Allan weds Huey Miin

Regulars at EightLido are familiar with Allan Fernandez and his business partners who have turned a 95-year old Spanish casa into the coolest chill-spot in Johor Baru. Regulars at EightLido are familiar with Allan Fernandez and his business partners who have turned a 95-year old Spanish casa into the coolest chill-spot in Johor Baru.

The bride's father walking Huey Miin into the church *


The affable Allan became synonymous with EightLido as it earned the enviable reputation as a cool destination for dining, drinks and special events.  I fondly recall that launch event on Nov 16, 2011 when Allan shared his thoughts and aspirations for EightLido with me and recently when we met again at Eight’s 3rd anniversary celebration, he told me about the building renovations and a bit on their future plans for the business.


Souvenir from Allan and Huey Miin's Nuptial Service
EightLido is a very special place to Allan because it was also where he met a young lady who would become his soul-mate and life partner.  It started out as an ordinary evening for Kee Huey Miin who accompanied her father, a businessman who supplies beer, wine and liquor to EightLido.  Huey Miin or Miin in short, smiles dreamily as she recalled how she was introduced to Allan by one of his business partners, Mok, and her father!

Over the next few months Allan and Miin dated regularly and it’s interesting that for their first date, Allan brought Miin to church.  As they discovered and liked more and more about each other, they soon became an item.  So what started out as an ordinary evening at EightLido back in 2011, turned out to be something momentous for them!

Miin saying her vows in the wedding ceremony
When I received their wedding invitation through a cool phone app, I asked Allan if I may share their story and I appreciate that he is both caring and considerate to first discuss it with his significant other.  It was quite a while before he got back to me about this but I can understand his concern that they must both feel comfortable about it.  Later I learnt from them that they agreed that a wedding is not just about two people marrying but also about the joining of their families.

While they are from different cultural backgrounds, Allan and Miin have much in common as they were both brought up in prominent business families in JB.  While he has interests in the Food & Beverage industry and runs his family’s clinic group practice, her family started a sundry shop business that developed into a leading distributor of sundry products, beer, wine and liquor.  Just as Allan manages his family’s clinic group practice and F & B businesses, Miin is involved with her family’s distribution business.

Mr & Mrs Allan Peter Fernandez *
The hopeless romantic in me is curious about how Allan proposed and when I asked her, Miin told me frankly that there was nothing romantic about it.  They were sitting around watching TV and he just turned to her and asked, “Shall we get married?”  We all know her answer now but I can’t help feeling a bit let down because I was hoping for some dramatic-romantic scenario.  This, however, reminds me that they are soul-mates who share the same dreams and the most natural next step for them is to get married!

As a fitting tribute to his late father, Dr Tibbs Fernandez, Allan and Miin registered their marriage on April 27, his father’s date of birth.  It was both meaningful and memorable for the couple to honour his memory in this way and after the registration they visited his resting place at the memorial park in Ulu Tiram.

Couples who discovered the charm of holding their wedding at EightLido have met with event planner, Yanni Lim, who was instrumental in creating distinctive and memorable events here since 2011.  Having worked with her in countless successful events at Eight, it was easy for Allan and Miin to pick Yanni and Darren Chia, her photographer partner at Promessa Wedding Gallery, to plan and produce a series of exciting events for their wedding. 

Allan and Miin leaving as man and wife!
Her search for the perfect gown took Miin to wedding couture houses from Johor Baru to Singapore and Hong Kong.  Accompanied by Yanni, Miin shopped around for gowns in Hong Kong that would meet with her particular taste and visited several boutiques on a street recommended by her brother.  It was both fun and challenging to review and select gowns by local designers and Miin happily came home with two gorgeous gowns – one in ivory and the other in midnight blue – which she wore at a reception with friends.

Yanni explains that while each of the designer gowns from Hong Kong were adjusted to fit Miin’s petite frame, her wedding gown was made to measure by a local tailor in JB.  In three weeks, the talented tailor turned a length of exquisite ivory coloured vintage French lace into an elegant gown with a 2-metre train that Miin wore at the church wedding.

While making my way to the church, I sent a text message to Allan to congratulate him and his bride on this happy occasion and asked him to share some thoughts.  His reply is short and sweet: “Better memorise my vows!”

Table decor at the main table *
Threatening storm clouds cleared and the sun shone through as the wedding ceremony went on without a hitch.  With an entourage that comprised seven groomsmen and seven bridesmaids, best man and maid of honour, two junior bridesmaids and the ring-bearer, the bride looked radiant under her sheer veil while the bridegroom is rather dapper in his dark tuxedo complete with swallowtail coat teamed with gray trousers.  After the couple took their solemn vows in the presence of God and witnesses gathered there, there was a photo session to capture the special moments.

The 8-course dinner reception for 600 guests that followed the church wedding was an event Yanni and her team organised in a classy Red, White and Black theme.  Working closely with the couple, Yanni took on board their ideas and suggestions to coordinate the work for the d├ęcor, order of event, the banquet menu as well as photography, their wedding video and music entertainment.  “He wants something extraordinary so we will give him an event that’s uniquely designed for him and his wife,” said Yanni.

To strike a balance between Miin’s Teochew-Hakka heritage and Allan’s Indian Maleyali roots, their wedding celebration featured interesting elements from both their cultures.  Guests at the wedding banquet enjoyed an eclectic menu that comprised distinctively Chinese items with Indian chicken briyani rice (his mother’s favourite!), popular Spanish tapas items from the EightLido kitchen and a typically Teochew dessert – pureed yam ornee!

M C Hossan Leong [Right] with the bridal couple during
the champagne toast in the banquet
Award-winning photographer, Darren Chia* tells me that shooting the photos to create their 4.5-minute wedding video was a great deal of fun but also rather challenging because the subjects were so tickled that they often ended up laughing.  The behind-the-scenes adventure will make a separate story but guests at the wedding banquet were certainly wowed by the finished product created to Miin’s favourite song, Lost Stars by Adam Levine.

It was also apt that Bonjoza Acoustic, a band which established their reputation in JB when they performed regularly at EightLido, provided live music entertainment at the banquet.  They have certainly come a long way since I last saw Romal and his band perform and I thoroughly enjoyed their polished act.  The Master of Ceremony, Singapore comedian Hossan Leong, charmed and kept the guests entertained throughout the evening. 

An explosive end to the day's events! *
The bridal couple is always the stars of the wedding but the bride stole the show with her change of gown into gorgeous, glittering Indian bridal attire.  Following Indian wedding traditions, Miin wore the gift of a bridal sari from her mother-in-law designed in red and gold, auspicious colours that augur well in Chinese traditions.  The banquet ended with an invitation to step outside to the adjacent courtyard where the couple and their guests were treated to a showcase of fireworks that lit up a section of the Johor Straits with a dazzle of star bursts!

Thanks Allan and Miin, for the privilege to share your story and your wedding joy in these special celebrations.  Allan and Miin, may God’s love be the model and motivation for you to love each other.  May this be the start of a new chapter of your lives as you love and cherish each other and make many precious memories that you can tell your children and grandchildren those “grandfather stories” later!  

*Photo credit to Darren Chia of Promessa Wedding Gallery

P. S.  Fans eagerly waiting for the reopening of EightLido can look out for a date in June 2015.

3 comments:

  1. Hi Allan & Miin,
    Congratulations!!
    Very happy for you two.
    It seems I lost a chance to enjoy with you all on this fabulous time of celebration.
    Hope to see you soon.
    Loving,
    Uncle Prem

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous5/11/2015

    A momentous event. We were so privileged to be invited. Sofia and I wish you all the best for your future together.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Congratulations Huey Minn and Allan. Counting the days to your celebration on 23rd May 2015.
    Thanks Peggy for this beautiful and romantic write-up. ....sad to have missed the event as am still in Melbourne but this has made up for it. Thanks.
    Sally

    ReplyDelete