Bridalgram recently sat down with Jason Tan, Ann Tan, and Ray Eoh of PWPA (Penang Wedding Professionals Association). We wanted to discuss and learn about the unique (and hidden) qualities of Penang and why should it be a wedding destination for soon-to-be-married couples. Here’s what you should know!
Top 3 Reasons Penang Is An Ideal Wedding Destination
I have always found Penang to be a good wedding destination, because for one, Penang is an island. And while other places have the things we possess, Penang island also possesses many things that you don’t find in other places. We’ve got beaches, hills, mansions, hotels, heritage buildings, and boutique hotels – all in one state.
Besides that, we have a wide variety of cuisines, warm and friendly locals, a multitude of languages, and affordable lifestyle expenses.” shared Ann. This is all perfect not only for the wedding day itself but for couples who opt for Penang as their pre-wedding photoshoot location.
“Penang has almost anything you look for in a wedding.”Ann Tan
1. Unique Wedding Venues
Imagine your guests watching the sunset as they relax on the beach, with their toes in the sand and the breeze blowing through their hair. Here in Penang, you’ll be spoiled for choices on where to have a beach wedding. Bora-Bora at Batu Ferringhi is a good example; just check out this beautiful, breezy beach wedding that was held there.
Along the whole stretch of Batu Ferringhi are also several quality beach hotels – Hard Rock and Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa are just some top examples. We also have hotels by the beach at Tanjung Bungah – namely, Flamingo and Mercure – all with views you won’t forget anytime soon.
Besides that, we also have Penang Hill, a hill resort consisting of a group of peaks on Penang Island. Penang Hill’s The Habitat, a lush rainforest, and David Brown, a British colonial style restaurant, are fantastic locations. Picture having your wedding photoshoot going up the hill using the funicular railway while taking in the beautiful greenery scenery, or a romantic photoshoot atop David Brown restaurant overlooking Penang. Also, did you know Penang Hill’s funicular railway’s track is the steepest in the world, as well as the longest track in all of Asia? There is also the lush Karuna Hill – just have a look at this couple’s wedding there and be amazed.
Make your wedding a stunning one by having it at one of Penang’s mansions. Our little island houses several grand and beautiful mansions – Cheong Fatt Tze (Blue Mansion), Macalister Mansion, Botanica Mansion, Pinang Peranakan Mansion – you name it. Many of these mansions have turned into event spaces (perfect for weddings) or museums.
If a culture-rich wedding photoshoot is what you’re looking for, there’s no better place than the intricately designed Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion (a boutique hotel) or Pinang Peranakan Mansion (a Baba Nyonya museum). These two are just some of the many heritage hotspots in Penang for pre-wedding photoshoots. Step into history and immerse yourself into these UNESCO World Heritage sites for a one of a kind wedding.
Imagine yourself holding an outdoor, rustic garden wedding where you are surrounded by luxuriant nature. Nestled atop the hill of Balik Pulau, Botanica Mansion allows you to experience tying the knot in a scenic green paradise – perfect for garden weddings.
Intrigued by the photos above? Check out more photos of this wedding from our blog post on it here.
At Eastern & Oriental Hotel, a luxurious all-white, colonial-style heritage building located by the seaside, you can hold a garden wedding by the sea – truly wondrous. Just check out the photos below.
No, it’s not a hill full of frogs. In fact, there are hardly any insects. Resembling a mini JiuZhaiGou ( 九寨溝 of China), this former mine is located at Tasek Gelugor, Bukit Mertajam – about an hour’s drive from the island. An amazing wedding photography location due to it’s turquoise blue waters and red rocks, there’s really no other place like this in Penang
Georgetown is a treasure trove when it comes to photoshoots. Why not have a pre-wedding shoot there with its distinctive vintage buildings where one of a kind murals abound?
This breathtaking shot was taken in Georgetown. This couple flew all the way from Vietnam just to have their pre-wedding photos taken here, where they had fallen in love with the heritage architecture.
Tropical Spice Garden
A lush, tranquil tropical garden with a beautiful waterfall and lake featuring giant water lilies, this romantic au naturel retreat is an amazing location for weddings and pre-weddings alike.
2. The People And Languages
And then of course, there are the locals, who are known for their casualness and friendliness. As warm as their sunny Penang island, people who travel here are sure to feel welcome by Penangites. Just take a stroll along any part of Georgetown, and you’ll find they’re happy to help you with any enquiries on how to get around town.
They also have the unique advantage of being bilingual at the very least or trilingual – being predominantly fluent in English, Mandarin, Malay, and Hokkien. Variety in communication is good – allowing them to cater to brides and grooms from China, Indonesia to USA, and beyond.
When planning a destination wedding, you’ll need to have good communication with a lot of people – from makeup artists, photographers and caterers. With the locals’ strong grasp of the English language and various dialects, there will be no language barrier getting in the way.
Food is such a big part of weddings – here in Penang, you have the widest variety of cuisines you can think of. Penang is a foodie haven – our food is a mix of Chinese, Indian, Malay, and Baba Nyonya dishes. Our dishes have repeatedly appeared in the world’s top ranked food lists. From laksa, char koay teow, curry mee and cendol, you won’t run out of choices.
If Penang street food can be internationally recognised, you can be doubt-free on the quality of wedding food. From international buffet, Spanish tapas, Chinese course meal, to even fine dining – Penang has lots to offer. Fact is, Penang has long been synonymous with good food. Couples can expect to choose from Western, Chinese, Indian, Nyonya, Japanese and even fusion cuisine. If you’re a local marrying a westerner, you can proudly opt for a fusion of both your heritage’s delicacies, how amazing is that?
These local dishes pictured above are barely scratching the surface of what Penang has to offer in terms of food!
PWPA is a dynamic and passionate group of leading professionals in Penang’s wedding industry. They are a community-based association with a huge networking hub that strives to provide couples the very best in terms of their wedding planning journey. Vendors go through a careful selection process in order to ensure that the very best top-notch quality vendors of Penang are part of the association.
PWPA also aims to enhance the ethical standards of the wedding industry by setting very clear terms and making sure everyone is looked out for, vendors and members alike. The association also strives to elevate Penang as a top wedding location for both local and overseas couples alike. Talks and workshops are also often held, ranging from photography workshops to helping upcoming brides and grooms plan their wedding.
“When I was offered the role of president (of PWPA), I was very excited. Truthfully none of us had ever had the experience of being in an association, but the good of it is that it creates this good, almost pure environment, for us all to learn and grow together.”Jason Tan
PWPA’s main mission and vision is to make Penang the next top wedding destination venue.
Jason Tan is the president of PWPA and a wedding planner from Significant Weddings & Event Consultant, while Ann Tan is a wedding planner of Casa Amore Wedding Studio as well as co-founder of PWPA. Joining us at the table was Ray Eoh, a renowned photographer as well as a workshop speaker, who runs his own brand Ray Eoh Photography.
“PWPA has consistently offered quality activities such as wedding trends talk, photography workshops, and general sharing sessions of the wedding industry.”Ray Eoh
PWPA’s Tips for Overseas Couples Looking to Get Married in Penang
Tip #1 : “First, hiring a wedding planner is a must.”
Tip #2 : “Second, know the kind of wedding you want, from the venue, scale of guests (how many), down to decoration details and wedding invites.”
Tip #3 : “It’s also crucial to discuss your wedding budget estimation as well as consider additional costs.”
Tip #4 : “Next, have a contingency plan. For example, have a backup plan for rainy days.”
Tip #5 : “Head over to www.bridalgram.com to discover hundreds of quality vendors and a tonne of inspiration to make your wedding truly beautiful!”
“For overseas couples, I would advise a recommended 5-7 days in Penang to plan and hold their wedding comfortably.”
In short, there are no lack of reasons on why Penang should be your wedding destination – the beautiful, one of a kind buildings (of which many are heritage sites), Georgetown, the heart of Penang, being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the many greenery-filled locations, the warm, friendly locals, the variety of communication (the languages used here), and of course, the wide selection of food.
So come on over to Penang for your wedding destination – there’s simply no place like our beautiful island. Let Penang’s rich culture be a feast for all your senses and make your wedding an experience like never before.