#MIZMEZWEDDING2016: An Unexpected Journey to Azeroth and Middle-Earth
Mizdesert and I are finally married!
After 4 year of dating, we tied the knot in a quiet solemnization ceremony on the 16th December 2016 with our families and close relatives. We tried to be as traditional as we could, complete with the wedding dais and formalities expected in a Muslim wedding ceremony, but we still managed to squeeze in a bit of geekdom in the aftermath because that’s who we are. During the ceremony itself, we were as formal as we could be!
We had Royal Rias – Singlestitch by Me and Pippin Emerald – as our official bridal boutique and they were instrumental in ensuring that we had a beautiful set of bridal gown and modern-looking groom suit for the day. My cousin Kartini Mohd Gani from JG 1 Stop Services turned a boring-looking HDB void deck into something magical with her team’s inspirational wedding decorations.
Special thanks to Shaun Koh of T25 Films for helping us with the lights (since our caterers whom we shall not name messed up big time lol) by bringing in his own studio lights to our wedding to ensure everything’s well-lit. Those 1Kw lights sure come in handy!
Special thanks also to Daryl Epimaco aka The Lone Crow for helping us out with the sound system for the evening.
Our friends at Shamsydar Ani Photography covered our wedding in the most elegant way possible…
…right up to our poses with our lightsabers.
But this was us restrained. For those of you who know us well, you would know that we always go for the epic route.
My wife (who goes by the moniker Mizdesert at Alter Ego by MizDesert) and I have worked together for a few years now, coming up with themed photo series for our clients which you can see here or here or even here. She would do the special effects make-up on our clients while I work with the rest of our team to create images that tell stories.
Being inspired by some of the events we go to such as International Cosplay Day Singapore (ICDS) and some of our cosplayer friends, we decided to take our wedding a step further and turn it into an immersive experience for our guests. It would not just be a wedding event. It would be the Wedding Raid of the Year.
On the 17th December 2016, for our wedding reception, we turned Orchid Country Club‘s Grand Ballroom into a World of Warcraft raid complete with guests in medieval costumes, great food, soft lighting befitting Karazhan’s Opera Event, tables named after cities, towns and states in the World of Warcraft and Lord of the Rings mythology…
We even used music/score from World of Warcraft, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and Pirates of the Caribbean for a more epic, surreal, fantasy atmosphere.
We designed and made our own decorations, …
… table decorations/trinkets, …
… envelopes for invitation cards, …
…wedding posters, …
… invitational cards, …
… Save-the-Date posters, …
… movie trailers…
We were very selective in choosing our photographers and videographers for the day. For official photography, we had Raymond Phang and his team (Aaron Lin and Michael Chan), from Raymond Phang Photography. The following photos are by them.
As you can see, we got the immersive experience for our guests even before they step into the Grand Ballroom.
The twin flights of stairs lead guests up into our reception area, which is already grand by itself. Piped music from the Harry Potter series greet our guests. As I mingled with the crowd, I could not help but feel so happy to see some of them dressed in medieval costumes (some purchased, some made by themselves). Everyone was enjoying themselves. It was really cool!
I even designed and made our own pre-wedding photobook containing some of our photography works and selfies (I think it feels more personal this way and we love it this way too). Two copies were available in the reception area and guests could look through them to find out more about how we met.
Once the emcee for the day, Emcee Priscilla, gives the green light that all is in order in the Grand Ballroom, I stood in front of the guests near the entry way, got their attention, threw the doors open and declared “THE HOGWARTS SCHOOL IS OPEN! YOU MAY PROCEED!”
All this while, my wife is still hidden from view to surprise the guests later for our first walk-in.
Guests immediately made a beeline for their tables. They were informed beforehand by our lovely bridesmaids at the reception table. Given the table names and numbers, they became citizens of the cities, states or towns from World of Warcraft and Lord of the Rings. Fun fact: The placement of cities, states and towns are in an order that mirrors the map for Azeroth and Middle-Earth (in their respective aisles). For Middle-Earth, it chronicles Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring’s journey to Mordor.
It was just surreal looking at the guests in their costumes seated at their tables. You won’t feel like you’re in Singapore. You would feel you have been magically whisked away to a faraway fantasy world! Everyone looked fantastic and beautiful!
To top it off, we had our cake toppers (no pun intended). True to how it is in life, I would be her protector, and she would be my healer. Tank and healing meta FTW!
Our first walk-in ceremony was still a formal one, albeit with a twist. We rode in style – on a buggy driven by one of the staff of Orchid Country Club! Once again, we have Royal Rias – Singlestitch by Me and Pippin Emerald – as our official bridal boutique and they made us look good in our suit and wedding dress. Daryl Epimaco aka The Lone Crow manned the DJ console to ensure the soundtracks for the day ran in according to our playlist.
In the above photo, most of us were tearing in sadness because we had to go through the formal-look phase to throw our guests off-guard. By this time, most of them were telling us they wish we were in costume too!
Well, their wishes came true.
We were more than happy to oblige.
Our videographers – Siva Shanker of Chindianboy Studios, Kyhl Nuar and Penry Hoh got these footages and combined them, turning our epic walk-in into live BATTLE BRAWL!
So there it is, our epic wedding! And yeah, we didn’t follow the canonical storyline for the lore. But who cares? We had fun. And plus, I had the Frostmourne with me!
Our wedding also received coverage in national news. What a way to start 2017! There’s one on Berita Harian, Page 10, 3 Jan 2017 edition – also available at http://www.beritaharian.sg/setempat/majlis-kahwin-penuh-dengan-watak-fantasi and The New Paper at http://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/tying-knot-epic-fashion (also available in hard copy but I couldn’t get a copy in time).
Raymond Phang and his team did a spectacular job of placing us in front of Mordor (or somewhere similar). And yes, that’s real rain. We were soaking wet during the post-wedding shoot in the lawns of Orchid Country Club.
We had our dream wedding.
We feel that due to what we do at The Art of Mezame (themed pre-wedding photoshoots for our clients), it is important to have a different and unique wedding that speaks of our characters and love for geekdom. We have all seen geek weddings, but we want to redefine this genre and go all out. We decided to create an immersive atmosphere – not just for ourselves but for our guests as well. We want the wedding to not just be an event, but an experience. Hence, the soundtracks from the game/movies, custom decorations that we made ourselves, the invitation for guests to dress up according to the medieval theme, the invitation cards that carry the Marauder’s map that we personalized – all these fit our fusion theme of Warcraft, Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter.
For me, Warcraft is more than just a game. I remember playing in Vanilla with friends. Those long nights reserved for raids, the feeling of building a camaraderie among guildmates, the sense of achievement at completing raids. It was an adventure. We are united by a common desire – to become heroes in our own ways.
Mizdesert: I guess it is important because these “geekdom” are what we both love and we don’t want to have “just another generic” wedding that comes as a package offered at every wedding expo. Working with my husband as a makeup artist from Alter Ego by MizDesert, we really love to be hands-on in whatever we do and that is exactly how it was with the wedding planning. We included everything that meant alot to us in the wedding in the form of props, custom bridal outfits by Royal Rias, custom tabards and vests by our groomsman Daniel Yap and his wife Marja-Leena Yap, armor courtesy of our friends at Neo Tokyo Project and Kai Craft and Cosplay, custom-made Elven headpieces, geeky skit references (we literally had a battle for our second walk-in) and also by listening to over 600 different soundtracks just to handpick those that would suit the atmosphere of our wedding. It became more personal to us and I am sure it is something we both would remember fondly for a long time.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the following people for making this happen:
- Best Man: Sean Padman
- Maid-of-Honour: Esther Y. Zee
- Groomsman #1: Raymond Ee
- Groomsman #2: Daniel Yap
- Groomsman #3: Eugene Khaw
- Groomsman #4: Joe Hanan
- Bridesmaid #1: Aishah Kasmani
- Bridesmaid #2: Taryn-Ann Rae Swyny
- Bridesmaid #3: Siti Maisarah
- Driver: Shaun Richard Verghese
- Emcee Priscilla Zheng for being such a professional emcee!
- Neo Tokyo Project (Crimson, Angelus and Jazion) for my armor
- Kai Craft & Cosplay (Kai Xiang) for groomsmen’s armor
- Daniel Yap and Marja-Leena Yap for the groomsmen’s vests and tabards
- The BMD Shop for the bridesmaids’ dresses
- Daryl Epimaco aka The Lone Crow for helping out with the sound and music
- Royal Rias (Pippin Emerald and Singlestitch by Me) for the suits and dresses, as well as for being our official bridal boutique
- Muhammad ‘Ammar: For being my make-up artist
- Lisa Lee Mei Xin for helping us with the props
- Raymond Phang Photography (Raymond, Aaron and Michael): Thank you for the amazing photos and for being an inspiration all these years!
- Shamsydar Ani Photography (Shamsydar, Eezart): Thank you for the amazing photos and for being amazing friends all these years!
- Siva Shanker (Chindianboy Studios): Thank you for the epic battle video!
- Khyl Nuar and Penry Hoh: Thank you for helping out with the video works! Looking forward to the highlights video :) I’ll post it here later when it’s up and ready.
- Sheena and the staff of Orchid Country Club for being warm and taking care of us! Love the hot food after the rainy post-wedding shoot :)
- Our parents and families
- Our friends and family members who turned up in costumes!