Joshua Koh Photography for The Westin Kuala Lumpur.

New Norm for Weddings in Marriott International Hotels under Covid-19

In the midst of this global pandemic, many weddings have been cancelled and/or postponed to 2021. Like many couples, we are unsure of how this will unfold in the coming months. We understand the conundrum couples are facing this season but as Queen famously sang, “The show must go on!”

TWN has spoken to one of our main hotel partners in Malaysia, Marriott International Inc., to get a deeper understanding of how their hotels are taking steps to assist couples in the wedding planning process during this time. All Marriott hotels comply with their group’s “Commitment to Clean” guidelines when it comes to food preparation, service and staff to ensure a good environment in the hotels.

We understand that you have many questions and are probably a little wary of booking your wedding venue in the middle of a pandemic. This is an attempt to reveal what hotels are doing about Covid-19, in the hope that it might help to put your mind at ease a little.

Some Marriott hotels have lifted and/or lowered their minimum spend conditions that were linked to their venues, in adherence to MKN’s social distancing guidelines. The St Regis Kuala Lumpur and Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel have waived their minimum food and beverage spend for their ballrooms.


Singapore Covid-19 Wedding Regulations Under Phase 2 by the Ministry of Health (MOH)

As you know, Singapore has entered Phase 2 of Covid-19 pandemic recovery. Since the start of Phase 2 on 19 June 2020, the maximum capacity for weddings has been 20 persons. However, starting from 4 August 2020 3 October 2020, that limit was increased to 50 100 persons. Here are some things to note:

1. Solemnisation with guests:
• Places of worship
• HDB common areas
• Other external venues
CAPACITY: Maximum of 100 persons (including the couple, excluding the solemniser, vendors and premise staff) for the entire event, subject to the venue’s capacity limit based on safe management principles. Vendors and premise staff should be kept to a minimum.


Peter Herman Photography. Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur styled shoot by The Wedding Notebook.

7 Pretty Seating Arrangements For Wedding Ceremony That Comply with the Malaysian Wedding SOP

Here’s how to avoid having wedding photos that look like your guests are sitting in an examination hall, while still ensuring that they comply with the 1-metre apart seating requirements. Start with these ideas and work with your wedding planners and florists to come up with something you love.

#01 Not aligning the chairs parallel to the stage
A diagonal seating arrangement will look better in photos as it creates a visual effect of “closing the gap” in between chairs.

Photo by Iluminen.
Story: A Twilight-inspired Forest Wedding in Java, Indonesia by Iluminen

Louis Gan Photography.

Story: An Intimate Indoor Garden Wedding at Grand Millennium Kuala Lumpur by Louis Gan Photography

Wedding at Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort & Spa, Sabah. Photo by Stories by Integricity.
Story: White And Blush Pink Wedding At Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa by Stories by Integricity

#02 Theatre setting chair arrangement
This will also work to cover up the gaps in between seats, especially once your guests are seated. Instead of having bouquets or floral arrangements attached to the backs of the chairs, tie them on one side of the chairs instead.

Photo by Inlight Photos.
Story: A Dusty Blue And Cream Modern Wedding At Marble 8 by Joshua Koh Photography

The Westin Kuala Lumpur wedding. Styling by The Wedding Notebook magazine. Peter Herman Photography.
Story: An Intimate And Romantic Styled Wedding At Qba, The Westin Kuala Lumpur by Peter Herman Photography

#03 Rent furniture
Rented chairs that provide an interesting visual effect will look better than your usual banquet chairs. Different designs and heights in a mix-and-match theme will distract from the empty spaces and make the gaps look almost intentional. Think hipster café.

Photo by Fire, Wood and Earth Photography.
Story: A Wes Anderson-Inspired Boho Chic Forest Wedding In Bandung by Fire, Wood & Earth

#04 Leaving alternate chairs empty
If your venue is willing to do it for you, you could leave alternate chairs empty by putting an “X” on every second seat using washi tape in your theme colours. Alternatively, you could also leave program booklets, floral arrangements or wedding favours on those chairs to keep them empty.

Photo by Diktatphotography.
Story: A Dreamy Bohemian Garden Wedding at Alila Villas Uluwatu by DiktatPhotography

#05 Flowers
Of course, if your budget permits, flowers are a great way to fill in the gaps, especially for the first and last row of chairs. Wild floral arrangements are great for decorating individual seats.

Peter Herman Photography. Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur styled shoot by The Wedding Notebook.

Peter Herman Photography. Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur styled shoot by The Wedding Notebook.
Le Méridien Kuala Lumpur styled shoot by The Wedding Notebook by Peter Herman Photography

The Westin Kuala Lumpur The Slate Wedding. Photo by Inlight Photos.
Story: White and Gold Minimalism with The Westin Kuala Lumpur by Joshua Koh Photography

Rick Liston Photography.
Story: A Romantic Outdoor Wedding With a Touch of Burgundy at a Winery in Melbourne by Rick Liston Photography

#06 Reception-style setting with an aisle
Viking tables set up with an aisle in between could work if you have your wedding ceremony right in the reception venue. Floral arrangements, décor elements and candles are ideal for filling in the gaps, and all you’ll need for your ceremony backdrop is an arch at the front of the room. After the wedding ceremony, your signing table can be transformed into the newlyweds’ table.

Le Méridien Kuala Lumpur wedding. Photo by Inlight Photos.

Le Méridien Kuala Lumpur wedding. Photo by Inlight Photos.
Story: Elegant Tuscan-inspired Wedding at Le Méridien Kuala Lumpur by Joshua Koh Photography

#07 Reception-style setting with a dance floor
Instead of having your ceremony at the front of the room, why not have it on a dance floor in the centre of the space? This way more of your guests will have a front row seat, and the dance floor can also be used for your first dance later in the celebration.

W Kuala Lumpur. Joshua Koh Photography.
Story: A Glamorous Pink Chic Styled Shoot at W Kuala Lumpur by Joshua Koh Photography

Photography by Iluminen. Wedding at Ubud Bali.
Story: A Dreamy and Rustic Outdoor Wedding at Mandapa, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Bali by Iluminen

Photo by Iluminen.
Story: An All-White Dreamy Cliff-Top Garden Wedding at Khayangan Estate, Uluwatu by Iluminen

Disclaimer: The images shown are for illustration purposes only. Do leave 1-metre apart between seats.

Wedding at Four Points by Sheraton. Styling by The Wedding Notebook magazine. Photo by Inlight Photos.

3 Ways To Ensure Your Wedding Ceremony and Reception Come Under 5 Hours, Complying With the Malaysian Weddings SOP

Wedding at Four Points by Sheraton. Styling by The Wedding Notebook magazine. Photo by Inlight Photos.

According to the latest Malaysian weddings SOP, wedding events cannot last for longer than five hours. Couples who have opted against a long day prior to the pandemic will tell you that it worked well for them, so decide with your partner what’s most important to the both of you – there is no right or wrong way to do this! To help you with your planning, here are a few ideas:

#01 An evening ceremony and dinner reception
Have your wedding ceremony at about 6pm (you might have to go with a simpler/condensed version of your religious ceremony) and move on to your dinner reception straight after. Aim for dinner to start at around 7pm if you are having the usual 10-course banquet. Guests should start arriving at around 530pm and your entire celebration should end at about 1030pm.



Malaysia Wedding SOP during Covid-19.

Malaysian Wedding Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) by MKN (Malaysia National Security Council) – Updated

Malaysia Wedding SOP during Covid-19.

ALLOWED VENUES: Ballrooms or open-air spaces

EVENT DURATION: 3-5 hours < read more >

CAPACITY: Maximum of 250 persons or less, Subject to the size of the venue with adherence to social distancing.

1. Events will not be allowed if it is too difficult to control, where the crowd is too big at any one time and it is difficult to control the behaviour of the guests.
2. Self-service buffet and the blowing of candles.
3. Organisation of events in PKPD areas are not allowed.
4. Patients Under Investigation (PUI) and Persons Under Surveillance (PUS) are not allowed to attend the events.


Wedding SOP in Malaysia during Covid-19.

10 Things That Will No Longer Be the Same at Weddings in Malaysia

Jasmine.A Photography. Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur.

We all know that weddings will not be the same again, at least in the near future. Your celebration will look and feel different with all the new restrictions but look at the bright side – you’ll get that small, meaningful and intimate wedding and reception that so many couples wish they could have had! Here are 10 ways your wedding will look different from now on. Don’t forget to read the Wedding SOP by MKN (Malaysia National Security Council), the English translation is here for your reference.


Photography Inlight Photos

9 Ways To Save On Your Wedding (Without Losing Your Style)

9 Ways To Save On Your Wedding. Photography Inlight Photos.
Photography by Inlight Photos

Let’s face it: weddings are expensive affairs. But that doesn’t mean you need to spend a fortune on this “once-in-a-lifetime” event. Keep the spending to a minimum and still have an awesome wedding with these ideas for paying less.

#01 Look Past The Wedding Label
Wedding gown, wedding flowers, wedding shoes… and the list goes on. When anything is marketed with the word ‘wedding’, its price doubles. So why not source for the items you need by calling them what they really are – white dress, rustic flower bouquet, white heels, etc. They are essentially the same thing but with a different price tag.

#02 Trim The Guestlist
While this may seem completely improbable for you, it is actually not impossible. It might be worth taking the time to seriously consider the strength and closeness of your relationship woth each and every guest prior to inviting everyone you know. Your current budget and future self will thank you.

(See also: How to Trim Your Wedding Guest List and 6 Types of Wedding Guests You Shouldn’t Have Bothered Inviting)

#03 Go Green
Replace traditional paper invitations with Facebook invites or online invitations (check out Paperless Post, Punchbowl or Evite). Or, literally have a green wedding and do without the floral arrangements! It’s amazing how awesome lush foliage can look as a wedding bouquet or as centrepieces.

#04 Marry In The Off-Season
Choosing a less popular month or date can mean better availability and also more attractive rates (not to mention more vendor options). The same applies to weekday weddings. Saturday is the most popular and therefore the most expensive. A growing trend is to go off peak by getting married on a Friday night or Sunday afternoon. If you are not expected to adhere to cultural taboos, this tip is for you. Just remember to give your guests a heads-up and you’ll shave a good chunk off the cost.

#05 Watch The Clock
Dive straight in to a lunch reception right after your morning ceremony. Not only will you save on an extra catering expense, a wedding brunch or luncheon usually costs less than a dinner banquet. Timing your wedding differently could help you to manage your budget better, not to mention save you lots by cutting down on your alcohol bill.

(See also: 5 Reasons You Should Opt For A Lunch Reception)

#06 Rewards Strategy
Most hotels have their own guest loyalty programme. So if you are planning to have your wedding or banquet at a hotel, try to make the booking during their rewards promotions period (typically once or twice a year). These promotions might offer additional points for every ringgit spent, “buy 10 tables and get 1 free”, etc. Leverage the extra points by converting them into a honeymoon stay in the same hotel chain at a destination of your choice.

#07 Get Creative
Instead of buying decorations and wedding favours, why not have a go at making them yourself? Making your own wedding details can be such a joy and adds a personal touch. Just a word of advice: look at the resources at hand and know your limitations. With the right materials and skills, you can have a one-of-a-kind wedding without breaking the bank.

(See also: Affordable Paper and Materials for the DIY Bride)

#08 Making It Work – Twice
Chances are you are not the first person you know who is getting married. And in many cases, married couples would still have wedding decorations, bridal accessories or even table centrepieces sitting around in their new homes waiting to be repurposed. So why not buy (or borrow) these gently used items from them? After all, every wedding needs to have something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue…

#09 Defy Expectations
You really don’t need to spend money on things just because you are expected to. It’s your wedding after all! Skip the wedding favours, make do without programmes, and keep the bridal party small. Save your money for the things that really matter to you. No one is going to doubt your love for each other just because you don’t have a fancy invitation or a grand wedding reception.

Photo by Peter Herman Photography.

Roles And Responsibilities Of A Bride’s Sidekicks

Photo by Peter Herman Photography.

Photo by Peter Herman Photography

Planning a wedding can be an overwhelming process. Thankfully, the bridal party is there for support and to help. While a bride may have her own ideas as to how involved her ‘enlisted helpers’ will be, there are certain “duties” involved for those who take on these following roles.

#01 Maid of Honour
This is the bride’s right hand woman. She acts as the bride’s spokesperson, takes care of her, and makes sure she looks good from head to toe. From adjusting the bride’s train at the altar and holding her bouquet during the exchange of rings, to getting her a drink if she is thirsty and handing her a tissue when things get emotional, the maid of honour is a pillar of support for the bride.

#02 Bridesmaids
The bridesmaids form the bridal entourage. They are typically close friends of the bride who will assist the maid of honour in planning the bridal shower and getting the bride ready for her big day. In Chinese weddings, they are also the ‘ji-mui’ or the masterminds of the games that are aimed at getting the groom to prove his love for his future wife.

#03 Wedding Planner / Programme Coordinator
The wedding planner oversees the entire flow of the wedding. On the actual day of the celebration, he or she will liaise with the banquet manager or vendors on location. All the other persons in charge (PIC) will report to him or her. As the programme coordinator, he or she will also need to have good time management, take initiative, and be on top of things. This person is sometimes entrusted with the task of paying the vendors or suppliers on the day as well.

#04 Head of the Bridal Party
This person is tasked with contacting all members of the bridal party on the actual wedding day. He or she will ensure that they are awake, ready, present, and in position at the wedding venue. They are responsible for the numerous details relating to the bridal party, for example, making sure the corsages and bouquets are in place.

#05 Head of Décor
The head of décor holds the blueprint for the wedding setup. He or she would know exactly where the reception table is to be placed, how many candles or candlesticks are on each table, and so on. This person usually leads the team of helpers who are putting together the wedding decorations.

#06 Family Representative
It takes a family member to know a family’s needs. This family representative can advise on ceremonial decisions and last minute seating changes. In some cases, the family representative will also help to safeguard the gifts received by the couple and deliver those items to them after the celebration.

Red Packet Allocations For Your Chinese Ceremony

Peter Herman Photography.
Photo by Peter Herman Photography

Given the overwhelming amount of things to plan for a Chinese wedding ceremony, it might be a good idea to come up with a list of recipients and the amounts that you would need when it comes to red packets. This can actually be quite a substantial amount that couples often overlook during the budgeting stage. Traditions vary from family to family, so take this as a mere guide for those who are totally clueless. Remember, you can always give more if you’re feeling generous.

“Heng Tai” a.k.a. The Groom’s Team

Given by: The groom’s parents or the groom
Value: Any amount, it’s more for symbolic purposes

These are usually given to the “heng tai” after they have picked up the bride and returned to the groom’s house, although they can also be given out in the morning before the entourage leaves to pick up the bride.

Door Boy

Given by: The groom
Value: Any amount, it’s more for symbolic purposes

The groom should stay in the car upon arrival at the bride’s house until someone from the bride’s side of the family opens the car door. This is often the youngest brother of the bride or the youngest boy in the household. It signifies the beginning of the gatecrashing ceremony a.k.a. “chip san leong”.

“Chi Mui” a.k.a. The Bride’s Team

Given by: The groom’s team
Value: As a minimum, this ranges from MYR15-MYR50 for each member of the bride’s team.

For the gatecrashing ceremony, the groom’s team should prepare a few red packets instead of just one final set. That’s because there are many stages involved, with the final, biggest red packet to be given only when the groom is right outside the bride’s room. A member of the bride’s team will then collect all the red packets, deduct from the total the cost of items purchased for the ceremony, and divide the amount between all the “chi mui”.

Tea Ceremony

Given by: The bride and groom
Value: The amount differs depending on the relationship with that individual. Adults usually get more than kids. To avoid mistakes, names can be written on the red packets or use different red packet designs to indicate different amounts.

During the tea ceremony, you will offer tea as a sign of respect and receive red packets from your seniors. This is then followed by tea being offered to you by your juniors, beginning with your siblings, followed by your cousins, and then their children if any. This takes place on both sides of the family and it can be quite a lengthy process, so make sure you put someone in charge.


Given by: The bride and groom
Value: The amount depends on the job description. It can be up to the value of their dinner at the wedding reception.

There’s no obligation to give, but many couples give their helpers red packets as a token of appreciation. It’s also a way of compensating the bridal party if you didn’t pay for their dresses and makeup services. If you’ve already given your helpers red packets during the tea ceremony however, then don’t worry about this.

Peter Herman Photography.
Photo by Peter Herman Photography

What You Should Know About Your Vendors’ Meal



We thought this might be useful as it’s not a commonly discussed topic and, in fact, is something many couples overlook. Most vendors just want something simple while working a wedding, and for wedding planners, photographers, videographers and the like who probably won’t have time to grab a bite the entire time, it’s a good idea to prepare something that they can eat quickly beforehand. The last thing you want is a hungry, lethargic wedding planner or photographer who can barely think straight.

Feed them no later than half an hour before your guests arrive, or during the first course of your reception meal. Alternatively, ask them what they prefer. For example, videographers who are rushing for your SDE (same day edit) might prefer to eat only after their work is done.

Some couples also serve their vendors the same food as their guests. If that’s you, set aside a vendors’ table in a corner of your venue, not too far from the main table, so they can eat whenever they have a free minute. Remember to instruct your banquet manager not to clear the food for that table.

Most vendors don’t expect much and would be quite happy with fried rice, rice boxes, noodles or pasta. Make sure it’s something that’s easy to consume and not too soupy; even club sandwiches will do.

Avoid spicy food that might cause discomfort, and regardless of whether you order something from your caterer or get a friend to purchase something separately, do try to ensure that the food is fresh and warm. Your vendors’ meal should also be served punctually as their window of free time is usually quite short.

9 Things You Should Know Before You Print Your Wedding Invites


What if you’d been following a particular designer from overseas for the longest time and want them to do your wedding invites? What if you’ve just fallen in love with a design that you found online? Most of the time, shipping invites from overseas will cost you more than you can afford. There is a cheaper option, which is to print them locally. Most online shops sell printables or design templates, and just FYI: this process applies to all wedding stationery, not just invites.

#01 Design
You have three simple options: design your own, hire a stationer or purchase a design online. Designing your own is not as easy as you think, so if you lack creative flair, opt for the latter. Template design prices are actually quite reasonable, and please don’t attempt to modify designs on your own.

#02 Size
Check available envelope sizes first. A lot of overseas designs sometimes require different envelope sizes, so make sure you are able to source them where you are. Art stationery shops such as CzipLee and Art Friends offer good quality envelopes in various styles.

#03 RGB or CMYK
Design files should be in RGB colour mode for email, WhatsApp and online use. For printing, use CMYK, and understand that it will never look as vibrant as it does on your screen. Colours like orange are actually hard to achieve in printing without using spot colours, and you won’t be able to get silver or gold unless you use special metallic spot colours.

#04 Resolution
Ensure that it’s 72dpi for online use and 300-600dpi for printing. If you don’t know what this means, please hire a designer. Most of the free clip art available online aren’t of a high enough quality to use for printing. There are some good free printables, and we’ve got some of them here, but you’ll rarely be able to find good wedding invitation designs.

#05 Format
You can upload to-be-printed files in jpeg or png format, but we actually advise sending Illustrator (Ai) files, especially when text is involved, to avoid pixellated fonts on your printed materials.

#06 Type Of Printing
We highly recommend offset printing for its quality; digital printing can look like it came from your laser printer and has a glossy effect. The price does vary quite a bit however, so we’ll leave it up to you to decide depending on your budget.

#07 Printer
If you can’t get any recommendations, there are often plenty of printing shops near art schools. Their quality is usually above average, and they might even be able to recommend an offset printer if preferred.

#08 Quotation
Before you contact your printer, have all this information ready: quantity, size, number of colours, paper type and special effects. If unsure, email the artwork to the printer and they will be able to quote accordingly. If you have several options, compare the printing quality and price. With the exception of quantity, everything else will affect the price. For a rough quotation, send the printer a sample from the designer’s website.

#09 Printing
Once you’ve sent your file to the printer, no news is good news: it means your file is all right. All you have to do is sit and wait for the call to collect your invites. During collection, don’t be in a hurry to leave. Check your invites to make sure everything is good. You might get a few “dirty” ones but that’s fine; printers usually give you some extras anyway.