Actor/hip-hop artist Syarif Sleeq serenades wife in dream wedding
His heart was captured the first time he laid eyes on her in 2009.
Syarif Sleeq of local hip hop duo Sleeq was then an intern with MediaCorp's Channel 5 and Malaque Mahdaly was a Singapore Idol 3 contestant.
He fell in love with her wavy, flowing hair and was captivated when she sang a cover of a song by US R&B singer Keyshia Cole.
The pair dated for five years and tied the knot last Saturday in a glitzy, regal yet intimate affair at Alkaff Mansion.
It saw some 350 guests that included celebrities like actor Aaron Aziz, actresses Nurul Aini and Mastura Ahmad, Ria 89.7FM radio DJs Aura Shai, Fiza O, KC and Nity Baizura as well as Malaysian host Aznil Nawawi.
The solemnisation ceremony and wedding lunch was at the same venue earlier in the day.
Specially for fans, a live stream of the solemnisation ceremony and wedding dinner was made available on www.thesyarifs.com
Dressed to the dinner theme "Be Bold, Be Gold", most came in their shiniest, flashiest best.
On one thing they all agreed: Syarif and cake artist Malaque, both 25, are a match made in heaven.
Fiza O, 31, told The New Paper: "They are such a gorgeous fit. Both are so talented, good-looking and humble. I remember when he first met her, we were talking and he told me that he really liked her and that she was very pretty."
Aaron's manager-wife Diyana Halik, who flew in from Kuala Lumpur with her family, said that the couple reminded her of Aaron and herself.
"They are just like us, they argue about the silliest things. But we all share good laughter together and hope they will still hang out with us even after marriage," said Diyana, 32.
Aaron and Diyana manage Sleeq, which also comprises Syarif's cousin, Alyph.
Diyana revealed that Syarif, whose real name is Ahmad Syarifullah, gets along famously with her three young children.
"My youngest, Dahlia, four, is very close to him. When she found out he was getting married, she was initially unhappy until Malaque got into her good books. He's great with the kids," she said.
During the two-hour reception, Syarif surprised his blushing bride with a song co-written for her with local act The Trisno Trio called Tanggal 22 (Malay for the date 22nd).
The number 22 holds special meaning for the couple, who first dated on Sept 22 in 2009 and married on Nov 22.
It was a romantic moment for the pair as he gazed into her eyes while singing the soulful ballad.
It was not the only time the number 22 came into play that night.
During the cake-cutting ceremony, Syarif and Malaque, whose real name is Sharifah Malak Aimana, fed each other a piece of the 11-tier cake, which had been made by the bride with help.
The towering confection was "made with lots of sugar, pain and help from a (cake artist) neighbour" and was in 22 shades of pink. It took about a week to prepare.
Malaque, who owns and runs a baking business called Gula by Malaque, said of her creation: "I was so scared and worried it would melt or sweat, but thankfully, it turned out okay!"
The occasion was dotted with emotional moments, mostly from Syarif, who choked back tears when it came to his mother during a thank-you speech.
Both Syarif and Malaque had already shed tears at the solemnisation ceremony earlier.
Alyph said: "I'd like to wish them all the best in the life together and may Syarif lead Malaque to a bright future together. May they never forget the first day when their love began."
Malaque's mother, Madam Syarifah Wahidah Syed Yunos, 47, said:
"I like that Syarif is kind and polite... he's very good (for Malaque)," she said.
Syarif's mother, Madam Salimah Salim, 52, shared some tips with her daughter-in-law: "Talk less, smile and listen more."
To her son, she said: "Trust is very important in a marriage. Respect your wife like the queen of your heart and she will return the respect."
They are just like us, they argue about the silliest things. But we all share good laughter together.
- Aaron Aziz's wife Diyana on Syarif and Malaque.
She's the One
It was easy for Syarif Sleeq to see Malaque Mahdaly as The One.
"She's one of a kind. We really connect with each other and truly understand each other. She's the most patient girl I've ever known.
"And through all obstacles, we surpassed them, which proves that we can spend our lives together," Syarif told The New Paper in a phone interview the day before his wedding.
So how did he propose?
Not on bended knee, according to his new wife.
"We were at Gardens by The Bay and he had asked me when I wanted to marry him and if I was sure he was The One. Then suddenly, he took out this ring," she told TNP at her dinner reception.
Malaque, meanwhile, was won over by Syarif's love for his mother.
"He knows how to treat his mother right and it became clear to me that this man knows how to appreciate a woman," she said.
She also revealed that Syarif is quite the romantic, to a point - she joked - that it can become quite "puke-worthy".
"One of the most romantic things he has ever done for me was ganging up with his family on our third anniversary to serve me a meal. He cooked nasi goreng, which was actually quite good, and had his brothers act as waiters. That was really sweet," she said.
Sleeq has enjoyed growing popularity across the Causeway in recent years and the pair have been in a long-distance relationship. Syarif travels to Malaysia often for work and Malaque has a Singapore business.
Now that they are married, they will spend more time together in Singapore and Malaysia.
Said Syarif: "We're renting a house in Kuala Lumpur, but when we're back home, we'll stay with my family or with hers."
He also revealed plans to purchase their own BTO (Built-To-Order) flat here.
The busy singer and rising actor cannot catch a break - he jumps straight into work today, filming for local Malay mini-series Saga.
He stars as Rudy, the younger brother of ex-convict Andy (played by Aaron Aziz). The series airs on Suria on Jan 7 at 9.30pm.
In between, he will whisk his beloved wife to Greece and Dubai for their 12-day honeymoon next month.
To Syarif, Malaque is his "perfect match".
"She complements my flaws and I do the same. She accepts me for who I am, she's there for me when I am happy or sad. She's the same girl I knew from the beginning - hard-working, passionate and not materialistic," he gushed.
When asked about baby plans, Syarif said: "We don't want to plan because to plan is to hope and we might end up disappointed. It's a gift from Him and we will take it as it comes."
But he said that three children - two boys and a girl - would be ideal.
"It's easy to fit them all in the car," he joked.
BY THE NUMBERS
The budget set aside for the wedding
The monetary gift from Syarif to Malaque
Number of guests invited to the lunch reception
Number of guests invited to the dinner reception
Number of days they will be on honeymoon
Number of tiers of the wedding cake
Number of episodes on their web series leading up to the wedding
Number of years the couple have known each other