Despite the distance, the newlyweds prove that it’s possible to plan a string of magnificent wedding events that went beyond their wildest dreams all through September.

The encounter

The love story between doctors Fazliana Dato’ Abd Rashid and Farid Razali is a typical one – boy meets girl while undergoing their undergraduate medical degree at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in 2006, form a friendship that gradually blossomed into romance, just 2 years ago. The only difference is in the dreamy, 4-part wedding event that followed an epic proposal on November 22, 2016, which took place at the Caretta Shiodome in Tokyo during the annual Winter Illumination show.

See also: The Wedding Of Dr Fazliana Abd Rashid & Dr Farid Razali

The wedding spanned 3 locations throughout September 2017, from St. Regis Kuala Lumpur, Sime Darby Conventional Centre (SDCC) and Pullman Hotel Kuching, all of which underwent extravagant transformations to match unique themes. While the décor was a sight that took guests' breath away, it was the bridal gowns Dr Fazliana wore that would remain the cherry on top of each joyous occasion.

Eager to find out how the couple managed to accomplish a feat of a wedding despite their distance (Dr Fazliana works at the KK Women’s & Children’s Hospital and Dr Farid is attached to the Sarawak General Hospital), the new bride gave us an exclusive insight into the planning, wedding gown designing and special decorations involved, culminating in an unforgettable marriage.

How the bride's 4 different dresses fit the themes

"All my wedding dresses were custom-made for each ceremony, while my husband's were all bespoke by Lord's Tailor.

For the ‘Pure Bliss’-themed akad nikah, I opted for a fully beaded silver-grey French lace fabric with detailed crystal embellishments.

My traditional Malay ensemble (at SDCC) was an ivory, modern fancy wedding ball gown by Fiziwoo, who custom-weaved songket to the design that also featured hundreds of Swarovski crystal embellishments, and gorgeous beadwork along the neckline and sleeves. The same custom weaved songket was used in Farid’s baju Melayu with headgear too."

To complement a ‘starry and glittering night’ theme at our grand reception in St. Regis KL, Rizman Ruzaini created a dramatic, midnight blue dress complete with full Swarovski crystal-beaded bodice, and a sweeping 5-meter train. I wore my hair in a tight updo held together by a diamond headpiece; and I felt like a princess. Farid went with a midnight blue, velvet tuxedo.

For our Kuching reception, I wore a white-cream, elegant mermaid-cut wedding gown made from a lace fabric layered with 3D flowers that I was so in love with. Farid wore a double-breasted black mohair suit."

Searching for bridal inspiration 

"My mother and I did research on social media and exchanged ideas on-the-go. We were inspired by many European and Middle Eastern designs and took bits and pieces from our favourites, incorporating them into my dresses with the help of local designers."

Achieving the bridal glow

"I have always been into fitness and maintained a healthy lifestyle. As we drew nearer to the wedding, I emphasised on what I ate and drank plenty of water. I tried to get at least 6-8 hours sleep and exercised to keep my pulse up. I continued with my usual skincare regime and paid regular visits to my dermatologist and facial salon. I wore little to no makeup to work."

Kicking off the wedding planning 

"Shortly after Farid proposed we began scouting for hotels around KL – it was of paramount importance to book a grand hotel at the soonest time in order to achieve our dream wedding. Within a month, the venues were booked and wedding planners hired. No words can express how lucky I am to have such a wedding. It definitely turned out to be my dream wedding. Every event was exclusive and a wonderful memory for us."

See also: Artsy Bride Cheryl Yeoh Takes Matters Into Her Own Hands

The story behind each wedding concepts

"We envisioned a simple, elegant solemnisation ceremony with white and silver decor. Our wedding planner, Reka Teemor, named the event ‘The Damiani’ as our dais featured diamond-inspired decor. For our lunch reception we went for a magical rainforest themed ‘The Khatulistiwa’ – the hall and dais were decorated with almost 2,000 giant golden flowers suspended from the ceiling as part of the green and white rainforest. For our grand reception in KL, we opted for a blue and purple theme – Reka Teemor surprised us with 50 large silver origami chandeliers for the reception they proudly called ‘The Universe’. Farid’s reception in Kuching centred on a ‘Classic English’ gold and white theme with thousands of white flowers for arrangements, designed by MyPelamin by Alex."

Forging a good working relationship with the wedding planners

"Reka Teemor took care of all 3 KL events while Alex Suib organised the Kuching reception. My parents and I had a series of meetings with Reka Teemor to plan and and detail the concept and idea. Abang Faiz was ever the perfectionist who designed all the decorations for all the KL ceremonies, and translated our visions and ideas into real life. Kak Mumtaz kept us on track with all the logistics and ensured the functions went smoothly. It was not easy to plan for a spectacular wedding but with 15 years of award-winning experience, they made it happen! Alex is the best wedding planner in Sarawak. They transformed our dreams into reality and went beyond their way to cater to our wishes."

 

The special elements to achieve that ‘wow’ factor

"The giant golden flowers hanging from the trusses in SDCC, and the huge silver origami chandeliers in St Regis KL. On top of that, the LED background montage showing the galaxy perfected the theme for our black-tie reception. In Kuching, each table featured different photos of our special couple moments."

Read also: These 3 Beautiful Society Brides & The Story Of Their Wedding Dresses

Applying personal touches to a full-fledged wedding event

"We gave our inputs and opinions each step of the way, and our parents contributed suggestions on special elements too. Essentially, we were hosting a series of grand parties for our families and friends. Every detail proposed by the wedding planner was scrutinised by us. We discussed the choice of entertainment, guest list, door gifts decoration, food, and were heavily involved throughout."

Scheduling, planning, and communication, despite the distance

"WhatsApp, email and Facebook allowed us to keep each other in loop throughout the planning process, despite the distance. On our free days, we travelled to KL. It took a lot of scheduling and leave planning, and thankfully it all fell into place as what we hoped for. Our wedding planner emphasised on working ahead so as to finalise decisions when we were back in KL."

 

Setting the guidelines for the ultimate wedding

"Firstly, we wanted different themes and concepts for each reception. Not only should each ceremony be meaningful and memorable to us, but also special for our guests. My parents reassured us it would be a spectacular wedding yet humble and modest. The wedding extravaganzas would leave unforgettable memories with our guests, with us as the focal point of the events. We ensured guests had the best time, sumptuous food, company and entertainment."

See also: Tatlergrams Of The Week: Wedding Of Lee Yin Yen & Andrew Kwan

Their favourite part of the wedding

"Farid and I agreed that it was walking down the aisle as husband and wife. It was breathtaking. The speeches given by my papa and my little brother made me tear up, and a song by my other younger brother cheered me up. We had a violinist play a soothing musical arrangement on our akad nikah while Dayang Nurfaizah performed at our SDCC event, followed by a surprise appearance by Anuar Zain, who dedicated a special song to Farid and I at our St. Regis KL dinner reception.

Farid’s sister gave a welcome speech that made me feel like I’d been in his family forever."

Finally, valuable advice to other bride-to-be’s

"To smile and enjoy every moment. Take as many photos and videos, even the little details: your wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and looking back now, it felt like a dream that went by too quickly."

© 2021 Tatler Asia Limited. All rights reserved.