issue #2 singaporebrides.com
S c e n e O n e,
T a k e . . . T w o! 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 !
The Team CEO Ng Chin Leng Editor Michelle Tay firstname.lastname@example.org Sub-Editor Audrie Soh Sales Manager Christine Juan email@example.com Executives Bob Mubarak Janis Heng Layout Design Brigette Soh Michelle Tay Webmasters Andre Ng Eileen Aw
The Contributors Airin Lee, Alycia Tan, Andrea Claire, Clifford Loh, Francesca Gonella, Fu Jinming, Harry Lam, Jaclyn Lim, Justin Jonah Ng, Lirong, Michael Tan, Rick Yang, Ukay Chheung, Vicky Chow, Violet Foo 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 ÂŠ 2013 Tian Dot Com Pte Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
In This Issue Weddings 101
Beauty & Health
14 Article Turn Your Wedding Fantasies Into Reality!
252 Article Shape Up for your Wedding with Yoga
24 Article No More Pre-wedding Fights! 34 Article Moving In Together: What To Expect
Fashion 50 Article 7 Tips On How To Choose A Bridal Boutique 60 Article Let’s Go Wedding Gown Shopping! 70 Fashion Editorial Operation: Agents Provocateurs 94 Fashion Editorial After Marie Antoinette’s Party 114 Fashion Editorial Keeper of the Forest
260 Article Shed Those Pounds Before Taking the Plunge!
The Groom Room 142 Article Taming Your Bridezilla
150 Article Making Working Couples Work
278 Article A Guide on Selecting Wedding Banquet Venues
158 Article How To Buy the Lingerie of her Dreams
Photography & Videography 172 Real Weddings Love in Animation 182 Real Weddings My Carnival Wedding 192 Real Weddings Let Love Take Flight 204 Real Weddings Tokyo Love
Essentials 226 Essentials Editorial Beautiful Surprises 240 Do-It-Yourself Editorial Of Hearts and Bows
268 Article Enhance Your Eyes On Your Big Day
288 Article Your Friendly Guide to Choosing Wedding Banquet Packages 298 Article The Meaning Behind Your Wedding Banquet Dishes 308 Article Throwing An Engagement Party
There goes the first half of the year. I still remember—perfectly—what I did during the first week of 2013 as if it only happened last month. To be honest, I can’t even recall what I did last Monday. Perhaps it is because the first week of a new year is a relatively significant period. Plus, I had just published the first issue of Weddings then, and I was holidaying in a country I had been wanting to visit. Ah… winter in a foreign land. Do you think you could ever forget what happened on your wedding day? Out of every 10 brides we interview for our Real Weddings feature, six would tell us that they were so stressed or busy on their big day that they don’t remember if anything momentous happened. Really? I would ask. You had planned this wedding for months, maybe years. You have dug deep into your pockets, lost weight, gained a whole new family, and you’re not upset that you don’t remember how it all happened? A wedding shouldn’t be so stressful before, during, and after. Start planning early. Get advice from
by Michelle Tay / The Editor
friends and other women who have gotten married. Browse through wedding dress lookbooks to see the latest collections available. Source for reputable wedding vendors and trust them. Get a simple to-do list app on your smartphone so you can update immediately as you plan. We have all these things on SingaporeBrides.com, by the way. Oh, and get a professional photographer so you can remember, years later, how much money you’d spent, how much weight you’d lost, how good you’d looked in that dress, digitally and beautifully. It’s almost like planning a vacation, isn’t it? You pick a country, then chat with friends who have been there. You book a hotel, then find good cafes in the vicinity. You list down places of interests and decide on the clothes you need to pack. Should you bring your DSLR camera, or be an Instagramming hipster? If you catch a topnotch airline having a sale, even better! Speaking of holidays. Ah… autumn in a foreign land, perhaps?
Wedding Fantasies Into Reality!
As you plan your wedding, you may harbour certain wedding fantasies â€“ like having a romantic solemnisation on a sandy beach or fresh flowers galore in a glamourous do. While you may need to take a reality check at times, itâ€™s still possible to achieve the wedding of your dreams. SingaporeBrides shows you how. 14/
by Jaclyn Lim
Exchanging vows on a sandy beach, with the wind in your hair and soft waves crashing in. The romantic ceremony will come complete with white flowing drapes, flowers in your favourite hue, and even seashells lining both sides of the aisle. You will stroll barefoot towards Mr. Right – casually dressed in his loose white shirt and khaki berms – remembering all those sweet moments you’ve shared at beach resorts. In fact, you’ve dreamed of such a seaside solemnisation for so long that you can’t imagine saying “I do” indoors.
In real life, beach weddings have all the trappings of an outdoor wedding (probably even more). Most crucially, none of you will be sheltered from the elements. If you’re lucky, your Big Day will be a sweltering one. If you’re unlucky, there might be rain. Even if the both of you are mentally prepared, you will have to consider whether your guests – especially the older folks and kids – can take it. Then, there is the décor to think about. For a start, there isn’t much that you can do to spruce up a beach locale. Also, the fresh flowers may wilt even before the Justice of Peace arrives.
DEAL WITH IT:
One of the first things you should do after deciding to hold a beach wedding is to have a Plan B in place. This can mean setting up a party marquee or booking a restaurant nearby. Hotels like Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort have designated solemnisation venues on the beach, as well as indoor space for your guests to dine in comfort – and take shelter from if it rains. Do time it right too – saying yes in the morning or at sunset will spare your guests the brutal Singaporean heat. When it comes to décor, ensure
weddings101 that you use hardier blooms. Sunflowers, lilies, roses and wildflowers work great, while gentler flowers like hydrangeas and tulips may not last.
Pulling off a big, fun-filled garden party at an outdoor venue, set in the lush backdrop of trees and foliage. Youâ€™ve imagined creating a colourful celebration, with poufy tissue balls hanging from tree branches, pretty balloons flying in the air, and cheery gerberas in glass jars. The picturesque quality of your wedding will shine through, leaving your guests with wonderful memories of your Big Day. The children, meanwhile, will squeal in delight as they can run around and play instead of being told to sit still through the dinner banquet.
Like the beach wedding, the outdoor garden party is susceptible to Mother Nature’s whims and fancies. In Singapore, this means either the hot sun or rain. Also, many outdoor venues in Singapore are quite inaccessible – and may prove to be a challenge for those guests who don’t drive. And while the flora and fauna may look wonderful in pictures, remember that such foliage comes with buzzing mosquitoes and creepy crawlies too. Chances are, your guests will immediately notice their existence – even if they don’t mind being out in the open.
DEAL WITH IT:
In Singapore, there are quite a few outdoor garden venues, like OMSQ (Old Married Soldier’s Quarters) at Fort Canning, Butterfly Park and Insect Garden and The Jewel Box at Mount Faber. The lack of shelter (and air-conditioning!) may be a little hard to bear for some guests, so consider setting up a marquee and ensure that there are sufficient cooling fans. To cope with the inaccessibility, schedule shuttle buses to run between MRT stations nearby and your wedding venue. And how about handing out a “Survival Party Pack” to all guests? Make sure that it includes insect repellent, bamboo fan, wet tissue and a bottle of mineral water.
In the months leading up to your wedding, you will be saddled with a million and one things to do. And these are all must-dos like working with a bridal boutique to alter that dream gown to fit. Or liaising endlessly with the wedding coordinator on smaller details like the brand of red wine to serve and replacing real candles with flickering, batteryoperated ones. In between wedding planning and work, you may not actually have the time or energy to work on too many DIY projects.
DEAL WITH IT:
Here’s how you can rock that DIY factor in your crafty wedding. First of all, curb your enthusiasm. Realise that you do not have to go overboard. Instead, count the months left to your big day, and decide on the number of DIY wedding projects to attempt (stop yourself from adding more as the days go by!). Next, rally those girlfriends of yours who have nimble fingers. Ask if they’d like to help you prepare for your wedding – and organise craft nights to do so. But do remember to reward them by buying dinner and drinks!
Decorating your wedding with handmade touches, from a personalised “Just Married” bunting to photo booth props to homemade jam favours. The more time you spend on Etsy.com and adding pretty photos to your Pinterest album, the more DIY projects you add to your to-do list. You push yourself on, because you desire a wedding that truly reflects your personality as a couple. You can’t stop fantasising about guests stepping in and gushing over your marvellous handicraft.
Hosting a destination wedding with only your closest family and friends. As a couple, you’ve holidayed in Bali countless times – and have always talked about jetting off and getting hitched on the Indonesian island of your dreams. You know just the resort to hold the celebrations in, who to invite, the colour theme of the wedding and even where to hold the after-party. You have dreams of everyone having a fantastic time holidaying and celebrating your union at the same time.
Planning a destination wedding is a lot more work than you can dream of. You will need to fulfill specific marriage requirements of your wedding destination (some legal documents may even need to be filed months ahead). Besides this legal aspect, there are nitty-gritties to deal with. Like working with overseas wedding vendors via email and Skype, or trimming the guest list drastically because you can only afford a smaller party. And once your guests have RSVPed that they are available to attend, you will have to sort out their travel documentations, book flights and rooms, and ensure that their travel is seamless.
DEAL WITH IT:
For a destination wedding, there are so many details to sort out that it will be wise to delegate some a good friend to take care of things. It will be impossible for you, as the bride-to-be, to take charge of the entire planning process. Start doing so early, so you have ample time to sort out the more mundane aspect of the wedding, like the legal paperwork. Once that’s done, pick a few tasks that you want to do – and delegate the rest. Many destination brides have told us that they often leave the travel arrangements to their grooms, while they focus on working with wedding vendors. As with all things wedding-related, it’s only too easy to indulge your wedding fantasies when planning your Big Day. So do take heart, and remember to inject a strong dose of reality into your planning process. That said, as long as you’re flexible and willing to make certain adjustments, it is possible to achieve your dream wedding! ■ SB
14A & 14B Keong Saik Road Singapore 089121 Telephone: +65 6323 2182 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.theweddingpresent.sg www.facebook.com/TheWeddingPresent
No More Pre-wedding Fights! Planning your wedding can bring out the worst in you and your groom-to-be. But donâ€™t let angry face-offs and shouting matches tear you apart from each other. SingaporeBrides shows you how to remain (more or less) conflict-free in the months leading up to your Big Day.
by Jaclyn Lim
aying an elated “I do” with a diamond ring sitting on your finger is the easier part of getting engaged. Now here’s the downside: snapping at each other during a bridal show, bickering over the march-in song, and having a public meltdown because neither of you could decide on a wedding date.
Yes, what you’ve heard in hush-hush whispers is true: The engagement period (aka the wedding planning stage) is fraught with hot-button topics that can trigger the major blowouts between you and Mr. Right. After all, even the most easygoing couple can be overwhelmed by the seemingly endless list of wedding tasks, from contacting hotels for banquet packages to visiting numerous bridal studios in town to putting together the bridal party. And each task will only be more challenging than the next. So it’s little wonder why most engaged couples fall victim to pre-wedding fights. Take human resources executive Adriana Ong*, who started her wedding planning with rose-tinted glasses. “I had some wonderful ideas that I wanted to implement, like serving Western cuisine and decorating the venue with cloth bunting. And I thought I’d be able to have things my way, since it was my wedding after all,” says the 30-year-old. “But obstacles started cropping up, like both sides of the parents insisting on a Chinese banquet.” Soon, Adriana found herself snapping at her groom-to-be, whom she felt was not supportive of her plans for the wedding. “We started quarrelling more.Once, I mentioned that my parents expected the traditional guo da li, an chuang and ‘fetch the bride’ on the actual day. I felt that those were not unreasonable requests, but he just kept quiet. I could tell he didn’t like the fuss, and was unhappy about it. We ended up shouting at each other on Orchard Road.” Things got worse as the pre-wedding stress mounted. The night before their wedding, Adriana and her fiancé got into a big fight. “I had to finish making the place cards by hand, as well as prepare small jars of flowers to put on every table,” says Adriana. “I got really annoyed because he didn’t lift a finger to help. Instead, he kept nagging at me to have an early night. He wasn’t wrong, but it irritated me so much.” The couple shouted at each other again, leaving Adriana so frustrated she cried herself to sleep. The good news is that their wedding went without a hitch, and the couple is happily married now. In fact, both realised that they had let the pre-wedding stress get to them – and shuddered at how it almost ruined their relationship.
weddings101 She explains: “Looking back, I realised that all these disagreements were over minor details, like whether or not to do the gatecrash, or over how many people to invite. But these were definitely blown out of proportion because of the pressure we felt.” Your wedding planning does not have to end up like Adriana’s – as long as you and your groom-to-be are well aware of the inevitable gradual build-up of pressure, and how the both of you might react to it (for instance, screaming your head off!). Here are five ways to stop bickering and stay loving through it all.
Let your groom-to-be know that you need his support
Problem: Unfortunately for us, men do not immediately realise that the proposal is only the beginning of the hard work involved in wedding planning. So it is likely that you will be more excited and start organising the wedding first. As the to-do list adds up, chances are that you will be the one getting stressed first while he can’t seem to take his eyes off that soccer game. And when you reach boiling point, everything he says will be wrong. Solution: Ask for your groom-to-be’s support for the wedding planning instead of taking on every responsibility yourself. Men are not psychics. So ask away – and delegate tasks to your man – before you end up fighting at the slightest provocation.
Work out your wedding budget early Problem: Everything you’ve ever dreamed of having at your wedding costs money. Even the honeymoon to Bali will cost a fair bit. Financial
stress is the number one source of discord between couples – engaged or otherwise. Without a budget to keep you two in check, quarrels will definitely erupt after a big-ticket impulse buy or two. Solution: Make a plan to sit down and discuss how much the both of you would like to spend on the wedding. If you’re splitting the total bill, decide how much each of you can afford to fork out. Then, list out the must-haves (like the bridal package) and the frills (like a photo booth) before deciding how much you’d like to spend on each item. Trim the frills or lower your expectations to fit your budget. The thing is, when the both of you agree on a figure for each item, such as $3,500 for a bridal package, it is easier to manage expectations and shortlist a few bridal studios of your choice.
Kill your inner Bridezilla
Problem: If you follow a dozen wedding blogs,
track wedding forums relentlessly and obsess over sorting out your albums on Pinterest, you might be a Bridezilla. Well, know that fretting over the details just ain’t worth it. As you do so, it is likely that you may be sacrificing your relationship just to achieve a “perfect” wedding day. It is actually unlikely that your groom-to-be will be able to stand living with a woman under the spell of wedding mania. In fact, he may just lose his cool when you next insist on having that five-tier lychee martini cake. And this means that you will lose your cool too. Solution: Chill out, and constantly remind yourself not to succumb to your inner Bridezilla. One way to do this is to stop checking wedding blogs, forums or photo albums without respite. Also, tell yourself that maintaining a harmonious relationship with the love of your life is definitely more important than whether or not you have a cupcake stand. If all else fails, schedule me-time like spa sessions or shopping marathons to release all that stress and negativity.
Have date nights where the “W” word is taboo
Problem: When you have a long list of wedding-related tasks to complete, you may find that you are drifting apart from each other over time. You may also realise that you’re communicating less, and no longer share about your day. All that you’re chattering non-stop about is whether to hire that make-up artist, or whether to buy over that banquet package you saw on the forum. As your groom-to-be grows tired of wedding talk, he may tune out – and this will lead to you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Solution: Consider having regular date nights where the “W” word is taboo. On these nights, do not discuss the wedding at all – even if your hotel coordinator may be pressing you for a decision. Instead, relax and enjoy each other’s company – just like how the both of you used to date. If you share a common hobby like cycling, devote time to it. All that matters is that the both of you make time to reconnect as a couple.
Compromise whenever possible
Problem: He wants a laid-back beach solemnisation; you want a fantasythemed Chinese-style banquet in a hotel ballroom. You want chocolate bars with customised wrappers as wedding favours; he thinks that wine bottle openers make much better gifts. You prefer a colourful wedding theme; he insists that an all-white look will be far more elegant. In a nutshell, the both of you cannot make a single decision without wanting to strangle each other! Solution: This is the time to learn how to work as a couple by prioritising, negotiating, and eventually compromising. A good way to do this is to decide which aspects of the wedding matter more to each of you. For instance, you may care more about the bridal gown while he feels that hiring the right photographer is crucial. In this case, compromise by giving each other full authority to decide on matters relating to each sphere – and remember to do so with a smile! ■ SB *Not her real name.
HAIR & MAKE UP: JYUE HUEY, THE MAKE UP ROOM PHOTOGRAPHY: CHING LEE VENUE: 1- ALTITUDE
Photography by Feldberyl Images • Hair and Makeup by Kelly Lau • Backdrop by 86 Creation
www.silhouette.com.sg | email@example.com #05-38 Orchard Central Singapore 238896 | Tel: 6733 7197/ 6884 7697 Strictly by appointment only.
Moving In Together: What To Expect
Now that you’ve exchanged vows, it’s time to move into your brand new builtto-order Housing Board flat. But the question you should ask yourself is “Are you ready for it?” SingaporeBrides shows you what to expect when you start seeing each other 24-7. 34/
by Jaclyn Lim
s it turns out, moving in with your significant other may be the tougher part of being married. From household chores to television channels to dirty laundry, there are a million things you can argue about. The fact that most Singaporean couples don’t live together until they’ve walked down the aisle doesn’t help matters either.
detests. For instance, if he really can’t stand washing the dishes but is all right with doing the laundry, then assign the chores as such (read: toss him the dirty clothes while you stand guard at the sink!). If the both of you like the same chores, simply take turns to do it every other week.
Let’s face it: Adjusting to another person’s living habits can be a real challenge – even if that person is your husband. We list some potential conflicts that may arise, and show you how to keep the peace.
At the same time, be flexible. Just because he should do the laundry every three days doesn’t mean you can’t help him out once in a while. If you know he’s really tired out from a stressful work week, offer to take over. Of course, if he helps you out with the dishes, don’t forget to thank him for it.
“Honey, why is that you still haven’t washed my work jacket?”
“Honey, I told you to keep the toilet seat down!”
The situation: Since no one can claim to love doing household chores, the problem of who-should-dowhat has been plaguing couples for decades. Yet, many couples don’t even discuss domestic duties before moving in together. So if you constantly have to nag at him to do the laundry while you sweep, dust and vacuum non-stop, it may ultimately breed resentment in the relationship.
According to a recent Swedish study, conflicts arise when the domestic duties are unevenly distributed. Scientists from Sweden’s Umea University studied questionnaires about education, home life, health and work by 723 residents of a Swedish industrial town from 1981 to 2007. They found that women suffer emotional strain when they perform more household chores. Beyond that, they actually feel a greater sense of gender inequality in the relationship, with the distress even affecting sex lives. Solve it: Divide the chores with your partner when you move in together. Ask him which chores he prefers to take on, and which chores he absolutely
The situation: Moving in with someone you’ve have never lived with before is a drastic change – even if you’ve been dating for the past few years. Before long, it might shock you to find out that your softspoken husband likes to blast loud rock music on weekends. Or perhaps, he’s the tidy one while you live in a whirlwind of perpetual mess. Over time, even seemingly trivial issues like fighting over the remote control can actually ruin an otherwise good relationship. Trouble is brewing if you have been finding yourself feeling upset whenever he does something out of habit, like putting his legs up, hogging the remote and staring at the television for hours. Solve it: Establish some ground rules that will make living together less of a pain and more of an aphrodisiac. Think about what matters to the both of you. If you get annoyed whenever he leaves the toilet seat up, ask that he keep the toilet seat down whenever he uses the toilet. But do something for him too. If he sneezes whenever he is near your army
weddings101 of stuffed toys, be considerate and don’t leave them on your marital bed. And if either of you forgets the rules occasionally, apologise. This means you shouldn’t take it for granted that he will toss your hair towel into the hamper every time you leave it in your bedroom. If the both of you can be consistently considerate in these aspects, you will find that your relationship will be more harmonious.
“Honey, you paid for the new Sony Playstation with money from our joint account?!”
The situation: Ah, the realities of living together. From daily expenses to household bills to loan installments, there are plenty of things that you will have to pay for as a couple. But the problem is that many couples don’t talk about money until they’ve moved in together. In fact, some don’t even know what their significant others are earning! When a couple does not have an open and honest communication about money, disagreements can arise easily. He might infuriate you by withdrawing a large sum of money for a Sony Playstation without first checking with you. Or you might anger him when you keep withdrawing sums of money to pay for household necessities without tracking how much you’ve really spent. Solve it: There are things you should agree on before you open a joint account together. For a start, decide on the contribution amounts from both parties. If one is earning much more than the other, consider using a percentage contribution to keep things fair. For instance, you can both contribute 30 per cent of your salaries to shared expenses. Next, decide on the purpose of the joint account.
Is it to facilitate the GIRO payments for the housing loan and household bills? Or, is it for the both of you to save towards major purchases like a refrigerator and a brand new flat-screen TV? No matter what, agree beforehand so the both of you are aware of your financial responsibilities – and stay on the same financial track.
“Honey, shall we watch that new Korean drama serial together?” The situation: Now that you’ve finally moved in together, it’s inevitable that you will want to spend every minute of your time at home with each other. This is especially true of couples who are still in the honeymoon phase. But do you really need to be in the same room from after work till bedtime every day? In fact, if you continue to be clingy and needy, you might end up losing that sense of self and identity over time. And that can only mean trouble for the relationship. And you might eventually reach a point where too much is just too much – and whatever he does is just going to irk you.
Solve it: It might come as a surprise that there are times when your husband might prefer to spend time alone (yes, without you). He might want to practice chords on his guitar, read that graphic novel he just bought or just – well – sleep. So, respect his need for personal space. It might even help to delegate personal spaces for the both of you at the very beginning. For instance, let him enjoy his “alone time” whenever you see him in his favourite armchair trying to catch up on his reading. And understand that a couple doesn’t have to do every single thing together. So don’t badger him to watch a romantic Korean drama with you every night (unless he’s also a K-pop fan!). After all, you wouldn’t want him to keep pestering you to watch the EPL with him, right? Instead, carve out some personal space for yourself too. Claim an area for yourself (like the living room couch) and do something that will keep you sane. ■ SB
7 Tips On How To Choose A Bridal Boutique
by Audrie Soh
Set tongues wagging in the right direction as you strut down the aisle in that eye catching dream gown of yours. You donâ€™t want to be caught dead in an ill-fitting gown or one that is so last season, especially when all eyes will be on you. While securing that perfect gown is easier said than done, finding the one boutique that carries that gown is even harder.
o be frank, there isn’t a lack of bridal boutiques for brides-to-be to choose from. But when there is variety, one can find oneself confused and overwhelmed with the different options available. Now, SingaporeBrides knows just how busy bridesto-be are during their wedding planning, with a million things on hand to handle besides hunting down the perfect gown. So we’ve singled out seven guidelines to help you shop for a bridal boutique.
the Budget Counts
Here’s one thing you should know: everything hinges on your budget. Whether you decide on a one-stop service or a designer bridal boutique depends on how much you’re willing to spend. So even before you park yourself in front of the computer religiously surfing our directory, sit down with your man and calmly discuss what both of you want for your wedding and how much you are willing to spend on it. During your discussion, you should ask yourselves these questions:
• Do you want to rent or buy the wedding gown/suit? • Do you want a brand new gown made-to-measure to your size, or an off-the-rack gown? • Are you going to rent accessories from the boutique? Will there be an additional cost if you do? • Do you want both pre-wedding and actual day wedding photography, or just one of the two? • Do you want more photos than the package states? When you have a clearer idea of what you expect from the bridal boutique and a budget to guide you, you will be able to narrow down the scope of your search and allow you to focus on the bridal boutiques that are within your budget. Also, try to take into consideration additional expenses that might incur. You might not need them, but it is always better to have more than to find yourself short of budget.
Research Your Way to the Altar
When it comes to wedding planning, there are only three words that matter: research, research and research! Okay, that’s only one word. But you get the point. With a budget in mind, the time spent on researching will be halved. Trawl our site for bridal boutiques within your budget or visit our Promotions page for special deals and upcoming wedding roadshows. At the same time, you should also read up on the different types of silhouettes and styles of wedding gowns to see which you like better. That way, when you decide on a boutique, you know what type of gowns you are looking for, and that will save you some time as well.
Which is Better
If you’ve been conscientious in your research, you should know that there are two types of bridal boutiques on our local shores: the one-stop service bridal boutiques and designer bridal boutiques. One-stop service bridal boutiques are popular because brides can find almost every service a wedding requires there. From bridal and evening gowns to make-up artists to photography, these boutiques make it convenient for brides who don’t want to deal with too many vendors for the wedding. Designer bridal boutiques, on the other hand, focus more on creating one-of-a-kind wedding gowns and may offer limited wedding related services like hair and make-up or photography. Neither is better than the other. It all boils down to what you are looking for and your available budget. One-stop service bridal boutiques are perfect if you want to avoid the hassle of looking for different vendors. But if you want a wedding gown that is
created for you alone, then the exclusive designer bridal boutiques are more suited for you.
The Service Counts
Once you have singled out the boutiques under your consideration, pay them a visit personally to check out their gowns, packages and service. You shouldn’t hesitate to clarify any doubts on the pricing or possible hidden costs during your visit. However, don’t base your decision solely on the price of the bridal package. Take into consideration also the service you were given and the experience you had during your visit. It doesn’t matter whether a sales assistant or the boutique’s designer attends to you; it is more important for you to feel comfortable with the service
they provide and to trust them enough to leave them in charge of your wedding gown. Ideally, they should be helpful and easy to communicate with, trustworthy and friendly, and possess a keen eye for choosing gowns. Whoever serves you will be your point of contact should anything go awry or if you have any requests for changes, and therefore, is it important that they possess the above-mentioned qualities.
Check the Gowns Out
During your visit to the boutiques, ask to try on some of their gowns. This is no time to be shy! It is important that you try their gowns on to get a feel of the material, cut and fit of the gowns before you make a decision. If the boutique is known for a
particular silhouette or design, ask to see samples of it. Enquire, also, if they have different ranges of wedding and evening gowns. Some bridal boutiques might not include gowns from a premium range into their packages. The bottom line is, you should like what you’ve seen.
Ask To View Work Samples
If the bridal package offered to you includes photography, hair and makeup services, remember to request for samples of work from these respective vendors. Don’t base your decision solely rely on the sales assistant’s or designer’s words or assurance. Always make it a point to see the portfolios with your own eyes. If they have more than one photographer or hair and makeup artist, ask to view all of their works. You should also enquire if choosing their best photographer will involve paying a premium on top of your package price. If the boutique offers a separate package for photography, check if they offer a discount if you take both the bridal and photography packages from them.
Seek Different Opinions
Even if the bridal boutique meets all the above criteria, don’t make a decision yet! Visit our forumor speak to married friends or relatives for recommendations of bridal boutiques and learn which ones to avoid. There! You are now ready to pick a bridal boutique that best suits to your budget and needs, be it a one-stop service bridal boutique or a designer one. Learn the six cardinal rules in shopping for a wedding gown before you visit the bridal boutique of your choice to maximise your time there. ■ SB
Wedding Gown Shopping! by Audrie Soh
Now that you have the ring safely on your finger, it’s time for you to hunt down that one gown you’ve always imagined getting married in. For many brides, finding the perfect wedding gown is often the most important, fussed-over detail of a wedding. And only rightly so – with all eyes on you and your gown, this is one fashion faux pas you are determined to avoid at all costs. The pressure will be on to find one that is stunning to both you and your guests, and when pressure mounts, drama unfolds.
ut shopping for your wedding gown should be nothing short of a happy affair, even if that means trying to find the one perfect gown amongst the sea of wedding gowns available. However, actually finding the one gown could be more difficult than searching for a needle in a haystack. To avoid the drama and unhappiness that unfolds following that experience, there are certain things you must doÂ prior to your visit to a bridal boutique. SingaporeBrides has come up with six cardinal rules we think brides-to-be everywhere should follow before they embark to find that gown of their dreams.
Two’s Company and Three’s a Crowd
If you think bringing your whole family and best friend along with you when gown shopping for moral support and additional opinions is a good idea, you’d soon realise that it’s actually a terrible idea. Ideally, brides should limit the number of people they bring along to no more than three; four might just be pushing it a little. These individuals should be people who know you well enough to be able to offer suggestions and honest opinions about how the gown looks on you. The purpose of your wedding gown shopping entourage is to provide you with support and honest opinions; they should not be imposing their preferences onto you or confusing you with their opinions. But what if your entire extended family or all your friends insist on tagging along? Politely refuse their requests by telling them that you’d like your gown to be a surprise for all of them at the wedding. Don’t agree because you feel obliged to invite them all along.
Take Your Time But Not Too Much
The best time for brides to hunt for a wedding gown is at least six to eight months before their big day, or even more if they want to play it safe or are having a destination wedding. Any earlier than that is not advisable because you’d not have a clear idea of where the wedding will be and what theme you’ll be having. Brides also shouldn’t be pressured by timed sales or discounts into making a decision before they’re ready for one. Coming across a gown you think you could walk down the aisle in because of a discount isn’t reason enough for you to get it. Firstly, just liking a gown is not reason enough to purchase the gown. You’ve got to love it and cannot imagine yourself getting married in anything else. Secondly, timed sales and discounts come and go. Commit to a gown on discount only if you’re ready to make that decision and not a second before.
fashion While we don’t suggest brides to start their gown shopping too early, we don’t mean for you to shop at the last minute either. Not every bride will fit into a sample gown and if you need alterations for the gown to fit you like a glove, you’ll have to factor in the time needed for the alterations to be done. But if you’re genuinely on a tight schedule, do set aside some extra cash in your budget because most boutiques will require you to pay more if you need your gown to be rushed out in time.
Know Your Budget
Know What You Want But Keep Your Options Open
Falling in love with a gown outside your budget will be easy, but I can assure you, not being able to walk away with them will be quite painful. Also, do take into consideration additional costs such as alterations and leave some of the budget aside to cover those costs.
Ever since you were five, you’ve dreamed of walking down that aisle in a sweetheart neck lineprincess ball gown with plenty of tulle and crystals so many times that by now, you’ve convinced that that’s the silhouette for you. However, what you love and imagine yourself looking good in might not be the best choice for you and your body type. It’s always good for brides to have an idea of what they want to wear on their big day, whether they want gowns with sleeves, a long train, or reveal more skin than usual. Having these details worked out before your visit to the boutique and using buzzwords like “romantic”, “fun” or “classic” to describe the type of look you’re going for will save you and your consultant some hassle in finding the right gown. However, you shouldn’t shun other styles your consultant suggests for you either. Keep your options open to maximise your chances of finding the one gown that actually looks good rather than one that you think looks good on you. Give every gown outside your preference a try; after all, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain, especially if you find yourself looking good in a silhouette you previously hated.
Before you even begin shopping for a gown, you should have the amount you’re willing to spend on a gown in your mind already. Having that figure is important because it narrows your search down to the gowns that fall under your budget and prevents you from exceeding your allocated budget for the whole wedding. You should also decide beforehand if your budget is non-negotiable or if you’re willing to stretch that figure by a little.
Book an appointment
Don’t head straight down to a bridal boutique in all your excitement without making an appointment beforehand. Most boutiques can only see you if you’ve made an appointment with them, and having one ensures that you’ll receive undivided attention from your consultant. If you want your trip to the bridal boutique to be a productive one, remember to secure an appointment before you head down.
That Moment Almost Every Bride Goes Through
Now, if you’re an avid fan of “Say Yes to the Dress”, you’d already be familiar with that moment where the bride has found the gown and everyone, including her, starts tearing up. While you don’t think finding the perfect gown is powerful enough to induce any crying, for many brides, that moment of finding the one is a culmination of all the anxiety, joy, relief and many other emotions all being released simultaneously, and that can be very overwhelming.
For other brides, the reality of getting married only hits them when they find themselves in a gown they want to get married in. So you’re counting on an emotional outburst from yourself and your entourage to point out thegown but nearly 10 gowns later, you’re still not experiencing that moment and you begin to wonder if there’s something wrong with you? Don’t worry; you’re perfectly normal. Not every bride goes through that tearjerker moment when they’re wearing their dream gown. Some brides just know when the right gown is on them, even if the waterworks don’t happen. Don’t rely on your tears to tell you that’s the one for you; you’ve got to feel it in your bones. Does that gown look fabulous on you? Can you see yourself walking down the aisle and getting
married in that gown? If it’s a “yes”, then that’s the one. If you have any doubts about the gown or need reassurance that it looks good on you, then that’s probably not the gown you want to buy. Whatever you do, just trust your instincts. At the end of the day, wedding gown shopping is not just about finding the perfect gown; it’s about the shopping experience. Keep yourself a happy bride by having these tips in mind before you go marching off to find the perfect wedding gown. And if things do turn sour during your shopping, don’t let the bad shopping experience put a damper on your good mood. Keep your spirits up and look forward to the bigger picture: getting married to the man of your dreams and spending the rest of your life with him. ■ SB
Silverlining Bridal Couture
Strictly By Appointment Specializes in Low back Gowns, Cheong Sams, Mother of the Bride and Tuxedos 233A Southbridge Road Singapore058782 Tel 63399439 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Website www.silverliningbridal.com http://www.facebook.com/SilverliningBridalCouture
Jess Haute Couture
806 , North Bridge Road , Singapore 198774 Tel : 65-63345218
email : email@example.com
Things can get a little overboard when it comes to brides and their weddings. Fu Jinming shows you how to manage your bride and her nuptial obsessions â€“ while preserving your own sanity.
by Fu Jinming
here she is, stepping out of the fitting room, looking resplendent in the white gown that will grace the biggest day of both your lives. She does a little twirl for you. You smile lovingly. She smiles back. Then she catches herself in the full-length mirror, and her face collapses.
You’ve seen that frown before. It’s subtle, but you know what follows it. And before you could say: “You’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen,” – which for your sake, she’d better be – she turns to the gown designer and asks her why the hemline isn’t at the height they’ve agreed on at the last fitting. Why are there sequins when none were asked for? The lace? All wrong too. “Didn’t you take notes the last time?” your bride-to-be asks, eyebrow raised and sarcasm stirred. “I can’t believe we’re still getting it wrong at this stage. We’re barely two months to the wed…” As you shuffle your feet and contemplate entering the fray, the atmosphere turns into artic frost. You try to diffuse the situation by complimenting the gown’s amazing fit. But like the police arriving in a Jackie Chan flick, it’s all too little, too late. Behold the Bridezilla. A woman you love with all your heart, and yet, the same one who’ll strike fear and agony in everyone who’s ever had the misfortune to dabble in her wedding plans. Because for a wedding made for the heavens, she will settle for nothing less. The banquet hall must have an ice sculpture of her life-sized Shih Tzu. The cake must be specially tiered and colour-coded. The bridesmaids’ dresses must have the same shade of lemony mint (you don’t even know what colour that is). And her gown must be the exact same one she’s been dreaming about since she was eight, down to the very last thread. Oh, and you’d have to go on a diet with her. Make no mistake my gentle grooms, it’s a side of your beloved you’ve never seen before. That sweet, accommodating angel you’ve been dating transgresses into a wicked white witch the moment you pop the question, and she sets the date along with your fate. And for good reason.
THEGROOMROOM Women are meticulous by nature. Most work best at a frenetic pace, and are natural-born organisers. They see far into the stars, knowing how they’d want something done even before they know what that something was. They are also emotionally driven. If life’s a rollercoaster ride, then its ups and downs are amplified two-folds in a woman’s mind. Your every mis-step, three-folds. It also doesn’t help that wedding planning is a time-consuming, mind-boggling, hair-tearing affair. Her impatient nature dictates that she starts the ball rolling first. And her multi-tasking tendencies will guarantee that she obsess over all the tiniest details – ALL at once. So where does that leave us cave folk? We can either lose ourselves in her private highway to Hell, or we can take some control and keep her from losing herself – and our sanity. After all, nobody wants to help a mean-spirited, unreasonable bride. And by unfortunate association, her clueless groom. But by heavens, you’d need all the help you can get. So here are six things you can start with to rein your Bridezilla in.
Be There with Her, For Her
Show her that she’s not alone. Be there when she needs you to be. Whether it’s for a gown fitting, a meeting with the hotel wedding coordinator, a session to choose the flowers and tablecloths to match, or one to sample the wedding cake you’ll probably never have time during the banquet to eat, plan your schedule around hers. You need to show her that you care about this wedding as much as she does. And nothing says “this is the most important part of our lives” than being physically with her as she makes the toughest decisions of her big day.
Make Yourself Useful
Let’s face it: Women make better party planners. They can organise your wedding down to the last napkin. But that doesn’t mean you can’t help to carry some of the load.
Offer to take over some tasks, no matter how menial. It may be confirming the shoot dates with the wedding photographer, emailing the hotel coordinator to set the time and date of your next meeting, or simply writing the invites. Sheâ€™ll appreciate the help and the effort. And hey, itâ€™s your wedding too.
Take Her Mind Someplace Else
Wedding planning is stressful. And stress can turn even the cutest little lamb into a teething monster. To stay her inner ogre, take her mind off the wedding with little surprises. Take her out after a fitting for an unplanned treat at a romantic restaurant. Or flowers to finish off a pre-wedding photography session. Or better yet, whisk her off unannounced on a short holiday right after the food tasting at your banquet venue. Use your imagination.
Lighten the Moment
Who says wedding planning has to be a serious and dour affair? Turn your chores into something fun and enjoyable. One that’ll take the dreariness out of the errand, and make her laugh. Do a little dance for her in your suit when it’s your turn to do the fitting. Ask to try out the smoke machine at your wedding rehearsal to ‘Smoke on the Water’. Or start singing in the middle of your photo shoot. Silliness cures everything. Just ask Dr. Seuss.
Take a Deep Breath
One angry cook is enough to spoil the broth. Don’t add to the fire by letting your temper fly, either at the situation or your bride-to-be. Whenever you feel your fiancée’s being unreasonable, calm down. Let her finish her piece of the argument, either with you or with a staff member, then step in to politely ask for both of you to be excused for a few minutes. Then softly ask your bride what the problem is, and how you can help. If you feel she is still emotionally aggressive, offer to speak to the staff member involved on her behalf. Your job here is to diffuse the situation as peaceably as possible, not to make matters worse by raising the heat.
Appease her Bridesmaids
More often than not, it’s her bridesmaids who get the brunt of the Bridezilla abuse. To assuage them, ask them all out for a nice meal. Chances are, they’d want to lament about how your bride has been demanding, and downright unreasonable at times. Don’t get defensive. First, lend them your ears. Then explain why your bride is behaving the way she is. Apologise to them for the trauma she may have caused. And promise them that you’ll try your darnedest to calm your lady, so she doesn’t turn into a big gown-stomping, bridesmaid-chomping monster. Getting on their good sides will ease their unhappiness a little, and motivate them to go on helping your bride. It assures them that at least one half of the couple still has his head on. And who knows, they might even be kinder to you come the customary ‘gatecrashing’ on your big day. ■ SB
Working Couples Work by Fu Jinming
How do we make a dual-career marriage work? Especially when the traditional roles of women as dutiful wives and men as breadwinners have turned on their heads. Fu Jinming explains how a man can â€“ and should â€“ adopt a more supportive role. 150/
hey used to say that behind every successful man is a great woman. These days, the opposite may well be as true. With more and more women entering the workforce at the turn of the 21st century, it is not uncommon to find couples in double-income, dual-career marriages. There are advantages to this. Money, obviously, is a big plus. With an extra source of income, household finances can become a little more comfortable. Pressure on the otherwise-sole breadwinner is eased too. And more money means more possibilities for the family. Suddenly, that year-end vacation to Paris doesn’t seem so unaffordable anymore. But the pluses go beyond the monetary. When your spouse goes out to work, she brings home more than just the bacon. She returns with fresh perspectives, new ways of seeing and doing things, of solving problems, and even of having fun. All of which can enrich a marriage and broaden your children’s horizons. Yet, with every silver lining comes a dark cloud. The double-career marriage throws the traditional husband-and-wife model into question. The old distribution of labour is out of whack. We are no longer the “Man of the house”. We don’t get to make all the important decisions at home all the time. And when we do, our decisions are often probed, dissected, challenged, and sometimes, dismissed. Egos are bruised. Arguments are raised. Unhappiness ensues. Left unchecked, it could leave a serious dent in your marriage. Not to mention a bitter aftertaste. So what’s a man to do?
For starters, stop trying so hard to be one. More specifically, stop trying to exert the old-fashioned ‘listen to thy man” rule on your spouse. Accept that a woman’s role in the house has changed. By that measure, so must a man’s. That means welcoming your wife’s contribution to the working world, supporting her career every step of the way, and understanding that she has as much right to pursue her dreams out of the home as you do. It also means working better as a team. Household responsibilities will have to be shared. Priorities have to be re-organised. Time has to be managed carefully. And respect has to be mutually shown. Do that, and your marriage will be the richer for it – in more ways than one. Here are five tips you can follow to make your dualcareer marriage a double success.
Make Long-Term Plans Together
Best done before or immediately after your marriage, sit down with your partner and talk about how you’d like the story of your marriage to turn out. Discuss your dreams and aspirations – both for yourselves and the family. Then talk about how you can both achieve them together. Make practical plans towards your goals. Would she be happy with a life spent with the kids at home while you go out and work? Or would you spend more time at home with the kids doing freelance work, while she works full-time? It might even be a case of taking turns. You could both work until you have kids, and your wife could decide to switch to being a full-time mum. Or if you’re interested in
academia, your wife could support the household financially, while you con-centrate on graduate school. Then when you do graduate, take overthe breadwinner’s role while she pursues her professional or personal interests.
Work Out a Schedule
Chances are, you and your wife will come home from a long day at the office tired, hungry and downright cranky. The last thing anybody wants is to ask for dinner, and finding out that neither of you have prepared it. Which could be a recipe for disaster, and a big, fat fight. All of which could have been avoided had both of you made concrete pre- and after-work plans. Decide who’s sending the kids to school and who’s picking them up. Take turns to prepare dinner or buy take-aways. Draw up a house chore list so you know who’s supposed to do what on which day. But while it’s good to have a timetable, remember that a little flexibility goes a long way. There will be some days when one or both of you are not able to fulfil your part of the schedule. Rather than playing the blame game, offer to cover that particular errand or chore for your partner. She will appreciate the effort and maturity. Besides, that’s what playing as a team is all about.
Take Time Off
In the midst of the hustle and bustle, it becomes all too easy to forget whom we’re working for. The real boss isn’t the one sitting in the corner office two cubicles down from yours. It’s the one who agreed to spend the rest of her life with you. So make sure the both of you make time for each other.
Plan a trip together. Block out a date for a special dinner. Make it part of your working schedule. And stick to it. Work is important. But it’s nothing compared to the person you’re going to retire with.
Don’t Try To Read Her Mind
If you see that she’s upset about something, don’t guess what it is. Ask her. Chances are, she’s annoyed at something you did or didn’t do. It could be that you forgot to pick up the groceries after work. Or that you’ve forgotten a date the two of you were supposed to be having. Or – heaven forbid – you’ve forgotten your wedding anniversary. Ask her nicely and calmly what it is she’s upset about, and how you can make it better. Don’t snap at her, or become defensive. Don’t blame work for your oversight – it’ll just make matters worse. Instead, apologise and promise it’ll never happen again. Then order a bouquet of flowers for her the very next day. Remember that you’re not likely to win this one. And that the word “sorry” is free.
Be a Pain Killer
Whenever your wife is distressed by something at work, fight the male impulse to fix the problem. Rather, open up your ears and offer yourself as a “pain killer”. When women talk about their problems or frustrations, they don’t necessarily want you to provide all the answers. What they simply need is someone who’ll listen. So focus less on being a problem solver, and more on being a husband. Be supportive. Be honest. And most importantly, be there for her. Always. ■ SB
How To Buy The Lingerie Of Her Dreams by Fu Jinming
Every guy thinks he has the perfect lingerie for his lady. Problem is, itâ€™s unlikely to be the one she imagined it to be. Fu Jinming unclasps the mystery of the female undergarment. 158/
hen it comes to buying lingerie for your lady, you’d do well to use that organ in your head, not your pants. Which may surprise you, considering how it’s all about getting her something kinky that turns you on, and by virtue of that, her too – right?
Wrong. In case you haven’t noticed, wearing a tiny thing around your little bits can get a little uncomfortable – especially if it fits you in all the wrong ways. And when she’s uncomfortable, that hot, sizzling night in can quickly fizzle into dark, molten awkwardness. Make no mistake cavern-folk, getting her the perfect little number requires more than just your dirty little fantasies, and that girlie mag you’ve hidden underneath your bed since you were 15. It requires research, analysis, strategy, guile, and a healthy dose of derring-do. That is, if you can first get through the embarrassment of it all. Which is where we come in. Here are some tips to give you an (ahem) ample start to your lingerie search.
Wearable First, Sexy Second
A common rookie mistake – panties and bras aren’t just meant to be sexy, they’re meant to be worn. Nothing says thoughtfulness like getting her a piece of underwear she can actually wear on a day-to-day basis. That means going for something made of reasonably stretchy fabric. For something that says “sex kitten”, go for something lacy, either in black or red. Just make sure that she will be able to pull her favourite skinny jeans over it. Clue: Not every woman likes having her G-strings ride up her, erm, you know.
Get into Her Panties
A silk robe or a nightdress is almost always a safe bet. They are less sizespecific – which means less chances of you getting a wrong fit – and can often turn up the bedroom heat without all the fuss that comes with other forms of intimate wear. But if panties are what you’re after, go through her underwear collection and note her size.
If for some reason you still don’t know her size – and you have to make a call fast – go for a Medium.
about them? They can be worn on their own, or with other items like a bra, a garter or a corset.
Unless you know for sure that she’s a Large, buying a pair in that size isn’t exactly a complimentary gesture. Similarly, getting one too small seems a little lazy, or a tad too keen to please.
Know Her Style
Know Her Body Type
Everyone’s built differently. The right lingerie with the right fit will bring out your lady’s best assets, which can boost her confidence – and both your evenings. If your girl is tall and slim, get her a garter belt. It’ll make their legs look like they run up forever. And it’ll draw attention to her curves even if they’re a little straight-edged. Ask the retailer what comes with the set as you may need to buy stockings, panty and a bra to match. If she’s voluptuous and ample up top, ask for an underwired bra. Or better yet, try a corset. It supports the bust and brings out her cleavage in a very tasty manner. It also enhances the small curve of her waist and flattens her stomach. But be sure to buy a quality one. A shoddily made one won’t last through the first try-on, let alone second base. For bigger, rounder types, a sexy little negligee will do nicely. It easily hides a big tummy or wide behind. So she can hide the areas she’s not proud of, while showing off the ones she is. Go for dark colours like black for a slimming look. Avoid white or anything see-through. Athletic or slim body types can try sexy boy shorts (or booty shorts). They add curves to an athletic figure and accentuate a great butt. The best thing
You wouldn’t be caught dead with turned-up collars on your polo tee – because it’s just not you. Similarly, your library-loving Amy isn’t going to turn into a leather-clad Luciana overnight. So quit pressuring her to. Take note of her style preferences, and look for lingerie that fits her mould. It doesn’t mean that cotton is duller than lace, or that G-strings are sexier. It means getting her to be comfortable with who she is. So she may feel comfortable with you in the bedroom. Very comfortable.
Know Her Brands
Every girl has her favourite brands. And that goes for the stuff underneath her clothes too. Each label has its own unique cut and style, and if she leans more into one particular brand, it’s usually because she’s more comfortable in it. So make like a perv and dig into her underwear drawer to find out which brands she likes.
Know Thy Fabric
There’s a whole range of fabric types to choose from when it comes to lingerie. To stay in the safe zone, go for lace, satin or silk – fabrics that are considered feminine, yet comfortable to the skin. While sexy numbers have been made out of it, cotton is what women will buy for themselves anyway. So it may not feel special enough as an intimate gift. Unless of course “high school prom night” is the theme of the evening.
Though daring, PVC can be difficult to find in the right size. It’s not very flexible, and can produce bags and sags in all the wrong places. So unless she’s going to try it on first, avoid PVC if you can. Same goes with leather – a more expensive, better-quality and longer-lasting material. Beware of lycra. The fabric can be rather tight and shows bulges up a little too readily. Velvet, on the other hand, is very nice on the skin, making it a safe choice. Whichever you choose, always touch the fabric first before you buy. If you like how it feels, she probably will too.
Keep it Simple, Stupid
If you can’t work out which strap goes where, which clasp hooks what, chances are, she won’t either. Simple is sexiest. So don’t go for anything that has more hooking or clipping mechanisms than an Iron Man suit.
Keep a Thick Skin
Nothing is more daunting for a man than walking into the lingerie section. We can climb the highest peaks and brave the fiercest storms for our women. But entering rows upon rows of female undergarment and facing the lingerie sales lady can induce panic, a momentary loss of speech, and a reflex to turn around and bolt. Keep calm. And carry on. It’s a gift you’re getting for the woman you love. And the sales assistant has all the information you don’t. So grow a thick skin, my friend. Fast. If you’re still embarrassed about it, you can always buy your lingerie online. Just research thoroughly before you do so.
Timing is Everything
There is a time and place for everything. The same goes for presenting your gal with her sexy gift. Unwrapping your present of a peekaboo bra in a crowded restaurant doesn’t make you a sex machine. It makes you gross. More importantly, it makes her want to dig a hole and hide. Choose an appropriate moment to present your intimate gift. When you’re alone in a quiet candlelight dinner at home, for instance. Or when you’re both in the car after the movies. Or – surprise, surprise – in your bedroom. ■ SB
Wedding photography by firstname.lastname@example.org
love in animation
by Audrie Soh
First impressions aren’t always accurate – just ask Bernice Yap. When she first met her husband, Keng Woon, her impression of him was less than perfect. His proposal to her one Christmas, however, was – even if she was freezing while he proposed. Based in the United Kingdom then, Bernice and Keng Woon had to tackle the challenge of planning a long-distance wedding in Singapore. While it wasn’t an easy journey, this couple got through it together hand-in-hand. Be inspired by Bernice and Keng Woon’s story and learn what made their big day truly special.
The Couple Bernice Yap, 27, Engineer Wong Keng Woon, 39, Engineer Date of wedding 8 December 2012 The Story How did the two of you meet? Bernice: I first met Keng Woon during a meet-up with our university course mates at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf café at Boat Quay. We barely exchanged words as he was busying playing with his PDA and that didn’t leave me with a good impression of him, even though I did think he was good looking! What was the proposal like? Bernice: Keng Woon proposed to me during our Christmas holiday in Paris. I wanted to hide from the freezing cold in a café with a hot cup of drink but he brought me to the area in front of the Eiffel Tower and started taking photographs of me and the tower behind. When I saw his hands reaching into his pockets, I knew straightaway he was trying to propose! Walk us through the planning for your wedding. Bernice: Our wedding preparation began 2 years before the actual day. As we were both stationed in the United Kingdom back then,
our wedding preparation was a challenging process of long distance phone calls, e-mails and even bank transfers to confirm our banquet and wedding vendors. When Keng Woon was transferred to Hong Kong a year before our wedding, I had to complete most of the planning myself. It was hectic yet fun at the same time and I felt a sense of satisfaction at the end of the day. Keng Woon: We decided not to have a theme for our wedding and placed the focus on our guests’ enjoyment of the evening’s entertainment and food.
Tell us more about the wedding animation shown during your wedding. Keng Woon: We first came across a wedding animation during one of our friend’s wedding and thought it was a great idea as it allowed the family members and wedding guests to know more about the couple. We chose to work with BlackcurrantWorkz for the animation as we were impressed with their works. We had a difficult time deciding on the content of the animation because we didn’t want the usual “How we got together” story.
In the end, we decided to share with our family and friends some of the funny incidents that happened during our stay in the United Kingdom. How about the actual day? How did that turn out? Bernice: It wasnâ€™t as nerve wrecking as we thought itâ€™d be. Our group of friends was very hands-on and that allowed us to get through the entire day quite smoothly. Of course, no wedding is complete without a hiccup or two. Half an hour after our guests arrived and
photography were seated, I paid the reception a visit only to realise that the guest list on the table wasnâ€™t the latest version! One of my sisters quickly retrieved the latest copy of the guest list from the hotel room and informed each and every guest of the change immediately. To this day, I am still very grateful for her help that day.
Keng Woon: We also had the best team of banquet manager, photographer, videographer and coordinator, which made the entire wedding a very successful one. We even had the energy to go through our wedding ang pows that very same night! Weâ€™re sure your family and friends had only good things to say about your wedding.
Keng Woon: The wedding animation was the highlight of the evening. Everyone had a good laugh and insisted we upload the film on Facebook so that they could rewatch it again! Our guests also had a good time at the instant photo booth, which we also engaged BlackcurrantWorkz for. Everyone also raved about the food served by Peach Garden!
On a special day as such, we’re sure there’re plenty of special and memorable moments for you both. Tell us one such moment.
faces in the banquet room – that’s when we knew all the hard work we’d put in for the past year was well worth it!
Bernice: The yum-seng session was a very special moment for both of us.
The Details The Venue: Peach Garden @ Hotel Miramar The Photographer: BlackcurrantWorkz Wedding Planning: SingaporeBrides
All our family members and close friends joined us on stage and we could see a huge smile on all the
Photography | Cinematography | Animated Films
my carnival wedding by Audrie Soh
Have you always dreamed of having a bouncing castle or a snake charmer at your wedding but dismissed them as impossible? Don’t! Our couple, Stephanie and Roger, did just that! For a wedding that was different and enjoyable for both themselves and their fun-spirited guests, they decided on a carnival-themed celebration for their big day. Needless to say, everyone had a bouncing good time. So, if you’re planning a fun-filled wedding celebration that’s out of the ordinary, let Stephanie and Roger’s big day be an inspiration for yours. 182/
The Couple Stephanie, 34, Associate Director & Roger, 35, Event and Project Director Date of wedding 11 August 2012 The Story How did the two of you meet? Roger: A mutual friend, Kei, introduced us over drinks, but it was only six months later that we started dating because Stephanie did not reply my Facebook messages until much later. Stephanie: As the saying goes, better late than never, right? But when we finally went out on a date, we enjoyed ourselves so much that one date led to another and the rest, as they say, is history.
photography What was the proposal like? Roger: I remember it was -14 degrees Celsius when I went down on my knee in Harbin, China. Stephanie: I was completely taken aback! We were at the Harbin Ice and Snow World when a friend suggested we take a photo together. So whilst I was happily posing for the camera, Roger got down on his knee and proposed! Both of us were freezing and the only answer to that question was, without a doubt, a â€œYesâ€?!
We heard there was a carnival at your wedding! Tell us more about it. Stephanie: Yes, we did have one! We decided on a having a carnivalthemed celebration for the night portion of our wedding to cater to our friends’ fun-loving personalities. There was plenty of entertainment, food and drinks, and all our guests had fun at the carnival. For our family and business associates, we arranged for a formal sit-down lunch at Hotel Fort Canning. Since Roger is experienced in dealing with events, our wedding planning wasn’t too difficult even though we had two different settings. What did your family and friends have to say about your wedding? Stephanie: Everyone really enjoyed themselves and there was plenty of time to interact with one another during the day. Were there any particular moments that were especially special to you? Roger: For me, it was definitely the snakes we had during the carnival. Ever since I was a little boy, I’ve been fascinated by snakes. So having snakes at the carnival was a dream come true for me! Stephanie: I’d always cherish the song performance my best friend, Carol, performed during the day portion of the celebration and how fun it was to jump on a bouncing castle – jumping on one during my wedding night reminded me of how much fun being on one is!
The Details Venue: Hotel Fort Canning The Photographer: Wilson from AndroidsinBoots Wedding Planning: SingaporeBrides.com
Let Love Take Flight by Audrie Soh
This is a story of love at first sight. Our couple, Michelle and Silas, first caught each other’s attention at a company workshop and ever since then, they’ve been together. Their wedding was a reflection of their easy-going natures, Silas’ love for all things vintage and the place where they first met. They demonstrated that you don’t need to go over-the-top for a memorable time on your big day. Get inspiration from this couple’s special day to plan one of your own. 192/
The Couple Michelle Tia, 27, Training Executive & Silas Wee, 26, District Manager Date of wedding 10 November 2012
The Story How did the two of you meet? Silas: We met at a company workshop. I was looking out for colleagues whom I was familiar with when I spotted her in the crowd and was immediately attracted. I thought, how wonderful it would be if we could be friends. Lo and behold, on the third and final day of the workshop, we finally ended up in the same group.
What was the proposal like? Michelle: It was, for the most part, touching and overwhelming for me at the same time, and a little bit awkward as well, since he didnâ€™t quite know which finger to slip the ring on. I had to stick my ring finger out as a hint!
Michelle: Silas stood out amongst the crowd on the very first day of the workshop but I never got the chance to speak to him. When we were finally paired up on the final day, I was thrilled. We couldnâ€™t stop chatting during the whole time so much so that the trainer had to hush us!
Silas: I thought long and hard about my proposal and I wanted to do something different at a different place.
Silas: It was well worth it. I asked for her number, and a month later, we were out on our first date.
But that and his ability to show affection towards me in his own special way endeared him to me even more.
Since Michelle and I were planning to travel to Perth with my family for my graduation, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to propose at my graduation ceremony in celebration of this milestone in my life.
I thought it was perfect timing as well, since my parents were able to witness the proposal, which made it all the more special. Walk us through the planning for your wedding. Michelle: After the proposal, we had 14 months to plan for the wedding. And we had plenty of fun during the process! We
took our time researching on our vendors for the wedding to ensure that we found the ones that met our expectations and budget. Silas: Right from the start, we wanted a travel theme for the wedding since we were both working in the Aviation industry when we were dating.
Our florist actually suggested we go for a Vintage Travel theme to complement my love for all things vintage. From there, we paid visits to the Thieves Market to look for vintage items and brought home souveneirs from our trips overseas. Michelle: And to bring our wedding theme full circle, we engaged Blessed-i Photography for the engagement photo shoot at Pulau Ubin. Needless to say, the photos were beautifully-taken and we were extremely pleased with the look of the album. How about the actual day? How did that turn out? Michelle: Great! While not everything went according to plan, our group of amazing helpers righted every wrong to their utmost ability. They took control and coordination of the Holy Matrimony at the church and the banquet dinner, allowing both Silas and I to relax and enjoy our big day. We were both also able to get sufficient sleep the night before as well, all thanks to our helpersâ€™ efforts. Silas: I hardly envisaged our wedding to unfold the way it did. The element of surprise and the gamut of unexpected emotions
photography made the day inexplicably beautiful and an extremely memorable event for us. We were so carried away during the day that it was only until we were viewing our video edit and photos that we really got to admire the photo table, decorations and even had a good laugh over our friends’ facial expressions or the things they said. We’re sure your family and friends had only good things to say about your wedding. Silas: A friend of ours remarked that the wedding was very meaningful and an elderly couple commented that it was a brilliant idea for us to thank and honour our parents with a photo montage, flowers and words of thanksgiving. Michelle: I also received compliments on my wedding gown – a vintage tulle gown with corded lace and a ruched bodice – and on our engagement photo shoot in Pulau Ubin. Our guests found them really unique. On a special day as such, we’re sure there’re plenty of special and memorable moments for you both. Tell us one such moment.
Silas: It was when Michelle performed a rendition of the Eaglesâ€™ Love Will Keep Us Alive with my sister. I was under the impression that a good friend of mine and his partner would be performing the song item, but when Michelle appeared on stage I was truly and wholly surprised! She played the guitar and sang beautifully â€“ needless to say, I prefer her version to the original. Michelle: For me, the most memorable moment was when I realised that I had forgotten to bring my veil down before I
walked down the aisle! I tried to cover up the mistake by smiling wildly at the camera and the applauding guests while maintaining my composure at the same time. Thankfully, no one seemed to notice my mistake and Silas eventually helped me right the veil. The Details The Venue: Crowne Plaza Changi Airport The Photographer: Blessed-i Photography Wedding Planning: SingaporeBrides
by Audrie Soh
It is common for some couples to go for a destination pre-wedding or actual day shoot. But a destination post-wedding shoot? Now, that’s something different. Due to their busy work schedules, Nancy and Yang – a pair of lovebirds who bonded over a game of Volleyball – decided to opt for a postwedding shoot in Tokyo after their big day. Scroll down and be inspired by a destination post-wedding shoot where their love for one another was the focus of every photograph, against a city full of personality and artistic flair. 202/
The Couple Nancy, 27, Graphic Designer & Video Editor of Substance Films Yang, 31, Cinematographer & Director of Substance Films Date of wedding 16 May 2012 The Story How did the two of you meet? We met through mutual friends over a game of beach volleyball at Sentosa some eight years ago.
Post-wedding shoot? In Tokyo? Tell us more! Instead of a pre-wedding shoot, we chose to do a post-wedding shoot due to our tight work schedule. It was a great idea because not only did we enjoy the shoot and were not in the least stressed out, the trip also served as our honeymoon! We didn’t have a specific theme or concept, only that we wanted our photos to be done in a travelogue style with a touch of journalistic and artsy flair.
What was the proposal like? Yang proposed on my birthday two years ago. My birthday present – which was the proposal ring – was locked up in a safe at the Fairmount Hotel and I had to unlock the password to get to it. T’was an enjoyable night.
We heard there were casino games and plenty of partying on your wedding day – do tell us more! Our vision for our wedding day was to have a simple wedding that ends with plenty of partying. True to our vision, the celebration ended with plenty of booze and partying in Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore’s ballroom. Even though it was a Wednesday night, many of our guests stayed back for the party! The enjoyment of our guests were important to us as well, so we prepared a few tables of casino games during our cocktail reception and left “wedding notes” on the guests tables for them to answer some questions on us to keep them entertained throughout the celebration.
Since Tokyo was a city that left the deepest impression on us even after we’ve travelled to other cities for wedding shoots, we chose to have our post-wedding shoot done there. It’s got a personality of its own and we simply love the artsy and old streets in this ever-moving city.
We even prepared prizes for the top 3 winners of the casino games! Needless to say, all our guests were very happy and impressed with the experience. What did your family and friends say about the postwedding shoot? All our family and friends were thoroughly in love with our postwedding photographs! They
loved the style and how unique our photographs turned out to be. We still have friends telling us how much they adored the photographs months after the shoot! Personally, we ourselves are in awe with how our photographs turned out to be. It was wonderful, perfect and like weâ€™d envisioned it to be, and
even today, we still can’t stop admiring them. Looking back, were there any moments during your post-wedding shoot that were especially memorable or special to you? Our post-wedding shoot was plenty of fun on the whole, especially when the locals and tourists in Harajuku came up to us and requested to take a photograph with us! Although the weather was quite bad, it was a thoroughly memorable and fun photoshoot. We were impressed with and deeply touched by our photographer’s can-do attitude even though he fell sick during the shoot. Our makeup artists’ dedication and patience during those few days of shoot also left an impression on us. Because of them, we felt relaxed and enjoyed the entire shoot. The Details Her Gown: Silhouette The Atelier His Suit: Silhouette The Atelier Wedding Planning: SingaporeBrides Images from Tinydot Photography.
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DIY of The Month
Of Hearts And Bows 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. 240/
hat’s small, fluffy and bears the symbol of your wedding promise? A ring pillow! It’s the perfect item to do yourself if customising wedding favours seems like a tall order for your busy schedule. Give your guests something to remember your solemnisation ceremony by with your very own customised ring pillow. After which, you can even keep it in your new home as a reminder of the day you both said “I do”. With SingaporeBrides’ step-by-step tutorial, learn how to create your very own ring pillow from scratch. Here’s what you need: Felt Crochet Doily Scissors Ruler Pencil Sewing threads Sewing needle
Baby blue and pink bows Medium-sized pearl beads Pink ribbon (approximately 26 centimetres) Time taken for each: 2 hours Average cost for each: $12
Print the heart-shaped template out on plain paper and cut it out. You may get the template fromhere.
Place the cut-out template on top of some felt and using a pen, trace out the outline.
Then, cut it out. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 to get two heartshaped cut-outs.
Measure and cut out a rectangle of 12cm by 5cm on another piece of felt.
Once done, you should have a total of three pieces of cutout felt.
Stitch the rectangular piece of felt onto one of the heartshaped ones. This is to provide the ring bearer with a firmer grip of the pillow. Using a thread in the same shade as the felt, sew only the sides of the rectangular piece onto the heart-shaped one. Bear in mind to leave ample room for a palm to slip in.
Sew the blue and pink bows along the border of the remaining piece of heart-shaped felt. Position the blue and pink bows in alternate sequence, leaving a 1-2cm gap along the borders for the final stitches. To hide the threads from view, use similar coloured threads.
Place the pink crochet doily in the center and stitch it down along its borders using a pink coloured thread.
Proceed to stitch the white pearl beads randomly onto the felt using a white coloured thread. Remember to leave enough room in the center for the pink crochet doily to be stitched on.
easure and cut out a 16cm long pink ribbon and stitch it down in the centre onto the middle portion of the crochet doily. Ensure that the satin side of the ribbon is facing downwards.
Now, it’s time to sew the pieces together using blanket stitches. A blanket stitch consists of widely spaced interlocking loops. Sew the two pieces of heart-shaped felt together and make the stitches as equally spaced as you possibly can. Do take note that the two pieces of felt are facing the correct sides and try not to leave too big a gap in between your blanket stitches.
Even those who profess to being the worst in needlework have to admit that this DIY ring pillow is easy and quick to make. Plus, customising your own ring pillow also means you have both the power and freedom to create one that fits your theme and preference, and it adds special meaning to the pillow when you keep it as a momento of your wedding day. Up the love-factor by shaping your pillow in a heartshape like we did, or keep to the tradition of a square ring pillow. Whether you’re looking for one that’s cute and fun, elaborate and elegant or just something simple, you’re bound to find it by experimenting with different fabrics, materials and patterns.
When you get to the top, leave a gap of 5-6cm. Proceed to stuff the felt with pillow stuffings and once you’re satisfied with the plumpness, sew the gap shut with blanket stitches. Do not over- or under-stuff your pillow. To ensure that all corners of the cover are filled, use a pen to push the stuffing towards the corners.
Perfect for: Themed weddings Outdoor weddings Solemnisation Wedding keepsake
Shape Up for Your Wedding
Not a gym rat? With the help of yoga, you can shed the pounds and tone up without ever having to step into a gym.
by Audrie Soh
t is every bride’s wish to look her absolute best on her wedding day and that involves a stunning wedding gown, a radiant complexion and above all, a lean and toned physique. Now, not all of us are blessed with the lean genes and in order to achieve a svelte physique, we have to put on our trainers and get on that treadmill – even if running or going to the gym isn’t your cup of tea. But there is another way around to getting that lean and toned body for your big day without having to maneuver exercise machines. To learn how yoga can aid weight loss and body toning, SingaporeBrides speaks with a certified yoga and Pilates instructor and former National Track & Field Athelete, Sabu Maricar.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is a low-impact exercise that utilises a combination of Asanas (physical poses), Pranayama(breathing techniques) and Meditation to stretch out and strengthen the body. A common misconception of yoga is that is it a slow moving exercise. There are many different forms of yoga, each varying in intensity to accommodate the practitioner’s needs. The idea of meditation is also commonly mistaken as keeping one’s mind in a blank state, when in reality, it simply means keeping one’s mind quiet by preventing the mind from wandering through a complete focus on the task at hand. The yoga form most widely practiced all over the world is known as Hatha Yoga. Within Hatha Yoga, there are many variations such as Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Sun Salutation and Hot Yoga. Hot Yoga is undeniably the most popular and talked about form of yoga to aid with weight loss. It is a series of yoga poses and breathing exercises done in a heated room of 37 degrees. Attending a class of Hot Yoga encourages the purging of toxins from the body through perspiration and looses and stretches the muscles to prevent the occurrence of injuries. Brides will also welcome the knowledge that Hot Yoga also increases metabolism and fat burning, among other health benefits, in the long run – perfect for losing weight and toning up. Vinyasa is a variation of Ashtanga yoga and both forms are performed in a room temperature environment. They consist of a powerful series of flowing and jumping movements where the length of one inhale or exhale dictates the length of time spent transitioning between Asanas. It works the cardiaovascular system while building strength and endurance, and like Hot Yoga, it detoxes the body and aids in weight loss as well.
Benefits of Yoga
Practicing yoga yields a myriad of benefits, ranging from an increase in flexibility to weight loss in the long run. “Yoga is a good way to elongate muscles that become contracted during other forms of physical activity or due to long periods of inactivity,” Sabu explains. “It also increases the range of motion and lubrication in our joints, which results in a sense of ease and fluidity throughout the body.” Practicing yoga also helps improve muscle tone and strength because you learn how to carry your weight while executing the poses. No external weights are used during the workout, making it perfectly safe for individuals with sports or any form of injuries to rehabilitate and strengthen their bodies without further injuring themselves. Regular practice of yoga also results in an alert and calm mind. “Yoga is the only exercise, aside from Pilates, that allows blood to flow towards the head and brain through inversion poses such as the downward facing dog or standing forward bend,” Sabu reveals. “This rejuvenates the mind while building upper body strength and improving flexibility in the lower back and legs.” The breathing techniques you learn during yoga will also help in quietening your mind to relieve stress – a skill that will definitely come in handy during your stressful wedding planning.
Yoga and Losing Weight
Just because yoga is a low-impact workout that comprises mostly of stretching and breathing techniques doesn’t mean it doesn’t aid in weight loss. Higher intensity forms of yoga such as Vinyasa and Hot Yoga is great for weight loss as it keeps the body in constant motion to build up the cardiovascular system while simultaneously stretching and toning the muscles. “As compared to running or other high intensity exercises, yoga is a more complete workout because it works the cardiovascular system while stretching and toning the muscles – the 3 criteria every complete workout is made up of,” Sabu shares. For optimum results, try a combination of Hot, Vinyasa and Sun Salutation Yoga lessons if you’re a veteran yoga practitioner. For beginners, it is advisable to start with a basic Hatha Yoga class to learn the fundamentals before advancing into more challenging classes. Certain yoga poses such as the plank, boat and triangle poses are especially helpful in firming up the mid-section, waistline and arms. The plank pose and its
variations requires you to support your body weight using your arms and core muscles, thereby strengthening and firming up these areas. The boat pose is especially useful in toning the upper thighs and mid-section while the triangle pose and its variations stretches the side muscles and targets the waistline. Maximise your practice by keeping your core muscles engaged by tucking in your belly during every yoga pose for a trim and fit waistline. If you wish to tone and strengthen your core and arm muscles further, you should complement your yoga practice with Pilates. “Pilates is more about spot targeting and going back to the basics,” Sabu explains. “It teaches you which muscles needs contracting and lengthening for better control and allows you to zoom in on problem areas for additional tone-up.” Pilates also encourages better posture in the practitioner. Once you learn how to engage your core muscles and use your improved flexibility and strength to hold your body upright, you are more likely to sit and stand “tall”. This way, you’ll look taller and slimmer without having to grow an inch or lose a pound. So how often should you practice yoga and Pilates before you see any changes in your body? “Ideally, five times a week,” Sabu urges. “But if that’s not possible, do it 3-4 times a week on a regular basis for any results to surface. Diet should also play a part in any weight loss plan. Try not to deprive yourself of certain foods; the plan might backfire when you over-deprive yourself and end up overeating. Instead, keep to a clean and healthy diet to complement your exercise regime and reward yourself with an occasional treat every now and then.” It isn’t too difficult to see why yoga is growing increasingly popular, especially among the female population, as a weight loss exercise. Even though yoga is a low-impact exercise, it works the cardiovascular system as hard as and burns just as much as or more fat than high-impact exercises like running do. Veteran yoga practitioners looking to take their yoga practice further or beginners who want to learn the proper way of executing poses can opt for one-to-one yoga sessions with a seasoned yoga instructor. Each yoga practice is only an hour long and with fitness centers specialising in yoga conveniently located around the CBD, there is no reason why you shouldn’t hop onto this bandwagon. Want an alternative closer to home? Then enroll yourself in a yoga class at a community center near you to kick-start your journey with yoga. ■ SB
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Shed Those Pounds Before
TAKING THE PLUNGE by Jaclyn Lim
Your wedding is fast approaching, and you just can’t seem to squeeze into that size 0 number? Well, don’t scream or starve yourself – you can look your best without going overboard. SingaporeBrides shows you how to slim down and shape up – the healthy way, of course – for your Big Day.
o prepare for her royal wedding, Kate Middleton went on the Dukan diet, jogged, cycled and amped up on her rowing practice to sculpt those upper body muscles. Hollywood actress Reese Witherspoon added yoga to her fitness regime, while American TV personality Jessica Simpson hired celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson and reportedly dropped 20 pounds in just under two months. It is only natural for a bride-to-be to want to look her best on the wedding day. In the quest to fit into that dream dress, some brides-to-be may actually be tempted to try quick-fix weight-loss solutions. And it’s only too easy to succumb to the promises of fad diets, extreme dieting, inadvisable over-the-counter slimming pills and dietary supplements, and ineffective exercise machines. But beware: While these products and methods may promise a fast and easy solution, they may not always work in your best interests. Dr Tham Kwang Wei, consultant at the Department of Endocrinology, Singapore General Hospital, says: “It is important to realise that there is no magic pill to weight loss. Without a well-balanced diet, you run the risk of nutritional deficiencies. There’s a healthier way to lose weight. Dr Tham adds: “First, you have to understand that our current lifestyles make us what we are. Weight gain is caused by excessive caloric intake coupled with the lack of physical activity.” So if you’re looking to shed those pounds, a combination of a balanced diet and regular exercise is the way to go.
“The first step towards achieving healthy weight loss would be to formulate an action plan, and follow it through,” suggests Dr Tham. Here’s how:
Find a motivation! As a bride-to-be, you already have your motivation: To be a glowing and gorgeous bride on your big day. That’s the good news. Dr Tan Hong Chang, associate consultant at the Department of Endocrinology, Singapore General Hospital, advises: “As you make a conscious decision to lose weight, also ensure that you’re mentally ready to embark on certain lifestyle changes.”
Identify the problem areas: Try to find out what could be wrong with your diet. Dr Tan observes: “Besides what you are eating, it could also be the irregular meal times, frequent snacking, late-night suppers or drinking with
beautyhealth friends. Other lifestyle factors like stress and lack of good quality sleep can also play a part.”
Set your weight-loss goal: A weight loss target of five to 10 per cent of your initial weight in three to six months is generally attainable and safe for health. Dr Tan adds: “Be fair to yourself and don’t harbour any unrealistic expectations – like losing 20 kilograms in two months!” Start a food diary: Reducing calories and eating healthily are vital to weight loss. Dr Tan advises: “Record down what and how much of each dish you eat every day. Be as precise as you can. Then, play detective and identify elements of high fat or hidden calories, like sugary drinks and foods with a lot of gravy.”
Make small changes: Then, simply start cutting high-calorie foods out! Set feasible, sustainable goals like “I will only have supper once a week” or “I will only eat fried foods twice a week”. Dr Tan advises: “Slowly build up these goals. Unrealistic goals, like “I will not touch chicken wings at all”, is generally unattainable by most people in the long run.”
Eat the right foods: Foods like desserts, candies, fatty and processed foods are considered energy-dense foods. Meanwhile, other foods like fruits and vegetables have low-energy density.
“This means you can fill up on fruits and vegetables without loading your body with calories,” says Dr Tan. “This actually makes you feel better about your meals.”
Maintain a healthy diet: To make your diet healthier, you can eat more plantbased foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole-grain carbohydrates. Dr Tan adds: “Also take more of lean sources of proteins like soy and lean meats. Eat small amounts of fat and stick to low-fat dairy products and ensure that they come from a heart-healthy source.”
Get support! Rope in family and friends to push you towards your goals. “You can get Mum to cook with less oil, or not leaving too much dinner for you when you return from work,” suggests Dr Tan. “Or, you can encourage friends to eat healthily with you.”
Consult a professional: Besides researching online on ways to change your diet for the better, you can also seek the advice of nutritionists, dieticians and medical doctors before you begin. Dr Tan: “Professionals will be able to help you lose weight with the goals of health and wellness in mind.”
It will not be enough to merely make dietary changes – you will have to work that body too. Abraham Nikhil, director and boot camp instructor at Phyzique Pte Ltd lists five easy-to-achieve weight-loss tips:
1 2 3
Start early: Don’t wait till a month before your wedding to start working out – you will only panic when you can’t drop those pounds and feel demoralised. Nikhil advises: “Get started at least six months before your Big Day, as a good average is to lose about 2 kilograms a month.” Do cardio: Cardiovascular exercises like jogging (working on the stepper or striders in the gym will count too) burn calories effectively. “Get 30 minutes of cardio a day for about five to six times a week, before having a rest day,” advises Nikhil. “To prevent boredom, do a variety of cardio exercises.”
Add strength-training exercises too: Many women shy away from strengthbuilding exercises because they mistakenly believe that it will make them look bulky. But according to Nikhil, strength-building exercises like lifting dumbbells can help you to get more love from the weighing scale. He explains: “If you do a lot of cardio exercises, you will lose weight. But you will also pile it back on when you stop your fitness regime. It will be better to add strength-building exercises to your regime three times a week to set yourself up for long-term change.”
Take baby steps! There’s no point telling yourself that you will hit the gym every single day – because you won’t. Nikhil suggests using small strategies that will help you become more active in general.
“Park the car a bit further from your destination so you will need to walk more, or use the stairs instead of the lift. It’s just about adding movement to your daily life that will increase your calorie-burning on a daily basis. Remember: Even a few minutes of exercise is better than no exercise!”
Engage a health coach: If you’re constantly making excuses not to exercise, you might benefit from the professional guidance of a health coach. Nikhil explains: “When brides-to-be come to us, they fill out a questionnaire so we can find out more about their dietary and lifestyle habits. We then do a body composition evaluation, as well as a fitness evaluation, to see what we should focus on – both in terms of diet and exercise.” As you try your best to shed those pounds, don’t be too hard on yourself. Enjoy the process of getting fitter – and realise that your fiancé loves you for who you are! ■ SB
by Michelle Tay
Dark circles and tired eyes - typical traits of a bride-to-be planning her wedding. However, late nights and stress are extremely taxing on the eyes, especially since the skin around that area is at its thinnest. But your wedding is in a week! You need a miracle or seven! a. The Body Shop’s Vitamin C Eye Reviver, $36.90 A cooling gel for lids and brows and a refreshing cream for under the eyes, both products work together for a bright-eyed look. The rollerball application also helps reduce puffiness, so the eyes are left looking radiant and refreshed. b. Benefit’s It’s Potent! Eye Cream, $54 This powerful eye cream, containing a peptide complex known to help restore elasticity and firmness, fades dark circles and helps smooth fine lines for brighter, younger-looking eyes. c. Benefit’s Brow Zings, $48 This eye brow kit includes a soft, pigmented wax that defines and shapes brows and a colourcomplementing setting powder to keep your brows looking wow, plus discreet tweezers for pesky stray hairs, a hard angle brush, and a blending brush. d. Fancl’s Resteye Gel, $27.50 This refreshing eye gel directly targets problems such as dark circles, puffiness, dryness and fine
lines. Daily usage will help in improving blood circulation, thus reducing the appearance of unsightly dark circles and puffiness. e. Jurlique’s Herbal Recovery Eye Gel, $80 This eye gel is rich in organic herbal extracts which firms the skin around the eye. The aloe and rose in the formula also hydrates, softens, soothes and restores the fragile eye contour while other antioxidants reduces the visible signs of aging. f. Anna Sui’s Perfect Mascara, $41 This perfect mascara contains Fast Dry Powder, Curl Keep Polymer and Triple Solid Oil to instantly curl and freeze lashes, keep curls for long-lasting effect, and also creates lash fullness. g. Goldwell’s Dual Senses Rich Repair Thermo Leave-In Treatment, $30 A well-maintained fringe ending just above the eyes does wonders for those peepers. This leavein treatment’s heat-active care formula contains Pashmina Silk Proteins and Cuticle-Balancer makes leaves hair smoother, healthier and shinier.
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A Guide on Selecting
WEDDING BANQUET VENUES by Audrie Soh
Where your wedding is held at is just as important as what youâ€™re wearing as you walk down the aisle. In fact, it may just be more important, since your guests are going to form their first impressions of your wedding based on its location. Before you commence your search for the perfect wedding banquet venue, take a moment to soak up these tips and advice SingaporeBrides has compiled after consulting the professionals at Goodwood Park Hotel, Furama City Centre, Singapore and The Jewel Box at Mount Faber.
Indoor or Outdoor
While the choice might be obvious for some couples, others might be undecided between the two. Both an indoor and outdoor wedding venue comes with its own sets of pros and cons. It all boils down to which location compliments your wedding vision and theme. Regardless of where you eventually choose to hold your wedding, there are 3 criteria the venue has to fulfill. First, the ambience of the venue has to reflect what you’ve envisioned your wedding to be like and compliment your wedding theme. Secondly, the venue should be large enough to accommodate your guestlist and lastly, it should provide you and your guests with a high standard of food and service. “For indoor venues, couples should also look out for venues with a pillarless ballroom to ensure an unobstructed view for all their guests,” Cecilia Teng, Senior Catering Sales at Furama City Centre, Singapore, advises. “Of course, they should also keep a look out for the cost of the wedding package and the entitlements offered in it.”
What to Expect From Wedding Packages
What is included in a wedding package varies and some venues may have more than one wedding package for couples to choose from. However, the usual wedding package tends to include: • Complimentary bottle of wine • Free flow of Chinese tea and soft drinks • A complimentary bottle of champagne and champagne pyramid • Wedding cake • Complimentary night’s stay in the bridal suite • Guestbook and wedding favours • Floral decorations • Use of the venue’s AV system • A selection of wedding themes and the accompanying decorations for the individual themes
VENUES All wedding decorations will be done by the venue’s banquet operations team according to the chosen wedding theme. They are also responsible for overseeing all the pre-event preparation and actual day execution and assisting the couple where possible. But if you wish to engage an external wedding planner who specialises in wedding planning and an external decorator, you may do so. Inform the venue of your decision so that their team can work closely with the wedding planner and decorator to make your big day a success. Outdoor Weddings and What You Should Take Note Of For couples who are planning on having an outdoor wedding, there are 3 considerations you should always bear in mind. First and foremost, always have a contingency plan mapped out if you are having an outdoor wedding. While Singapore enjoys a fair amount of sunshine through out the year, there are still a few wet months. If your wedding coincides with these months, having a contingency plan in hand means you have a plan B to fall back on so your big day can still proceed as planned despite the wet weather. Secondly, having a plan B or C for your wedding day isn’t just about planning ahead for wet weather; it’s about preparing for unforeseen hiccups on the day itself as well. “Even the most detailed planned wedding has the possibility of something going wrong,” says the Event Sales Team from The Jewel Box at Mount Faber. “Hence, couples should be prepared and open to fall back on their contingency plans. That may mean shifting their wedding into an indoor sheltered venue.” Lastly, couples should also pay attention to the type of wedding decorations and embellishments used. You may want to consider using decorations that are hardier and more lasting to withstand the element of wind, sun and rain.
Other Tips and Advice
Make your search for a wedding venue more efficient and effective by researching on the various wedding venues before you visit them. “Couples should have the information on the available wedding packages, prices, venue capacity, menus and date of availability of the venue before they decide on a place,” Justina Loh, Marketing Communication Manager at Goodwood Park Hotel, advises. “It will be good for couples to share with us their intended wedding theme, what they hope to be included in their wedding package and their budget,” the Event Sales Team from The Jewel Box at Mount Faber encourages. “These information is essential in helping us propose and tailor a package that would best fit the couple’s requirements and expectations.” Always pay a visit to the shortlisted wedding venues to speak to their wedding consultants on the available wedding banquet packages they have and to have a better feel of how spacious or intimate the venue is. Visit our directory to learn more about our listed wedding banquet venuesand wedding solemnisation venues. ■ SB
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Your Friendly Guide to
CHOOSING WEDDING BANQUET PACKAGES
It is often suggested that the way to a person’s heart is through his stomach. While we cannot verify if that ageold saying is true or not, there is no denying that everyone feels a little happier after being fed, especially with good food. So work your way to your guests’ hearts and leave a lasting impression by serving them plate after plate of delectable cuisine at your wedding. To help you along with your wedding planning and speed up your decision-making, SingaporeBrides spoke to Peony Jade at Clarke Quay and Peony Jade at Keppel Club, Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa, Singapore and Regent Singapore to find out what you need to know about securing a wedding banquet package.
by Audrie Soh
Where to Start
Before you go down to any hotel to enquire about their wedding banquet packages, there are a few essential wedding details you should decide on first. Chanel Tan, Director of Events Management atShangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa, Singapore, zeros in on the two wedding details they require from couples. “We will need to have the exact wedding date so as to check on the ballroom availability, as well as an estimated number of tables the wedding couple intends for their wedding banquet,” she says. Next, you should have decided on a budget for your wedding banquet. Knowing the estimate cost of one table for the wedding venues will help you do this. Visit the SingaporeBrides Banquet Price List to find out how much a wedding banquet might cost at your preferred venues without you having to go door-to-door for the information. From the banquet price list, you can also zero in on the venues that fit your budget and guest-list requirements, and pay a visit only to those you’ve shortlisted to learn more about their packages.
What You Should Know
Once you have your wedding date, estimated number of wedding guests and banquet budget, you can start zooming in on the wedding venues that fit your requirements. During your research, you’ll notice that most wedding venues have a minimum requirement for their wedding packages. Some venues like Peony Jade at Clarke Quay and Peony Jade at Keppel Club have a minimum requirement of 160 guests for weekday weddings and a minimum of 200 guests for a weekend wedding while Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa, Singapore has a minimum requirement of 250 guests for a Chinese wedding banquet and a minimum of 200 guests for a buffet or Western Set wedding banquet. Do be aware that every wedding banquet package have different minimum requirements and pricings for weekday and weekend weddings, and you are required to fulfill the minimum seating capacity requirements in order to take up a package. “It will not be operationally possible for the venue to lower the minimum requirement,” Chanel emphasises. “Likewise, it is impossible to exceed the maximum capacity of the function space.” So, remember to always pick a venue that is able to accommodate more than your initial estimate on the number of guests as your guest-list is most likely to increase as your wedding date draws closer.
What is in a Wedding Banquet Package?
So, what exactly is included in a typical wedding banquet package? While different venues may offer more or different items in their packages, these are what are usually included in one: • Free-flow of soft drinks, mixers and Chinese tea • Choice of wedding themes and complementary decoration • A wedding cake • Wedding favours for guests • Wedding guestbook and invitation cards • Complimentary bottle of champagne and champagne pyramid for the champagne pouring ceremony • Free use of the projector and screen • Complimentary one night’s stay at the hotel inclusive of breakfast • Car passes In addition to these items, a trial dinner before your actual day is also included in the banquet package. While some venues offer the full set of wedding menu for the trial dinner, others might feature only half the chosen wedding menu. Decorations for the wedding dinner and venue are also included in the package since most venues offer couples a variety of unique wedding themes to pick from.
Is an Exchange or Request for More Items Allowed?
Don’t be afraid to ask for an exchange of items in the package if you are not satisfied with what is being offered to you. If it is an extra night’s stay, complimentary parking or extra complimentary barrel of beer or chair covers that you want, do voice it out and see if it can be done. “In such circumstances, we will consider and do our best to accommodate our couples’ requests on a case-by-case basis,” Bhunikar Lim, Director of Catering at Regent Singapore says. Some venues, however, have a strict noexchange policy for their wedding packages. Others may only allow for couples to exchange their complimentary night’s stay at the hotel for a discount on one table, as in Peony Jade’s case. While there may be a certain degree of flexibility practiced when it comes to this, package prices are strictly non negotiable.
Tips and Advice
“When it comes to picking a wedding banquet package, couples should consider the venue’s seating capacity, the perceived value of the package and the quality of the food,” Robert Han, General Manager at Peony Jade, highlights. Aside from those, you should also pay attention to the overall feel of the wedding venue. “The ambience of the hotel is very important because it sets the mood and tone of the wedding,” Bhunikar stresses. “Couples should also consider booking their packages early, especially if they are set on only one wedding date.” Aside from these tips, you should also pay your shortlisted venues a visit to find out more about their wedding banquet packages and do so early. Some venues may offer discounts or extra perks if you book with them early. Besides, booking early also gives you a higher chance of getting the venue and package on the top of your list. Visit our directory to learn more about our listedwedding banquet venues. ■ SB
The Meaning Behind Your
wedding BAnquet DISHES by Audrie Soh
If you’ve attended your fair share of wedding banquets, you’ll know that every Chinese wedding banquet consists at least an eight-course dinner. You probably also noticed that certain dishes are always served during a Chinese wedding. We’ve found out the significance behind these dishes so if you want to load up your menu with auspicious blessings, you can make an informed selection.
ach and every dish served at a Chinese wedding banquet is carefully selected for its meaning. These dishes often symbolise blessings of happiness, prosperity, longevity or fertility for the couple and their marriage. With the help of Mandarin Oriental, Singapore and Peach Garden at Hotel Miramar, we’ve compiled a friendly list of commonly seen wedding banquet dishes and the blessings they carry for the couple and their marriage.
Lobster and Chicken Feet
Lobster and chicken feet are commonly served during the cold appetizer dish along with other sliced meat and jellyfish to represent the Yin and Yang aspects of a marriage. Traditionally, the bride (the Yin) is represented by a phoenix and the groom (the Yang) is represented by a dragon in a Chinese marriage. And since lobster translates literally to “dragon shrimp” while chicken feet is commonly referred to as “phoenix feet” in Mandarin, these two are often included in a Chinese wedding banquet as a representation of the bride and groom.
Wok Fried Scallops with Asparagus in XO Sauce (醬 爆 帶 子 炒 蘆 筍) Because the Chinese pronunciation of scallops is a homophone for the phrase “raising children”, the inclusion of scallops into a wedding banquet menu is a symbol of fertility – of blessing the couple with plenty of children.
Abalone and Sea Cucumber
In Mandarin, abalone is pronounced similarly as the word “abundance” while sea cucumber is a homophone for “good heart” in Cantonese. Thus, the inclusion of these ingredients in a wedding banquet dish is symbolic of blessing the couple with yearly
abundance and a reminder to the couple to keep a good heart to avoid conflicts. The use of abalone and sea cucumber is also representative of a smooth sailing relationship between the couple and their family.
Roasted Whole Duck with House Special Sauce (金 爐 一 品 明 火 鴨) In Chinese culture, ducks are a symbol of fidelity and when served whole, represent peace, unity and completeness in a couple’s marriage. Serving a whole roasted duck at a wedding also represents happiness and good tidings, since the Chinese culture consider red to be a colour of good luck.
A common Asian staple, noodles have long been symbols of longevity in Chinese culture because they come in long strands. So the inclusion of noodles in a wedding banquet menu is symbolic of blessing the couple with a long and happy marriage and life together.
Steamed Garoupa with Superior Soya Sauce (清 蒸 原 条 大 石 斑) Fish also has a similar pronunciation as the word “abundance” in Chinese and is always included in a wedding banquet menu to represent abundance in the couple’s marriage. A fish served whole with its head and tail intact also symbolises that the couple’s marriage will come to a successful completion.
Dessert is not just a dish served to signal an end of a meal. In a Chinese wedding banquet, a sweet dessert is usually served as a symbol of a sweet marriage for the couple. The type of dessert served also has a meaning to it. Yam pudding is symbolic of fertility and growth as represented by the beans, seeds and ginko nuts used. Aside from the type of dishes served, the number of dishes served during a Chinese wedding banquet is also symbolic. The number eight is regarded as a lucky number to the Chinese and Cantonese-speaking Asians because the pronunciations of the number in Chinese and Cantonese sounds like the word “prosper”. Thus, you’ll often find that a Chinese wedding banquet consists of eight courses, excluding the last dish of dessert, to bring luck to the couple and their marriage.
Pair this knowledge with our guide on choosing a wedding banquet package and how to select a wedding banquet venue for the perfect wedding you’ve always dreamt of. ■ SB
Photo by Plush Photography • Décor concept by Heaven’s Gift Wedding Concierge
engagement party by Jaclyn Lim
Now that youâ€™ve said yes to his marriage proposal, itâ€™s time to share the happy news with the world. How about doing it the fun way by throwing an engagement party? SingaporeBrides lists everything you need to know.
Traditionally, the engagement party is meant as a couple’s first formal announcement of their upcoming nuptials. Once your man has proposed – and the happy news is all over Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – people will want to congratulate you. Throwing an engagement party is a more straightforward – and enjoyable – way of informing those around you than SMSing all 500 people on your phone list or getting your parents to pass word to relatives. It’s not all about the fun though – there is a practical aspect to such a gathering. It is the best time to introduce the key persons from both of your lives to one another. This includes both sides of parents and close friends, many of whom might end up working together as your bridal party over the next few months to pull off your wedding.
When deciding when to hold your engagement party, do make sure that it is neither too soon nor too long from the time of the proposal. If you hold it too early, say a couple of weeks after you’ve said a teary “Yes, I will marry you”, you may run the risk of missing out some people from the invite list. You may also not have ready details of your wedding to share with your party guests – and you can definitely expect a flurry of questions from family and friends. Yet, hold it too late, and you will find yourself having to organise it while juggling your wedding planning on the side. So the ideal time to hold an engagement party is within the first three months of the proposal – right after the sweet start of just-engaged life.
Following tradition, the bride’s parents should be the one hosting the engagement party. But in this day and age, you don’t have to follow it so strictly. Besides, in Singapore, the culture of hosting engagement parties is still not developed – and some parents may gasp at having to incur such an extra cost. So if you are throwing the engagement party yourselves, bear in mind that it will be your responsibility to foot the bill. When you are deciding on the details, remember that the financial costs of an engagement party will add to your final wedding expenses. Unless you have deep pockets, you may want to limit your spending on your engagement bash so you can spend more on your wedding.
The rule of thumb is that if you invite someone to the engagement party, you will have to invite him or her to your wedding too. So remember this as you are drawing up your guest list for the engagement party. There are exceptions though. For instance, if your college friend is going to relocate to the United States from next year and cannot attend your wedding, you should still send him the engagement party invite. Most probably, the most efficient way to do this is to trim your engagement party guest list down from your wedding guest list, and it should only include your immediate family, bridal party, and close friends and colleagues.
Typically, the engagement party is celebrated at a fancy restaurant. But with the vibrant dining scene in Singapore, it is not your only option. So think about the kind of party atmosphere you want. If you have dreamed about a cocktail reception or a dressy dinner where everyone can meet and mingle, check out a few mid- to high-end restaurants or bars in town and see if you can book a private room or two. If you prefer a more casual do, nobody will stop you from throwing a BBQ party at your condominium estate, a low-key gathering at a beach chalet or a weekend brunch at a nice café. Or, get creative and hold it at surprising venues, like the museum or on a yacht.
The food can make or break any party (yes, even engagement parties). So take some time to consider the type of cuisine that you want to provide. If you plan to invite more friends than family, a western-style, buffet or sit-down dinner – followed by beer and cocktails at the bar – will be delightful. But if your invite list consists of mostly close relatives, you may need to ask if they might prefer Chinese, halal or Indian cuisine. A tip: Try catering both western-style and traditional dishes in a buffet line. That way, guests can pick out what they want or do not want to eat.
Ultimately, the décor will depend on the venue you have chosen. If you are holding a cocktail party at a swanky hotel, it is likely that you will not have to
embellish much besides adding some fresh flowers to spruce up the private room. But if you think you might have more creative freedom with a bare venue (like the function room in a country club), then you can consider developing a theme for your engagement bash. The theme does not have to match that of your wedding (which most probably haven’t been settled at that point), but it should not deviate too much from the look and feel either. For instance, if you are holding a simple solemnisation by the beach, followed by a luncheon, it might not make sense for you to hold a fancy engagement party at a hotel. After all, the engagement party should never upstage your Big Day.
Likewise, your outfit for the event will depend on the venue and theme. However, it is likely that you will only need a tea dress for the event. Even Kate Middleton only wore an off-the-rack, blue silk jersey, knee-length dress by Brazilian-born designer Daniella Issa Helayel for her royal engagement party. For an indoor dinner party, a sleek cocktail dress should do very well. For a casual outdoor affair, consider putting on a pretty sundress. You may also need to engage a make-up artist to do your hair and make-up. But again, remember not to out-do your wedding look.
The great thing about planning an engagement party now is that there are so many options to customise certain aspects to reflect your personality as a couple. For instance, if you both love sweets, consider adding a candy and dessert bar at your party. Photo booths – where your guests can ham it up for the camera using various quirky props – also all the rage now. Or, if you are holding a beach party, add oomph to the merrymaking by renting a popsicle cart. Earlier this year, member of Taiwanese pop group S.H.E, Ella Chen, held her engagement party in her hometown in Pingtung, Taiwan – and entered the restaurant in a traditional bridal sedan chair. So, it all boils down to your creativity! There are endless possibilities when it comes to planning an engagement party. Like the preparations for your wedding, there may be countless details to take note of. No matter what, remember that it’s a joyous occasion to mark your upcoming nuptials – and enjoy the ride ■ SB!
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Published on Jul 7, 2013