Inside The Tribal-Meets-Royal Wedding Ceremonies Of Sarawakian Bride Diana Moggie
“I’m a ‘less is more’ kind of person. I knew what I wanted from the very start. It would be traditional, subtle, elegant and timeless,” described Diana Moggie of the wedding she envisioned. The dancer and investor of Razak Luxe Décor & Lagenda Weddings tied the knot to her real-life prince, Raja Nazeem Iskandar in a string of weddings from July to August 2018.
Wedding preparations kicked into action after the pair got engaged on November 20, 2017. The first event took place in Kuching, Sarawak at Cove 55, followed by a Bali wedding reception at Amankila, and to end, a Malay celebration at her husband’s family home. So smooth was the teamwork between the bride and her wedding planner Razak Luxe Décor that they now work to plan other people’s weddings. The cherry on top of the cake for Diana, though, were her 6 bridal outfits, which played equally significant roles as her wedding themes. We got the bride to describe what it was like to see her weddings unfold, from the earliest stages to the final moments that still linger till this day.
What ceremonies did you have in store for guests?
At the first ceremony in Kuching, we took the traditional Iban wedding out of the longhouse to Cove 55. My husband and I were dressed in Iban attire for the Melah Pinang ceremony, direct translation for ‘splitting the betel nut’. At every traditional Iban wedding, 2 betel nuts are split in halves, and depending on the direction the halves land it predicts the gender of your firstborn. In my case, my husband may have twins one day. A boy and a girl! It was very special to showcase my roots to my guests. I don’t think they have attended such a cultural wedding. The Bali reception was an intimate occasion for family and close friends. The two receptions that took place at my husband’s family home were traditional Malay open house-style wedding. During the day, guests flowed in and out and was an introduction to distant relatives and friends. The evening was a formal sit-down do.
Tell us about your 6 bridal dresses.
For my Kuching solemnisation I wore Teresa and Gary, traditional Ibanese wedding attire for the Melah Pinang, and Caroline Castigliano for the reception. My Bali wedding was Jenny Peckham, and my KL wedding was The Firdaus for the morning reception, and Ezuwan Ismail in the evening.
Which were your favourite dresses?
I have 2 favourites: the first is the baju kurung at the solemnisation. It was everything I imagined — a plain design with raw silk with beading on the end of the sleeves. The veil was French lace with light beading. My second favourite is the Iban attire. The entire outfit belongs to my grandmother and is extremely sentimental. All the ladies in my family have worn the exact outfit at their Melah Pinang ceremonies. It took 2 hours to put the outfit on me because of its headgear and endless numbers of necklaces, bangles and belts.
Beauty and physique-wise, how did prepare to look your best?
My husband Jim and I started taking some HIIT classes and Pilates about 4 months before the wedding. As for dieting, we didn’t go on a strict regime and simply cut out a bit of carbs for dinner. I had monthly facials and tried to drink more water.
What was the wedding theme you and Jim went for?
We did not want a ballroom wedding for any of our wedding ceremonies. We liked the idea of the ceremonies taking place outdoors or in some way semi outdoor. I knew I wanted to get married in Sarawak as that is where my grandfather is from and the Iban traditions in the family is very strong. Bali was the right place to have an intimate wedding reception. My husband and I also agreed that a traditional Malay home wedding was the best fit for our final ceremony to honour his Malay roots.
See also: Nazrul Nazaruddin, On Wedding Rituals That Are The Pride Of Malay Identity
What were the special elements that brought out your wedding’s ‘wow’ factor?
Razak and his team understood how I wanted a colonial look with Iban elements. They incorporated just over 50 different tropical flowers that best fit the theme. They even worked closely with the Tun Jugah Foundation in Kuching to get the Melah Pinang elements right. It wouldn’t have been a traditional Iban wedding without the gongs, pua’ kumbu, Iban pots and jars. But the highlight of my solemnisation was a hand bouquet Razak’s team put together. I had left it to him to decide how my hand bouquet should look like. When he handed it to me, I was so in love—it was nothing I had ever seen before, with the tropical flowers placed together cascading down to just above my knees.
It wouldn’t have been a traditional Iban wedding without the gongs, Pua’ Kumbu, Iban pots and jars
How did you maneuver the never-ending planning in the lead up to your wedding day?
Two days before the wedding I had completely let go and left the last details to the family and wedding planners as instructed. I had been quite hands-on for 9 months straight. I trusted my family and wedding planners knew what they had to do while I had the last two days of being a single lady.
See also: 6 Brides & The Beauty Must-Haves On Their Wedding Day
What kind of a bride would you describe yourself as?
A bit too hands on. I barely asked people for help because I would always think I could handle it myself. I also didn’t want to burden people with their time.
What were some aspects of the wedding you paid special attention to?
My guests who were flying in from all over. I felt the need to take care of them the second they touched down at KLIA as I wanted them to feel at home.
What’s your parting advice to brides-to-be?
If you are not sure what type of gown you should get made or you don’t have a vision of it, I strongly suggest trying on bridal gowns at the bridal boutiques. That way you know what is flattering to your figure, fabric choice and just gaining overall gown ideas. It really is helpful: you may end up falling in love with a gown you tried on initially while gathering ideas, like it happened to me! All the best ladies.
- Photography Davy Linggar and Terralogical