Singaporebrides | Real Weddings

May 2017

Shirlyn and Ricky’s Enchanted Garden Wedding with a Coloured Wedding Dress

After Shirlyn said, “Yes!” to an epic flashmob proposal, she and Ricky tied the knot in a blush and blue enchanted garden wedding where she wore a coloured wedding dress!

Shirlyn Tan, 32, HR Professional and Ricky Lin, 34, Founder of NaturesNest.sg met at a Go-Karting race for charity during university and got to know each other better over motoring club meetings. One wonderful Christmas, Ricky pulled out all the stops in an epic flash mob proposal on Orchard Road, where a stunned Shirlyn said, “Yes!” The couple celebrated their love in an epic way 16 December 2016, with an enchanted garden wedding in blush and blue where the bride wore an unconventional blush gown by Jawn.Happy.Ever.After!

How did the two of you meet?

Shirlyn: Ricky was the chairman of NUS Motoring Club back in 2005. With a creative mind, he transformed the NUS Science Faculty car park into a race circuit and organised the first Go-Karting challenge within a school compound. Wanting to try out motorsports for the first time, I signed up for the race, only to withdraw on the day when I realised I was pitted against four male drivers. Knowing that it was a fundraising event for a charity, I rejected the refund of the registration fees, which left an impression on Ricky when he came to learn about it. With determination and perseverance, he invited me to join the club as a member and subsequently as his Club Secretary. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Ricky: It was pretty rare to come across someone with a generous and kind heart, so I guess that was etched in my mind and made me determined to look for this girl.

What’s one of the things you love most about your partner?

Shirlyn: His level of enthusiasm and strong passion in driving his goals was something I haven’t seen in other guys. Always wanting to do things differently and striving to make the impossible a reality, he comes across as an unconventional guy, which makes him unique and charming. One of Ricky’s qualities that I love most about him is his great sense of responsibility towards the family, and I know I can depend on him to be there for me whenever I need him.

Ricky: While it was her generosity and big, caring heart that emotionally charged me up at first, upon knowing each other more, I discover it was her free-spirited mind yet humanely down-to-earth approach to our relationship that drew us nearer. I am always showered by her enduring love and unwavering support for my bold aspirations in life. Shirlyn has been very kind towards my eccentricities—from some difficult childhood years—yet firm in helping me see the shortcomings of my personality.

What was the proposal like?

Ricky: The original plan for the proposal was for a simple and private moment for the two of us on a yacht that I have booked. However, adventurous and bold as my life has been, my mind was not intuitively programmed to do anything within the norms. As a result, I envisioned a captivating moment where the most important decision in my life would be captured or “frozen” as a moment in time, amidst the hustle and bustle of Orchard Road during the Christmas season of love and giving. I was inspired by the “frozen” flash-mob at the Grand Central Terminal in New York and I wanted to plan a similar concept for my proposal. The date was 23 December 2009. I had exactly one week to plan for a flash-mob style, high-spirited proposal. I had some of my closest buddies help rally 100 volunteers from the streets to participate in the flash mob. With the support of Mediacorp’s Out-of-Home Media and Orchard Central, who would air the video I had prepared earlier over their large LCD screen, the plan was to have all 100 volunteers freeze in action exactly at 8pm, the moment Shirlyn and I step out of the Orchard Midpoint Shopping Centre, directly facing Orchard Central’s large screen, with the flash-mobbers pointing towards the screen.

To avoid suspicion of the grand plan, I actually managed to pull off a Christmas celebration on the yacht that I had chartered in the afternoon. After which, I told her that I had a function at Concord Hotel and we needed to shop for some Christmas gifts at Orchard Midpoint. Done with the shopping, I brought her down via the escalator while furiously communicating with my buddies to inform them that the “target” was reaching the zone soon!

The poignant moment came when we stepped out of Orchard Midpoint and the busy pedestrian walkway came to a standstill! While Shirlyn was trying to figure out exactly what had happened, my video came on air and she was in hysteria upon realising that our pictures were on that large screen and that it was indeed a marriage proposal! One of my buddies began to play our favourite piece on his violin while her niece, who was also present with her cousins, walked over to pass me the ring and flowers. A couple of minutes passed before I managed to calm her down and pop the question. While her mind was all flustered and overwhelmed, she composed herself and happily accepted my proposal. It was also wonderful that we had a Mediacorp news crew filming the entire proceedings and they featured our amazing feat on the 9pm news that very night!

What an epic proposal! Now, tell us how you topped that for the wedding.

Shirlyn: Initially, we were straddling several themes, such as a Gatsby-inspired wedding, but we had reservations about whether our guests would be game enough to join in the theme with us. Upon having a visualisation of how my wedding gown would be, we eventually settled for an Enchanted Garden theme, as I’ve always had a love for all things flora. I was blessed to have Euzart Wong, from Jawn.Happy.Ever.After, design my wedding gown, and he created a one-of-a-kind blush wedding gown laced with coloured luxury floral trimmings and embroidery. He was excited to take on my design as he shared that not many brides were as adventurous as I was, to be willing to accept a coloured gown instead of the conventional white dress. So I trusted Euzart and his workmanship and indeed it was a dream gown that has created a lasting impression with all our guests. The fuschia pink toga evening dress was also my favourite dress as it exudes a hint of Peranakan flavour with its full lace and a light chiffon scarf floating off the shoulder.

We also met up with Dolly from JM Florist, a wonderful lady who went to great lengths to help us fulfil our dream wedding theme. On top of the standard decorating items offered in our banquet package, she even provided us with specially decorated tall champagne glasses filled with roses as floral arrangements for the VIP tables. To create a unique backdrop for the stage, we had engaged Polyanna to enlarge one of our pre-wedding photos with similar coloured floral pedestals placed on the sides of the stage. With strings of fairy lights hanging from the ceiling and the lush floral and foliage on stage, it felt magical when we stepped into the ballroom seeing our dream wedding unfold before our eyes.

Being a craftsy person, I created the design for the wedding car decorations as well as personally handmade a signage board placed at the back of the car that spelt, “And our adventure begins” to announce the start of our journey as a married couple. Ribbons for the wedding entourage vehicles were also handcrafted by me. It gave me a sense of fulfilment and enjoyment to be involved in creating our dream wedding.

I have always desired a real wedding cake at my own wedding, so having tasted The Pine Garden cakes at a friend’s wedding, I decided I should have them too at mine, and went for a semi-naked three-tiered wedding cake with their popular Lychee Martini and Pandan Coconut flavoured sponge.

What was your wedding day like?

Ricky: Fun, noisy, and enjoyable! We had an amazing bridal party who took care of everything for us, so both of us could truly enjoy our special day. We had a delightful surprise when Shirlyn’s cousins turned up in the morning in their own synchronised pink and blue attire, which fitted well into our wedding theme, so it seemed like we had two bridal parties!

It was a long day with the gatecrashing and tea ceremonies at both houses before we arrived at the hotel. Everything went through swiftly. We had a good time interacting and playing games with our guests, and we were glad everyone enjoyed themselves as much as we did. Our families and friends also complimented the canapés served during the cocktail reception as well as the scrumptious eight-course dinner so we were very grateful to Chef Chan and his team for their efforts to create a wonderful dinner for us that night.

To make our wedding an inclusive one, we invited our friends and community from the Down Syndrome Association (DSA) to put up exciting dance performances for our guests, as well as invited hearing-impaired performers from the Singapore Association of the Deaf to perform on the cajon as part of the performing troupe from Beat’ABox. These guys were amazing performers with their talents and we hope to open up more opportunities for them via this platform so they too, can contribute to society like everyone else.

Wanting to have our guests feel our appreciation for their presence, we specially created a video montage. Not quite like the usual montages, it incorporated us sharing special stories with each other as we went about selecting the photographs for the clip. It was an intense emotional moment for both of us as we watched the clip for the first time during the wedding. Many of our guests, especially our family members, were tearing as the clip was shown. Some of our friends had flown in especially for our wedding. With all our plans fulfilled, we felt blessed to complete our dream wedding in the way we wanted.

What was the most memorable moment of your wedding?

Shirlyn: I guess it was the moment just before the marching in that I felt was most heart-warming, to know that was the moment we were both looking forward to, after having come such a long way with such a dear friend and life partner.

Ricky: Marching in through the aisle of Swissotel Merchant Court Ballroom was the most memorable moment in our wedding. Shirlyn had mesmerised the guests in her elegantly designed bespoke blush gown while I was in my black tuxedo suit. It was most heart-warming when we were welcomed by the loud applause and cheering from our friends and families. Our wedding song playing in the background, “Eyes on me” by Faye Wong, could not be more apt and indeed lifted everyone’s level of emotion to the occasion. With the stage set to the theme of enchanted gardens, it was an epic moment when we went on stage for the cake cutting ceremony against a backdrop of overhanging flowers and fairy lights. Beautiful to say the least!

The Size of the Wedding: 400 guests
The Cost of the Wedding: $90,000
The Gown: Bespoke design by Euzart Wong, Jawn Happy.Ever.After
The Bride’s Shoes: Steve Madden
The Suits: Bespoke design by Eric Chia, Personality Menshop
The Groom’s Shoes: Marx.B
The Engagement Ring: Groom’s customised design, Chivalry Jewellery
The Wedding Bands: Couple’s customised design, Chivalry Jewellery
The Bridesmaids’ Dresses: LilyPirates; Love & Bravery
The Groomsmen’s Suits: Shirts, groomsmen’s own; bowties provided by bride; bermudas, Zalora
The Flower Girls’ Dresses: Girls’ own
The Venue: Swissotel Merchant Court
The Hairstylist and Makeup Artist: Cleo Chang Makeup
The Wedding Cake: The Pine Garden
The Florist: Dolly, JM Florist and Polyanna
The Event Stylist: Bride’s own ideas
The Wedding Planner: Bride and Groom
The Pre-Wedding Photographer: Loh Eng Hong, 39 East Photography
The Wedding Photographer: Raymond Phang, Raymond Phang Photography
The Videographer: Samuel Seah, Simple Motion
The Wedding Invitations and Stationery: Northline Printing
The Wedding Favours: Nature’s Nest
The Band: The Serenaders
The Dance Performers: Fusion Dance Ensemble, Down Syndrome Association – Singapore
The Cajon Performers: BEAT’ABOX
The Emcee: William Lee, William Lee Professional Emcee, Malaysia

Credits: Images by 39 East Photography and Raymond Phang Photography

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