Singaporebrides | Real Weddings

September 2016

Tansey and Phil’s Breath-Taking Pre-Wedding Adventure in Kuala Lumpur

Our beloved Sub-Editor, Tansey, said “Yes!” to the love of her life, Phil, in a very well-planned surprise proposal in the midst of their pre-wedding photo session!

Tansey Tang, 28, Sub-Editor at SingaporeBrides, met Phil Yee, 27, Assistant Manager, some eight years ago through mutual friends. They braved through a long distance relationship hand-in-hand through the years as Phil pursued his studies overseas while Tansey remained in Singapore. After nearly a decade together, Phil finally popped the question with a special custom-made ring in a surprise proposal during their pre-wedding shoot with Cliff Choong Photography.

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Tell us a little bit about your story, such as how the two of you met.

Tansey: Phil and I got to know each other through mutual friends about eight years ago. It was just a couple of months before he had to leave to study in Australia, but we couldn’t stop texting or IM-ing each other (back then, our conversations took place mainly on MSN Messenger!). We got together over a long-distance phone call, and our very first date took place at Changi Airport two months later. It was the most nerve-wrecking thing! Actually, I was nervous before almost every meeting at the airport during our five years of long-distance dating, because we wouldn’t have seen each other for about four months. But our hands would fit together just the same, and things would be amazing for our holiday together before the separation began again. It really wasn’t easy, but I thank God that we chose to make it.

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What was the proposal like?

Phil: We’d actually already booked our wedding dinner in January, but I knew that Tansey still wanted a proposal. So I secretly got her engagement ring, and worked with Cliff Choong, our pre-wedding photographer, to surprise her. He emailed us a series of questions about our relationship to prepare for our shoot, and I planned to propose in the guise of one of the questions.

Tansey: During the shoot, Cliff would tell us to imagine certain events, or remember special dates, so when he told us to exchange some promises for the future, I thought it was part of the shoot. I was completely stunned when Phil got down on one knee after promising me a life of love, support, and adventure. I was crying pretty hard, but of course said, “Yes!”. It was one of the happiest moments I’ve ever experienced, and it’s so nice to get to relive that moment with the shots captured by Cliff.

Phil: I wanted it to be private, but I also wanted to keep pictures of that moment, which is why I decided to propose during our shoot. It’s a good thing he got nice shots of it, because everything happened so fast that I can’t remember much of it.

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What were the ideas behind the engagement session and how did you prepare for it?

Tansey: We weren’t sure if we wanted an engagement session at first, because we’re not comfortable in front of the camera, so when I first contacted Cliff, I was only thinking about whether he was available on our wedding date. I loved his style of emotional, light-filled photography, but unfortunately, he was already booked. A few weeks later, we were looking up the band who played at Phil’s annual company dinner, when we realised that Cliff had been playing bass that night! He was also from Phil’s church, and the series of coincidences just felt like a God-send, so we asked him about an engagement session. We got along so well with Cliff during our first meeting that we decided to do a pre-wedding shoot after all.

I still had to find a wedding gown though! I’d been searching online for a couple of months before I finally found a beautiful mermaid gown with a lace train on our very own SingaporeBrides forum. Thankfully, it fit!

I loved the many styled engagement sessions I’ve seen on SingaporeBrides, so I prepared some props I thought we could use in the woods. I got battery-operated fairy lights, glass terrariums, a cloth to use as a picnic mat, and sparklers. I also painted a banner with the verse “Love never fails” from 1 Corinthians 13:8, and wrote out a couple of calligraphy quotes in marker, to be used in photo frames. In the end, we hardly used any props because we had so much fun just being ourselves and enjoying the day.

We did our photography session in Kuala Lumpur, and Cliff recommended a beautiful Moroccan Pavilion with lovely mosaic tiles for our formal portraits. For our casual shoot, we couldn’t decide between a funky urban space and a more natural scene until we went to check out the farm in Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).

Phil: I didn’t really care about the location of the shoot, or prepare for it, since I had other things on my mind, like the proposal. I was pretty nervous about it, and spent the whole time during the shoot thinking about the proposal and when to do it.

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What was the pre-wedding shoot like?

Tansey: It was a really fun experience right from its 6:30am start, when Remy Ngan came to transform me into a better-looking version of myself. She’s so experienced that I didn’t bother researching a look, but let her do her thing. And I loved how natural the makeup turned out! For our formal portraits, I’d always wanted to wear a birdcage veil, and Helan of Gioielli.com.sg very sweetly gifted me a pearl-studded one that she handcrafted.

Remy followed us throughout our formal portraits, and I couldn’t be more grateful for how kind and attentive she was, with more than just retouching my makeup. She even created a breeze with one of the reflectors! I loved her even more when we changed for our casual session, and she gave me the BEST curls. I was really reluctant to wash my hair that night, even though we’d spent the best part of the day hiking through a farm.

UPM reminded me of road trips through Tasmania’s countryside, and we spent most of the casual session laughing at what the cows were doing. Cliff was really fun to be around, but he also let us go off and adventure around the farm together while he quietly took candid shots. Hand in hand, we hiked around pointing out adorable calves or having staring contests with the cows. If we had brought food, it would have made a great picnic date!

Phil: The shoot was really fun and casual. Even though I usually hate being in front of the camera, Cliff made us feel very comfortable. The cows made Tansey uncomfortable though, because we were pretty near them at one point. They were staring at us and mooing, and she freaked out so much I had to postpone my proposal plans until we exited their field.

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Date of Proposal: 28 March 2016
The Venue: Moroccan Pavilion and Universiti Putra Malaysia
The Wedding Gown: Sourced from SingaporeBrides Forum
The Wedding Shoes: Fabiano Ricco, Johor Bahru / Charles and Keith
The Groom’s Suit: Custom-made at Esteem Tailors, Kuala Lumpur
The Groom’s Shoes: Loakes
The Engagement Ring: Custom-made at Kwong Lee Soon Kee Jeweler, Johor Bahru
The Hair and Makeup: Remy Ngan
The Veil: Gioielli.com.sg
The Photographer: Cliff Choong Photography


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