Singaporebrides | Fashion

July 2017

Daren Tan and Nadia Lum’s Secret Garden Pre Wedding Photography on Jeju Island

Daren Tan and Nadia Lum reveal their enchanting pre-wedding photography session on Jeju Island.

Daren Tan, 34, Actor, Singer, and Business Owner, surprised Nadia Lum, 30, Doctor, with a proposal after a 70-km-long cycling trip on the beaches of Miyakojima, Japan. The Project Superstar winner and Mata Mata actor and his wife-to-be will tie the knot at Grand Hyatt Singapore in November this year. To celebrate, Daren Tan and Nadia Lum took their dreamy and enchanting pre-wedding photos in Korea, after falling in love with Jeju Island from the Korean drama Secret Garden.

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

Daren: It was a coincidence that we met.

Nadia: I was on vacation visiting my friend who is based in Singapore. We were catching up over coffee, and later on, two of her friends joined in. One of them was Daren.

Daren: I thought she was kind of attractive, because of the sound of her voice and how she carried herself.

What drew you to each other?

Daren: There is not enough time to list out everything here. Of course, she is a looker in my eyes. She’s warm and really smart. I love how we can carry out conversations all the time. It is very rare for me to be able to connect with another person on both an emotional and an intellectual level. Because she is very well read, she will share what she has read with me almost every day. She loves animals and I think that’s sexy.

Nadia: I was definitely attracted to Daren the first time we met. I love the way he smiles, and his charm. Later I found out that we have much in common and I would say what makes me stay in love with him is how optimistic he is. No matter how bad the situation is, he always finds a silver lining.

What was the proposal like?

Daren: When I planned the proposal, I really wanted something out of the norm for the both of us–an experience both of us have never had before. The planning started four months before the proposal so I collaborated with Star Cruises. It was a Cycling Cruise, where we had to fly to Taiwan and then cruise to Japan, with cycling trips planned in each destination. I proposed on the beaches of Okinawa after we had cycled for 70km. Star Cruises helped me set the stage for the moment, and the rest of the cyclists helped to hold the 50m-long banner. It was magical for me, and even though I do not have stage fright as a seasoned artiste, none of my experience helped in any way when I proposed. Nadia was dumbfounded, but it was a success. Everything went as planned.

Nadia: I did not expect a proposal at all. We had discussed marriage a few times, but I didn’t see it coming. After six hours of cycling at Miyakojima, Japan, we stopped at one of the pit stops on the beach. I was absolutely dumbfounded when I saw the banner lifted by our fellow cyclists, with the words, “Nadia, will you marry me?” When he actually got down on one knee and proposed, in my mind it was only, “Yes!” There were no second thoughts. Though Daren made a great deal of effort to propose to me, he definitely made me do some work too! Cycling the treacherous 70km in the hot humid weather was no easy feat!

Where did you take your lovely photos?

Daren: We did our first shoot in Korea, Jeju Island. We knew that pictures taken overseas, especially in Korea, would give a total different feel from ones taken locally. Nadia loves Korea, so we took the chance for a getaway as well. Our second pre wedding shoot was done locally, beginning at Jigger and Pony at Telok Ayer because that was where we had our first kiss. The other location was Changi Airport. Currently, Nadia works in Kuala Lumpur while I am based in Singapore. The terminal holds a lot of memories, because it is where we are the happiest when we meet, yet also where we are sad because we have to leave each other again every month.

Nadia: It was Daren’s idea to shoot in Jeju. He first set eyes on this scenic island when he watched the famous Korean drama Secret Garden. We had always been meaning to travel to Korea as well, so it was a perfect opportunity. We also looked through the work of wedding photographers in Korea and found their style to our liking. We were blessed to find a local Korean photographer who could speak English reasonably well.

Tell us about your shoot!

Daren: For myself, I have done countless shoots in media, but shooting for my own wedding is a different experience. With Nadia, everything is real. What we really wanted to capture was the different emotions we experience as a couple in each location. Besides looking good, the pictures must be able to convey how we feel about our journey so far.

Nadia: I enjoyed my shoot reasonably well! It was freezing cold in early Spring. Clad in the wedding gown, I had to snuggle Daren during the breaks. At one point, I couldn’t feel my face when I was smiling for the camera. I loved the mountains, sea, and flowers we managed to capture in the shoot. I don’t think we would have got those in Singapore or Malaysia.

When will the wedding be, and what are your plans for it?

Daren: The wedding will be on 18 November 2017. We are Christians and we will be having a nice little solemnisation ceremony at the poolside of Grand Hyatt Singapore, followed by a traditional tea ceremony back at my place, and then the dinner at night.

Nadia : Instead of the traditional gate crashing, we decided to opt for the more romantic and meaningful solemnisation ceremony. As Christians, it holds more importance to the both of us. Preparations for the wedding involve much more than we imagined, from the guest list to décor to photography, etc. In our opinion, it is a process that brought us closer together. Luckily for us, we are agreeable on most decisions. For things that matter more to me, I get to decide. For example, I picked the cake designs, flower types, hotel wedding theme, wedding favours, and many more. Daren picked his pants and suit colours. Our wedding theme is “Secret Garden” for the night dinner.

The Bride’s Outfits: Whitelink Bridal
The Bride’s Shoes: Charles and Keith
The Groom’s Outfits: Common Suits // Benjamin Barker
The Groom’s Shoes: Benjamin Barker
The Engagement Ring: Michael Trio
The Shoot Locations: Jeju Island
The Hairstylist and Makeup Artist: MakeUp Muto
The Hair Accessories: Stylist’s own
The Photographer: Young Chun from Wedding Pics, Korea
The Videographer: Esther Tay Videography

Credits: Photography by Wedding_pics

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Daren Tan and Nadia Lum’s Secret Garden Pre Wedding Photography on Jeju Island