Singaporebrides | Photography

April 2011

Right Down to the Nitty Gritties

While some couples choose to ease and breeze their way through their wedding day, Alvin Yuen, 30, Remisier and Joyce Ler, 30, Recruiter had a plethora of spreadsheets and solid research, amongst other things, to ensure that their Big Day was like no other. Their wedding took place on 2 October 2010.

Tell us how you proposed.

Alvin: It was the day we selected our HDB flat, which has been a highly challenging deed as we have failed to get a queue number even after several tries. Hence we were overjoyed that we finally got our unit in a choice location.

After obtaining a favourable unit, we decided to celebrate with Italian food and wine. On the pretext of me feeling tipsy, we decided to take a breather at the reception of Novotel hotel at Clarke Quay. It was there that I whisked her up to the hotel room, which was already decorated with a bouquet of flowers and flower petals everywhere. I proposed there. She was most amazed at the fact that I was meticulous enough to actually remember to pack everything for our night’s stay there!

Tell us about your wedding planning process.

Alvin: It has indeed been a stressful journey but one that we took great pride in doing to ensure that it was a day like no other. We did lots of research via the internet, wedding magazines and got tips from married friends. We prepared spreadsheets containing details such as our budget, guest-list, notes etc. That helped to put things into perspective at one glance. Once the location was confirmed, it was then onto the nitty-gritties such as our outfits, photography, invitations, colour theme, music, food, etc.

Tell us more about your outfits.

Alvin: For our wedding outfits, my wife wanted a short, modern gown to reflect a fun and bubbly look, which suits our chosen location. And as it was a luncheon, she wanted to only don on one dress for the entire event. We opted for a ROM package from The Wedding Present, whose designs were more fashion-forward and edgy and had the right package for us. From our research, it was actually more cost efficient to buy the gown than to rent one and moreover, the gown could be retained for our memories. Her headpiece was a birdcage veil and she got her glass heels from Pazzion. For me, I got my entire outfit from Topman and Ted Baker! Mine was simply a vest, with grey pants, blue shirt and a skinny tie, which could be re-used for regular wear. All these meant that we didn’t had to spend a bomb on our outfits.

Wow, you’ve really thought it all through! Tell us more about your photographer of choice.

Alvin: We have a soft spot for photographs with a slightly washed-out, vignette look that was different from the stark, strong colours that most photographers favoured. My wife chanced upon Gideon Koh’s ad and thought his style was exactly what we wanted, which made working together a breeze. As we didn’t see the need for a pre-wedding photoshoot (we weren’t into being posey-posey!) and we didn’t see the practicality of storing an album, we put greater emphasis and focus on the photography on the actual day instead. It would be so much more significant and would retain actual and true emotions for that day, and had all our family and friends there celebrating with us. As expected, we had everything stored in a CD thereafter, which is so much more portable and easy to keep! To us, all we needed was a few good shots to keep for a lifetime.

We had a few meetings with our entourage to do the planning and they were really helpful, offering lots of tips and ideas for that day. To ensure that they were fully aware of their roles and responsibilities for that day, the various segments and timings for the event, seating arrangements, contact details etc, I even prepared a manual for each of them to make easy reference to.

What else did you find challenging?

Alvin: In our opinion, managing the guest-list was most challenging due to the limited sitting capacity of the location. To show our sincerity, we made the effort to personally hand out our invitation cards to most of our guests over meals and coffee. One week before the wedding, we made it a point to contact them either through emails, Facebook, SMS and MSN to remind them.

Our wedding was slightly non-conventional, which may not be fully acceptable to the older generation. Hence we were grateful for the fact that both our parents were supportive of our ideas and decisions, and didn’t impose any traditional customs or any requests on us. They let us do pretty much whatever we wanted.

Tell us more about wedding day – where was it held, what little quirks you enjoyed planning, the little details that made everything special?

Alvin: One thing for sure was that we didn’t want the typical, run-of-the-mill wedding banquet held at hotel ballrooms. We wanted it to be more of a party than a wedding for our guests and wanted to keep it fun, casual and informal and the place had to reflect that. My wife, who enjoys eating out, chanced upon House at Dempsey and thought that it fit our theme to a tee. The first time that she brought me there, I fell in love with the vast rolling greens surrounding the restaurant, the sunlight streaming in through the full length windows and the eclectic and hip feel of the restaurant.

We paid emphasis on the little details as we felt that they were the differentiating factors and will make the day special. An example was the music for our march-in, which had my brother strumming the guitar and his girlfriend singing Lover’s Concerto. The unplugged version was so beautiful and moving and we were especially touched by their efforts to practice it to perfection. We also had an area of the restaurant filled with balloons, in our colour themes of blue, white and yellow, which was simple but had such an impact and brought out the party mood! Even the stairway leading to the restaurant wasn’t spared. Everyone had fun with the balloons, taking photos with them and even bringing them home as keepsakes! As we had a spot of free time in-between our ROM ceremony and the luncheon, Gideon had us taking photographs in House and at the wide open fields beside it. The most fun was when he had our entire entourage take a balloon each and got all of us to pose together for a shot. It was nice to involve everyone who helped make this wedding a success.

Our wedding invitation card was printed with a design that we found on the Internet and we even custom-made our guestbook to look like an extended version of the card. It was special since we customised it and it was one of a kind. There was a structure in the centre of House that could not be moved, so we had the florist spruced it up with swathes of cloth and ribbons and used that as our staging area where we would gather for the toast and did our speeches. We replaced the wedding cake with three tiers of cupcakes and instead of the usual practice of cutting the cake, we locked arms and bit into the cupcakes instead! The funny part was that as they were really delicious, we couldn’t help taking more bites than the customary one and had all the guests waiting for a while there!

Photography: Gideon Koh Photography
Wedding Dress: The Wedding Present


Want to see your love story featured on SingaporeBrides too? Submit your wedding here!