Say “Havana Nights” and it conjures up images of a lush, foreign land and parties that last deep into the night with loads of dancing and a good time that you will remember for years to come. It’s a rare moment to let down your hair and have the time of your life! That’s exactly what Shawn and Melissa sought to achieve when they decided to eschew the norm and throw a party for all of their friends instead of a traditional dinner reception. They called it Havana.
After a private and cosy lunch reception with their closest of family and friends up in the rolling hills of Janda Baik, Shawn and Melissa wanted something unique to host a different set of guests: namely, a younger and more gung-ho crowd who knew how to party. And so, the idea of the dinner slash after-party was born!
Mr Chew’s Chino Latino Bar & Restaurant was the perfect venue to host Shawn and Melissa’s hybrid of a party with its towering ceiling, exposed brick walls and vast windows that overlooked the streets of Kuala Lumpur. The avant garde art on the walls and richly coloured door panels made Mr Chew’s a haven to match Shawn and Melissa’s personality.
Dusty and vibrant Havana was brought indoors with a photo backdrop that doubled as a photo corner dotted with fresh pineapples, rugged wooden crates that look like they came straight off the docks, an abundance of lush, tropical fronds and florals with pops of sultry red for contrast and a Panama hat for that Havana flair. They even had wedding favours in the form of hangover kits filled with all the things their guests will need to survive the morning after a night of hard partying. To top it all off, neon signages are all the rage these days and Shawn and Melissa had one that scrawled their names across the wall, making it truly a bar experience.
An after-party calls for drinking games! As an icebreaker, we kicked started the festivities with a shoe game that involved everyone. The rules were simple enough: guess the answer wrongly and you had to down a shot. But what was a simple shoe game turned into a rather heartwarming moment when their gathered guests raised their glasses and shouted a hearty “yum seng!” without any prompting.
But the best part of the night was when Melissa surprised her new husband by hiring a live band, something that was not on the agenda at all (not for him, at least!). The expression on his face when we opened to the door to reveal the band was priceless and a moment that the couple would forever remember.
Weddings can be rather structured and serious but at the same time, your wedding is a once in a lifetime event so you should make it a fun one! Most people say that the true wedding starts at the after-party so why not combine your dinner with an after party for a wedding reception that is truly yours. Opt to hold a luncheon for your close friends and family to celebrate in the traditional style and keep the night young. Bring on the liquor, the exquisite bar food, good music and some good old-fashioned partying to make memories that you will laugh upon and reminisce at your wedding anniversary!