I initially thought of this as a whimsical idea, Valentines day with Sharks as the emphasis. How preposterous! Shark lovers will probably find this idea adorable but really, what’s the relationship between sharks and couples? Wedding.com.my didn’t take long to make a believer out of me, however.
If you’ve been to any Chinese weddings, you would know that shark fin soup is usually a must-have core dish served during the dinner. Sales and Marketing Director of Wedding.com.my has the same thought and wants to change this norm, stating in a recent press release, “Featuring shark fin soup at wedding banquets is a tradition that we and our conservation partner are hoping to change here in Malaysia.”
Malaysia is globally ranked 8th for shark catchment and 4th for shark fin imports, according to the latest TRAFFIC report.
In March 2014, Shark Savers Malaysia (SSMY) was launched and powered by Malaysian volunteers in KL, Penang and Sabah with the support of corporate pro bono resources, local NGO partners and volunteers. Malaysia government instituted a banqueting ban on shark fin soup at all official state level dining and entertainment in October.
Save The Sharks, Don’t Eat Shark Fins At Your Wedding!
Wedding.com.my aims to raise awareness under their platform to encourage their fans (and over 200,000 members) to not feature shark fin soup at wedding banquets. When asked about how they came up with this unprecedented campaign, co-founder of Wedding.com.my Petrina Goh told Vulcan Post, “The whole idea came about when we were thinking… What will be a better way for couples to celebrate their love while doing a good cause at the same time?”
“We planned a 3-part event for #VDAY2015 – the main event being the Shark Savers Couple Challenge where we aim to raise public awareness and pledges to say “I’m FINished with FINS”. As an online wedding marketplace, we feel that we do have a strong social responsibility to bring awareness to our 200,000 bridal community, since shark fin soup is consumed the most in wedding banquets.”
Shark Savers Meets Weddings
“We met John Benedict Lu – regional director of Shark Savers, at a social event,” Petrina answered in response to Vulcan Post’s question on how they sourced and found the right people to get the event running.
“We participated and supported one of the Shark Savers Malaysia campaign – “Hug a Shark Day”, and it was a success. So we believe we can actually create a bigger impact by injecting the Shark Savers element into our V-DAY campaign, hence we proposed #VDAY2015 campaign to John, and it was accepted!”
Special Events For #VDAY2015
There will be three components to the Valentines event by this novel collaboration between Wedding.com.my and Shark Savers, namely Mass Romantic Dinner and Wedding Wonderland, both on the 14th of February 2015, and Shark Savers Couple Challenge on the 15th of February 2015.
Petrina shared that they are expecting 40 couples to participate in the Shark Savers Couple Challenge and they have an incredible target of 200 couples for the Mass Romantic Dinner. She added, “We will have 2 celebrity pairs to lead the Shark Savers Couple Challenge and with TV and media coverage on the actual event, we can spread the awareness to wider audiences.”
The Shark Savers Couple Challenge and Mass Romantic Dinner both look like a lot of fun, in my honest opinion. The Shark Savers Couple Challenge, as of the time this article is published, costs RM198 per couple to join and lets couples pair with Shark Saver celebrity ambassadors to take the message to the streets. MyTeksi will be chauffeuring the couples and ambassadors to several check-points around KL. To add a fun twist to this event, some of the couples will be dressed in full bridal regalia by Precious, Redbliss, Stareast and Aspial Wedding, while others will be wearing hilarious (and adorable) shark-costumes.
Meanwhile, the Mass Romantic Dinner will have the couples treated to a four-course dinner at E-City Hotel, One City with entertainment by Peony Romance, KL Mobile DJs, celebrity appearances and performances, and lucky draws and prizes. This event is currently priced at RM199.
Wedding Wonderland will feature over 20 selected wedding vendors and service providers who will be promoting “green concepts” and environmentally sound weddings with minimal impact, according to the press release. If you’re interested in joining the events, have a look at their website and sign up there.
Those who aren’t in the Klang Valley shouldn’t despair as Petrina told Vulcan Post that they plan to make this a yearly campaign and replicate the event to other regions together with WildAids Shark Savers. Planning a wedding soon? Consider removing shark fin soup from the dinner menu. They are, after all, extremely misunderstood creatures of the ocean.