Peranakan Wedding Theme: Your Sister, Your Wedding Planner

It is an unsaid obligation that you will be your sister’s wedding planner or her little wedding helper. Well, the differences between a wedding planner and yourself are:

  1. You are not getting paid. Yup, she won’t be paying you.
  2. You won’t be getting as much respect as the wedding planner (she’s your SISTER!)
  3. You will be working from morning to past midnight because both of you are living under one roof
  4. You will be under a lot of stress and chances are both of you would fight and call the wedding off (just verbally but never actually doing it).

I conducted an interview with Lynda, the younger sister to Kaycee (the bride) who is based in Australia. So, Lynette (the other sister) and Lynda were the two superheroes in making this wedding work. If you are your sister’s wedding planner, read below to find out more on their experience.

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What is the ultimate challenge in the whole wedding planning process?

To kick start this interview, I need to point out the fact that I was based in Kuala Lumpur while my family and my sister are located in Penang and Australia. I had to remotely plan her dream wedding. I believe the sourcing of the wedding venue was the biggest challenge of all time and getting the right caterer. My sister is the first person and the first granddaughter in the family to hold a wedding dinner. Everyone wanted a say in how the wedding should be done, but we all agreed on the same theme “When Western Meets Oriental”.

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With the theme decided, shouldn’t it be easier to kick start the venue sourcing?

My sister wanted a small and intimate wedding with approximately 15 tables (150pax) and that was the first problem. For hotel wedding dinner, you are required to have a minimum of 30 tables. We went to Rasa Sayang Hotel, G Hotel, Traders Hotel, Evergreen Hotel and many more, but none of them would accommodate us. So we started looking at mansions and ended up at this place called the Peranakan Museum. My grandmother who passed away many years ago was a nyonya. Technically, it is a museum and we spoke to the management and see if they would lease the place out to us for a small wedding. With loads of discussion and luck as well, they agreed. Now, the next problem we noticed was the museum had no tables, chair and limited air conditioning. So, we went around sourcing of marquees, tables, chairs and air cooler, table cloth and decorations. That doubled up the standard workload of a wedding planner! Another thing was that we had to purchase an insurance package to insure the precious goods in the museum. Plus, the museum was operating as usual during the day which meant we were only allowed to set up after operating hours.

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That is a unique place and theme to work with. What about the wedding gown to match the theme and venue?

You see, the bride always has an idea of their dream wedding, but putting it into words and paper can prove to be quite a challenge. My sister kept rejecting our ideas, proposals and samples. For example, we had decided to tailor the cheongsam for the dinner and because the bride was in Australia, the fittings could only be conducted a week before the wedding. During fitting, she hated the cheongsam and we went hunting desperately for another tailor to sew another cheongsam with only a week left! My mum and my aunties wore kebayas to the wedding and stood out among the rest of us in cheongsam.

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Was there ever a point of time, where you wanted to call off the wedding or quit being the planner?

Well, we fought numerous times throughout the planning process. It was barely six months to plan and prepare the wedding. I enjoyed the whole process, but there were times when I was annoyed and frustrated with amount of work and there was so little time to finish it. But, no, there wasn’t anything serious enough for us to give it up.

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After those 5 gruelling months of planning and planning, would you ever be the wedding planner for your family again?

Yes, definitely. I love the experience. Even all those said above, it was a rewarding experience seeing a loved family member going through the process of getting hitched. It was a special moment when it hit me there that my sister would now be officially a member of another family.




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