Singaporebrides | Editors' Notes
A Behind-The-Scenes Look At Our Surprise June 2017 Fashion Editorial
Go behind the scenes at our June 2017 fashion editorial shoot, which was a disguise for the photographer’s surprise wedding proposal to his girlfriend! Behind-the-scenes video included inside.
While the photographer, Brendan, and I were in the midst of discussing the concept of our June 2017 fashion editorial shoot, he started to hem and haw and I knew something was up.
He had been thinking about proposing to his girlfriend, who is a model, for the last few months. He had an idea of booking her for our coming shoot and then proposing to her after the shoot. “Am I asking for too much?” he asked me.
I mean, who am I? I live for wedding proposals.
I asked him two very important questions. Firstly, “How sure are you that she will say ‘Yes’?” This was going to be a very public proposal, and I didn’t want things to get awkward. We were not sure if Du Zhen, his girlfriend, would feel pressured into the engagement because we would all be staring at them in anticipation. Very unromantic but valid question, I think.
Secondly, “Have you bought The Ring?” Ring choosing takes time, and with the pending shoot, Brendan might not have time to prepare and look for the ring. I wanted him to make the right choice for the engagement ring and not rush into it.
His response came fast and furious. “1. 95% sure! 2. I have one in mind already!” This man was prepared.
With that out of the way, we dove into the planning of shoot, trying to remain professional but were secretly excited inside.
Watch the behind-the-scenes video of our June 2017 fashion editorial. Scroll to the 2:11 mark for the surprise proposal!
Brendan wanted to create a vintage atmosphere with a French touch, which I later found out was an inspiration from a Europe trip they had taken recently. He also wanted to fill it with flowers to make it a beautiful proposal setting for Du Zhen. We pulled together a team that had already been working frequently together: fashion stylist Randolph Tan, hairstylist Ash Loi, and make up artist Keith Bryant Lee.
Randolph suggested we bring in Yang, an up and coming set stylist who could bring Brendan’s ideas to fruition. And as a gift to Brendan and Du Zhen, I got in a videographer, Jerald Saw, to record their special moment into a video.Gown from Luna Bianca Gown from Jess haute Couture Jerald, Randolph and Ash setting up the next shot Gown by Luna Bianca Gown by Silhouette The Atelier Randolph and Ash hard at work Gown by Alisha and Lace Gown by Amanda Lee Weddings Gown by Alisha and Lace Yang adjusting the props Gown by Jess Haute Couture Our shoots are always 90% fun and 10% intense Gown by Amanda Lee Weddings Gown by Luna Bianca
Not everyone was in on the secret on shoot day, especially not those who would be closest to the model, which were Ash and Keith. They were clueless even up until Brendan signalled that he was ready to do the deed. He stopped our shoot playlist and played The Perishers’ “Nothing Like You And I” on his laptop, which I assume is “their song”. We had all moved away from the set and were behind the camera—except for Ash, who was fussing for really long with Du Zhen’s hair. I had to call for him to come towards me so that Brendan can make his move!Gown by Silhouette The Atelier Brendan getting our last official shot of the day Du Zhen wondering if this was for real Finally!
Because the music was so loud and we were behind the camera, we couldn’t hear a word Brendan said while he was proposing. It was like an old silent noir film in slow-mo. We saw Du Zhen tear, then laugh, then finally lift up her hand for the ring. Applause and hooting all around.
I managed to get Brendan to send me his long proposal speech, and here is it:
“The first words you ever said to me were, ‘Happy Birthday’. Ever since that moment, I wanted to know more about you. There was something so captivating behind your big beautiful eyes. During our winter adventure in Europe, we spent many nights huddled over a pot of hot ramen, eating with our foreheads touching. That was the moment I knew that you were the one I want to spend the rest of my life with. I am a much happier person now with you in my life. I love how you have taught me to be selfless and caring. I hope that we can continue to inspire each other to be better people, share more laughter and adventures, and spend the rest of our lives together. Will you marry me?”
I titled the shoot “La vie est une fleur” from Victor Hugo’s “La vie est la fleur dont l’amour est le miel”, which translates into “Life is a flower of which love is the honey”.
While this was officially our June 2017 fashion editorial, it was more a full day of setting the scene for Brendan’s proposal to Du Zhen and SingaporeBrides is honoured to be here for them. Thank you to everyone who was involved in this, and congratulations, Du Zhen and Brendan! I hope beginning your journey together surrounded by flowers will sweeten the rest of your lives with honey.
EDITOR: Michelle Tay
PHOTOGRAPHY: Brendan Zhang
ASSISTED BY: Vincent Ng & Mun Kong
SET DESIGN: Tan Yang Er
STYLING: Randolph Tan
MAKE UP: Keith Bryant Lee using Laneige
HAIR: Ash Loi using LaBioesthetic
FLOWERS: Mirage Flowers
MODEL: Du Zhen / UPFRONT
VIDEO: Jerald Saw
BEHIND-THE-SCENES PHOTOGRAPHY: Vincent Ng
Alisha & Lace
Amanda Lee Weddings
Jess Haute Couture
Silhouette The Atelier