This wedding season has seen a fair share of many a beautiful ceremony, like Angelyn Chong's and Lim May Jian's, with each wedding that follows seemingly grander than the last. The cherry on top of the tall cake though, would be the elaborate wedding of celebrity actress Siti Saleha and her husband Ahmad Lutfi Azhar.
The couple wed on July 28, 2017, kicking it off with a four-day celebration that began with a 'Romantic Sleeping Beauty'-themed akad nikah, a reception for the bride, a traditional ceremony for the groom, and a grand 'Black Tie'-themed wedding reception.
Not once did the numerous procedures and formalities falter their smiles or dampen their loved-up mood, amping up the dream factor of this charming bridal couple.
Planning began four months prior to the wedding –a rushed endeavour, some might say – but the pair couldn’t have been happier with the end result. Their wedding planner The Calla eased the process of executing their dream receptions. “They know my style and they know I’m very minimalist, I just trust them with their work,” was a tip Siti Saleha offered.
As for designing her bridal look, Siti Saleha, turned to Pinterest for references. “I loved all my dresses,” she shared, when asked to pick her favourite. “I loved how (they) were so different and perfect for each reception.”
Siti Saleha also raved about enjoying every minute of the process, approaching each step with optimism. Even though the venues were not locked down earlier than she would have liked, there was no breaking out in Bridezilla sweat.
We spoke to the glowing new bride on her experience, helpful bridal tips and a special peek at her opulent wedding.
Tell us about your wedding dresses.
I've always had my eye on Innai Red for my nikah dress from the time I attended their bridal show. I wanted something lace and off white. I gave them my design input but since I have worked with them a lot, they’re already familiar with my style and what works best.
For my reception dress, I didn't want a white dress so I went to Nurita Harith. I showed her a picture of the dress I wanted and she agreed to do it. I wanted it simple yet still with a bridal air, and they nailed it.
For the Black Tie reception I wore Rizman Ruzaini. I did not want a big dress because I wanted a contrast to the rest of the dresses. It was long and very detailed, and had tassels!
Did you commit to a bridal fitness or nutrition plan prior to the wedding?
I was more into fitness. I’d lost weight over the past couple of months before starting my fitness routine. Once I started gym, it was easy for me to maintain my weight and strength. I went to the gym twice a week consistently and it felt good. I got to eat whatever I wanted, too!
What was your beauty routine like in preparation for the big day?
I avoided makeup. I wanted my skin to breathe. I used a lot of moisturiser so my skin was not dehydrated and used eye cream at night. I wanted to smoothen out those little lines around the eyes. I kept my hair long too. For the grand reception, I let my hair go and wore it down.
Tell us the story behind your wedding theme Romantic Sleeping Beauty and Black Tie reception?
My reception was like a mixture of Viennese with the dreamy Disney movie. I love Disney and was inspired from my solo trip to Vienna in May. I loved the whole gold and artsy atmosphere. I also wanted my pelamin to have a rustic feel, with more pastel flowers rather than bright wild flowers.
My husband and I are spring babies so for the akad nikah, it was more of the season’s colour palette. The arrangement of flowers was spot on while not being too hard on the eyes. I wanted this event to be more soft, elegant and exclusive.
For the Black Tie, both Lutfi and I wanted it contrasted with the first and second: minimal, but played up with vibrant red roses as the pelamin deco. There were a lot of crystals too, for great photo opportunities!
What type of venue did you have in mind for the wedding?
I wanted the akad nikah to be more of outdoors, with bigger space and greens so we held it at a golf course. Everything and the weather was perfect. For the reception, we chose a ballroom. I tried to keep my guest list very limited because I wanted the intimacy of my family and friends, so Sime Darby Convention Centre was my choice. As for the Black Tie reception, Lutfi’s father chose KL Intercontinental.
How close is this wedding to your dream wedding?
It was my dream wedding and everything was breathtaking. I saw photos of the final design, but seeing it with my own eyes was another level. I’m so fortunate that all four receptions were spot on.
What were the very special elements to instill a ‘wow’ factor?
Everything was custom made. And I love how they designed everything. They also used real flowers.
What’s your favourite part about the wedding?
Every reception was different. Nikah was just breathtaking. Everything fell into place and the flow was very smooth. As for my reception, everything was so beautiful, from my pelamin to my main table, to the viking tables. My friend Nadia Aqilah sang, as well as my brother's band Bunkface who put on quite a party towards the end. My wedding door gift was cancer pins; as I explained in my speech how I’d donate a sum to Cancer Research Malaysia under each guests’ names.
For my traditional reception, it was more a Johor traditional wedding. One fun memory was tossing ambur-ambur (coins/money/candies) to the children – everybody joined in and had a lot of fun.
The Black Tie event was very intimate. Lutfi's friends flew in from all over the world and gave a speech. It was nice to see everybody who on our special night.
How involved were you and Lutfi in the wedding planning?
We were very hands on. I handled the guest list and seating arrangements and getting all my dresses done on time. I'd booked my makeup and hairstylist months before so I didn’t have to worry and panic close to the wedding. Lutfi has his own way of arranging everything, but we are quite a team settling everything together.
How did you manage to squeeze in so many fittings and wedding-related duties despite a tight schedule?
I took quite some time off work. Although I still did work, my main focus was to get all the wedding preparations sorted out. Weddings are a lot of work but it was a fun process.
Tell us about the different cakes. There must have been quite a sugar rush…
For my reception I had Miss Short Cakes. I Googled them, saw their website and was impressed with their work so I called the owner who was thrilled to do it. And yes, it was delicious – French vanilla with their famous raspberry filling.
For the traditional reception, we had pulut kuning.
As for the Black Tie event, we had Banker to Baker make our salted caramel cake. Big love.
What were the guidelines you set for your wedding?
To just have fun and create lots of beautiful memories.
Finally, what’s your advice to other brides-to-be?
Plan ahead and enjoy it!
(Scroll below for more photos of the happy union)
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