Wedding Photography gone wrong

What I really meant is, Wedding PHOTOGRAPHER gone wrong.

wedding in Alaska

I was day dreaming to write a post about me being a BRILLIANT FRUGAL BRIDE. I hate seeing how people around me (especially in Malaysia) complaining how costly a wedding it is until they had to wait for few years to materialize it and what worse is that, they had to apply PERSONAL LOAN from bank just to get marry.

THAT IS SO WRONG! I thought marriage is about uniting 2 people that love each other AND due to legal law requirement (for future insurance claim, assets, tax relief, child care etc) and religion issues, so you have to make it official on paper and accordingly to a God’s Book. Simple as that.

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But then nowadays, you people complaining about the cost of pelamin, photographer, gifts and favors, extreme make up and worse – Dulu adopted the Mat Salleh’s Flower Girl is still okay lah. NOW –  Photo booth and Candy Station? Like seriously? I am very much confuse with wedding today. I got confused between wedding and corporate event. Which is, wedding becoming too commercialized, it is more towards guest’s satisfaction rather than your own. Da fuq?

Well, it is okay if you have THE MONEY. Or being sponsored macam Rozita Che Wan tu.

So, I tried to prove that you still can be married just fine by spending a bit of your savings and your monthly salary. And I did. It went just fine and I still find it is beautiful and memorable. Hey, duit aku banyak lagi kegunaannya. I rather spend it on Handbags, travel around the world and nice clothes. So don’t tell me how to spend my own money.

After the solemnization done here in Malaysia, my Parent in Law was so excited to hold a small reception in Alaska. When I heard ‘small’ I was imagining dinner at small restaurant with family and close friends. I’ll be wearing jeans and everybody eating cake while dancing. But then I came to understand that ‘small’ for mat salleh is still something decent and nice to me. Mike and I still have the wedding cake, venue, gift and favors, food caterer, balloons, wedding dress – all in theme color AND a Photographer.

I must say I was a little bit freaked out. I kept telling Mike that I won’t be able to pay half of that arrangement (at that time) because we just finished with our small solemnization in Malaysia. Well, no matter how small it was, still, it involved money. Our rings wasn’t came in cheap for sure.

Mike laughed at me and asked me to calm down. My mother in law told me that everything is taken care of and since Mike is their ONLY son, so this thing is already in their wish list. My mother and sister in law was already busy with picking the decoration stuff so all I can do is try to minimize the cost by picking something simple and DIY items. Elok sungguh perangai menantu mereka kan.. tak dak pun nak mintak candy station atau photo booth bagai.

Wedding Reception in Alaska

So, cut the bebel short, everything went fine and I still continue with being FRUGAL BRIDE. I did my own make up while my hair costs me $60. I did my own sash belt and veil while my Mori Lee wedding dress paid by my kind mother in law. I ear dropped a little bit to hear how much it cost, if I’m not mistaken it was $400 and that was on sale. My sister in law and I assemble most of the decoration items on our own and I even cut the twigs around the house and spray painted it for table decoration.

Malaysian married to Alaskan

They get their close friends to help with the Cake and Photography. The cake made by my mother in law’s friend at her work place and the photography – handled by ‘auspicious’ photographer in the making which is daughter of one of their close friends. And her age is 20. My sister in law showed me the photographer’s  ‘work of art’ on Facebook long before I fly to Alaska to reassure me that she is GOOD.

But all I saw was her pretty profile pictures, mainly pose for the camera like, I – model –  for –  my –  own –  camera kind of pose and one or two photo manipulation. My sister in law keep reassuring me that she is good and I was thinking maybe she’s the type of low profile person who don’t show off her photography skills but her own pretty face.

Malaysian married to American

22 February 2014. The day of our wedding reception finally took place. I was so happy that I am able to experience decent wedding reception according to my husband’s customs and culture. Ye lah, kalau ikut adat kita mana ada kek dan gaun panjang meleret leret kan..mestilah hanya pulut kuning dan songket gitu. (sorry, Im kind of old school.) Dari segi Islam lagi lah. Maskawin Quran and selubung pakai jubah hitam tutup muka. Ikut Sunnah is good.

Aku pun tak tahu kenapa orang cakap aku materialistik dan nak semua grand. When I was single, a lot of men told me to my face that I am they type of girl who only looking for RICH MEN for a husband. FUCK YOU. ALL OF YOU who think I am like that. I have my own money and job and maybe I can afford to buy them for a housemaid. How about that.

I was surrounded by their close, good friends and I got to know Mike’s childhood friends and my parent in law’s friends too. I felt so welcomed by the family and feel grateful that Mike put me in the right place in the right way after knowing each other after 2 years.

When a Malaysian married to an American

In fact, I was excited for the whole February 2014 although our Caribbean Cruise plan was not happening, but tell me, how many Malaysian, especially Gadis Melayu having a wedding reception in Alaska. Not United States, but in a Cold, winter Alaska? Since My Family and Friends unable to make it, to see it with their own eyes, so everybody was waiting for one thing : PHOTOS – for me to share. What I can tell you is this. NONE of my family member and friends married to an Alaskan or be in Alaska. I can tell you how much they wanted to watch something rare happens in the family and among friends, this was not a problem if the return flight cost from Malaysia to Alaska is $100 per person. It’s not the cake or flowers, not the dress or decoration. But they wanted to see the photos of me having once in a lifetime wedding reception in snowy Alaska. I won’t be having 2 or 10 wedding reception in Alaska. But only once.

Malay in Alaska

If you google out wedding photography during winter in Alaska, you will be amazed. It is so beautiful and not so many people from tropical countries be able to experience it. I know some rich mofo do their wedding photography underneath Eiffel Tower or under colorful autumn leaves in South Korea. Having blossoming sakura trees as their wedding photo’s background or crystal blue sea by Maldives beach. But let me tell you, wedding photos during snowy winter in Alaska is the prettiest of them all. AND I DON’T HAVE THAT. I don’t even have my picture wearing my red boots underneath my wedding dress captured. Snow boots underneath the wedding dress is an Alaskan bride signature!

I don’t remember having a picture alone with my mother in law, father in law and sisters in law. I was busy being nervous and shy and that is why a photographer need to step in to get the bride or groom to pose with necessary people.

Malaysian Alaskan Wedding

Ok, maybe I was expecting too much from an amateur photographer. She can’t read my mind and maybe she never flipped a single wedding album in her 20 years of life. So she doesn’t know. But is it normal to wait for 3 months to get the wedding photos done? Or do I have to wait for 20 months to get her highly skilled photo manipulation work of art? What is she? Picasso?

The wedding reception was on 22 February 2014. At the end of March 2014, I was informed that she was traveling with her boyfriend’s family and then got sick. In April 2014 I was informed she is busy and tying her best to put things together including her ‘portfolio’. WTF? Portfolio ? What portfolio? What about get your first ever client’s wedding photos done before talking about portfolio. If you did good for your first client and another, you don’t need a portfolio shit to promote your work. YOUR HAPPY CLIENTS WILL DO IT FOR YOU.

I tell you what, I was so happy when she put a sneak peak photo taken during the reception on her Facebook wall. I already started tagging her name all over the places, giving her rightfully credits for her work. That’s for only 2 – 3 photos. She doesn’t know how big the credits I will give her once she done with the album. I even inboxed her asking whether she willing to work with Mike and I again for outdoor photography since we don’t have one.

But then, few weeks passes by. All I saw on her Facebook wall was her problem with hair coloring and her life issues.

I Do in Alaska

End of April 2014, I was informed that my photos of wedding reception’s FOLDER WAS DELETED BY ACCIDENT. My heart breaks into pieces. I screamed at my husband. I started to blame everybody. Then after I got myself together, I started to blame myself. Was it because I’m Asian so she don’t give a fuck to complete her work? Was it because the reception was so simple and small, not in some grand resort so it is not worth her highly skilled photo manipulation time to work on my album? I blaming myself for having stupid bulky manual dSLR Nikon camera so no one know how to operate it except myself. I don’t have a back up camera except few selfies I took with my mobile phone.

I was informed that she stored the picture folder on her boyfriend’s computer. BOYFRIEND COMPUTER! Then I read her email to my father in law explaining the situation. She didn’t have the back up and ASSUME everything would be okay and about to burn the pictures on disc. ASSUME and ABOUT TO! What a great combination and attitude in becoming professional photographer. When she said about to, she meant after 2 months from the picture was taken??

My American Husband

She didn’t respond to me or Mike. She only apologize to my father in law since he was the one who paid her. She deactivated her facebook account for a while though. Like that will solve the problem.

Although she sounded like she was sorry,  few days after that she seems like all healed from a broken heart and moved on. Wait, what? I was the one who supposed to feel that. Not her. She needs to feel sorry for the rest of HER LIFE. But from my observation, she is done after some apologize and a little cry. And now it’s time to move on. Wow. Just wow. So she continues with updating her pretty profile picture on Facebook, with amazing color composure and pose like Taylor Swift.

So I was the one who turn into a crazy woman later on. I bothered Mike like it was Mike’s fault. So after some discussion, Mike told me the chances to recover back the file is there. The only problem is, I heard that she quarreled with her boyfriend so she couldn’t get to the boyfriend computer. Argghhh! This is ridiculous. Since when you put your responsibility and reputation second after your personal issue? I TELL YOU. NEVER WORK WITH A TEENAGER!

So while she was moving on with her perfect profile picture on Facebook, her dad helped with the file recovering. And all the pictures, 300 ++ of it – recovered. I told Mike and my father in law, plus I myself inboxed her again to pass the ALL UNEDITED copies to Mike. I’m done waiting and I am through with her attitude so I choose to edit the  pictures myself.

Wedding reception in Winter Alaska

So, she blocked me on Facebook and she sent me 20 pictures on Google drive. And that’s it. So all the pictures I put here (until the dotted line below) were from her. These are the pictures I’ve been waiting for 2 months and it just 20 of it.

Alaskan wedding reception

Mike forwarded me email that he sent to my father in law dated 24th May 2014

“I’m just having issues getting these images up. When my dad gets home he has the entire folder and I think he will be able to share it. I plan on trying to get you an album made of edited photos due to all of this trouble as well. So, if the images don’t show up in a couple days I know my dad can do it on Friday.

and on 25th May,

“A lot of these photos are damaged and won’t open in a viewer. I am working on resolving it. I am hoping you guys will have at least 40 photos that are decent, the rest are not great due to user error and me never using my flash before. Tuesday I will work on doubling the amount of photos in my google drive and sharing it with you. I’m sorry it has taken so long.”

Alaskan Wedding reception

 Well, Friday after another, there is no sight of it. And now, half June is GONE.

And just like MH370 flight search, this becoming to an end for me with no definite answer. It has been a great loss and caused me a heart pain, but – She’s in Obama position and I’m just a victim. What can I do? But if I have a voodoo magic, I don’t hesitate to try out on her.

And I told Mike I don’t want to see her face anymore when I come back to Alaska.

I am a Scorpio woman. When I hate, I hate.

Wedding reception in Alaska



I didn’t mean to tell the whole Alaska about how reckless this person in handling other people’s memories, but I was sad and told two of Mike’s friends girlfriend about what happened to the pictures by hoping that they have a couple of pictures taken with their mobile phone. And yes, they did.

So two of them emailed me all the pictures and videos they have.

Here is the thought – these two do not even know the mishaps will happen. They don’t even expect this kind of unfortunate things will happen except maybe bad cakes or some drinks spilled on my dress. or the kids set the table on fire. I don’t even asked them to capture the moment like the way I wanted to. But they took the pictures of Mike and I, plus the video, like they really care…

Malay in Alaskan wedding

 this one taken by Mike using my mobile phone – before the reception started.

Purple lavender Wedding cake in Alaska

Malaysian experience a Wedding reception in Alaska

Malay married to Alaskan

Malay married to American

My Alaskan Husband

my FIRST first dance

Experience the first dance in Alaska Winter

My Very first First Dance experience.

First Dance wedding in Alaska

Alaskan Winter wedding reception

Mike and his close friend.

Alaskan wedding reception

Lacey singing live for the the after party.

wedding reception in Alaska

My helpful sister in law and her daughter.

To April and Heather, Thank you.

So, this is why I never had any pictures (Alaska wedding reception) uploaded on Facebook except for sneak peak. So now, I already told you the painful untold story of a Frugal Bride.

Moral of the story : It’s ok to be frugal. Just, do not work with teenager photographer who think s s/he can be a photographer. Teenager is a teenager. They are still busy finding the meaning of life while staying under some parent’s roof. And when their love life gone wrong – it’s the end of the world. Nothing else matters. World can crumble into pieces and a wedding photo album can go to hell. It’s all about them until they hit 30.

30? GOSH! I already own an apartment and car at that age with my OWN salary.


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  1. Normi Kahar Goodwin on Facebook

    June 17, 2014 at 4:13 am

    Ale.. kan akak dah tulis cerita dia kat blog tu.. saja je kau ni tau..

  2. Leo Zai on Facebook

    June 17, 2014 at 4:27 am

    tooooo long… lazy to read… but… wish u all the best in ur marriage~~ ( i look down to other ppl tat hv stupid though of u)

  3. Leo Zai on Facebook

    June 17, 2014 at 4:29 am

    next time i can take out my baby n ask my baby to call u aunty… ^_^

  4. Leo Zai on Facebook

    June 17, 2014 at 4:33 am

    then tomorrow i post a pic tat baby holding a card board writing “aunty normi” and tag u… kwakaakak

  5. Mohd Azzad Abdullah on Facebook

    June 18, 2014 at 3:47 am

    Small matter, mistakes can occur anytime, any place and can’t be avoided. Yg penting ceremony berjalan lancar ok. Wishing you a happy married life. Moga2 kekal sampai ke anak cucu. Insa allah!!

  6. Normi Kahar Goodwin on Facebook

    June 18, 2014 at 3:49 am

    Memang la mistakes can occur anytime. But I’m talking about how you handle your customer when it’s happen.

  7. Mohd Azzad Abdullah on Facebook

    June 18, 2014 at 4:01 am

    Point well taken Normi but you have to understand that not all are trained to handle their customers as customers claims they are right most of the time. So win2 is the best possible way out..

  8. Normi Kahar Goodwin on Facebook

    June 18, 2014 at 4:05 am

    by not getting the service delivered, on time like 5 months? lol. yea right. win win.

  9. Normi Kahar Goodwin on Facebook

    June 18, 2014 at 4:06 am

    I’ve won in waiting category, I guess?

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