Singaporebrides | Fashion

December 2014

Glenda and Justin’s Wedding at Tamarind Hill

You’ve read about the inspiration behind her gorgeous wedding gown design and his smart suit, now learn how Glenda Chong and Justin Chan began their story at a car park, and find out why they held three different wedding celebrations.

Glenda Chong, Presenter and Senior Editor, Channel News Asia & Justin Chan, Advocate and Solicitor, Partner at Tito Isaac & Co. LLP.
31 August 2014

The Gown: Michelle HuiMin Bridal Veil
The Bride’s Shoes: Christian Louboutin and Mashizan
The Suit: The Men’s Club
The Groom’s Shoes: Wizard of Oz
The Rings: Jen’s Jewellery
The Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Etsy
The Flower Girls’ Dresses: Etsy
The Venues: Solemnisation – True Blue Cuisine @ Armenian Street; Lunch – Beng Thin Restaurant; Dinner – Tamarind Hill
The Makeup Artist: Andy Lee
The Hair Stylist: Ben Leong, Passion
The Wedding Cake: ShonaJames
The Florist: Justin Koh, Fleurlicious
The Photographers: Kelly Fan of Studiokel by Kelly Fan, assisted by Gary Chia
The Invitations and Paper Goods: Kelley Cheng, The Press Room
The Wedding Favours: IdoIdo

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Tell us about the day you two first met. Did you hit if off immediately?

Glenda: We met at a car park. He was looking for a parking space when he noticed an empty lot but there was an orange cone in it, which meant that it was out of bounds. However, after parking some distance away and while he was walking towards the lift (near the empty lot with the cone), he saw that a woman was conveniently removing the cone to allow for a car to park there.

My friend, dog and I exited from that car. Justin was very curious and spoke to us first, hinting at his displeasure that we’d removed the cone but applauding our ingenious idea to use the cone to essentially “chope” the space. As fate would have it, we were headed to the same party.

He was hitting on my friend, by the way.

So he hit it off immediately with your friend instead? Justin, do you have a different version of the story?

Justin:  I was late for a party (as usual) and most of the parking lots were full. I saw a young sophisticate removing a parking cone from in front of a restricted lot. I ended up parking acres away, but on the way to the elevators, cone girl was still there! I think I asked her what she was doing standing in the middle of a now empty parking lot and she replied that she was waiting for her friends. So I decided to linger for a while. I WASN’T hitting on her. I WAS regaling her with the potential illegality that came with removing cones.

Then her friends pulled up. One of her friends had a dog. She was stunning. By the time we got to the elevators I realised that we were going to the same party. I also realised that I was quite smitten with the girl with the dog.

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How long did it take before you asked Glenda out on a date?

Justin: Strangely enough, we never really dated! From the get go we just seemed to come together for conversation, companionship and support. Nothing you could call a date. In fact, we called them “non-dates.” “Hi, it’s Justin here, are you awake? Yeah I know it’s Sunday morning. I’m hungry; wanna go on a non-date?”

How did the “non-dates” come about?

Glenda: We were trying hard not to jinx any potential of a romantic relationship and so instead went out of our way to ensure that our “meet-up” was not a “date” but casual dinner or drink. The label “date” while we were dating was almost like a taboo word for us. Just a quirk we had.

But today, it’s nothing but a date!  We try to have date-night at least once a week because of our very different work schedules.

Was there a point during all the “non-dating” when you just knew that this was the person you wanted to spend the rest of your life with?

Glenda: I think it was quite early on in the relationship when friends would jokingly ask,“If he proposed today would you accept?” And my answer back then is the same now, “Yes.”

Justin: It’s a toss-up between watching her care for her ailing mother or cry while watching The Notebook in my tatty old shirt.

What was the proposal like?

Glenda: Let’s just keep this private, but I will tell you that I got Justin to propose three times, and I said “yes” all three times!

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You had more than one wedding celebration as well, didn’t you? Can you tell us more about them?

Glenda: Actually, we had three different affairs but it’s not what you think.

We held our solemnisation for immediate family members on July 13. It was a simple and private affair. The tea ceremony and dinner reception was held on August 31. The tea ceremony and lunch was held for family and parents’ friends while dinner was for our friends. My late father had a big family of 12 siblings. So just imagine multiplying that by two, and each couple has two kids who also have two kids – the numbers just add up. That’s why we had to break it up into two different ceremonies.

A marriage is once-in-a-lifetime occasion and we wanted to celebrate it with all our relatives and friends including our parents’ friends who have also watched us grow up.

Justin: The lunch and tea ceremony was the usual chaotic traditional Chinese ceremony. The second was more for us. Closest friends and dearest family in a place filled with warmth and good will. We ate, we drank, we laughed and danced and (I hope) a good time was had by all.

Everyone certainly looked like they were having a great time, especially the two of you. Your wedding finery was designed with partying in mind, wasn’t it?

Glenda: I love my wedding gown. It was simple, sleek and had a touch of drama thrown in for good measure. I wanted a gown which would allow me to move around easily – glide gracefully across the room without snagging on anything. Also, I needed the gown to be conservative and respectful for the elders yet fun and sexy for the evening. Michelle HuiMin Bridal Veil created a figure-hugging gown with French lace and a dramatic train which could be cinched up for when I’m moving around. And the bolero to cover my shoulders out of respect for the older folks.

The gown was definitely the talking piece of the evening.

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What was one particularly special moment during the three celebrations?

Glenda: I guess I didn’t expect this but it was so sweet and touching. We did the usual “yum seng” and you had to toast three times; wealth, health and fertility. He got our guests to toast twice for fertility. He doesn’t shy away from expressing his emotions.

Justin: For me, a few minutes before the exchange of vows, I still hadn’t memorised them. But I decided to keep the iPhone and just speak from the heart. Surprisingly, I nailed every word. The truth is easy to remember.

What has life been like for you as newlyweds?

Glenda: To be honest, not much of a difference other than sometimes we both forget we are married and say things like, “Your girlfriend here…”

Justin: The floors appear a lot cleaner.

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Special mention of Dr S. K. Tan, IDS Clinic.


Credits: Photography by Studiokel by Kelly Fan.

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