Singaporebrides | Photography

December 2013

A Designer Wedding at the Zoo

Most kids remember a day at the zoo, gazing in awe at giraffes and pointing excitedly at elephants. Yuki Mitsuyasu, 31, Jewellery Designer, loved the zoo so much that she decided that it was the perfect place to marry outdoors-loving Shohei Kamenosono, 31, Manager at Shipping Company, and give their friends and family, who flew in for their wedding, some fun at the same time. Read on to see how Yuki and Shohei designed a heartwarming ceremony to celebrate with loved ones around the world, and don’t miss their unique wedding bands, which are a gorgeous symbol of her jewellery talents meeting his love for bikes, made in the hope that they will connect and work well together in their marriage journey on 29 April 2012!

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How did the two of you meet?

Yuki: We met through our friends at a dinner. Shohei was a very good listener and didn’t talk much about himself until I had a chance to chat with him towards the end. I was impressed to hear that he had traveled the entire Japan from the very north to the very south on his bicycle!

Shohei: When I first heard that Yuki was a jewellery designer I thought we lived in different worlds, as I knew nothing about design. But when we talked I realized that we actually had a lot in common and we became close very quickly.

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Tell us about the proposal. How does one choose a ring for someone who designs jewellery herself?

Yuki: As I’m a jewellery designer, he knew I wouldn’t be happy with an engagement ring that he could buy off the shelf, so instead he suggested that we get it made by a friend of mine or someone that I respected. My dream ring had always been the ring that my old boss, whom I used to work for in London, designed, so we asked her.

Shohei: So Yuki was actually very much involved in getting the engagement ring and it wasn’t a surprise. But I’m glad I did that; the ring is beautiful and one of a kind. Pear-shaped champagne diamond set in hammered rose-gold — how would I have guessed that was what she wanted! I did give her a little surprise by lying about when the ring was arriving, so the proper proposal with the ring happened at a dinner she was least expecting!

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We heard that you held the ceremony in the Singapore Zoo! Could you tell us why you chose that location?

Shohei: We have always wanted to have our wedding outdoors, and because we had lots of friends and family visiting from overseas we didn’t want them to travel all the way just to attend another wedding in a hotel. We didn’t know many places for outdoor weddings in Singapore but knew that Singapore zoo did, hence one weekend we went to have a look at the venue. Once we saw the beautiful view overlooking Seletar Reservoir, we decided straight away! We didn’t even have a look at any other venues.

Yuki: I grew up in Singapore and the zoo has always been my favourite tourist spot in Singapore, so much so that I used to joke I would happily get married there. I never thought I would actually get married there though!

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A wedding in the zoo sounds like fun, but was it easy preparing for it?

Shohei: Our attitude towards preparation was to keep it simple and just do everything within our capabilities, so although we only had about 3-4 months to prepare for our wedding and we didn’t have a wedding planner, we were quite easy going and there wasn’t any drama.

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

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So how did everything turn out?

Yuki: Our guests arrived by the coach that we had arranged, and were taken on the tram to Garden with the view, the solemnization venue. We were supposed to make our entrance in the horse carriage, but it started raining just as we got on the carriage! I almost felt like crying because the whole point of having our wedding at the zoo was for the outdoor venue but if it continued raining everything had to be shifted indoors.

Thankfully, the rain stopped after 10-15 minutes, and we managed to carry on at Garden with the view. I felt sorry that some of the guests got wet, but then it got really sunny and hot and everyone was sweating! Why did the two things that we were most worried about having an outdoor wedding in Singapore, rain and the heat, both have to happen!

After the solemnization, everyone had another tram ride to Forest Lodge, the air-conditioned lunch reception venue, looking at animals along the way.For the reception, we had one change of outfit, into Japanese traditional costumes.

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What did your family and friends have to say about your wedding?

Yuki: They liked the unusual setting of our wedding and lot of our friends told us it was one of the most memorable. Besides our own wedding favour, the zoo also provided little stuffed animal toys which were sweet mementos of the event. My friends were fighting over their favourite animals and told me they even went to the gift shop after the wedding to look for them!

Were there any moments that were particularly special to you?

Yuki: When we entered on the horse carriage and were greeted by the guests, that was a very special moment for me. Seeing the smiling faces of all the friends and family that I love, together in one place at the zoo for our wedding, it felt very surreal.

Shohei: The moment when the rain stopped, I felt blessed. All my worries melted away as the sun came out, and I felt like celebrating, because I knew everything was going to be okay. I was so happy to share the moment with family and friends visiting from all over the world.

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Did you design anything special for your wedding?

Yuki: We made special sterling silver spoons as wedding favours. We used the star motif from one of my collection called Shine, because thestar is made up of two hearts representing two individuals, that come together to shine as a star. We thought it worked perfect.

I also designed our wedding bands. They are based on a bicycle theme as Shohei loves road bikes, and also bicycles are often a symbol of progress, renewal and promising times ahead. When the rings are worn, they look just like an ordinary plain ring and an eternity-ring, but they depict bicycle gears when they are viewed directly from above. They were designed with a hope that we will have good coordination and enhanced married life ahead!

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

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A Designer Wedding at the Zoo