himself and protected me from the excruciating details. I never thought it was possible but I think I, to paraphrase Ingrid Michaelson’s song, love him more than I promised that night.

In the meantime, my anxiety further heightened when my god-sister began complaining about the hotel staff’s poor service and when my uncle, who was also my JP, got lost with my mother in his car. I received several high-strung calls from the matriarch, which stressed me out. Forget about being polite, I wanted to be by myself, and got my cousin to shoo everyone else out.

Best decision, really, because once I had the space to think, I decided that there was no point in getting depressed. Sure, I was extremely disappointed that our dream could not be realised but there wasn’t anything that we could do and if this was what the big guy up there intended to happen, then so be it. I focused my attention (not enough, as we found out later) on writing our vows and keeping calm.

But. We were running late! 15 minutes before the start of the ceremony, Lawrence was still fussing about with my hair. At 6.30pm, the husband-to-be rang me to ask if I was ready. Nay! The hair was still being curled! At 6.40pm, Trev came into the room to ask if I was ready. Nay! The flower was still being pinned into the curled hair! And it was still bloody raining!

Finally, Lawrence was done and I hurriedly got dressed. We darted to the door and, of all people, Trev and Al – two non-straight men – helped me into my heels. It was a hilarious moment when I dropped my skirts, thinking they were done hooking up the straps of my shoes.

“Not yet, not yet!” screeched Al, whose bald head was engulfed by the skirts. Oops. I giggled and quickly lifted them up again and in a wink of an eye, he was done. By then, it was almost seven and I was a whopping 30 minutes late. Urghs. I walked as quickly as I could in my heels and made a dash for the lift.

Screw the rain, it was time to get married!

Part I: The morning
Part II: Coffee, tea or me?
Part III: Sunny skies

All photos by Eadwine Lay of Plush Photography.
More photos here and here.

Thicknthin: 700 plus

No, this is not a new variant of the isotonic drink.
It’s the number of pictures we sat through after our photographer handed us a DVD of our wedding pictures.

I’m just, well, speechless.

(Which means I am really thrilled by all the pictures! I’ve never looked so gorgeous in my life and oh, how happily married we look. Photography is easily one of the best things we had spent on for the wedding and we had lots of fun looking through the photos and identifying what we were saying and doing at that moment the picture was taken. Kids, to relieve the beautiful moments of your wedding, don’t rely on your fuzzy memories and go for an ace photographer. You won’t regret it!)

Married!

(Click for bigger image)

(Yah. I’m one of those girls who can’t laugh girlishly and delicately. I guffaw loudly with my mouth wide open.)

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