Tasha Fusil & Datin Jude Khadijah: Planning The Perfect Wedding Together


May 15, 2018 | BY Dian Pasquinal Kaur

The one half winner of Malaysia Tatler’s Most Gracious Host 2013, Datin Jude Khadijah joins us for a meal at Lai Po Heen with her daughter and bride-to-be Tasha Fusil as we discuss all things wedding.

No theme elicits as varied a range of emotions, imaginations and interpretations as weddings.

An article I read online claimed that weddings are just costly rituals. It also goes on to say that rituals “help people transition through what would otherwise be a tumultuous period of their lives. And they let people savour the milestone they have just reached.”

No matter what the reason, weddings are a big part of our lives and when you have hostess with the mostest Datin Jude Khadijah and her daughter, bride-to-be Tasha Fusil talking about wedding planning; you can be assured that there’s a civil way to go through the process without having to morph into a bridezilla or mumzilla.

Despite their busy schedules, the ladies graciously accepted our invitation to share their stories over a long, leisurely lunch at Lai Po Heen, Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur.

Tasha is set to tie the knot in August at an outdoorsy akad nikah ceremony in Janda Baik, and this, we hear, is to be followed by a wedding reception at Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur.

Garden Wedding

Her unwavering attraction to nature didn’t go unnoticed, not when she won’t stop obsessing about having her wedding in Janda Baik. Her parents finally relented and set out to survey two places, and, as luck would have it, one of the properties turned out to be their friend’s villa.

“The idea to get married at Janda Baik just popped itself into my head. I romanticised the image of me and my better half driving into Janda Baik to get married. We were lucky to have found the right location for the nikah ceremony,” gushes Tasha.

Pulling off an outdoor wedding is no walk in the park and mummy dearest is finding this to be the most challenging task in the wedding planning process. “There’s the weather to deal with and the big responsibility of sourcing for every single vendor from caterers to canopies,” explains Datin Jude.

The experience of helping out in her first daughter Farah Diyana Fusil’s wedding has served her well. She knows the drill down pat now, and the whole planning process is less stressful.

Wedding, Then & Now

When Datin Jude got married in the 80’s, she was only involved in the preparation of her outfit. Everything else was left to her mother. “Wedding those days were much simpler. We usually do it at home and all the relatives will lend a helping hand in setting up the dais, tents and also the cooking.”

Datin Jude’s wedding was held in her mother’s house in Damansara Utama and she said it was done quite well. “It was a proper sit down lunch, where food was served on clay plates. And, we even had fancy desserts like crème caramel.” She smiles as she takes a spoonful of the double-boiled Matsutake mushroom and sea treasures soup.

“On my husband’s side of the reception, they arranged to have food catered from a very popular biryani place called Restoran Bilal. My husband loves the food there. The funniest part of our wedding was having food served on melamine plates in strange colours like green and orange,” she laughs.

The food, needless to say, was a hit. And no one remembers the plates… except for Datin Jude some 34 years later.

Food, The Star Of Any Event

The saying “mother’s know best” definitely applies for Tasha because her mother is second to none when it comes to throwing a party to remember. 

“I always need my mum or my sister to make decisions. My mother has the natural ability to take the reign on certain things and because food and flowers are her expertise, I trust her to make the best decision for me.”

When it comes to Malay food, Datin Jude stresses on the importance of getting the right combination of flavours. Certain dishes are best paired with a particular type of rice, for example.

“For me, food is more important than the decoration and I believe in serving my guests the best. When we had Farah’s wedding in Shangri-La Hotel KL, I supplied the basmati rice to the cooks because I am particular about serving long rice grains for important functions.”

The decision to pick Mandarin Oriental KL as the reception venue for Tasha’s wedding wasn’t a difficult one, as the family has attended countless functions at this hotel and the food has been consistently good.

“We also like Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur but we already had Farah’s wedding there and we wanted a change of venue, especially for my out-of-town guests who love spending time in KLCC,” explained Datin Jude.

Remember Remember

As Tasha is set to enter a new phase in her life, Datin Jude has some advice on love, marriage and patience. “You’re about to embark on a new journey with your husband, patience and perseverance is very important. You will face some bumpy road, but always pick your battles. Take one day at a time, tomorrow is another day to be better.”

At this point, Tasha chimed in, “You’re going to make me cry.”

And for mothers and daughters who are planning a wedding together, Datin Jude says it’s important to remember who’s wedding it is.

“You will have different tastes, there’s no point fighting over the smallest details before such an important day. As parents, we always want the best for our children but sometimes, our best is not to their liking. If you can’t agree on something, meet halfway.”

A Bride’s Journey To Nikah

It’s difficult to reconcile this cool and calm lass with the archetypal brides-to-be that are typically to be perceived stressy and brittle. Everything has been manageable, she proclaims and the challenging part of planning for her wedding is being inundated with choices.

“I see my mum as a project manager, she’s very decisive unlike me and she’s also the perfect timekeeper. When it’s hard for me to make a choice, she steps in and does her magic.” 

Planning for the wedding has also been an unforgettable journey for the family. They’ve been spending a great deal in each other’s company. “It’s been a nice family affair. I really enjoyed the many meetings we’ve had at the coffee place near our apartment, driving down to Janda Baik to recce the wedding location and even going to Jakarta to print the wedding cards and do some shopping.”

The balance is important, Tasha stresses. “We try not to let the wedding completely take over our brain space. Mummy has been travelling and bowling quite a bit while I have my work to keep me busy.”

It is her hope that guests at her wedding will feel comfortable and not too inconvenienced by any shortcomings. “For those who don’t know us very well, I hope they will get to know us a little better at the wedding and for those who do, I hope they’ll be happy to spend that day with us. That’s all I could ask for.”

Tasha also doesn’t want her wedding to go by in a blur. She hopes to be able to savour every second of her big day, “whether it’s walking into the ballroom as husband and wife or listening to my mother’s speech.”

At this interview, we were served with the following menu from Lai Po Heen.

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