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by singaporebrides

issue #3 singaporebrides.com

Come Tulle Me 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 editor@singaporebrides.com Sub-Editors Audrie Soh Tansey Tang Senior Sales Manager Christine Kang sales@tian.com.sg Sales Managers Bob Mubarak Janis Heng Layout Design Michelle Tay Webmasters Andre Ng Eileen Aw

The Contributors Andrea Claire, Ash Loi, Brendan Zhang, Christian G, Dewi Mahoney, Gabe Chen, Geraldine Lim, Grego Oh, Joyce Lui, Kenneth Ong, Lenne Chai, Lennon Sng, Melissa Yeo, Milan del Rosario, Niq Siow, Randolph Tan, Shona Findlay, Skyy Woo Weddings by singaporebrides is published by Tian Dot Com Pte Ltd. 50 Ubi Crescent #01-08 Ubi TechPark Singapore 408568 Tel: +65 6254 1026 Fax: +65 6404 5478 Reproduction of this magazine in whole or part without the written permission of the publisher is strictly prohibited. Copyright Š 2013 Tian Dot Com Pte Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

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EDITOR’SNOTE It’s that time of the year once again. For most, it’s the season for celebrations and partying. For others, it’s time to start preparing for the new year by writing resolutions. For some of us, it’s about reflecting on the past year, predicting the future, and making sure we keep ourselves updated with the trends. In 2013 SingaporeBrides has given away iPad Minis and W SIngapore hotel stays, launched The Wedding Dress Lookbook, celebrated our birthday with our friends with cupcakes, revamped our forum, collaborated with Vanity Trove for some awesome giveaways, and won first runner up for Digital Media Product of the Year at the MPAS Awards. We’ve given and received in equal amounts, and we have been hearing encouraging comments from both our readers and our advertisers. As I write this, our Facebook Page fan number is fast approaching 30,000. We’re a long way from being the best, but our mission is to be the most

LEARNING

by Michelle Tay

convenient and most comprehensive online guide for brides- and grooms-to-be. SingaporeBrides. com has grown from being a mere directory and forum, to have the largest online archive of wedding planning articles and the only local online wedding website to feature fashion editorials professionally shot by international photographers and stylists. We hope you continue to like what we’ve put together for you and will continue to do much more. For the coming Year of the Horse, we want to interact more with our readers. Look forward to more fun collaborations that will help us reach out to you directly. We also want to see more of you! Send us your wedding photos if you think your wedding is too good not to be featured. Tag us on Instagram so we know what you’re up to while planning your wedding. Help us learn more about what’s happening in your newly-wedded life. We really want to know, so don’t be shy!

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In This Issue Weddings 101

Essentials

16 Article What Bridesmaids Are Saying Behind Your Back

234 Article Diamonds Aren’t This Girl’s Best Friend

26 Article Planning Perfect Weddings

244 Do-It-Yourself Editorial Chiffon And Tulle

36 Article How To Succeed At Marriage

254 Article How To Nail A Themed Wedding

Fashion 52 Fashion Editorial Wish You Were Here 76 Fashion Editorial Material Girls 102 Fashion Editorial The House In The Woods 126 Article Before You Say Yes To The Dress 136 Article The Chinese Tradition Of Wearing Qun Kua 146 Article A Bride’s Guide To Wedding Veils

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The Groom Room 160 Article Beware The Groomzilla 168 Article How To Choose Your Groomsmen 176 Article Surviving Her Family

Photography & Videography

Beauty & Health 266 Article Beauty Myths Investigated

188 Article Having An Unplugged Wedding?

276 Article Wedding Tresses That Impress

198 Real Weddings A Designer Wedding

Venue

208 Real Weddings Love Goes The Distance

292 Article 5 Simple Tips On Choosing Your Wedding Venue

218 Article An Easy Guide To Overseas Wedding Photography

302 Article 6 Questions To Ask Your Wedding Caterer


WEDDINGS101

WHAT YOUR BRIDESMAIDS ARE SAYING BEHIND YOUR BACK

by Jaclyn Lim

As a bride-to-be, it’s only natural that you enjoy the step-by-step planning of your wedding. But don’t expect your bridesmaids, who are really just along for the ride, to be as eager as you are. In fact, they might even be disgruntled in one way or another. SingaporeBrides lists some common complaints and shows you how to deal with any potential unhappiness. Heading down the aisle is – let’s face it – no walk in the park. And the sooner you realise it, the better. After the fun of admiring that one-carat diamond ring on your finger, the list of wedding must-dos will start getting longer and longer. There will be bridal-related tasks to complete according to a tight timeline, wedding gowns to try on, colour themes to be chosen, a banquet booking to make, things to buy and personalities to deal with. So, you will soon find yourself asking your trusted gal pals to be your bridesmaids – just so you can delegate the duties and save yourself some stress. Well, this is when problems will start cropping up and the bridesmaids start whining non-stop. We list some common bridesmaids complaints and solve them for you before you say: “I do!”

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#1: “I can’t believe she chose that offshoulder bridesmaid dress! Should I ask her to let me wear something else?” Problem: None of the 50 different bridesmaid dress designs pleases all your bridesmaids. One of them refuses to wear anything “too revealing” so tube dresses are out. Another claims that the peach hue is incompatible with her complexion as it makes her look “sallow”. Yet another would like to skip the skirt and put on a pair of pants instead. With all these demanding requests, it seem pretty impossible to score bridesmaid dresses that not only fit your colour theme, but will also make them happy. Stop the bitching! But don’t tear your hair out just yet. First, know that there is no pleasing everybody. If it’s not too long, it’s too short. If it’s not too pink, it’s too drab. After all, your bridesmaids come in all shapes, sizes and styles. To solve this problem, pick a colour that suits your colour theme (they shouldn’t have a choice in that) and let your bridesmaids choose the dress design they feel more comfortable in. Many boutiques now offer convertible dresses that allow you to do just that affordably.

they will organise a champagne brunch for your bachelorette’s party. That may set them back another $80 each. You may not have realised it, but they are busy bitching to one another about how expensive your wedding-of-the-century is starting to be. Stop the bitching! Well, it’s your wedding, not theirs. So your bridesmaids should not be overspending on your Big Day. Be considerate. If you need them to pay for their own bridesmaid dresses or insist that they wear the same pair of satin heels, consider their budget before deciding on what to buy. Otherwise, offer to buy them the dress or accessories as a well-meaning gesture. Or, at least chip in. When it comes to the bridal shower or the hen’s night, it’s customary for them to collectively pay for the events. But do assign an in-charge to make sure that everyone is comfortable about the amount to fork out. It’s also traditional to buy your bridesmaids appreciative gifts, just to say thank you for their time and effort.

#2: “I just can’t afford to keep paying for her wedding! The banquet angbao alone will cost me at least $150!” Problem: With the hen’s night party, dresses and accessories, your bridesmaids have to fork out plenty of cash to make your Big Day happen. You literally watch their faces fall when you mention how the custom-made bridesmaid dress and high heels are likely to cost about $200. As if that’s not enough, you are hoping that

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WEDDINGS101 #3: “Why must she make us attend the engagement party, bridal shower, dress fittings and even that 3D2N bridesmaids spa getaway? Doesn’t she understand we actually have jobs?” Problem: There are always a series of mini events that lead up the actual wedding, and these invitations seem to be casting a gloom on your once-cheery bridesmaids. As you were happily considering hen’s night party options (male stripper, limousine or cupcake party?), checking out flight prices and itineraries, and scheduling dress fittings, your bridesmaids are probably making snarky comments to one another via a separate WhatsApp channel about the amount of time and energy they have to devote to your upcoming nuptials. Stop the bitching! The mandatory affair in the line-up should be the wedding – and everything else is peripheral. To be fair, your bridesmaids are not obliged to attend every single one of those events. So, be sure to let them know that they have a choice, and don’t pressure them to take leave from work or arrange a babysitter for their children just to turn up to celebrate with you.

#4: “I know DIY is all the rage, but we really have to craft the whole wedding? We’re not elves!” Problem: So you have this vision for your wedding wonderland. There will be a marvellous candy buffet reminiscent of what Charlie can find at Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Plus, fabric buntings, paper pom-poms and paper fans made from scratch. Enter a bunch of bridesmaids who have been commanded to turn up every Saturday afternoon to help with the crafting. To you, they are lending a hand. But behind your back, they are complaining about sacrificing weekend dates and rest time just to bring your vision to life. Stop the bitching! While it is a huge honour to be chosen as a bridesmaid for some, others may be resentful of extra responsibilities involved. But you can’t blame them. After all, your wedding is not the be-all and end-all of their lives. So don’t insist that they turn up to be your party elves. However, let them know that if they are willing to help craft, you will be happy to buy them dinner and drinks after each intense DIY session. This way, everyone’s happy. Most importantly, express your gratitude after they have put needle to cloth.

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“Stop the bitching! The mandatory affair in the line-up should be the wedding – and everything else is peripheral. To be fair, your bridesmaids are not obliged to attend every single one of those events. So, be sure to let them know that they have a choice, and don’t pressure them to take leave from work or arrange a babysitter for their children just to turn up to celebrate with you.”

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WEDDINGS101

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#5: “Why is Sandra bossing us around like that? She’s not the one getting married!” Problem: You rallied six of your closest gal pals to be there for you in the lead-up to your wedding. But there is one thing you certainly did not expect – the only thing that they have in common with one another is you. In other words, they are definitely not friends and can barely stand to remain in the same WhatsApp channel you’ve happily titled, “Bridesmaids Meeting!” As if that’s not bad enough, you just caught wind of how they have been bitching about one another. Stop the bitching! Instead of giving them the same duties – like getting all six bridesmaids to come for your gown fitting (and have them argue about which gown style suits you best) – consider assigning different duties to your bridesmaids. There should be plenty of wedding-related tasks to go around, so play it to their varying talents. If your Maid-of-Honour loves shopping, have her accompany you to put your wedding look together. Then have another bridesmaid take charge of your guest list, and yet another to concentrate on your décor. The best thing is that different personalities will not clash if they are focusing on different things! During your wedding planning, your bridesmaids have strong, supportive roles to play. But with the added pressure and long list of bridal responsibilities, even the strongest friendships (or the most amiable of personalities) may start to fray. That’s why you, as the bride-to-be, should do your best to deal with any potential problems that may crop up. With these solutions, we hope that you will be able to nip any bridesmaids’ bitching in the bud – and enjoy the journey to getting married! ■ SB

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Silverlining Bridal Couture

Design

By

Jit

Strictly By Appointment Specializes in Low back Gowns, Cheong Sams, Mother of the Bride and Tuxedos 233A Southbridge Road Singapore058782 Tel 63399439 Email jit@silverliningbridal.com Website www.silverliningbridal.com http://www.facebook.com/SilverliningBridalCouture


WEDDINGS101

PLANNING PERFECT WEDDINGS

by Audie Soh

Now that your man has finally proposed, you can’t wait to plan the perfect wedding you’ve always dreamt of – a big wedding with all your family and friends gathered on a private beach in the Maldives as you walk down the aisle in that dream designer gown you’ve had your eyes on for the longest time. Then the world comes crashing down when you realise your wedding budget is not quite as big as your vision is. We say, chin up! Let us show you 5 tips on how to achieve a perfect wedding with or without a big wedding budget. 26/


1. Create a Wedding Style Book First and foremost, begin a wedding stylebook before you commit to any form of wedding planning. Every bride should be armed with one, even if she already knows what she wants for her big day. Your wedding stylebook could be a scrapbook, folder, an Instagram or Pinterest account, or anything that is convenient for you to collect images and inspirations for your big day. Trawl wedding websites, magazines, and other channels of social media for wedding inspirations and ideas. But don’t limit your research to just weddingrelated elements; broaden your search to anything and everything that appeals to you, be it a shade or colour or a particular type of lace trim. Your collection of images and inspirations you’ve saved will act as a representation of your personal style and help you narrow down the elements you’d like to include in your wedding. Having a ready collection of elements that you like at hand also makes things easier when you want to look for cheaper style alternatives that still reflects your personality.

2. Stay Faithful to Your Wedding Budget Ideally, you’d like to get married the way you’ve always dreamt of. But reality sinks in and you realise you’ll need to break the piggybank just to fulfill your dream wedding. While there’s nothing wrong in wanting a luxurious destination wedding, if you need to go into debt just to pay for one night of extravagance, would it still be the perfect wedding? The perfect wedding shouldn’t be one that puts you in debt after the day is over. It doesn’t even need to be a grand one or on foreign soil. Your perfect wedding should be one that reflects your personality and fits within your wedding budget. That is not to say if you really want a destination wedding, you can’t have one; you just need to make sacrifices in other areas of your wedding to accommodate this luxury. Instead of a beach wedding in the Maldives, consider somewhere nearer and equally beautiful like Bali or Krabi. Then, rework your guest list to only close family members and friends. Ask your guests to pay for their own way and stay there to lessen the burden on your wedding budget.

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WEDDINGS101 3. Hire a Wedding Planner Wedding planners are well experienced in planning any type of wedding, big or small, costly or otherwise. Their experience and contacts make them the best individuals to go to for help in planning a wedding. Bounce your ideas off them and let them advise you on what would work best for your big day. Since most wedding planners work closely with florists and other wedding related vendors, they may have access to industry discounts, which can be passed down to you, freeing up more of your budget for other areas of your wedding. A wedding planner also helps keep you organised by keeping track of the costs of, appointments with and payments to various wedding vendors, so you’ll be able to enjoy the planning process and remain aware of where your dollars and cents are going instead of feeling overwhelmed and stressed out. If hiring a wedding planner for the whole duration of your wedding planning is really beyond your cost, then you should consider hiring a day planner just for your actual day to take the stress off you, so you can enjoy your day as a bride without having to worry about any wedding detail.

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4. An Out-of-the-box Wedding The perfect wedding wouldn’t be perfect if it resembled the 10 other weddings that have taken place in the same ballroom before yours, would it? Break out of the all-too-familiar mold of wedding celebrations by taking yours out of the confines of a hotel ballroom. Make full use of our sunny weather and plan a romantic beach or garden wedding, or have it at a refurbished café or building for a different vintage vibe. If you’re having your wedding outdoors, do remember to come up with a wet weather plan beforehand. Forget about the cookie-cutter wedding favours such as playing cards or bottle openers. Instead, customise your own wedding favours and wedding decorations to infuse your big day with some personality and uniqueness. The additional effort your put into personalising your wedding and gifts also shows your guests how much you appreciate their presence and enjoyment on your big day by gifting them with one-of-akind wedding favours to take home. If customising wedding favours for all your guests is too tall an order for a busy bride like you, then opt for a smaller project such as creating your own table centerpieces or a wedding guestbook for your reception table. Use your wedding stylebook to look for wedding DIY ideas and inspiration, and ask your family and bridesmaids to help you with the project so it’ll get completed on time.

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WEDDINGS101

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5. Learn to Take It Easy After months spent planning the perfect wedding, you expect everything to unfold according to plan, only to find out that your place cards are not printed with the font you’ve asked for and your flowers are spotting the wrong shade of pink. Before you morph into Bridezilla, ask yourself if these blunders are serious enough to ruin your entire wedding? If, despite clashing colours and fonts, the answer is no, then you don’t need to lose your cool over it. If it is a blunder that can potentially ruin your big day, keep your cool and deal with it calmly to seek a swift resolution for the problem at hand so your day can go ahead as planned. There is no point in getting yourself worked up and stressed out when it comes to a detail as inconsequential as mismatched fonts on your place cards. That is not the detail that makes your wedding perfect – what makes the day perfect is having all your loved ones share in the love and joy of your big day. Learn to take things easy when the day doesn’t go according to plan so you’ll be able to fully enjoy your wedding day unobstructed. Where you say your “I do’s”, what you wear and how much you spend on that one day of celebration is not what makes your wedding perfect. So don’t get bogged down by the minor details if you don’t get to wed at your dream venue or in the wedding gown of your dreams; instead, focus on the bigger picture – you’re surrounded by all your loved ones and you’re marrying the love of your life! Now, that’s what perfect weddings are all about. ■ SB

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Check-in at your destination wedding! SINGAPORE | KOREA | AUSTRALIA BARCELONA | SANTORINI | NEW ZEALAND

Bridal Fashion | Korean Concept Bridal Overseas and Local Pre-wedding Photography | Actual Day Services


WEDDINGS101

HOW TO SUCCEED AT MARRIAGE

by Fu Jinming

What makes a successful couple? How do you turn your marriage into an enviable one? Fu Jinming lets you in on the secret.

Walk into the Singapore Registry of Marriages and the first thing that greets you is a sign that asks: “You’re ready for your wedding. How about the marriage?” It is a question that we all take for granted. Yet it means the difference between a marriage we tolerate, and one that rewards us with life’s most wonderful moments. Your wedding is but a ceremony. A first step. Your marriage, on the other hand, is a perpetual work in progress, a lifetime commitment that requires patience, courage, and finesse. So the question begs: Is there such a thing as the perfect couple? You know, the ones who always seem to have their frequencies tuned just right. Who never seem to fight. Who still giggle at the sight of each other. Who always seem to be patient, understanding, and in love – no matter how many years they’ve worn their rings for. Fact is, ALL couples fight. The smart ones just don’t do it in front of us. And the really successful ones spend as much time mending the fight as they do starting it. For love is rarely the fairy tale it’s made out to be. Rather, it’s a lot more like a dance. One that demands that its partners practise for years to get their chemistry right and their moves in harmony. You will be stepping on each other’s toes in the beginning. It’s inevitable that you do. But by the end of it, the two of you should be twirling to the notes of your life together – in time, and in love. So put on your dancing shoes as we reveal eight secrets to a happy, rewarding, blissful life as two.

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#1: Enjoy Each Other’s Company This might seem like a little obvious, but it’s actually one of the hardest things to do in a marriage. Particularly if you’ve spent so many years together that you’re both immune to the sight of each other. Yet it’s one of the most essential tenets of a happy marriage. Successful couples like to be together. They talk together, walk together, and generally do stuff as two. Sometimes, that means putting up with each other’s quirks and eccentricities. But it shouldn’t feel like a chore. Instead, it should feel like spending time with a best friend. Someone who’d just like to be there to eat with you, watch television with you, or to simply hold your hand – warts and all.

#2: Fight the Right Way As mentioned before, all couples fight. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either a liar, or has a relationship that has reached its last stop. Disagreements and differences in opinions are bound to happen when two people live together for a long time. The difference is that when successful couples fight, they do it in a way that leaves their relationship stronger for it. One move they pull off really well is their choice of words in an argument. Research has shown that couples using plural pronouns like “we”, “us” and “ours” are less likely to feel stressed out after the fight than couples who used singular versions like “I”, “me”, and “mine”. The logic is sound: Using the ‘we’ words puts you on the same team. It’s telling her that you’re trying to resolve the disagreement for ‘the both of us’. It might not win you the argument, but it might raise her opinion of you at the end of it.

#3: Forgive When it comes down to it, what makes a couple great is the ability to seek and offer forgiveness. That means offering an apology when you’ve done something wrong, or accepting one when you’ve been done wrong to. Admittedly, being on the accepting end is harder, especially when the emotional damage is deep. Here’s how to do it: First, take a break from thinking about the hurtful event for a while. Don’t think about punishing your partner; fight your vindictive self. Then make a conscious decision to let go of the resentment, and forgive.

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WEDDINGS101 #4: Be Positive

“When it comes down to it, what makes a couple great is the ability to seek and offer forgiveness. That means offering an apology when you’ve done something wrong, or accepting one when you’ve been done wrong to. Admittedly, being on the accepting end is harder, especially when the emotional damage is deep. Here’s how to do it: First, take a break from thinking about the hurtful event for a while. Don’t think about punishing your partner; fight your vindictive self. Then make a conscious decision to let go of the resentment, and forgive.”

A happy relationship is almost always a positive one too. Studies have shown that couples that regularly make positive remarks about each other, and show mutual respect, affection and empathy, are also likelier to be happier ones. So the next time you’re met with a snarky jibe from your cranky Other, try responding with a compliment instead.

#5: Learn and Grow Together A couple that learns together, stays together. That’s because partners who take up a new activity or hobby together expand their horizons as one. And as a result, foster a stronger emotional bond to one another. It’s a deeper kind of love that plays off each other’s interests and strengths. The health-conscious partner can influence the other to exercise. The artsy one can help hers discover his creative side. It’s a win-win endeavour that creates opportunities for both partners to share their passions, to support each other’s pursuits, and more importantly, to grow as persons together.

#6: Keep Dating Like a car that runs on fuel, a marriage runs on romance. The ability to keep the flames burning in your relationship will mean the difference between a marriage you put up with, and one you can’t live without. You don’t have to suddenly turn into Don Juan. Start with something simple. Set aside an evening a week

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for a date. Or plan that romantic getaway every now and then. It could even be stealing a lunch break together, just to talk and have a cup of coffee – like you both used to.

#7: Give More than You Take Believe it or not, a healthy marriage is one that requires more giving from both partners, and less taking. Experts have even suggested a 60/40 rule: you give 60 and take 40 in any given situation. Like donating 60% of your TV time to her favourite programme; offering 60% of your afternoon to go shopping with her; giving 60% of your closet space to her shoes. The math does work out eventually. Because when she does the same for you, the both of you become selfless participants in the relationship, always trying to ‘out-give’ each other. This does wonders for your

relationship, moulding it into an appreciative and happy partnership.

#8: Share the Same Values While it is mostly true that opposites attract, most successful couples share a healthy number of common values too. After all, shared values are the foundation upon which a successful partnership is built – be it in business, or in love. So if you are someone who believes in frugality, find someone who does too. If you believe in integrity at work and in life, your partner needs to believe in and support that too. Sharing the same beliefs means you share the same goals, as well as the same ups and downs. It puts you both on the same life path, creating a successful marriage that nurtures respect, understanding, and longevity. ■ SB

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30 Joo Chiat Place Singapore 427754 Telephone: +65 6323 2182 Email: weddingpresent@hotmail.com www.theweddingpresent.sg www.facebook.com/TheWeddingPresent


Fashion


402 Orchard Road #05- 05 Delfi Orchard Singapore 238876 Tel: 63336678 www.amandaleeweddings.com Atelier: 46 Niven Road Singapore 228394 (strictly by appointment)


l: Embellished corset gown with asymmetrical chiffon satin train from Jess Haute Couture r: Satin strapless gown with chiffon wrap around details from La Vie Bridal Couture


photography assistant: light set-up: m set and prop styli styling: ge hair: ash loi @ estique salon assistant: make up: meliss models: barbara


y: lenne chai : joyce lui milan del rosario ing: shona findlay eraldine lim n using shiseido professional christian g sa yeo using dior a p, jana z / ave


Photography by Alwin Lim (LightedPixels Photography), Hair & Make up by Joey Chan


www.silhouette.com.sg

info@silhouette.com.sg

#05-38 Orchard Central Singapore 238896

Tel 6733 7197 / 6884 7697

strictly by appointment only


photography: Brendan Zhang photography assistant: Gabe Chen styling: Randolph Tan hair: Andrea Claire make up: Grego Oh all flowers: Mirage Flowers models: Taylor L, Madison S / AVE


FASHION

BEFORE YOU SAY YES TO THE DRESS

by Jaclyn Lim

You may be dreaming of walking down the aisle, clad in a gorgeous French Chantilly lace embroidered ballgown reminiscent of Duchess Catherine Middleton’s Alexander McQueen version. But have you ever stopped to consider that it may not be right for your figure? SingaporeBrides lists the right questions to ask before you put your money down.

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As a bride, your wedding gown will play a major part in the way you look and feel on your Big Day. More than a self-expression of style, it will influence your mood and affect your confidence level as you mingle with guests. That virginal white gown will also be the standout feature of the celebrations. Never mind that three-tiered lychee martini cake adorned with flowers, the dessert buffet that comes complete with a flowing chocolate fountain, or the elaborate favours you have prepared. What people are going to focus on – and remember – is your wedding gown. So, it only makes sense to choose the “perfect” gown. But the search for such perfection can be like a rollercoaster journey (read: filled with plenty of ups and downs!). But before you get overwhelmed by pushy sales assistants or the endless choices on the rack (Mermaid or A-line? Glitter sequins or crystal beads?), here are the questions you should ask yourself – and your gown designer – before confirming your wedding gown at the bridal boutique.

QUESTION 1: “Where is my wedding venue?” One of the most common mistakes that brides-to-be make when it comes to gown shopping is doing it too early. Some brides-to-be embark on their quest the day after a teary and emotional proposal! But it’s important to have some wedding details sorted out before you can truly shop for a gown. Ask yourself whether you have properly considered your venue. An elaborate embellished ballgown with a cathedral train will look extremely out-of-place in a beach wedding. Likewise, a simple Jenny Packham sheath dress with lace cap sleeves and a gathered waist will be perfect for a garden solemnisation but too simple for Chinese-style banquet affair. Also, your colour theme – the colours with which you adorn the venue and clad the bridesmaids in – will ultimately influence whether you choose a white or off-white shade. So, settle on the venue before you even step into a bridal boutique. “At my wedding, I had a small garden solemnisation on hotel grounds before moving on to a Chinese banquet lunch. My gown designer had to take the outdoor-to-indoor venue shift into consideration, so she eventually designed a gown with a mid-length train that will neither be too cumbersome on grass nor too simple during my first march-in.” – Angeline, 29

QUESTION 2: “Does this silhouette go with my body shape?” Once your venue is settled, it’s time to throw yourself into researching the styles and silhouettes that fit you best. You can do this by reading articles on gown styles on SingaporeBrides.com to get a better sense of

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FASHION what’s available out there. “It will be good if the bride know the type of body shape she has and the type of silhouettes that she prefer,” says Lucas Yeo, gown designer from LaBelle Bridal Couture. After making a first appointment with the bridal boutique, you will usually be allowed to try on a number of gowns. Use this trying-on session to understand the different silhouettes that are available and see which suits you best. For instance, you may start out desiring a simple sheath dress. But if you are pear-shaped, you might find that an A-line or a ballgown look more flattering. Ask your gown designer what suits your body shape best. Lucas adds: “When choosing your gown, it’s extremely important to get the basic structure right before going into the pattern and design. Specifics like the embellishment, types of lace and buttons are usually the last few steps.” “After going through bridal magazines, I really wanted to make a dramatic entrance with a princess ballgown. But after trying on several gown styles at my bridal boutique, the sales assistant observed that I have a curvy figure. Instead of hiding most of that under a flouncy gown, I should show off my curves in a mermaid gown instead.” –Meiyan, 32

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QUESTION 3: “Who should I take along to the bridal boutique?” If you’ve ever watched an episode of TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress”, you will understand that having an entourage with you at bridal fittings may not necessarily be a good thing. Naturally, it will be the bride-to-be’s first instinct to invite family and best friends to come along. But not everyone will be able to support you and help you to make the right decisions through the roller-coaster journey of choosing a wedding gown. Once you asked yourself this question, think hard. You should not be inviting a varied bunch of girl friends to different bridal fittings, as everyone will have a different opinion. A group of two to five people is enough – and not all at one time. Lucas observes: “There are cases where overzealous

bridesmaids and relatives confuse brides-to-be with their differing tastes and opinions. That’s why we usually advise our customers to bring just a couple of trusted and well-meaning friends or relatives. They should understand you well, and be sensible enough to give objective advice based on your needs instead of their own subjective opinions.” “My close friend made the mistake of asking all of her eight bridesmaids (including me) along for the bridal fitting. She figured it would be a fun way for all of us to get to know one another. But she ended up having a headache instead. None of us could agree what suits her best and gave conflicting advice. With all that chatter, she also lost sight of what she wanted for herself. Eventually, she decided to go to her subsequent bridal fittings with just her mother.” – Joanna, 33

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QUESTION 4: “What’s included in the price of the gown? Another vital (and seemingly obvious) question to ask your bridal boutique is the price of the gown. When choosing a wedding gown, it’s crucial to work within a budget. In fact, by letting the sales assistant or gown designer know your budget, it will help them to guide you to find a perfect gown… that won’t break the bank. Once you shortlist a few gowns at the bridal boutique (assuming you are going the off-the-rack route), be sure to ask what is included in the price of the gown. Alterations, additional embellishments like crystals, sequins or French Chantilly lace may add on to the final cost. For madeto-measure gowns, do ask how the pricing works when discussing gown designs with your bridal boutique. For instance, add-ons of materials and embellishments can incur extra costs. You don’t want to be shocked when you need to add more Chantilly lace halfway through the process – and find that it is going to cost a lot more! “Many of my girlfriends have warned me about bridal boutiques adding on to the cost of their made-to-measure gowns as the months go by. So when my turn came, I had a detailed discussion with my gown designer. I told her that I needed to know the hidden costs upfront, and she brought me through different scenarios – like if I suddenly decide to use more corded lace on my bodice – and gave me ballpark figures of what to expect.” – Natalie, 25 ■ SB

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FASHION

THE CHINESE TRADITION OF WEARING QUN KUA

by Jaclyn Lim

Before the white wedding gown came into fashion, Chinese brides had been wearing the traditional striking red two-piece qun kua to symbolise luck and happiness for the auspicious event. In Singapore, the ceremonial dress is gaining popularity as more boutiques are offering the option to buy or rent one. SingaporeBrides shows you when, where and how to wear it.

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FASHION The tradition of a white wedding is widely attributed to Queen Victoria, who first donned her famous lace dress for her royal nuptials in 1840. Her influence had extended into the far reaches of the world. Today, many brides continue to uphold the Western custom of wearing white to symbolise innocence and sexual purity when they walk down the aisle. But before the iconic white wedding gown came to be customary, Chinese brides – especially those from southern China – favoured the qun kua. A traditional striking red two-piece ceremonial dress, it is fast becoming a popular choice for Singaporean Chinese brides nowadays. Janet Ng, owner of The Red Wedding boutique, observes: “Although the tradition of wearing qun kua has been around for ages, it wasn’t that popular in the past as there weren’t many avenues to access these traditional attires. However, in recent years, more and more boutiques are selling or renting a wider array of qun kuas. This had been making it easier for brides to incorporate the qun kua into their actual day schedules.” Janet also notes that more brides here are choosing to wear the qun kua – even if it is just for a few hours during the traditional tea ceremony – because it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do so. Besides being a strong reflection of Chinese culture, the red colour of the qun kua symbolises luck, happiness and bountiful blessings, which is what all brides yearn for in marriage! So if you are considering to wear the qun kua to your Big Day, read on.

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WHO should wear the qun kua? Only the bride can wear the traditional red qun kua, which consists of the “qun” (skirt) and the “kua” (jacket). Due to its origins in southern China, a common misconception is that only Cantonese brides can wear the ceremonial dress. Janet says: “This cannot be further away from the truth. All Chinese brides can wear the qun kua, as it is actually a Chinese practice.” Meanwhile, your groom has a few sartorial choices to match your qun kua. He can stick to his day suit, wear a Tang-style jacket with dragon motifs or Mandarin collar shirt, or even go all out and wear a ma gua (a silk Chinese men’s jacket over a gown) with embroidery and fa kao (cloth flower ball).

WHEN to wear the qun kua? Traditionally, brides don the qun kua in the morning and sit on the bed to await the start of the fetch-the-bride session. “In Singapore, there are some brides who still maintain this tradition by wearing it as a main gown,” says Janet. “But most choose to wear a white wedding gown for the fetch-the-bride session before switching to the qun kua before or during their return to the bride’s family for tea ceremony.” But modern-day brides don’t have to be restricted to one way of wearing the qun kua. For instance, there are brides who opt not to wear an evening gown during the Chinese banquet. Instead, they will wear the qun kua for their second march-in.

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FASHION HOW to choose a qun kua? There are a few tips when it comes to choosing the perfect qun kua. Here is a stepby-step guide. STEP 1: Pick the right colour. As a bride, you have to choose a red qun kua to wear. “In the olden days, only the first wife can wear a red qun kua while colours like pink or peach are used by the concubines,” says Janet. You might also come across qun kuas that are darker in colour, like black or maroon. These are reserved for the female elders in the family, like your future mother-inlaw, and not appropriate for a bride. STEP 2: Choose an auspicious design. In essence, there should be a dragon (symbolising the groom) and a phoenix (symbolising the bride) embroidered down the front of a traditional qun kua. But these days, the qun kua can also be adorned with auspicious embellishments like peonies or pomegranates. See and touch a few qun kuas to see if there is a certain style that you prefer. For instance, some brides will go for dainty beaded qun kuas while others prefer more elaborate versions with intricate embroidery – complete with gold and silver threads – and coloured sequins.

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STEP 3: Make sure the workmanship is good. When selecting your kua, look out for good workmanship. This means hand-embroidered flowers and realistic-looking dragons and phoenixes (if created from beaded and sequins, look out for the 3D effect). If you are renting for just a few hours, you don’t have to be overly concerned. But if you are planning to buy a qun kua, it makes sense to check the workmanship thoroughly. Run your hand through the qun kua, and check whether there are loose threads, missing bead and sequins before putting your money down. STEP 4: Get the right fit. At the bridal boutique or qun kua rental shop, be sure to ask for the right size. Certain qun kuas are free size, where the skirt comes with adjustable straps. But if the selection of qun kuas offer a range of sizes, try on to get the best fit. Janet advises: “Petite brides can go for XS to S, while plus-sized brides can go from L to XXL. Generally, they should not be baggy or shapeless when worn. At The Red Wedding, our qun kua jackets come tapered at the sides, so it accentuates the waist and cuts a slimmer silhouette. The sleeves should end at least three inches above the wrist to reveal your soft, smooth skin.”


STEP 5: Don’t forget the hair-do and accessories. A traditional Chinese qun kua goes best with gold accessories. If your parents have prepared traditional dowry for you, it should include a number of gold necklaces, rings, earrings, bracelets and bangles. The Teochews place great emphasis on the Si Dian Jin, a four-piece set of gold jewellery, while the Hokkiens and Cantonese focus on a good pair of dragon-phoenix or simple gold bangles. Also ask your makeup artist to put your hair into a classic, ladylike chignon to present a demure image. As for your shoes, you can opt for red or gold heels or traditional embroidered shoes – available from Chinatown – to tie the whole look together.

WHY wear the qun kua? Trends may come and go, but a qun kua is a symbol of Chinese tradition and culture. “It will never go out of style,” says Janet. “Flip through your wedding album a decade from now, and you will agree that it still looks as timeless and as appropriate as ever.” More importantly, wearing the qun kua is all about keeping with tradition – and preserving Chinese heritage.. ■ SB

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... To Weddings Delivered With a Heart

Truly appreciate that La belle really places client’s interest first. Makes me and John a happy couple! My journey with La Belle has been smooth sailing and they are really very flexible....All these small changes were made after we signed the dotted line. We heard horror stories of how rigid or inflexible some studio can be after signing the contract. I’m thankful that this is not our case.

- Penny & John (hellobigday.wordpress.com) Each time i posted something about La Belle Couture on instagram, there will be com comments telling me i will definitely enjoy my experience with them and some others will talk about how responsible and reliable La Belle Couture is. It's really rare people speak up for a service/ company i feel! Most of the time people rant more than rave. So La Belle Couture must have been doing it right ^.^

- Bong QiuQiu - Qiuting & Josh (bongqiuqiu.blogspot.sg) Justin and I were your customers last year, and needless to say we were lucky to have picked LaBelle as our bridal studio amongst many in Singapore. The gowns are stunning and the service is impeccable. My coordinator was incredibly helpful and sightful in picking out the most gorgeous gowns that met all my requirements perfectly, my relatives are still raving about the gowns till today.

- Elaine and Justin chance. Delivering good service is never by chance.We spend many hours with our couples just to make sure we understand their needs and concerns. Make an appointment with us and let us guide you through your wedding planning process! A: 87 Tanjong Pagar Road Singapore 088508 | T: 6327 3983 W: www.labellecouture.com.sg | E: enquiry@labellecouture.com.sg Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/labellecouturebridal


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FASHION

A BRIDE’S GUIDE TO WEDDING VEILS Wearing a wedding veil has been an important wedding tradition in the West since the 19th century. Back then, brides wore white wedding veils as a symbol of their virginity and modesty, while the Roman brides before them wore flame-coloured ones as protection against evil spirits on their wedding day. Today, the wearing of wedding veils symbolises a bride’s transition from being a single woman to a married one and is a tradition widely practiced all over the world. Like your wedding gown, there are many different types of wedding veils to suit every occasion and bride. To help you learn about the different wedding veils and find out which one completes your wedding look, SingaporeBrides has put together a short but comprehensive guide on wedding veils.

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by Audrie Soh


Image cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo by Albert Palmer

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FASHION Blusher A blusher is the piece of veil shielding the bride’s face as she walks down the aisle. It varies in length, from birdcage to much longer, and can be layered with other lengths of veils to create a layered look.

Birdcage Veil Quickly gaining popularity in recent years due to its flexibility and versatility, birdcage veils are the shortest in length and are usually made out of fishnet or tulle. It comes in a variety of lengths, although it is most commonly worn just covering the eyes or extending down to the chin. It complements any hairstyle and length, and is usually decorated with fascinators, flowers or a jeweled brooch.

Shoulder Length Veil A shoulder length veil is one that ends anywhere from your shoulders to the middle of your back. This veil is perfect because it retains the tradition of a wedding veil without being heavy or cumbersome while allowing brides to show off any detailing on their gowns. A variation of the shoulder length veil is the flyaway veil, which usually consists more than one tier.

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Image cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo by Albert Palmer


Image cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo by Krista Guenin

Bouffant A bouffant is a pouf veil that just grazes the top of the shoulders and adds a ‘60s flair to your wedding ensemble. Made up of layers of tulle pinned together to create a voluminous look, this style of veil is not for the shy bride.

Elbow Length Veil Elegant and easy to handle, the elbow length veil is a perfect complement to full-length gowns as it ends just where the skirt of the gown begins, creating a very flattering silhouette. Pair an elbow length veil with a blusher to retain that classic romantic look a full-length veil offers without the hassle of carrying one around. Because it is considered to be an informal veil, the elbow length veil is ideal for daytime weddings.

Fingertip Length Veil If you were following the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, then you will be familiar with the fingertip length veil. An extremely popular style of veil, the fingertip length veil flatters most brides and gowns.

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FASHION Ballet Length Veil

retain the traditional lengths while maintaining that pretty laced-edge look.

Falling anywhere between the knee and the ankle, the ballet length veil is short enough to waltz and walk around in without worrying about tripping over, and long enough to maintain the tradition and elegance of longer veils.

Juliet Cap

Chapel Length Veil The chapel length veil is incredibly romantic and elegant, and ideal for formal weddings. It goes all the way to the ground and can be combined with a blusher or an elbow length veil for a layered look.

Cathedral Length Veil Typically worn in church and very formal weddings, cathedral length veils are floor length and wider than the frame of the gown by a few inches or several feet. This style of veil is great for creating a dramatic walk down the aisle.

Mantilla Pronounced as ‘man-tea-ya’, a mantilla is a circular piece of lace or tulle rimmed heavily with lace used to frame a bride’s face. It can be combined with a more traditional veil to

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Otherwise known as the lace cap, this veil is fitted around the crown of the head and comes in varying lengths. Worn by Kate Moss and Lily Allen at their weddings, the Juliet Cap was first seen in the 16th century before gaining popularity in the 1920’s and 1970’s.

Tips on Choosing The Right Wedding Veil Choosing the right wedding veil for your big day involves as much science as choosing your dream gown. The type of veil you’ll wear on your wedding day depends on the silhouette and length of your gown, so always decide on your wedding gown first before buying one to ensure that your veil complements your overall look. Bring your veil along to your hair and makeup trial so you’ll have a chance to discuss what works and don’t work for your veil and hairstyle. And if you have extra cash on hand to spare, splurge on 2 different veils for different looks at your reception and wedding banquet. Or, simply choose to leave your wedding veil behind for your banquet to achieve 2 different looks without spending extra. ■ SB


Image cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo by â…Żeagan

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THEGROOMROOM

BEWARE THE

GROOMZILLA

Wedding planning has long been the domain of the bride-to-be. But these days, a new breed of men is threatening to take over. Fu Jinming dissects the Groomzilla, and shows how not to turn into one.

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by Fu Jinming


The wedding. It used to be every girl’s dream. Now, it’s most boys’ too. That is, judging by how involved men have become in the planning of their weddings. According to a recent survey in the UK*, 60% of couples say grooms are more hands-on in wedding planning than years before. Over 50% of grooms say they decided on the final date and venue of the wedding. 42% think they are as competent as the fairer sex when it comes to organising their big day. And one in 20 had a say in the floral arrangements. Hardly surprising. The stereotype of the man who only wants to be there for his suit fitting is about as dated as Hokkien wedding singers. These days, it is the grooms who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty in marital matters. After all, why should women get all the fun? We’re calm in the face of danger. We’re decisive. And we have an innate ability to leave our emotions at the door, and give clear-cut directions to vendors. Besides, the sheer scale of a modern-day wedding requires more than a one-woman show. There are meetings to be had. Arrangements to be made. And tasks to be shared. Weddings are not for the faint-hearted, but two heads are better than one. Two pairs of hands too. And since it’s our special day too, chivalry dictates that we help the one we love get through the event of our lives. It’s an opportunity to be at our gallantry best. All well and good. Until a few of us carry the obsession a little too far. Where the bridezilla is a control freak, the groomzilla is an annoying, micro-managing man-diva who wants the final say in everything – including what his bride will be wearing to the altar.

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THEGROOMROOM You know the type. You might even have seen him before. He’s the one interrogating the bridal designer on the hemline of the bridal gown. The one terrorising the venue coordinator for chair options. The amateur auteur who insists on doing his own wedding montage – badly. What you don’t see is the bride turning every shade of red when he raises his voice at a bridal fair. Or her parents smiling awkwardly as he questions the florist on the freshness of his boutonniere. Or his own folks as he attempts to art-direct the wedding photographer. The fact is, nobody likes a diva. Much less one in a tuxedo suit fussing over the fabric of the dinner napkins. How do you stop yourself from turning into an incredible hulk of a groomzilla, so your wife-to-be stays sane enough to walk down the aisle with you – without punching you in the face? Let us count thy ways.

Play as a Team It takes two to tango. Being actively involved in the wedding planning means your bride doesn’t have to do everything herself. She’ll appreciate the extra help, while you’ll earn precious brownie points down the road. Just remember to complement each other. For example, she might be good with colours, while you’re better with people. So let her make the call on the aesthetics of the wedding, while you focus on liaising with the venue staff. If she’s into party planning and you’re into finances, let her organise the banquet entertainment while you sort out the budget. That way, you play to each other’s strengths. And every one is clear on his or her responsibility.

Trust Her Once you’ve decided on the duties you shall each perform, give her your complete trust. That means not calling her incessantly about the venue, the food, or – heaven forbid – the cupcakes for the reception. If you don’t want her to nag at you for the rest of your wedded life, extend the same courtesy to her now. An important part of that trust will come from how you conduct your meetings together. Always come away knowing what needs to be done next, and who will be doing it. Then set deadlines.

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If your lady can be a scatterbrain at times, politely ask if she needs a reminder. Otherwise, give her the chance to be a responsible adult. If she does forget something, she’ll feel lousy about it even without your nagging.

Keep Calm and Marry On Whatever you do – or she doesn’t – don’t lose your cool. Blowing your top rarely solves anything. If a problem arises, or if something doesn’t go to plan, stop. Take a deep breath, and calmly think about what you can do to resolve it. Ranting and raving at the people involved – the bridal designer, the tailor, the banquet vendor, your groomsmen, or (gasp) your bride – doesn’t help anyone. It makes the situation tenser than it already is. Worse, it reflects badly on you, upsetting and demoralising every one – including your wife-to-be.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff Nothing is perfect. Unfortunately, that goes for your wedding too. While you’d want every little detail to be immaculately planned for, it’s impossible to account for every button, petal, and canapé crumb. Accept that not all will go according to plan. The good news is, unlike heart surgery, a wrong move at a wedding won’t kill anybody. And honestly, nobody’s going to notice that little jump in the dinner muzak.

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Delegate Know that you can’t do everything yourself. Involve your best man and groomsmen early in the planning if you can – with your fiancée’s blessings, of course. You can appoint someone to be in charge of the alcohol. Another to take care of the wedding favours. And someone else to work out the day schedule. Just be sure to brief each appointment holder thoroughly on his role. Then let him fly like a peacock.

Be Realistic Sure, you deserve the wedding of your dreams too. But keep it within reason. Pulling up at your bride’s place in a flaming red Lamborghini reeks of showiness. Lining your big entrance at the venue with fireworks will invite the cops. And assembling 20 groomsmen on your big day takes bromance to a new, comical low. So when in doubt, KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid).

Listen You’re not marrying yourself. So when your fiancée has an opinion on the wedding plan, stop what you’re doing and listen up. She may have noticed something you’ve missed. Or she knows a way to organise the seating arrangements better. It may even be that she has an idea that will make your life much easier. All you have to do is put your ego aside, hold your tongue, and lend her your ears. And while you can have an opinion on her bridal gown, accept that she’s the one who’s going to be wearing it. It’s something she’s dreamt of her whole life. So don’t go dismissing her design ideas, or dictating what she should be wearing instead. You may think you’re wearing the pants in this marriage, but trust us – she’ll be deciding which ones you’ll wear. ■ SB *UK study by Austin Reed

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THEGROOMROOM

HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR GROOMSMEN

by Fu Jinming

What makes a good groomsman? What skills should he possess? Whom among your buddies should you ask to join your band of merry men? Fu Jinming explains. 168/


Believe it or not, your wedding is one the most important tests of modern-day bro-mance. Right up there with grabbing the beer tab. And promising not to date each other’s baby sisters. For it is the day when true friends become brothersin-arms. When the most important men in your life put themselves at your disposal without question. Men who’ll put on a mint tie and a monkey suit for you. Who’ll pin flowers on themselves for you. Go through hell and hellish gatecrash games with you. And stick by you, through every ang-pow-mad bridesmaid, snarky relative, and Bridezilla moment. Meet your groomsmen, the ultimate wing-men. A job that is both an honour and a big responsibility, one not for the faint-hearted. Because groomsman duty is a day-long commitment (month-long for some) that requires verve, stamina, and a healthy stomach for chaos.

need performed that day. His personality, talents and working style will decide if he’s appropriate for the kind of wedding assignment you have in mind. Some guys are natural organisers who’ll orchestrate your wedding proceedings with military precision. While others are charmers who’ll please mothers on both sides of the family. You may also have friends who are street-smart hagglers – always handy during gatecrash negotiations. Or the fitness nut who’ll gladly carry your wedding stores up and down the stairs. Like the Avengers, each member of your entourage has a superpower you can harness. All you have to do is decide on what you need done, and the person you think will do it best.

TYPES OF GROOMSMEN

Typically, a groomsman should be someone you’re close to. Or who holds a special significance in your life – or even in your bride-to-be’s (not her ex please). More importantly, he should be someone you’ll trust on the biggest day of your life. He could be your best friend, your co-worker, your beer buddy, sibling, cousin, or even your future brother-in-law. There are no hard and fast rules to choosing the relations of your groomsmen. Just as long as he’s someone you’d want by your side on the most important day of your life.

The Human Organiser

Ideally – but not mandatorily – he should also be someone your partner doesn’t absolutely detest. So strike off the dude who dumped her best friend. He should also be suited for the specific role or task you

He’d also be the one giving the wake-up call, the one reminding you of your next activity, and most importantly, the one who’ll hurry everyone along if they over-run the schedule.

The timekeeper, secretary, and walking diary all rolled into one. This is the guy you’d want keeping track of the day’s agenda. Armed with a photographic memory and a penchant for punctuality, he knows the time you should be setting out in the morning. How long the gatecrash should last. What time your guests should be seated by. And what time your bride and you should be at the doors of the banquet venue.

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THEGROOMROOM The Childhood Friend The man you knew as a boy. Someone who knows your family, and whom your folks regard as one of their own. He’s the go-to guy when it comes to recognising who’s who once your relatives start streaming into the reception – particular useful when it comes to rounding everyone up for photography sessions and tea ceremonies. He can also entertain your parents, filling them in on what’s happening and getting them off your back so you can concentrate on being the busiest – but happiest – man on earth. The Hustler The main negotiator during the morning gatecrash, he’s the guy with the street smarts and the quick wits. Someone who can handle the bridesmaids’ demands – monetary or otherwise – at the front gate, and process mental sums at the speed of light. The amount in the ang pow you give at the end of the session will depend on how he orchestrates his little dance with the ladies at the gate. The sharper his tongue, the happier your wallet.

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The Porter The dude who’ll carry your world on his shoulder. Whether it’s moving the traditional bridal baskets up flights of stairs in the morning, or shifting the furniture around during the tea ceremony, he’s the muscle of the team. Your own personal Arnie. Chances are, he’ll also be the one helping the bridesmaids with their belongings as they move from venue to venue, so patience to go with his strength and stamina will put him –and you – in good stead. The Iron Stomach With the increasingly creative (and punishing) nature of gatecrashing, ahem, cuisine these days, you need someone with a strong stomach. He should be able to take whatever food the bridesmaids throw at you – no matter how ‘exotic’ it looks. You’d need someone who has an adventurous spirit when it comes to food. And a palette for the weird, the spicy, and the downright awful. A rigorous wasabi test at a sushi place before the wedding might help prepare him for the worst. The Sadist No matter how taxing or humiliating the gatecrashing games get, this guy can take the torture. From push-ups to garter fights to kissing the groom, he will go through hell and high water for you. Armed with nothing but a thick skin, grit, and an extraordinary love for your friendship.

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THEGROOMROOM

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The Joker Weddings can get really intense. So it helps when you have someone with a great sense of humour who’ll make light of stressful moments during yours. He’s usually the heart of any party; the guy who can make everyone feel instantly at ease. But there’s a thin line between being funny and being tactless. So ensure your court jester knows which buttons to press, and which ones to leave alone. The Best Man The highest honour you can give to a man-friend. Your best man is not just the closest friend you have, he’s also the most reliable man you know. Your Chief of Staff, if you will. He who knows what happens when at your wedding. Whom you’ll trust with your rings till the vow exchange. Who’ll organise, delegate and lead your entourage. And who’ll calm you down when the going gets tough. Ideally, he should also be articulate and possess a flair for pubic speaking, since the Best Man’s speech is often the second-most anticipated highlight of the wedding reception – just behind your own moment at the podium. At the end of the day though, it’s all about having your closest friends with you as you begin a new chapter in your life. After all, there’s nothing more symbolic than bidding bachelorship farewell with the very guys you’ve spent so much of it with. Then when the revelry finally ends and the dust settles, reward them like the brothers they have been – man to man to man – with a big fat ang pow, and a round of ice-cold beer. ■ SB

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THEGROOMROOM

SURVIVING HER FAMILY

Being part of a new family is just as daunting to the groom-to-be as it is to his bride. Fu Jinming shows you how to handle her parents and siblings. And make her family yours. 176/

by Fu Jinming


So, you’ve got the girl. You’ve got the flat. And you’re all ready for a life made for two. That is, if you discount her parents, who’d like you both to come home every now and then for dinner. Her aunt who thinks you can fix anything, including her toilet. Her younger brother who’ll always need help at Math. Or her cousin who thinks you guys should hang out together with her and her hubby more often. Before long, you realise that your married life now resembles less of a Tom Hanks-Meg Ryan rom-com, and more of a Star Trek episode with an ensemble cast – of Starship-Enterprise proportions. Like it or not, unless you’re planning on living like a hermit couple, your marriage will always be filled with characters that come with that ring on your finger. Because the truth is, when you marry the girl of your dreams, you marry her whole family. It might have been the fact that women are generally more sociable than men. They are also more nurturing; they like the people closest to their hearts to get along with one another. Especially if it involves the man she loves. Which is why she’s always looking for you – the man in her life – to take initiative, and play an active role in her extended family life. Likewise, she’d like her loved ones to enjoy your company – and you, theirs – so she can cement your place in her family circle. Which is a good thing. According to a new research in the US, a couple’s risk of divorce decreases by as much as 20% when the husband has had a close relationship with his wife’s parents. The math adds up: having close ties with your in-laws says a lot about how important your wife is to you. It tells her that you care about her parents, because you care a lot about her.

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This bodes well for a long and healthy marriage. And may get you out of the doghouse more times than you’d care to imagine. The great thing is, it’s generally easier for men to get along with their wives’ families, than it is for women to get along with their husbands’. After all, surveys have shown that men are less likely to worry that their in-laws are interfering too much into their romantic relationship. So go on, make yourself comfortable around your wife’s parents, their parents, her siblings, her uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces, and so on. Often, that involves letting them get comfortable with you first. But once they do, you’ll find them to be an unexpected – and frequently rewarding – source of support for your marriage. Here’s what you can do to ease into the family.

Take Them Out If you think getting to know your new family involves just turning up during Chinese New Year or Christmas parties, think again. To truly get acquainted with your in-laws, make an effort to spend time with them socially. That means taking the initiative to plan outings and get-togethers, so you get ample face time with them. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. A simple lunch date would suffice. Or dinner at a restaurant you’ve been meaning to check out. It could even be leisure activities you know your wife’s family would enjoy. Like an afternoon walk in the park. Or an evening at the movies.

Get to Know Them Better Once you’re spending time with them, try to make conversation. Ask them about their jobs. Discuss the latest current affairs. Heck, you can even talk about the weather. The key here is to take an interest in their lives and the things that affect them. You can also talk a little about your family or your work. Opening up about your life gives them a better insight into your upbringing, personality, and belief system. More importantly, the more they know about you, the more they’ll feel relaxed around you.

Stay Neutral Never, ever insult your wife’s family members – behind their backs or otherwise. Even when your wife’s complaining about them. She may be displeased with some of them, and she may even have a good reason to, but nobody likes to have their parents talked about in less-than-pleasing terms. Least of all by the man she trusts most. If your missus has a problem with her folks, offer a listening ear, but try not to take sides. Suggest that she talk it out with them. If you’re the one having an issue with her parents, talk to your wife about it. Calmly.

Treat Her Siblings Like Yours If her brother is like the brother you’ve never had, treat him like one. If he isn’t, pretend he is anyway. Chances are, your wife will be pleased that you’re making an effort to nurture a relationship with her siblings – even if she finds them annoying.

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THEGROOMROOM

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If it’s her younger siblings you’re dealing with, help them out with their homework. Or give career advice – but only if you know what you’re talking about, and are sure that you’re not being intrusive. A nosey brother-in-law is about as cool as a pair of Crocs sandals. If she has older siblings, show an interest in what they do for a living. You can even ask for their advice in matters like car loans, housing, and even your career. They’ll feel flattered that you hold their opinions in high regard.

Limit What You Share While it’s good to share interesting anecdotes about your married life, it is generally not advisable to talk about your spousal problems with her family. For one, they might take sides. After all, she’s kin. You just came with the package. Even if they do side with you, it’s still not a good idea; your wife might take it as a betrayal – from both you and her family. Good rarely comes out of it. Instead, work out your issues privately. By leaving her family out of it, you leave them less reason to intrude into your lives.

Give Gifts Take the trouble to remember dates special to her family. Like her parents’ birthdays and wedding anniversary. Or her siblings’ birthdays. Then get them gifts together with your wife. She would know what they’d like and what they wouldn’t. And you’ll get into their books as a sweet and thoughtful son- or brother-in-law. Though the value of your gift shouldn’t matter, don’t go for the bottom of the barrel here. Besides making you look like a cheapskate, a generic “budget” gift – like an airport souvenir – also suggests that you’re a thoughtless little man. Put a little heart into it. Find a present that’ll mean something to the people who mean the world to your wife. ■ SB

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Photography

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PHOTOGRAPHY

HAVING AN UNPLUGGED WEDDING?

by Jaclyn Lim

In this tech-savvy age, trigger-happy wedding guests are posting photos on social networks, in real time. But through sharing your joy, these guest photographers may end up compromising the efforts you have put into planning your beautiful wedding. So, perhaps it’s time you ask your guests to put down their smartphones (and start enjoying the event!). SingaporeBrides explores the feasibility of an unplugged wedding.

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Just a few decades ago, the only camera you would see at a wedding celebration most likely belonged to the professional photographer hired to capture key moments of the happy occasion. But these days, camera-toting guests are littered all over the wedding venue. It would not be difficult to spot Aunt Janice – with her pink digital camera – lingering near the candy bar, trying to take photos of cute toddlers reaching out for sweets. Or, you might spot Uncle Lim suddenly jumping out of his seat and snapping away with his dSLR as the bride is walking down the church aisle. Don’t forget the remaining guests – they may take random snapshots with their phones or iPads as the festivities continue through the day. At first glance, it may seem like a great idea to have such guest photographers milling around at your wedding. After all, the professional photographer you hired cannot possibly capture every significant moment at your wedding. These enthusiastic guest photographers will be able to capture a series of alternative snapshots of your big day. For instance, when your hired pro is zooming in on the bridal couple during the exchanging of vows, your Uncle Tan might just be able to snap that precious photo of the bride’s 90-year-old grandma dabbing a tear away. The best bit: Uncle Tan won’t be sending you an invoice after the wedding. Couples who are on a very tight budget may sometimes skip professional photography, so guest photographers make perfect sense. If you’re a part of the digerati who announced your engagement via all the available social networks, have wedding e-invites and will live-stream your ceremony, then of course, there’s no reason have an unplugged wedding. But the fact that everyone is a photographer is not always good news for the bridal couple. Guest photographers are not only documenting every moment, but also posting them up on social networks like Facebook and Instagram in real time. This means that there might be one too many unflattering candid shots of the bride, shown too quickly to the world. What’s worse – it gains 21 “likes” and probably a few snarky comments. That aside, the amateur shots may not justify the effort and energy that the bridal couple has ploughed months and months of intense wedding planning into. Also, many professional photographers find such guest photographers to be a hindrance to their work. Dave Koh, founder and chief photographer of wedding photography outfit DS Image, explains: “Many people own cameras nowadays, and it can be extremely nerve-wracking to have these guest photographers suddenly popping out and blocking our line of sight when we are trying to capture a picture-perfect moment, like when the groom is about to kiss the bride.” Other times, the endless series of camera flashes may result in washed out photos.

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PHOTOGRAPHY

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Then, there are guests who may interfere with the professional photographer on duty. Besides telling him who, when and where to shoot, they may even insist on the professional photographer taking photos from a certain angle. Dave adds: “As professionals, we have to train ourselves to anticipate and deal with such unpredictable situations on the Actual Day. But sometimes, things can go beyond our control and ultimately spoil the best images of the wedding.” That’s why more and more professional photographers are suggesting the idea of having an “unplugged wedding”, where the bridal couple ask guests to switch off their phones, iPads and cameras and fully focus on the happy occasion. The real purpose of this is to allow the professional photographer to do his job well and capture the wedding as perfectly as possible. So if you want to clear the court for your hired photographer, read this detailed step-by-step guide to going unplugged on your big day.

DECIDE IF YOU REALLY WANT AN UNPLUGGED WEDDING You have heard the pros about asking guests to stick to a no-camera rule. But not everyone feels that an unplugged wedding is the best way to achieve a picture-perfect wedding. For some, having guests take an endless stream of photos – blurry, poorly lit or otherwise – is part and parcel of throwing an enjoyable party. In fact, many couples love the idea of having trigger-happy guests so much that they even start Instagram hashtags to collate all the snapshots of the Actual Day moments. So, decide which you prefer – it’s your day after all!

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PHOTOGRAPHY INFORM THE GUESTS THAT YOU ARE HAVING AN UNPLUGGED WEDDING Once you have decided to plan an unplugged wedding, don’t wait till the Actual Day to inform your guests. So, include a line in the wedding invitation that explains the concept. Then, prepare nicely-worded signs to display at the wedding venue to remind guests to refrain from taking photos and posting them up on Facebook or Instagram. When the day arrives, your ushers can also go up to guests who are using a camera phone and politely mention the unplugged rule. The most important thing is to be gracious about it so you don’t end up offending guests.

BRIEF THE PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER Chances are that the professional photographer you hired will be more than happy to know that you are planning an unplugged wedding. Have an in-depth discussion about your Actual Day plans. For instance, list the important moments that you wish for him to capture. “During the solemnisation, these moments include the walk down the aisle, the exchanging of vows and rings, as well as the first kiss,” says Dave. “At the dinner banquet, these are moments like the first and second marchins, as well as the champagne toast or ‘yum seng’.” Once he knows the venue, the photographer will be able to roughly identify where he intends to position himself before the major moments. So, you can get your emcees to gently remind guests to tuck their cameras away or stay out of shot when the time comes.

LET THE PROFESSIONAL (AND NO ONE ELSE!) TAKE THE BANQUET SHOTS Group shots are mandatory at any Chinese wedding banquet. With the sheer number of tables (and guests!), just gathering everyone to stand around the round table is a challenge. When you throw guest photographers into the mix, it can easily turn into a recipe for disaster. Joseph Tan and Marianne Low, who married late last year, explain: “Many of our relatives and friends followed us with their camera phones as we

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made our rounds during the photo-taking session. When we received the professionally shot pictures of our wedding, we were dismayed to find that guests didn’t know where to look – their eyes were darting all over the place.” Solve this by having the emcees gently reminding guests to leave the photo taking to the professional photographer. Also, reassure them that banquet shots will be shared with them after the wedding.

PUT DISPOSABLE CAMERAS ON EVERY BANQUET TABLE If you think your wedding guests are going to suffer from severe photo-taking withdrawal, appease them by putting disposable cameras on every table. They will get to snap away as much as they like and you might get lucky with memorable candid shots as a keepsake of your big bash. First, be sure to get disposable cameras with flash if you are holding your wedding in an indoor venue with low lighting. Next, label them to prevent guests from bringing the cameras home – too often, bridal couple end up with missing disposable cameras and no photos to show for their efforts! Also leave a friendly note to encourage your guests to use them – and remind them to return the camera to the table after they are done.

SHARE YOUR WEDDING PHOTOS FREELY AFTER THE EVENT Guest photographers take photo after photo because they are genuinely happy for the bridal couple, and want to be able to relive the joyous moments of the day. So if you are going to stop them from taking photos, do make the extra effort to share your professionally taken shots with them as soon as possible. One way to do this is to discuss with your photographer to quickly release a small selection of snapshots a few days after your wedding. So if your wedding falls on a Saturday, sharing them via email or Facebook on the following Monday or Tuesday is ideal. When the prints come in, consider ordering extras to mail to your wedding guests. ■ SB

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PHOTOGRAPHY

REAL WEDDINGS

A DESIGNER WEDDING

by Tansey Tang

Most kids remember a day at the zoo, gazing in awe at giraffes and pointing excitedly at elephants. Jewellery designer Yuki loved the zoo so much that she decided that it was the perfect place to marry outdoors-loving Shohei, and give their friends and family, who flew in for their wedding, some fun at the same time. Read on to see how Yuki and Shohei designed a heartwarming ceremony to celebrate with loved ones around the world, and don’t miss their unique wedding bands, which are a gorgeous symbol of her jewellery talents meeting his love for bikes, made in the hope that they will connect and work well together in their marriage journey! 198/


THE STORY How did the two of you meet? Yuki: We met through our friends at a dinner. Shohei was a very good listener and didn’t talk much about himself until I had a chance to chat with him towards the end. I was impressed to hear that he had traveled the entire Japan from the very north to the very south on his bicycle! Shohei: When I first heard that Yuki was a jewellery designer I thought we lived in different worlds, as I knew nothing about design. But when we talked I realized that we actually had a lot in common and we became close very quickly. Tell us about the proposal. How does one choose a ring for someone who designs jewellery herself? Yuki: As I’m a jewellery designer, he knew I wouldn’t be happy with an engagement ring that he could buy off the shelf, so instead he suggested that we get it made by a friend of mine or someone that I respected. My dream ring had always been the ring that my old boss, whom I used to work for in London, designed, so we asked her. Shohei: So Yuki was actually very much involved in getting the engagement ring and it wasn’t a surprise. But I’m glad I did that; the ring is beautiful and one of a kind. Pear-shaped champagne diamond set in hammered rose-gold — how would I have guessed that was what she wanted! I did give her a little surprise by lying about when the ring was arriving, so the proper proposal with the ring happened at a dinner she was least expecting!

THE COUPLE Yuki Mitsuyasu, 31, Jewellery Designer & Shohei Kamenosono, 31, Manager at Shipping Company DATE OF WEDDING 29 April 2012

We heard that you held the ceremony in the Singapore Zoo! Could you tell us why you chose that location? Shohei: We have always wanted to have our wedding outdoors, and because we had lots of friends and family visiting from overseas we didn’t want them to travel all the way just to attend another wedding in a hotel. We didn’t know many places for outdoor weddings in Singapore but knew

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PHOTOGRAPHY that Singapore zoo did, hence one weekend we went to have a look at the venue. Once we saw the beautiful view overlooking Seletar Reservoir, we decided straight away! We didn’t even have a look at any other venues. Yuki: I grew up in Singapore and the zoo has always been my favourite tourist spot in Singapore, so much so that I used to joke I would happily get married there. I never thought I would actually get married there though! A wedding in the zoo sounds like fun, but was it easy preparing for it? Shohei: Our attitude towards preparation was to keep it simple and just do everything within our capabilities, so although we only had about 3-4 months to prepare for our wedding and we didn’t have a wedding planner, we were quite easy going and there wasn’t any drama.

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Yuki: We both had quite clear ideas of what we wanted, so I think that made it easy. For example I wanted a very simple wedding gown so instead of searching and trying on many gowns, I just went to buy good quality fabrics —French silk chiffon and satin — and got my dress tailor-made.


So how did everything turn out? Yuki: Our guests arrived by the coach that we had arranged, and were taken on the tram to Garden with the view, the solemnization venue. We were supposed to make our entrance in the horse carriage, but it started raining just as we got on the carriage! I almost felt like crying because the whole point of having our wedding at the zoo was for the outdoor venue but if it continued raining everything had to be shifted indoors. Thankfully, the rain stopped after 10-15 minutes, and we managed to carry on at Garden with the view. I felt sorry that some of the guests got wet, but then it got really sunny and hot and everyone was sweating! Why did the two things that we were most worried about having an outdoor wedding in Singapore, rain and the heat, both have to happen! After the solemnization, everyone had another tram ride to Forest Lodge, the air-conditioned lunch reception venue, looking at animals along the way. For the reception, we had one change of outfit, into Japanese traditional costumes. What did your family and friends have to say about your wedding? Yuki: They liked the unusual setting of our wedding and lot of our friends told us it was one of the most memorable. Besides our own wedding favour, the zoo also provided little stuffed animal toys which were sweet mementos of the event. My friends were fighting over their favourite animals and told me they even went to the gift shop after the wedding to look for them! Were there any moments that were particularly special to you? Yuki: When we entered on the horse carriage and were greeted by the guests, that was a very special moment for me. Seeing the smiling faces of all the friends and family that I love, together in one place at the zoo for our wedding, it felt very surreal.

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PHOTOGRAPHY Shohei: The moment when the rain stopped, I felt blessed. All my worries melted away as the sun came out, and I felt like celebrating, because I knew everything was going to be okay. I was so happy to share the moment with family and friends visiting from all over the world. Did you design anything special for your wedding? Yuki: We made special sterling silver spoons as wedding favours. We used the star motif from one of my collection called Shine, because the star is made up of two hearts representing two individuals, that come together to shine as a star. We thought it worked perfect. I also designed our wedding bands. They are based on a bicycle theme as Shohei loves road bikes, and also bicycles are often a symbol of progress, renewal and promising times ahead. When the rings are worn, they look just like an ordinary plain ring and an eternity-ring, but they depict bicycle gears when they are viewed directly from above. They were designed with a hope that we will have good coordination and enhanced married life ahead!

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THE DETAILS The Venue: Singapore Zoo, Solemnisation at Garden With A View, Lunch reception at Forest Lodge The Caterer: Singapore Zoo The Florist : Stefii’s Bloom The Makeup Artist and Hairstylist : Sanlia Make Up The Photographer: Glen Sin’s Photography Wedding Planning: SingaporeBrides.com The Videographer: Moving Pics Production

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PHOTOGRAPHY

REAL WEDDINGS

LOVE GOES THE DISTANCE

by Tansey Tang

Long distance relationships are undeniably difficult, but this sweet couple gives us all hope that true love does indeed go the distance. Elizabeth and Conrad charm us with their Skype “proposal,� his moving across the world to be with the love of his life, and their gorgeous pre-wedding shots amidst the striking architecture of Macau, taken with a splash of fun under an umbrella!

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THE STORY How did the two of you meet? Conrad: I saw Elizabeth for the first time at a party during Chinese New Year 2009. At that time, both of us were already in a relationship. We managed to meet again in September 2009, when we started playing badminton with a group of mutual friends. I must admit, Elizabeth is good at sports. Her badminton skills caught my attention, but even more, her beauty charmed me.

THE COUPLE Elizabeth, 22, Architecture Student & Conrad, 30, Accountant

Elizabeth: I honestly don’t remember seeing Conrad in early 2009, and he keeps teasing me for not remembering our first encounter. Anyhow, when we officially met again at our badminton games, Conrad wouldn’t stop watching me play from metres away. The truth was I had a crush on him too, so I did some research and managed to secretly get his number off a

friend’s phone! Conrad is shy so I made the first move, and that one message led to today. We heard that you had a long distance relationship. Elizabeth made the first move that started everything, and Conrad made the across-the-world move that brought you two together again! Tell us the story. Conrad: We are both from Mauritius. In 2011, Elizabeth went to Hong Kong to pursue her tertiary studies. We decided to go with a long distance relationship, but as many may know, it is one of the hardest things to do! After two years, I had enough of it and decided to leave my business in Mauritius to join Elizabeth because she means the world to me. Elizabeth: During our long distance relationship, Conrad and I would meet once or twice a year, and each time we had to leave each

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PHOTOGRAPHY other again only made it more difficult. One day, Conrad promised me that we would never have to be far from each other again. That’s when he decided to leave everything in Mauritius to come join me. I know that was so sweet but that also meant a huge sacrifice for him and I would never be thankful enough to him. Aww, that is so romantic. Was the proposal just as moving? Elizabeth: Awkwardly enough, there was no proposal. In fact, we decided to get married over a Skype conversation! Conrad: When I promised her that I would join her in Hong Kong, our conversation eventually ended up being about weddings and that’s how we decided to get married. How cute! When you commemorated your decision with an engagement shoot, did you have a concept for the shoot?

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Conrad: We wanted our prewedding photos to have as background something different from the very familiar landscape of Hong Kong. We really wanted the shoot to be in Macau because of the European architecture. After looking at over 20 photographers, we narrowed them down to three, and in the end chose Jerome Goh because of the package he offered and because he knows the places around Macau. But even more, he is fluent in English (yes, I can’t speak any Chinese). Elizabeth: Apart from wanting to shoot in Macau, we were very easy-going on the rest. In fact, some ideas came from my fitted lace wedding gown. The hairstylist suggested that braids would go well with the gown, and together with Macau’s background, we managed to go from no concept to a touch of old and vintage style. We love the gorgeous architecture in your shots. What made you decide on your photo shoot locations? We didn’t have any location in mind. When Elizabeth saw a couple’s photo on the jetty, she said, that was a must for us. For the rest, we trusted our photographer. Unfortunately, the plan had to change because of the rain; we ended up shooting indoors

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PHOTOGRAPHY more. Both of us actually didn’t know where we were heading until we had to get out of the car! We were also very lucky that the Venetian Hotel was having a carnival party that evening. As our car passed by and we saw the bright lights, we knew we had to stop there. Our night shots turned out amazing! Tell us the story behind your cute umbrella shots. Elizabeth: We were very disappointed to see the bad weather that morning. We planned to have some outdoor shots on the open grass but that never happened. Instead, in many of our photos, we are holding an umbrella. I still remember being very hesitant to drop my gown onto the wet ground and by the end of the shoot, my gown was soaked heavy. The entire shoot was a race against the rain. The second the rain stopped, we would run out and the second it started pouring again, we had to run for shelter. Just imagine having a gown and heels on! Conrad: But, big thanks to our photographer, Jerome, who managed to change our location schedule in no time and didn’t hesitate to shoot us under the

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rain even if it meant having his equipment wet. Overall, we had a lot of fun! What was the most memorable moment of your shoot? Elizabeth: We giggled a lot when we were holding each other closely. Each time I looked into Conrad’s eyes, I would see my own reflection, and I resembled the cartoon character Miss Piggy from the Muppet show. Conrad: I’m not good in front of cameras, so Elizabeth would tickle me to let out my natural smile!

How did you family and friends react to your pre-wedding photos? Absolutely everyone we showed the photos to, found them gorgeous. Conrad’s mum loves them so much that she has a shortcut link on her desktop so she can watch them every day. They definitely are lovely engagement photos. Next up, a wedding! What are your plans for the big day? Elizabeth: Since we are both from Mauritius, we plan to celebrate it there with family and friends. We have in mind a beach wedding

with an outdoor banquet at our favourite resort with around 150 guests. So no fancy dresses and heels! Conrad: Elizabeth loves art and crafts, and we plan to design our own decorations. Our wedding is scheduled for May 2015.

THE DETAILS The Photographer: Jerome Goh Photography The Makeup Artist and Hairstylist: Tobico Professional Makeup

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PHOTOGRAPHY

AN EASY GUIDE TO OVERSEAS WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY

by Tansey Tang

Image by John Lim Photography

An increasingly popular trend in Singapore, getting your wedding shots done abroad is a great way for couples to get a holiday in and relax on the job. If you’re looking for something you can’t find locally, say a shot of your veil blowing across a vast expanse of sky and red desert, a shoot abroad could be just the ticket. The climates overseas are usually more conducive to three-piece suits and heavy gowns too. 218/


Of course, that’s not the only reason couples choose to spend extra to get their wedding shots abroad. In the age of globalisation, many sweethearts meet while studying overseas or spending a couple of years working abroad, and a pre-wedding shoot is a meaningful way to capture fond memories forever. Some couples go back to the site of a first holiday together, or simply take advantage of the shoot to enjoy a vacation in a country they’re always wanted to visit. Whatever your reasons are for choosing a wedding shoot overseas, SingaporeBrides helps you out by taking you through the process.

Choosing a location First of all, think about where you would like to take the photos that mark the beginning of your journey as husband and wife. Did you homesick hearts click while poring over lectures together in a university abroad? Perhaps he surprised you with a trip overseas and proposed against a majestic mountainous skyline. Your wedding shoot will hold a lot of significance if you choose somewhere meaningful to the both of you. If you have a special place you want to shoot at, ask if your photographer can arrange to go there. Yukako of La-Vie Photography advises couples that while they try to accommodate any special requests, they would have to check whether photo-taking is allowed in that location, and that there might be additional access fees or transport fees. You could also very well take advantage of the shoot to enjoy a holiday with your beloved. Take a break from wedding planning and stay on at your chosen location to see the sights. If you’ve been saving up to tour Europe together, having your wedding shots taken there might be a lovely way to commemorate your vacation. Do take note of seasons when deciding on your location. If you want to pose while cherry blossoms flutter down behind you in Japan, plan for a shoot in the early months of the year, as they usually bloom in April. Down under, spring comes at the end of the year, so if you’re after beautiful fall colours and romantic vineyards in Australia, go between March and May. Most photographers offer time slots throughout the year to suit your preferences, and for easy scheduling, you can check out upcoming locations through this schedule.

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PHOTOGRAPHY Images by John Lim Photography

Choosing a photographer You’ll be flying overseas for your photographs, and you want to make sure you’ve got all the details right before you go. Seasoned photographer John Lim advises couples to give themselves peace of mind by choosing someone who’s familiar with photographing overseas, and who knows the best locations. “The important thing is what kind of experience the photographer can give you,” John says, “and how well he takes care of you during your whole experience.” Look for someone who knows the ropes, and someone you can click with to get the best out of your trip. To meet the rising popularity of taking wedding photos abroad, photographers and studio nowdays offer a range of packages that make things more convenient. They fly around the world too, so it all depends on what you’d like to capture and what outfits you want to wear. For a 7-hour shoot at four locations in Japan with two changes of outfits, one Western gown and suit and one in traditional

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Images by Le-Vie Photography

Japanese kimonos, La-Vie Photography’s Kenran package includes outfit rentals, a photographer, hair and makeup, accessories, transport to the locations, lunch, interpreter, and even an assistant. Most packages also allow you to bring your own wedding finery. The studio will inform you what else you should bring along, such as your own set of pantyhose, girdle or socks. For studios like La-Vie Photography, which has staff based in their various locations, you don’t need to worry about separate flight and accommodation costs for your photographer and stylist, so you only need to book your own travel tickets and hotel stay. Some studios offer a complete package where even your flights and accommodation are included. Do remember to check if your package includes travel and stay, and whom they are for. However, choosing to book your own could be more convenient when you’re planning to stay on and holiday after the photo taking session is over. With budget airlines flying everywhere these days, you could score a great deal if you book early as well.

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PHOTOGRAPHY

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On the shoot Once you’ve arrived at your shoot destination, your photographer will brief you on the shoot’s itinerary. What locations you visit and what style of shots you capture will depend on your personalities and tastes. “I try to deliver something different for each couple, and their wedding shoots reflect their unique personalities and what they like about the location,” says John Lim. Do discuss with your photographer what you hope to capture to commemorate your love, because the more he gets to know you, the better he can customise the shoot to suit you, and you’ll feel more comfortable and relaxed around him as well. In fact, prior discussion was crucial for one of John’s overseas shoots, which took place in Tiffany’s, in New York. He briefed the couple on what they were planning to shoot that day, as usual, but what the bride didn’t know was that her groom had previously let John in on his secret proposal plan. “Right in Tiffany’s, he surprised her with a ring! The photographs turned out especially romantic and their love really shone through,” John tells us. Not all overseas wedding shoots will have such a happy surprise, but each trip is sure to be a fun time with your beloved if you simply relax and enjoy the different surroundings. When all the travel preparations have been made and wedding gear vacuum-packed, remember that you’re going to make some beautiful memories, so whether you soak in the new sights excitedly or wax nostalgic over old haunts, let your love and enjoyment show in the photos! ■ SB

Image by Le-Vie Photography

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STRESSED OVER YOUR BIG DAY? Or you can sit back, relax and let our team of experts craft your dream wedding for you. We’d love to hear from You www.facebook.com/themomentweddingplanner contact@themoment.com.sg 9229 3926 Trivex, 8 Burn Road, #12-16, Singapore 369977

www.themoment.com.sg


ESSENTIALS

DIAMONDS AREN’T THIS GIRL’S BEST FRIEND

by Tansey Tang

Mention the words “engagement” and “ring” to a girl, and you’re likely to see her jumping up and down squealing about diamonds. While a large majority of the female population do go gaga over these sparkly rocks, not every girl would consider diamonds her best friend forever. How do you proclaim your undying love for the girl who isn’t all that interested in a diamond?

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La Vie Celebration Collection (H) from Goldheart

By showing her you understand her colourful and unique personality, of course. A trend popularized by the likes of the late Princess Diana and style icon Jackie O, engagement rings showcasing a beautifully coloured gemstone have been sparkling in the limelight of late. With their bright colours offering jewellers a brilliant myriad of creative opportunities, coloured gemstones appear in many different design combinations. And because sapphires, rubies, emeralds and semi-precious stones occur naturally in an almost infinite spectrum of hues, the unique colour of a chosen gem is a fitting tribute to that special woman in your life. Like Halle Berry’s custom-designed emerald and diamond ring inscribed with code about her and husband Olivier Martinez’s love story, an engagement ring is a declaration of commitment, and a perfect opportunity to express a couple’s unique journey together. With so many different kinds of precious stones and the increasing availability of diamonds and sapphires in fancy colours like pink, orange, and violet, there’s no reason not to stand out from the crowd with this most treasured of jewellery. SingaporeBrides explores four facets to choosing a ring that isn’t just the biggest and the flashiest, but a ring that’s special, just like your girl.

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ESSENTIALS 1. Reflect a birthstone One of the most popular ways to choose an engagement gem is to go for the one representing her birth month. Gifting her with a ring personalised with her birthstone tells her that you think the day she arrived on earth was the luckiest day of your life. Presenting her with your own birthstone can symbolize the entrusting of your life into her care. Or include the both of you in this token of love— choose a stone that represents the month in which you both commit to spend the rest of your lives together.

2. Highlight her personality Choose a jewel that best represents your girl’s unique personality. Is she a fierce, passionate gogetter with a burning wit? Get her a deep red ruby to match her flashing eyes and snappy wisecracks. Perhaps she’s more of a tree-hugging, tofu-eating yoga enthusiast who rescues every kitten she sees; she’ll appreciate you not spending thousands on a blood diamond when an emerald in the rough, set in recycled gold, more truly expresses her dedication to nature. If she’s a girly girl who adores all things frilly in every shade of pink, giving her a sapphire in her favourite colour is sure to earn you high-pitched squeals of feminine delight. The design of the ring should also reflect your darling bride’s personality. The interplay of hues in rings with coloured gemstones allows for creative styles that can reflect any bride’s taste. Art Deco rings, for instance, are rising in popularity with their geometric designs in jewels of vivid, contrasting colours— perfect for the woman who likes making a bold fashion statement. Celebrate her individuality with vintage jewellery or a different gemstone cut, such as a pear-shaped or baguette-cut gem, or make a promise that stands the test of time with a three-stone setting that represents past, present and future.

3. Signify with a stone Precious and semi-precious stones have historically been associated with certain meanings. Sapphires are a symbol of fidelity, rubies of yearning and understanding, emeralds of faith and wonder, pearls of purity and wisdom, and topaz of strength and success, to name a few. Representing enduring love and loyalty, the magnificent 18-carat sapphire surrounded by 16 diamonds on Kate Middleton’s finger is Prince William’s way of remembering his mother as he pledges to love and honor the Duchess. Gift your artistic beloved with a beautiful Paraíba tourmaline in neon turquoise, a rare precious stone from the heart of Brazil, to tell her you admire her creativity and intuition. Profess your steadfast commitment with a sapphire ring stunning in its vivid blue sparkle—and its likeness to the royal jewels—and earn brownie points by making your lady feel like a queen.

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4. Zoom in on quality Because coloured gemstones form in a myriad of conditions, grading them is a highly complex process with countless variables. Although coloured stones do not have a standard grading system such as GIA’s International Diamond Grading System, geminologists also value them according to the 4 C’s—Colour, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight. Generally, colour is the most important criterion when selecting a gemstone, with intense, vibrant hues in medium to medium dark tones being the most sought after. Judging a gemstone on clarity varies according to individual type; aquamarines have naturally few inclusions (characteristics enclosed within a gemstone’s formation), while it is perfectly acceptable for emeralds and rubies have some. In fact, certain kinds of inclusions actually enhance the beauty of a jewel, such as the natural phenomena of

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ESSENTIALS star sapphires and star rubies. These rare gems are cut in a cabochon to showcase the milky inclusion shining through in the shape of a star. While coloured gemstones can be shaped in the sparkling brilliant cut so popular with diamonds, jewels with a vivid, beautiful colour can be better shown off with fewer facets, such as with the step or emerald cut. When searching for the perfect ring for your beloved, do not hesitate to ask your jeweller about the particular properties of the stone you want.

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One ring to bind them Choosing an engagement ring doesn’t need to be a daunting task, regardless of the many hints she has sent your way. What truly matters to a girl is the thought and care you’ve put into the hunt because you want to show her what you see in her, and just how much you like what you see. You want her to know how much you adore the way she sniffles during sappy commercials about eating rice with family, how you’re still amazed that her resourcefulness unearthed that vintage camera lens you’ve been dreaming of, or how you admire her adventurous spirit, that gamely tries all kinds of things in the great outdoors with you. An engagement ring is a symbol of your conviction that this woman, with all her personality ticks, is the one you can’t live without, so choose a ring that shows her you’re marrying her for who she is. ■ SB

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ESSENTIALS

DIY OF THE MONTH

CHIFFON & TULLE

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. 244/


H

ave a say in one of the many wedding traditions by customising your very own bridal corsage for your bridesmaids! All you need is a sewing needle, coloured thread, some fabric in your favourite colours and SingaporeBrides’s guidance, and you’ll be on your way to whipping up beautiful handmade bridal corsages for your big day. HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED: Craft Paper Pink Chiffon Cloth Peach Tulle Vintage Gold Button Gold Ribbon Scissors

Sewing Needle Pink Sewing Thread Paper Clips Time taken for each: 15 minutes Average cost for each: $7

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ESSENTIALS

1

Print out the flower template here and cut it out on a piece of craft paper. You can adjust the size before printing.

PERFECT FOR: Bridal Corsage Wedding Favours Pastel and Vintage themed Weddings

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You’ll get something like this.

2

Cut out a long strip of tulle and fold it 4 times in a square. Make sure the square is bigger than your flower template.

3

Using paper clips, clip your flower template on top of the folded tulle and cut along its sides.

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ESSENTIALS

4

Repeat Steps 2 and 3 until you have 11 pieces of tulle flower petals. Once done, set them aside.

5 6

Repeat Steps 2-4 with the chiffon cloth.

Once you have 11 pieces each of tulle and chiffon flower petals, proceed to layer them piece by piece, starting with one chiffon flower followed by a tulle one, alternating between the two until all your petals are layered.

7

With a needle and a similar coloured thread, sew the petals together. Sew through 4 times to secure the petals properly.

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8

Place a button on top of your stitches and continue sewing, securing the button to the center of your flower petals.

9

Measure and cut out a piece of 18cm long gold ribbon and sew it onto the underside of the flower petals. Go through 4 times and end the stitch by tying a knot on the underside of the petals.

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 heart-shape 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.

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ESSENTIALS

HOW TO NAIL A THEMED WEDDING

by Jaclyn Lim

One of the most critical components of your Big Day is the wedding theme. But trying to decide between a 1920s glamourous The Great Gatsby-inspired gala and an intimate Alice in Wonderland garden party can turn out to be as difficult as picking out that perfect gown. No matter which theme you choose, SingaporeBrides lists the tips and tricks to make your dream event come true.

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When social-media baron Sean Parker – the man who co-founded file-sharing site Napster and served as the first president of social networking website Facebook – married singer-songwriter Alexandra Lenas in June, they exchanged vows in an elaborate medieval event set in an enchanted forest. The Big Sur wedding was held in a redwood grove and featured a nine-foot tiered wedding cake, a pen of bunnies, fur-pelt-strewn beds in the lounge area, leather-bound keepsake volume as wedding favours, and Tolkien-ised costumes for all 364 guests by The Lord of the Rings costume designer Ngila Dickson. Details for the wooded site alone cost $4.5 million, and the star-studded affair caused a stir in town (for reasons that are both good and bad). Now, the lavishness of this themed wedding is simply unimaginable for most of us mere mortals. But given enough time and effort, it is still possible to create a themed wedding that will leave you – and your guests – swooning in delight. And while it can be elaborate, it doesn’t have to be cheesy. Here’s how.

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ESSENTIALS Pick a meaningful theme In the traditional sense, a wedding theme is not a must. After all, a wedding is an event in itself (your conservative mother will be more than happy just to see you don the white gown and walk down the aisle). But if you are considering a themed celebration, then think about what’s meaningful to the both of you. Do you both love The Beatles? Or have you been dreaming of sashaying around your wedding like Daisy Buchanan in 1920s Flapper fashion? Or, perhaps, you and your fiancé have been talking non-stop about touring the whole of France together and he proposed right beneath the glittering lights of the Eiffel Tower. If so, it makes sense to plan a glitzy, glamourous Parisian dinner affair. Ideally, the theme you choose should reflect aspects of yourselves as a couple – and not just be entertaining for your guests. Celeb inspiration! In 2010, Paris Hilton’s former BFF Nicole Richie tied the knot with rocker Joe Madden in a dress inspired by Grace Kelly’s iconic wedding gown – something she has wanted since she was a girl – in a fancy French Fete complete with a Versailles-themed tent and a real live elephant for good luck.

To be subtle or go all out? Once you have decided on a theme, consider how far you want to take your vision. Do you want to just rely on colour and decorative elements to make a statement, or do you want to custom-build stage backdrops, fill the entire space with flowers and have all of your 1000 wedding guests dressed according to the theme? If you want to go big, it may be wise to engage a wedding planner and put together a team of bridal helpers to handle the massive logistical challenge. Be warned: Buying hundreds of decorative tchotchkes just to push a certain theme will make it look like you are trying too hard. Celeb inspiration! When celebrity wedding planner Preston Bailey married singer Theo Bleckmann, they went all out with an over-the-top King Kong-themed ceremony on Valentine’s Day. The extravagant affair featured a large orchid bouquet-inspired wedding cake by Sylvia Weinstock, a 12-foot custom wedding gown mock sculpture by Reem Acra, King Kong statues covered in flowers and even mini Chandon sparkling wine bottles with a chocolate heart as wedding favours.

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Colours matter, details count A wedding theme comes in handy as it allows you to streamline your wedding elements and keep the whole look cohesive. So, let the chosen theme guide you in the colour theme and all the decor-related decisions. For instance, if you both love to travel and are planning a vintage travel themed wedding, it will be fitting to use a colour palette featuring shades of chocolate brown, off-white and cool grey. Beyond that, details like luggage tag favours, airline ticket invitations and globe displays do make a difference. Celeb inspiration! R&B singer Toni Braxton painted her 1998 wedding to musician and former husband Keirston Jamal Lewis a singular, eye-catching shade of Tiffany & Co’s signature blue hue. From the chair covers to tablecloths to carpeting, as well as the four-tiered wedding cake, everything in the flower-filled Dean Gardens was Tiffany blue.

Add a theme-related activity (or two!) A way of tying your wedding theme together is to incorporate a theme-related activity into the schedule. So if the both of you love the whimsical fun of a colourful carnival, how about adding a line-up of traditional booth games, entertaining guests with a clown, giving out popsicles to the kids or dancing down the aisle to say your vows? In other words, a themed wedding should not be merely focused on colour and dÊcor. Celeb inspiration! This isn’t a wedding per se, but songbird Mariah Carey and her husband, Nick Cannon, celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary this year by booking Disneyland for a fairytale-themed affair. Besides dressing up like princesses, Mariah and their daughter, Monroe, rode in a horse-drawn, pumpkin-shaped carriage as Nick and their son, Moroccan, waited in Prince Charming suits. Talk about making a dramatic entrance.

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ESSENTIALS

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Timelessness is key Before you go wild with your wedding theme, stop to think about how you will feel when you look back on your wedding decades later. Trust us, you wouldn’t want to cringe your way through an entire album of wedding photos. Sure, it’s really fun and entertaining to plan a 1980s discothemed bash, but ask yourself if you are really all right with neon colours reminiscent of a child’s 10th birthday party, metallic leggings and Doc Martens directing the most special day of your life. Celeb inspiration! Actress Hilary Duff married Canadian hockey player Mike Comrie in a rustic chic wedding. The romantic do featured a Vera Wang gown, unfrosted cake and ice cream sandwiches, nothing overly fanciful that the bridal couple and guests will cringe at – even years later. No matter how you decide to celebrate your wedding, take heart that it is going to be the best day of your life – as long as you are marrying the person that you love! ■ SB

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BEAUTYHEALTH

BEAUTY MYTHS INVESTIGATED

by Tansey Tang

We’ve done the homework for you and investigated 8 common beauty tips to find out which tricks have been fooling us, and which actually treat those beauty problems!

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1. Apply toothpaste on your pimples to blast the zits away. TRICK! Don’t be fooled by this myth. Most of us have dotted the white stuff on a zit in a bid for a quick fix, but toothpaste may be doing more harm than good to our skin. The ingredients in toothpaste, such as menthol and sodium bicarbonate, cause breakouts to dry out. While it does have a drying effect, toothpaste actually irritates the skin, and causes redness and peeling, and even burning. Avoid overdrying your face and save the toothpaste for your teeth; there are better methods for fighting pimples. Look for products containing salicylic acid, which helps dissolve and clear away excess oil and sebum from your skin, or benzoyl peroxide, a stronger peeling agent that exfoliates from deep down and kills pimple-causing bacteria.

2. Rinse your hair in ice-cold water to prevent frizz for shinier hair. TRICK! Many a girl has gotten goosebumps from this chilling beauty myth. The rationale is that cold water makes the cuticles of your hair lie flatter, thus reflecting more light. However, your hair is not made up of living cells, and cannot react to water temperature. To smooth out rough and dull-looking hair cuticles, reach for conditioning or styling products that contain silicone and oils, not for the shower heater settings!

To smooth out rough and dull-looking hair cuticles, reach for conditioning or styling products that contain silicone and oils, not for the shower heater settings!

The local humidity add the frizz factor to dry and coarse hair, exacerbating the dullness problem. If your hair unleashes its unruly side in the heat, try applying a frizz-fighting serum or lotion to help manage your locks. Hair-repairing products such as Tamefrizz by KMS California give long-lasting control by improving the elasticity of hair structure internally, and smoothing out damaged cuticles on hair surfaces, giving you frizz-free fabulous tresses. Your days of shivering in the shower in the hopes of attaining shiny locks are over! Items range from $30 to $40.

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BEAUTYHEALTH 3. Drink more water to hydrate and renew dry and flaking skin. TRICK! Even a fool knows that a healthier diet and lifestyle translates to healthier skin, and water is definitely essential to maintaining your wellbeing. However, your skin type, whether you have dry or oily skin, is determined by your genes, and that natural level of moisture is in turn affected by external elements such as humidity, alcohol, or harsh winds. Minimising your skin’s exposure to moisture-depleting conditions will help keep it plump and soft. You can boost your skin’s retention of its natural oils by applying a moisturizer, by protecting your skin from the sun with a sunscreen, and by incorporating essential fatty acids such as those found in avocados, nuts and salmon into your diet.

4. Apply sunscreen everyday, even if your makeup says ‘SPF’. TREAT! While this advice may sound fussy, it’s true that you shouldn’t rely on foundations with a built-in sun protection factor. Because sunscreen simply isn’t that concentrated in cosmetic formulations, to adequately shade your screen through SPF makeup, you’d need to apply 14 times the usual amount of powder! Even if you’re not planning on basking in the sun, you should be applying sunscreen to protect your largest organ from harmful ultraviolet rays. Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation increases your risk of skin cancer as well as damages your skin’s appearance. By breaking down collagen and elastin in your skin, the sun’s rays cause wrinkles, roughness, sagging and spots—signs of aging every woman wants to avoid. Protect your skin’s health by slathering on the sunscreen before you step out everyday. Choose sunscreens with an SPF of 30 or higher, and don’t forget to reapply after yoga sessions or spa treatments. If you want to skip bringing your own sunscreen, indulge in The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, where they nourish and protect your skin with COOLA, the luxury organic sunscreen collection packed with vitamins and age-defying antioxidants. The Mineral Sunscreen Collection costs $82, and includes this Mineral Face SPF 30 Cucumber Matte Finish, which is a natural formula that balances your skin’s moisture and delivers a refreshing scent.

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5. Drink lemon and water every day to help you lose weight. TREAT! You may have heard this from an overexcited aunt, but the slimming properties of lemon have actually been touted by weight loss trainers and dieticians. While sitting around sipping glasses of lemonade isn’t going to miraculously shed the kilos, adding a little lemon to your water may boost your body’s digestive functions and help you in your weight loss regime. Lemons stimulate the liver’s natural enzymes and aids in the elimination of toxins. This zesty fruit also contains pectin, a fibre that has been shown to keep you feeling full for longer. Replacing sugar-laden beverages with water flavoured with a splash of lemon is simple way to cut your calories, and adding lemons to your daily diet could treat your skin well too, as its high levels of vitamin C stave off wrinkles and give skin a more even tone. All that vitamin C is also a great way to boost your immune system!

6. Skipping breakfast makes you fat. TRICK! Well, eating breakfast may work a treat for some of us, but if you’ve ignored the conventional weight loss advice about breakfast revving up metabolism, you haven’t been missing out. With most studies focusing on association rather causal claims, breakfast science hasn’t yet revealed proof that eating breaking causes weight to be kept off. A recent study asked two groups of participants, regular breakfast eaters and regular breakfast skippers, to do the opposite of their routine for 12 weeks. At the end of the study, both groups lost about 8 kilograms! While the study was small and limited, it did suggest that the most important factor in breakfast for weight loss was how much one changed up their habits. It seems that missing breakfast has little or no effect on weight gain, and that people who eat breakfast actually end up consuming more calories during the day than people who skip their morning meal. If you want to shed a dress size or two, watch out for your daily calorie intake. Weight loss is directly proportional to your daily calorie deficit, so calculate your body’s energy needs and count those calories!

7. Stop eating chocolate because it causes acne. TRICK! We were a little afraid to find out the truth about this one, because living without chocolate is like stumbling around undead. Fortunately, there are no horror stories to tell about the bad effects of chocolate on skin. Dermatologists say that there is little evidence that chocolate, or any specific sugary, high-fat food for that matter, is a direct cause of acne or pimples. However, don’t take this as license to go crazy on those cookies and sweets. Any food that is high in sugar and fat can trigger the body to produce more sebum, which can create inflammatory reactions such as an acne flare-up.

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BEAUTYHEALTH

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8. Sleep more to get rid of those dark circles under your eyes. TRICK! Juggling a career, wedding planning, and personal relationships is likely to cost you precious hours of shut-eye, but hold on before you blame those dark shadows on your busy schedule and lack of sleep. Sleep deprivation isn’t the only cause of dark under-eye circles; they can be a result of lifestyle, heredity, pigmentation and sun exposure, among other factors. Genetics can determine under eye shadows, which are caused by a concentration of veins beneath the very thin layer of skin in your eye area. When blood passes through these veins, it creates a bluish tint under the skin. The thinner your skin, the darker the shadows appear. Skin also thins with age, making dark circles more prominent the older you get. It’s also common among people of Asian or African descent to have pigmentation irregularities that lead to dark circles. Too much sun exposure also prompts your body to create melanin, the pigment that gives skin its colour. You can find out whether your dark eye shadows are caused by visible blood vessels by pressing lightly on the area. If the shadows lessen, they are likely caused by blood vessels under your skin. You can treat these shadows by applying a retinoid cream that plumps up your skin to prevent those pesky vessels from showing through. There are also specialised eye treatments which can also lighten dark circles and calm the puffiness that accentuates shadows. The ST Refirme Eye Treatment by Privé, for example, works by tightening the skin around the eye area with infrared light and bipolar radio frequency, boosting blood circulation with a relaxing eye massage, and moisturising your delicate eye area with a deep hydrating mask. Screening the skin around your eyes with a sunblock will also deter it from producing melanin, and lessen those dark circles. Of course, if you want to leave the treatments till after Halloween and save on make up, we’d understand! Now that you’re no longer afraid your beauty home remedies might scar you, you’re all ready to paint some fake scars on your zombie army of bridesmaids and groomsmen for a fright night out! Have some freaky fun and shake loose before coming back to the realities of wedding planning. In fact, Halloween is the perfect chance for unleashing that Bridezilla you’ve politely kept under lock and key! ■ SB

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BEAUTYHEALTH

WEDDING TRESSES THAT IMPRESS

by Tansey Tang

Image cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo by Zoe

Your big day is drawing nigh, and with preparations for the wedding venue, guest list, catering and all those nitty gritty details finally out of the way, it’s time to allow yourself the fun of thinking about how you should style your hair to complete your look. With so many options flooding the Pinterest arena and blogosphere, how do you decide on the one, the only, the perfect hairstyle? SingaporeBrides sorts it out by considering your wedding style and gown design. Read on to find your wedding style and the hairdos that can put the finishing touch on the look you’re going for. 276/


Old Hollywood Glamour Your chosen halls are decked out in Art Deco gold and glamourous geometric designs. You’ve found a flapper dress that would outshine Daisy’s spangly wardrobe, and a gorgeously cut gem of a ring. To complete your glamourous day, ask your hairstylist to set your hair in the finger waves that are making waves right now. The retro glam style is a hot trend popularly worn by celebrities now, and works well on most face shapes and hair lengths. Short bobs can be worn tight and close to the head, and look especially glamourous with a fascinator and birdcage veil, and red lips of course. Longer tresses can be curled more loosely, and look romantic swept over one shoulder. Flapper girls dressed up their hair with feathery headbands and jazzy embellishments, and there’s no reason for you to hold back either, on your wedding day! Finish with a glossy serum to add high shine, and you’re on your way to dazzling your groom and guests with more than the happy sparkle in your eyes.

Left, image, and right, image, cc licensed (BY NC) flickr photo by Lianne Nichols

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BEAUTYHEALTH Classic Elegance There are some wedding hairstyles that are timelessly chic and go with almost any kind of gown, and the chignon is definitely one of them. With your hair swept back from your face and secured in a classic chignon, you achieve elegance and allow your dress to make a full impact. High or low buns up the poise factor as well. If you have a longer face shape, go for a bun knotted at the nape of your neck or the back of your head instead of a bun on top of the head, as that lengthens the face. Sleekly styled french twists are similarly great for showing off the lace in a high-collared gown, and balance out meringue gowns well by not overdoing it with too much hair, yet not making your head look too small and you bottom heavy. An updo is also the perfect base on which to secure longer veils. Complete your elegant look by wearing lustrous pearls in your hair, adorning your bun with a jewelled pin or silk flowers, or sweetening things up with a sleek satin headband.

Left, image, and right, image, cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo by Jill G

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Vintage Romance Take a cue from the lovely ladies of English yesteryear, and turn heads in your garden tea party floralappliqued dress with tumbling locks and romantic ringlets. Infuse romance into gowns with simple, flowing lines, such as the empire or sheath, with curls instead of sleek hair. A twisted knot or braided chignon is perfect for adding softness to your look while keeping in with the formal occasion. If your dress features a demure neckline, don’t detract from its lace-edged loveliness by covering it up; opt for a looser interpretation of an updo, with upswept curls held in place with floral pins. For even more of the romantic, dashing off into the sunset feel, make sure you leave tendrils to frame your face, and highlight the blushing bridal glow on your cheekbones. Curly tendrils work well to soften a square shaped face too.

Left, image cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo by Faylyne; right, image cc licensed ( BY NC ) flickr photo by Lianne Nichols

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BEAUTYHEALTH Bohemian Chic You have a rustically chic style and crafted tons of pretty handmade details for your wedding. With your creative and carefree streak, you’re probably planning on doing your own hair for your wedding day—by leaving it down the way you wear it every day. While loose waves are certainly a great look with denim shorts, your one-of-a-kind handsewn dress deserves something special, surely? Keep the look young and carefree with a fishtail braid, and or pile it up in a simple french-braided crown for extra elegance. You could also wear a floral crown in honour of this special occasion. This very on-trend look is gorgeous, and there are so many styles to choose from! Go big with boldly coloured blooms to celebrate in glorious abandon, or try a delicate crown with small flowers for a sweeter take on the trend.

Isles of Aphrodite If you’ve lost your heart to the ocean and worship the sun, you’re likely to be celebrating your golden day at the beach. Beach weddings are lovely with tropical floral arrangements, and the feeling of being on holiday. In keeping the relaxed mood of your ceremony, set your hair in beach waves for a natural look. To prevent your hair from flying everywhere in the breeze, put it up in an intentionally tousled knot or french braid along the sides of your hair parting, and end in a messy knot at the back for a look that is relaxed and casual. Beach weddings don’t always have to casual, of course. Up the glam factor with a Grecian theme, don a regal white and gold toga gown and model your hair after Helen of Troy with gold laurels interwoven on elaborate braids and perfect curls. ■ SB

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Image cc licensed ( BY NC ) flickr photo by cassandra lavalle


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Venues


WORLDLY TRADITIONS WITH A LOCAL TOUCH. BRING ALL YOUR WEDDING DREAMS TO LIFE AT INTERCONTINENTAL. InterContinental World of Weddings. Create a wedding celebration that is distinctively you, with the help of our dedicated wedding managers who can tap into the local knowledge from all InterContinental hotels around the world. At InterContinental Singapore, our experienced wedding team is on hand to advise on menus, decorations, mood, and more. No matter what your wish, they can create the wedding that you truly desire. Whether you’re inspired by memories or dreams, you can now be sure that your wedding will be a distinct expression of exclusive romantic elegance and sophistication.

Call your InterContinental Weddings Manager on 65 6825 1181 for more enquiries. 80 Middle Road, Singapore, 188966 intercontinental.com


FoR moRE InFoRmatIon, CaLL ouR dEdICatEd WEddIng tEam at 6725 3333 oR EmaIL Rsn.cAteRing@fouRseAsons.com 1 CuSCadEn Road, SIngaPoRE 249715 t. +65 6725 3333 F. +65 6720 6745 RSn.CatERIng@FouRSEaSonS.Com WWW.REgEntSIngaPoRE.Com.Sg/FLaSH/WEddIng_guIdE REgEntSIngaPoRE tHEREgEntSIngaPoRE


A Wedding to Remember Impeccable service, inspiring wedding themes and award-winning Summer Palace cuisine. Regent Singapore has all the elements to make the celebration of your union as magical as it is personal. With over 20 years of culinary experience, Summer Palace’s Chinese Executive Chef Liu Ching Hai serves up a repertoire of authentic yet creatively composed Cantonese cuisine. Light yet full on flavour, the exquisite wedding feast will make your celebration one to remember. Whether it’s a dazzling gala for up to 500 at the Royal Pavilion Ballroom or a cosier, intimate affair with equally intuitive service, our hotel has a wedding venue to make the most important day of your life truly unforgettable.


happily ever after

begins at Pan Pacific Singapore


For couples seeking a wedding venue, Pan Pacific Singapore presents the perfect option with two pillar-less ballrooms for grand banquets of up to 650 guests complete with a private foyer for pre-wedding cocktails. Enjoy your day and entrust the details to our experienced team of associates who will provide dedicated personalised assistance from the pressing of the veil to arranging the finish of the invitation cards. Pan Pacific Singapore’s team of master chefs will present customised menus of world-class standards to befit the occasion. Regardless of the venue chosen, the wedding couple will be able to custom-tailor the ambience with the sophisticated lighting system and floral decorations with their bloom of choice.

Embrace the Pacific panpacific.com

SINGAPORE SINGAPORE

7 Raffles Boulevard, Marina Square, Singapore 039595 Tel: +65 6336 8111 singapore@panpacific.com panpacific.com/singapore

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VENUES

5 SIMPLE TIPS ON CHOOSING YOUR WEDDING VENUE

by Audrie Soh

Photo by Samuel Goh Photography

Unlike the weddings of yesteryear, weddings today aren’t only held in hotel ballrooms or traditional Chinese restaurants. You can now choose to get hitched in cafes, small restaurants, country clubs or even overseas.

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While this means more options to choose from, having infinite wedding venue possibilities also implies you’ll be spending more time researching on all the possible venues just to pick the perfect one. To help you speed up your search, we’ve narrowed down the five most important concerns (aside from the good old “location, location, location” concern you already know) you should consider when choosing a wedding venue.

1. Budget Before you start going through the list of wedding venues, agree with your fiancé on how much both of you are willing to set aside for your venue. Clarify if that amount includes miscellaneous items such as decorations or not. Once you have a budget in mind, look only at venues that meet your means. Now, if you happen to fall in love with one that is out of your range, don’t despair! Enquire with the venue to check if their cost includes other wedding essentials such as decorations or free flow or beer and drinks. Go for it if the stipulated cost is now within your budget for the venue, decorations and beverages. Getting more than one item from a vendor means you’ll only have to liaise with one vendor and save yourself time and effort spent searching for others. Now, if the cost does not include anything else aside from the use of the venue and you’re dead set on getting married there, then think out of the box and look for other venues within your budget that allow you to recreate the same ambience. Alternatively, consider slashing the budget for other things on your list to pay for it, or get married during the off-peak season for cheaper rates.

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VENUES 2. Size Knowing how many guests you’ll be inviting to your wedding will help narrow down your options of wedding venues. While you don’t need to come up with a finalised guest list this early in the wedding planning process, you do need an estimate of the number of guests you are intending to invite. Your budget will provide a hint on how big your wedding should be, and help narrow down your options by eliminating venues that do not meet these criteria. However, do bear in mind that your guest list is subject to further changes, so remember to enquire with your shortlisted venues on their minimum and maximum capacity in the event that you need to add or remove anyone from your estimated guest list.

3. Style A quick way to zoom in on venues that meet your requirements is to decide how you want your wedding to be styled. Look at outdoor venues if you are gunning for a rustic garden wedding or if you want a more private and enclosed area for your big day, search indoor venues such as hotels and restaurants. In the event that your shortlisted venue is unable to accommodate either your budget or number of guests, think out of the box and be open-minded. Rustic garden weddings need not only be outdoors; with appropriate decorations, it can be recreated indoors or at a restaurant’s alfresco area. Similarly, some outdoor venues offer the option of setting up marquees to keep your celebrations a private affair.

4. Weather Although we do not experience four different seasons in Singapore like most of the world do, we do go through unpredictable weather at certain times of the year. For instance, the start and end of the year tends to be wetter as compared to the middle of the year, which tends to be the driest and hottest period. So if you’re planning an outdoor wedding, the middle of the year is the best time to do so when rain is less likely to ruin your big day. However, that is not to say that you can’t have an outdoor wedding during the wetter months. Just make sure that you have a wet weather plan you can fall back on. But with our weather getting increasingly unpredictable recently, it is best to have a wet weather plan if you’re having an outdoor wedding regardless of the time of the year.

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Image cc licensed ( BY ND ) flickr photo by Corey Balazowich


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Image cc licensed ( BY NC ND

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5. Shortlist Always pay the venues you’ve shortlisted a visit to tour the place in person and discuss your wedding vision and wants with their wedding consultants. Pay attention to the layout of the place during your tour and identify routes your guests can take to the venue if you are considering getting married at an outdoor venue that might not be easily accessible to some of your guests. If you have a wedding planner or coordinator, bring them along for the site visit. They may have a different take of the venue and might offer some professional advice on what works and what doesn’t. Ideally, you should visit the venue during the day and time your wedding will be held at, especially for outdoor venues. How the space looks like during different times of the day will differ depending on how the sunlight bathes the venue in the morning and evening. So if you plan to say your “I do’s” in the evening, it is better for you to see how the place looks like during that exact time of the day.

The Finer Details When you’ve found the venue of your dreams and are ready to sign your name on the dotted line, don’t. Or at least, not until you’ve got the finer details sorted out first. Always ask to see a full breakdown of all the costs in an itemised list that shows what is and isn’t included in the total cost. Find out how much you need to top up if you wish to include additional items and if GST is reflected in the final cost. If not, ask to see the total cost after the addition of GST. You should also check with them on their cancellation policy and find out if they will be refunding you a part of the cost in the event of a cancellation or not. Don’t be afraid to voice out any questions and clarify as many of your doubts as possible during your appointment with the venue. Their representatives will be more than happy to help you flesh out as many details as possible so you’ll be able to make an informed decision. ■ SB

D ) flickr photo by Lea Ann Belter

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6 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR WEDDING CATERER

by Tansey Tang

You’ve been up since the crack of dawn, yawning through two long hair and makeup sessions and serving tea to all the branches and twigs of the seemingly endless Wong and Chan family trees. The last thing you want is to hear that your buffet service is late, and your husband-to-be’s old admirer Missy is loudly claiming to be feeling faint from gastric pangs.

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In addition to not inviting the woman who’s been pining for your man for the past five years to your wedding, you should do yourself a favour when it comes to choosing a wedding caterer. The most anticipated event of a wedding may be the newlywed’s first kiss at the altar, but it is the food served at the reception that would likely be the most-talked about part of the programme. To ensure that there will only be good things to say about the refreshments you served, SingaporeBrides puts together a list of questions to ask yourselves when choosing a wedding catering service that caters to your needs.

1. Do they cater to your venue? The first thing to consider when choosing a wedding caterer is your venue. If you haven’t decided on one yet, postpone looking for your food provider. Venues should be confirmed so that you have a specific date and time to book your catering service. However, you shouldn’t delay locking in your venue! Chris Loh, Creative Director of Rasel Catering, advises couples to start sourcing for their caterers between one month to even a year before the event, depending on how elaborate the affair will be. Be sure to check whether your venue only works with specific partners, allows food to be prepared on site, or has power points for your hot food stall. Bear in mind your venue’s facilities, especially if you are holding an outdoor reception. If you’re celebrating on the beach, you might want to give the pretty ice lollies a miss, since they will only melt into not-so-pretty sand-encrusted puddles before you can eat them. Check to make sure your caterer can provide covered service for outdoor events, to prevent too many creepy crawlies or grains of sand from spoiling the broth.

2. Do they cater to your guests? Get a good idea of the head count before looking for your caterer, so that they can assure you of their ability to prepare for your crowd. Figure out whether you have guests with special dietary needs, for example, you should make sure there are kid-friendly items on your buffet menu if your guests have children, and meatless options for your vegetarian friends and family. Don’t forget to check whether your caterer is Halal when inviting Muslim guests. Make sure you have enough food for all of your guests to enjoy themselves by ordering 20 percent more than your final head count. You don’t want anyone to leave hungry!

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3. Do they cater to your budget? You want your guests to have a good time celebrating your union to the love of your life, but you also want to spend an amount that still leaves you with plenty to enjoy your life as newlyweds. You’ve probably already sat down and discussed money matters with your beloved, so make sure your wedding catering costs stick to your budget. Decide whether you’re more willing to shell out on wine or special menu items like lobster hors d’oeuvres, and ask your caterer if you can exchange items on their menu package to get what you want. The more freely the wine flows, the merrier most guests will be, but do check whether your wallet will be happier if you bring your own tipple by asking about corkage fees and service charges for bar set ups. Finally, don’t be shocked by the final bill by speaking to your caterer about fees and deposits up front. When in doubt, ask!

4. Do they cater to your theme? You’ve been planning this day for months, and you’ve gone to ten different florists to get the exact shade of the peonies you saw on Pinterest for your bridal bouquet. Don’t let the decorations (or the lack thereof) shock you when you see the buffet reception on your wedding day. Talk to your caterers about what they provide in terms of table linens, flower centrepieces and utensils, and ask if they can arrange decorations to your liking. Research their portfolio on their website and social media. “Love is sweet!” Chris from Rasel Catering tells us, “Our prettily decorated dessert tables, with an array of sweet treats, add a dash of sugar and spice to a wedding. Couples can choose to decorate in our wedding themes, or we can customise a look based on their preferences.” If you have special menu requests, such as only serving red and tiffany-blue food in keeping with your colour theme, do make sure your wedding caterer understands your vision. Images from Rasel Catering

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VENUES 5. Do they cater to your needs? The quality of service your vendor can provide is definitely a priority when you’re planning the biggest day of your life. Make sure you are hiring someone you can trust to show up on time and serve your guests to satisfaction. Look for customer reviews or recommendations on the SingaporeBrides forum during your search for the perfect wedding caterer. Also ask if the caterer can offer the extras you need—VIP tables with plated service for family members and bridal party, or that dessert bar complete with fringed bunting and ombre cupcake tower that you’ve been dreaming of. Some caterers provide special stalls manned by uniformed staff to serve your guests piping hot laksa or other treats, though do ask your caterer what works best at your venue. If you need wait service on that day, check to see if they provide bar staff or uniformed staff.

6. Do they cater to your tastebuds? Finally, request for a tasting session before committing. If you’ve already decided what type of cuisine and service style to choose, ask the caterer for a chance to sample their wares so that you can be sure the taste and presentation is up to your expectations. For Rasel Catering, couples can choose between having items from their selected menu sent to their homes for tasting, or dining in the company’s premises. Knowing what questions to ask your wedding caterer will send you on your search armed with the information you need to plan a session of merrymaking that will leave you and your guests with a pleasant taste in their mouths. So go forth, eat, drink, and be married! ■ SB

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Image from Rasel Catering

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singaporebrides.com

Weddings by SingaporeBrides Issue 3  

A digital magazine by SingaporeBrides.com.

Weddings by SingaporeBrides Issue 3  

A digital magazine by SingaporeBrides.com.

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