Tok and Tok Wan celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on 7 January 2012. 50 years of marriage is truly a great milestone for any married couples and warrant a grand celebration. I have been thinking about it since I sent a bouquet to them last year for their 49th anniversary. The thought became a reality when I started planning for the big occasion in October 2011. I wanted to make it a surprise for them since they don't always remember their anniversary! The person that came to mind to share this great idea and help me organizing the event is non other than my dearest Aunty Mie, Tok Wan’s sister. We have been doing a lot of family gatherings together before.
We started the ball rolling by booking La Rumba, a group of four who play acoustic music at weddings and dinner show. Aunty Mie has seen them performing before and I trust her choice. I quickly paid the deposit when they told me that they were available on that day.
Next was to decide on the venue. Abah quickly suggested that we do the celebration at his friend’s place. Uncle, a close friend of Abah is the care taker of a small boutique hotel in Bangsar. Abah has been to Jeumpa D’Ramo (JDR) when he had his lepak session with Uncle. When Abah told me about the place, I was a bit skeptical. The name sounds weird but Abah convinced me that JDR is the place. So, he took me there and I immediately fell in love with the place. Jeumpa D’Ramo means “Berkumpul di Serambi” in Aceh dialect. So, it fit nicely with the ceremony that we wanted to have. It’s a small hotel with 16 rooms furnished with Aceh interior and has a small hall with a nice lawn with a little swimming pool. The place is just perfect for our occasion. There were few queries received by JDR to hold function on the same date as us and we were lucky to have reserved the place earlier.
We started planning for the big day and I started goggling for ideas. I spent a lot of time watching the videos in the youtube on how people made the slideshows for the golden anniversary. So, what I need is lots of old photos, photos that would bring back their memories 50 years ago. I went to their house when they were not around to search for their old photos and got Adik and Abang to help me scan the pictures. When Abang was at home for the year end school holidays, we started our project. Abang has this hidden talent with computer and we only discovered that when he showed us the short movie he was asked to make for his school, IQKL.
The highlights of the event would be the slideshow, reminiscing their journey of life since 1962. So, every night we would sit down in front of the computer and I would tell him what to do. Trying to squeeze 50 years of marriage life in a 10 minutes movie is not an easy task. It took us almost 2 months to get the movie done and the result was just awesome. . It was a job well done by Abang and I must say that I am very proud of his work. Too bad I could not share the video here because the file is just to big. When I showed the movie to some of my friends before the occasion, it brought tears to their eyes. Infact whenever I play it over and over again, I just could not hold my tears from falling. Suddenly I realised how much they meant to me and have I done enough to make them happy. I know for sure that I would make that night so special that they would never forget for as long as they live. I know it’s gonna be tough but I would do what it takes to make it a grand celebration for them. After all, they deserve it.
What is a celebration without the people close to their heart and have been with them the last 50 years. The ceremony is supposed to be a surprise for them! So how on earth would we know who to be on our guest list. Luckily, Aunty Mie knows some of Daddy’s friends and some of them are regulars at TLG. So, we got a few of his friends to help us compiling the names. We had quite a long list of their friends, close relatives and neighbours. So, we started calling each and everyone of them.
Calling their friends proved to be quite challenging. Most of them are in their seventies and they don’t answer their mobile when the number is unknown to them. So, what we did was to leave a voice mail asking them to return call due to some urgent matter. And true enough, they returned our calls almost instantly thinking something is wrong with my Dad. We told them that they should keep the invitation under wrap and they all have been very supportive. In fact they were very excited to join the celebration and kept asking me who else I have invited. Some of them even extended the invitation to other friends and the list kept growing. We ended having almost 150guests who have confirmed their presence when the place could accommodate around 120 pax.Here goes the self-made invitation.