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by singaporebrides

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D e s i g n e r s | P h o t o g r a p h e r s | Ve n u e s & m o re !

diy pinwheel pg214

The Team CEO Ng Chin Leng Editor Michelle Tay Sub-Editor Audrie Soh Sales Manager Christine Juan Executives Bob Mubarak Janis Heng Layout Design Brigette Soh Michelle Tay Webmasters Andre Ng Eileen Aw

The Contributors Adora Tan-Richer, Ash Loi, Clayton Lai, Dewi Mahoney, Fu Jinming, Harry Lam, Huafeng, Jaclyn Lim, Jit, Mark Cheng, Michael Tan, Monica Eng, Nic Leung, Niq Siow, Phyllicia Wong, Randolph Tan, Raudha Raily, Sammi, Skye Tan, Skyy Woo, Ukay Cheung, Vicky Chow, Victor Chia, Wai Fun, Zhang Jingna Weddings by singaporebrides is published by Tian Dot Com Pte Ltd. 50 Ubi Crescent #01-08 Ubi TechPark Singapore 408568 Tel: +65 6254 1026 Fax: +65 6404 5478 Reproduction of this magazine in whole or part without the written permission of the publisher is strictly prohibited. Copyright Š 2012 Tian Dot Com Pte Ltd - All Rights Reserved.


In This Issue Weddings 101_ The Traditional Bride ...14 Are You A Bridezilla? ...22 Dealing With Wedding Budget Woes ...28 Wedding Forget-Me-Nots ...34

Fashion_ What's Your Silhouette? ...46 The Scoop on Necklines ...52 All About Trains ...58 The Perfected Peripherical ...64 Discipline: The Confessions of Lady Grey ...86 Song of the Sirens ...102 Dreamscapes in Steampunk ...118

Photography & Videography_ Attention Please ...154 Never A Dull Moment ...160 Fly Me To The Moon ...166 An Evening To Remember ...172 Because Elephants Never Forget ...178

Essentials_ Inspiration Board - Wisteria ...187 Inspiration Board - Summer Butter ...188 Smouldering Red Bridal Bouquets ...190


White Victorian Weddings Cakes ...204 A Colourful Affair ...214 Wedding To-Do LIst ...220

Beauty & Health_ Top 5 Pre-Wedding Health Tips ...226 Achieve Brigher, Clearer Skin For Your Big Day ...232 How To Look Good For Your Pre-Wedding Shoot ...236

The Groom Room_ How To Date Your Wife ...248 The Art of the Marriage Proposal ...256

Venues_ Before You PIck A Wedding Venue ...266 Holding An Outdoor Wedding ...274

Home & Travel_ Taking A Break After The Wedding ...284 10 Tips For Planning A Destination Wedding ...292

Editor’s Note was started 12 years ago, when anything sandwiched with an ampersat or ending with a dot com sounds more Greek than Geek. It was an uphill task for our CEO then, selling refrigerators to Eskimos, since nobody would have thought that The Internet would one day become a marketplace for goods and services, and of course, an indispensible tool for wedding planning. Now, as we are entering our 13th year, not only is still the largest online wedding directory, we're also the only full-fledged online wedding magazine that does regular fashion editorials with international fashion photographers. To make our articles and spreads even more accessible to a worldwide audience, we are launching our first digital publication, Weddings by singaporebrides. Eve Every six months, we will select the most popular articles, fashion spreads, DIYs and Real Weddings, showcasing our finest partners and vendors. Apart from informative articles, you can also browse through gorgeous full page spreads, with the latest gowns from our featured bridal boutiques and   designers.  You can choose to download it from our website and flip it like a magazine on your desktop, or read it directly from your smart phones and tablets.   While everyone eve is still making new year resolutions, we made ours really early so we can present this surprise to you before the year ends. So here's an early Happy New Year (to those of you who haven't gone on your vacations yet), and do keep a lookout for some Weddings -related giveaways, exclusively for our Facebook friends!

michelle Michelle Tay The Editor 08/


Wedding Traditions

The Traditional Bride

by Audrie Soh

Weddings are a time for traditions. In fact, a wedding is itself a tradition. It is an age-old practice of celebrating the union of two individuals in the presence of their family and close friends who are invited to join in the celebrations. While these traditions might have originated from a long time ago and came from different cultures and countries, it still remains relevant in weddings today. 14/


n this first part of the guide, we return to our roots and look at five of the most common Chinese wedding traditions that are still practiced today. Most weddings in Singapore include these traditions because having them not only reminds us of our roots, it also celebrates our culture as well. That and it keeps the elders in your family doubly pleased to know that you’re continuing these traditions on your big day. Of course, these rituals and traditions will differ from the various ancestral regions, so a Cantonese bride may find herself having to do something a Teochew bride didn’t. This article will merely describe the most commonly practiced in Singapore and will not go in-depth into the details from each region.

1. Betrothal Gifts

The tradition of gifting the bride’s family with gifts before the wedding represents the formal betrothal in ancient times. There are two parts to this. The first takes place two weeks before the wedding, where the groom and a lady of good fortune, or a matchmaker, will pay a visit to the bride’s home with a basket of gifts. Otherwise known as “Guo Da Li”, this gesture serves as an assurance that the groom will abide by and honour his promise. The items in the basket varies by the ancestral regions of the bride and groom. If the bride and groom are from two different dialect groups, the bride will typically follow the groom’s ancestral traditions. Here’s what to expect in that basket of gifts: • Two bottles of brandy • An even number of tangerines (The Chinese believe that good things come in pairs; a recommended number would be eight – a favourite among the Chinese)

• Peanut candies (Teochew bride) or rice candies (Hokkien bride) • Six tins of canned pig’s trotters or one whole roast pig (for the Cantonese brides) • Two pairs of red dragon and phoenix candles • Betrothal jewellery (Teochew bride) The second part to this tradition is when the bride gives something back to the groom as a gesture of goodwill. Now, you didn’t think you’d get to keep everything in that basket, did you? It’ll be extremely bad taste if you did. The bride’s parents are expected to present the groom’s parents with “return gifts” or “hui li” in Mandarin. Instead of brandy, two bottles of orange syrup or honey will be returned.Everything else in the betrothal basket, except for the pair of dragon candles and betrothal jewelry, will be returned in even numbers to the groom’s family. The betrothal jewelry, which consists four different types of gold, usually a pair of earrings, bracelet/ bangle, necklace and ring, is yours to keep. Often referred to as “Si Dian Jin”, it is a gift from your mother-in-law and signifies that you’ll always have a roof over your head and a comfortable life. It gets its name from the four different types of gold gifted to you, usually a bracelet, a necklace, a ring and a pair of earrings.


weddings101 2. Hair Combing Ritual

The hair combing ritual signals the bride and groom’s transitions from girl and boy to woman and man, and is a tradition practiced in every Chinese wedding. The ritual usually takes place the night before the wedding at the bride and groom’s respective houses. Before it begins, the bride and groom are required to wash themselves with water infused with pomelo leaves, which is believe to ward off evil. Then, they are to dress in a brand new set of pyjamas and underwear, and be seated in front of a pair of dragon and phoenix candles. In addition, the bride also has to slip on new bedroom slippers for the ritual. A woman deemed to have good fortune will conduct the hair combing ritual. The bride and groom will each have their hair combed four times while the woman iterates the blessing each stroke represents: 一梳梳到尾, 二梳百年好合, 三梳子孙满堂, 四梳白发齐眉

Here’s what each stroke means in English: • May your marriage last a lifetime • May you be blessed with a happy and harmonious marriage until old age • May you be blessed with an abundance of children and grandchildren • May you be blessed with longevity To complete the ritual, both the bride and groom have to eat glutinous rice balls as a symbol of a sweet marriage and togetherness through thick and thin.


3. Fetching of the Bride

On the day of the wedding, the groom will journey to the bride’s family home to fetch her back to his place. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But reality is often much harsher. Before the groom can get to his bride, he has to get past her bridesmaids, otherwise known as “jie meis” and satisfy a number of tasks. For support, the groom will rally his brothers, or “xiong dis”, who will accompany him to the fetching and help him get past the bride’s “jie meis”. This tradition, is otherwise known as the customary gatecrashing. This mandatory haggling session between the groom, his “xiong dis” and the bride’s “jie meis”, is a common scene at weddings in Singapore. Traditionally, the gatecrashing served as a test of the groom’s sincerity and love, and represented the reluctance of the bride’s family to marry their daughter off. So needless to say, your bridesmaids are not going to make things easy for your groom and his brothers-in-arm. They will ask him to declare his love for you, recite and sign a “contract” to seal his vows or even make him and his “xiong dis” sing and dance – these form some of the common tests and games the “jie meis” will make the groom and his “xiong dis” do.

that the marriage will be smooth sailing. So, depending on how “vicious” and creative your bridesmaids are going to be, advise your groom to gather men with stronger stomachs as his “xiong dis”. Completion of these tests and games does not automatically guarantee the groom entrance into the bride’s home. The bridesmaids will demand a red packet for their troubles before they let him in. Once the groom gains entrance, he makes his way to his bride, presents her with the bridal bouquet, lifts her veil and kisses her. After which, the happy couple and their wedding entourage will leave for the groom’s home at the chosen auspicious time.

4. Tea Ceremony

If there is one tradition you have to include in your wedding, it is this. Equivalent to the Western solemnisation ceremony, the tea ceremony is where you’ll be formally introduced to everyone and accepted into your families. The bride and groom will first return to the groom’s family home to pay their respects to his family by serving them tea and addressing them by their formal titles.

Some of these tasks may be given an easier alternative or skipped entirely if there is not enough time ( it is imperative that the bride leaves with her groom at the chosen auspicious time), but the tasting of the requisite four flavours: sour, sweet, bitter and spicy cannot be omitted from the gatecrashing. These flavours are meant to represent the various trials and tribulations, and the sweet times you and your groom will encounter in your marriage. It is a must for the groom and his “xiong dis” to consume them and if successful, it is said


weddings101 In return, his family will acknowledge her place in the family and offer them blessings for their happy union. The bride and groom then returns to her home for another tea ceremony to pay respects to her family. But before she does that, she will change into the traditional Chinese wedding dress, the “kua�. Don’t expect the tea ceremony to be completed in a jiffy. There are rules and sequences governing the tea ceremony, like using the tea set included in the dowry basket and tea brewed from longans and red dates for the ceremony.


The longans and red dates in the tea symbolises the birth of children early in the marriage while the sweetness of the tea represents the sweet relations between the couple and their families. Messing any of them up may ruffle some feathers and the last thing you need is such unpleasantness at the start of your big day. To avoid all of that, familiarise yourself with what is required of you during your tea ceremony: • You, the bride, will position yourself on the left and your groom on the right. • You and your groom may or may not be expected to kneel before your elders as you serve them tea. • Always serve the male elders first as a sign of his superiority. • Parents of the couple are the first to be served, followed by their relatives based on their seniority in the family. • Remember to address the relatives by their formal titles (fifth aunt or second uncle, for example). If you’re not sure, do clarify before the ceremony begins. • In return, your elders should gift you with red packets or gifts as their blessings. However, any unmarried older sibling is exempted from presenting a red packet for you and your groom. • You and your groom’s younger siblings and cousins will serve you tea instead, and you will present them with gifts or red packets.

5. The Wedding Banquet

Let’s get loud! A Chinese wedding banquet is a spectacle to behold, an experience to be had and never quiet. Usually held at night at the hotel of the couple’s choice, a Chinese wedding banquet rarely commences on time. Guests will sign in the guestbook, drop their wedding gifts (in the case of

Singapore, red packets) and mingle with the rest of the guests at the reception. The highlight of a Chinese wedding banquet is undoubtedly the bride’s change of gowns within that two odd hours. While guests enjoy an eightto 10-course dinner, the couple often disappears to return to their suite for a change of outfit before re-emerging down the aisle. Most brides have three changes, including their wedding gown, an evening gown and another selection, although this may vary according to the bride’s preference. So when hubby dearest asks why you need three or more gowns for the banquet, you’ll have a perfectly legitimate and justifiable answer for him. And no Chinese wedding banquet is complete without the drink toasting otherwise known as the “Yam Seng”. After the couple has popped the champagne, their relatives and wedding entourage will be asked to join them on stage for a toasting session. This is where your enthusiastic “xiong dis” and “jie meis”, as well as younger relatives, will holler “yam seng”, usually three times, at the top of their voices, so don’t be alarmed if you hear a slight ringing in your ears immediately after. That’s just part one. The second round of “yam sengs” occurs when you and your groom make the rounds and greet your guests at their tables. If that’s too much information for you to digest in a short period of time, let us share with you a short cut. Just remember these three key elements and you won’t go wrong: the colour red (it is believed to be the colour of luck and happiness), longans and red dates, and a woman or person deemed to have good fortune. Then, you’re good to go. ■ SB



are you a


Mr. Right has proposed (with a five-carat ring, no less). Your parents are so happy they still can’t sleep at night. You’re incredibly excited, but also all stressed up by the long list of wedding must-dos. Do you find yourself crumbling under the pressure or morphing into a perfectionist freak? Either way, SingaporeBrides is here to show you how to cope.


by Jaclyn Lim


e’ve all heard of the word “Bridezilla”. A portmanteau of the words “bride” and “Godzilla”, the term refers to a difficult, unpleasant and controlling bride-to-be who wants everything to be pictureperfect for her Big Day. In her quest for a dream wedding, she has no qualms about aggravating her family, groom-to-be, friends and wedding vendors with unreasonable requests. Case in point: When reality television star Kim Kardashian got engaged to NBA sensation Kris Humphries, her take-charge family basically bulldozed their way through all the wedding decisions. Word has it that the groom’s family wasn’t overthe-top with all those over-the-top arrangements (read: three couture gowns, 50,000 flowers and $15 million worth of diamonds!). Even Kris’s friends were reportedly “annoyed and pissed”, preferring not to get involved with ushering duties. The thing is, even typically sweet girls can morph into bridezillas as the wedding day draws nearer. Take Joanne*, 30, who admits that she almost lost control of herself in the months leading up to her Big Day. “I had a certain vision of how I want my wedding to be,” the marketing manager says. “It started with little things, like insisting that all of my bridesmaids dress identically and wear their hair the same way. Then I made all the major decisions without caring about my fiance’s opinions. It took a huge pre-wedding fight to made me realise that I was being inconsiderate to him and many of my friends.” Luckily, Joanne managed to salvage the situation by changing her tone (no more barking of orders!), her expectations (an eight-tier cream cake is not necessary) and her attitude (a wedding doesn’t have

to be perfect!). If you’ve ever wondered whether you’re the blushing bride-to-be or the Bridezilla from hell, do this quick quiz. The “Are You A Bridezilla?” Quiz 1. When your wedding planner asks if she can make small decisions – like when to call everyone for rehearsals – without consulting you, you a) Agree wholeheartedly. “That’s why I hired a wedding planner right?” b) Say: “Sure. Just keep me updated at regular intervals on the progress, and let me give the go-ahead for major decisions.” c) Scream: “NO WAY!” 2. Your gal pal gently asks if she can be your bridesmaid on your Big Day. She wants to be there for you through the preparations. You say: a) “Oh, Sarah, that’s so sweet. You’re in!” b) “Sarah, I’m so touched you offered. I’m organising my list and will let you know soon. But I’m sure I’ll love having you around.” c) “I’ll slot you in if you lose some weight first.” 3. When deciding on the menu for your wedding banquet, you a) Let the wedding planner, restaurant manager or caterer decide. After all, you have no special requirements. So why create a fuss? b) Discuss with your groom-to-be about the kind of dishes that will suit your guests, taking care to cater for old folks, young children and those with special dietary requirements, like vegetarians. c) Insist on a 50-table wedding feast with all the impressive dishes and top-notch wines (at least 20 bottles). Then, you demand for personalised wedding favours to be included in the package.


weddings101 4. What are you most concerned about during the wedding preparations? a) Making sure that everything is minimal fuss for the people involved. They should be here to party! b) Juggling real life – work, family and friends – with your wedding must-dos the best you can. c) That everything – and you really mean everything – is perfect. 5. The wedding is just three months away. But everything is going wrong. One of your bridesmaids wants to drop out of the bridal party. The gown designer just can’t get the lace train right. Your parents want Grand Aunt Jo’s grandkids invited as well. What do you do? a) You’re not overly worried. Instead, you decide to go with the flow. You let the bridesmaid drop out, cut off the train and invite the whole village. b) You feel stressed but decide to confide in your groom-to-be and your best friend. Then you delegate duties to ease your load – your fiancé will handle your parents while your best friend will talk to the problematic bridesmaid. c) You break down in tears, whine to a very frightened groom-to-be and scream at everyone around you for intentionally spoiling your Big Day. Then, you head to your room and slam the door shut. Now for the results… Mostly As: You’re the LAIDBACK BRIDE. You’re the uber-accommodating bride-to-be who will consider how everyone feels, take note of your bridal party’s individual schedules and leave all the work to your wedding planner. That’s totally okay, but you run the risk of losing control of important matters. Do these: You’re doing a lot of things right. But remember to have an opinion or you will find yourself being swept up by good-meaning advice from everyone else. So be the one to make major decisions, like the wedding guest list. Mostly Bs: Congratulations! You’re the BLUSHING BRIDE. In other words, you’re the perfect bride-to-be everyone loves. You understand that a wedding is not the be-all and end-all of your life. That’s why you carefully delegate duties to wedding vendors, bridal party and friends while you take time off to recharge at times. But most importantly, you know how to appreciate everyone around you – with kind words, an open mind and plenty of thank-you presents! Do these: We honestly can’t think of anything you can do – better!


Mostly Cs: We’re actually afraid to inform you that you are a BRIDESZILLA. You are the bride-to-be everyone is scared of. Your wedding vendors, bridal party, relatives and friends are whispering about your crazy, controlling behaviour behind your back. Oh, and have you noticed that your groomto-be is looking at you in fear, not in love? Do these: To save your relationships with your loved ones, you must RELAX. Do not give in to fear and crushing standards of expectations. Understand that everyone is doing their best to make your Big Day really special, so take a big step back and cut them some slack. Remember to show your appreciation to all your wedding vendors and bridal party as well. Now how about handwritten thank-you cards for everyone? ■SB

*Not her real name.



dealing with

wedding budget woes by Adora Tan-Richer

Congratulations! He’s popped the happy question and you’ve given the happy answer, and now you’re on your way to planning your happy occasion. Only you’ve discovered the only one not too happy about all this is your bank account. 28/


e unfortunately no longer live in a time and age where parents of the happy couple happily foot the wedding bill. But don’t worry, your perfect wedding can still become a reality with proper budgeting and planning. Here are some commonly asked questions about budgeting; we hope they will help you achieve the wedding of your dreams.


My parents and future in-laws will be contributing to the wedding. Do they get a say in how I spend it? Incoming finances? Lucky you! Technically, if anyone gives you money as a gift, it’s yours and they shouldn’t be able to dictate where and how that gift is spent. Be gracious and thank them (profusely) for it, and ask if there’s something in particular they’d like to see the money be spent, and quickly follow up with some suggestions: Wedding photography? Honeymoon? Dinner venue?


What if my family doesn’t come through with the money they promised?

This is a tricky and sensitive situation as it would greatly affect your planning and relationships. Finger-pointing and pondering over ‘what-if’s won’t help the situation so don’t dwell over it – make the necessary alterations in your plans and move on. If your family is genuinely apologetic, you might want to get them involved; they might appreciate the opportunity to ‘redeem’ themselves and do an excellent job. Freelance designer Stephanie Pang, 29, recalls, “My in-laws were supposed to contribute some money but something urgent cropped up so they regretfully withdrew their offer. Thankfully we managed, and through that, realised that money isn’t everything – my then 14 year-old brother-in-law played the piano beautifully for my march-in as his wedding present to us because he ‘couldn’t afford to buy us anything’. But that was the best gift ever.”

If they insist on certain things, like everything having to be in gaudy red, quickly pick your jaw from the floor and invite them to be part of the decisionmaking process. Hopefully when they meet with your wedding planner, she will be able to convince them to compromise, with you still looking like the good guy. Remember to prompt your wedding planner beforehand! On some occasions, the Chinese bride’s parents will request for a number of “tables” from the groom’s family for the wedding banquet as part of the bride’s dowry. Together with the red packet the bride will receive in her dowry, this may ease up some of the cost from the dinner banquet as well.




One side of the family can’t afford to contribute as much as the other. How do I handle the situation? Remember that it’s the thought that counts and not everyone has the same financial means. To avoid a situation where one family dominates the decision making due to a higher financial contribution, try to split the financial responsibilities. Germaine Tan, 36, a Research Fellow, shares her experience. “My parents were slightly more well-todo, whereas my in-laws were on a tighter budget. So we asked if my parents could contribute toward the wedding banquet dinner, while my in-laws volunteered to pay for the church reception and choir. My in-laws are also incredibly creative so they took charge of the church decorations and we ended up having the most beautiful floral arrangements. We’re ever so grateful for their assistance, and both sets of parents were pleased to have helped in our special day.”


Are there any hidden expenses, such as GST and non-refundable deposits that I should be aware of? Take note that most hotels’ per table prices are on a ++ basis so be sure to factor that into your budget. Most venues ask for a refundable deposit, which they are happy to return to you upon the end of your event, if everything is in order (i.e. no broken tables or burnt table cloths). Be sure to check with your planners as venue regulations vary. Smaller establishments may not charge GST, but don’t assume – ask before-hand so you won’t get a surprise when you receive the bill.



How can I avoid going over the budget?

Discuss with your partner on a comfortable budget beforehand, or things can quickly get out of hand. A wedding budget is a good idea, and there are many examples available on the internet. Decide what matters most, and what is a nice-to-have, if you could spare some extra cash. Do update your spreadsheet with every purchase so you are consistently aware of the amount you’re able to work with.


Is there a most expensive time of the year to get married?

Generally hotels charge more for bookings on weekends as compared to weekdays. While prices are not known to fluctuate toward the end of the year (traditionally, the most popular time for weddings), your challenge then would be having to jostle for your preferred date before it gets snapped up.


Is it okay to negotiate prices, or ask vendors for discounts?

Of course! Every little bit counts (imagine this: if you get a $100 discount from the printer, your guests will be able to enjoy 2 more bottles of good wine) so put aside your pride and just ask. Sometimes vendors aren’t able to give you an outright discount, but can give you more than you ask for instead (your florist can throw in extra petals for your flowergirls to scatter for instance). You increase your chances of getting a better deal if your order is bigger, or if you’re planning a wedding that isn’t in peak season. Pet Store Owner Tina Song, 35, shares an unusual tip. “We were young and broke, and did away with

many things, but I did insist to have a floral bouquet. I saw and loved a particular arrangement but was disappointed at the price. My then fiancé went back to the same florist and asked for that same arrangement, carefully emitting the word “wedding”, and was quoted a price $50 less than I was! I ended up with my dream bouquet without that nightmarish price.”


If a vendor delivers a product or service that is not what was agreed on, will I be able to get my money back? In most cases, vendors are not willing to give a full refund, unless it is stated in your contract. You can, however, ask for a portion of the price to be knocked off since you did not get what you agreed upon. Marketing Manager Grace Chung, 31, came to an agreeable compromise with her hotel when they misplaced the wine that was delivered to the hotel. “We had to make do with the house wine, which was OK but not exceptional. We understand that things go wrong but our Wedding Co-ordinator was very apologetic and gave us a complementary two-nights’ stay at the hotel. We used that as a gift for our ‘sisters’ and they really enjoyed their weekend staycation!” Remember in the movie “When Harry Met Sally”, where the famous quote “Once you figure out who you want to spend the rest of your life with, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible!” was mouthed? With proper planning, budgeting, and a little creativity, that dream need not be an unrealistic one. Just remember to take the time to enjoy your planning. It’s very easy to turn into the Bridezilla you swore you would never be, but with good help and a couple of deep breaths, it is possible to enjoy the planning process and the wedding day. Now, doesn’t that sound nice? ■ SB





by Audrie Soh

Weddings are exciting times but the planning process can sometimes be more trying and frustrating than fun. If you feel a pressing desire to rip that long, scary wedding to-do list to pieces as you approach the one week mark to your big day, try not to give in to it. So many things could go wrong if you didn’t perform a last minute check-through of that list, and you’ll not want any of that to happen on your wedding day.





n fact, a last minute check-through might prove to be too late, if you did indeed miss out an important detail. Nip the problem in the bud by working = carefully and methodically down yourwedding to-do list during the planning stage to ensure all ground has been covered. But we know the list is long and you busy brides-to-be have your hands full, so we’ve handpicked five issues you should pay close attention to during the planning and on the eve of the wedding. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay the rest of the items on the list no heed, but you need to start somewhere, and we suggest you begin with these five first. Don’t Ditch The List Think you’ve gotten every task on your wedding to-do list and are ready to chuck that piece of paper into the wastepaper basket? Think again. Even if your list is full of crossed-off items, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve been taken care of. You could have crossed it out by accident and forgot about the mistake. The next thing you know, you’re missing table centerpieces. The truth is, the more times you’ve gone through that list, the more likely you are going to miss something on it. Keep the list by your side until the very end – this


allows you to check through your list a week or day before your big day to ensure you’ve covered all grounds. Noting down the progress of each item will make checking-through it a breeze as well. It’s in the Timing Picking out an auspicious date is the first thing brides-to-be will be looking at, especially for Chinese couples. The date and day of your big day holds equal importance as where it is being held. Just as certain hotels or locations are more popular than the others, there are particular times of a year that are more popular for weddings. And those times tend to be the beginning and end of a year. So, if you’re planning on having yours around those months, it’ll be a good idea to plan way ahead to secure the hotel or location of your choice. You’ve Been Cordially Invited The next step is, of course, to send the invitations out and spread the good news around. But before that, you have to decide who gets the invite and who doesn’t. With family obligations and feelings to consider, deciding who gets onto the guest list is not an easy task nor will it end in a pretty sight. Regardless of how tactful you’ve gone about it, someone’s bound to get upset – and sometimes, they may not necessarily be the ones who didn’t make the list. Even if you’ve kept the affair hush-hush, word will still make its rounds via social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter, and gossiping relatives. When that happens, you should brace yourself for passiveaggressive comments and snide remarks from those who weren’t invited, as well as from those who thought these people should be invited.


weddings101 Refrain from reacting to them by brushing them off or politely emphasising that your decision is final. You owe no one an explanation of why they weren’t invited. It is your wedding; who you want to invite lies in your hands. Surround yourself with your loved ones and don’t let a handful of disgruntled individuals ruin your special day over something as trivial as wedding invitations.


Drink Up Me Hearty Pop those wine bottles, my dearies, it’s time to toast to the newlyweds’ happy union and get the groom stinking drunk on his wedding night. What? There isn’t any around? Not even champagne? What atrocity is this?! While alcohol is usually a staple at a wedding banquet, on the rare occasions, the happy couple might decide to omit it for various reasons. It could be due to religious or family reasons, or maybe, they simply didn’t have the budget for it. Or if you don’t want your new husband to be dead drunk on your wedding night, that could be one motivation to keep alcohol off the menu. If you are providing alcohol at the banquet, there are a few things you should consider to avoid overspending on it: • Work out a budget for alcohol and check with the hotel’s charges for the amount of booze you need. • If you’re working on a limited budget, it’ll be a good idea to source for cheaper outlets besides the hotel itself. • Ask the hotel about per-bottle corkage fees if you’re bringing your own liquor to the banquet, and work that amount into the final budget. Emergency Kit Who (or what) is going to save you when your shoe bites, your mascara smudges or the stitching at the side of your wedding gown comes apart? Your wedding emergency kit, of course. If you haven’t prepared one, then it’s about time you do. From heel guards to spare make-up, safety pins and a sewing kit, everything you might possibly need goes into this kit. Prepare this list we’ve done up for you as you go along in your planning and get your bridal party to help you out just in case you’ve missed something. Make two sets of the kit and keep one in the bridal car with you, and the other in the wedding suite. Although we’ve only listed out five issues, you’ll find other or more issues on your wedding to-do list that will require you to pay closer attention to than the rest. Recruit a trusted friend or relative and keep them in the loop. It’s good to have an extra pair of eyes (and hands!) to help out in the planning stage and on the wedding itself to ensure that your big day goes smoothly. You, on the other hand, need to let go and enjoy your wedding day to its fullest. ■ SB




the wedding gown guide

what’s your silhouette by Audrie Soh


he wedding gown is undeniably the centerpiece, and the most important detail for a bride and her wedding, so the selection of a dress cannot be slipshod and has to be given sufficient thought. SingaporeBrides presents a three-part guide on how to choose the most appropriate wedding gown for your big day. By the time you’re done reading, you’d be an expert in necklines, silhouettes and trains and wouldn’t look shell-shocked when the designer asks if you have a specific style in mind. Read and pass this knowledge on to other brides-to-be.

A bateau or a sweetheart neckline? An A-line dress or a mermaid silhouette? Chapel or cathedral train? Are these questions (along with the millions of wedding preparations you have to deal with) enough to make you throw down the gauntlet and go “I’ll just take THAT dress”, pointing at a random dress at a bridal boutique? If that sounds like something you’re close to doing, or are doing, then retract that finger right this instant.


Let’s being with the five main types of silhouettes. The media would have us believe that there is only one body type and shape, but let’s face it, not every bride has that Gisele-esque body. But, that does not mean you cannot look fabulous in a gown. The trick is to find one that suits your body type and shape best. The Ball Gown Does your ideal gown resemble that of Cinderella’s? Do you dream of having a fairytale wedding, with a gown that features a fitted bodice and a full bellshaped skirt? Then look no further, the ball gown silhouette is what you’re looking for. With ball gown dresses, you can fulfill your dream of looking like a Disney princess bride and still be up-to-date with the trend (this silhouette remains highly popular and in trend). This silhouette is also for brides who are in pursuit of the traditional and classic wedding gown look. The ball gown silhouette is extremely versatile – it looks fabulous regardless of which neckline or length of train you pair it with. Not only that, ball gown dresses also suit most body types, especially those with a medium to tall build, wider hips and

hour-glass figures. Pear-shaped brides or brides with a smaller stature should approach this shape with caution: while a bell-shaped skirt can hide a larger bottom half, it can also backfire as layers and layers of skirt can add width to your frame as well. For petite brides, the full skirt may overwhelm your small frame and make you seem rounder than you actually are. The Ball Gown is most commonly seen at more formal weddings, but if it is your preference, who is to say you can’t wear it to your beach wedding? Determine the formality of your dress by playing with the fullness of the skirt and the length of your train. For more oomph and a formal look, go for more layers under the skirt (some may require a crinoline or slip underneath to maintain its shape) and a Cathedral length train. Or, take a leaf out of Princess Diana’s wedding and pair the ball gown with a Royal train, if you’re aiming for a more dramatic look. A-Line Still want to look like a Disney princess at your wedding but find the ball gown silhouette a little too dramatic? Fear not; Aurora (that’s Sleeping Beauty, if you don’t already know) dons an A-line gown and is still very much a Disney princess. The A-line gown is exactly as it is named: an upright letter A. Similar to the ball gown, an A-line dress has a fitted bodice that is cut close to the rib cage. The difference lies in the shape of the skirt. The ball gown silhouette sees a skirt shaped like a bell while the A-line’s skirt is shaped like the letter A, with less fluff. Also known as the Princess silhouette, A-line dresses are very popular among brides due to its versatility: it flatters just about any body type. Full-figured brides can rest easy as the A-line hides a heavier bottom,


fashion especially A-line dresses with a heavier fabric that tends to be less clingy. It also creates the illusion of height by elongating the torso, perfect for petite brides, or brides with a shorter upper torso. As with the ball gown silhouette, A-line dresses can be worn for more formal weddings – paired with a Cathedral Length train, or informal ones – paired with no train, a sweeping train or a Chapel length one. Its versatility extends to any type of neckline as well as any length of veil, depending on the degree of formality of your wedding. Sheath Reminiscent of an evening gown from the 1950s, the sheath hugs your body, following every curve from head to toe. Sheaths are best suited for casual weddings but can work for formal weddings as well – just pick one that is floor length. Depending on the material of the dress, a sheath dress can either skim your curves (in thicker silk or damask fabric) or leave nothing to your imagination (in silk or satin). Mostly popular for beach weddings, brides who are looking to conceal some problem areas (mainly a wider lower body) or are not comfortable with the idea of a body-skimming or body-hugging dress should opt for more forgiving silhouettes, like the Ball Gown, A-line or empire cut. Also, brides who expect to move around (or kneel) a lot should think twice about picking a sheath dress as this silhouette doesn’t allow for much movements. If you choose to wear your sheath dress without a train, then you can opt for either a waist length veil – for a beach or informal wedding, or a floor length one for a more formal wedding. Mermaid/Trumpet The mermaid and trumpet are silhouettes that fit closely to the body with an outward flare at the bottom half of the gown. The difference between the two is minor – the mermaid sees the flare happening below the knee, closer to the hem while the trumpet flares from midhip. The mermaid and trumpet silhouettes best flatters tall and slim brides, so if you’ve been working hard for your big day and can’t wait to show off the results, or if you were born with a model-esque figure (you lucky girl, you!), then this is the silhouette for you. You


need to be completely comfortable in a body-hugging, curveskimming gown because the mermaid and trumpet silhouettes hide nothing. The mermaid and trumpet silhouettes are suitable for both an informal beach wedding or a more formal ballroom affair. The length of the accompanying train and veil also depends on the formality of your big day – a chapel length train and veil will complement a more formal event, while doing without a train and having a waist or fingertip length veil is perfect for less formal ones. Empire Think Jane Austen and channel your inner Elizabeth Bennett (main female protagonist from Pride and Prejudice) with the empire cut. Empire cut dresses have a cropped bodice with a waist seam that ends just below the bust-line. As a result, this creates a flattering elongated silhouette, perfect for making you appear taller and slimmer. It is not difficult to see why this silhouette is highly popular during the Regency period. The skirt sweeps softly over your curves, lending a romantic, feminine touch to the dress while at the same time, concealing flaws such as a thicker waist or a heavier bottom half. As such, the empire silhouette is perfect for brides with a bigger build. It is also suitable for brides with a smaller bust, since it draws attention to the neckline, making it extremely flattering for them. A variation of the empire silhouette is the Goddess. It is all the rage now, with the soft, slinky and flowing fabrics they usually come in and a deep V-slit down the front. The silhouette presented is supersexy and very feminine. Go Elizabeth Bennett style with a semi-formal wedding and pair your empire-cut dress with no train or a chapel length train, and a shoulder or waist length veil that’s bound to make your Mr Darcy entranced. By now you should be articulate in silhouettes and which best flatters your body shape. Always remember to pick one that flatters your shape and you’ll not go wrong. The next step to getting that perfect gown is to complement your chosen silhouette with a beautiful neckline. ■ SB

Gown illustrations by Jit from Silverlining Bridal Couture


Couture Bridal Boutique specialising in bare-backed wedding gowns, cheongsams, suits, tuxedos, Mother-of-the-bride gowns and ROM dresses Other services include photography, hair and make up, hand bouquet and car decor. We also provide design-to-measure and off-the-rack services

Call us for an appointment at 6339 9439 or email us at Address - 223A South Bridge Road, Singapore 058782 Website -


the wedding gown guide

the scoop on necklines by Audrie Soh


nowing which neckline you want and selecting one that goes with the silhouette of your gown is actually as simple as 1-2-3. All you need to do is to know how much skin you want to show and which areas of your body you’d like to draw attention to. Then, all that is left to do is to pick one that complements your chosen silhouette. But first, you need to know the various types of necklines available for your picking and what they look like. This second part of our wedding guide will introduce you to eight different necklines, all with their own special characteristics, leaving you spoilt for choice and hopefully, a neckline to go with the silhouette you’ve picked out by the time you’re done reading this.

Understanding the types of silhouettes available for your choosing is only the first step to your dream gown. The next step is to determine if you want a sweetheart neckline, a bateau or a halter. That sounds easy enough, except, you don’t know what a sweetheart neckline or a bateau looks like! As always, you can rely onSingaporeBrides to solve your wedding problems for you.


Strapless As it is named, this neckline is without straps, leaving skin bare from the neck down to the bust. The Strapless draws attention to the collarbone, arms and bust. Although it is best suited for brides with defined collarbones and shoulders, and toned arms, what and who’s to stop you from wearing it if you are comfortable with showing skin and arms (even if you haven’t quite achieved those Jessica Alba arms). Well-endowed brides will find the Strapless working well with their assets, but a word of caution: to avoid any mishaps, wear an undergarment with the proper amount of support. Brides with a smaller bust should try to avoid this neckline and direct attention elsewhere other than the bust. Sweetheart The Sweetheart is a variation of the Strapless.Instead of a straight line above the bust, the Sweetheart features an arc over each breast, its shape resembling the top of a heart, thus giving it

its name. Well-endowed brides will enjoy the sweetheart neckline as it gives further emphasis on the decolletage – an alternative from the classic Strapless. Here’s where the Sweetheart differs from the Strapless: dresses featuring the sweetheart neckline need not necessarily be without straps. While a common preference, the Sweetheart can also be worn with long sheer sleeves, thin or thick straps, or even with a sheer coatie. But be prepared to show some skin off as the Sweetheart is more low-cut than the Strapless, guaranteed to draw attention to the bust. For a romantic and fairytale look, pair the Sweetheart with a ball gown or an A-line dress. For va-va-voom sexy, pair this neckline (strapless!) with a sheath or mermaid silhouette. V-neck Dresses with this neckline feature a V-shape slit down the front (and occasionally, down the back as well). The V-neck suits most brides: it offers good coverage, accentuates the natural shape of the décolletage and even creates the illusion of a fuller bust and a longer neck. However, brides with a smaller bust should be aware that this neckline can also make you look smaller. Also, if you are uncomfortable with attention at your bust area, avoid this neckline. The V-neck is very versatile and is suitable for conservative brides and ones who want to bare some. How subtle or dramatic you want the slit to be, depends on how revealing you’d like your dress to be. This style can also be worn in conjunction with other necklines, like the Halter, and can be worn with any silhouette. Go for the Grecian Goddess look by pairing the empire silhouette with a deep slit down the middle or pair the V-neck with short or long sleeves for a more conservative look. Scoop/Square Both the scoop and square necklines are similar except that the scoop has a U-shaped neckline while the latter has a straight line at the cleavage. Depending on how much skin you want to show, both the Scoop and Square can be lowcut – geared towards a sexier look – or modest, baring only your collarbone and the top of your chest area.


fashion These two necklines can be worn with or without sleeves and paired with almost any type of silhouette. For a more formal and elegant look, pair the square neckline with opera length gloves to give you that extra oomph. Bateau Otherwise known as the boat neck, a Bateau bears similarity to the Scoop. The Bateau is wide-necked and follows the curve of the collarbone to the tip of the shoulders. More conservative brides and those blessed with prominent collarbones can opt for this neckline as the Bateau only shows off the neck and collarbone area. A variation of the Bateau is the Sabrina – a neckline with a slightly squarer shape and is worn sleeveless. Brides can choose to wear the Bateau with or without sleeves and with almost any type of silhouette they have in mind, although it is most commonly paired with an A-line or ball gown silhouette. Since the Bateau works to enhance the chest area, brides who are well-endowed should think twice about a gown with a Bateau neckline to avoid looking boxy. Halter The halter neckline is one where the straps connect around the back of the neck, leaving both the arms and shoulders bare. It can be paired with other necklines like the V-neck for a sexier variation, or a square or scoop neckline for something more conservative. If you have been hitting the gym or doing push-ups at home and can’t wait to show off your toned arms, then the Halter is for you, as it looks best with a bride with nice arms. For brides with broader shoulders, opt for drawn in straps instead of ones that go around. Brides with narrow shoulders or ample bust should avoid the Halter as it can make you look too thin or unproportional. The Halter is worn without sleeves and can work with all types of silhouettes. Off-The-Shoulder Off-the-shoulder dresses feature a neckline that just sits below the shoulders, with very short cap-like sleeves covering the upper part of the arm. Brides who want to accentuate their shoulders and collarbones should consider this neckline as off-the-shoulder dresses draws attention to these areas. However, if you want the attention away from your arms and on elsewhere, you should avoid picking this neckline.


This neckline is perfect for pear-shaped brides as it balances out their silhouette. However, if you have already have wide shoulders, you should avoid picking this as it will only make you look broader. This neckline looks best with a larger bust, so brides with a smaller chest should think twice about choosing off-theshoulder dresses. Portrait Similar to the off-the-shoulder neckline, the portrait neckline is a wide neckline that features a scoop from shoulder to shoulder, perfect for balancing out narrow or broad shoulders with the rest of the body. Unlike off-the-shoulder dresses, dresses with the portrait neckline will frame the shoulders and collarbone, all thanks to the soft scooping neckline. The portrait neckline works best with cap sleeves and presents as a safe selection for brides with fuller arms. Brides with prominent collarbones should consider this neckline as well, as it brings attention to the area. Conversely, brides without prominent collarbones should avoid this neckline. High Collar/ Jewel Looking for a neckline that exudes elegance and timelessness? Look no more, for the high collar or jewel neckline is what you want. With a collar that comes up high on your neck (High Collar) or one that follows along the curve of your neck and sits on the top part of the collarbone (Jewel), you can go for a slightly more formal and demure look with the former, or a simple look with the latter. This neckline works best for brides with a smaller bust, as the high collar cut enhances the bust area. Work a little sexy into an elegant and timeless look by opting for lace or sheer cover as the collar, or include a keyhole that reveals a little (or a lot!) of your chest. Complete the elegant and timelessness look by sweeping your hair up into a chignon. For a more demure look, pair this neckline with sleeves. Highly versatile, the high collar and jewel neckline go well with almost any body type and silhouette. Whoa! That’s a long list of necklines. We hope you’ve found a favourite (we know we have!) from our list that complements your chosen silhouette because that means you’re only one step away from picking the perfect gown for your big day! ■ SB

Gown illustrations by Jit from Silverlining Bridal Couture



the wedding gown guide

all about trains by Audrie Soh

Were your eyes fixed on the nearly 9 feet train as Catherine Middleton, now the Duchess of Cambridge, made her way into Westminster Abbey to the altar instead of focusing on the bride herself? Or, were you green in envy over Princess Diana’s neverending train when she wed Prince Charles and wished you could have a train like hers? The third and final part of our three-part guide will showcase the different lengths of train for your selection, how to glam up your entrance and their suitability for formal or informal weddings.



train is defined as the length of fabric usually attached to the waistline at the back of the gown. Having a train is optional and very much up to the individual bride, so if you harbor a fear of tripping on your train and falling on your big day, then rest assured: you can choose to have none. Meanwhile, for those of you who have always dreamt of having a train, here are five different train lengths for your consideration. Watteau Unlike the rest of the trains, a Watteau train attaches to the top of the dress and not at the waist. A Watteau train is a single panel that attaches to the shoulders or the upper back of the bodice. Depending on your personal preference, a Watteau can be long, extending down the length of your dress down to the ground, or it can be worn longer, stretched out beyond the hem of your dress. Opt for the latter only if you are in for a more dramatic look.

Although the Watteau train is not as common as others, it is more versatile than the other trains. Depending on how you choose to wear it, it can be paired with a sheath dress for a beach wedding to add a touch of formality to the wedding, or worn as an alternative to the other trains at more formal weddings. Brush This length of train is called the Brush because it barely skims the ground behind the dress. This is the shortest of the train styles but can be used to add a modest amount of volume at the back of your dress. The brush train is perfect for an informal or a semi-formal wedding (like a spring garden wedding) but its versatility allows for it to be worn at all types of ceremonies. The brush train is best worn with a slim fitting gown, like a sheath or mermaid silhouette. Chapel The most popular train length for wedding dresses, the chapel train stretches approximately 3 ½ to 5 ½ feet from the waist of the gown. An alternative to the cathedral length train, the chapel train is versatile and a hit among brides because it offers enough of a train to make a gown elegant and glamourous without any restriction or awkwardness of movement. The chapel train is excellent for semi-formal or formal weddings and goes well with all types of silhouette.


fashion Cathedral The cathedral train can be anywhere from 6 ½ to 8 ½ feet from the waist of the gown. The cathedral train is usually the longest length of train seen on wedding dresses. It is drama and splendor itself, so brides aiming for a quiet and informal affair should give this length a miss. However, if you want to make a dramatic and glamourous entrance, the cathedral train is your thing. This length of train is most often reserved for very formal indoor weddings with opulent settings such as a long aisle for the bride to walk down and showcase her gown. For easier mobility, you should consider making the cathedral train removeable after the ceremony. Alternatively, you may gather the train up using a more complex double layer bustle at the back of the skirt. Go all the way and accessorise with larger crystal necklace, earrings, a sparkling princess tiara even, and pair your gown with elbow gloves and a cathedral length veil. Who says only princesses can have glamourous weddings? Royal Do you want your wedding to have an impact on your guests? Do you want your wedding train to be the talk of the town? Then, the royal length train is your thing. Approximately 9 feet long, this train length is for royalty, literally, because even Princess Diana (hers was 25 feet!), and the many royals before her, was required to wear a traditional royal train for her wedding, and for those who wish to add a touch of royalty to their wedding.


You cannot go wrong with this length of train when it comes to extremely formal weddings. Brides who opt for the royal train should also ensure the rest of their ceremony and reception does not pale in comparison, so if you choose the royal train, go all the way with your wedding planning and make it as opulent and grand as the train trailing behind you.If you are planning a semi-formal or an informal wedding, do give this length of train a skip. While the royal train is grand and great for creating an impression, help is needed to get and keep the train in order. Bear in mind that a train this long only looks great when you are not weighed down by it (or trip on it) and the length of fabric is where it needs to be – elegantly trailing behind you in an orderly manner. With all these talk of silhouettes, necklines and the length of trains, it’s easy to forget about the other part of your attire: accessorising. Remember, keep your accessories to the minimum and simple if your gown has elaborate patterns and trimmings on it, or add some pizzazz with statement pieces if you have on a simple and classic gown. Accessorise your feet by selecting a pair of heels that works well with your height and length of dress and/or train, and one that you are comfortable walking in – the last thing you want happening is for you to trip on your heels, or totter around awkwardly in it.

Gown illustrations by Jit from Silverlining Bridal Couture

And with this guide, we hope you find the gown of your dreams. ■ SB


From left to right: On Kate: White strapless gown with crystal-embellished belt from Divine Couture. Bejeweled Collar - Stylist’s Own On Lewis:Suit from Boss Select Roller Boy Spikes from Christian Louboutin On: Saveja: Strapless gown with beaded bodice and handsewn tufted tulle skirt from Amanda Lee Weddings Metallic Cuff - Stylist’s Own

On Kate: Strapless chiffon gown with pleated bodice and detachable peplum from Divine Couture Curved Crystal Bracelets - Butler & Wilson at Onpedder

On Kate: Silver textured mid-thigh dress with illusion neckline and detachable silver wrap skirt from The Wedding Present Equestria from Christian Louboutin On Saveja: Strapless gown with illusion lace back and embroidered skirt from Silverlining Bridal Couture Jubilee Necklace by Erickson Beamon at Onpedder

Red sleeveless gown with black lace collar and tassels from

Amanda Lee Weddings

Black webbed lace see-through gown with illusion back and spiked rivets from

The Wedding Present. Leather Paw from Odeur at Inhabit

Silhouette The Atelier. Crystal Feathered Necklace by Kenneth Jay Lane at On Pedder

Black strapless silk taffeta trumpet gown with tufted tulle skirt from

Suit from

Boss Select

On Kate: Red bare-backed chiffon sheath dress from Silverlining

Bridal Couture.Plastron Evy by Ela Stone at On Pedder. Lady Peep Spikes from Christian Louboutin. On Lewis:Suit from Boss Select

On Lewis: Suit from Boss

Select. On Kate: Strapless gown with embroidered Happy.Ever.After. Rectangle Drop Necklace by Kenneth Jay Lane at On Pedder

bodice and oral applique from Jawn

Strapless dress with pearl-embellished bodice and ballerina tulle skirt from La Vie Bridal Couture. Feathered Vile Nile Hat from Yestadt Millinery. Laced Gloves, Stylist’s Own. June 100 Fluo from Christian Louboutin

On Lewis: Suit from Boss Black. On Kate: Black strapless full lace gown with embroidered tulle train, black oral fascinator, long beaded

Jawn Happy.Ever.After. On Saveja: Strapless gown with beaded bodice and tufted ballroom skirt from Silhouette The Atelier

necklace and gloves from

Hair: Mark Cheng using Sebastian Professional Make up: Raudha Raily using MAC Models: Saveja Ellison, Kate S/AVE, Lewis Jamison/Mannequin

La Vie Bridal Couture. Kenneth Jay Lane at On Pedder

Cerulean toga-style chiffon gown with beaded bodice from Waterdrop Gem Earrings by


THE Confessions

of Lady Grey Photography: Skyy Woo Assistants: Niq Siow, Victor Chia Hair: Ash Loi Make Up: Dewi Mahoney Accessories: Dark Leather Models: Sara S/AVE, Johnny B /Looque

Trumpet dress with sweetheart neckline and lace bodice from Silverlining Bridal Couture

Strapless A-line gown with lace trimming from Jess Haute Couture

Fuchsia toga-style evening gown with rosette from Silverlining Bridal Couture

White wedding dress with illusion lace sleeves and gold studs from Vaughn Tan

Strapless sheath gown with lace corset from Jess Haute Couture

Silver strapless evening gown with boned bodice from Vaughn Tan

Black evening dress with trumpet skirt and gold embroidery from Vaughn Tan

Red strapless evening gown with sequinned belt from Vaughn Tan


of the sirens

Strapless dress with pleated bodice and blue crystal embellishment from Amanda

Lee Weddings

Strapless georgette draped gown from

Silverlining Bridal Couture

Toga-style gown with oral lace back and tulle trimmings from Silverlining

Bridal Couture

Left: Strapless tulle gown with petaled bodice from Flamingo

Bridal. Right: Toga-style gown with embroidered oral lace Wedding Present

back from The

Low V-neck draped gown with crystal embellishment and side cut-outs from The

Wedding Present

Full lace, off-shoulder empire-line gown with sweetheart neckline from Flamingo Bridal

Toga-style satin gown with tulle trimmings and floral lace drapes from Amanda Lee Weddings

Top: Strapless gown with lace underlay and crystal embelishment from Amanda Lee Weddings. Bottom: Strapless georgette trumpet-style gown in a woven design from Flamingo Bridal

Left: Toga-style satin gown with pleated bodice and thigh-high slit from Silverlining

Bridal Couture. Right: Off-shoulder tulle dress with pleated and ruched bodice from Flamingo Bridal

photography Zhang Jingna


Phyllicia Wong, Huafeng


Wai Fun

make up

Dewi Mahoney


Harlequin Romantique


Christina T & Shelby B, AVE Strapless gown with ruched bodice and layered tulle gown from The

Wedding Present

Two-piece gown with lacing corset top and asymmetric hipster tulle skirt from Jawn Happy.Ever.Afte

Left: Strapless gown with black lace bodice and soft tulle skirt from The Wedding Present

Ankle-length dress with asymmetric skirt and lace details from Jawn Happy.Ever.After

V-neck full lace gown with tulle overlay from The Wedding Present

Halter-neck gown with lace bodice and layered tulle skirt from The Wedding Present

Left: Strapless gown with corset bodice and lacing front and side and tufted chiffon skirt from WhiteLink Right: Pale cream lace gown with corset bodice and layered tulle and net skirt from WhiteLink

Two-piece gown with fishbone corset top and long layered tulle skirt from LaVe Bridal Couture

Two-piece gown with silk taffeta corset top and chiffon skirt with long detachable train from Jawn Happy.Ever.After

Bustier gown with peach fishbone corset top and low basque waist and short bustled skirt and long train from LaVie Bridal Couture

Photography: Gaffer: Curtiss Grip: Chi


Sing Assistant: Max Ho Stylist: Harry Lam

Ukay Cheung

Set and Prop Design: Vicky Hair: Nic


Leung, Chin.G Make Up: Sammi, Mod Makeup Academy Models: Alina R, Daria P

Image by Monica Eng




real weddings

attention please by Audrie Soh

Buckle up, ladies and gentlemen. You are about to witness a fun-filled wedding that’s guaranteed to send you soaring in the air. Watch how our couple, Venus and Jung Kiat, incorporated their love for travel and all things fun into their wedding. Expect dancing flight stewardesses and pilots, and balloons enough to lift a person at this fun and colour-filled wedding. So scroll on down and learn more about their wedding. Take notes and most importantly, join in the fun! The Story How did the two of you meet? Venus: We met on the sunny island of Pulau Bukom where we first started work together as young budding technologists in Shell.

The Couple Venus Lee, 27, Technologist & Heng Jung Kiat, 28, Technologist Date of wedding 2 June 2011


What was the proposal like? Venus: Jung Kiat proposed at Hort Park with the help of our close friends, who pitched in to coordinate the whole thing. Needless to say, I was completely surprised by the proposal. We had gone to Hort Park for dinner but were surprised to find that the restaurant we were planning to dine at had closed down. In one minute, Jung Kiat suggested we look for another place for dinner, and in the next, he was down on his knees with balloons, a bouquet of flowers and ring box in his hands.

He popped the question and I said yes! But when I reached out for the ring, I realised it was a fake diamond ring bookmark! Jung Kiat promptly came up with the actual proposal ring and that was when our close friends came out from their hiding to congratulate us.

Venus: Deciding on our wedding theme as a breeze – we incorporated our love for travelling and our wish for our family and close friends to have fun on our big day and came up with a “Vintage Air Travel� theme wedding.

websites like SingaporeBrides, and finally decided to hold the wedding at Marina Bay Sands. And for our soleminisation, we decided we wanted a separate, cosy and more intimate affair where only our immediate family were present.

And because we were able to settle the bigger ticket items earlier, we had more time to brainstorm on how to customise our wedding to fit our chosen theme. We had our wedding invitation cards designed to resemble boarding passes while table escorts were in the form of ticket stubs, all handmade by us.

Walk us through the planning for your wedding. Jung Kiat: We knew that every wedding takes quite a bit of planning, so we started ours a year ahead of time. Having a budget before we shopped for our wedding venue and other related items helped make the selection process easier. To further narrow down our options, we turned to magazines, friends and online one-stop


photography Our bridesmaids and best men were equally as excited about the theme as us. They were dressed up as flight stewardesses and pilots instead of the usual dresses and black suits – my bridesmaids even DIY-ed their own hats! What was it like on the actual day of the wedding? Venus: The actual wedding day started off with the usual gatecrashing. My bridesmaids turned up as early as 6.30am to put the finishing touches to the list of challenges prepared for the boys. Determined not to make it easy for Jung Kiat and his boys, my bridesmaids put them through


rounds and rounds of games and tasks before my groom got the green light to enter my room. I can’t help but admit that when Jung Kiat gave me a “spicy” kiss on the lips, it felt good knowing that I was worth it for him to go through the crazy gate-crashing. At dinner, we prepared a white canvas for our guests to put their thumbprints and well wishes on, to form a picture of a huge bunch of balloons rather than the usual guest book. Our ballroom was also filled with balloons, with more than 200 balloons tied to our center-stage gazebo, made to resemble the Pixar animated movie Up.

Jung Kiat: Our MCs even mimicked the standard flight safety briefing prior to our first march-in, while our second march-in was a dance we did together with our bridesmaids and best men. Were there any particular moments that were especially special to you? Venus: Planning a wedding can be a pretty stressful process and when our friends were there to support and advise us, nothing was more heart-warming. They encouraged us to remember that our marriage is more important than the wedding itself. Our bridal party’s enthusiasm about our wedding theme also made the wedding process thoroughly enjoyable and memorable. The Details Her Gown: The Wedding Present His Suit: The Wedding Present The Venue: Marina Bay Sands Ballroom The Photographer: John Lim from John Lim Photography Wedding Planning: SingaporeBrides



real weddings

never a dull moment by Michelle Tay

A hot air balloon proposal? A life-sized table football game at the wedding? A bridal entourage in football jerseys and tennis dresses? Now this is not your average bridal couple. With Angela and Gerrard so adamant about not having a run-of-the-mill wedding, the memories of their special day will leave a deep but happy mark in the minds of those who were there to share it with them.


The Couple Angela Tay, 31, Financial Communications & Gerrard Lim, 32, Banking Date of Wedding 21 January 2011 The Story How did the two of you meet? Angela: We actually knew each other through Facebook, around Chinese New Year in 2008. Out of the blue, I had received a friend request from Gerrard. I saw that we had some mutual friends and thought that there was no harm knowing more friends, though I had people telling me to be careful about meeting people online.

You mentioned in the video that the proposal was amazing. Share it with us. Angela: We wanted to go on a holiday. There wasn’t any particular location that I had wanted to go and he suggested

letting him plan it so that it would be a total surprise for me. I thought then that it was a very fun idea to just take off somewhere without knowing where you’ll be going. So in January 2010, he told me to pack for a “not-cold” place and it was only when we got to the airport that I found out we were going to Cairns, Australia. It was a whirlwind 48 hours as we left Singapore on Friday evening and came back on Sunday night. He told me he had booked a hot air balloon ride for Saturday morning but we had to get up really early (around 4 am) as the drive to the site where the balloon was to take off was quite a long one. As the balloon ascended and floated over Cairns, the sun started to rise and the sky brightened, which was really beautiful. That was when he hugged me, took out a most beautiful ring and asked me to marry him. I was speechless for quite a while and just felt so choked up with emotions. We were literally and figuratively on top of the world. Apparently, Gerrard had already planned for this trip for quite a while, and our immediate family and closest friends all knew about it but they kept it so well

under wraps. I was totally clueless about the plans. Did you have a theme in mind when you started planning your wedding? Angela: When Gerrard and I started planning our wedding with a year to go, we both knew we did not want a typical, forgettable wedding. We wanted a unique and fun wedding that would be memorable, not just for us but also for our families, friends and guests. We were very keen to avoid the kind of wedding where guests can predict what will be happening next in the banquet. We also did not want to trouble our friends and family to help us with the execution of the wedding programme itself, and wanted everyone to just enjoy the day with us. Hence we decided to engage a wedding planner to help us to assist on the planning to transform our ideas and beliefs into the actual day programme and the evening wedding banquet. So what actually did happen on the morning of the actual day? Angela: In the morning, an open top bus was engaged to bring Gerrard and his entourage (a total of 14) to me and my entourage (a total of eight). We felt that it


photography was quite special as we can have the whole group seated at the top deck when we moved around and it definitely added on to the celebratory mood. Our separate dress codes were meant to be a secret. In the end, it was proven that both of us were quite telepathic as both of us avoided the usual boring suits and dresses and opted for sports attire. The guys were in red Liverpool FC jerseys (with “Gerrard” imprinted at the back) whilst the ladies were in tennis dresses with red striped socks to match my gowns. For the guys’ gate-crashing games, I gave my eight girl-friends a few guidelines. Basically, I didn’t want to have the usual, clichéd gate-crashing games. I had wanted the girls to plan activities that would involve the girls as part of the game as well, instead of just the groom and guys getting sabotaged by the girls. So, we used the “home-ground” advantage: there was an open field near my home, so the girls planned a game of “table football” by tying the guys to bamboo poles and had a game of girls against guys. This was very suitable as Gerrard is a die-hard Liverpool fan and most of brothers also follow the Premier League closely.


I didn’t want my girl-friends to wear the usual girly dresses, so my wedding planner and I sourced for sporty-themed clothing. We managed to find the same tennis dresses for all eight of them in varying sizes, and also red-striped socks to match my gown. Was the evening just as eventful? Angela: After a few months of meetings, discussions and getting to know our wedding planner, we decided on the theme of “Hollywood Glam” for our evening banquet, which was to be held at Four Seasons Hotel. We had a stage backdrop reminiscent of the Old Hollywood/ Broadway bright lights, a red carpet, and red and white ostrich feathers and crystal centrepieces

on each table, which we felt brought up the “glam” factor of the event. We also had our “A & G” monogram printed on our wedding invites, main stage backdrop, as well as on our final dessert dish. For the first march-in, Gerrard was inspired by a scene in the Harry Potter films where the various schools marched into the school’s dining hall in fanciful colours. So, instead of having a typical string quartet or small band to perform throughout the dinner, we decided on a children’s choir. We invited our friend Charlotte, who has unbelievable vocals, to perform with the school choir for our official march-in. Choosing the song to walk in to took time as well, as we needed an appropriate song that was beautiful, suited Charlotte and also wasn’t difficult for the

students to learn. In the end we chose Faye Wong’s 我愿意, which was a song we both liked a lot. The second march-in was a song-and-dance with our bridal entourage, with me dancing into the banquet venue with my dad. The champagne pouring ceremony is slightly different as well; we had all the 14 brothers each pop a bottle of pink champagne before Gerrard popped the main champagne. It was evident that the bridal party and relatives enjoyed themselves on the stage. The night ended with a continuation of the open top bus tour for invited guests to move to Gallery Bar at St James for a private party of booze and fun. My dad also went there with some of his colleagues and he partied to 4am with us!!! Whose idea was it to do a song and dance for the second walkin at the wedding dinner? Angela: We wanted to have a memorable second-march in and do something different. Gerrard was, again, inspired by the Glee TV series when we danced to “Marry You”. We told our entourage about the idea of them marchingin with us, and everyone was so game and excited about it. We rehearsed a few times as it was not

easy to coordinate with so many people involved, and to make sure everyone was familiar with their steps. My dad was also very game and agreed to dance with me. What did your family and friends say about your evening? Angela: We think most people found it very memorable; with friends and family still talking about how fun, unusual and unforgettable it was even one year after the wedding. We are really glad that everyone enjoyed it as much as we did getting married and planning such a big celebration for everyone. Were there any particular moments during your planning process or on your big day that were especially memorable to you? Angela: I have to say I really enjoyed every part of the wedding process. There was not a single dull moment. I can’t really single out anything because everything was so special, from the overseas photo-shoot in Rome and Liverpool, to the video-shoot in Tokyo, to all the special projects with our brothers and sisters, our families who chipped in to help with different aspects of the wedding preparation. They had been so supportive and helpful, and having everyone we cared

about and who cared about us to share this big celebration with us, every aspect of it was memorable. I’d also like to thank our late mothers, whom I think played huge roles in our lives when they lived, and even after they are gone. Their absence makes us treasure what we now have dearly, and in many ways, brought Gerrard and I closer together as a couple.

The Details Her Gown: Amanda Lee Weddings His Suit: Amanda Lee Weddings The Venue: Four Seasons Hotel The Wedding Planner: Sherwin Lee of DoWed The Photographer: Brian Ho and Luvin Lim of thegaleria The Cinematographer: Yang of Substance Films



real weddings

fly me to the moon by Audrie Soh

No, neither of our couple is an astronaut. But, Yu Zhi is a pilot. Friends since they were 13 years old, fate would have it that Shu En and Yu Zhi would meet again in college. This pair of lovebirds brought fun into their wedding and things got interesting – think suspenders and a bouncy castle. Wonder what we’re talking about? Sit tight, and buckle up, as you witness Shu En’s and Yu Zhi’s journey of love. 166/

The Couple Liang Shu En, 25, Public Servant & Tan Yu Zhi, 25, Pilot Date of Wedding 23rd and 24th July 2011 The Story What was the proposal like? Yu Zhi: We were at Prive at Keppel Bay and unbeknownst to her, I had a prior arrangement with them. The waiter was to bring a dessert plate with “Will you marry me?” on it. When he brought it to her, I popped the question. There was an awkward moment as I waited anxiously for her answer. Shu En: I didn’t hear it because I was taken aback and distracted by the plate! After my surprise

passed, I was actually waiting for him to repeat the question. Well, that cleared up as well; I said “Yes”, and here we are, married! Walk us through the planning for your wedding. Yu Zhi: We had four months to plan our wedding, which we did mostly by ourselves. We had photo-shoots to go to and our ceremony’s programme to design, print and assemble by ourselves. Thankfully, we were able to settle on the venues rather quickly. But still, things were pretty hectic with all the sourcing around. Shu En: We had a bouncy castle for our wedding! But really, we had a vintage, polka dot theme with a yellow and white colour

palette in mind, although we didn’t stick to it strictly. Yu Zhi: But even then, we enjoyed the process, although there were times when our different working styles created tension. We worked the kinks out by drawing on our different but complementary strengths. What was it like on the actual day of the wedding? Yu Zhi: We had our solemnisation ceremony at the Old Married Soldiers’ Quarters at Fort Canning Park on 23rd of July and held our wedding dinner at Marriott Hotel the next day. Even though our solemnisation ceremony was held outdoors, we made no wetweather plans. Rather, we had


photography faith in the weather and it paid off; the weather remained perfect throughout the day. Shu En: For us, it was simply breathtaking. It felt so surreal to be exchanging our vows under the majestic tree at the Old Married Soldiers’ Quarters in front of our closest friends and family. Our guests came dressed according to the vintage theme – my father even wore suspenders and a bow tie! Everyone enjoyed


the buffet, ice cream, live music and even the bouncy castle during the tea reception. What did your family and friends have to say about your wedding? Shu En: I dare say they enjoyed the bouncy castle more than they thought they would. But the overall consensus was that our wedding was a simple yet beautiful and fun-filled affair – which to us, is the best compliment we could ever get from our friends and family. Were there any particular moments that were especially special to you?

Yu Zhi: It had to be the moment we said our first prayer together as a married couple – it will always remain special to us. Many of our friends and family were also touched when we said our first prayer together as man and wife. Shu En: During our thankyou speech, it also struck us

how blessed we were to be surrounded by our family and friends, who were nothing but wonderful to us. The Details The Photographer: Link Sng from Inuoe Photography The Banquet: Singapore Marriott Hotel



real weddings

an evening to remember

What Eunice thought to be a really huge Christmas present turned out to be the very thing she had been waiting for after dating Jason for five years. With the sun setting behind them, and with close family and friends in high spirits, Eunice had the wedding she had always dreamt of.

by Michelle Tay

The Couple Eunice Ng, 34, Legal Counsel Jason Goh, 35, Corporate Finance Date of Wedding 19 March 2011 The Story How did the two of you meet? Eunice: Jason was also a lawyer in his previous life! We met while we were both working at the same law firm. How did the proposal happen? Eunice: Simple and unexpected! He jumped out of bed on Christmas morning and I heard him rummaging through his drawers, which I thought was rather odd. He soon popped back with a big, black, ugly, portable metal safe and shoved it shyly at me with an excited look on his face. I thought that was even more odd as he had never been quite so enthusiastic about Christmas presents before. I opened the safe and found a tiny red box, and I opened the box and found the most perfect ring in the world that he had designed himself. But I couldn’t be sure if this was just a massive Christmas present (we have been going out for more than five years with no proposal in sight!) or he was finally popping the question‌ I asked if he was proposing to me and he


said yes! And so his story now goes, “Eunice asked and I said yes!� Ha ha! What kind of a wedding was it? Eunice: At first, we thought it might be nice to simply elope and get married in Vegas on the condition that he does not turn up dressed as Elvis! However, it felt incomplete to get married without our family and close friends to share in our happiness, hence, we decided to take everyone with us to Koh Samui and have a simple ceremony by the sea. Cream Counsel was our overall coordinator. We also had a travel




of days and we had no wet weather backup plan! We were very blessed though, as it started to rain but stopped just before the ceremony and the weather held up through the night. This may sound clichÊd but it was exactly like the wedding I have always dreamt of. I remember basking in happiness and having a lot of fun. Jason passed out before midnight! I’m sure your guests enjoyed themselves at your wedding. Eunice: They loved it! It was a little like summer camp. Our friends are actually scattered around the region so it was fabulous to have all of them in one place for one carefree, indulgent weekend binge!

agent to help us make the travel arrangements and W Resorts took care of the rest. It was relatively fuss-free. We planned the wedding in three months! There was no theme or dress code because we just wanted everyone to be comfortable and have a great time!

Wow! Koh Samui! What was it like on that day itself? Eunice: We were pretty relaxed. We started the day late with a leisurely breakfast with our family and friends and chilled out until the afternoon. I was a little worried about the weather as it had been pouring the last couple

Were there any particular moments that were especially memorable or special to you? Eunice: Just as I started walking down the aisle with my mum towards Jason, the sun came out from behind the clouds and cast a golden glow over us. It was amazing. The Details Venue: The W Resorts, Koh Samui Photography: Eng Hong and Aloysius from 39 East


39 East Photography Singapore.California +65 6299 0348


real weddings

because elephants never forget

A chance meeting. An initial attraction. Making plans for the first date. That was all it took for Davena and Lance. Had they not taken a chance on love, we wouldn’t be reading about their romantic vacation that led to their engagement, and the amazing three-day fête that was their wedding a year after.

by Michelle Tay

The Couple Davena Mok, 36, Director of A-Vibe (PR, Marketing, Events Consultancy) & Lance Chiu, 31, Designer Date of Wedding 13 February 2010 The Story How did the two of you meet? Davena: We met at one of my events. But I’d seen Lance around before. He was shy and sweet, and tall. I was attracted by the fact that he didn’t talk to me. Haha! Lance: We first met at an event that she was throwing. By chance, I had enough liquid courage to make my way into the super private after-party, where I, also by chance, had a great conversation with my now wife. Right after, we left for a late night snack and before parting ways, I somehow had gathered enough courage to ask her to hang out again since we lived very near each other. After that, it was in the hands of fate. What was the proposal like? Davena: It was perfect! Literally! We were attending a friend’s Valentine’s Day wedding in Hua Hin and arrived the night before. Our beachside hut at Aleenta was beautiful. The moon was


blood red. The stars were out. The waves were lapping onto the shore. The night breeze was so cool. We laid in the hammock for a while before going inside to slowdance to Dinah Washington, which was playing on the room’s iPod. We laid on the bed, cuddling, holding each other so tight. And that’s when Lance proposed. The romantic buzz in the air was certainly on maximum charge!

Hin for a friend’s wedding, and everything seemed to fall into place. From a blood red moon, to it being Friday the 13th, to being at such a beautiful location. My wife was laying on my chest, and something inside me, told me to do it, and I did. No ring, nothing. Just the perfect moment. The next morning, I made a nice little ring with string, and we shared the news with all.

Lance: Ironically, the original proposal was somehow spoiled; the ring I had custom-made came out wrong, and after a lot of over-planning, a friend simply said to me, “Stop over-thinking things. Just do it when it feels right.” And with that advice, we ended up in at the Aleenta in Hua

How did you get everything together for your wedding? Davena: Our wedding was also perfect! We decided to do it in Thailand, a year from the date Lance proposed. As he proposed in Aleenta in Hua Hin, we thought we’d check out Aleenta in Phuket, as it’s a direct flight from Hong


photography Kong, rather than a four-hour car ride from Bangkok. After a bit of research, I suddenly remembered that an old friend, Jeanette Skelton, now lived in Phuket and was doing events there. Thank god I contacted her. She showed us an amazing venue — Jivana — during our recce trip in May. And that was it. Everything was ready to go for 13 February 2010, which happened to be Chinese New Year’s eve! The theme was “elephants,” as it was so “Thailand.” We had used elephants for the image on our Save The Date e-card because of the saying that “Elephants never forget.” Lance also incorporated string into his typeface designs and our invites. We used a palette of red, grey and white to represent the summer and Chinese New Year vibe. As for planning, we did two recce trips in May and December before the wedding in February, and I would say we worked at a steady pace on the wedding for about six months. Lance: Thankfully, with the skills my wife has as an event planner, there was a lot of planning that was easily executed. My hardest job was to fold all 150 origami elephants for the guests, get my groomsmen in order, design all the invitations and Save The Date


e-cards, and put together the slide show for the two nights. As for a theme, we went with elephants and string, in remembrance of the string ring I made. Did everything go smoothly on your wedding day? Davena: We had a three-day rundown for our wedding, which included a pre-wedding welcome dinner and a postwedding sunset cocktail session. The timed rundown was eight pages in total. On the actual day, everything ran so smoothly, from rehearsals in the morning to getting ready, then the Chinese Tea Ceremony, then official family photographs, and soon enough,

it was 5pm and all our 130 guests started to arrive. We wanted everyone to have an amazing time so we’d planned a long list of amazing experiences, including a celebrant friend who looked like Jesus Christ, a butterfly release at the ceremony, a Polaroid photo wall, a real baby elephant visit, a full open bar the entire night, four DJ friends spinning, a friend who sang for our First Dance, a magician for the kids, komloy lantern lighting, and even a Chinese lion dance at midnight to celebrate the new year! Lance: It was hectic but absolutely amazing. We both

didn’t get our vows done until half an hour before the ceremony! But it was a truly intimate family affair. We also ensured non-stop surprises for the guests and there were moments that we will cherish for years to come. It must have been an incredible experience for your family and friends! Davena: Like us, it was the most amazing wedding, Chinese New Year, Valentine’s Day and Phuket holiday experience ever! Also, we celebrated two birthdays that day, as well as another birthday and a first wedding anniversary the next day. Lance: Friends and family still talk about it today. We had a lot of

pressure to put on a spectacular wedding because of our reputation of being an amazing event planner (wife) and designer of such specific taste (myself)! I think we pulled it off! What were your most unforgettable moments during those three wonderful days? Davena: I won’t forget walking down the aisle with my father on one arm, my mother on the other, and taking long, deep breaths with each step, trying to hold back my tears. And I’ll never forget my father crying, when he handed me over to Lance. And being up on stage with Lance, my wonderful husband, in front of 130 family and friends that we loved so much.

Oh, and the most amazing thing was that our baby, Lovella, was inside me that whole time. She was two weeks old at the wedding, and we had no idea. Lance: There were two moments. One was when there were more than 70 lanterns being lit and floating off into the sky. Each couple and individual set one off as a wish and blessing. The second moment was when my wife and I were in the pool and turning in circles as all our friends were splashing water at us in all directions while congratulating us! It was the one moment when my wife and I thought: “Oh man, we pulled it off and its over!! The Details Photography by Eadwine of Plush Photography Videography by Yang of Substance Films Wedding Gown by Pauline Cheung of Wedding Planning by Jeanette Skelton of Venue at Shanti at Jivana Villas, Natai Beach, Phuket, Thailand


Image by Michael Tan

wisteria The scent of wisteria, blended with subtle notes of gardenia and ylang ylang blossoms, mandarin, and nashi pear, smells like your very own English garden wedding! Crabtree & Evelyn, Hand Therapy, $33.

The White Musk® fragrance, the first cruelty-free musk fragrance to arrive on the market, just had a makeover! With a heady mix of musk, lily, iris, rose and vanilla notes, it’s still one of the top 10 best-sellers in Singapore. Available in stores at $28.90.

The wisteria is a climbing vine that comes with beautiful hanging clusters of fragrant, pale violet flowers. Some species are very hardy and can even grow in poor quality soils. When unsupported, the wisteria can grow into a mound, but because it is a climbing vine, it is at its best when allowed to clamber up a tree, wall, or other supporting structures. I feel that its very natureis akin to a love that has withstood the test of time. Unsurprisingly, the wisteria is often associated with honour, patience, endurance, exploration, and victory over hardship. As mentioned in my Editor’s Note, I chose purple as this issue’s colour theme because of the symbolism behind the union of red and blue. Whether you choose a shade of purple that has more red (warm) or blue (cool) for your wedding, you can be sure that it will be a very feminine and magical one. Colours that go with purple include green, light pink, baby blue, and silver. Purple and grey is my personal favourite.

Oh, how pretty! I’m sure your guests will be sufficiently buzzed before dinner if you served this at your cocktail reception. Cointreau Teese by Dita von Teese

Purple-hued bouquet.

Get some inspiration from our Wisteria Pinterest board and see how other brides have used purple with other colours for their weddings. To pin the images onto your own board, click on the board below to our Pinterest page. We’ll keep adding to it, so follow us if you want more ideas! Purple wedding cupcakes!

summerbutter Yellow wedding cake Yellow wedding favours are no-brainers: jelly beans!

Yellow wedding bouquet

Have you ever wondered why we use the colour yellow to depict sunshine? Well, because yellow IS sunshine. The colour exudes warmth, optimism, happiness, and a positive future. Just one look at the colour perks you up when you’re feeling down, and brightens up a really dull day. So when it comes to wedding decorations, even a little bit of yellow can go a long way. Yellow is such a versatile colour that every shade, when used with another colour, can achieve all sorts of effects. For a classy theme, a pale buttery yellow goes really well with a soft grey, or even against black for a surprising contrast. Yellow works for spring and summer weddings when paired with blue and green, for autumn with earthy reds and browns, and also winter weddings with white. Just take a look at the images on our board below for gorgeous ideas. To pin the images onto your own board, click on the board below to our Pinterest page. We’ll keep adding to it, so follow us if you want more ideas!

Pretty yellow and coral heels Mondial Firemark™ Collection ring and bangle, set in white gold and white diamonds, yellow gold and yellow diamonds.

Yogurt Panna Cotta Recipe

Yellow as a highlight for wedding decor

Lavish, by Love Droplets

Deep red carnations with beaded embellishment


RED Bridal Bouquets Photographed by Clayton Lai, DeďŹ ne Imagination

Scarlet by Simply Flowers

Deep red roses, red Alstroemerias, Hypericum berries, purple Calla lilies

Love Rhapsody by Poppy Flora Studio

Red African Gerberas, coloured Holland roses, berries, striped tulips

Lush Velvet by Nicholas Don Lim of FLORES BY NIC Purple Calla Lillies, Skimmia, red Celiosa, pink Gloriosa

Whimsical Charm by FLORES BY NIC

Red Ecuador roses, red Amaryllis, red Anthuriums

Passion by Simply Flowers

Dark red Ranunculus, red Pincushion Protea, red Amaryllis, Hypericum berries

Hepburn’s Desire by Love Droplets

Red and black Calla Lilies, red and Abracadabra striped Roses, Gomphrena

White Victorian C

Cakes And Flowers

Queen’s Lace by Caffe Pralet by Creative Culinaire Monogrammed plate from Oddjects

Rococo Noir by Bonheur Pattiserie. Tulip glass tea light holders from PaperWhite

The Golden Age by Sweets Garibaldi

Victoriana by 1-Caramel.

Lily candle holders and ornaments by Oddjects

The Queenly Rose by My Fat Lady

Silver teaspoon and candle favours from PaperWhite

_the flowers_

From left to right: The Hydrangea, The Rose, The Peony, The Carnation, The Ammi, The Ornithogalum, The Setaria, and The Freesia. Rose essential oil favours by PaperWhite

Photographed by Michael Tan, Mika Images Location and oral arrangements courtesy of Fiore Dorato


a colourful affair by Audrie Soh

Think you’re a hands-on kind of bride and want to make something really special for your wedding? It doesn’t have to be something elaborate; think small, simple yet significant. It could be a personalised Save-The-Date card, or a memorable wedding favour. You don’t even have to be very good at arts and crafts to make these wonderful mementos. SingaporeBrides shows you how to Do-It-Yourself.



pin, spin, spin! No, I’m not referring to a roulette game or the television game show Wheel of Fortune; I’m talking about pinwheels! Having a casino-themed wedding would definitely thrill some of your relatives but you’d be leaving the little ones out. With pinwheels, both young and old would be able to enjoy them.

Easy to customise, pinwheels are perfect for introducing colour into your wedding without being over-the-top. It’ll also bring a tinge of playfulness to the occasion and entertain the young and old alike. With SingaporeBrides’ step-by-step tutorial, learn how to create flower-like pinwheels in a jiffy. Decorate your tables with them in place of flowers, or, for a more subtle touch, line the aisle with pinwheels. You can even give them away as favours or to the little ones at the end of the day. The possibilities are endless, so learn away!


essentials Here’s what you need: 2 pieces of double-sided patterned paper Craft knife Scissors 2 types of art and craft beads Craft punch and single-hole puncher Wooden rod Thin bendable wire PVA glue Blue Tac Stapler Pliers Time taken for each: 10 minutes Average cost for each: $4

3 1 2

Print the template out on plain paper and cut it out.

Secure the cut-out template together with the patterned paper using some paperclips to prevent it from moving around. Then, cut it out. Do the same for the remaining 5 petals; you’ll need three petals each from the two pieces of patterned paper.


when you’re done, you should have six petals like this. Arrange them accordingly and staple them in the center where the pieces meet. Try to staple it slightly off-center.


Using the single-hole puncher, punch a hole in the middle.

Here’s a tip: if the puncher cannot reach the middle, try releasing the staple and punch them individually – just remember to align the holes properly before punching. When you’re done, just staple them back.


Fold the ends of the petals so they meet in the center and staple them together.

Flip the pinwheel over and repeat for the back.


Using the craft puncher, punch out four heart shapes.




You should have at least one centimeter of stick protruding in front. Pinch a small roll of blue tac and put it around the protruding end of the stick. Then, stick one bead onto the blue tac.


Cut a small slit on each of the heart shapes with the craft knife. Once you’re done, apply PVA glue and stick them over the punched holes, back and front.


Thread three beads onto the thin wire stick before poking through the pinwheel from the back. Thread another four more beads onto the wire stick and poke through to the front.


Wind the remaining part of the wire at the back of the pinwheel around the wooden rod three to five times. Once you’re done, cut the excess wire off using a pair of pliers, and you’re good to go.


Experiment with different patterns, colours and sizes; make them as colourful as you want or as small as you need them to be. Attach them to straws or decorate the reception table with it, or have your man’s best men wear them on their shirts. No matter what you use them for, the pinwheels will definitely delight your guests.



top 5 pre-wedding

health Tips

Planning the perfect wedding is no mean feat (even if you’ve engaged a top wedding planner like Marion St. Claire in Bride Wars). With seemingly endless gown fittings, the chore of collecting RSVPs and managing parents’ expectations,it can get physically and psychologically exhausting. Well, don’t fret.SingaporeBrides shows you how to stay healthy and happy during these crucial months.

by Jaclyn Lim

#1: Eat well, drink well (no crash diets, please!) Grabbing quick bites in between running bridal errands and attending pre-wedding celebratory luncheons can be bad for you. You have to keep your energy up, so eat enough, and eat well. Make healthy food choices, such as including plenty of whole-grains, fruits and vegetables in your meals while avoiding sugar, fried and fatty foods. In other words, choose yong tau foo over that fried chicken and fries meal. Also drink lots of water (not coffee, alcohol or fizzy drinks) and cut the ciggies out of your life. Dr Ivy Lim, registrar at Changi Sports Medicine Centre, advises: “Your daily diet should consist of carbohydrates (55-60% of total energy intake), proteins (10-15%) and fat (25-30%).” Stick to this even if you’re trying to lose weight to fit into your gown. Dr Lim adds: “Many brides-to-be crash diet without realising that the weight they lose is actually from water, not fat. That means the metabolic rate go down and the fat-free mass reduces because the body is conserving energy. But when they stop the diet, the body ends up burning fewer calories than it did before, and they will end up gaining weight.” Plus, such crash diets only stresses your body. It affects your mood and energy levels so you end up being tired, depressed and grumpy! Do this: Planning to start a family soon after your wedding? Dr Chee Jing Jye, medical director of The Obstetrics & Gynaecology Centre at Singapore Medical Group, advises: “Start taking folate (or folic acid) supplements, which has been proven to reduce brain and spinal cord abnormalities in the baby. It’s recommended for mothers-to-be to start taking it at least three months before conception.”


#2: Work out! If you want to lose a dress size or two, don’t just think about quick fixes like that slimming package. Go for the natural approach (read: exercise, exercise, exercise). Dr Lim advises 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity exercise to keep fit (or 300 minutes per week to lose weight). She says: “ Brides-to-be might not have time to hit the gym or go for long runs. Actually, any exercise session that lasts at least 10 minutes can count towards your weekly target. So you can keep fit by making small changes to your daily activities.” While doing so, keep in mind that you shouldn’t push yourself too hard. “That can result in injuries,”

warns Dr Lim. “Pick a few types of exercises you enjoy – like badminton, stair-climbing and swimming – and switch between them through the week. That helps you to break your exercise routine into smaller, regular bouts so you can achieve them through the week (don’t be a weekend warrior!).” Do this: • Brisk walk: Stop one to two bus stops before your destination and brisk walk there instead. If you drive, park at a parking lot further away from your destination and let your feet do the work. • Climb stairs: Instead of using the elevator or escalator, use the staircase when you’re leaving or going home or running errands in a shopping centre.


beautyhealth #3: Get forty winks (and more) Brides-to-be have lots to prepare for a wedding. Yet, they’re often expected to keep up with their usual daily activities like a 9-to-5 job. That’s why it’s inevitable that they are deprived of sleep in the months leading up to the wedding day. But a lack of quality sleep can seriously compromise your health – you run a higher risk of catching a cold. It can also affect your mood and ability to cope with the additional stress during this time. Dr Chee Jing Jye, medical director of The Obstetrics & Gynaecology Centre at Singapore Medical Group, advises: “Have at least six to an ideal eight hours of sleep daily. Adequate rest not only ensures that you look radiant, it also boosts your immune system.” So if you have been staying up till wee hours of the night preparing for your wedding, it’s time to make some adjustments. Do this: • Start a bedtime ritual: It could be warm milk. Or one chapter of a bestselling novel. Engaging in these relaxing activities will take your mind off those pre wedding tasks. • Cut the caffeine and alcohol: Having lots of lattes will not help in your quest for quality sleep. Neither will beer – alcohol might shorten the time it takes for you to fall asleep, but it increases arousals during the night so you end up even sleepier!


#5: Keep a positive outlook This is the true key to a happy, healthy bride. After all, your wedding – even if the planning can get overwhelming – should be a joyous event. It shouldn’t become a chore or a form of stress for you. Ms Chaw Yen Fern, clinical psychologist at Changi General Hospital (Psychological Medicine), observes: “Perfectionism about wedding arrangements can be a big source of stress. High expectations lead to greater stress, both in the preparation process and the wedding day itself.”

#4: Consider a pre-wedding check-up Not many couples in Singapore actually consider the possibility of going for a pre-wedding health screening, but it is actually good practice. By doing so, both parties will know if they are healthy and clear of infectious, life-threatening diseases like HIV and hepatitis. It also allows the couple to check if they are able to conceive, or have genetic disorders or congenital diseases that might affect their children later down the road. According to Dr Chee, a pre-wedding checkup typically includes: • Health history: Your doctor will ask you about your general well-being, with specific emphasis on your gynaecological health, past medical history and family history of major illnesses. Dr Chee explains: “By doing so, the doctor can identify if there could be possible gynaecological conditions that can be treated before wedding; or potential problems that may result in compli cations to the pregnancy, and take active steps to eliminate or reduce that risk.” • Take tests: Your doctor will recommend a series of blood tests to assess the general health condition, as well as screen for conditions that may have a negative impact on pregnancy. One example would be sexually transmitted diseases like HIV and Hepatitis B.

That’s why it’s important to keep an open mind and accept that there are limits to the amount of control you have over the wedding. “Focus on what you do have instead of what you don’t. Besides, any event involving so many people is bound to have a few imperfections. What doesn’t go exactly according to plan may be the most amusing or memorable detail to reminisce about in years to come.” Do this: • Make time for some fun: Listen to music, go for a walk, watch a movie or get a spa massage! These can be mini-breaks that help you recharge amidst the stressful wedding planning. • Connect: Spend positive and enjoyable time with your fiancé. Schedule a “no wedding night” once a week, whereby neither of you should mention nor do anything wedding-related. Make this a date night and focus on each other’s company. • Get some support: Those with strong social support perceive and experience less stress, and are better able to cope with the stress that they do face. Ms Chaw adds: “Family and friends can help you to brainstorm ideas, talk over the problems you encounter and help you keep your perspective.” Simply, stay positive. Ms Chaw advises: “Know that whatever happens, you will still be married at the end of the ceremony. The wedding day, while important, is only one of the many experiences and memories you will share with your spouse in your lifelong journey together.”



achieve brighter, clearer skin

for your big day

by Michelle Tay

Women before the Victorian era took harmful measures to achieve that flawless, pale complexion so definitive of that period. Fortunately for the modern brides of today, having that radiant, glowing skin on your Big Day is painless and easy.


hen Queen Victoria ascended to the throne in 1837, she implemented a very strict moral code, steeped in religious values and the virtues of modesty. The Victorian Era marked the decline of the use of cosmetics, where it was thought to be used only by women of dubious morals. But that didn’t stop the women, of course. Actresses and prostitutes, for professional reasons, didn’t stop piling it on. Real beauty then was that of a delicate, feminine woman, with a pale complexion and soft locks. Women would preserve their skin by avoiding the sun and using lacy parasols, and some would


even go to the trouble of painting fine blue lines on their faces to make it look as if veins were showing through their translucent skin! At least they were smarter than the women of the era before them, the Elizabethan period, where the noblewomen would use foundations made of white lead, sulphur, alum and tin ash, all harmful for the skin. So being a woman is this scientific age is a blessing. These products, made only of natural ingredients that are beneficial for the skin, will even out your complexion and curb blemishes, so you’ll look absolutely radiant when you walk down the aisle.


1 1. RMK Extra Brightening, 30ml, $79 This brightening essence nourishes the skin using 13 different floral and fruit extracts to counter blemishes, uneven complexion, dullness, dehydration and UV damages. Used after the toner, the rich emulsion transforms into a watery serum once you spread it onto your face so that it penetrates deep inside the skin.


6. FANCL SunGuard 30 Nuance Pearl, Part of the Perfect Whitening Kit, $80 This sunscreen contains a trio of pearls that will have your skin looking translucent and glowing, all while protecting your skin from UV damage. This limited edition kit is an intensive whitening range that contains four essential skincare products tohelp achieve the fair and translucent skin all brides desire to look fantastic in photographs.

2. CLINIQUE Derma White Brightening Moisture Cream, $84 Relieve and hydrate your skin with this luxurious moisture cream that brightens the visible signs of UV damage, delivers antioxidant protection and repairs the essential protective moisture barrier. Skin will be satiny soft, smooth and more even toned so your makeup glides on perfectly on application.

4. BVLGARI Blanc Originel Serum, 30ml, $280 Contained in this clear bottle is the Bvlgari Gem Essence W and Bvlgari Blanc Complex, which prevents and corrects dark spots and pigmentation irregularities. Powerfully enriched with sophora root extract and high concentration of seaweed extract, it restores a perfectly even, flawless complexion with an extraordinarily penetrating and pleasurable texture.



3. LANEIGE White Plus Renew Apple Zone Mask, $58 for 8 sheets This hydro gel-type mask is specially designed to protect the Apple Zone, the delicate area on your face that is especially prone to sun exposure, pigmentation and dehydration. It helps seal in the essential ionised minerals in the serum for intensive moisture care and doubles up with whitening effect, recovering your skin’s vitality in just four days.


5. GUERLAIN Blanc de Perle Lightening UV Base Brightening Pearl Perfection SPF 30 PA+++ This pearly pink, fluid base is the ultimate emblem of the Guerlain pearl. A true veil of light, it lightens the complexion, corrects dark spots and protects the skin against damage caused by UV rays. Used before makeup, you can see visible results from the very first application. It has an incredibly comfortable velvety finish and is able to adapt to all routines and skin types due to their delicately moisturising and gently emollient properties.

8. THE BODY SHOP Moisture White™ Shiso BB Cream SPF 25 Pa +++, $32.90 This multi-action makeup base creates fairer-looking skin in an instant and conceals, soothes and protects. The Moisture White™ collection targets freckles and brown spots, and also contains shiso, designed to help improve the appearance of dark spots and discolouration, even before hyper-pigmentation begins. Available in a tube for ease of application, this BB Cream also contains Vitamin C, liquorice and Community Fair Trade organic aloe vera from Guatemala.

7. JURLIQUE Purely White Skin Brightening Mist with VItaBrightKX, $79 This lightweight facial mist with natural extracts helps soften skin and restore a youthful glow on your skin for a more radiant appearance. It gently nurtures and hydrates skin with licorice root, which calms troubled skin. To be used as part of the Purely White Skin Brightening routine, it can be misted directly onto the face, neck and décolletage any time of the day.




9. BENEFIT B.Right Triple Performing Facial Emulsion SPF 15 PA++, 50.3ml, $50 You may not know you’re dehydrated, but your skin does. This sheer emulsion contains Benefit’s exclusive tri-radiance complex, which reinforces your skin’s moisture barrier and visibly brightens your face. Also included are plant extracts and Vitamin E, which hydrates, protects and comforts your skin with an oil-free, lightweight formula. Are you prepared brighten up the ballroom?



how to look good for your

pre-wedding shoot


he pressures of finalising the guest list, making sure the restaurant strikes sharks’ fin soup off the menu, and the conquest to lose that final inch to look nothing short of stunning in our wedding gowns… With so much on our minds, we can’t really blame our brain cells when they decide to go on a break without advanced warning. How else can we explain our otherwise logical selves making illogical decisions like opting for a G.I. Jane hairdo a week before the photoshoot, or saying yes to our first facial threading session a day before? If make-up worries are on the top of your list, you are not alone. Here are some questions that some brides-to-be have posed, and advice from three make-up artists – Irene Soh, a freelance make-up artist, Liren Neo from Beauty Magic, and Jovie Tan from TheLittleBrush Makeup.

by Adora Tan-Richer

Have a beauty or make-up concern that you are afraid will rear its ugly head right before your pre-wedding photoshoot? Read these tips and tricks for a quick fix!

Bridal panic #1: Help! I went for face threading a day before my photoshoot and behold, a red and blotchy jawline! All 3 make-up artists say it’s a big no-no to do something major like this before an important event (think skin irritations and allergic reactions). But there is hope… Irene: Apply aloe vera or pearl powder on the affected areas to sooth your skin, but don’t expect miraculous results! Liren: Try putting a hydrating mask for the jawline as such face condition is caused the  damaged hair on the skin. Jovie: Use an anti-irritant water spray to calm the skin, and apply some pure aloe vera gel. By the following day, make-up foundation should be able to cover it.


Bridal panic #2: My photographer tells me to keep hydrated but friends say too much water will make my face look bloated. To drink or not to drink, c’est la question!

Irene: Stay with your photographer’s suggestion. Lay off caffeine, as well as oily and spicy foods. Liren: Use a hydrating mask and reduce the amount of water consumed at night. Regular exercise and sufficient sleep will contribute toward your skin looking radiant and smooth. Jovie: Just don’t drink too much water at night, but drink away during the day. Your skin also needs water, so apply a hydrating mask two to three times a week.



Bridal panic #4: Oh no, I don’t want to be ole four-eyes, but I really can’t see without my glasses! Can I and should I wear my glasses for my photoshoot? Irene: You absolutely can wear glasses for your photoshoot. You have to be comfortable and feel great about yourself. And if your glasses allow that, then go right ahead!

Bridal panic #3: I’m petite but have a round face. Am I doomed? Irene: Any hair style that adds focus to your crown works best. A French twist with curls piled on top looks very nice. As long as you have a focal point such as curls on top or tussled bangs to the side, this will draw attention away from the roundness of your face. Liren: Get a hair trim and layer your hair to shape your face (but remember not to do it just before your photoshoot!). Communicate with your makeup artist by letting him/her know your wedding theme, venue and the colours you prefer so that he/she can create a hairstyle suitable for you and your wedding theme Jovie: Check out the flattering hairstyles of Korean stars; they keep a bit of hair at the jaw line, but do ask your hairstylist to cut the shape out, so that it will not be too long.


Liren: Perhaps you could wear your glasses for some casual shots, but not for your main wedding gown image. Contact lenses tend to make us look more lively and fresh – you might want to consider that! Jovie: Glasses tend to reflect light, so it is not advisable to use them for your photoshoot.

Bridal panic #5: Oh dear, I’m in need of a facial, and my unibrow needs serious work! Should I get these problems fixed now? Irene: Go for a facial at least two to three weeks before your wedding. This gives your skin time to settle down in case of reactions. Liren: I suggest a facial and eyebrow trim at least a week in advance. Apply a hydrating mask three days before your shoot to keep your skin moist. I strongly advise against any facial trimmings just before your wedding if you are a threading virgin. Jovie: Don’t do anything the day before the shoot; your skin will not have any time to recover if you should encounter a breakout of sorts. Eyebrows can be trimmed 2 days before your shoot.

Bridal panic #6: Gasp! It’s the night before the shoot! What should I apply on my face before presenting myself to my make-up artist? All 3 make-up artists advise that you stay calm, slap on some moisturiser and appear with clean and dry hair in the morning.

Bridal panic #7: Are false eyelashes absolutely necessary?! I’m worried I’ll look like Mr Snuffleupagus from Sesame Street. Irene: It’s not a necessity but it is a great-to-have tool. False eyelashes dramatically opens up one’s eyes, making them more captivating. But again, don’t do anything you are not comfortable with. Liren: They aren’t necessary but will definitely give the best effect for pictures, enhancing the eyes and making them more outstanding. Jovie: If you are Chinese, there’s a chance your eyes will look flat in pictures without the help of false eyelashes.


beautyhealth Bridal panic #8: Oh dear, what if my make-up runs during the outdoor shoot? I have absolutely no idea how to do touch-ups on my own! Should I have my make-up artist tag along? Or can I save that money for something else? Irene: I would very much love to tell you that you need a make-up artist to tag along on your photoshoot, but no, you can live through a photoshoot without a “make-up nanny”. Just prepare your touch-up kit (pressed powder, tissue paper, blotters, lipstick, hair spray and hair pins) and ask your make-up artist to use a make-up base to allow make-up to last better throughout the day. But if you are totally clueless about make-up, then get one to tag you around. You’ll be thankful for her expertise. Liren: Having a make-up artist join you for the outdoor shoot is useful – she can do touch up on both groom and bride during the day to ensure they look their best in the pictures. Jovie: Outdoor shoots in Singapore can get very humid and hot. If you’re a bride who normally perspires a lot, it could help if your make-up artist tags along to do touch-ups for outdoor shoots that are more than two hours.


Bridal panic #9: I’m such a bundle of nerves! What do I do on the day shoot! Irene: Just have fun! Liren: If you feel nervous about having to do awkward postures, try flipping through magazines to learn the photographic poses or practice your best smile in front of the mirror. Most importantly, just relax and have fun! Have confidence in your photographer and enjoy the photo shoot. Jovie: Don’t forget your sunblock and insect repellent! As ladies, we’re entitled to a bit of vanity. In fact, one might even say it’s expected of us. As brides, it’s perfectly understandable that we want to look our best on the day of our wedding photoshoot. But if you forget everything that you’ve been told, just remember one thing – don’t do anything drastic just before your photoshoot! You wouldn’t want to add “shop for wig” to your already never-ending list of things to do, would you?



how To

date your wife

by Fu Jinming

How do you rekindle the flames of your marriage, and show your wife you still love her? Simple. Just woo her all over again.



ere’s an old pub joke: When does a girlfriend stop being a girlfriend and s tart becoming a wife?

When you both agree to eat out – at your in-laws’. Of course, things aren’t as funny when your marriage does become a dour, sour affair; a routine-oriented shadow of what it used to be: Spontaneous, passionate, and full of life. Instead, somewhere along the way, our relationship with the woman we once waited for with bated breath turned flat, predictable, and devoid of all the excitement and longings of courtship. For some, it takes 20 years for the boredom to set in. For others, just two. And men, it’s all our fault. To be sure, it’s always easy to justify our ineptitude in that department. We blame the practicalities of adult life. Long hours at work. The kids. The mortgage. Plus the classic overture, “She asked me not to waste money.” But the truth is a lot more deep-seeded. Somehow, we think that the hunt ends after we’ve gotten the girl of our dreams. Perhaps it’s some psychological residue left over from our Neanderthal ancestors. We approach dating like a furniture assembly manual: Fall in love with a girl. Ask her out. Impress her. Marry her. Job done. We neglect the most important bit – how to make it all last. Because the secret to a long, happy marriage is a sustained interest in each other. And you’re hardly interesting when all you talk about with your wife are the kids, the groceries, and how incompetent that new guy from Finance is.


groomroom For better or worse, women still want their knights in shining armour. The guy who set her heart aflutter with his witty jokes and sensitive ways. The one she once spent hours talking on the phone with, exchanging flirty SMS texts, and chatting with till the wee hours of the morning. Somewhere inside you, that man still exists. You just have to find him and let her date him again. The good news is, it’s not as hard as you think it is. You’ve done it all before (it’s how you got the girl, remember?). Now, just do it again. Except this time, it’s easier – the girl already loves you enough to have married you. Your mission, should you choose to accept, is to remind her why she said, “Yes”. And to make her fall in love all over again. Pick a day It doesn’t need to be your wedding anniversary, or even her birthday. In fact, it shouldn’t be any special day at all, which is what would make this date extra special. You didn’t need an excuse to ask her out when she was your girlfriend. You sure don’t need one now. If she asks, just say it’s been a while since you last spent time together as two. And that you miss doing that with her. Pick a place If you can manage to sift through that hazy memory of yours, go to where you had your first date. If the restaurant or establishment doesn’t exist anymore, find one that is similar. Then tell her that you remember you had your first date with her in a restaurant just like this one. She’ll appreciate the effort – after her heart melts at the memory. If, for the life of you, you don’t remember anymore, go to a new place neither of you have tried before. And say: “Remember the restaurant we’ve always wanted to try, but didn’t?” Surprise her Take care of all the arrangements prior to the big date. Make reservations. Get a babysitter if you have kids. If you need to, call her boss to let her off early just for this evening. Then, call her to tell her you’re both going out tonight, that all arrangements have been made, and that you’re picking her


up. Or better yet, turn up unannounced with a bouquet of flowers. She’ll love the spontaneity. Be a gentleman Marriage is a poor excuse for forgetting your manners. Especially when nothing is more charming – or seductive – than an act of chivalry. So open that door for her. Pull up that chair. Pour her that glass of wine. It may all seem like a big show (and she might be the first to tell you so), but do it anyway. It shows her the thoughtful, considerate man that you’ve always been; that you still care about her very much, and want to treat her right. Give her your ears and your thanks Listen to her. Really listen. Open your ears to her day, her problems, her gripes. Chances are, here is a woman who’s made sacrifices to be your wife, and a mother to your children. The least you could do is show an appreciation of what she’s had to go through. Then thank her, for the wonderful years you’ve spent together, and for putting up with your annoying habits. Apologise for the times you may have neglected her, or taken her for granted.




Most importantly, tell her that you love her. She probably knows that you do, but nothing beats hearing you say it. Make her laugh Laughter is really the best medicine. And you don’t necessarily have to be a comedian to light up her face like you used to. Simply look to the past, where you’ll find a reservoir of funny anecdotes to tap into. Start by reminiscing about your courtship. Talk about the stuff you guys used to do together. The silly ways you used to get her attention. The disastrous dates you brought her on. The people who used to make the both of you laugh. The key here is to make her forget her worries, if only for just an evening. And make her feel relaxed, fun and happy in your company. Don’t let it become a one-off While it’s impractical to wine and dine her every day, it shouldn’t be as rare as your visit to the dentist. After all, it took a few dates before she became your girlfriend. And several more before she agreed to be your wife. No reason to stop now. If you can, try to put aside a date once or twice a month for that special evening. You can plan this with her, so you don’t double-book yourselves. Or better yet, don’t tell her the exact date, and aim to surprise her every time. It may become routine after a while. But trust us, it’s one she’ll look forward to. Try something new You can also spice things up by going somewhere or doing something different each time. Been to a fancy restaurant on your last date? Bring her to a casual joint with a jukebox this time. Bored of catching a movie after dinner? How about a play, or a romantic walk by the sea? All you need is some research and a little imagination. And when you see that smile on her face and that twinkle in her eye, you’d know it’s all worth it.



the art of the

marriage proposal by Jaclyn Lim

If marriage has been on your mind, you must have realised that you can’t escape the Proposal. It’s likely that she is already expecting it (you see her lingering outside jewellery shop window displays). In fact, she’s probably Googling and gushing over how other men have done it – right. We know we’ve said it before, but you men just don’t get it, do you? Fret not. Here’s apre-proposal guide by SingaporeBrides to soothe and inspire!


#1: Test the waters Try to talk about marriage (and married life!) before you propose. Most likely, this will happen naturally. After all, in Singapore, it’s common for couples to ballot for a flat years before they actually settle down. So chances are, your girlfriend is already expecting the proposal – she just doesn’t know when you’re popping the question. There is also an important reason why you first discuss the possibility of a life together (complete with a HDB flat and 2.5 kids). When you do so, there is a lesser likelihood that she will be caught off-guard when you get down on one knee. It also means that you won’t be embarrassedly left on bended knee when she mutters: “I’m not ready to settle down yet…” Tip: We may not be stuck in the Middle Ages, but it will be a nice gesture to ask her parents formally for her hand before you propose.


groomroom #2: Shop for an engagement ring This is a given, but it is also a task that befuddles most men. Says Joel Mah, a civil servant in his 30s: “I rarely shop, so I was at my wits’ end when I had to buy an engagement ring. I cajoled a fashionsavvy female friend to accompany me to different shops to check out styles and prices.” So you can do some research and legwork. Start by reading up on different ring styles and learn about the 4 Cs of diamond buying – colour, cut, clarity and carat. But the most important thing is to suss out her preferences. This is probably the time to start noticing not-so-subtle hints from her, like “Oh, isn’t a ring lovelier when it comes in an egg-blue box?” (She means the Tiffany box, by the way.) Tip: If you’re completely clueless, you might want to get your girlfriend’s bestie to point out the jewellery brands and designs she prefers. This is often the easiest way to accomplish the task!

#3: Deciding on the game plan Be creative. Thanks to social media like Facebook, she’s probably bombarded with friends’ status updates like “He proposed – on a private yacht!” or YouTube videos titled “Best Proposal Ever!” every other day. So you shouldn’t settle for a cookie-cutter proposal. Put some thought into it. How you do it will naturally depend on the type of woman your girlfriend is. If she’s a private person, refrain from shouting it out to the world (like buying an ad space in the national newspaper). But if she enjoys a little attention, you can probably do it in front of a small crowd of friends. No matter what, do make it a surprise (in other words, don’t send her an email telling her to expect a surprise next Sunday!). Tip: It’s not all about the ring. Find out what her favourite blooms are and prepare a stunning bouquet of flowers too!


#4: Choose the right spot You should always aim to choose a location that matches your proposal method. When picking the perfect spot, consider places that are romantic and meaningful. It could be a simple spot, like East Coast Park where you rollerblade together on weekends. No matter what, just make sure your proposal is done in person, and not over the phone! Lately, the trend has been destination proposals. After all, what can be more romantic than whisking her away to a beautiful city like Venice, and then presenting her with a diamond ring? There are other pros to destination proposals. Joel shares: “I proposed during our Hong Kong holiday because I knew she would both be in a more happy, relaxed mood – after shopping!” Tip: If you’re proposing at a certain venue, do get extra help from the staff. For instance, if you’re proposing at a restaurant, letting the waiter know beforehand will ensure that you get an intimate, quiet corner for the romantic deed.

#5: Say why you love her During the actual proposal, it is normal to be tonguetied. But try your best to say why you want to spend a lifetime with her. It shouldn’t be a laundry list, but share as much as you can, like how she’s always there when you’re down. Or how she has a knack for making you laugh. Being sincere will help! Oh, the phrase “Will you marry me?” may seem easy to say in your head, but greater men have been known to stumble over these words in an actual proposal (especially if you’re nervous or doing it in front of a crowd). So practise saying it out loud a couple of times so you’re comfortable and confident. Tip: Remember to drop down on one knee! It’s not only more sincere and traditional, but it is also a gesture that’s guaranteed to melt her heart.




before you pick a

wedding venue

by Jaclyn Lim

It’s so easy to fall head-over-heels in love with a wedding venue – whether it’s a grand ballroom, candle-lit pool-side deck or a breathtaking rooftop garden. Well, don’t be swept away by the beauty of the location just yet. There are practical considerations to mull over before you sign on the dotted line. SingaporeBrides lists the key questions to ask that will help you decide.


1. Is the venue available on my wedding date?

Couples usually decide on a good (and auspicious!) wedding date first before shopping around for a suitable venue. So this is probably the most important question you should ask before planning anything else. Also ask how many weddings have been booked on your Big Day – this will give you an idea whether you are getting the time and resources you are paying for. Ivy Woo, Marketing Communications Manager of Peony Jade Restaurant, explains: “For instance, at our restaurant, only a maximum of two weddings (lunch and dinner) can be booked in a day.”

2. Do you have a wedding director who will assist me?

A hotel wedding planner (also known as the events coordinator or facility director) is your go-to person for all your banquet or reception needs. Grace Yong, Marketing Communications Manager of Singapore Marriott Hotel, explains: “Dream weddings don’t just happen – they’re planned. At Marriott, our Certified Wedding Planners are trained to coordinate different types of weddings. She will work with the couples from day one to understand their requirements and execute their visions in detail.” So be sure to ask about the wedding planner’s scope of responsibilities and if she will be there to assist you on the actual day.

3. How many guests can your venue accommodate?

Somehow, your guest list will balloon as the days go by. And let’s face it: You will find it hard to say no if your parents want to invite your great-grand aunt (and half a dozen of her grandchildren) to your wedding. So it’s absolutely crucial to ask how many guests your venue can accommodate.


venues Singapore Marriot Hotel


Ivy advises: “For instance, Peony Jade @ Keppel Club can accommodate up to 270 guests. Knowing this will help you to bump up or trim your guest list accordingly.” While you’re at it, don’t forget to ask guest-related details like if there are shuttle services, enough parking lots (and complimentary parking tickets!), and if the venue will be able to cater to disabled guests.

4. Can I hire my own vendors?

Most venues have a list of preferred vendors – caterers, cake companies, entertainment providers and florists – that they have a good working relationship with. In fact, some actually have strict contracts with their vendors so you may incur additional costs if you choose to hire your own people to do the job. Sometimes, it may not even be allowed. So ask before putting together your dream team.

5. Who’s responsible for the setting up and tearing down of the venue décor?

It is likely that your venue’s appointed florist will be fully responsible for the set-up and tear-down of your chosen wedding décor. Grace says: “The wedding couple shouldn’t have to worry about this unless they decide to pick their own florist at their own expense. In this case, they will be responsible for the décor as well as any damages to the venue.” Ivy adds: “It may actually be a better idea to go with florists who are already familiar with the venue.”

6. What are the policies of your venue?

Knowing what to expect means lesser stress. Policies cover the entire gamut of T&Cs, like the time your guests have to leave; sometimes there are additional charges if your party overruns the


venues stipulated time. Grace clarifies: “Ask your wedding planner to explain and clarify everything you need to know about the venue. For instance, there is usually a time when the banquet has to end. At Marriott, it is officially 11pm, although we do allow for an additional half an hour grace period.” The point is: if you’re unsure about anything, just ask.

7. Are there certain restrictions when it comes to décor?

Before you dream of a stunning sea of lit candles, ask if your venue allows for open flames. Some do, some don’t – so you might have to adjust your expectations accordingly. Also, when it comes to chairs and tableware, venues use standard “house” supplies that are included in your cost. If you want to use something else, note that you may have to pay extra to rent them on your own.

8. Is there a room for us to rest, change and store wedding presents?

This is probably a given. Most venues will allocate a proper room for the bridal couple to rest, change into their wedding wear and snack before walking down the aisle. We have heard horror stories of a bride who only got a small space to do all that behind a curtain, so please ask!

bill. Provided that they repay the amount in full when their credit card bills arrive, it’s a good way to save some money and chalk up bonus points at the same time.

10. What are some additional fees I should be aware of?

Don’t get a nasty surprise when you receive your total bill – be upfront and ask about additional fees like service charge, administrative fees, taxes and corkage fees. Grace explains: “Marriott’s corkage fee is at $35++ per bottle. Knowing this will help you to decide if you want to bring your own liquors for your celebration.” Not every question will apply to your dream wedding so do ample research before asking away. We suggest that you shortlist a number of wedding venues and meet up with their wedding directors face-to-face for a detailed session and tour of the venue. This will give you a better sense of the service level of that establishment and what to expect during your Big Day!

9. How much is the deposit and when is the balance due?

This is one of the most important money questions to ask with regards to your banquet planning. Ask your wedding director about the deposit and when the balance is due. A tip: Also check if they have any ongoing credit card promotions. We’ve seen bridal couples pay via credit cards first to enjoy substantial discounts off the total


Peony Jade Keppel Club


Wishing you and Peace, Joy a on this sp

d your Families, and Happiness pecial day.


holding an

outdoor wedding by Jaclyn Lim

You’ve been dreaming of a wedding under the stars or of saying your vows on a beautiful beach, but you’re not sure if you should go ahead and do it, thanks to a million what-ifs that are racing through your mind. We share how to accomplish an outdoor wedding with aplomb – from private pool parties to large-scale garden affairs. 274/


hat if the rains come? What if Grandma can’t take the heat? Do I want to sweat buckets in my satin gown? We’ve heard all these what-ifs and concerns before. And they’re all valid. But with Singapore being the sunny island, why limit yourselves to a traditional banquet in a hotel ballroom or restaurant? Holding an outdoor wedding is gaining a lot of popularity here, and it’s certainly a great way to celebrate the most important day of your life. When you exchange your vows amongst the beauty of Nature, your family and friends will probably remember the romantic moment more than if it were a run-of-the-mill sitdown affair. The trick of planning the perfect outdoor wedding is not to assume the worst. But yet, it is absolutely important to consider what could happen and come up with solutions for them. Here’s Outdoor Weddings 101 to guide you along.

Things to consider

You shouldn’t sweat the small stuff, but don’t forget these as well… Scale and budget Many couples have the misconception that outdoor weddings are expensive. In fact, the actual cost of everything can be adjusted according to budget. Consider how much you’d like to spend, taking into account important outdoor essentials like logistics, photography, catering, sound system and venue décor such as floral arrangements. This is also the time to decide if you’d like to hire a wedding planner to coordinate everything for you. Guest list Not all of your guests will be sun-worshippers. When you’re making up your guest list, consider if any of


venues them will have unique needs. The elderly will need to be comfortably seated, while the children should probably not be exposed to too much sun. Do check if the outdoor venue is handicapped-friendly as well. Wine and dine The fact that your wedding lunch or dinner will be held outside will actually determine the kind of food and drinks you should have. Make sure your caterer has experience planning an outdoor wedding menu because this means they know they should prepare


foods that keep well in the heat. Also, alcoholic drinks can be dehydrating so offer your guests a selection of refreshing, cooling choices like iced teas, fruit punch and mojitos.

A tip: It has to have thick and weighted sides. Also have carpet flooring and transparent rain curtains on standby so that your guests won’t be soaked to the bone or slip accidentally.

Transport If you’re holding your wedding in a relatively remote area, consider whether your guests might need transport to get there. Not everyone drives, so it’d be good idea to arrange for free shuttle buses at strategic locations like the nearest MRT station. Your well-wishers will appreciate the gesture.

Comfy must-haves Why not provide your guests with comfortable essentials? Consider printing your wedding program on a pretty fan so that guests can cool themselves.

Temperature The heat and humidity in Singapore can be a little too much to bear. If you’re worried that the event may be too warm for some, you can always ask for cooler fans to be installed. That way, your guests will be able to enjoy the proceedings in a comfortable environment – without sacrificing the outdoor feel.

If the rains come…

… it’s on to Plan B. Having a contingency plan while organising an outdoor wedding is crucial. Back-up space Many outdoor venues have a “back-up” space that couples can use in case of emergencies, so ask the venue if you will have access to indoor space. However, if you’re holding the wedding in a public space, you might have to think harder to make alternative arrangements. Shelter, shelter, shelter If you don’t have access to a back-up space, then a proper shelter to shield your guests is absolutely crucial. Make sure that your wedding planner or events organiser understands the importance of a sturdy tent – so it won’t flip over in a thunderstorm.

Or give out small bottles of sunscreen to concerned mums. If the weather doesn’t hold up, why not surprise your guests with chirpy wellingtons and personalised umbrellas?

Sun, sand and… shelter

As mentioned, one of the most important aspects of an outdoor wedding is the shelter. This is what will make or break the event. The most obvious choice is to rent a lovely white marquee. If you’re holding the wedding at a hotel, it’s likely that they will be able to arrange it for you, or point you to a trusted vendor. There are different styles to choose from, so know what you want. A century tent has more peaks with windowed sides – it can be airconditioned and definitely fits the requirements of a formal ‘do. A frame tent, as its name suggests, is supported by a frame with no poles down the centre. If you’re holding an al fresco wedding in a picturesque location, go for this.

Location, location, location

There is no lack of suitable establishments or lovely outdoor venues in Singapore, but here are some suggestions.




Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Pool-side Wedding

Beach Weddings Located on the East Coast beach and surrounded by lush greenery, 1-TwentySix is an ideal choice for holding romantic sunset weddings. There’s a tropical pathway, which leads to two distinct areas for solemnization – the trellised garden or the beach. They have in-house wedding planners too! Garden Weddings A classic choice for couples who want a picturesque garden setting for their weddings, Burkill Hall at Singapore Botanic Gardens is situated on the highest point of the National Orchid Garden. Guests can expect stunning panoramic views of the lush greenery. A plus point: Burkill Hall is a 2-storey colonial house that has been lovingly restored to capture the romance of a bygone era. You can also look at more garden venues we’ve recommended here. City Weddings If your romantic dates have centred around visiting exhibitions at the National Museum of Singapore, why not get married here? For an outdoor feel, opt for the Glass Atrium, which commands a view of the exterior façade of the iconic dome. No worries about bad weather, generous space for stage and lighting setup, and guests can actually enjoy banquet-style seating.

1-TwentySix Beach Wedding

Poolside Weddings Want a poolside wedding with resort-like outdoors in a cutting-edge, city-like hotel with stunning architectural exterior design? If so, then head east. At Crowne Plaza Changi Airport, you could not only hold your wedding on the refreshing poolside deck, but also put your personal stamp on your event with a customised theme.


advertise with us Weddings | Image by Katherine Ahn Hair and Make Up by Marc Teng Dresses by My Dream Wedding



taking a break

after the wedding by Audrie Soh

The passing of each day brings you closer to your wedding day, and every day closer to your wedding brings you closer to your own private after party – your honeymoon. A smile appears on your face as you imagine being whisked off on a jet plane for a romantic getaway, until you realise some levels of planning needs to happen before you get there.



h-oh. There’s that word again, “planning”. And you thought your honeymoon is the one thing out of your matrimonial union that doesn’t require any planning. In fact, it should be plannedconcurrently with your wedding. Look on the bright side: getting your honeymoon planning out of the way means you get to devote more time to your wedding. SingaporeBrides lends you a helping hand and dives straight to the heart of the matter, identifying five questions you should consider when planning your honeymoon.

Where to, Honey Bunny?

First and foremost, decide on what kind of honeymoon you’d like. He wants a beach retreat in the Maldives while you’re looking forward to Korea and Dongdaemun market. And you’re at an impasse. Regardless of what kind of honeymoon you want, ensure that you’ve talked it over with your partner and discuss the places you’d both like to go. In the case of different travel preferences, always aim for a compromise. If your man wants to spend some quality quiet time with just the two of you a nd minimal distractions (read: shopping), then put Korea on hold for your next trip. Besides, it might be a good idea to spend time alone together to reconnect and prepare yourself for your new life ahead as a married couple. When deciding your honeymoon destination, you should keep your options open and list down a few places in order of preferences. That way, when you move along the checklist, you won’t have to backtrack to the first step if your budget doesn’t fit the place you’ve picked.

Do We Have Money for This?

Once you’ve a list of places for your honeymoon,


hometravel proceed to plan your budget. For some couples, deciding on the budget is the first thing they’ll do. It doesn’t matter whether you decide on your destination first, or your budget. The sequence just serves as a guide. By now, you should be experts in drawing up budgets and setting aside money. This is where you have to decide how much you have and how much you’re willing to spend on your honeymoon. If money is not a concern, then we say, go all out on your honeymoon. But if your budget doesn’t allow that, try to get a big honeymoon with as little money as possible. You can do this by deciding if you want to spend little in a big city, or spend a small fortune just lazing on a beach somewhere.

More Research For You

Once you’ve got a budget drawn out, match it against the list of honeymoon destinations and find your match. When that is done, it’s research time. What, you didn’t think that was it for your honeymoon planning, did you? Matching a destination to your budget is only the beginning. Researching on your honeymoon location allows you to maximise your vacation to its fullest. It ensures you are going at the right time, enables you to secure a lower-priced air-ticket and accommodation on site. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for the local weather during the month of your travel too – you don’t want to be facing torrential rain at a beach resort, or get snowed in in New York city when there is so much to be done. Doing research on alternative transport (especially if you’re travelling around Europe), accommodation, food, entertainment and tipping will enable you to


maximise your budget and make the best out of your vacation. Lastly, visit websites such as TripAdvisor to learn what other travellers or couples say about a particular destination or hotel. Don’t be lured by or rely on fanciful or romantic photos on the Internet. Listen to what others before you have to say about the place before making a decision.

Home Is Where The Heart Is

Or, if you’re really tight after your wedding, or would like to avoid the hassle of packing and travelling to another country for your honeymoon, why not consider having it in the country you’re in? Go for a short staycation or sign yourselves up to a spa retreat and splurge on luxuries such as opting for a honeymoon suite in a local hotel, as opposed to a budget hotel in Rome, or indulge in fine dining rather than eating out at delis. Alternatively, you can literally stay at home for your honeymoon. It’s a great way to settle into your new house and spend some quality time together. Even better, you can splurge more on yourselves and your new home. This option is also perfect for couples who cannot be away from work for long periods of time – just remember to set rules about checking text messages on your mobile phones and work e-mails. What remains is to stock up on food, wine and movies, and you’re set. A poll SingaporeBrides did recently on Facebook revealed that Paris, Maldives and Switzerland were the top three most popular honeymoon destinations among Singaporean couples respectively. And who could deny the allure of Paris, the city of lovers, the crystal-clear blue-green waters of Maldives and the pristine white snow of the Alps in Switzerland?


hometravel Or, if you’re feeling adventurous and want to be different, check out these spectacularly uncommon honeymoon destinations for inspiration. One of the top most common honeymoon mistakes of all time is not planning the honeymoon early enough. So, regardless of where you’ve chosen to spend your honeymoon, always kick-start your planning early. To make the journey towards your honeymoon even more fuss-free for you, we’ve created a honeymoon packing list to help you pack so you don’t leave anything behind. Tick off the list as you pack, and once you’re done, you’re good to go.



Honeymoon Packing List Carry-on with You: 1. Passports 2. Air-tickets or E-ticket confirmation 3. Travel visas (if required) 4. Cash 5. Credit Cards (take only 1 or 2 that you need) 6. Hotel room reservation confirmation 7. Emergency contact numbers 8. ID

For a Beach Honeymoon: 9. Bathing suits (at least 2) 10. Light, cooling outfits (summer dresses, tank tops, shorts, bermuda) 11. Summer hat 12. A light cardigan or shawl 13. Two pairs of footwear (flip flops and a closed-toe flats) 14. Sunblock 15. Sunglasses


unforgettable moments. by the oberoi.


Begin your journey of togetherness at The Oberoi, Lombok as you exchange vows at this romantic hideaway on one of the world’s most beautiful and captivating islands. The choices of idyllic wedding locations range from a luxury private pool villa, a pristine sandy beach, a lush beachside garden to a unique wooden jetty with spectacular views. Our team of wedding planners will help you to organise a dream wedding from a choice of packages that can also be customised to suit your needs. Besides planning a wedding The Oberoi, Lombok presents an exclusive offer for honeymooners and couples to discover and savour the magic of a new relationship. Luxurious interiors, exotic cuisine and gracious service combine to create unforgettable moments full of delightful surprises.

For further information, please write to or visit


10 tips for planning a

destination wedding by Audrie Soh

Taking your nuptials overseas not only means that you get to skip the fuss and frenzy of a traditional wedding – it might also cost a lot less. While it may involve some mind-boggling logistics, it doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Here’s a practical guide by SingaporeBrides to pull off a beautiful destination wedding.



ctor Daniel Wu and model Lisa S. tied the knot in a beautiful forest in South Africa, surrounded by the local villagers who sang, danced and blessed the marriage. Longtime celebrity couple Nick Lachey and Vanessa Minillo, meanwhile, secretly planned an intimate four-day beach wedding on a private Caribbean island. Nearer to our side of the globe, In the Mood for Love leading man Tony Leung exchanged vows with girlfriend Carina Lau in a meaningful Buddhist ceremony in Bhutan. Destination weddings, it seems, are getting increasingly popular. According to the recent Real Weddings Survey, which surveyed nearly 18,000 US couples married in 2011, one in 10 bridal couples decide to say: “I do” on foreign shores. That’s a 25 per cent jump from 2009, [Source] and there are a number of compelling reasons why. For one, a destination wedding means getting away from stressful family situations (like having two sides of the families arguing over the number of banquet tables to host). Also, even if you add up the bridal- and travel-related costs, it may still be less expensive than holding a ten-course banquet dinner in a four-star hotel. That’s because an overseas reception often involves fewer guests. So if you are engaged and considering a destination wedding, here’s a list of 10 useful tips:


You may have your heart set on getting married in the Maldives, but it will be wise to open your mind to more than one destination at the planning stage. Think of a few locations that will make sense to both your personalities and is meaningful to your relationship. For instance, you may want to return to Bali, where you and your fiancé first travelled to as a couple. Or if you are both wine lovers, how about

holding it in a vineyard in Australia? You can always make a dream list, before considering the practical aspects, like budget.


In Singapore, it’s always a toss-up between “sunny” and “rainy”. But this is definitely not so in other countries. For instance, a wedding photographer once told us how he had to shoot a wedding in Boracay, Philippines, in the middle of the typhoon season (let’s just say the sand got into everyone’s food). To avoid the weather being a major mood-dampener, be sure to pick the right season. Also, choose your wedding gown according to the weather. If your wedding is going to be held in summertime, it might not make sense to wear a long-sleeved taffeta gown.


At, we always advise bridesto-be to set a reasonable budget during the early stages of wedding planning. And this is even more important for a destination wedding. Having a budget will help you to narrow down your options, whether it is the venue choice or number of guests. If your parents are chipping in, have a sit-down discussion about which aspects of the wedding they might like to provide for. For instance, if they choose to sponsor the flowers, you can strike that off your list early and focus on budgeting for other bridal needs. Remember to factor in extra costs and hidden costs, like shipping costs for anything that you may need to ship ahead of time, such as décor materials for the venue. *Tip! Look for all-inclusive wedding packages offered by resorts and hotels in the destination of your choice – you might be able to save some cash.





If there is a budget constraint, you can consider planning a honeymoon at the same location as your destination wedding. After your guests fly home, just stay on. You can simply check into another resort or hotel for a change of scenery. Or, travel to a nearby city or island in the same country. For instance, if you are in Krabi for your beach wedding, just make arrangements to take a domestic flight up north to Chiang Mai for a weeklong honeymoon.


By this, we mean the dreaded paperwork. Certain countries have specific marriage requirements, so you will need to research on how things work ahead of time. For instance, legal documents may need to be translated (as is the case in Italy) or marriage applications may need to be filed months in advance. Sort these out before you fly there to say: “I do”. If in doubt, check with the wedding coordinator at the venue or contact the country’s embassies for help.


As you will be leaving a lot in their good hands, choose and choose carefully when it comes to vendors like a wedding planner, florist, photographer and stylist. Besides online portfolios, also check out word-of-mouth recommendations from other brides. Consider using Skype to e-meet yourvendors – a face-to-face discussion is often more effective than communicating via email. An alternative to hiring vendors from your wedding destination is to decide on what’s important to you and hire professionals from your own country. For instance, if hair and makeup is extremely important to you, bring your own stylist there.





Not everyone is savvy enough to book travel arrangements on their own. Make sure you are available to coordinate and arrange for flights and accommodations. There will be lots to do once you’ve arrived at the wedding destination, but don’t neglect your guests. Upon checking-in, it will also be a good idea to hand out welcome bags, filled with essentials like sunblock lotion, fruits and a schedule. Also consider getting two members of your bridal party to be in charge of showing hospitality to everyone, such as by planning icebreakers and booking spa treatments.


That you’re planning a wedding away from homeground means that you are at the liberty to not follow age-old traditions. Like having a big, five-tiered wedding cake or a 10-course banquet at a hotel on a weekend evening. Instead, you are free to have it as laid-back as you wish, whether it’s walking barefoot down the aisle at a beach ceremony or forgoing the tuxedo-and-gown combination at a summer wedding. It’s more important for you to have fun.


Let’s face it: Brides-to-be yearn to be in total control of their Big Day. But with a destination wedding that’s usually planned long-distance, it’s simply not possible to plan everything down to the last detail or keep everything in check. Even if you fly to your wedding destination before the actual date (and we strongly recommend this), some details will be lost in translation or missed out. This is true even if you’re super organised and have a clear vision. So learn to let your hair down, and enjoy the journey to marriage instead!


A destination wedding may not allow you to invite everyone you want. Some loved ones may also not be able to travel out of the country for your Big Day. Consider hosting a celebration back home for these guests. It doesn’t have to be a banquet at a fancy hotel – an intimate reception at a favourite restaurant or a casual affair at home will do just as well. Think of it as a way to continue your wedding fun!


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Weddings by SingaporeBrides Issue 1  

A digital magazine by

Weddings by SingaporeBrides Issue 1  

A digital magazine by