Singaporebrides | Fine Dining

November 2014

One Big Family

When you marry someone, you marry their family. Completely embracing this truth, Reine and Dexter pulled out all the stops to turn their big families and many friends into a tight-knit group over their three-part wedding bash. The party was so good, it ended up in Maldives!

Reine Jong, 27, Lawyer & Dexter Tan, 29, Businessman
14 June 2014

The bride’s gowns: Bridal gown from The Atelier Bridal; other gowns from Pois
The bride’s shoes: Jimmy Choo
The jewellery: A variety of private dealers
The groom’s suit: Anson Tailor The groom’s shoes: Tod’s
The wedding rings: Custom made from a private jeweler
The bridesmaids’ dresses: ASOS
The groomsmen’s suits: Suits are their own; ties, pocket squares, and matching socks from
The venues: Welcome dinner and wedding lunch reception at Reine’s family home; wedding dinner at Grand Hyatt Singapore; post-wedding party at Baros, Maldives
The hairstylist and makeup artist: Haute Makeup
The wedding planner: Lush Weddings
The photographer: 9 Frames Photography
The videographer: SubstanceFilms
The SlowMo Booth:
The invitations: The Card Room
The emcee: Joe Augustin

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How did the two of you meet?

Dexter: We were first introduced through mutual friends but did not speak at length until half a year later at a dinner party where we met for the second time. From then on, we enjoyed the complementary differences we had.

What was the proposal like?

Dexter: I had planned the proposal in secret, and kept the details to myself but informed Reine’s sisters and mother that I was going to propose on New Year’s Eve, during a party held at Reine’s residence. Thirty minutes before midnight, I pulled Reine’s father aside to ask for her hand in marriage. After a pat on the back and being informed that the formality wasn’t necessary, I told Reine that we should have a short chat on Reine’s balcony where it was quiet. The pretext was to have some private time to reflect on the past year, and just to take a breather from entertaining guests. The talk became upsetting as I spoke about how the year hadn’t gone according to plan, and that it might take awhile before they could settle down as I was just starting to gain momentum with business. Reine started to get upset and wanted to end the depressing chat and get back to the guests. Just before getting up, I said that I felt something in my pocket, and pulled out a ring and placed it on Reine’s finger.

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Reine, you must have been surprised!

Reine: To a third person, the proposal wasn’t very dramatic but the queer idea from Dex was to first make me upset, and then “surprise” me with pure joy for maximum effect. My family joined us at the balcony for a private toast before heading back to the guests to make the announcement before midnight!

Tell us about your wedding preparations. What aspect of the wedding was most important to you?

Reine: We both agreed that we wanted our wedding to feel like an intimate affair with a dinner party with great food, cocktails, and partying. Aside from getting married, we were most excited for all of our families and friends to meet. We both have big families and friends who live all over the world so it was important to us that they all feel special and appreciated for traveling to Singapore to celebrate with us. Theme wise, you could say that it was “Family”.

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We heard you had a three-part wedding celebration. How did the party begin?

Dexter: We threw a Welcome Dinner the night before the wedding, so that friends and family from overseas could meet and get to know one another prior to the wedding and to welcome everyone to Singapore. As it was the first time in Singapore for some of our guests, we set up live hawker stalls the pool side so everyone could just relax and feast on hawker delights. One of the highlights was a prata man who flipped really amazing pratas.

Did you take up the excitement a notch for the actual wedding dinner?

Reine: To kick start the evening, we set up a martini bar that featured 4 of our favourite martinis. Guests enjoyed this alongside canapés and a live band before sitting down to an oriental dinner.

Dexter: Following the overall theme of “Family”, we wanted to make sure that guests felt involved rather than simply spectating. We wanted our guests to get to know us, how we met, as well as our families and friends. We wrote personalized introductions for the wedding party and our parents, all 24 of them! In this regard, our emcee, Joe Augustin was remarkable in delivering these introductions with his anecdotes derived from our semi-scripted, not-so-kind words for the groomsmen. We also incorporated short quizzes about us which guests were encouraged to participate in. Speeches were aplenty, but kept humorous, succinct and meaningful.

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Sounds like a fun night. Everyone must have been happy to party on!

Reine: The night culminated in an incredible after party. Across the ballroom, were 2 adjoining rooms that we transformed into 2 separate spaces. The first room was decorated with comfy sofas and featured a scrumptious cheese bar and the wedding cake. We also set up a whisky bar with a selection of our favorite whiskies. In the adjacent room, our DJ set up his equipment, lights, and of course, the smoke machine that Dex specifically requested for.

Dexter: We didn’t have the traditional “thank-you-for-coming” queue as we wanted people to stay on for the after-party. We thought it would be ingenious to park ourselves in the party venue so guests who wanted to leave had to come to the party room to say bye. We also told the groomsman who was in charge of the parking coupons to stand behind the cheese and whiskey bar. We were overjoyed that almost 90% of the guests stayed on.

Some of your guests enjoyed your wedding celebrations even longer than that night, didn’t they?

Reine: After what was a crazy weekend, we didn’t want the fun to stop! We arranged to have 40 of our closest friends and family join us in a post wedding holiday at Baros Maldives. We left the very Monday after the wedding. At Baros, our guests enjoyed dinners by the beach, fishing trips, dives, and sunset drinks. As many of our overseas guests were leaving us after Maldives, it was also a chance for us to say our farewells.

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What an eventful celebration! Were there any moments that were particularly special to you?

Reine: The entire week was a special occasion as we got to see our two families come together and truly bond. Guests started flying in a couple days before to the Welcome Party.

Dexter: We also had a slow-mo booth setup at Reine’s residence, and the video was played during the dinner reception. This was an ice-breaking activity for the wedding party as it was an opportunity for the groomsmen and bridesmaids to get to know one another, beforehand, rather than meet for the first time during the gate-crashing. It would be quite awkward for strangers to humiliate someone they met for the first time, especially since the gate-crash theme was wardens and gangsters.

Credits: Images by 9 Frames Photography.

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One Big Family