I previously met Choy through Min Jee a few years ago and it was a pleasure taking pictures for her engagement party with my friend Tah Cheng. When I arrived in the morning at Choy’s childhood home, I was warmly greeted by her parents and also met her best friend from Singapore who is a florist and had prepared a lovely bouquet of flowers as the centerpiece for her dining table. I also met Choy’s twin sister, May and her two adorable daughters who were happily tucking into their breakfast.
Choy wore a gorgeous custom-made cheongsam and the fabric and French lace were from Royal Fabrics in Arab Street, Singapore while the handmade buttons were a gift from her Yeema. The cheongsam was sewn by Master Lam, an experienced tailor from Sengkang, also in Singapore. To add to the traditional significance of this occasion, Choy wore her late grandmother’s slim, vintage silver watch from the 1950s and a pair of elegant jade drop earrings.
Her fiancé, Michael, is an Indonesian Chinese and his family practices a custom that reminded me of the “merisik” custom whereby his family will meet her family to invite Choy to be part of the family. On top of this, there was an exchange of gifts. Michael’s family and relatives had actually flown in from Jakarta the day before to attend this special occasion. His grandparents had also made the journey to witness this event.
Upon arrival at Choy’s home, Michael’s family members carried trays of gifts which were predominantly red in colour. It was a striking sight as the family members stood next to each other, wearing colourful cheongsams and batik shirts whilst holding the trays. Thereafter, both families sat together in the living hall and expressed their happiness for Choy and Michael’s engagement. It proved to be an emotional moment as Choy shed tears of joy during the family discussion and when her fiancé and future mother-in-law fastened a necklace on her which signified that they were engaged.
Overall, it was an unforgettable engagement party and it is wonderful that certain customs and traditions are still kept alive. My thanks to Choy for giving me the opportunity to take these photos and congratulations once again!