A Cross-Cultural Lively Wedding at Cheong Fatt Sze Mansion with Traditions Reimagined

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Nestled in the heart of Penang, The Blue Mansion—Cheong Fatt Tze’s legendary indigo-hued courtyard house—became the stage for Ann Ee and JL’s grand wedding. Chosen for its breathtaking architecture and cultural resonance, it was more than just a venue; it was a vibrant tapestry that echoed their Malaysian roots and love for heritage. Its open-air courtyard, grand staircases, and intricate carvings created a romantic ambiance for the 133 guests who gathered to celebrate love.

The festivities kicked off with an entertaining gatecrashing ritual—a tradition that found a unique twist in the hands of the bride and groom. JL and his groomsmen, outfitted in quintessentially Malaysian singlets and sarong, mirrored the image of a local satay pakcik, creating a humorous sight as they paraded from The Edison to The Blue Mansion. In contrast, Ann Ee and her entourage donned kaftans and hair rollers, embodying the essence of the makcik next door. This lively event, marked by challenges and playful antics, was a cultural nod to the Malaysian community spirit and a joyous start to the day’s proceedings.

Their invitations, masterfully created by The Alphabet Press, featured not just the Blue Mansion but also familial homesteads and a hidden depiction of Marlin, their cherished pooch, melding their individual histories into a single narrative. The couple’s choice to forgo a traditional ring box in favour of a pill organiser was a detail that stood out. This small but significant detail was a nod to their shared passion and work in healthcare.

The decor, a cornucopia of color and texture by Daun & Petals, complimented the mansion’s already picturesque nature. The florals were not merely ornamentation; they were emblematic of Ann Ee and JL’s story. Orchids, Ann Ee’s mother’s favored bloom, formed her bouquet, while carnivorous plants from her collection added an unexpected twist to JL’s boutonniere. They also represented plants from Ann Ee’s (a self-proclaimed plant lady) home collection. The Sampaguita (Sambac jasmine) adorning the couple chairs was an added feature to celebrate JL’s Filipino heritage.

A particularly touching aspect of their wedding was the ‘honouring of married guests’. Before the day, the couple embarked on a secret project to collect wedding dates and photos from their already married guests. They then crafted a chronological timeline adorned with these memories, all connected by a red thread representing the fate that had woven their lives together. This heartfelt tribute was a testament to the journeys that preceded theirs and the bonds that would continue to grow.

When asked about their most memorable moments, JL replied that the gatecrashing and tea ceremony stood out. As an Australian of Filipino descent, they were especially memorable for him since he and his family had never experienced something like that before. Ann Ee echoed her partner’s sentiment. “The vows, our first dance, and dancing with everyone during the afterparty. Standing in the middle of the courtyard, surrounded by our loved ones, the beautiful decor and architecture of The Blue Mansion was magical. I could barely compose myself when we exchanged our vows and felt enraptured as we danced with each other during our first dance. The night ended so beautifully with all our friends and family from different parts of our lives dancing together.”

“Make it authentically you. We kept tradition that mattered to us but veered off the path of the “template wedding” when it didn’t feel authentic or necessary. I think it is easy to be confined by what people would usually expect from a wedding but at the end of the day, it is your big day and most people only get to do it once.. so make it personal to you.” the bride and groom shared.

Vendor Highlight:

Venue: Cheong Fatt Tze, The Blue Mansion

Photographer: Hello Jane Lee

Videographer: Song & Bii of Thesanren

Planner: Evelyn & Lai Ling of Moments

Decorator/Florist: Daun & Petals

Carnivorous Plant Supplier: Chee Hong, Bunface Potato

Bridal Gown: Dragana from d’Italia

Bridal Hanfu: Chi Xia, Taobao

Bride’s Earrings: December Studio

Engagement Ring: A Story Tokyo

Wedding Bands: Handmade by Bride

Bridesmaid dresses: Emcee Couture

Groom’s Suit: Orias

Wedding Invitation & Stationery: The Alphabet Press

Door gifts: Bingka

Pop-up Bar: Zach & Beth of Backdoor Bodega

Bridal Makeup: Shella Goh

Dance classes: Suzie Melloy, The Next Step Co

Entertainment: Cia Ee, Chooi Si, and AJ (friends and family)

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