Singaporebrides | Fashion

February 2018

The Story Behind Pearlyn’s Secret Bespoke Wedding Gowns by Amanda Lee Weddings

What started as an offhand suggestion by Amanda became an exciting, one-of-a-kind ride for both herself and fellow designer, Pearlyn.

It all began with an innocent idea Amanda, designer and owner of Amanda Lee Weddings, had about designing fellow designer, Pearlyn’s wedding gowns for her big day. To her surprise, the adventurous and jovial designer hopped on board without a moment’s hesitation, even with the catch that she was only allowed to see her wedding gowns on her wedding day and not a moment before! We caught up with Amanda and she spills the beans on this unique gown making process.

Pearlyn and Kang Cheng’s Urban Tropical Forest Wedding at Conrad Centennial Singapore Pearlyn and Kang Cheng’s Urban Tropical Forest Wedding at Conrad Centennial Singapore Pearlyn and Kang Cheng’s Urban Tropical Forest Wedding at Conrad Centennial Singapore Pearlyn and Kang Cheng’s Urban Tropical Forest Wedding at Conrad Centennial Singapore Pearlyn and Kang Cheng’s Urban Tropical Forest Wedding at Conrad Centennial Singapore Pearlyn and Kang Cheng’s Urban Tropical Forest Wedding at Conrad Centennial Singapore

So, Amanda, share with us the story behind Pearlyn’s wedding dress.

Amanda: It started out as a casual suggestion by me. I believe that it is not easy for a wedding gown designer to design her own wedding gown, especially after seeing so many of your clients’ weddings. I have been through that, so I reckoned it would be a good idea for someone else to do the designing for her. And who knows her better than I? I pride myself in understanding my working partners, so I volunteered to design her gowns with only one condition, that is she cannot see them before the wedding day and cannot ask for any information on the dress. When she agreed readily without a doubt, I knew instantly that it was going to a fun and exciting ride.

Pearlyn and Kang Cheng’s Urban Tropical Forest Wedding at Conrad Centennial Singapore Pearlyn and Kang Cheng’s Urban Tropical Forest Wedding at Conrad Centennial Singapore Pearlyn and Kang Cheng’s Urban Tropical Forest Wedding at Conrad Centennial Singapore

How did you go about designing a gown for a bride who was not allowed to know what her gown looked like, or tell you what details she wanted to include in her gown? Where did you draw the inspiration from?

Aside from a brief mention some time ago that she couldn’t see herself in a puffy ballgown for her wedding, Pearlyn did not have any say in the design of her gowns. The designs for both her wedding and evening gowns revolve around her, based on my daily observation of her personal style over the years as well as her likes and dislikes, tailored according to who she is. Initially, I did have some hesitation in penning down the designs because I felt the pressure of creating gowns for a once-in-a-lifetime event without any input from the bride or the groom! All I thought of was “Will she like it?”, “Is it her?”, “Will KC like it?” or “What if I ruined her day?”.

Eventually, I overcame the pressure and my doubts, and trusted myself and my instincts of what is right for her. I did most parts of the gowns in the workshop, and if the team has any need to visit the workshop, they have to inform me in advance and I would make sure that I would not lay anything out in the open. That’s when I decided that no one should see her gowns other than me and Joe.

Stills from the BTS video by XD Studios Stills from the BTS video by XD Studios Stills from the BTS video by XD Studios Stills from the BTS video by XD Studios

Did Pearlyn have any inkling of what her gowns looked like, or was she completely in the dark up until her wedding day?

She was completely in the dark! She had two fittings overall, and during her fittings, I made her put on an eye mask and wear gloves and mittens so she couldn’t see and feel the gowns. I know it’s hard to believe, but she knew nothing of the designs or fabric of the gowns prior to her wedding day. That’s why I truly appreciated the trust that she had in me.

Did Pearlyn try to guess or get her co-workers to reveal what her gowns looked like during the process?

Yes she did, just like any other bride! But I kept throwing her off by misleading her in the direction of what she totally dislikes. So, eventually she learned to not ask.

Image by LiveStudios Image by LiveStudios Image by LiveStudios

According to Pearlyn, you were also tasked with the responsibility of deciding on an urban tropical forest theme for her wedding. What was the story behind that?

Her wedding theme was inspired by an inside joke among her colleagues and her since we first knew her. You’d be surprised to learn that it took a little more to convince her that that was the wedding theme for her, and with the assurance that the wedding would look so beautiful with the right person styling the space, she saw the beauty of the whole concept and went along with it.

Pearlyn and Kang Cheng’s Urban Tropical Forest Wedding at Conrad Centennial Singapore Pearlyn and Kang Cheng’s Urban Tropical Forest Wedding at Conrad Centennial Singapore Pearlyn and Kang Cheng’s Urban Tropical Forest Wedding at Conrad Centennial Singapore Pearlyn and Kang Cheng’s Urban Tropical Forest Wedding at Conrad Centennial Singapore Pearlyn and Kang Cheng’s Urban Tropical Forest Wedding at Conrad Centennial Singapore Pearlyn and Kang Cheng’s Urban Tropical Forest Wedding at Conrad Centennial Singapore Pearlyn and Kang Cheng’s Urban Tropical Forest Wedding at Conrad Centennial Singapore

Was Pearlyn’s husband, KC, in the know throughout the gown-making process, or were they kept a secret from him too?

He had no clue about the design of the gowns. Along the designing process, both Joe and I decided to surprise KC with a hand-painted suit to match Pearlyn’s first march-in look. We also had his first-look experience recorded down. It was exciting!

Pearlyn and Kang Cheng’s Urban Tropical Forest Wedding at Conrad Centennial Singapore Pearlyn and Kang Cheng’s Urban Tropical Forest Wedding at Conrad Centennial Singapore Pearlyn and Kang Cheng’s Urban Tropical Forest Wedding at Conrad Centennial Singapore Pearlyn and Kang Cheng’s Urban Tropical Forest Wedding at Conrad Centennial Singapore Pearlyn and Kang Cheng’s Urban Tropical Forest Wedding at Conrad Centennial Singapore Pearlyn and Kang Cheng’s Urban Tropical Forest Wedding at Conrad Centennial Singapore

What was Pearlyn’s reaction during her first-look on her wedding day?

On her wedding day, I dressed her up and positioned her in front of the mirror with the help of others. Everyone was so excited to see her in her wedding gown and her reaction that their mobile phones were up in the air, ready to capture the moment. Then, she opened her eyes and saw herself for the first time in her wedding gown, and she smiled and then cried for the next half an hour.

It was truly an electrifying and exuberant moment, seeing her in her gown. When I saw her smile and happy tears, I knew then that my job was done.

Pearlyn and Kang Cheng’s Urban Tropical Forest Wedding at Conrad Centennial Singapore Pearlyn and Kang Cheng’s Urban Tropical Forest Wedding at Conrad Centennial Singapore

Did you enjoy yourself in this unique gown making experience for Pearlyn’s big day?

Absolutely! It was such a wonderful experience that no words can ever describe how much I enjoyed doing it from the start until the end. Despite the obstacles I faced at the beginning, it was definitely the best experience I had in 2017.

Amanda Lee Weddings is located at 46 Niven Road, Singapore 228394 (by appointment only). Contact them at +65 6333 6678 or enquirewithamandalee@gmail.com.


The Wedding Photographer: Feldberyl Images/ LiveStudios / Beatrici Photography (overseas pre-wedding photos)
The Video Stills: BTS Video by XD Studios
The Wedding Gown: Amanda Lee Weddings
The Pre-Wedding Gown: Amanda Lee Online and Amanda Lee Weddings

To view more images of Pearlyn’s unique, bespoke wedding gowns and wedding celebration, read up on her Real Weddings feature at Pearlyn and Kang Cheng’s Urban Tropical Forest Wedding at Conrad Centennial Singapore.