Vallentine & Sandrine’s Love Story: Rami At Awah Gawai

Tabi basa & greetings everyone. In this post, I’d like to share some of the images captured during Vallentine & Sandrine’s wedding reception at Kampung Pichin, Serian at our Homestay, or fondly called “Awah Gawai”, which literally means a place where we’ll have our festivities. Gawai itself means festivities and awah is veranda or “ruai” in Iban.


Before things started, as usual, it was calm. Majority of the work was done by the committees, comprising of fellow villagers, particularly those of Ntangan Paddu & the relatives of both Sandrine & Vallentine. That is the beauty of organising festivities or rami at kampung, where the sense of working together and community is still strong. 

Decorations were made beautifully, the food was prepared & ready to be consumed. As usual, the non-halal food is placed outside for the guests to take, majority would be Bidayuh peoples. For Muslim guests, the halal food is located inside lest other people accidentally took it. This is one of the usual ways for us to show our respect to the guests.

The emcee of the evening is Mr Cyril @ Tageg and DJ is Mr Brandon @ Benen. 

Since they are still no guests there, me and Olivia @ Bia grabbed our early dinner since we know that we will be busy that evening. I only have to feed my own tummy, but Bia has to feed her little Oswald. 

The Beginning of the Event

At around 6.50pm mark, people starts to flock in. Emcee Tageg also announced to the guests to enter through the designated door where both Vallentine & Sandrine will be waiting for them. There were a lot of people from all around Sarawak. Some from Sabah too. Vallentine’s relatives from Kpg Suba Buan also was there, and they chose maroon as their theme colour.

During this time, to consider the guests that have been waiting, one of our prayer leader, Mr Bertram was invited to lead the prayer before the guests start to eat their dinner.

Bride & Groom March-In

Finally, it is time for both Vallentine & Sandrine to march to their wedding dais. Vallentine & Sandrine waved to the crowd just like how the king & queen greets his peoples. 

Photoshoot with the Bride & Groom

During this time, some of the guests took the opportunity to take pictures with both Vallentine & Sandrine. Afterall, they have been waiting for Vallentine to get married. 

Dinner Time

Finally, it’s time for both of them to have their dinner. Since I already have my own dinner, I took this opportunity to walk around, and take some photos of those who is in attendance that evening.

Korean people say: annyeong hae-sayo.

After a while, I heard an instruction for the committees to go to the room number 7. We will know the reason why soon enough.

Here Comes The Beer

And the reason is beer. It is time for them to distribute the beer to the guests. Camel became the beer of their choice. It tastes quite good too. I still remember so many moons ago, the beer of choice was Stella Artois, then Oranjeboom, Dester, Blue Ice etc. Finally, it became Camel. Some still choose Tsingtao or Heineken. Heineken has its own unique taste.  

A local Dayak, or Bidayuh in particular, dinner is not complete without beer. But in our village here, our custom is only the bride & groom “nyadung” (sadong, as it is commonly known). Usually those who wants to consume beer or alcoholic beverage will get their own supply. That’s why some people who will start to “nyadung” will find it awkward when people starts to reject him or her when she / he starts to walk around giving drinks. They just need to know the locals custom beforehand.

However, in a dedicated drinking circle, it is perfectly acceptable.

Continue With Photoshoot

Whenever I have an opportunity, I will take the photo of these two lovebirds. Some of the example are as follows.


After a while, and when guests have settled down, it is time to hear some of the speeches from both groom & bride’s side, including from local church as represented by Mr Rioi, Vallentine’s father, Mr Agas, Sandrine’s uncle and Cikgu Kennedy, respecively.

Cake Cutting Ceremony & Wedding Toast

To make the cake-cutting complete, Emcee Tageg invited both bride and groom and the VIP guests to the front and complete the session.

Gift Time

Also, in an even more modern intepretation of our custome, it is time for gifts from Vallentine’s side to Sandrine’s side.

First Dance: Til I Found Her

After gift session, it is time for the first dance. For this session, Vallentine chose the song by Stephen Sanches, Until I Found You but instead of Georgia, he changed it to Sandrine. The guests was delighted to hear it and it feels like Vallentine is having his own concert at Awah Gawai.

The surprise that Sandrine had when Vallentine asked her: “Will you marry me?”, then he said, oh ya, we’re married already.

Karaoke Time

Once that is over, it is time for karaoke.

“Nyadung” Hour

While the guests are having karaoke, it is time for the bride and groom to walk around and “nyadung” all of the guests.

Kanjet Performance

There was also a special kanjet performance by Mr Lawai, something that special for the couples to see.

More Photos of the Event

Special Photoshoot

We also took our time to do some special photoshoot at the awah gawai, since it feels right.

Fun Time Til Morning

As usual, this session is self-explanatory. I also sung a few songs too, and I took the mic for and ending song, It’s My Life followed by Gelang Si Paku Gelang, with Leo, Dadak & Sama Bella.

In The End

In the end, all good things has to come to and end. Initally the event was scheduled to finish at 2.30am, then 3am, but finally we ended it at around 4am. This is because the following day is Sunday, where we will need to go to church. 

Special thanks also to these peoples who has been helping with the audio, RJM Sound team.


Finally, we have reached the end of this post. Thank you for those who took their time to read until the end. Until next time, take care!

May God bless both Sandrine & Valentine!

Your Tukang Rantek / Rockstar Emcee,

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