Singaporebrides | Real Weddings
Raevian and Evan’s Breathtakingly Exotic Pre-Wedding Shoot in Xinjiang
Rather than travelling to the more popular destinations for their pre-wedding photoshoot, our adventurous couple, Raevian and Evan, decided to explore a less travelled region in China for its majestic and exotic scenery and landscape for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Raevian Lee, 30, and her husband, Evan, 32, both Bank Associates, were co-workers at a bank. Although they belonged to different teams, they had to interact often with one another for work and before they knew it, love blossomed between them. At first, Raevian would turn down Evan’s invite to dinner due to her shyness, but his persistence and sincerity eventually won her over, and the rest, as they say, is history. After an epic surprise proposal on the snowy grounds of Quebec City in Canada, the lovebirds embarked on an adventurous and breathtaking pre-wedding photoshoot in Xinjiang, featuring the beautiful and exotic landscape of this remote and less-travelled region in China.
What’s one of the things you love most about your partner?
Evan: Raevian’s personality is the opposite of mine. I am the risk-averse, play-it-safe kind of person, while she loves new experiences and adventures. That’s one of the reasons why I’m attracted to her.
Raevian: He is driven, inspiring and romantic! I also love that he values his family and friends very much.
Take us back to your romantic surprise proposal in snowy Quebec City!
Raevian: It was such a magical day! We were at a small town in Quebec City, Canada and it was snowing quite heavily that day. He kept telling me to walk up-slope to some place that apparently had a “better photo spot”. Naively, I followed him and as we walked nearer, I saw balloons and a two-man band. I still remember telling him that there was a proposal going on! As we walked nearer, I thought it was strange as there was no other couple and a few people were pointing their cameras at us. That was the moment I knew that it was my own proposal. After the band finished the song, Evan got down on one knee and popped the question. With the castle-like Château Frontenac hotel as the backdrop, the impromptu fluffy snow that day, and the live romantic music in the background, it was definitely a “Yes”!
Evan: Prior to the trip, I spent a few months planning the proposal with a wonderful wedding planner, Isabelle Radford, in Canada. Basically, she helped to plan every single detail that day: setting up the proposal site with balloons, flowers, and lamps, coordinating with the photographer, the videographer, the musicians and the driver. She understood that I really wanted it to be a surprise and put it in a lot of effort to help me ensure that the proposal would go smoothly. I was really touched by her help.
Why did you decide to travel to a lesser known destination for your pre-wedding shoot? How did you plan for it?
Raevian: We wanted to capture this important milestone in our lives in the most beautiful and unique way possible, so instead of going to the more well-known destinations known for pre-wedding shoots, we decided on a location that was less travelled by most people. At the start, we shortlisted Tibet, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Xinjiang.
Evan: Essentially, we wanted a unique locale that has beautiful natural scenery along with a rich culture. Eventually, we decided on Xinjiang because it fitted all our criteria perfectly. It has gorgeous landscapes, majestic mountains, beautiful vast lakes, and exotic cultural attractions. The historical Silk Road ran through this territory, therefore it is extremely rich in culture and heritage too. Plus, as far as we know, no one in Singapore has done it before!
What was your pre-wedding shoot like?
Evan: Our pre-wedding shoot actually spanned five continuous days! We had to wake up early every single day to start preparing. After that, the whole day was spent travelling long distances on the car and posing endlessly for photos. And we repeated this process for five straight days! It was grueling, but ultimately rewarding because we loved how the photos and video turned out.
Raevian: Yes, it was definitely tough. The destination shoot wasn’t as easy as we thought it would be. But the trip to northwest China was definitely an unforgettable and priceless experience!
What was the most memorable moment of your pre-wedding shoot?
Evan: I would say it was during our shoot in Tianshan Grand Canyon. The scenery there is simply amazing. It has majestic mountains and sprawling green landscapes. We also got the chance to ride horses there.
Raevian: The whole trip! Visiting the historical Silk Road has always been on my travel bucket list and having the chance to do it for our destination shoot is like a dream come true!
Share with us any obstacles or funny moments you’ve encountered during the shoot.
Raevian: I remember on our way down a mountain, we stopped in the middle of the road for a beautiful shot. It was quite dangerous because this was a one-way road. When a traffic police approached us, we thought he was going to issue us a fine. To our surprise and amusement, he actually helped us stop the train of cars (about 3 or 4) for about a minute so that we could quickly get our shot!
Evan: During our shoot at the Heavenly Lake in Tianshan Mountains, we almost missed the last shuttle bus leaving the national park. The whole group of us had to run up a sloping path to catch the bus. On hindsight, it was a pretty funny scene – Raevian was running while holding up her gown with both hands, I was carrying my bag and dragging a luggage with Raevian’s accessories, while Andrew and Kenny were helplessly out of breath as they ran while carrying four heavy bags of camera equipment. Luckily, we managed to catch the bus!
Do you have any advise for couples who are about to embark on their pre-wedding shoot?
Raevian: Always plan in advance so that you can book your preferred photographer and visit the country during a good season. Spring and Autumn are great seasons for photo taking because your makeup and hair styling can last longer in the cooler climate! And remember, be open and adventurous with your options, indulge in the experience and have fun!
Evan: Assemble a team who are experts in their fields. For us, we got a local guide who had many positive online reviews and could speak English well. And our photography team, Moomedia, is well known in Singapore for their amazing photos and cinematography in exotic locales. Out of the photographers and videographers whom we shortlisted, Andrew was the most excited and eager to explore exotic locations. Both Kenny and him were equally talented and helpful, always locating the perfect spot for shots.
The Location: Xinjiang, China
The Photographer: Moomedia
The Videographer: Moomedia
The Wedding Gown: Rico-A-Mona
The Groom’s Suit: Rico-A-Mona
The Engagement Ring: JannPaul
The Wedding Bands: Bvlgari
The Local Guide: Ablanjan
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