Singaporebrides | Photography

March 2011

Because Elephants Never Forget

Achance meeting. An initial attraction. Making plans for the first date. That was all it took for Davena Mok, 36, Director of A-Vibe (PR, Marketing, Events Consultancy) and Lance Chiu, 31, Designer. Had they not taken a chance on love, we wouldn’t be reading about their romantic vacation that led to their engagement, and the amazing three-day fête that was their wedding a year after. Their wedding took place on 13 February 2010.

Davena: We met at one of my events. But I’d seen Lance around before. He was shy and sweet, and tall. I was attracted by the fact that he didn’t talk to me. Haha!

Lance: We first met at an event that she was throwing. By chance, I had enough liquid courage to make my way into the super private after-party, where I, also by chance, had a great conversation with my now wife. Right after, we left for a late night snack and before parting ways, I somehow had gathered enough courage to ask her to hang out again since we lived very near each other. After that, it was in the hands of fate.

What was the proposal like?

Davena: It was perfect! Literally! We were attending a friend’s Valentine’s Day wedding in Hua Hin and arrived the night before. Our beachside hut at Aleenta was beautiful. The moon was blood red. The stars were out. The waves were lapping onto the shore. The night breeze was so cool. We laid in the hammock for a while before going inside to slow-dance to Dinah Washington, which was playing on the room’s iPod. We laid on the bed, cuddling, holding each other so tight. And that’s when Lance proposed. The romantic buzz in the air was certainly on maximum charge!

Lance: Ironically, the original proposal was somehow spoiled; the ring I had custom-made came out wrong, and after a lot of over-planning, a friend simply said to me, “Stop over-thinking things. Just do it when it feels right.” And with that advice, we ended up in at the Aleenta in Hua Hin for a friend’s wedding, and everything seemed to fall into place. From a blood red moon, to it being Friday the 13th, to being at such a beautiful location. My wife was laying on my chest, and something inside me, told me to do it, and I did. No ring, nothing. Just the perfect moment. The next morning, I made a nice little ring with string, and we shared the news with all.

How did you get everything together for your wedding?

Davena: Our wedding was also perfect! We decided to do it in Thailand, a year from the date Lance proposed. As he proposed in Aleenta in Hua Hin, we thought we’d check out Aleenta in Phuket, as it’s a direct flight from Hong Kong, rather than a four-hour car ride from Bangkok. After a bit of research, I suddenly remembered that an old friend, Jeanette Skelton, now lived in Phuket and was doing events there. Thank god I contacted her. She showed us an amazing venue — Jivana — during our recce trip in May. And that was it. Everything was ready to go for 13 February 2010, which happened to be Chinese New Year’s eve!

The theme was “elephants,” as it was so “Thailand.” We had used elephants for the image on our Save The Date e-card because of the saying that “Elephants never forget.” Lance also incorporated string into his typeface designs and our invites. We used a palette of red, grey and white to represent the summer and Chinese New Year vibe. As for planning, we did two recce trips in May and December before the wedding in February, and I would say we worked at a steady pace on the wedding for about six months.

Lance: Thankfully, with the skills my wife has as an event planner, there was a lot of planning that was easily executed. My hardest job was to fold all 150 origami elephants for the guests, get my groomsmen in order, design all the invitations and Save The Date e-cards, and put together the slide show for the two nights. As for a theme, we went with elephants and string, in remembrance of the string ring I made.

Did everything go smoothly on your wedding day?

Davena: We had a three-day rundown for our wedding, which included a pre-wedding welcome dinner and a post-wedding sunset cocktail session. The timed rundown was eight pages in total. On the actual day, everything ran so smoothly, from rehearsals in the morning to getting ready, then the Chinese Tea Ceremony, then official family photographs, and soon enough, it was 5pm and all our 130 guests started to arrive.

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

Lance: It was hectic but absolutely amazing. We both didn’t get our vows done until half an hour before the ceremony! But it was a truly intimate family affair. We also ensured non-stop surprises for the guests and there were moments that we will cherish for years to come.

It must have been an incredible experience for your family and friends!

Davena: Like us, it was the most amazing wedding, Chinese New Year, Valentine’s Day and Phuket holiday experience ever! Also, we celebrated two birthdays that day, as well as another birthday and a first wedding anniversary the next day.

Lance: Friends and family still talk about it today. We had a lot of pressure to put on a spectacular wedding because of our reputation of being an amazing event planner (wife) and designer of such specific taste (myself)! I think we pulled it off!

What were your most unforgettable moments during those three wonderful days?

Davena: I won’t forget walking down the aisle with my father on one arm, my mother on the other, and taking long, deep breaths with each step, trying to hold back my tears. And I’ll never forget my father crying, when he handed me over to Lance. And being up on stage with Lance, my wonderful husband, in front of 130 family and friends that we loved so much.

Oh, and the most amazing thing was that our baby, Lovella, was inside me that whole time. She was two weeks old at the wedding, and we had no idea.

Lance: There were two moments. One was when there were more than 70 lanterns being lit and floating off into the sky. Each couple and individual set one off as a wish and blessing. The second moment was when my wife and I were in the pool and turning in circles as all our friends were splashing water at us in all directions while congratulating us! It was the one moment when my wife and I thought: “Oh man, we pulled it off and its over!!

Photography: Eadwine of Plush Photography
Videography: Yang of Substance Films
Wedding Gown: Pauline Cheung of
Wedding Planning: Jeanette Skelton of
Venue: Shanti at Jivana Villas, Natai Beach, Phuket, Thailand

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Because Elephants Never Forget