Singaporebrides | Real Weddings
Si Ling and David’s Modern Peranakan Wedding at EMPRESS
Wedding singers Si Ling and David chose to celebrate their nuptials with an intimate party at the elegantly modern EMPRESS.
Si Ling and David met eight years ago while performing in a local concert but it wasn’t until recently in 2012 that he decided to take their friendship to the next level and confess his feelings to her in an e-mail. The bubbly duo wanted an intimate celebration instead of the usual big and boisterous weddings they usually perform at. They found what they were looking for at EMPRESS at the Asian Civilisations Museum – a waterfront venue with beautiful Western setting and indoor and alfresco seating, serving delicious Chinese cuisine. Take a peek at how the lovebirds celebrated their nuptials in a unique Peranakan themed wedding that combines local heritage with modern Western elements.
What was your proposal like?
Dave: Simple. Heartfelt. Being a person who never really thought would get married, I felt a sudden urge to want to take on more responsibilities and provide. I smuggled the proposal ring abroad to Korea in Autumn during our holiday and in a cosy little Twosome cafe along Garosu-gil, Seoul, I sent her off to buy us some coffee and snacks while I prepared the ring. I started off by telling her I felt that after being in a relationship with her for 5 years, I love her not because she is perfect, but because we complement each other with our imperfections. She is the one and only girl that made me want to settle down and I asked her to marry me.
What was your wedding planning journey like?
Si Ling: David and I are wedding singers and we’ve performed in numerous weddings over the past decade. We realised that all the weddings held with at least 20 banquet tables are stale and lifeless, perhaps there are many guests that the couple do not even know. We know for sure that is what we do not want for our own wedding. We decided to keep it small with just our families and close friends. We wanted a place with amnice western ambience and setting but serving Chinese cuisine. That’s how we got to know EMPRESS after researching online.
When we visited the restaurant for the first time and met up with the manager Jack Sim to find out more, we knew it was the venue for us. It was love at first sight and we could picture ourselves getting married there. We wanted an intimate and cosy wedding where food is the main priority. We read a lot of wonderful reviews on EMPRESS and during the food tasting, both our parents were as impressed as we were. Tip top food and service. EMPRESS did an excellent job in keeping up with the food quality, taste and their service on our wedding day. The EMPRESS team treated all the guests like friends, always with big smiles and were very efficient. All our guests only have compliments on the food and really loved the ambience.
During our wedding planning, we encountered an obstacle. Because we decided on the venue without planning our guest list first, we ended up with more guests that the restaurant could take, so we had to spend a little extra to build a marquee to shelter the tables at the alfresco area. But, it turn out well as the marquee was filled with fairy lights and it made our night so magical.
Share with us the makings of your personalised Peranakan themed wedding.
Si Ling: Keeping a wedding intimate to us means putting in more effort on handmade items. We had 140 mini canvases installed with a magnet and hand painted them as our wedding favours, with some help from our friends and family. Each one was written with our tagline “Love bears all things”.
All these years, David and I have been providing live music and entertainment to so many couples, so now it’s our turn to sit back and enjoy our own wedding. With lots of love and support, we’ve evolved from our humble little business delivering top quality wedding live music performances and entertainment to now a one-stop wedding atelier, providing planning services, offering premium quality products and services to give couples their perfect wedding. We had our team from Glittering Carousel to plan and conceptualise our wedding.
As David comes from a Peranakan family, the team suggested that we should celebrate the culture. We decided to have the wedding planned along that line and encouraged all our family members to dress in kebaya and batik. Our wedding stylist, Pei Li from 8dec decorated the reception, guest book and photo album table with Peranakan themed props like tingkats, wooden antique ang bao box, bakul siah (a Peranakan kueh basket that was used to deliver cakes to family), blue and white porcelain vases, and more, and Shu Min from Meadows & Cloud complemented the décor with unique flowers in line with the theme. They also did one of the largest cutout wordings they’ve created so far measuring a whopping 1.2m x 1.6m with the tagline “Love Bears All Things” hanging from the shelf behind the bar counter as our backdrop. They did a wonderful job and everyone loved the whole look and feel.
Walk us through your wedding day. What was it like? Were you nervous? Did you encounter any hiccups on the day? How did you overcome it?
Dave: On that day, I felt like the happiest person in the world. Not nervous but excited that everyone is here to celebrate our love. The hardest part is finding someone you want to spend with for the rest of your life.
However, there was one small little hiccup which gave my heart a skip – we totally forgot about reminding both our witnesses which was my mother and her dather to bring their Identification Cards for the solemnisation. But I always believe that God planned this day for us and he will see through it and make it happen. That belief kept me calm and we discussed alternatives with the Justice of Peace and thankfully, we could make do with their driving licences, which both had.
To kickstart the wedding, David’s younger siblings, Rebecca and Joshua performed “The Hawaiian Wedding Song” for our march-in. Rebecca, who is a home baker, baked our wedding cake! So much love from the family! Close friends of Si Ling performed the all-time favourite Mandarin classic, “月亮代表我的心” by Teresa Teng, and a Cantonese song for the folks. Then, followed by Jim Lim, David’s buddy who knew each other for almost 20 years because of music. He performed the all-time favourite wedding song “Till the End”, an OST of Taiwanese drama 斗鱼 (The Outsiders), originally composed and sang by David. After which, Jim called up the rest of his bandmates, the local famous group “梦飞船” to give their blessings too. Lastly, Stefanie Sun topped the wedding with her spontaneous performance with the Tan brothers, David Tan & Joshua Tan. David has been touring with Stefanie Sun as a backing vocalist for most of her concert tours, we are truly honoured to have her and her parents at our wedding.
With years of experience and being in so many weddings, the vital element to making a wedding fun is to get the right emcee. We are blessed to have Mr Alac Yap from Event Link Pte Ltd, a long time friend of ours to be our emcee alongside with his assistant DJ Sham. A lot of our guests commented after the wedding that our emcee was really “power”! He kept the whole night exciting and got everyone laughing.
Share with us your most memorable moments from your wedding day.
Si Ling: Before the wedding solemnisation, while my dad was about to walk me down the aisle, our photographer Kelly invited us to enjoy the moment just before walking down the aisle. My dad is a very conservative guy and doesn’t really show affection. Kelly sensed this and said to him “Uncle, can you recall what was it like when you held your daughter when she was born?” Our hearts melted and tears were flowing as I gave my father a peck on his cheek and we hugged each other for the longest time. And I’m grateful that Kelly captured a beautiful picture of me and my father which I absolutely love!
Do you have any advice for brides-to-be planning their wedding?
Don’t engage vendors just because they are cheap, but don’t splurge beyond your means either. Spend more on the areas of your wedding that you can keep for a lifetime, and let others help run the wedding on your actual day. Try not be to too involved so that both you and your husband can enjoy the moment.
The Venue: EMPRESS at the Asian Civilisations Museum
The Photographer: Studiokel Photography by Kelly Fan
The Wedding Gown and Groom’s Suit: Swaggers Couture
Hair and Makeup: Jenny Goh from Autelier Makeup / Linda Le from Lindalino Make Up
The Wedding Rings: Taka Jewellery
The Wedding Cake: Beckie’s Bakes
The Florist: Meadows & Clouds (Bridal Bouquet)
The Wedding Favours: Arterspace Art Studio
The Wedding Planner: Glittering Carousel
The Wedding Live Music Entertainment: GC Live Music
The Wedding Emcees: Event Link Pte Ltd
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