#ThePouponsWed Marriage Solemnisation Ceremony…

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Bilal Guillaume Jeanpierre & Nadiah M. Din

This domain has been “dead” for slightly over four months and frankly speaking, there were times I felt like just calling it a day, such is my daily commitments taking up so much of my time that blogging is the last thing on my mind. But in between I still continue getting invites to shows, album launches and even invitations to cover celebrity wedding events. I will not make any promises about posting them all, but I will definitely try to, moreso since my favourite annual event, Anugerah Planet Muzik, is just around the corner. Well, speaking of covering celebrity wedding events, my comeback post is on the marriage solemnisation ceremony of local actress-host Nadiah M. Din and Bilal Guillaume Jeanpierre held at The Colonial @ Scotts on 14 August 2016.

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The bride looking splendour in her outfit by Fatimah Mohsin

I had gotten the invitation to cover their upcoming momentous event (their wedding reception is in December 2016) way back in December 2015, a good one year ahead. But the solemnisation ceremony was only brought to my attention by our celebrity bride some two to three months ago when I met her at an event. I usually do not sacrifice my weekly Sunday evening football sessions unless it is for something dire, but I had given my word in advance, plus the fact that this was a God-willing, once-in-a-lifetime event for our lovely couple, hence I could go without playing for just one weekend. Anyway, Nadiah was the one who sought my contact and personally contacted me to cover her event. It is difficult to say “No” when one has added that kind of personal touch.

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Nadiah‘s elder brother, Ahmad Ghazali, reciting a short supplication for the newly-weds and invoking blessings for the guests and event…

I will not relate much about the marriage solemnisation ceremony as you would have probably read what transpired from the mainstream media days after the event or even watched it via live streaming on the day itself, only the second local Malay celebrity to have done it after Syarif and Malaque Mahdaly back in November 2014. What struck me during the event was how much love the couple had, not only for one another but also the people close to them. Bilal, even though he did not get the opportunity to get to know Nadiah‘s late father, Allahyarham Mohammad Din Mohammad, went out of his way in his thank you speech to ask the guests to recite a short supplication for his departed soul, a gesture that highlighted what a big-hearted person he is.

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Bilal reciting the all-important marriage vows (Akad) with Ahmad Ghazali giving away his sister’s hand in marriage…

I was surprised that Bilal, being a non-celebrity, did a lot of the talking in their joint speech, mostly expressing his gratitude to Nadiah‘s family and relatives for accepting him with open arms right from the start. With his good looks, charm, sincere mannerisms and soft-spoken nature, it is easy to see why Nadiah fell head over heels with him. I would too if I was a lady. I actually had the opportunity to speak with him for the first time during the recent Hari Raya Aidilfitri festivities when we bumped into one another at Norfasarie and Baihakki Khaizan‘s housewarming event. There, I was able to get to know the man first hand and he was curious with this blogging aspect of my hobby. If the first meeting left a good lasting impression of him, the second one during the solemnisation ceremony only entrenched the positive feeling further.

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The newly-wedded couple displaying their wedding rings on their fingers…

The solemnisation ceremony was attended by about 150 guests, mostly family members and close friends, as well as representatives from the media in Singapore and Malaysia. Nadiah‘s hand in marriage was given away by her elder brother, Mr. Ahmad Ghazali and the ceremony was solemnised and officiated by Ustaz Syakir Pasuni. For the record, RIA 89.7FM‘s Fiza O hosted the event and amongst the local personalities who attended were fashion designer Lulu Alhadad, Munah Bagharib, Lydia Izzati and Cheryl Wee. The latter three mentioned were also amongst the five maids-of-honour of the bride. Akrab Kompang Services provided the recitations of the Selawat just before the close of the ceremony to cap off a befitting end. And of course, the bride and groom donned outfits specially designed by none other than celebrity make-up artiste Fatimah Mohsin.

thepouponswed 486The newly-wedded couple with Nadiah‘s immediate family members…

Before I end off this entry, I would just like to congratulate our newly betrothed couple Nadiah & Bilal once again on embarking on this new chapter of their lives as man and wife. May the blessings of the Almighty be their guiding light in this journey till eternity and beyond. Thank you for kindly inviting me and family to this momentous event!!! Also my heartiest congratulations to bro Aliff Aziz and Bella Astillah who solemnised their marriage this past Friday 9 September 2016!!! To my Muslim readers, I wish you Eid Mubarak. May Allah accept our deeds and shower us with blessings in abundance… 🙂

Snapshots of #thepouponswed Solemnisation Ceremony

Wedding of Taufik Batisah & Sheena Akbal…

Shique2015 (22)Taufik Batisah & Sheena Akbal

It is only April 2015, but I dare say that this was easily the “Shaadi (“Wedding” in Hindi) of the Year“, both for its elegance, the guests turnout, the media coverage, as well as who was the married couple in question. Yes, to much dread and disappointment for ladies who had the hots for our first Singapore Idol, Taufik Batisah is now officially off the market and betrothed to Ms. Nurshaheena Binte Akbal Ahmad or affectionately known as Sheena. In a grand wedding affair befitting of his status as arguably Singapore‘s current number one singer, more than 3000 guests attended their lunch reception held at the Muslim Delights events venue on the seventh floor of Luzerne Building last Saturday, 4th April 2015, to celebrate their wedding and to wish them the very best in this new chapter of their lives.

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Looking spleandour in their second outfit and meeting their guests…

Hand to heart, I certainly did not expect to be invited as I had anticipated a small wedding affair for close friends and family members. But the groom himself contacted to personally invite me and the family to his big day, less than two weeks to the wedding day. How could we ever say “No” to this humble and down-to-earth guy who has always been so nice and accomodating in the past to be photographed and allowed me to record short video snippets of him at events and showcases??? It was an honour indeed and here on behalf of my family, I would like to extend my gratitude to Taufik‘s family for inviting us and most definitely not forgetting his manager, Ms. Alison Leong, for kindly allowing me to cover this momentous occasion.

Shique2015 (39)DJ KC and his beloved wife, Fiza O, were the emcees for both the lunch reception and wedding dinner…

I would like to say more about the wedding event, but sadly (or rather, thankfully), The New Paper as well as the other local media sites had already said it for me in their respective feature articles yesterday which you can kindly Google to read or view the video highlights they had put up. I was fortunate enough to be able to sit through his short fifteen minutes session with the media brigade halfway through the lunch reception before he changed into his second outfit. Taufik shared quite a number of interesting stuff like how he feels that he is THE lucky guy, rather than the other way round, how he proposed to Sheena in the car (Taufik, bro you should really seriously think about recording that song into a single. It will definitely be a sure hit on the charts!!!), their future plans to start a family and how many children they would want to have (three for him, two for her…) and so on.

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Taufik addressing the media…

Taufik also shared some interesting insights like how Sheena is one of the fortunate ones to get to listen to his new singles before they are released and giving her fair share of inputs and critique. Which of course made yours truly enquired, whether her voice was the one we hear in the massive hit single “#awakkatmane“, and Taufik finally revealed that it was definitely her. In truth, I already knew beforehand that it was her voice, just that I felt it was no harm to hear it from Taufik himself since I still get people asking me till this day who is the girl behind the voice in that song. I would have loved to give all those people the politically correct answer, but since Taufik himself did not reveal initially, then I was in no position myself to do so. I would have also loved to have asked him what did she think of his first acting stint in “Demi Adriana“, but that’s a question to be asked another day.

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Taufik serenading “Hanya Kamu” to his beloved wife, Sheena

Taufik showed a side to him that most of us probably would never have seen before throughout his decade-long career in the music scene, and that was to tear up whilst singing his song. He did crack when he sang “Hanya Kamu“, the song he dedicated to Sheena. I had expected the bride to cry, but the opposite happened. Taufik had shared during the interview session with the media, how unfazed Sheena has been amidst the media scrutiny when he was all worried about her, but she has so far taken it in her stride and is a person who is not easily swayed by all the gossips and chatter that is synonymous to the entertainment world. In fact he said, it has never been an issue nor a contentious talking point between them all these while. Neither was the fact that she did not mind not being known as his other half before this, when most girls out there would like their other halves to tell the world who they are. It is very rare indeed to find such a partner and I have nothing but profound respect for Sheena. Taufik is indeed a lucky guy!!!

Shique2015 (51)The newly-weds on the wedding dais taking in the performance from “Yaar Punjab“, the Bhangra percussion group that accompanied them out to meet the guests…

What I was most impressed with however, was the organisation of the whole event. For those who attended, I am sure most of them would have queued up for what felt like ages, just to go up to the event venue and having to register their names and showing their wedding invitation cards to the officials on duty. It might have looked too strict to some and probably a waste of time having to wait for their turns to go up, but I thought it was the best thing to do, to prevent gatecrashers and uninvited guests from turning up unannounced. To their credit, the officials on duty were all patient and full of smiles, even though the weather threatened to leave some of us with a bad temper given the heat. I felt it was orderly and everyone was cooperative, allowing the event to go on fuss-free. Kudos to everyone involved in the smooth running of operations during the wedding event. My utmost salute to all of you!!!

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A kiss for the groom from the bride…

To Taufik and Sheena, I really hope and pray for nothing but the best for you both as you embark on this new journey as husband and wife. Married life is not easy. No one said it was. This road is littered with pitfalls and challenges, but the strength of your love, the patience you have for one another will see you through, Insya-Allah. May Allah bless this union of yours with many showers of blessings, sustenance and good tidings, grant you both beautiful and filial children, and may only death do you both part. Best wishes to you both once again and thank you so so much for having us at your wedding… 🙂

Thoughts on Taufik Batisah’s Impending Marriage…

TaufikSheenaPhoto courtesy of Taufik Batisah‘s official Instagram account…

First of all I would like to congratulate our soon-to-be-wedded first Singapore Idol, Taufik Batisah, on his impending marriage to Ms. Nurshaheena Akbal Ahmad, or whom most of us know her as Sheena Akbal over the last few days, when active paparazzis and CSI investigator-wannabes made so much effort to dig out information on the bride-to-be. I can understand such a happy news involving one of our own beloved sons of the country would make the media go into an overdrive and frenzy, as each one will be clamouring for eyeballs on their respective sites. However, I just find it a little distasteful that such intrusive tactics have inadvertently shoved the spotlight on Ms. Sheena Akbal, with some sites being so inquisitive as wanting to highlight the fact that they were following each other on social media, just to prove their point that they are having a relationship.

My first thoughts when I saw that was, “So what???” Each person has his or her own prerogative to follow or be friends with whom they deem fit to do so. This unnecessary stalking has resulted in the poor girl deleting her Twitter and Facebook accounts, from what I heard. I know and have also been informed by a few kind souls that the media culture outside Singapore is very competitive as they compete for not only eyeballs, but advertising and monetary opportunities from the number of visitor-ships. In the United Kingdom and even the United States, they have designated paparazzis following personalities wherever they go. It can be very suffocating for those who are used to the scrutiny, what more those who are instantly thrust into the limelight. I am just thankful that the local media here in Singapore are a respectful bunch in that they try to respect the artistes’ privacy as much as possible, even if they too can be very inquisitive and intrusive unbeknownst to us sometimes.

Actually I’ve heard of this piece of good news months ago. Just that I do not know exactly when is the actual wedding date nor the name of his bride-to-be. I just knew that wedding bells are gonna ring for him pretty soon. Why I did not share it in this domain of mine or on my own personal social media accounts is because I’ve always maintained a strict principle to respect other people’s privacy. Such news will eventually be made known sooner or later. I saw no need to share it out of respect for Taufik and also because I did not hear it from the horse’s mouth himself, even if I could have asked him from the number of times I met him in the last year. It would be very unfair of me to share it with others when he himself had not come out officially to talk about it. Thankfully now that he has made his official announcement earlier today, I can at least share my thoughts over the last few days when news first broke on the front page of last Saturday‘s Berita Harian.

Other than what I deemed as a “witch-hunt” to know the identity of the bride-to-be, I was also a bit uncomfortable seeing some of the comments made by some of his overzealous fans. Relax ladies, it’s not that you and him had something personal going on in the first place. The world doesn’t end with him getting married and you are left all alone (or for those who are already married but still pining secretly for him, with your hubbies). Though I have yet to see most of the comments on social media, I have heard that some of these fans have been a bit unkind and have made spiteful remarks against Ms. Sheena Akbal, either for her looks, her fashion sense, the way she dressed or even her personality. The term “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” seems apt in this case. Grow up ladies and snap back to reality!!! What do you gain from making all these negative remarks??? Some of you should feel ashamed of yourselves for being bitter, ungracious and judgmental. What is more appalling is that some of you who have made such remarks, are donning the Hijab. Is that a good reflection on yourselves???

As ardent fans, you should be praying for the best for the couple as they embark on this new journey in their lives. If you claim that you love and respect the guy, then please jolly damn well respect and embrace his choice of whom he chooses to spend the rest of his life with. Beauty is afterall in the eye of the beholder. She might probably not be as hot as some of you might think he deserves to be with (i.e. yourselves), but she is perfect in every sense in his eyes, so live with it!!! And this just in. A kind FB friend alerted me to the availability of the wedding invitation card now currently spreading around on social media. I am loss for words and just too amazed that there are disrespectful people out there who do not for once think of the repercussions of doing such a thing. Please spare a thought for the family on both sides who would have to receive a large number of gatecrashers and uninvited guests. Stop spreading those images of the invitation cards. Please!!!

To Taufik & Sheena, my advanced congratulations to you both!!! May your upcoming wedding event run smoothly and according to how you both plan it to be. Shut yourselves off from the media scrutiny for the time being and just concentrate on your respective preparations for now. Hopefully your fans too would understand and respect you both and give you the space you need to breathe for the coming month ahead…

#theSyarifs’ Wedding Dinner Event…

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Back with the third and final instalment of #theSyarifs‘ wedding. This entry will feature photographs of the wedding dinner event, which I felt resembled a mini Pesta Perdana event, with the local Malay entertainment scene’s personalities making their presence by gracing the occasion. It was a long day for the newly-weds as well as those who had worked hard to make the whole event tick, yet everyone was smiling throughout till the very end, happiness etched on their faces and sharing the joy of the newlyweds. The wedding dinner event was held at the same venue (Alkaff Mansion) as the earlier morning’s solemnisation ceremony and lunch reception.

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Like the solemnisation ceremony, those who had tuned in to the couple’s official Youtube channel, would have gotten a glimpse of what went on live via the webstream. Unfortunately I heard that the full clip has been taken down by Youtube due to copyright infringements of some of the songs featured. Though you will not be able to view the clip, I hope this entry would satiate your thirst to view some of the event’s happenings as well as see who’s who in the local Malay entertainment scene who had turned up. This was afterall THE “Wedding of the Year” for 2014, for me. It would be criminal not to feature this entry in my blog, especially when the groom took great pains to invite me and the wife to attend. For that I say “Thank You!!!” to Syarif and Malaque for having us, me in particular, for almost the whole day.

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The wedding dinner event was hosted by Ben Muthusalam, Syarif‘s intern-mate when he did his internship with Mediacorp back in 2009. Please don’t ask me why the host’s name has an Indian surname. Maybe his good friends reading this can help to enlighten me cos I’m in the dark myself. Guests were treated to lovely performances by local groups The Trisno Trio and Northbound, as well as a guest performance by Malaysia‘s Dina Nadzir, whose rendition of Katy Perry‘s “Unconditionally“, had my hairs standing. She is such an under-rated vocal powerhouse. We also witnessed Syarif singing a song titled “Malaque“, which he had composed with Trisno Ishak just two weeks leading up to the wedding event.

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The eleven-tier wedding cake was specially baked by Malaque herself, whom some of us know specialises in pastries, desserts and cakes. Also, the cheesecake recipe during the dinner event itself, was specially concocted by her, assisted and executed by Chef Siti Mastura and team. Female guests were fortunate to have received a make-up kit by Benefit Cosmetics, to go along with the main door gifts consisting of a Grey by Ortenhill bag, a lovely jar series, Sugee cake by Chef Siti Mastura and Calvin Klein parfum vials. The gifts oozed class in every sense, a reflection of the newlyweds. All in all, it was a wonderful and memorable wedding event and here’s wishing the newlyweds once again a blissful married life with filial kids in tow… 🙂

#theSyarifs’ Wedding Event

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I’m back with the second instalment of #theSyarifs’ wedding event held at the Alkaff Mansion on 22 November 2014. I have been looking at some of the photos shared in cyberspace with regards to arguably 2014‘s “Wedding of the Year” event, and most of them were from the marriage solemnisation ceremony as well as the dinner event. Correct me if I am wrong please, but I don’t see that many photos from the main wedding event shared amongst the media portals. Good thing that I hung around long enough to capture some of the memorable moments during the afternoon session, though not long enough to capture the couple in their second outfit nor the celebrity guests who turned up. I was fortunate to witness what went on during the traditional customary routine where the groom and his entourage made their way to the wedding dais, only to be stopped at various points to “pay their dues”, either through monetary means or through simple physical challenges.

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One of the checkpoints required the groom and his groomsmen to perform Taufik Batisah‘s trademark “#awakkatmane” dance steps while the last checkpoint was the most challenging in that the groomsmen were subjected to perform various Yoga poses, of which the bride, Malaque, is known to be an avid practitioner. Guests who were around during that period were also fortunate to have been serenaded by local group Northbound (who in actual fact was having their own soundcheck for their evening performance), as well as the Arabic-influenced group Samra Alwehdah, led by local actor / comedian Mohammad Alhindwan (you would have noticed him playing the ring announcer role in Saga or as one of the funny characters in Warta Heran). Right I will not blabber more and let my photographs do the talking… 🙂

#theSyarifs Marriage Solemnisation Ceremony

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The poster that greeted the guests at the entrance along with the names of the wedding event sponsors…

It has been exactly three months since I last updated my blog. I remember I promised my next entry after Syah Ibrahim and Ana Wahyuni‘s wedding event would be photographs I snapped of Syarif SleeQ and Malaque Mahdaly‘s wedding, but events and circumstances happening in my own personal capacity made it impossible for me to update my blog. For that I apologise for not keeping to promise, but blogging was the last thing on my list of agendas as family took precedence. I was also partly hesitant to share the photographs, especially during the wedding and dinner events, because since the wedding, Malaque has taken the decision to cover up and don the Hijab and I personally don’t feel comfortable sharing the photos without first seeking the couple’s permission. Thankfully I met them at an event this past week, and they have kindly given their blessings to share and so here I am with this entry, my first for 2015.

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The customary sign of respect shown by a wife to her newly-wedded husband…

I believe I do not have to relate so much on what happened during the solemnisation event, as you can still view this beautiful ceremony in its full glory via its official YouTube channel “the_Syarifs“. I was and still am impressed by the whole event and how fairy-tale like it turned out from morning till night. What’s more significant was the fact that this was the first time a live streaming of a wedding event by a local Malay personality was done for a worldwide audience. Correct me please if I am wrong or misinformed, but this was probably the first personality in Singapore who had his wedding event streamed live to the world. Even though Syarif & Malaque‘s wedding was equally grand alongside Syah Ibrahim & Ana Wahyuni‘s, the former wins hands down for the global outreach their event made, even making it trend on social media that day. All these was made possible by the brilliant CST Productions team.

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Syarif placing the wedding ring on Malaque‘s fingers…

The solemnisation event which carried an Arabic-theme, was attended by close family members and friends at the event venue, Alkaff Mansion. The event was hosted by none other than Warna 94.2FM‘s AB Shaik. Local actresses Nurfarhana M Noor and Syirah Jusni were the roving hosts for the live webstream of the event. The marriage was solemnised by Ustaz Syed Ahmad Syed Mohamed. It was quite an emotional ceremony, with the groom getting all sentimental and emotional during the recitation of the Taklik, in turn making the guests, including his trusted groomsmen shed tears. But those emotions were only temporary as they were replaced by smiles, grins and cheerful looks on everyone’s faces throughout the day. I believe you might have viewed those solemnisation photos online already from some of the media portals across the Causeway, but I guess no harm in me sharing more of them again in this entry and my upcoming two entries, as all of them were personally taken by me… 🙂

Wedding of Syah Ibrahim & Ana Wahyuni

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Syah Ibrahim & Ana Wahyuni

I am currently suffering from a hangover from the weekend’s two grand wedding events involving two famous personalities, Syarif from local hiphop duo, SleeQ, and former radio deejay Syah Ibrahim. I believe, many of you would have viewed the photographs of both weddings via your social media timelines by now, from those who had attended or even yourself who might have witnessed it firsthand as guests. While I will be taking my time to edit the photographs I took during Syarif and Malaque‘s wedding, I will be sharing with you photographs I took during Syah Ibrahim and Ana Wahyuni‘s wedding first. This is because I did not take many shots and focused solely on the newlyweds rather than include photos of other personalities who attended the wedding event. In fact I did not take any photographs of the known personalities who had attended at all.

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The newlyweds taking the slow walk to the wedding dais…

There are several reasons why I did not include photographs of known personalities who had attended. Firstly, the venue (Singapore Recreation Club @ The Padang) was huge!!! The tentage spanned from one width of the Padang to the other. Indeed, I struggle to think which was the last known local personality who had a wedding this grand and huge, accomodating to more than 6000 guests. I think the last one was Fandi Ahmad and Wendy Jacobs‘ back in 1996. It was almost impossible to drift from one end of the tentage to the other just to snap photos of known guests. Just covering from when the newlyweds arrived down to their wedding dais made me drenched in perspiration. Add on to the pandemonium and chaotic situation where the guests clamoured forward to get a good look at the newlyweds and congratulating them, it was just madness where everyone jostled and the Orange Event staff (of which Syah Ibrahim is the CEO) had to be stern in pushing the crowd back.

SyahIbrahimAnaWahyuniWedding 2014-11-23 050Total madness with everyone jostling and wanting to get close to the newlyweds…

For me and I believe, the other guests as well, the highlight of the wedding event had to be when one of Syah‘s nephews,  Syed Tahir Bin Syed Najeeb Al Taher, a boy who looked no more than five or six years of age came onstage to recite a lengthy prayer supplication for the newlyweds. It left us all in awe and it made the groom very emotional and unashamedly shed tears. Looking at the way he has been brought up with such good guidance and the potential he showed, the boy will grow up to be a very fine young man, God willing. My missus had already noted afterwards that if we were to have a boy in future, God willing, she wants our son to replicate this boy as he is a very good example. As what we like to say in our native language, “Sejuk perut mak dia…” 🙂

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Even Ustaz Mohd Noor Tijany (holding handphone)