Singaporebrides | Real Weddings

January 2014

Stylishly Fun Homage to the Past

We’re captivated by this stylish wedding that pays tribute to tradition! With her infectious smile and his debonair style, Evelyn Yap, 30, Client Services Director and Kelvin Mak, 39, Executive Producer + Creative Director, threw a glamourously retro celebration where their sense of fun shone through as brightly as the sequinned costumes of their dancers. Their beautifully designed wedding pays creative homage to the past with old records, quirky vintage wedding favours, and lots of fun and laughter on 17 November 2012.

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How did the two of you meet?

Kelvin: My cousin took me out to St James Powerhouse for a night out when I was visiting Singapore, to encourage me to meet some local ladies. At that time, I had just ended a long relationship and wasn’t feeling very optimistic about such things but went anyway, if only for the booze.

After a few encounters, I started to feel bored and decided to leave. On the way out, my cousin was walking in front of me and in a moment of absent-mindedness, left his empty cocktail glass on someone else’s table. And that table turned out to be Evelyn and her friends’ table. Following a few steps behind, I was held back by Evelyn’s best friend May who was a little annoyed at the leftover glass and decided to “punish” me by having me drink a whole glass of Martell neat!

Evelyn: That was when I met Kelvin. We both started chatting and got on rather well. I was planning to go to Yunnan for holiday in a couple of weeks, and Kelvin having lived in China for several years provided further intriguing conversational pieces. We both left with email contacts and utilised the internet to continue knowing more about each other.

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And one thing happily led to another. So what was the proposal like?

Kelvin: It was via Skype, during one of our daily chat sessions. But this time it was somehow different. Perhaps we were feeling like we were missing each other a lot more than usual. Or perhaps due to a lot of loving feelings. It’s hard to explain, but there was this no-doubt-about-it deep conviction that Evelyn is the one for me. So the words came out from me with the usual nervousness and slight fumbling with words, and as for Evelyn, she replied “Yes” after her initial shock. Upon the positive outcome, we both teared up with happy emotions.

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That’s so sweet. Now tell us how you made your beautiful retro-themed wedding happen.

Mainly because we are both in the film production business, we are used to creating a spectacle out of an event. Evelyn’s past work experience in hospitality along with Kelvin’s creative background made us very clear as to what we wanted and how we wanted to execute it.

After doing some scouting in cities like Beijing, Hong Kong, KL and Singapore, we ended up choosing Penang for her authentic colonial charm and also the reasonable costs of holding a wedding there. Once we got inspired by Penang, it was very easy for us to come up with our theme, “Homage to the Past”. We felt strongly about the theme because of our shared appreciation for vintage and artistic items. Furthermore, we felt that this theme could serve as a way to bond the generation gap of the expected guests as well as fusing their Eastern and Western backgrounds all in one go. And it’s also always a fun experience for people to dress up in creative outfits!

Aesthetically, we set the Wedding Colors to Blue, Orange, Yellow and White for consistent visual direction for Isabell Wedding to work with. We also personally designed our wedding logo, wedding invitation and several other printed materials. Evelyn also made sure her handicraft skills were utilised by making her own Bridal and Bridesmaid bouquet out of vintage buttons.

About two weeks before the big day, we flew down to Penang as we felt it was crucial to manage the wedding properly. All of our guests were flying in from different parts of the world and they deserved to experience the best possible wedding party along with us.

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All your work must have paid off! Can you tell us how your wedding day went?

With Old World jazz in the background, our guests mingled with Coke & Fanta served in their original glass bottles and treated themselves to the snacks and candies we used to enjoy when we were kids. Right from the start, they could feel like they’re being taken back to the past where things were less hurried and more elegant, with the lack of social media distraction (which worked out great as they had neither 3G nor Wifi in the building).

We exchanged our vows in an open courtyard space with a lovely arch above our heads and rose petals under our feet. Despite the heat, we exchanged our own vows with humor as well as a few tears. After the tea ceremony, we went with our wedding party for a rickshaw joy-ride around the streets of Penang for some unique photo-ops. During this time, the guests were treated to an open bar serving classic cocktails by our guest Japanese and Singaporean bartenders who flew in just for this. Another treat for them was a hawker who served freshly made Penang-only snacks called Apom, as well as a table of French petit-fours created by a French baker.

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Evelyn: We decided to serve a carefully taste-tested Fusion Fine Dining cuisine that combined Western cuisine with Nyonya inspired flavors as I come from a Nyonya heritage. For entertainment, we hired a team of dancers, some of whom were in drag. We encouraged our hostess to go bawdy and silly, and the dancers to pull off their sexiest moves for constant laughter and the disposable cameras we handed out were snapping away all night.

Kelvin: We also personally handed out gift bags that contained a Vintage Chinese Comb, Old School Chinese Perfume and Face Powder, Vintage Handkerchief and the famous White Singlet often worn by Kopitiam uncles. We both felt this was a great way for the guests to take home the experience of us paying “Homage to The Past.” The party, however, only got started right after with more music and free-flowing alcohol and everyone, including the elders dancing to Gangnam Style.

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We’re sure that your family and friends had fun at the wedding. What did they have to say about it?

One thing for certain, everyone has told us that it was a wedding they’ll never forget and probably will never experience again. We’re just happy and touched they came and shared the memory with us. And if it becomes the best memory in terms of a wedding for them, then we’re proud that our efforts paid off.

Were there any moments that were particularly special to you?

Evelyn: The special moment was not about the wedding itself, but rather the whole journey we took as a couple working hand-in-hand to create the best wedding we could for our families, friends and ourselves. Amazingly, we rarely disagreed on most things and even when we debated, we understood how to get to a compromise. I think that’s a great way to start our marriage together.

Kelvin: There were simply too many but I think the most special for us was when we were both crawling to bed after the end of the whole wedding and we looked at each other with blurry eyes and smiled at the fact that we are now husband and wife.

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The Gown: Bridal gown custom-made by Jing Ooi of Maison De Poupée; Evening gown by Calvin Klein
The Suit: Bespoke suits by Ellis Kreuger of Moustache Hong Kong; Groom’s and Groomsmen’s bowties custom-made by Yukiko Goda of Holy No.2 Tokyo
The Venue: The Blue Mansion
The Caterer: Traders Hotel Penang
The Photographer: Alvelyn Alko
The Florist: Grace of Isabell Wedding
The Makeup Artist: Sharon Ong of APT Salon & Academy
The Hair Stylist: Jerry Kwok of Vidal Sassoon Shanghai, Bobby Du of Toni & Guys Beijing and Sharon Ong of APT Salon & Academy
The Wedding Planner: Isabell Wedding
The Rings: Boucheron
The Bartenders: Daiki Kanetaka and Edmund Lim of Glen Classic Beijing
The Wine and Cocktails: Ricque Teh of LGS Wine & Spirits


Image credits: Photography by Alvelyn Alko, with the exception of the first two and last four images, which are courtesy of couple’s friends.

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