Singaporebrides | Fashion

December 2015

Shihui and Yen’s Glittery Vintage Wedding at Raffles Hotel Singapore

Teachers Shihui and Yen got hitched in a beautiful garden wedding at Raffles Hotel, with a vintage theme to match the wedding venue’s iconic colonial architecture.

Filled with love, laughter, and glittery vintage dresses from the bride to the flower girl, this wedding is sure to inspire those of you planning a vintage-themed wedding. Loh Shihui, 25, and Tan Yen Hao, 26, celebrated their union on 14 March 2015 in a charming garden ceremony followed with glittery reception in Raffles Hotel, where Yen surprised Shihui with some fancy ballet moves!

Where did you meet each other?

Yen: The both of us met during our first year in university. We were attending the same lecture and she was looking for a seat. Her eyes caught my eyes. Fortunately, my friends were in the same tutorial group as her and when she was called to be the class representative, they found out what her name was. My friend asked her if she had heard about me, and that was how we got to know each other!

Shihui: My first impression of him was he was hardworking. I remember looking across the lecture theatre and he was copying notes down furiously. It caught me by surprise that someone would actually do that as that lecture was really boring. That aside, I knew he was sporty as he was very tanned. Basically, that he was the opposite of me.

Yen: My first impression of her was that she was shy. I noticed that she rarely looked around and when she looked in my direction, her eyes would only glance for a fleeting second. As her eyes seemed like they were “bouncing” around, my friends and I gave her the nickname “bounce.”

What made you each realise that you had found “the one”?

Yen: She is very much a perfectionist and her positive criticism really pushes me to continually work hard and strive to be better. She is very driven when it comes to working towards her goals and that has a huge influence on me as well. At the same time, her love and commitment towards her loved ones really stood out for me.

Shihui: I am old-fashioned and I believe in “choose the one who makes your heart smile.” As of most relationships, after the honeymoon phase, we were consistently mad at each other. What made a difference was that I felt we had each other’s back and we made it a point to find our way back to the other. One of his greatest traits is that he has a really big heart, and he always accepts me for the person I am. We started off being so different from each other and after five years together, I could do a ball trick and he could help with makeup during ballet recitals. Everything he does, and his effort in our relationship, makes me feel really happy and blessed.

Tell us about the proposal!

Yen: It was during our final year in university. Before the proposal, I thought of how I would propose to her. Each time we saw a video of a big-scale or public proposal online, she would mention her preference of a more private proposal. On the morning of the proposal, I told her to pack her stuff. She was more excited than surprised as we often went on staycations during the school holidays. Weeks prior to the proposal, I had met up with the staff from Capella to discuss the decorations and details of the proposal. When we arrived, the room was beautifully decorated with our photos, balloons, and flowers. We had a relaxing day going for a spa, taking a stroll, and finally having dinner in our room. I had felt nervous the entire day. When the moment came, I played a video which I had made for the proposal from the screen in the room and went down on one knee. I spent the next few minutes saying some things which I don’t remember now, and she said yes! It was a very emotional moment for me.

What about the wedding? Was there a theme?

Shihui: We wanted our wedding to not only be a celebration of our relationship; we felt that our family and close friends were a big part of our relationship and we wanted to celebrate that as well. Our theme was “vintage” as since I was young, I always saw myself throwing a wedding at Raffles Hotel, and I felt that theme would best suit the venue. Along with the vintage theme was an “around the world” theme, where key monuments and pictures of our travels with family and friends were put up. The theme encapsulated our belief: To never stop having adventures and chasing our dreams.

How did you create those themes?

It was so fun putting the wedding together! We sourced for decorations from sites like Taobao and Etsy, choosing items which represented our theme and of course, the both of us! The items include a vintage luggage, a small blackboard (since we’re both teachers), travel postcards, wedding stuffed bunnies (we have a pet rabbit), and pastel coloured tutus for the gate crash!

To further personalise the wedding, we designed the photo booth backdrop (ballet shoe and soccer ball print) as ballet and soccer are each our passions. We printed pictures of us and our loved ones and message boards to keep our guests entertained. With set design and some other decorations, we got help from vendors.

How did everything come together on your wedding day?

Yen: We were told that no matter how much preparation we did, one thing would definitely go wrong. Three words: Surreal, emotional, and tiring. On the actual day, everything went on very smoothly. It was a lot to process, seeing everything finally coming together nicely, having all the people we care about gathered to celebrate our marriage, and yes, finally getting married to that one person you’ve been waiting for. At the end of the day, we were exhausted. It didn’t help that we had to wake up so early and were too excited to fall asleep the night before!

What was the most memorable part of the day?

Shihui: The most memorable moment for me happened during the dinner in the ballroom. After we greeted our guests and were seated for the first meal, Yen suddenly got up and I remember feeling a flip in my stomach. Before I knew it, he came cartwheeling and doing sautés through the ballroom, executing a perfect split jump and finally ending his “ballet performance” with impressive fouette turns. Of course, he had choreographed that based on our favourite musical, Billy Elliot. I was sad to not be able to invite all my ballet students, so he had made video recordings of them and screened them as a surprise that night. Watching an inflexible soccer player do that certainly made everyone’s night!

Yen: The moment Shihui walked down the aisle with her father was the most memorable for me. I could feel my heartbeat throughout every part of my body. The atmosphere was perfect with the accompanying music, Canon in D. The Raffles Lawn was breezy, even the huge balloons lining the aisle were gradually gliding away! I remember that dark clouds were looming and Pastor Tim reassured me that the weather would definitely hold up. We could really feel God’s presence and true enough, rain only came after the ceremony was over. So for me, making our vows before God was one of the most memorable moments.

Shihui: 10 minutes before walking down the aisle, I was behind a wall near the lawn and I felt God’s presence so strongly. I started sobbing and a stranger had to pass me tissues. It really was memorable.

Can you tell us the cost of the wedding?

Yen: We did not total up everything to the exact cent as after sometime, there was just too much to keep track of. I’m guessing it was approximately 70K.

The Gown: Silhouette the Atelier
The Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo
The Suit: Silhouette the Atelier
The Groom’s Shoes: Ed et al
The Engagement Ring: Soo Kee Jewellery
The Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Light in a Box
The Groomsmen’s Suits: Bow TieS and Suspenders from Taobao
The Flower Girls’ Dresses: Purchased from Korea
The Page Boys’ Suits: eBay
The Wedding Venue: Raffles Hotel
The Makeup Artist and Hairstylist: Joanne Loh from Silhouette the Atelier
The Wedding Cake: Raffles Hotel
The Florists: Floral Magic; Heaven in a Wildflower
The Event Stylist: Heaven in a Wildflower (Lawn Solemnisation); IM. PROPS (Ballroom stage backdrop)
The Wedding Planner: Kaylynn Ng
The Pre-Wedding Photographers: Andreas Permadi of Axioo Photography; Andrew Yee of Lightmeup Photography
The Actual Day Photographer: Jonathan Ho of Expressively JoHo
The Videographer: Damon Low of Damon Low Videography
The Photobooth: Fabfoto
The Invitations and Paper Goods: Raffles Hotel
The Wedding Favours: Raffles Hotel
The Wedding Band: Raymond Francis’s three-piece band from Compass Entertainment; four-string band from Vetta Quartet
The Solemniser: Pastor Timothy Chong

Credits: First pre-wedding photography set by Axioo Photography, second pre-wedding photography set by Lightmeup Photography, actual day photography by Expressively JoHo.

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