Singaporebrides | Real Weddings

July 2015

Shikin and Yan Ho’s Intercultural Chinese and Malay Wedding

Shikin and Yan Ho celebrated both Chinese and Malay wedding traditions with their intercultural wedding. Their pretty Love Birds wedding theme was brought to life with pretty pastel colours of mint and coral, gorgeous traditional wedding outfits that paid homage to different cultures, and lovely wedding decor details. Lots of love from their big families made the whole celebration a lively and heartwarming one!

Nur’Ashikin Ahmad, 26, Auditor & Fok Yan Ho, 26, RSAF Officer
1 March 2014

The Gown: White modest dress, traditional Malay dress, and champagne dress from Fatimah Mohsin’s Wedding Gallery; Wedding gown for first march-in from Vera Wang
The Bride’s Shoes: ALDO
The Suit: Solemnisation suit from Hugo Boss, first march-in from Armani ; traditional Malay suit and champagne suit from Fatimah Mohsin’s Wedding Gallery.
The Groom’s Shoes: Tommy Hilfiger
The Engagement Ring: Tiffany & Co.
The Wedding Bands: Tiffany & Co.
The Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Love Bonito, Warehouse, shop on Arab Street, among others.
The Groomsmen’s Suits: Black vests and green bowties from H&M; suits groomsmen’s own.
The Venue: SIA Sports’ Club
The Makeup Artist and Hairstylist: Fatimah Mohsin and Mazni
The Caterer: D’Cuisine
The Wedding Cake: Bride’s aunt
The Florist: Floral Magic
The Event Stylist: Tahta Tiara – the Wedding
The Photographers: Zakaria Zainal of We Made These
The Videographer: Pixelwave Studios
The Photobooth: Wishing Wand
The Invitations: Handsmaden
The Advice Cards: Printed in Bras Basah
The Wedding Programme: Shikin’s cousins printed the wedding programme (with a treasure hunt!) for our guests for the wedding dinner! Those were made by hand by them and we love them for putting in such incredible efforts to make our wedding perfect!
The Wedding Favours: Salt and pepper shaker Love Birds and chocolates by The Spink Studio
The Wedding Band: NUS Resonance
The Solemniser: Ustaz Muhammad Irwan Shah from the Registry of Muslim Marriages.

How did the two of you meet?

Shikin: If you asked the both of us, we’ll tell you different stories! It’s quite hilarious! I blame it on my horrible memory!

Yan Ho was part of a group of students selected to represent our junior college (Victoria Junior College) in an immersion programme to Taiwan, where a group of Singaporean students lived in Taiwan for a month and hosted a group of Taiwanese students in Singapore for a month. During the stint where the Taiwanese students were in Singapore, they were immersed into our different cultures and were taught how to perform a Malay dance. As our junior college did not have many Malay students, I was involved in teaching them how to perform this Malay dance (despite having two left feet! HAHA!)

Yan Ho remembers meeting me during these sessions. I am pretty oblivious and forgot that we met! I was probably distracted from trying hard not to fall flat on my face!

My first experience with him was a text message he sent me on my birthday. Unfortunately, I did not have his cellphone number, and didn’t want to be rude so I replied with a thank you. I quickly forgot about this text message until January 2006 when he bravely walked up to me and presented me a souvenir he bought for me while he was in Taiwan. (I was still wondering who he was!) When we exchanged our cellphone numbers, I realised he was the boy who sent me that anonymous birthday text message! And, that was my first recollection of meeting Yan Ho!

He was very shy and I was (and still am!) very loud. We did not share many common breaks during school hours so we agreed to write letters to each other. We had a mutual friend, who helped to pass our letters to each other. He was our postman but we both adore him and would be eternally grateful for his help! We wrote letters to each other almost every week, and the habit continued even when he was in his National Service and his overseas deployments.

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When did you realise that this was the person you wanted to marry?

Yan Ho: Six months into us dating, I watched her react to an uncle selling tissue on the street. He had lost his hands and was going around selling tissue packets. Not only did she not think twice about giving her pocket money (we were in JC then!), she made me ask him whether he was okay and whether he needed more help. This happened every time we met him – it showed me that not only was she a kind person, she genuinely cared about the people around her. That was when I realised she was the person I wanted to marry.

Shikin: When I realised that, in all our years together, he has actually made me a better person – and I don’t mean it in a cliché kind of way! I used to be so hung up over material matters but he taught me to leave my attachment to things. He showed me that there’s no reason to worry about losing things. He used to tell me, “Shikin, you can earn it (the lost item) back but you cannot earn back the time you spent fussing over losing it!” Even when we spent time apart, especially with his overseas deployments, we grew into better people, chased our dreams but yet remained intertwined with each other. I always found myself wanting to tell him first, whenever I experienced something new! In this aspect, he is my best friend!

And, when I realised that he is a mommy’s boy – this was during his NS days when he would try to do everything he could to make up to his mum for not being home on the weekdays! He loves his mum to no ends and would do anything for her! Family is always first for him – just as family is always first for me. Our common belief that family is the most important part of our lives is another reason why I knew he was the one I wanted to spend my life with. Also, he actually loves spending time with my niece and nephew and would run around with them for hours! A man who loves kids is definitely a keeper.

What was the proposal like?

Shikin: It was private – every time we watched romantic comedies or when our friends told us their proposal stories, I’ve always told Yan Ho that I’ve always felt that proposals should be kept between the couple. It’s a very vulnerable moment for the guy and of course, I knew I was going to end up crying (happy tears! But I’m an ugly crier. HAHA!) so I was glad that he kept it small.

Yan Ho: Yeah, she cried A LOT.

Shikin: It was small but it was definitely EXPLOSIVE! His initial plan did not work out too well and it ended up in flames! In hindsight, it was quite funny but he’ll never forgive me if I told you guys the full story! Let’s just say, he cleaned it up well and went down on one knee with a book filled with our photos and funny puns! Now, how could anyone say no to that?

Yan Ho: Although she didn’t say yes, either! I remember her reply being.. “I thought you’d never ask!” HAHAHA!

When it comes to wedding and wedding traditions, I knew Shikin is a traditional girl and that’s why I picked a solitaire diamond ring with the Tiffany Setting from Tiffany & Co. for her. It was quite nerve-wrecking picking the ring as I wanted to keep it as a surprise for her. I couldn’t even ask for hints for her dream ring (in case that could have tipped her off!). I’m glad she loved it!

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What was the theme of your wedding, and how did you prepare for it?

Yan Ho: Love birds, because it tied together my love of flying, Shikin’s love of travelling, and our shared love for nature. We chose the colour theme of coral and green to match the colours of rosy-faced lovebirds, and our family and friends were dressed to match those colours, which really made the day even brighter!

To keep the decoration natural, we chose the Winter White Wedding by Tahta Tiara for our wedding décor! The green and white décor made for a wonderful backdrop for our wedding. Our wedding rings arrived in a white bird cage to our solemnisation to be “freed” when we were solemnised! :D Of course, our door gift was a set of salt and pepper shakers in the shape of love birds, and chocolates wrapped in covers with love birds printed on it, by the wonderful girls at The Spink Studio! Our wedding cake was special. It was home-made by my aunt. Our theme colours were coral and green so she put together a chocolate cake, with white fondant, pink stripes and coral flowers. To surprise us, she even found a cute topper with the double happiness sign!

Shikin: I had six bridesmaids including my sister, the Maid of Honour. They were all dressed in long coral/pink dresses. I did not want them to be in the same dresses because these were six beautiful and strong women – I wanted them to know how special they were to me so they were each given a different dress.

I spent my engagement year looking for the perfect dresses for them so all six dresses were from different vendors, ranging from Love, Bonito to Warehouse. There was a dress that I found, just walking along Arab Street (!!) and it was just so perfect for one of my bridesmaids that I had to get it!

Yan Ho: I wanted to let my groomsmen maintain their own style and remain comfortable during our wedding, while still matching each other so instead of getting them full suits, I got them an olive green bow tie and a black vest from H&M. I left the rest of their outfit to their imagination.

Shikin: I had 10 flower girls – although only eight were old enough to walk down the aisle with me! I’m from a large extended family and most of my older cousins have had kids and I love them all so I had to make them all my flower girls. Each of my flower girls was dressed in a pink dress (either pale pink or bright pink) and were given stockings, in case they got cold during the wedding. They were also given a pink flower to wear in their hair or even as a corsage if it was more comfortable for them. All accessories and dresses were from H&M.

Yan Ho: Aww we did not have as many page boys as flower girls. There were only two of them – the older page boy was in H&M suit with a red tie and the younger boy was dressed in a H&M t-shirt. Boys will always be boys so we wanted them to be comfortable enough to run around and get into all kinds of mischief!

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Tell us about your wedding celebrations.

Shikin: I wore four wedding gowns on our wedding day!

I wore a beautiful white modest dress, with a mermaid cut for our solemnisation ceremony. I changed to a light green traditional Malay dress for the afternoon festivities, which matched Yan Ho’s traditional Malay suit. For my second march-in during the wedding dinner, I wore a champagne-coloured dress with red detailing. As our marriage is an intercultural marriage, we wanted to wear an outfit which celebrated the Chinese culture – the red details of Shikin’s dress played in perfectly as the Chinese believe that red is an auspicious colour. All three dresses were from Fatimah Mohsin’s Wedding Gallery.

Now, every girl has a dream dress she grew up dreaming about. A dress she would treasure and keep for future generations and for me, it was my Vera Wang wedding gown which I wore for our first march-in during the wedding dinner. It had enough flair to fit my loud personality while still remaining classic, and I fall in love with it every time I look at it, even today! I wore a pair of encrusted black heels from Aldo, because it reminded me of stars! I also wore a pair of white laced flats, which matched the coral laced flats that all my bridesmaids wore.

Yan Ho: Similar to Shikin, I wore four suits during our wedding day. As part of our engagement, Shikin gifted me two full suits – one from Hugo Boss and another from Armani. I wore the Hugo Boss suit for our solemnisation and the Armani suit for our first march-in during our wedding dinner. During the afternoon festivities, I wore a green traditional Malay suit and for our second march-in, I wore a champagne coloured suit.

Shikin: We were so blessed to have had Fatimah Mohsin as our makeup artist and hairstylist, and she was assisted by her professional executive, Mazni. Fatimah got us styled for our solemnisation at the start of our wedding day as well as the start of our wedding dinner. Mazni styled us during the timings in between to make sure there was not a strand of hair out of place. They made sure we looked great from start of the wedding day till the end of the wedding dinner! That was no mean feat since we started our wedding day at 8am and only ended our dinner at 10pm! Truly an amazing talented pair!

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Yan Ho: We got married at the SIA Sports’ Club’s ballroom. When we got engaged, I think we both agreed that there was no better place for our wedding since we wanted a large space with air-con and good food!

Shikin: We loved the venue for so many reasons but here are the top few:

  1. It could accommodate a large number of guests – My family is quite big with my mother having 14 siblings so we were expecting to have a huge wedding. From the very beginning, we knew that we had to have a venue which was big enough to accommodate our family and their guests.
  2. It was air-conditioned and there was a prayer room! – With our wedding in March, we knew the weather was going to be HOT HOT HOT! So air-conditioning was a must for us :D Plus, there was a room catered for us right next to the ballroom which made it a perfect place for prayers (especially since our wedding started at 9am and lasted till 10pm)!
  3. Wheelchair-friendly – My paternal grandmother is wheelchair-bound and we wanted her to be around for the festivities without feeling inconvenienced. The fact that SIA Sports Club had a lift to our ballroom and their ladies’ was fitted for wheelchair usage gave it a “two thumbs up” from us.
  4. The personnel we met at the SIA Sports Club were so friendly and accommodating. Given that this was the first wedding for both our families, having people who were willing to share their experiences and give us tips on how to make our wedding a beautiful experience for us and our guests was just amazing. We had a buffet for the wedding day from 11am till 6pm, serving various Indian and Malay traditional dishes. For the wedding dinner, we had a 9-course sit-down dinner served by D’Cuisine of traditional Chinese dishes. The manager of D’Cuisine, Mani Mahesh was so kind with us during the wedding preparation that even till today, we remain good friends with him! We just recently attended his wedding solemnisation! We would really like to thank the staff at SIA Sports Club and the D’Cuisine restaurant for their support at our wedding. Even today, when we attend weddings at the same venue, we will drop by to see them!

Shikin: We selected each other’s wedding band! Yan Ho selected a beautiful platinum ring with a half circle of round brilliant diamonds for me to complement my solitaire engagement ring.

Yan Ho: I wanted a simple band which I can wear on a day to day basis. Being in the air force meant that there will be times when I’ll be performing physical training outdoors – so I was looking for something fuss-free so Shikin picked a plain platinum wedding band. Both our rings were from Tiffany & Co.

To make our wedding rings special, we engraved the word “INSPIRE” on the inside of both rings. This word means a lot to us – a few years back, we asked each other what was the most important thing to us, as a couple. We realised that for us, the most important vow to each other was to inspire one another to be the best person that we can be, every single day, and hopefully, that would inspire the rest of the world to do the same :D

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Can you share with us the most memorable moment of your wedding?

Yan Ho: There were so many! It’s so hard for us to choose! The whole gate-crash ceremony where all of Shikin’s family and friends were involved, for one! Yes, I did not know that the traditional Malay gate-crash involved everyone but it was great seeing how much they loved her and how they worked together to create the most amazing atmosphere for a fun wedding! I had to sing, bargain, dance, and even do “yoga”!

Shikin: Another memorable moment was when the song “Let It Go” was played during our wedding and all of my nieces/flower girls ran to our dais and sang and danced to it! When it ended, they requested for a second round and it was just so beautiful to see all of them sing with such passion!

Of course, who could forget Yan Ho’s mother and siblings’ performances during our wedding dinner! During our second entrance for our wedding dinner, his younger brother played the violin and his younger sister and mother took turns at the keyboard to put together a beautiful piece to welcome us into the ballroom.

Yan Ho: Family is so important to the both of us and it really meant a lot to us when they performed!

Can you tell us the cost of your wedding and where you spent the most?

Shikin: Our wedding cost us about $45,000-50,000 which was within our initial budget (phew!). We spent the bulk of it on food and catering because we wanted to make sure our guests had a good meal and were comfortable at our wedding.

Any advice for couples preparing for their weddings?

Shikin: HAVE FUN! (and compromise!) Remember to laugh the stress off!

Yan Ho: She’s right – we started off our wedding planning agreeing on areas where we can compromise and areas where we can’t. This helps you to focus on what is important to each person and devote the time and commitment to those areas instead of fussing over every small thing. Remember that it’s a team effort so work with your fiancé/fiancée to put together the best day of your lives!

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Vendor Reviews:

The bouquet, boutonnieres, and bridesmaids’ bouquets were from the lovely sisters of Floral Magic! It was all so wonderful that we will always recommend them to our friends!

The event décor was done by Tahta Tiara – the Wedding Décor and we picked their Winter White Wedding themed décor. It even came with a snow machine which the children loved!

ZAKARIA ZAINAL! Best photographer ever! We cannot emphasis enough how much we love the magic that Zak creates when he is behind the lens! We spent quite a bit of time looking through photos after photos from different photographers but we both agreed that without a doubt, we wanted Zak as our photographer – for both our pre-wedding shoot and our actual wedding day!

If you haven’t seen Pixelwave Studios’ videos, you should check them out! Pixelwave Studios has the most passionate videographers you’ll find and it was that passion that convinced us to pick them as our videographers for our pre-wedding video and our actual wedding day.

Our photobooth was from Wishing Wand photobooth! We loved working with them. Once they knew that Yan Ho loved flying, they made a special cut-out airplane for our wedding and their photographers were so friendly! Our guests had so much fun at the photobooth!

Our invitation cards were designed and printed with a Korean company, Handsmaden! We loved working with them because despite the language barriers, they could tell exactly what we wanted!

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Shikin and Yan Ho’s Intercultural Chinese and Malay Wedding