issue #6 singaporebrides.com
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The Contributors Amanda Wong, Dhani R, Elvina Farkas, Grego Oh, Josiah Chua, Keefe Tan, Kelly Lim, Lenne Chai, Mika Furukawa, Parichat Naidu, Randolph Tan, Shingo Horiguchi, Trisha Alexis, Xander Ang Cover Image: Amanda Wong @ beautifuladieu
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In This Issue 24 Article 4 Tips on In-Law Relationships for Newlyweds
240 Article 10 Wedding Guestbook Alternatives
36 Article What You Need To Know About The Chinese Betrothal Ceremony, Guo Da Li
250 Article 5 Adventurous and Romantic Honeymoon Destinations
48 Article The Beautiful History Behind Chinese Traditional Wedding Pastries, Xi Bing
260 Article Wedding Invitation Etiquette for the Singapore Couple 270 Article 8 Alternative Wedding Venues in Singapore
60 Fashion Editorial Colour Crush 84 Fashion Editorial Love Letter to Japan
280 Article New Beginnings at Grand Hyatt Singapore
110 Fashion Editorial Secrets in the Garden 140 Article What Women Say And What They Really Mean 150 Article Men Are Better: The Myths
158 Real Weddings An Adventure of a Lifetime 170 Real Weddings Urban-Chic Wedding at HOUSE at Dempsey
290 Article 10 Airbnb Honeymoon Rentals That Are Out of This World 300 Article You Need To Honeymoon At Finolhu Villas
182 Real Weddings A Kewei and Alfred Love Duet 194 Real Weddings Mizah and Adib’s Wedding Under the Trees 206 Real Weddings Tricia and John’s Idyllic Engagement Shoot 218 Real Weddings Lovestruck 230 Article Healthy Ways to Detox For Your Wedding
www.amandaleeweddings.com | firstname.lastname@example.org +65 6333 6678 | By Appointment Only
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I’ve been travelling a lot these past Bridge again, and shopped our asses seven months. Six times in five months, off. Really, these work trips are too to be more precise. expensive. Allow me to brag about my media trip to The Maldives in January with Club Med for the worldwide media launch of the luxurious, all-inclusive, adults-only Finolhu Villas. It was my first time at a Club Med resort, and frankly, I don’t think any other resort had such a good mix of luxury, excitement, and fun. You’ll have to read about my experience in this issue of Weddings. Following the unforgettable weekend in an overwater villa were two consecutive trips to Tokyo for work. I was invited to Yumi Katsura’s amazing 50th Anniversary Party in March, where I met the veteran designer and schmoozed with politicians and hoteliers. And in early April, we did a fashion editorial amongst full bloom sakura trees with Lenne Chai. I bet you couldn’t tell from our Love Letter to Japan spread that we were actually surrounded by thousands of Japanese oogling at flowers and our model. Try spotting us in the spread. A week after that, I was in New York for Bridal Fashion Week with my team, where we met with talented bridal fashion designers for their latest collection presentations and runway shows. We caught another Broadway musical (Chicago), walked the Brooklyn
Before I could even recover from jet lag, my virgin trip to Vietnam with VietJet Air was upon me. I met eight other travel companions, all journalists and bloggers, on this trip and even though it was just a weekend trip, we had so much fun bonding that we now still have a rather active Whatsapp group chat going on. I took a break in June and July, but not before we went to Lombok, hosted by Kebun Villas and Resort. We spent a week in the Presidential Villa, being chauffeured around to awesome local makan places, and then lounging in our bikinis by our private pool. We did get some work done, of course, and you’ll get to see them in the next issue of Weddings. Follow us on Instagram and SnapChat if you want to see our travel pics and videos. In case you’re getting envious over all these travelling my team and I have been doing, we have some great travel ideas from Airbnb and Preferred Hotels and Resorts in this issue. In the meantime, I have more travels after September to plan for. Go plan yours! Bon voyage! Michelle Tay
IN-LAW RELATIONSHIP TIPS FOR NEWLYWEDS Newlywed couples navigating the delicate nature of in-law relationships, we have some advice for you. We speak to two relationship counsellors about how to become part of the family and live in love as well as in law. Text by Tansey Tang | Images by Mindy Tan Photography
In-law relationships are often portrayed as fraught with tension and disapproval, with interfering mothers-in-law, or angry fathers who don’t think you’re good enough for their daughters. While inlaw problems may make for comic relief on television, such tense relationships are definitely not what you want when you marry into a new family. When you marry your partner, you are also forming ties with their families, ties that will last through your marriage. Your new family can be a source of support, love, fun, and good advice to both you and the children you have later in marriage.
1. Understand that A New Family is a New Culture
It’s never easy to assimilate into a new culture, and marrying into a new family is much like that. Your partner’s family will have different customs, beliefs, and ways of doing things, which will take time to understand and get used to. Because doing things a certain way becomes so ingrained, it doesn’t occur to most people to think about hidden expectations. Even trickier expectations are ones involving financial support for family. As a couple, try to discuss any expectations your families might have Yet, many newlyweds struggle with as soon as you are aware of them. finding the right balance between keeping each other close in their new It’s also easy for couples and in-laws to marriage unit, and reaching out to their misunderstand each other in the early in-laws. We ask two marriage and family stages of your in-law relationships. counsellors how newlywed couples can You simply don’t know each other well build better in-law relationships as a enough to understand how your in-laws express their feelings, so it’s easy to team.
be offended or hurt by a well-meaning comment. Enter the family expecting things to be done differently, and take things less personally. Choose to put yourself in the other person’s shoes, and try to understand where they might be coming from. Be gracious when interpreting the other person’s intentions. Some differences or misunderstandings are to be expected, but don’t despair. You’ve had your whole life to bond with members of your own family, yet you still disagree with them from time to time. Give yourself and your in-laws time to understand each other.
be loved—be it through gifts, words of affirmation, physical touch, acts of service, or spending quality time,” she says. “For example, a couple may wish to bring out a set of in-laws for good food and conversation if quality time is their love language. The key for couples to remember is to do things sincerely, out of love and gratitude. The couple needs to get their motivations right from the start so that firm foundations can be laid to build strong, long-lasting, and loving relationships with their parents-in-law.” Show your in-laws you care about them in ways that they will appreciate.
2. Build Relationships
3. Resolve Differences as a Team
Every relationship takes time and effort to grow, and your relationship with your in-laws is no different. Make the effort to spend time with your new family, whether at family dinners, or a niece’s birthday. Give your in-laws the opportunity to get to know you, and for mutual affection and respect to grow. Be proactive as well. Marriage specialist Ms Elvira Tan from Focus on the Family advises couples to find out what their parents’ love languages are. “Relationships with parents-in-law can be strengthened faster if couples make the time and effort to love them in the manner in which they wish to
Inevitably, there will be things you disagree on with your parents or inlaws. A married couple’s primary loyalty is to each other. While you should honour your parents, you should also care for your spouse’s well-being. Ms Tan’s advice is for newlyweds to present a united front. “In resolving conflicts with parents-in-law, it would be helpful for married couples to remember that once married, husband and wife need to work as a team when dealing with inlaws,” she says. To avoid getting caught in the middle between your spouse and your own parent, work things out with your spouse in private before going to
your parents to resolve the issue as a team. Ms Tan gives couples some tips on working as a unit: “In order to work as a team, couples should never speak ill of one’s spouse to one’s own parents, refrain from joining in with own parent’s disparaging remarks made about one’s spouse during a conflict, and never disagree with one’s spouse in the presence of one’s parents.” Mrs Chang-Goh Song Eng, Head of REACH Counselling, also says that couples should be on the same page when dealing with inlaw disagreements. Her advice to couples is to: “Establish a common position, and find time and space to talk it over with your folks. This can be done together or, more commonly, the primary child with his or her folks, but representing the both of you as one unit, so that your folks know that both views are registered. As your folks gain confidence in your problemsolving and decision-making, they would more likely support your views.” She also says that couples should make sure their marriage unit stays strong, as this will help them stay united in dealing with conflict. She offers, “Take time to maintain emotional closeness by tuning in to each other’s worlds and happenings – what happens at work, home, different expectations, one’s
adjustment to married life, especially if the couple stays with the folks. Find time to connect as a couple and to date, once weekly as a way to catch up, both in happenings and with one’s emotional world.” A connected couple will find it less difficult to resolve in-law issues because they understand each other better. Conflict may be inevitable, but the responses to that conflict can help strengthen a relationship. Mrs ChangGoh tells couples: “To keep as one, you need to maintain emotional connection and intimacy so that you stay ‘with’ each other and know how to stand together when your partner is affected by in-law issues. Learn to take time to share, listen to each other’s hurts, anger, or other more difficult emotions. Remember to comfort and apologise where needed. Do reaffirm your love. View all this as part of adjustment to married life.”
4. Tactfully Create Your Own Family Traditions Asserting their independence as newlyweds is an issue many couples have. Mrs Chang-Goh addresses it by advising couples to strike a balance between setting boundaries and keeping in-laws close. “The important principle here is to keep in-laws close, but the couple needs also to be clear about their boundaries, such as when
to visit with parents-in-law and have meals, what sort of financial support the couple should give, and in financial and parenting matters when the couple has children. This is to help establish the ‘authority’ of the couple so that they feel confident of their own voice, especially necessary when they are starting up on their own.” As they start their own family, newlyweds need to find the delicate balance between respecting each other’s family traditions and creating new ones for their own nuclear family. Mrs ChangGoh tells couples that it is important to practice good communication in conveying the motivations behind a couple’s new traditions, so that their parents and in-laws will understand why they are doing things differently. “What is critical for the couple to remember is that the communication of needs and expectations must be conveyed from a place of love and willingness to seek the other party’s point of view as well. The willingness to compromise when necessary and a very healthy dose of patience on the part of the couple are essential when it comes to accommodating each other’s family traditions in addition to their own nuclear family’s traditions,” she says. An attitude of respect and love will help newlyweds when they decide how to accommodate each other’s families’
wishes as they carve out their own family traditions. Another helpful and practical tip is for couples to communicate early. Mrs Chang-God advises, “Juggling family traditions requires proper planning and communication. When schedules are in place and needs are communicated, there will be less room for misunderstanding and last minute no-shows or non-compliance with each other’s family traditions.” Open and tactful communication with your in-laws will help build stronger relationships with their families, as you create your independent family traditions. ■ SB
Elvira Tan is a Marriage Specialist from Focus on the Family Singapore, a local charity dedicated to helping families thrive. Find out more about their marriage preparation courses. Mrs Chang-Goh Song Eng is Head of REACH Counselling, which provides individual, marriage, and family counselling, with a special focus on marriage, from marriage preparation to counselling. For enquiries, call 68010730.
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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT GUO DA LI When it comes to planning a wedding, searching for a wedding dress, a dream venue or a wedding photographer isn’t all that difficult for the modern bride, especially when she has help from wedding websites, forums and Pinterest. But when it comes to the more traditional parts of a wedding, particularly the Guo Da Li ceremony, things get a little tricky. Text by Audrie Soh
To help our brides understand the Guo Da Li ceremony better, we’ve come up with a list of everything you need to know about the Guo Da Li ceremony, including a list of shops that specialise in selling Guo Da Li items.
wedding. During the betrothal ceremony, the groom and a matchmaker, or an elder female relative with good fortune, will present the bride’s family with a variety of gifts that represent fertility and prosperity.
1. What Is Guo Da Li (过大礼)?
The items used for the Guo Da Li should always come in pairs as a representation Guo Da Li (过大礼), or the Chinese of good fortune. A Guo Da Li set usually betrothal ceremony, marks the has: important formal meeting between both families and symbolises the groom’s • A betrothal basket sincerity towards marrying the bride • One pair each of dragon and phoenix and his assurance that she will be well candles taken care of after marriage. It is part • A red packet bearing the dowry of the traditional Chinese wedding • A can of pig trotters or a platter of rituals known as the Three Letters, Six roast pork Etiquettes (三书六礼), which includes • Hard liquor or wine the selection of an auspicious wedding • Traditional wedding cakes (喜饼) date. • Oranges • Jewellery for the bride (四点金) Guo Da Li usually takes place any time • Double happiness stickers between two to four weeks before the • A red banner to hang over the door
Image by Tinydot Photography
Image by Tinydot Photography
Different dialect groups will have different items for the Guo Da Li ceremony. The items gifted have to correspond to the bride’s family dialect group. Check against our Guo Da Li List to ensure that you’ve prepared the correct items according to your dialect group.
Hui Li (回礼), or Returning of Gifts To show their acceptance of the marriage and gratitude for the over-generosity of the groom’s family, the bride’s family will reciprocate his generous gesture and share the good fortune by returning a portion of the gifts. This is otherwise known as Hui Li (回礼), the returning of gifts. Check against our Hui Li List to learn what items you need to prepare for this part of the ceremony. The bride’s dowry (嫁妆) will also be presented during the Hui Li to the groom’s family as a symbol of the wealth and prosperity of the bride’s family, and to bless the couple’s marriage with happiness and prosperity. The dowry includes items such as: • A tea set for the wedding tea ceremony at the groom’s house • A five-piece descendant pail set (baby bathtub, potty, washbasin, tray and mug) • New bedsheets and duvet for the bridal bed • A set of bed-side lamps • A dining set consisting of a pair of chopsticks, spoons, bowls and plates • Two pairs of red wooden clogs, wedding slippers or bedroom slippers • A sewing basket with an even numbered rolls of colourful thread, a set of needles, pincushion and scissors • A set of gold jewellery given by the bride’s parents
Where to Get Your Guo Da Li items? There are many Guo Da Li shops located island-wide, with the majority of them situated in the Chinatown area. To save you the trouble of googling for all the available Guo Da Li shops, we’ve compiled a list of shops you can go to for your Guo Da Li needs.
NORTH: 1. The Chinese Wedding Shop
#01-12A Jubilee Square 61 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8 Singapore 569814 Contact: 6455 9863
SOUTH: 2. Fu Yuan, The Wedding Shop
32 New Market Road Food Centre #02-1158 Singapore 050032 Contact: 9620 8406 Opening hours: (Tue-Sun) 12 pm – 8pm
3. Tiong Poh
531 Upper Cross Street #02-58 Hong Lim Complex Singapore 050531 Contact: 6533 1407 Opening hours: (Mon-Sat) 10.30am-5pm; (Sun) 1pm-5pm
4. Chop Kwong Mee Chinese Wedding Shop Blk 4 Sago Lane # 01-127 Singapore 050004 Contact: 6220 8442
5. Tiao Xiang Wedding N Gift
Blk 335 Smith St #01-77 Chinatown Complex, Singapore 050335 Contact: 6224 8848
6. Jia Jia Wedding Items
Blk 335 Smith Street #01-226 Chinatown Complex Singapore 050335
EAST: 7. Golden Happiness
Katong Shopping Centre 865 Mountbatten Road #01-45 Singapore 437844 Contact: 9171 6463 / 9795 8499 / 6345 6988 Opening hours: (Tue-Sun) 12pm-6pm
8. Le Knot
810 Geylang Road City Plaza #05-09A Singapore 409286 Contact: 6844 5803 Opening hours: (Mon-Sat) 12.00pm to 8.00pm; (Sun & PH) 12.00pm to 7.00pm
WEST: 9. Cheok Keuw Bridal
Blk 506 Jurong West St 52 #01-180 Singapore 640506 Contact: 6566 0311 Opening hours: 12pm-8pm
10. Sin Chye Departmental Store
144 Upper Bukit Timah Road 01-K3 Beauty World Centre Singapore 588177 Contact: 6469 4653
11. Minah Departmental
140 Upper Bukit Timah Road #01-19 Beauty World Centre Singapore 588177 Contact: 64685870 / 98357956
CENTRAL: 12. Shuang Xi Le
Square 2 #03-39 10 Sinaran Drive Singapore 307506 Contact: 6397 2018 Opening hours: (Mon-Sat & PH) 11.00am to 9.30pm; (Sun) 12.00pm to 9.30pm â– SB
Image by Tinydot Photography
THE HISTORY BEHIND CHINESE TRADITIONAL WEDDING PASTRIES Chinese traditional pastries meant for weddings, otherwise known 喜饼, are one of the items given to the bride’s family during the Guo Da Li ceremony. While these traditional pastries were common and popular during our parents and grandparents’ time, it is a different story today. Text by Audrie Soh
Chinese traditional pastries are a cultural treat that the younger generation may not familiar with and are likely to be at a lost when it comes to finding places that still offer these traditional pastries for their wedding needs. To re-introduce and educate our modern couples on this traditional treat, we present a brief history of Chinese traditional pastries and the role it plays in a Chinese wedding. We’ve also included a list of shops known for selling these pastries for weddings to help you along with your Guo Da Li needs.
What are Chinese Traditional Wedding Pastries Chinese traditional pastries comes in many shapes, sizes, taste and form. The word “pastry” is used here in a generic sense, referring to the many varieties of this Chinese traditional treat. They can
be referred to as a biscuit (饼 or 酥) or a cake (糕), and can be sweet or savoury, baked or steamed. Chinese traditional pastries are usually stuffed with lotus, red or green bean paste and nuts, and can be used for a variety of occasions other than weddings. Traditional motifs such as the characters 囍 (double happiness) or 福 (luck) are printed on the pastries to indicate which occasion they are for. When used for weddings, these pastries are then known as 喜饼, or Xi Bing. There are many types of xi bing, such as Gong Tang (贡糖), Ruan Tang (软糖), Peanut Brittle (花生糖), Long Feng Bing (龙凤饼) and Sweet Bean Paste (豆沙饼). Which xi bing you need for your Guo Da Li depends on your bride’s family dialect group. If you’re unsure, you can always seek advice from the shop and they will help you.
Image by Tinydot Photography
The Significance Behind Xi Bing (喜饼)
delays. Check on your order again 3 weeks before your ceremony to ensure that everything is prepared and finalise Xi Bings are one of the items given to collection details. the bride’s family during the Guo Da Li ceremony. More than just a set of Most couples choose to deliver the pastries to be given away, it is symbolic boxes of xi bing to the bride’s relatives of the groom’s gratitude to the bride’s on the day of the Guo Da Li ceremony, or parents for having raised and taken care the day after. Some couples, however, of her over the years and serves as an opt to gift them as wedding favours announcement of the couple’s marriage. to be given out to their guests on their It is given to the bride’s relatives and wedding day, like Flavour Favours’s friends to share and spread the joy of Petite boxes. the two families’ union and the couple’s A Xi Bing (喜饼) Taboo upcoming nuptials. How many boxes of xi bing you need depends on the number of people you intend to gift it to. Usually, you include your relatives, your parents’ friends and colleagues, your friends and colleagues, and the number of boxes you intend to return to the groom during the Hui Li into the count. Try to order a few boxes more than what you need to ensure that everyone gets a box, just in case you left someone out during your counting.
When To Order and Deliver Xi Bing (喜饼) Start ordering your xi bing about 3 months before your Guo Da Li ceremony to allow the baker sufficient time to prepare the amount of xi bing you need and to accommodate any unforeseen
As tempted as you may be, sinking your teeth into a piece (or more) of xi bing is probably not a good idea. There is a saying that if a bride consume any of the xi bing used for the Guo Da Li ceremony, it is equivalent to eating away at her own happiness. As a result of biting off the rounded edges of a xi bing, she will not have a fulfilling ( 圓滿) marriage. Supposedly, it is also symbolic of her living off her husband and family, which may lead to feelings of resentment and discord in the family. While these sayings may not have any real proof to them, there is no harm in abiding by them, even if you aren’t a superstitious bride. Just buy some home for your own consumption when you are shopping for xi bing if you really feel like eating some!
Where To Get Xi Bing (喜饼) NORTHEAST: 1. Thye Lee Confectionery
108 Hougang Avenue 1, Singapore 530108 Contact: +65 6288 9514
2. Neo Kian Guan Confectionery
Blk 7 Hougang Ave 3 #01-50 Singapore 530007 Contact: 6382 4352 Opening Hours: (Mon-Sat) 8am-6pm; Sundays closed.
SOUTH: 3. Flavour Favours
Located island-wide. Please click http://ginthye.com/ for outlet details.
21B Kreta Ayer Road Singapore 088991 Other Alternatives If you decide to gift Western cakes Contact: 65 9105 6862 instead of the traditional Chinese Email: email@example.com wedding cakes, thatâ€™s perfectly fine as well. While some of these places 4. Tan Hock Seng Cake Shop specialise in Western cake sets for Guo 86 Telok Ayer Street #01-01 (Round the corner of Far East Square/ Da Li ceremony, you could also choose to get your Guo Da Li cakes from any China Square Central) bakery of your choice. Contact: +65 6533 1798
5. Tong Heng Pastries
285 South Bridge Road Singapore 058833 Contact: 62233549 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
6. Tai Thong Cake Shop
NORTH: 1. Pine Gardenâ€™s Cake
529 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10, #01-2369, Singapore (560529) Contact: 64595507 Email: email@example.com
35 Mosque Street, Singapore 059513 Contact: 6223 2905
7. Poh Guan Bakery
2. Kyo Cake House
#01-57 Hong Lim Complex, 531 Upper 82 Marine Parade Central #01-616 Singapore (440082) Cross Street, 050531 Contact: (65) 6564 4060 Contact: 6534 0136 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
8. Ng Lee Kim Confectionery
4 Chun Tin Road, Singapore 599591 Contact: 6466 3515
9. Gin Thye Cake Maker
3. Sweetest Moments
28 Tai Seng Street #03-01, Sakae Building S534106 (use lift lobby 2) Contact: 6286 2553 Email: email@example.com
4. Bengawan Solo
Located island-wide. Please visit www.bengawansolo.com.sg for outlet details.
WEST: 5. Swee Heng
(Head office) 24 Senoko Crescent, Singapore (758276). Located island-wide. Please visit http://sweeheng.sg/ for outlet details. Contact: 67550300
6. Choz Confectionary 18 Toh Yi Drive, #01-105, Singapore (590018) Contact: 62352281
7. Gin Thye Cake
Located island-wide. Please http://ginthye.com/ for outlet details. â– SB
Colour Crush Ballgown with pleated detailing on bodice, and feathered tulle accents on skirt by Seletar Broadway. Gold leaves coronet by Jennifer Behr @ OnPedder, jewel bracelet and ring by Swarovski, and metallic lace heels by Jimmy Choo.
Left: Sweetheart neckline ballgown with lace overlay and waterfall organza pleating on skirt by Beautiful Love Wedding. Reversible bracelet and bangle by Hermes. Right: Strapless ballgown with embellished lace trim, pleated detailing on bust, and lacetrimmed pearl button back by Beautiful Love Wedding. Straw hat by Hermes, and metallic lace clutch and strappy heels by Jimmy Choo.
Sweetheart neckline ballgown with lace overlay and waterfall organza pleating on skirt by Beautiful Love Wedding . Reversible bracelet and bangle by Hermes.
Left: Pleated detailing A-line gown with lace accents By Silverlining Bridal Couture. Straw hat with floral bow by Lanvin, and twilly scarf by Hermes. Right: Trumpet gown with pleated detail, jewel embellishment and lacerosette layered fishtail skirt by My Bridal Room. Sunglasses by Fendi, and metallic flats by Roger Vivier
Left: Strapless trumpet gown with pleated detailing on neckline by Bluebay Weddings. Embellished necklace by Swarovski, and pink leather bag with metallic details by Balenciaga. Right: Strapless ballgown with embellished lace trim, pleated detailing on bust, and lacetrimmed pearl button back by Beautiful Love Wedding. Straw hat by Hermes, and metallic lace clutch and strappy heels by Jimmy Choo.
Ballgown with sweetheart neckline, pleated detailing and ruffled tulle skirt By Beautiful Love Wedding. Crystal embellished veil by Jennifer Behr @ OnPedder, star crochet necklace by MFP @ INHABIT, glossy heels by Peddered, satin gloves, stylistâ€™s own, and crystal crown charm bracelet by Butler & Wilson by On Pedder.
Left: Off-shoulder ballgown with lace accents and layered tulle skirt by My Bridal Room. Locket bracelet and twilly scarf by Hermes. Right: Pleated detail sheath with chiffon skirt and high slit by Silverlining Bridal Couture. Suede heels by Balenciaga.
ďżź Pleated detail ballgown by Silverlining Bridal Couture. Double eye necklace with multi chains and pearls by Venna @ OnPedder, and horned bangles by Hermes.
ďżź Left: Trumpet gown with jewel embellished pleated bust detailing by My Bridal Room. Crystal earrings by Prada. Right: Drop-waisted ballgown with pleated sweetheart neckline and layered ruffles on skirt by Seletar Broadway. Sunglasses by Alexander McQueen, and nate necklace by Diana Broussard @ LULAROCK.
Ruched ballgown with jewel embellishment at the waist and tulle detailing on skirt by My Bridal Room. Crystal ribbon circlet by Jennifer Behr @ OnPedder, and jeweled necklace by Swarovski.
photography by Elvina @ Anue Management | assisted by Dhani R | styling by Randolph Tan | assisted by Keefe Tan | make up & hair by Grego Oh using Toni & Guy Wardrobe Meets Beauty
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And you smiled, because you knew...
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Lace gown with illusion sleeves and cut out back by The Feline Bridal. Earrings By Acqua Grazie.
photography by Lenne Chai | assisted by Josiah Chua, Kelly Lim | styling by Xander Ang | hair by Shingo Horiguchi | make up by Mika Furukawa
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Strapless gown with feather and crystal details By La Belle Couture Shoes, Robert Geller. Earrings and Necklace By Yumi Katsura
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Strapless dress with tulle and embroidery details from Yumi Katsura by Tirtha Weddings. Earrings and necklace by Yumi Katsura.
Headpiece by Heads of State Millinery, earrings by Granny’s Day Out, Headpiece by Designer Vintage Sale, Necklace by Granny’s Day Out, Headpiece by Heads of State Millinery. All Rings by Carrie K.
Princess cut gown with 他 illusion sleeves and crystal details by La Belle Couture Earrings and necklace by Yumi Katsura.
Short pearled dress with boning and long tulle overlay By The Feline Bridal Earrings and necklace by Yumi Katsura.
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Fit and flare gown with scalloped neckline and lace sleeves by Flamingo Bridal.
left to right: Fit and flare gown with scalloped neckline and lace sleeves By Flamingo Bridal Low-back full lace gown By Flamingo Bridal. Earrings and necklace By Acqua Grazie
Low-back full lace gown Bb Flamingo Bridal. Earrings and necklace by Acqua Grazie.
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photography by Amanda Wong | assisted by Trisha Alexis | make up & hair b
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Sweetheart neckline ballgown with lace detailing and tulle skirt by Graceful Image. Necklace from Gioielli by Helen Tan.
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Peach A-line gown with illusion sweetheart neckline, beaded embellishment, and waistband detailing by Dang Bridal. Gold leaf crown by Stylistâ€™s Own.
Bateau gown with illusion neckline, long lace sleeves, open back, and a ruffled, high-low hemline by Yvonne Creative.
Sweetheart sheath in champagne with tulle overlay, embellished with gold 3D floral appliquĂŠ by Dang Bridal. Crystal headband from Gioielli by Helen Tan.
Cap-sleeved sheath with gathered chiffon skirts and embellished lace overlay on bodice by The Aisle Bridal Boutique.
Illusion lace sheath in blush tulle, with detachable tulle overskirt By Silhouette The Atelier
Illusion lace sheath in blush tulle, with detachable tulle overskirt by Silhouette The Atelier
Asymmetrical ballgown with sheer back detailing and tulle overlay by The Aisle Bridal Boutique
Sweetheart sheath in champagne with tulle overlay, embellished with gold 3D floral appliquĂŠ by Dang Bridal
Nude and ivory sheath with illusion neckline and lace overlay and veil by Yvonne Creative. Gold leaf crown, Stylistâ€™s Own.
French lace boat neck tulle gown with lace insert and pearl button back details by Dang Bridal.
Sweetheart ballgown with pleated tulle and lace appliquĂŠ by Silhouette The Atelier. Crystal earrings from Gioielli by Helen Tan.
Silk satin tiered bustier gown with contrast lace and embellishments by Jess Haute Couture.
WHAT WOMEN SAY AND WHAT THEY REALLY MEAN Do girls say what they mean, and mean what they say? Fu Jinming attempts to do what every man has tried and failed – read their minds.
Text by Fu Jinming | Images by Framewerks
You’ve probably been there. You notice her face turning dark. You ask if something’s bothering her. Nothing, she says, a little more curtly than usual. So you shrug and go about your business. Next thing you know, she storms out of the house, but not without first shooting you a look that says you’re in big trouble – and you’re not even sure why.
The female language, on the other hand, operates on a whole different stratosphere. They say something, but hint at a totally different meaning. They leave abstract clues to their real intent. And they omit just enough details for it to not be a lie, but not enough for it to be the complete truth.
Why do women do that? Why do they Welcome to the mystical arts of female ask for honesty, when the truth seems linguistics. A world where “Yes” means to rub them the wrong way? “No.” “No” means “No.” And “Maybe,” is definitely a big, fat “No.” Well boys, my (very unscientific) hypothesis is this: she’s not trying to It’s driving men nuts. hide her feelings from you. She’s trying to hide them from herself. We prefer to communicate in a clear, concise manner. You have a problem, You see, women are wired differently, we try to solve it. You ask a question, and with better character traits, for we answer – either truthfully, or we lie. the most part. They are generally No subtle hints. No mixed messages. more caring, nurturing, and sensitive. No shades of grey. Particularly to what they say, and how it
makes the other person feel. Plus they way around her linguistic abyss, here think. A lot. are seven things women like to say, and what they really mean. In fact, she thinks and cares so much that she would attempt to censor her 1. “I’m not upset.” own emotions so as not to affect the other person’s. Oh yes, she is. When she says she’s okay, what she really means is that Imagine telling your partner that you’d she’s too upset to talk about the issue have to work late tonight and can’t right now. The tact to take with this is to make the movie. She says, “That’s fine. let her stew on it a little, before asking if Go work.” she’s ready to talk about it. You can also just come right out and tell her there’s Let’s now warp-speed deep into her obviously a problem, and you’d like psyche. She’s obviously upset that to help resolve it. But you can’t if she you’ve cancelled out on her. But her doesn’t tell you what’s wrong. Then get mind is probably telling her that you’ve ready for the avalanche. done nothing wrong. Of course you’re busy. She wouldn’t expect you to be 2. “It’s up to you.” anything less than a go-getter right? It’s like asking for permission and And so her caring, nurturing, self- getting tested in return. When she says censoring mind tries to justify the right she’s cool if you decide to either watch reasons so her emotions may follow the game with your friends, or to spend suit. Think of it as a white lie, not to you, the evening with her, you’d do well to but to herself. tread carefully. What she really means is that she’d like you to spend time Unfortunately, the tone in her voice with her, like all committed boyfriends rarely lies. Which explains the slight or husbands should. Yet at the same hostility you detect when she says “It’s time, she doesn’t want to come across okay”. It’s passive-aggression of the as the possessive, overbearing woman well-intentioned—and bizarre—kind. in your life. It’s also a test to see what’s more important to you – some stupid Whatever the reasons, it’s a hazardous match from a country you’re not even zone for menfolk to wander into. To help in, or her. It’s a no-brainer really: you’d you make sense of and navigate your do well to take her.
3. “You don’t care.”
answer you give can and will be held against you. And no answer will ever be the right one. Because what she’s really asking when she asks about her waistline, is if you still think she’s attractive. So when your woman next directs the fat question at you, tell her—without missing a heartbeat—that she looks the same as before, and as beautiful as ever. She may not buy it, but she will not be unhappy about it.
Ouch. That hurts, because you really do care. And she knows it, so what gives? When she accuses you of being an uncaring, insensitive jerk, she’s actually saying that you haven’t shown that you care. To make matters worse – and more confusing – she’s probably aware in that split-second that she’s throwing a bit of a hissy fit, and she loathes herself for it. What you need to do is take her into your arms, and give her a 5. “Do you really think we should hug, a kiss and a reassurance that you go there/do this?” love and cherish her, and that you’re What she really means to say is: “I sorry for neglecting her. really do not want to go to that movie/ restaurant/party.” But she thinks you 4. “Do you think I’m fat?” might still want to, and she doesn’t Ah, the classic trip-wire line. Any want to seem stubborn by insisting that
you change plans. The easiest solution? Just change your plans. Tell her that you’re okay with cancelling, then ask her what she’d like to do instead. Chances are, she won’t be able to decide there and then either – she just knows what she doesn’t want. So get ready to rattle off a list of possibilities. 6. “We’ll see.” It’s non-committal and annoying. But it’s her way of letting you know she’s heard your opinion, and she still thinks she’s right. And if it’s an answer to a question you’ve just asked, she means “No.” All she’s doing is delaying the conversation— and you—just enough that you’ll forget about even bringing up the topic, or whatever it was that you wanted in the first place. 7. “I’m over it.” Commonly used whenever a previous disagreement, altercation or unhappy event is brought up, it means that she’s not entirely over it. Whatever the upsetting event, chances are, it was left hanging, and she still harbours some resentment over it, or at the very least, she still remembers why it had upset her. It also means she still thinks you’re wrong. Your best bet? Suck it up, or she’ll sulk it up for days to come. A little apology never hurt anybody. Not doing so will hurt both you and your relationship. And please, apologise it like you mean it, even if you no longer remember what it’s for. It’s a little sacrifice for the greater marital good. ■ SB
MEN ARE BETTER: THE MYTHS There are some things that men are better at. Or are they? Fu Jinming re-examines the perceived strengths of the modern man. And separates fact from fiction.
Text by Fu Jinming | Images by Wishwandar
We’ve all heard it before. Some of us men – and women – have even been raised to believe it; that guys are just better at some things than women. From parking the car to reading the map to replacing the lightbulb, the male species is seen as genetically more proficient at certain tasks than womenfolk. We are (allegedly) thought to be innately wired to activities that require logical thinking, endurance and strength. Our forte, or so it seems, lies in the technical stuff; anything mechanical or technological, or that requires snap judgements, we’re seen as the go-to men. Or are we? Recent statistics have shown that women are just as good, or better than men in many traditionally maledominated fields. There are now more female CEOs at the top of some of the most renowned global organisations, for example. Ones that demand the same
rigours of their female professionals as they do their men. Which suggests that the only reason men have been perceived as the stronger sex is the fact that we’ve dominated the professional arena for centuries, while women are just getting into the game. As the playing field quickly levels, will any of today’s gender biases in professional and living competencies still stand? We examine four myths about the superiorities of the modern man, and see if the fairer sex does in fact pale in any way:
Myth 1: Men are better drivers Here’s one for the road: men are perceived to be better drivers, simply because they’re more confident behind the wheel. And the source of their confidence? The perception that they’re better behind the wheel! Conversely,
stereotypes about women’s weakness map readers when compared to men. in driving may affect their confidence Guys, as born-hunters, are perceived to and performance when driving. be able to orientate themselves better on a map, and to find their destination Hardly surprising, given the power faster without getting lost. of perception. As women are less confident, they take less risks on the You’ll be surprised to know that, though road, which often translates to slower studies have shown men to be hardwired driving, and fuels the impression that to have better spatial awareness than they’re less proficient than men. What their female counterparts – especially we don’t realise is they actually make in tasks like map reading – women for safer drivers too; recent statistics actually come out tops when it comes have revealed that men are responsible to remembering routes. for more car accidents than women. Experiments have shown women to be There may be a grain of truth somewhere likelier than men to recall their routes though. In a scientific study that tested using landmarks and retraced paths. the parallel parking skills of both sexes, Scientists have attributed this to the men were found to be five per cent female’s prehistoric role as a gatherer, better in the handling and positioning of with a memory-oriented navigational the car. The conclusion: men have better approach that was better for gathering co-ordination and spatial awareness as grown food. their brains could process the changing speed and position of the vehicle more And that is why women feel right at quickly. home at supermarkets and shopping malls, while men are hopelessly lost in But as more women take the wheel, this the labyrinth – with or without a map. slight advantage may seem insignificant soon enough. After all, practice makes Myth 3: Men are better chefs perfect. “A woman’s place is in the kitchen,” so Myth 2: Men are better at reading said ancient Greek scribe, Aeschylus. maps While the home kitchen is seen as the wife’s domain, the professional one Often accused of being lousy evidently isn’t: of the 140 restaurants navigators, women are seen as poor awarded Michelin stars in the UK, only
11 had female head chefs. And popular TV culinary competition MasterChef has crowned a woman only once in its nine-year history. For some, the disparity is physical. Restaurant kitchens are seen as fire and brimstone-type places. And the heavy woks, pots and pans do demand serious muscle power. Others say that men are simply more passionate about cooking, and work harder at perfecting it. They see women as more suited to the ‘softer’ side of the culinary arts – in the confectionary and desserts corner.
kitchen, with some even running them, the gender bias is slowly dissolving. In fact, even renowned chefs such as Gordon Ramsay now admit that female chefs learn much quicker than male ones. And the ladies have their sensitivities to thank; women only need to be told off once for a mistake. Men, on the other hand, have thicker skins, and a shorter attention span.
Moreover, restaurateurs are quickly realising that when women end up running the kitchen, they tend to run calmer ones. There is less bullying, greater patience, and keener eyes for Yet as more women join the professional detail.
Myth 4: Men are better with technology Men and technology seem to go together like milk and cookies. Computer hung on you? Get the husband or boyfriend to fix it. Software bug on your mobile? Bring it to the burley guy at the neighbourhood Ah Beng store. It could be that men are predisposed to having greater aptitude for computers and machinery than women. Or that our ancient genes have passed on our affinity with tools and logic. Whichever it is, women aren’t seen as being as embracing of – and competent in – tech-based work as men are. But a look at the most powerful people in technology today tells a different story. Many of the top global tech companies have women at their helm. And not just as mistresses of the boardroom, but as leading technologists. Marissa Mayer, for instance, was a pioneering engineer at Google, perfecting their web search capabilities before crossing the divide to become CEO of Yahoo!. Closer to home, you only need to look at the proliferation of smartphones and mobile apps designed for the ladies to realise just how pervasive technology has become in their lives – and how much more adept they are wielding it. Add to that their amazing ability to multi-task, and you’ve got a natural multi-screen digirati.
Myth 5: Men are better at beer pong Yes we are. We really, truly are. ■ SB
AN ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME These days, many couples are choosing to take their pre-wedding photographs against a foreign landscape to capture their love in places that hold a special meaning to them. Instead of picking a location for their pre-wedding photoshoot, our couple, Jing Lin and Joe Wee, decided to add an element of fun and embarked on a secret location shoot for their pre-wedding. Read about this adventurous couple’s secret location shoot with Moomedia by Andrew Mok and ended up with the trip of a lifetime and an album full of spectacular photographs to document their experience. Text by Audrie Soh | Images by Moomedia
to avoid. Taking our preferences for magnificent landscape, unusual architecture and interaction with the Wang Jing Lin & Ng Joe Wee people and culture of the selected country, Andrew picked the perfect Date of Wedding location for us: Mongolia! It was his first time planning a secret destination 26 October 2014 shoot and we have to say that he did an You travelled to the beautiful Mongolia amazing job of picking a location and for your pre-wedding shoot! Tell us all coordinating the trip. about it! Mongolia’s truly an awesome place. We actually had no idea that we were We enjoyed basking in the peaceful heading to Mongolia until we arrived at environment, mingling with the locals the Immigration in Beijing! Since Joe and learning about their culture, ride Wee and I couldn’t decide where we horses and camels on vast plains of wanted to have our pre-wedding shoot, fields and experience life in a nomadic we decided to let Andrew decide on Ger Camp. The whole experience was a location for us. To narrow down the priceless and our photos turned out possible locations, he had us play the spectacular! Risk game where we placed green and red soldiers on the world map. Green What was it like shooting in Mongolia? meant these places were good to go, Share with us your experience in the while red were places we wanted culture-rich Mongolia.
It was extremely fun and a great eyeopener! We spent a total of 8 days in Mongolia and every day we stayed in a different Ger Camp to experience the nomadic lifestyle. The terrain wasn’t easy to overcome but our skillful driver was extremely competent in getting us from camp to camp. We also had the opportunity to try some of their local delicacies such as fermented horse milk and cake, ride horses on a vast plain of field, visit a tribesman’s house and even took part in the Nomads’ Day festival, where we took part in games such as dung scooping, saddling a horse and building a GerCamp. And we came in first! The locals were extremely friendly, helpful and welcoming. Everyone
we met during our trip, whether it was our driver, tour guide or the people in the different Ger Camps, were truly hospitable and warm towards us. We were thoroughly impressed at how the Mongolians are able to retain so much of their culture and identity today. How did you prepare for the trip without knowing where you’ll be heading to? Did Andrew drop you any hints on where you were going, or did you try to probe him for clues on your destination? Packing the luggage was a challenge, since we did not know where we were heading to. Andrew also had to watch his words when he told us what to bring for the trip. He didn’t drop us any hints during the whole time, so
even his instructions to pack clothes we were heading to Mongolia for a prefor both warm and cold weather for wedding shoot! temperatures between 12-24 degrees Celsius was rather cryptic. Share with us some fun tidbits from your trip and pre-wedding shoot in We didn’t try guessing or probing as we Mongolia. Did you encounter any didn’t want to ruin the fun element but difficulties along the way? our family and friends were doing some major guessing on our behalf, up until I have to say that the cold weather the day we were at the airport! Andrew posed the biggest challenge for me, would also occasionally tease us by as I had to pose for shots in my gown telling us that we were going to Egypt with the chilly wind blowing at my face or Indonesia. and shoulders. Joe Wee and Roger would get my jackets ready and wrap That does indeed sound very thrilling! me in them once the shots were done. How did you feel when you finally found But, despite the frigid weather, we out that you were going to Mongolia? enjoyed the photoshoot very much! We also got to take photos with their Before we arrived in Mongolia, we had champion wrestler, who was trying to to transit at Beijing. So when Andrew look fierce for the camera but ended up handed us air-tickets to Beijing, we were bursting out in laughter, and a group of mildly confused, since it was one of the Mongolians dressed in their traditional areas we indicated that we wanted to costumes during the Nomads’ Day avoid. But we thought that perhaps it festival. was merely a transit location. And true enough, when we were queueing at the The scattered animal dung was Immigration in Beijing, Andrew handed another challenge we faced. They us another set of tickets to Ulaanbaatar! were everywhere and we had to avoid We were truly speechless and excited stepping on them while on the move since we did not know much about or during shots. But alas, they were Mongolia and was looking forward to impossible to avoid, so Joe Wee spent learning about their culture and meeting a night outside the Ger Camp washing their people. Who would have guessed our wedding shoes. ■ SB
Wedding Gown: Bridal Veil by Michelle HuiMin | Suit: The Menâ€™s Club | Pre-wedding Evening Gown: Cang Ai Wedding | Pre-wedding Venue: Mongolia | Hair and makeup Artist: Alicia from Bridal Veil by Michelle HuiMin | The Photographer: Andrew, Roger and Kenny from Moomedia For more images, visit our website at www.singaporebrides.com.
URBAN-CHIC WEDDING AT HOUSE AT DEMPSEY It wasn’t the bride and groom who wore white at their urban-chic wedding dinner, but the guests! Having dated for a decade, Alice and Jonning’s relationship naturally moved on to the next level in a casual and fun wedding celebration in HOUSE at Dempsey. Alice had gorgeous lilac locks for the occasion, and the couple both wore their favourite colour, black. They even got matching sneakers! See more of the fun wedding details below, beautifully captured by Chris Ling International Photographers. Text by Tansey Tang | Images by Chris Ling International Photographers
The Couple Alice Lee & Jonning Chng
Date of Wedding 25 October 2014 How did the two of you meet?
at times. As I got to know her better through the years, I see a very kind soul in her as well. How did you decide to take this “lovehate relationship” to the next level? Alice: We were actually celebrating our 11th anniversary during the month that we got married, so I guess, after being together for so long, the thought of spending the rest of our life together just came naturally without any struggle. As corny as it may sound, I’ve always told him he is what I’m not.
Alice: We were classmates from poly but it was only until the last year of school that we started dating and eventually got together. My first impressions were: “cool, cute,” and then it became “I hate this Jonning Chng!” But eventually hate became love. Jonning: Yup, after being together for almost a decade, it just seemed right to Jonning: Yeah, we always described take this relationship to the next level. our relationship as “love-hate.” My first Hence, the first step was to apply for impressions of her were that she is fun BTO – and we managed to get it on the and outgoing but can be temperamental first attempt!
Wasn’t the proposal the first step?
Alice: We had our church wedding with a lilac theme. There’s no reason as to Alice: He proposed on our 10th why lilac, but we just decided to go anniversary and it was at our new house with it. My hair was coloured purple, when we did the “opening ceremony.” and everyone else has a tinge of lilac on them during the day church ceremony. He was not the typical romantic kind so I didn’t expect him to do those little As for the wedding dinner, it is just that things that he prepared for the proposal. our favourite colour is black, so our attire It was short, sweet, unexpected, and was all black. And we decided to make definitely not his style too. But I guess everyone else wear white because I it’s a once-in-a-lifetime event, so he thought it would be a beautiful sight to made an effort to do it right just for the see, with everyone dressed in white. All two of us. we did was to request every guest to wear white in the dinner invitation card, Your wedding looked like one big party! and our parents were sporting enough Tell us what it was like. to go with the idea.
Jonning: Our wedding was simple, relaxed, fuss free, and casual. We wanted the guests to mingle around instead of just sitting with people that they are familiar with. It’s a gathering of friends and family members–people whom we genuinely want to share this special day with. What was the most memorable moment of your wedding? Alice: It was quite an eventful morning. Firstly, the driver was an hour late to Jonning’s place. It was a good thing we gave ample buffer time in our scheduling, so luckily we managed to catch up and everything else was still on time. Just when we thought the worst was over, as we arrived at the church, the driver wasn’t paying attention while driving up the church entrance, and he drove the car straight into the pillar and dented the car bumper. Thankfully, after this little accident, everything else was smooth sailing for the rest of the day. ■ SB
Gown: Narcissism | Suit: Narcissism | Venue: HOUSE @ Dempsey | Hair: Koinonia Salon | Wedding Favours: Succulents in mini pots | Wedding Band: Nicole Duffell and her band For more images, visit our website at www.singaporebrides.com.
A KEWEI AND ALFRED LOVE DUET It was a love duet meant to happen when talented songstress, Kewei, and Project Superstar winner, Alfred, met in 2005. Sparks flew during a group dinner and karaoke session, and a quiet romance developed soon after. A decade later, Alfred sweeps her off her feet with an endearing surprise proposal and weds her in a grand and lovely affair at Shangri-La, Singapore. Text by Audrie Soh | Images by Tinydot Photography
The Couple Tay Kewei & Alfred Sim
Date of Wedding 4 January 2015 Share with us what happened at 22 Dempsey in May last year. Was it everything you had envisioned it to be? Kewei: Yes! Alfred planned and executed the perfect proposal – semi-public and surrounded by our family and friends. It was everything a typical Leo girl who has matured over the years could have wanted – public, outrageous, yet meaningful and intimate at the same time. Here’s how it all went down: Chere Weddings, whom we had engaged for our wedding planning earlier last year, engaged my best friend, EinEin and I to sing at a solemnisation ceremony. Little
did I know, they were also our proposal planner, whom Alfred had engaged secretly, and that the solemnisation ceremony we were to sing at was nothing but a guise! EinEin and I left to chill at a nearby cafe until it was time for us to return. And when we did, a video of Alfred singing and a photo montage of us were playing on a TV screen. When it ended, a black curtain dropped to reveal my family and friends, and Alfred was singing and strumming to my song, So in Love! I was pretty much in shock and crying, while confetti was flying about and poppers were being released. I was then led to a floating stage on the water feature where he went down on one knee while our musician friends continued playing my song! That was only the first installment of the surprise you had planned for her, wasn’t it? What were the other two parts of the surprise you had planned for her?
Alfred: When we got home after the mini celebration at 22 Dempsey, I revealed to Kewei that we were going to Tokyo that night, as the second part of her surprise. She was more than thrilled and after a quick packing of our luggage, we were on our way to the land of the rising sun. Upon touching down in Narita Airport, she was greeted by her third surprise – an welcome entourage consisting of 3 of our friends who were filming and taking photographs of the whole process! Her final surprise was a pre-wedding photoshoot around Tokyo city and a 2 day, 1 night road trip to the outskirts of Tokyo to the mountains for an amazing hot-spring and snow experience, recommended by my good friend and mentor, Professor Kobayashi. And to end off our trip, we made a visit to the Disney Sea theme park. It was a great experience, even for me! That was really sweet of you! How did you plan for it? Alfred: Thanks! It took me quite a long time to plan this and I had a number of ideas of how to go about orchestrating the public proposal she had always wanted. Together with the help of her sister, best friend and Chere Weddings, we came up with this brilliant idea of faking a wedding request for Kewei
to sing at a solemnisation. We worked with 22 Dempsey to prep the venue for the proposal, with sound and lighting sponsored by Bcube, and had Ideally Yours document the whole process. I got some of my musician friends, who were wearing T-shirts that read “Will you marry him?”, to play for the occasion as well. In preparation for the actual proposal day, I practiced her song with Matthew, who taught me how to play it on guitar. I also engaged Sandra, from Fairy’s Inc., for a customised engagement ring for her. Thanks to Sandra’s hard work of going through Kewei’s Instagram and Facebook photographs to identify her style and what kind of ring she would like, she designed a ring with a main diamond flanked by 8 smaller ones, 1 pink and 1 light blue diamond that matches Kewei’s love for Little Twin Stars. With such an exciting proposal, I’m sure your actual wedding was even more spectacular! Tell us more about that special day and how you planned for it. Kewei: Working with Chere Weddings was the best decision we made for our wedding planning! We met them through work several times and were impressed by the well-rounded and attentive service they offer their couples.
They were part of our meetings with our wedding vendors shared their input on detailed matters like our colour palette and floral arrangement. They were also involved in the designing of my bridesmaids’ dresses and were in charge of any tailoring amendments required. They were also extremely helpful in recommending vendors such as Diamond Walker, The Shoemaker’s Elf and Amanda Lee Weddings for our wedding and worked out sponsorship deals for us, as well as helping with the post-wedding media coverage. That sure sounds fun! Your guests must have enjoyed the day!
Kewei: They did! Many of them remarked that it was the best wedding they had ever attended, which we were elated to hear. They loved the special videos Ideally Yours did for us and enjoyed the performances our friends put up for the day! We just wished we had more time to mingle and speak to each and every of our guests! Alfred: We were just happy that the joyous celebration was as fun and entertaining for our guests as it was for us! It was just too happening to contain within that few hours, as we didn’t even have the time to go round the tables to take photographs with our guests. ■ SB
Gowns: The Prelude Bridal, Amanda Lee Weddings, Caramel & Co. | Suit: Y2quared | Venue: Shangri-La, Singapore | Florist: CC Lee | Hair and Makeup: Jyue Huey from The Makeup Room | Wedding Planner: Chere Weddings & Parties For more images, visit our website at www.singaporebrides.com.
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MIZAH AND ADIB’S WEDDING UNDER THE TREES We’re so happy to share the story of Mizah and Adib’s beautiful wedding under the trees, a warm celebration of the union of two families. Supported by the love and help from family members and friends, this creative duo conceptualised an intimate, beautiful wedding with personalised décor and handmade style details amidst the greenery at Hort Park. Text by Tansey Tang | Images by Zakaria Zainal of We Made These
The Couple Mizah Rahman & Adib Jalal
Date of Wedding
Adib: There was no sudden magical moment but rather, as each day went along, I just knew she was the one that I wanted to grow old with and have new experiences together every single day.
18 August 2013 How did the two of you meet?
Wedding planning must have been quite a new experience you shared. Can you tell us about your theme?
Adib: We first met at a sharing session for creative industries where we were both presenting our projects. I thought she was sweet, smart, and had a very warm and pleasant energy around her.
Adib: We both wanted a wedding that was intimate, “effortless,” and just a relaxed gathering of family friends. Right from the beginning we also wanted a semi-outdoor venue, one at is close to Mizah: He caught my attention as he nature, and it led to a garden-inspired was confident, smart, and has a good- wedding. The theme became “Wedding Under the Trees.” boy charm. What is it about each other that made We took about six months to plan you realise that this person was “The for it, looking for the venue, pinning inspirations on our Pinterest board, and One”?
looking for vendors that we felt shared similar aesthetics and values with us. We set up our wedding website which is our way of keeping our family members who are based overseas up to date on our wedding. At the same time, we want this website to become a digital record of our journey together where perhaps one day, we can dust the cobwebs off the site and show our children how their folks did it in 2013. We also wanted our wedding to be made together with family and friends, so we had long chats with them to see how they can help, and piece by piece, the wedding was created. Can you share with us the most memorable moment of your wedding? Adib: For me, the most memorable moment was just before stepping out into the hall in our suit and gown. Our marriage was solemnised about an hour before that and as I waited for the cue to step in, a realisation washed upon me – that I am now standing here beside my wife, surrounded by family and friends from all around who have helped to put together a beautiful wedding. What did your friends and family have to say about your wedding? From what we’ve heard, everyone enjoyed themselves and felt that it was a beautiful affair that had great attention to details but felt simple. Exactly what we had hoped it to be! ■ SB
Gown: Mel Chen, Caramel & Co | Suit: Mel Chen, Caramel & Co | Traditional Wedding Outfits: Kak Salmah of SL Fashion | Makeup and Hair: Joy Tan, The Style Atelier | Florist: Ong Sheng Hua (Osh), Studio Osh | DĂŠcor and Props: The Wedding Chateau, Events Partners | Special thanks to: Bjorn, Rob of Edible Gardens For more images, visit our website at www.singaporebrides.com.
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TRICIA AND JOHN’S IDYLLIC ENGAGEMENT SHOOT It was love at first sight for Tricia and John when they first met at Salon Vim 4 years ago. Drawn to his confidence and maturity, their first encounter left the entire salon resonating with their happy laughter as she cracked many jokes in an attempt to make him laugh. Find out how John managed to get Tricia’s hand in marriage even though he did not fulfill her requirements, and check out their serenely beautiful, idyllic engagement photo-shoot at the quaint MacRitchie Reservoir. Text by Audrie Soh | Images by Fiona Sng from Smittenpixels Photography
The Couple Tricia Ong & John Tham What was the proposal like? Tricia: John’s initial plan was to propose at Lake Ashinoko, or “Land of the Reeds”, in Hakone, Japan, but while we were making our way there, we passed by the famous Hell’s Valley that I’ve always wanted to visit. I told John that we had to explore it since we were there, and that’s how we ended up touring the place instead of Lake Ashinoko. In all my excitement, I was unaware that he was frantically conjuring up a Plan B, although I did notice him behaving strangely a couple of times. But they were quickly forgotten.
we rode the cable car down from the mountains. That moment when he went down on one knee with a paper and ring in hand was an extremely memorable and precious moment. I was touched at how he had planned the entire trip and thought to take me to Hakone for a surprise proposal. And in that moment, I saw tears in his eyes and that struck a chord for me because I’ve never seen this side of him before. It was then that I realised how much this relationship and our union meant to him. Despite the slight de-tour, the proposal still sounds utterly romantic and sweet, John!
John: Thanks! The whole process was extremely nerve-wrecking for me because I’m not good with words but He ended up proposing at a quite spot I wanted this important moment to in town overlooking a gentle lake after be perfect and memorable for both of
us. I guess I was close to a nervous breakdown and wasn’t acting like myself moments before the proposal. And even though I failed to fulfill the two conditions Tricia had requested for previously – to propose publicly in front of a huge crowd and to video that special moment, I still managed to get her agreement.
the perfect spot because we wanted a Nature inspired shoot with our pet, Tintin, and elegant and mysterious night shots. It was the perfect balance of our laidback lifestyle during the weekends with Tintin and our love for quality living.
Tricia: We shot at a rarely visited secluded spot in MacRitchie Reservoir because we wanted to get away from the buzz and concrete buildings we were usually surrounded by. It was also
John: During the shoot, I loved moments where we had to share the frame with Tintin. It reminded me of the type of family I want and I couldn’t wait to do another one in the future with our child!
On the whole, it was a fun and memorable day. To this day, I remember John’s loving whisper by the side of my What was your engagement photo- ears during one the shoot where we shoot like? had to hold our poses.
How was it like working with Fiona, Zyn and Pearlyn?
making sure that every minute detail was in place for every frame.
Tricia: It was great! I love working with Fiona! I adore how hardworking and creative she is! She is able to produce multiple photos from one pose by exploring different angles, and excels in capturing natural lighting in her photos.
That sounds like a great shoot! I’m sure it was filled with memorable and fun moments.
Zyn from Le Fairymeadow was simply amazing. This talented lady who was heavily pregnant at the time of the shoot worked as if she wasn’t carrying a precious load on her, setting up the place with tall floral arch, floral swing and candles! Pearlyn, who did my hair and makeup, was extremely attentive to John and I during the shoot, constantly
Tricia: Indeed! I have one such instance that I just have to share with the world! As my fans might already know, John is responsible for all my OOTD (outfit of the day) shots on Instagram. What they don’t know is that he is very critical of my poses, of where my gaze lands and if I am facing the light. So, when he was posing awkwardly during the shoot, I took the opportunity to return the ‘favour’ he has shown me for the past 4 years! ■ SB
Gown & Suit: Le Seine Bridal | Make up & Hair: Pearlyn Law Florist & Stylist: Le Fairymeadow For more images, visit our website at www.singaporebrides.com.
LOVESTRUCK When Kellyn and Jonathan shared their love story with me, I could not help but think that this pair of lovebirds were meant to be. They met as classmates but were never close. Even after they reconnected via Friendster years later, they remained as acquaintances. Until Kellyn learnt of Jonathan’s intention to further his studies overseas. That was the beginning of everything. Read about how Jonathan popped the question and the touching surprise Kellyn prepared for their wedding day that got Jonathan all emotional! Text by Audrie Soh | Images by Click! Photography
The Couple Kellyn Ting & Jonathan Chau
Date of Wedding 7 & 8 December 2014 What was your proposal like? Jon planned a surprise trip for us to Bali, a place I’ve always wanted to visit with him and booked a beautiful villa with a gorgeous ocean view for our stay. Knowing that I loved taking photographs, Jon suggested we explore the villa and snap some photos. We encountered two photographers who claimed they were from the villa while we were snapping away, and rejected their request to take a few shots of us. But I eventually obliged because they were really insistent and Jon suggested that we let them grab a shot and they’ll
move on. The moment they started photographing us, Jon went down on one knee with a ring in his hands, and popped the question! That moment will forever be precious to me, because the most confident man I’ve ever met, was all nervous and shaky when he asked for my hand in marriage against one of the most beautiful and calming view we’ve ever witnessed. Your pre-wedding photographs in Melbourne by Trouvé are breathtaking. Was there any significance in the country and places you went to for the shoot? Melbourne holds a special place in both of our lives, as the majority of our long distance relationship was spent between Melbourne and Singapore, since that was where Jon studied at. Besides the Melbourne University campus, we travelled to the outskirts
of Melbourne like Carlton Gardens and Mornington Peninsula for the shoot as we loved going on road trips. Kai from Trouvé made the whole process really smooth and fun for us. She made us feel really comfortable so it wasn’t difficult or awkward to get good shots for the shoot. I didn’t even have to worry about hiring a hair and makeup artist as it came with our package, and she saved me the hassle of procuring a floral crown by getting one for me from a local florist!
at Alkaff Mansion, surrounded by a small group of closer friends a day before the dinner banquet. We were really thankful for that bright and beautiful sunny day because not only had it been raining a few days before, there was a huge downpour after our ceremony! Instead of a flower girl or boy, we had Jon’s handsome German Shepherd as our ring bearer – that made our solemnisation just that much more special to us.
Because we had our solemnisation Take us back to your wedding day. done a day earlier than our gateWhat was it like? crashing and tea ceremony, and dinner banquet, we didn’t mind the early hours We had a simple garden solemnisation too much the next day, as we were able
to sneak in a 2-hour nap before getting ready for dinner. That really helped us recharge for the night ahead and we actually enjoyed the dinner a lot more than we had expected to! Our guests had fun and the atmosphere was just what we had wanted for our big day, and we couldn’t have done this without our families and friends, especially our bridesmaids and groomsmen! We heard you surprised Jon with a performance that brought tears to his eyes. What was your surprise? Together with a few of my closer friends from my band days in school, we performed “Endless Love” in a surprise flute quartet for Jon that left him in tears! It was a really unexpected and precious moment to me because I’ve never quite seen Jon cry! ■ SB
Gown: Flamingo Bridal by Shirley Li | Suit: Dick Beaumonde | Venue: Alkaff Mansion and Goodwood Park Hotel | Make-up & Hair: Shirley Li from Flamingo Bridal | For more images, visit our website at www.singaporebrides.com.
HEALTHY WAYS TO DETOX FOR YOUR WEDDING Achieving a svelte and toned physique is on the top of every bride’s to-do list for the wedding, but exercise and dieting aren’t the only ways to lose the bulge, especially if you’ve hit a fitness plateau and can’t seem to drop that last few kilograms. Going on a detox might be the extra push brides-to-be need for that flat and toned midriff they’re aiming for. In this article, we introduce 5 healthy ways to detox that you can easily incorporate into your daily life, including the immensely popular juice cleanse. Text by Audrie Soh
Before we delve into the healthy ways of detoxing, let’s talk about what happens when we embark on one. When we go on a detox, we are ridding our bodies of toxins and contaminants in a bid to improve our bodies’ natural processes. By toxins and contaminants, I’m referring to any substance that we’ve over-consumed over the course of our daily lives. Although our body is fully capable of detoxing itself, our daily lifestyle and eating habits may inhibit and slow down the body’s natural processes, causing us to feel lethargic, bloated and unmotivated. To lighten the burden and to restore the balance in our body, we go on a detox diet in an attempt to cut down bad habits.
A juice cleanse involves participants going on a 1, 3 or 5-day program, where they’ll consume only 6 bottles of fruit and vegetable juices that have gone through cold press juicing to eliminate contaminants and rest the body’s system. Not as widely popular as juice cleanses are tea-toxes, a 2-step teadrinking program that lasts from a week to a month, depending on how long an individual wishes to detox for. It usually contains tea leaves and selective herbs to curb appetite, bloating, and promote metabolism rate and natural purging.
It is easy to see why this seemingly easy and beneficial detox trend is so enticing and popular among the ladies. It claims to give you a flatter midriff, better skin Juice Cleanses and Tea-toxes and improved metabolism rate without having you go through a comparatively These days, when we talk about going tougher routine of cardio and ab on a detox, we think immediately of workouts. But despite its popularity and going on a juice cleanse or tea-tox. positive reviews, controversies soon
Right: 6-Pack Juice Cleanse Image from Hic’Juice.
arose as many health professionals across the world started to raise doubts on whether this new detox, especially the juice cleanse fad, actually delivers the health and beauty benefits they claim, and if its truly a healthy way for individuals to embark on in the long run.
While it may not seem like the best way to achieving a thinner self in the long run, juice cleanses could be seen as an alternative to unhealthy caffeinated and sweetened drinks such as coffee and soda and as a way to introduce vegetables and fruits into our diets.
Why A Juice Cleanse May Not Be The Best Idea In The Long Run
Other Ways To Detox
An increased and lasting energy, a lightness in the body and balanced weight, naturally glowing skin, improved digestion, increased natural motivation, and decreased cravings for sugar and junk food are some of the benefits juice cleanses claim to result in. But health professionals have pointed out that the reality may not be so, as denying your body of its daily required amount of calories and protein over a period of days may send it into starvation mode, where it stores fats, carbohydrates and protein instead of releasing them to conserve energy, resulting in a more listless and sluggish you. Without the daily required amount of protein to build healthy immune cells and to regenerate muscles after a workout, you may find yourself with a lower muscle mass and hence, a slower metabolism rate, setting your weight loss plans back.
Stay Hydrated Weâ€™ve all been advised to drink a minimum of eight glasses of water a day to keep ourselves hydrated and its important to heed that advice if you are embarking on a detox diet. Water easily and naturally detoxes your body by flushing out impurities when you drink enough of it. Proper water intake can contribute to clearer skin, properly functioning organs, and better digestion, so make sure you drink more than eight glasses of water a day to keep those toxins out of your body.
Sweat It Out Working yourself into a sweat is a great natural way to rid your body of toxins that are building up. Following an exercise regime, be it running or yoga, is a great way to sweat out the toxins stored in your body fat and tone up for the wedding. Another way of flushing
Image cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo by Fermín R.F.
the toxins via perspiration is to go for a sauna. Spend 10 to 15 minutes in a sauna once or twice a week to get the toxins out through perspiration. Do take precaution when you go for a sauna. Listen to what your body is telling you; if you feel faint or unwell after entering one, don’t persist in staying longer and exit the sauna, especially for anyone with a lung or heart medical condition, low blood pressure or tends to get light-headed easily. Whether you choose to sweat it out through exercise or a sauna, do aim to
perspire for at least 15 minutes a day to rid your body of toxins. Remember to also hydrate yourself adequately after perspiring to replenish the water in your body.
Eat Clean Every successful detox diet begins with a change in eating habits. Processed foods and foods made of simple carbohydrates, white sugar and flour are easy to eat, tasty and relatively cheap. But they are not the best kinds of food for a healthy and svelte body.
Processed foods are usually loaded with preservatives and chemicals, which can build up in your intestines as toxins over a period of time, slowing your body’s natural detoxification process down. They are also usually higher in fat and calories, which may be counter-productive for your weight loss plans. Sweet and sugary foods such as cakes, cookies, sweets, and fried food should be avoided in a detox diet as well, as they have little to no nutritional value and contributes only to the burgeoning of your waistline. Instead, opt for food that come from the earth and are naturally produced, like whole grains, fruits and vegetables to avoid consuming unnecessary preservatives. These also introduce fiber into your system, aiding your digestion and clearing the digestive tract of excess toxins and waste, keeping it healthy and in proper working condition. Try to introduce super foods such as salmon, tuna, avocado, unsalted walnuts and almonds and berries into your diet as well. Rich in antioxidants and important nutrients, these foods help fight off harmful toxins and substances that may compromise our immune system and overall health.
Get Sufficient Sleep A well rested individual is more likely to shed weight than one who is not getting sufficient sleep. When our body doesn’t get enough rest, we are more likely to give in to temptations and make unhealthy food choices. It also makes us less energetic, which means we may skip planned workout sessions, hindering any weight loss plans. Therefore, it is important to get at least 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep for our body to rest properly and prepare for the next day’s activities. It also keeps our immune system healthy by allowing our system to cleanse naturally and regularly.
Drink Apple Cider Vinegar If you google for apple cider vinegar on the Internet, you’ll see a slew of results listing the benefits of drinking or using apple cider vinegar, one of them being weight loss. It is said that drinking a glass of water mixed with one or two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and one (or more) tablespoon of honey over time will result in weight loss gradually. The enzymes and acids in the apple cider vinegar suppresses appetite,
Top: Image cc licensed ( BY NC SA ) flickr photo by Йоана Петрова
resulting in lesser eating and fewer calories consumed. It also contains probiotics that burns fat more quickly by upping your metabolism rate. Aside from weight loss, drinking apple cider vinegar regularly also improves your immune system and digestion, boosts energy and reduces bloat. For the best results, drink organic, unpasteurised and unfiltered apple cider vinegar with the “mother”, strand-like enzymes of connected protein molecules, present, twice a day, in the morning and evening before meals. Always mix your apple cider vinegar with water or add honey to sweeten the drink as the acidity of the apple cider vinegar may be too strong for some individual and may damage the enamel of your tooth. But, like the any detox diet, you should not rely on apple cider vinegar to help you lose weight over a short period of time. It is important to understand that the primary objective of any detox is to rid the body of excess and external toxins that are introduced into the body through our lifestyle and eating habits. And as a result of changing these habits, individuals may observe a loss in weight or experience an increase in energy due to a more active lifestyle and healthier meal choices. Therefore, brides should look to a detox diet only as a supplement to their current exercise regime and as an extra boost for their weight loss plans. ■ SB
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Meet Liren Neo Connoisseur of Makeup Artistry Like the intricate crafting of rough diamonds into symbols of love, Liren is renowned for bringing out the best in each individual, completing them with the brilliance of a diamond. Al Allow Liren to help you define the wedding look that best suits you and expresses your personality, making you feel magnificent, comfortable and confident.
Be the Dazzling Itâ€™s Your Moment to Shine!
10 FUN WEDDING GUESTBOOK ALTERNATIVES Remember the friends and family who came to celebrate with you through a creative wedding guestbook alternative that you can display in your new home. Check out these 10 guestbook alternative ideas for guests to write their well-wishes and advice, and pick one that reflects your wedding theme! Text by Tansey Tang
The wedding guestbook has always been a way to remember all the wonderful people who came to bless your union. After wedding guests write their well-wishes and notes in the guestbook, most couples tuck it away with all of their other keepsakes. But wouldn’t you rather have a wedding guestbook you can display in your new home, that fondly reminds you of the happiest day of your life? For something different from the traditional guestbook, here are 10 ideas for wedding guestbook alternatives that you can use as meaningful décor in your new nest.
1. Map Wedding Guestbook This is a great wedding guestbook alternative if you’re hosting a travelthemed celebration or have a lot of out-of-towner guests. You can even blow up a map of your wedding venue if you’re holding a destination wedding
to make it more meaningful, or ask your guests to recommend places to visit as a couple. A pretty map print will provide ample space for your guests to write their congratulations, and will be fun décor for your home, along with all the other keepsakes from your travels!
2. Framed Love Quote or Photo Guestbook Get a print of your favourite love quote, or frame a photo from your engagement shoot, leaving a nice, wide border around the print for guests to leave their signatures and well-wishes in permanent markers. You can hang your alternative wedding guestbook up to brighten your new home!
3. Vintage Notes and Envelopes Pick pretty patterned stationery, and set up a chalkboard sign that turns your wedding guestbook into a game!
Right: Intimate Wedding at The Halia, captured by Bloc Memoire Photography
Top: Young and Free, captured by Pauche Photography Bottom: DIY Tutorial: Pop Up Wreath Guestbook
Right: Signature Wedding Quilt by Home Sewn Studio on etsy
Guests can choose what topics to give advice on, and tuck their notes into a rustic box.
4. Fingerprint Tree or Balloons Wedding Guestbook Not everyone has a way with words when it comes to signing your wedding guestbook. Make it simple for your family and friends with a fingerprint tree alternative guestbook! Guests can stamp their fingerprints to create leaves or balloons on an art print, which you can then have framed. Be sure to provide wet wipes so that they can clean up afterwards!
5. Wedding Guestbook Wreath This DIY wedding guestbook wreath has pretty 3D leaves that guests can pop out and leave their signatures on. If youâ€™re holding a rustic or garden wedding, why not tie into the theme with this DIY paper wreath that you can hang in your home?
6. Quilt Wedding Guestbook Revive the sweet tradition of quilts with this heartwarming wedding guestbook alternative. Wedding guests write their well wishes on quilt squares, which you can get a seamstress to join into a family quilt!
7. Polaroids and Photobooth Snaps Who doesn’t love a photobooth at a wedding? With fun props and instant prints that wedding guests can keep, it’s no wonder they’re so popular. Besides entertaining your guests and giving them a memento of your day, why not ask for your own keepsakes too? Get your guests to snap a photo or a polaroid of themselves and write their well wishes on it as an alternative to a wedding guestbook. After the wedding, display the snaps on colourful pegs, or keep them in a wedding scrapbook or album.
8. Framed Wooden Hearts For rustic weddings, these wooden hearts are perfect for your guests to write their love notes. Let the wedding guestbook alternative double up as reception décor by choosing hearts in your wedding colours. Dropped into a wooden frame, the hearts will be a lovely memento that you can display on a shelf in your home.
9. Typewriter Notes If you’re holding a vintage wedding, set up an old typewriter alongside pretty notepaper and ask your wedding guests to type you their advice for a long-lasting marriage, the old-fashioned way! Keep the notes in a vintage tin to be opened on your first anniversary.
10. Seashell Notes For a great wedding guestbook alternative for beach weddings, set out shells that you have collected on your trips together and have guests sign their names on the inside. You can also get them to sign pebbles or rocks, and display these in a glass jar. ■ SB
Top: Wedding floral pegs, wedding escort cards by Maria Panayiotou, CC licensed 2.0 Bottom: The Perfect Kombination of Sweet and Vintage, captured by John Lim Photography
5 ADVENTUROUS AND ROMANTIC HONEYMOON DESTINATIONS Had enough of the usual beach holidays and unimaginative Europe tours and want to do something adventurous for a holiday or honeymoon? Here are five destinations even the hubby would be excited to organise. Text by Michelle Tay
Start celebrating the new phase of your life with bespoke activities at these notable destinations around the world. From an adventurous private island paradise with sailing lessons for the adrenaline-driven couple, to a romantic setting with a dedicated concierge service to help the nervous groom-to-be pop THE question, to a quiet getaway where moms-and-dads-to-be can celebrate the joys of impending parenthood, we have shortlisted five distinctive getaways that offer a little something more to go with the quintessential romantic ambience.
1. For Couples Seeking Adventure Set on an 1800-acre private island, Peter Island Resort & Spa in the British Virgin Islands caters to couples who seek adventure in an intimate setting with its LearnTo-Sail program. In addition to five nights revelling in their luxury Ocean View accommodations, couples can bond while learning to sail the high seas during a three-day sailing course, complete with two hours of classroom instruction and 12 hours of one-on-one sailing time. The romance of sailing wonâ€™t stop in the Caribbean, as guests also receive a one-year membership to the U.S. Sailing Association. Learn-To-Sail Package rate starts from US$4,700 per couple (with Ocean View Room).
2. For Couples Looking to Commit Located on a private 1,500-acre former sugar planation, Cap Maison Resort & Spa on Gros Islet, Saint Lucia is an intimate setting for a magical proposal. Hoping to help alleviate any stress from the blissful engagement process, the resort offers a “Proposal Concierge” to help hopeful grooms-to-be achieve the magical “yes”, with amenities such as: • • • • • • • • • •
Four nights in a signature Ocean View Villa Suite with private pool Scenic helicopter transfer from the airport to Cap Maison, offering aerial views of the island and Piton mountains Romantic sunset cruise on board Cap Maison’s private 46-foot luxury yacht Private dinner on Rock Maison during sunset on the proposal evening, complete with roses and ring delivered via the Champagne Zip Line Complimentary welcome bottle of Champagne Breakfast and dinner daily at the acclaimed Cliff at Cap One-hour couples massage at the resorts Spa Maison or en suite in the room $75 beverage credit per night for use at the resorts restaurant or bars Return ground transfer to airport upon departure Room Rates start from from US$3,400 (April to mid December 2015)
3. For Foodie Couples Looking to Get “Lei’d” At Makena Beach & Golf Resort in Maui, couples can experience the gastronomic wonders of regional Hawaiian cuisine while overlooking the awe-inspiring view of sunsets and the picturesque shoreline. Whether opting for an ocean side, multicourse wine-paired dining experience or opting to pick up one of the resort’s wicker picnic basket selections and head off to explore other areas, the romance of the islands and authentic local cuisine will drive couples’ inhibitions during their stay at this world-class retreat. Room rates start from US$299 per night. Add on US$100 (excluding tax and other applicable fees) per person for a 3-course ocean-side dinner; or US$34 to US$52 for a picnic basket of your selection.
4. For Couples Looking for an Exotic Honeymoon Newlyweds can experience the legendary Chao Praya River and explore the heart of Bangkok’s palatial and historical district during a post-nuptial stay at The Siam, a picturesque art-deco inspired 38-room luxury abode which offers Thai hospitality at its finest. Here, unique exciting activities include sailings on The Siam’s Sunset Cruise, which offers stunning views of the Grand Palace, Wat Arun, Chinatown and the Bangkok skyline, and shuttle boat service to the Night Flower Market, where a stroll through the myriad stalls is a feast for the senses. For a more personalised experience, butlers from The Siam can conduct bespoke community walking tours of the surrounding neighbourhood to the theme of the couple’s choice for a small fee of US$30. Room rates start from US$367 per night in the Siam Suite. Additional tariffs for the Sunset Cruise apply.
5. For Couples Preparing for the Next Life Stage Before baby makes three, glowing mothers-to-be can relax during a Babymoon at The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina, which is renowned for its natural beauty and abundant wildlife. The resort’s “Bliss Before Baby” package includes two nights in Garden View accommodations, which feature a custom-made ergonomically designed king bed, a blissful couple’s massage, daily buffet breakfast, and one dinner for two. Bliss Before Baby Package starts from US$397 per couple. Guests who stay at these hotels can add more benefits to their romantic getaways by enrolling in the iPrefer guest loyalty program, which extends points redeemable for cash-value Reward Certificates, elite status, and special benefits such as complimentary Internet to members upon every stay at more than 500 participating Preferred Hotels & Resorts locations worldwide. ■ SB
The moment you discover
FairyTalesDoComeTrue Dedicated to making your wedding journey as seamless as possible, allow our personalised Wedding Concierge to help you plan the wedding of your dreams. To speak with our Romance Team, please call +65 6431 5526 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
WEDDING INVITATION ETIQUETTE FOR THE SINGAPORE COUPLE With endless possibilities for creative wedding invitation designs these days, the modern Singaporean couple might get confused about the wedding invitation wording, and other do’s and don’ts of wedding invitation etiquette. Here’s our guide. Text by Tansey Tang
As bearers of good news, your wedding invitations should give your wedding guests the first insight into your unique wedding celebration. Your wedding invites are your opportunity to let family and friends know you as a couple a little better before the wedding, by showcasing your personalities. With all the contemporary and creative invitation suite design options these days, from gorgeous watercolour prints to gold foil to quirky old vinyl record save-the-dates, the modern Singaporean couple is spoilt for choice. But regardless of the creative license you can take to express your fun and unique wedding personality, wedding invitation etiquette should not be forgotten. Respect your wedding guests, friends and elderly relatives alike, with these tips on and examples of wedding invitation wording, timelines to note, and information to include.
Include Important Information Have all the creative fun you like with your wedding invitation design; the invites will introduce your personalities, and give your guests an idea of what to expect at your wedding. For example, you can include tropical prints for a funky beach wedding, or use fancy lasercuts to set the tone for an elegant affair. Whether you choose calligraphy or letterpress for your invites, do remember to present your wedding information clearly. You should include the bride’s and groom’s names, the names of the hosting parents, the date and time, the venues of the ceremony and reception or dinner, and RSVP details.
The Paper Bunny
Pearlyn and Paper
Clue your guests in on whether you’re serving food by adding a line like “with cocktails and dancing to follow” instead of “with reception to follow.” Include your dress code and your wedding website if you have one, and list the times for your matrimonial ceremony and your lunch or dinner reception. Give the full address details, and you can even provide a map. Ask guests to RSVP their attendance by a certain date, and provide one or two contact numbers for them to do so easily.
Word Your Wedding Invitation You are no longer restricted to traditional wedding phrases when writing your invitation, though some rules still apply. The full names of the hosts, usually the couple’s parents, come first. When both the couple and their families are hosting the wedding, many couples add “Together with their families” at the beginning of the host line. This is followed by the request for the guest to attend and share in the celebrations. The host will introduce their relationship to the couple, followed by the names of the bride and groom, the date and time, and the venue address and reception line. Here are some wedding invitation wording examples that you can adapt to suit your own scenario:
Formal wedding invitation with both parents hosting: Mr. & Mrs. John Lee [proper names of those hosting] and Doctor & Mrs. Anthony Tan [proper names of those hosting] request the honour of your presence [request line] at the marriage of their children [relationship of the couple to the host] Belinda Lee [bride’s name] & Aaron Tan [groom’s name] Saturday the fifth of May, two thousand and fifteen [day of the week, day and month of wedding] at five o’clock in the afternoon [time of wedding and time of day] St Andrews Cathedral [name of the location of wedding] 11 St. Andrew’s Road, Singapore 178959 [venue address] Reception to follow [reception line] at seven o’clock in the evening [time of reception and time of day] at Masons at Gillman Barracks [name of the location of reception] 8 Lock Road, 108936 [reception venue address] RSVP by the tenth of April to Anne Lee, 90123456 [RSVP line] Black Tie [dress code, usually placed at bottom right of the card]
Casual wedding invitation with both parents hosting: Together with their families [joint hosting line] Mr. & Mrs. John Lee [proper names of those hosting] and Doctor & Mrs. Anthony Tan [proper names of those hosting] Belinda Lee [bride’s name] & Aaron Tan [groom’s name] joyfully invite you to celebrate their marriage [request line] at Shangri-la Rasa Sentosa [name of wedding venue] 101 Siloso Road, Sentosa, 098970 [venue address] on 7.7.17 [date of wedding] at seven o’clock in the evening [time of wedding] with dinner and dancing to follow [reception line] RSVP by the tenth of April to Anne Lee to email@example.com [RSVP line] belindaandaaronwed.com [wedding website line]
Sending Out the Invitations Always spell out the full names of your guests, and include the appropriate social titles, when addressing your invitations. Write out addresses in full as well, spell out words like ‘Street’ and ‘Road,’ and spell out house numbers below 20. Remember to include a return address on the back of your envelopes, so that you won’t miss any guests who have changed addresses. Let your guests know whether they’re invited to bring along their children, or a date, with how you address their invitations. “Mr. and Mrs. Elijah Wong and family” invites their children to come along, whereas “Mr. and Mrs. Elijah Wong” would imply that the children aren’t invited. Send out your Save the Dates six to eight months in advance, and follow with your wedding invitations six to eight weeks before the wedding. Allow your guests plenty of time to avail themselves for your celebration, and give yourself leeway for collating the final head count too. If you’re holding a destination wedding, give your guests ample time to prepare by sending invites three months before the wedding. You might also like to personally deliver invitations to your elder relatives, as a mark of respect, and invite your loved family and friends in person. Ask for RSVPs two to three weeks before your wedding to make sure you have enough time to finalise the head count and create seating plans. Pass all the guest list information to a sibling or a friend and get him or her to handle the guest list, to free yourself up for the many other things you will have to juggle a few days before the wedding. Finally, remember the bigger picture as you work through the little details of wedding planning — that you’re going to celebrate your marriage surrounded by the people you love! ■ SB
SAY “I DO” AND WE’LL TAKE CARE OF EVERYTHING ELSE.
Our dedicated, professional and committed team of seasoned consultants are right there with you, sharing and seeing to every memorable moment of your big day. Contact Orchard Hotel’s Event Planners at 6739 6582 / 6532 / 6572 / 6735 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Step into the realm of cosmopolitan elegance and comfort at Orchard Hotel Singapore. The five-star deluxe hotel’s newly made-over grand ballroom has a splendid pillar-less layout that can accommodate up to 100 tables. Revamped in October 2013, feature with new carpeting and furnishing for your guest’s comfort.
Your guests will also be wowed by the exquisite Cantonese cuisine from the renowed Hua Ting Restaurant led by award-winning Masterchef Chung Lap Fai and his culinary team. He was recently awarded the Asian Cuisine Chef of 2014 while Hua Ting garnered Asian Restaurant of the year, both as recognized by the World Gourmet Series Awards of Excellence 2014.
AWARD WINNING HUA TING RESTAURANT ORCHARD CAFÉ NOODLES INTERMEZZO BAR ORCHARD GRAND BALLROOM
More than 100 hotels worldwide www.millenniumhotels.com
8 ALTERNATIVE WEDDING VENUES IN SINGAPORE Last year, we brought you 10 intimate wedding venues to consider for your special day, now, here are eight more lovely spaces to visit if you haven’t yet settled on the perfect location for your wedding. Text by Tansey Tang
While hotel ballrooms certainly make posh and elegant wedding venues, today’s brides and grooms who want to celebrate in a slightly less traditional manner can look to the many beautiful restaurants and alternative venues in Singapore to host their wedding. For close-knit weddings with your nearest and dearest, here are eight alternative wedding venues to make your celebration a little more special. Whether you’re looking for charmingly nostalgic colonial architecture, fresh garden spaces, or a marina vista, these unique wedding venues will set the scene for your next chapter to unfold.
1. ONE°15 MARINA CLUB A wedding celebration at ONE°15 Marina Club is sure to make a splash. Located in the refreshing Sentosa Cove, it has a selection of unique venues: the grand, 360-seater Constellation Ballroom; the romantic, waterfront Boaters Bar with its one-of-a-kind floating bar design; the NOVA Room with glass walls for a stunning backdrop to your ceremony; and the Rooftop Terrace with its spectacular marina view. Couples who want to sail into the sunset during their solemnisation can even opt to host a private and lavish affair onboard one of the luxury yachts! Ideal wedding venue for: Nautical wedding; yacht wedding; seaside wedding Cuisine: Chinese and International Address: 11 Cove Drive, #01-01, Sentosa Cove, Singapore 098497 Contact: 6305 6990 Email: email@example.com Website: www.one15marina.com
Sabio By The Sea
2. LEWIN TERRACE Nestled in the greenery of Fort Canning is the charming Lewin Terrace. Overlooking lush gardens and filled with natural light, the cosy and elegant wedding venue is a lovely choice for a small and intimate solemnisation at the alfresco balcony. Follow the ceremony with Japanese-French fusion cuisine served with all the grace of Japanese entertaining and hospitality, and youâ€™re sure to make your guests feel pampered and at ease. As a bonus, Lewin Terrace has a dedicated bridal room where couples can get ready in comfort and privacy. All of your wedding planning needs will also be taken care of with their partnering bridal boutique and wedding planner, Tirtha Weddings. Ideal wedding venue for: Intimate and elegant wedding Cuisine: Japanese-French fusion Address: 21 Lewin Terrace Singapore, Singapore 179290 Contact: 6557 0820 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.lewinterrace.com.sg
3. SABIO BY THE SEA Facing the sparkling marina and white yachts of Sentosa Cove, Sabio by the Sea is filled with bright, eclectic decor for a fun and colourful celebration with your closest family and friends. Soak up the nautical surroundings in Quayside Isle as you tuck into delectable Spanish tapas served in cosy communal dining style under the antler chandeliers and pop art. With succulent seafood and meats grilled in the Josper charcoal ovens specially flown in from Spain, you and your guests will be in for a great time. Ideal wedding venue for: Nautical wedding; fun and eclectic wedding Cuisine: Spanish Address: 31 Ocean Way, #01-02, Singapore 098375 Contact: 6773 0070 Email: email@example.com Website: www.sabio.sg/bythesea
4. ONE ROCHESTER With a newly refurbished colonial-style faĂ§ade and lush greenery, One Rochester offers beautiful indoor and outdoor wedding venue options, menus created by Chef Jean-Philippe Patruno of UNA which offer delectable cuisines from Spain, Italy, and France, and an extensive bar where you can create bespoke cocktails that represent you as a couple. A new central glass canopy graces the alfresco area, perfect for solemnisation ceremonies. Tying the knot at One Rochester will be a breeze with HOST, who will customise packages to suit your needs, and take care of all the little details such as floral decorations, wedding favours, a band, or a photobooth. Ideal wedding venue for: Glamorous outdoor wedding Cuisine: Spanish, Italian, and French Address: 1 Rochester Dr, Singapore 139212 Contact: 6773 0070 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: onerochester.com
5. iL LIDO With panoramic views of the South China Sea, ilLido is an elegant and intimate alternative wedding venue. Your guests can look out onto the picturesque seascape and golf course, as they enjoy exquisite Italian fine dining in the sleek interiors and plush furnishings of the restaurant. After you exchange vows against the view of the glowing horizon on the alfresco deck, you can relax and leave the details of the day to the care of the experienced wedding coordinator. Ideal wedding venue for: Elegant wedding; seaside wedding Cuisine: Italian Address: 27 Bukit Manis Road, Sentosa Golf Club, Singapore 099892 Contact: 6866 1977 Email: email@example.com Website: www.il-lido.com
6. THE HALIA AT RAFFLES HOTEL In the iconic Raffles Hotel, The Halia is a chic, urban restaurant featuring blackand-white architectural details and a charming atmosphere. Couples can choose to exchange their vows inside the elegant interiors, or hold an intimate outdoor wedding in the lovely courtyard framed by colonial arches. With contemporary Asian-infused European cuisine served in a communal feast style, your wedding party will be a cosy and warm affair befitting your union. Ideal wedding venue for: Art Deco wedding; vintage wedding Cuisine: Contemporary European cuisine with an Asian touch Address: 1 Beach Road, #01-22/23, Raffles Hotel, Singapore 189673 Contact: 6287 0711 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.thehalia.com
7. TAMARIND HILL Housed in a historic bungalow from the colonial era, Tamarind Hill perches atop the lush foliage of Labrador Park. Its signature Asian rustic-luxe ambiance offers the perfect wedding venue for a luxuriously exotic and elegant celebration, with modern finishings on the rich timber beams and stunning architecture. Your guests will enjoy a refined menu of traditional and contemporary Siamese cuisine as they toast to your union. Ideal wedding venue for: Elegant, rustic wedding; opulent wedding Cuisine: Traditional and contemporary Siamese cuisine Address: 30, Labrador Villa Road, Singapore 119189 Contact: 6270 1868 Website: www.tamarindrestaurants.com/tamarind-hill-singapore
8. FORLINO The chic Italian restaurant in One Fullerton overlooks a panoramic view of the Marina Bay with its iconic skyline. Sophisticated and extravagant interior design gives Forlino its Italian flair, making it an ideal choice for an elegant wedding venue. With exquisite Italian fine dining created by classically trained Chef Sasaki, and a magnificent view of the bay, your wedding celebration will be a glamorous night not to forget. Ideal wedding venue for: Glamorous and private wedding Cuisine: Italian Address: 1 Fullerton Road, One Fullerton #02-06, Singapore 049213 Contact: 6690 7564 Email: email@example.com Website: www.forlino.com â– SB
NEW BEGINNINGS AT GRAND HYATT SINGAPORE Grand Hyatt Singapore is ready to take weddings to a whole new level with the opening of its newly renovated Level 3 event space, the last piece of the puzzle in the re-modelling of their event spaces. We bring you an exclusive look at their brand new ballrooms and reception areas. Text by Audrie Soh | Images from Grand Hyatt Singapore
Situated in Scotts Road, Grand Hyatt Singapore is conveniently located in the heart of Singapore’s world renowned shopping and entertainment belt, Orchard Road, and easily accessible via public transport and car. This 677room hotel is known for its warm timber interior guestrooms, unique dining concepts, Damai Spa & Fitness Centre, and now, a newly renovated dynamic event space. Designed by Super Potato, the hotel’s event spaces on levels 1, 2 and 3 feature residential-style designs with a different concept on every level, each featuring a cosy and spacious loft kitchen of its own. The Gallery on Level 1, made up of a loft kitchen, a lounge and two Ateliers and Galleries, is modelled after a modern contemporary art gallery. An intricate lattice ceiling frames the loft
kitchen and invites natural sunlight into the space, bestowing it with a warm glow in the day while lending an elegant touch to the area at night. It also features a hidden bridal chamber where the newlywed can retreat to change or to rest in between marchins without having to return all the way to their bridal suite. This chic and versatile space is perfect for an exclusive and intimate wedding celebration, seating up to 280 guests in its two galleries. Or, if a receptionstyle wedding party is needed, The Gallery is able to hold up to 700 guests.The mansion-styled Grand Salon on Level 2 obviously exudes a more homely vibe with its warmer lighting, elegant lattice door paneling and roomy main passageway. This homely environment allows your guests to mingle comfortably during
a wedding reception and the star of this 340-seater Grand Salon, its integrated show kitchen, will keep them thoroughly entertained during the banquet, as they watch the hotelâ€™s team of master chefs put together their meals with skill and precision. Level 3, the largest of the three floors and the most recent to complete renovation and to open, houses five residences, a Grand Residence and a Grand Ballroom. Square-paneled glass doors welcome you into the Residence, a uniquely furnished space with rawlooking cabin-like feature walls made of recycled wood panels and shutters of different shapes, sizes and grains. Even the doors to the residences are
fashioned in the same manner to blend seamlessly into the feature wall. Ceiling skylights in the loft kitchen and lounge areas and floor-to-ceiling windows in the smaller residences flood the space with natural sunlight. The smaller residences are perfect for solemnisations or tea ceremonies on its own, or can be combined to accommodate a smaller wedding party of 180 guests. The Grand Residence and the Grand Ballroom are perfect for bigger wedding celebrations of up to 280 and 380 guests respectively. The Grand Residence features a 6-metre ceiling with skylights to let in natural light during the day. At night, the
lattice-patterned skylights and walls change light according to the colour of your choice for a psychedelic look. The biggest ballroom with the highest ceiling, The Grand Ballroom features a 6.5-metre ceiling with 3D tetris-patterned features. Guests are in for a spectacular visual treat as the ballroom is equipped with the latest video mapping technology which allows couples to take their wedding to the Eiffel Tower, under a star-lit night sky, or anywhere they want by projecting an image onto the white feature wall. Grand Hyatt Singaporeâ€™s newly renovated event spaces are modern, inviting and beautiful no matter which ballroom you decide to celebrate your once-ina-lifetime in. Their dedicated and professional team of wedding specialists will work closely with you to bring you a wedding of your dreams while their skilled chefs will cook up a storm in any cuisine of your choice that will leave your guests in a gastronomical coma. And by end 2014, Grand Hyatt Singapore will boast a permanent halal-certified banquet kitchen. â– SB Grand Hyatt Singapore is at 10 Scotts Road, Singapore 228211.Contact their wedding specialists at 65 6416 7373 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
10 AIRBNB HONEYMOON RENTALS THAT ARE OUT OF THIS WORLD Couples are travelling together more nowadays, so when the time comes to planning the honeymoon, no country seems special anymore. With Airbnb, however, adventurous couples can still visit their favourite countries, but experience something totally out of this world. We give you 10 Airbnb listings that will make breathtaking honeymoon rentals. Text by Michelle Tay | Images by Airbnb
1. Treehouse in Atlanta, USA Set amongst lush greenery in intown Atlanta, this suite of three treehouse rooms, connected by rope bridges, are beautifully furnished with antiques and natural artefacts. Wake up and fall sleep to the sounds of nature around you and still be minutes away from civilisation! If you love the outdoors but rather not do the camp thing, this is the prefect solution for you.
2. 14th Century Palazzo in Civita, Italy Casa Civita is a 14th century palazzo that sits on underground caves, etruscan thombs and a Roman water cistern in Civita di Bagnoregio, a well-preserved town in central Italy, and accessible only by a foot bridge.
Imagine soaking in that underground pool, or enjoying the view under the Italian garden as you dine. It’s great for families too, since there are three bedrooms in the enchanting place right out of a fairytale.
3. Houseboat right beside the Eiffel Tower, Paris Docked at the Port de Suffren, which is a World Heritage Site listed by UNESCO, is this 100-year-old houseboat that is a mere five- to tenminute walk from the Eiffel Tower, Museum of Modern Art, Palais de Tokyo, and many other must-see sites in Paris. It’s a small, cosy studio, but beautifully furnished with everything you can find in a normal hotel room, and more! The outdoor deck is the perfect place to be seen on the Seine.
Canggu Beach, Bali
4. Hidden Villa at Canggu Beach, Bali Surfer couples, we have the listing for you. In this two-storey private villa located at Canggu Beach, you can have a full sized kitchen, with a rear yard and a plunge pool. But who needs those when you’re a short walk away from the beach as well as the popular Echo Beach, and in close proximity to local warungs and cafes serving international cuisine. Have a fulfilling day outside or spend in indoors in privacy. Your choice.
5. The Green Windmill at Oia, Santorini When you think of Santorini, you envision whitewashed stone houses against the vast blue Aegean Sea. Take it one level higher and stay in a windmill. The Green Windmill is spacious and modern, with views of the vineyards and the sea. Just looking at the photo of The Green Windmill taking during Oia’s famous sunset is making my heart beat faster. Your honeymoon photos would be so gorgeous.
6. Four bedroom riad in Marrakech, Morocco If you’re honeymooning in Marrakech, you obviously love the colours and architecture so unique to the place, so you should stay in a traditional Moroccan
riad! The lovely townhouse has its ubiquitous central courtyard as well as a huge roof terrace. Nearby, you can find bazaars, restaurants and gardens. If you’re travelling with family, this beautiful riad is excellent.
7. Oceanfront haven in Swansea, Australia Set on a private 130-acre wooded peninsula surrounded by the crystal-blue waters of Great Oyster Bay, Thalia Haven consists four ancient-stone and wood cottages that sleeps eight. An hour’s drive from Hobart Airport, this gorgeous house is designed by a prize-winning team of husband-and-wife architects, and comes with your own exclusive golden sand beach. Be warned, though. You might not want to leave this place.
8. Luxury Houseboat in Amsterdam, Netherlands For a true Airbnb experience, stay in someone’s home! And home in this case is a spacious houseboat that lies on one of the most beautiful canals in the city, and is surrounded by historical buildings and cosy cafes. The Haarlemmerdijk shopping streets are also nearby, with small, peculiar shops offering a variety of unique goods. What a romantic experience it must be, sitting up on the deck and just people-watching while you sip coffee together.
9. Private cave house in UĂ§hisar, Turkey Located on the most private side of Uchisar and surrounded by the magical ancient caves, this art residence is perfect for couples looking for a peaceful stay in Cappadocia. The house is a beautifully restored property, with a wonderful view of the Erciyes Mountain and a horizon dotted with hundreds of hot air balloons. Imagine waking up to a view like that every morning.
10. Timber House near Reykjavik, Iceland If your idea of Iceland is of great undulating lakes and wild Icelandic horses running with manes blowing in the wind, you will find it is all true. Located on the outskirts of Reykjavik beside Lake Elidavatn, this timber house is right in the middle of all that and is a great location for those who are on a self-drive holiday and wish to experience the city of Reykjavik and surrounding countryside. And get this: there is a horse stall connected to the house and horse riding can be arranged from January to June. â– SB
have it your way leave the rest to usÂŽ At the Ramada Singapore At Zhongshan Park, weâ€™ll do everything we can to make your wedding dreams come true, just the way you want it, so you can let your hair down at the party. Host your celebration in our pillar-less ballroom or have your solemnisation in our beautifully landscaped event lawn by the poolside. Join us at our Dream Weddings Open House and meet with our wedding planners and vendors for some inspiration. Enjoy exclusive perks* when you confirm your wedding (min. 18 tables) with us! 22nd Aug 2015, Saturday | 12pm to 5pm | Balestier Ballroom, Level 2 Wedding Dinners
$80++ off per guaranteed table Additional 1 barrel of beer (20L) 18 bottles of housepour wines
$50++ off per guaranteed table Complimentary food tasting for 10 persons 1 bottle of housepour red/white wine per guaranteed table
*Perks stated are valid for 2015 weddings (new bookings), terms and conditions apply. Please RSVP by 14th Aug 2015 to email@example.com or 6808 6848 Ramada Singapore At Zhongshan Park 16 Ah Hood Road, Singapore 329982 www.ramadasingapore.com (65) 6808-6848
This hotel is independently owned by HH Properties Pte. Ltd. but operated u
under a management agreement with Wyndham Hotel Group Asia Pacific Co. Ltd.
YOU NEED TO HONEYMOON AT FINOLHU VILLAS I was invited to the worldwide launch of Club Med Finolhu Villas, an exclusive eco-chic paradise in the Maldives, where I was one of the first few guests to experience three nights in heaven. Text by Michelle Tay
The conserved island of Gasfinolhu, or “sand bank” in the Maldivian language, lies north of the Kaafu Atoll, about an hour away from Malé International Airport by an exclusive speedboat, depending on the wind. The island is small—you can walk from one end to the other in less than 15 minutes, but why bother rushing when you’re surrounded by the Indian Ocean and a 1000 metre private beach? On 31st January, Club Med officially opened its brand new Finolhu Villas, an exclusive, all-adult, eco-chic resort. This new holiday destination is a collection of 52 lagoon and beach villas built on either side of a walkway, resembling the fronds on a fern leaf. The walkway, or the stem of the leaf, is modern and minimalist in design, and has a roof made up of solar panels that support the energy needs of the entire island. That is just one of the amazing things about Finolhu Villas.
Beauty Often, when arriving by plane at night at any city, I would be hypnotised by the colourful lights beneath me that line the buzzing city’s infrastructure. But when I looked out of the plane moments before arriving at Malé, it was as if the stars in the sky had fallen into the ocean underneath me. The Indian Ocean was pitch black, save for a scattering of twinkling lights, each island a constellation. When the wheels hit the tarmac, it felt like I had descended onto heaven. We arrived at the Finolhu Villas’ private jetty past midnight, but were greeted warmly by the G.Os (otherwise known as Gentil Organisateurs, or the Club Med staff), whose bare feet were powdered with the white sand from the beach. We were driven to our overwater villas in a buggy, as we passed the Clubhouse, the Pool Bar, and Motu Restaurant & Bar. There are 22 Beach Villas with a Sunrise or Sunset view, and the remaining 30 are Overwater Villas. My personal butler was waiting for me at the door when the buggy dropped me off in front of Number 29. It was a Sunrise Overwater Villa. Quickly, I was brought on a tour around the villa
where I was to spend the next few nights alone. Yes, I went alone. To the Maldives. Yes, you would enjoy it more if you went with a loved one. On your honeymoon. There was supper and a bottle of champagne waiting for me on the table. I brought them out with me to the deck, walked halfway down the steps and sat there, both feet wet from the Indian Ocean lapping right up to the stilts. That night, I was sleepless, knowing this heaven was not mine to have forever.
Nature I woke up before sunrise the next morning, but the sun was hiding behind the clouds, so I decided to do a more detailed walkabout in the villa before I met my fellow travellers for breakfast. The room was enchanting at night, but it looked really different in the day. Meriem Hall, the Club Med Designer for Interior and Advisory, chose a colour palette of ocean blue, green and orange, which blended in with the natural surroundings of sea, trees and sand, and high quality furnishing to make sure the Villas represent the ultimate luxury destination in the Maldives. It’s true. The colours did remind me of Hermès bags.
From the main door, you see the living area, and the entrance to the bedroom beyond that. On the right, full glass balcony doors open out to the private deck that overlooks the sea. Flanking both sides of the bedroom are the same full length balcony doors, one side for you to gaze upon the sea from your bed, while the other side leads to a sheltered patio, where, right in the middle, sits a stand-alone bathtub. The bathroom, accessible by yet another set of full-length balcony doors, was very spacious. It was obvious the villa was designed with the couple in mind, but the designer was thoughtful in providing enough space, so holidaymakers and honeymooners alike can experience the villa in harmony with the vast ocean.
I could sit out at the deck and have a slow morning.
Back out onto the deck, you can choose to walk straight down into the sea and meet the sea life hanging out under the stilts, or take a dip in the private plunge pool at low-tide. I made a mental note to order a private breakfast at sunrise the next day so
Finolhu Villas also uses a desalination process to produce fresh water for consumption on its own. Imagine the amount of energy and costs saved from operating a luxury destination like this. Club Med is even looking into installing a zero-waste management system to
Elegance Walking out from the villa towards Motu Restaurant where I was to have breakfast, I began to fully appreciate the beauty of the island and the ingenious design feat New York-based Japanese architect Yuji Yamazaki had accomplished with this eco resort. At night, the walkways at the jetty and outside the lagoon villas were LED-lit with changing neon lights. But in the day, these same walkways house the solar panels that provide 100% of the entire islandâ€™s energy needs. During the night and on rainy days, the power supply will come from a fully charged battery storage system.
commit to the cause of sustainability in the Maldives. Perhaps due to Yamazaki’s east-meetswest design sensibilities, the modern, Space Age-like solar system seems strangely at home beside the wooden villas and buildings, the cerulean sea, and the white sandy beach. From afar, Motu Restaurant looks like a large kelong, but once you step in, you know you’re in for a fine-dining treat. The first thing you see is an impressive sunken bar with glass floor panels and a high, domed shaped ceiling,
best experienced in the evening. We headed left to the air-conditioned section of the restaurant, where we still got great views of the ocean. Motu is the only restaurant on the island, so you get to have all your meals here, with a choice of sets or a limited à la carte menu. Breakfast was served with a bread basket, with pastries baked right here on the island. After breakfast, we took a walk around the island, watching egrets and herons soaring in the wind, and spotted some staff raking the shores on the pristine white beach. Such was
the level of pampering Finolhu Villas offers to guests on the island—clean, new beaches to wake up to.
Memories Is this really Club Med? But what about the fun? The food? The nightlife? The parties?! With Finolhu Villas, Club Med continues to provide upscale personalised holidays with their premium allinclusive packages, but it is steered towards being its most high-end yet. Finolhu Villas is actually the latest addition to the Club Med Kani Premium Resort, which is just a five-minute shuttle boat ride away. I had a short chat with Guillaume de Quatrebarbes, the Villas Manager at Finolhu Villas about honeymooning on the island. “The Maldives is the ultimate honeymoon destination for couples or for couples who want a romantic getaway. To cater to that need, the Villas on the island are adults-only, making it the perfect choice for couples and honeymooners who want more privacy and shared experiences.” But that doesn’t mean it is going to be boring. There are all kinds of
recreation available, such as water sports, cruises, and tours. I went on a “Blue Lagoon” discovery tour, where we were taken out on an activity-filled scuba-diving and island-hopping trip. Couples who dive will already know the marine life is gorgeous in the Maldives, and its clear waters are too inviting even for a non-water sports lover like me. We spotted tortoises swimming in pairs, stingrays that were trying hard to hide from us, and a large Manta ray surfing just under the surface of the water. Quite an experience, but slather on your sunscreen! The next two mornings, I managed to have breakfast on the deck while watching the sunrise. It was breathtaking and only lasted a few fleeting minutes, but it was a sight to behold, especially on a day with clear skies. In the evening, all I did was take a walk to the beach, and I could still have an unobstructed view of the sunset. “There is a premium honeymoon package for couples that includes a welcome surprise in the villa with floral arrangements, champagne, special gifts, and extra privileges like spa treatments for two and a romantic dinner under the stars on a nearby
secluded sandbank,” says Guillaume. “But if you want to stay in the villa all day, your personal butler can arrange for all-day room service, and make your stay as romantic as you want.” You can also take the shuttle over to Club Med Kani and enjoy all the facilities there, a special privilege as a Finolhu Villas guest. You can enjoy your meals at the bustling buffet restaurant, and stay up till late with the nightly performances and dancing that all Club Med fans have come to love. That was exactly what we did on our last night there. While waiting for the shuttle boat to take us back from Kani Resort to Finolhu Villas, my fellow travellers and I laid on our backs, trying to take in as much of the Maldives as we could. Above us, stars twinkled brightly to the beat of the music that was still playing from the clubs as we bid our goodbyes. Yes, the stars have gone back to the skies. It’s back to reality for the rest of us. The adults-only Club Med Finolhu Villas is an all-inclusive resort. A four-day threenight twin-sharing package starts from SGD2,853 per person for the Sunrise Beach Villa, and includes Club Med Membership, accommodation, food and drinks, and most activities. For reservations and further information, please contact 1800258 2633 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the website at www. clubmed.com.sg. ■ SB
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