updated 23 Jun 2013, 17:37
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Mon, May 27, 2013
New Straits Times
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Malaysian couple wed in unique ceremony

BALIK PULAU - A couple tied the knot yesterday in a unique traditional Chinese wedding ceremony in the tranquil hills of Pulau Betong, here, which saw the bride being carried in a bridal sedan chair to the reception venue.

As piano teacher Lim Jing Joe was carried inside the red wooden chair by four men, her husband, Maxim Leow, followed on foot. The couple then performed the ritual of removing the bride's veil at the Balik Pulau Lodge, which is accessible only by four-wheel-drive vehicles.

Both husband and wife hail from Alor Star, but live here.

Leow, 25, said he courted Lim, 24, for three years before deciding to settle down.

Lim suffers from Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), where the body's immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. However, her ailment proved to be no obstacle for Leow.

Leow said he fell head over heels in love with Lim upon meeting her at a friend's gathering.

"It was love at first sight and I knew we were compatible with each other as life partners.

"My wife had confided in me that she had SLE, but I knew that she was the right girl from the beginning and I love her with my heart and soul," said Leow, who is a team-building trainer.

Leow said he made frequent business trips overseas when he worked as an engineer previously and only got to catch up with Lim once every three weeks.

"Our friendship blossomed and developed into a serious relationship, despite my regular trips overseas. "That is why I chose to hold a special wedding somewhere up in the hills.

"It is to make a lasting impression on our marriage.

"Since the path leading up is steep, I decided to go along with my wedding planner's suggestion to make use of a traditional bridal sedan chair to bring the bride up here.

"I liked that idea as it was popular during the Ming and Qing dynasties," said Leow at the reception, which was attended by more than 50 relatives and friends.

The reception started off with a tea ceremony, where tea was offered to the family elders.

Classical Chinese wedding music also filled the air before the start of the reception.

The lodge's owner, Maggie Fong, said this was the first such wedding to be held at the lodge since it began operations in December last year.

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