Ever since Karen told us that her wedding with JP would be in Bali, all of us were waiting with bated breath to attend the momentous occasion.
Karen is actually our close friend from secondary school who went off to study and work in London. Despite the long-distance, all of us maintained our connections whenever she returned from overseas. JP also studied in the same school as ours and they actually knew each other for quite a long time before anything happened! In fact, they even attended the same tuition! It was only when they were both working in London that sparks flew and the rest as they say is history.
To say that a lot of planning went into this wedding would be an understatement because JP and Karen had poured their hearts and souls into planning their once-in-a-lifetime moment. Bali was the chosen venue because they fell in love with it when they went on a holiday there together. More importantly, JP had proposed to Karen during a romantic sunset dinner at the infamous Jimbaran beach.
Their wedding was unique as they had chosen Khayangan Estate at Uluwatu, a name which comes from the old word for ‘Seventh Heaven.’ Apparently, when Karen saw the venue on their website, she fell in love with it immediately! The website even claims to be the best Bali luxury villa as it rests on the south west tip of Bali on a breathtakingly high cliff top. Khayangan Estate proudly states that it offers one of the best views in Bali with a grand vista of the Indian ocean.
The villa comprises of ten antique wooden houses from Java which were once the homes of noble men. The designers had painstakingly grouped them together to create the mood of an old village with lush greenery. The villas are made from old teak wood and the beautiful original features such as the hand carved panels and beams have been retained. Additionally, the estate has modern facilities that promise uncompromised luxury to its occupants. Two of the master bedrooms have a private water garden with a bath tub that appears to be floating in the pond.
The next day, we returned to the villa after lunch for the tea ceremony and JP and his ‘heng tais’ had to dance their way to Karen’s villa! Naturally, the current song of choice had to be ‘Oppa gangnam’ style and JP did a good job horsing around! Right before he entered her bedroom, they had to sing Rick Astley’s ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’. Apparently, it is one of JP’s favourite songs to sing! Honestly, I think Rick Astley is quite a decent singer and I like most of his 80s songs too for their feel-good vibe!
Karen looked gorgeous in a crimson red cheongsam with a red flower tucked in her hair. It is always a touching moment whenever the groom meets his bride and kisses her! This was followed by photo sessions and the tea ceremony which was held in a separate villa. Adam Ong was the wedding photographer and I truly believe he is one of the most talented photographers around.
The wedding ceremony was held at 4.30pm and you couldn’t have asked for a better location as everyone was seated facing the vast, blue ocean. Wen Sze was the MC and she was the MC for Huey Farng’s wedding as well! She can definitely become a wedding planner if she wanted to with her creative ideas and advice! As guests took their seats, JP’s sister walked down the steps with her son and daughter who threw flowers. They all looked so adorable! Thereafter, Karen walked down the steps from her villa with her mom and dad together. This was a very poignant moment as Karen is the only child.
Karen’s friend Jocelynn also read a short, heartfelt note about love and marriage. JP and Karen then stood facing each other as they exchanged vows that they personally wrote. Both of them had no idea what the other would say but it was clear that their vows touched each other! They then proceeded to cut the cake which had cake toppers that were handmade by Karen! Both of them created a lot of customized items for the wedding such as posters, table numbers and even the dinner menu! The chocolate truffles that were served with the wedding cake were absolutely scrumptious as they were flown in all the way from London.
Guests were also able to indulge in popcorn and other light refreshments after the ceremony. A photo booth was set up for guests to write their personal messages to the couple and pose with fun props as souvenirs. Chin Ai and Diana definitely had fun with the props too!
After the ceremony, all of us freshened up at Wen Sze’s villa to get ready for the dinner. It was a beautiful dinner setting as it was held in a spacious garden with candles everywhere. The best part was definitely being able to enjoy the balmy breeze of the ocean. They also hired a wedding band that was highly recommended by a friend and true enough, the band was fantastic! I was really impressed with their vocals.
The couple gave a short speech before the dinner to thank their families and friends for helping to make this occasion an even more meaningful one with their presence. After that, everybody had a great chill-out time as they indulged in the delicious Balinese cuisine! I was definitely happy it was not the typical 10-course Chinese wedding dinner! Later, it was ‘yam seng’ time and everybody wished the couple prosperity, happiness and definitely kids!
Karen and JP then took their first dance to the floor and it was the highlight of the evening. They were also joined by JP’s nephew and niece who enjoyed dancing for the crowd! In fact, I think his nephew was dancing non-stop throughout the night like an Energizer bunny!
They also prepared door gifts for guests to take away as a breakfast treat which comprised of their favourite items, namely Famous Amos Cookies, Ipoh White Town Coffee and their favourite cake from London!
Overall, it was definitely one of the most romantic and scenic weddings I have attended and we were truly happy to be a part of it. From what I’ve witnessed throughout the wedding, I’m sure they will both continue to treat each other with an abundance of love and respect as they grow old together. Here’s the slideshow and photos!