Singaporebrides | Fashion

February 2018

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

Gown designer Pearlyn’s wedding gowns were kept a secret from her until her wedding day!

After years of designing wedding gowns and fulfilling the dreams of numerous brides, it was finally Pearlyn’s turn to be a bride herself! We were so excited when we heard that the talented young designer at Amanda Lee Weddings tied the knot with her sweetheart, Kang Cheng, whom she has known for almost a decade, on 21 December 2017, and couldn’t wait to feature her wedding at Conrad Centennial Singapore.

As an experienced bridal gown designer, many expected Pearlyn to have a clear picture of what she wanted for her wedding and design her own gown. But instead of doing that, Pearlyn left the important task in the hands of Amanda Lee and her team of colleagues, and even gamely accepted Amanda’s suggestion of keeping her gown a secret from her and her groom until their wedding day! Curious about her reaction and her secret wedding gown? Read all about it here!

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How did the two of you meet?

We met via a mutual friend back in school, whom we later knew had an intention of “match-making” us while we were only 18 years old!

What drew you to each other? What is it about your partner that you love the most?

KC:I guess its my first impression of her – bubbly and friendly – along with her smile.

Pearlyn: His sincerity and honesty. He is a little shy by nature, which makes him quite cute at 18 years old, plus, he is tall! (which is definitely a bonus haha).

What was the proposal like?

Pearlyn: KC is a very shy by nature person, though many of his friends might beg to differ! He would never have asked me to marry him in the public. In 2015, he booked a vacation for us to Maldives where he guided me through my first dive experience (KC is a certified diver), and popped the question in our water bungalow that very night. It’s a really private and intimate affair, just as how I would have expected, coming from him!

Tell us about your pre-wedding shoot in London. Where was your outfit from?

I wore a full lace, long sleeved, mid length dress from Amanda Lee Online (ALO) and a midi length skirt from Amanda Lee Weddings’s range of two-piece outfits. The ALO dress is great for solemnisations or photoshoots on its own, but I wanted something less formal and younger looking, so I chose to layer a midi length skirt over the dress for a different look that still looks bridal.

What was your wedding planning journey like?

We both wanted the wedding to be on 21st December, as it holds a special meaning for us. But December also means the busiest time of the year, and I must say, we had a lot sleepless nights. Thankfully, we had a great team of friends (in and out of the wedding industry) to help us through by providing us support and care closer to the day.

We had different visions for the wedding, but we agreed on one thing: a modest sized guest list. KC wanted a reputable Chinese banquet, and I wanted nice ballroom setting. We were initially looking at around 20- 25 tables, and that left us with a shorter list of venues that could cater to our requirements. Eventually, we decided to go with Conrad Centennial Singapore as they met most of our individual requirements.

Some of the challenges we faced were naturally some sort of disagreements along the way. We are both very different in nature and had vast differences in how we thought a wedding should be, and the line to reach an mutual agreement can be pretty stressful sometimes. Compromise, forgive, and being rational is really important. Sometimes the true meaning of holding a wedding can be overwhelmed by the excitement of the wedding itself.

Pearlyn, tell us about your decision to not only design your own gowns, but to have them kept a secret from you until your wedding day!

As a bridal gown designer, most people will think I would definitely have many ideas and knew what I wanted. But it gets really difficult when your expectation of yourself hits high. When it comes to design, I always seek Amanda’s advice, so naturally, it will be fair enough to say I trust her to design something for me for my big day. Amanda suggested keeping it a secret from me until the wedding day, and the first thought that came to me was “ Sure! Why not!”

My colleagues are like my second family. We’ve seen each other almost every day for the past eight years, and I’m sure they (Amanda especially), know me better than I do. They’ve watched me grow over the years, and when it comes to dressing up, I believe they have good taste to put me into something beautiful. So, it’s not that I don’t place an importance on the gown, but I do trust her enough to go along!

How secret was your gown making process? Were you privy to any details, or were you able to communicate your ‘wants’ and ‘don’t wants’?

100% secret. I wore mittens and eye masks during the fitting sessions so I couldn’t see or even feel the fabric. Well, the only part of the dress that I’ve seen prior to the wedding was a plain white sleeve, if that is even counted. On and off, I did tell her briefly what I don’t like, i.e. nothing too lacy, nothing too princessy. Something that is unique, but also pretty elegant. The rest, I just left it to her to create.

Did you have any concerns about your decision to keep your wedding gowns a secret from you and KC?

I’m quite different from KC in terms of our likes and dislikes. So my only concern was whether KC will like the dress or not. I think Amanda had her fair share of challenges creating my gowns, because she had to design something for me to suit my quirky likings (yes I’m actually quite quirky), yet something “safe” enough for KC to like. At the same time, she couldn’t consult any one of us for a second opinion too. That I think, was the most challenging part for her.

The first reveal must have been nerve-wrecking for you!

It was! I was very excited, very emotional and very nervous. To be honest, I was feeling nervous and a little afraid that I wouldn’t like the dress. Thoughts of how I should react raced through my mind. I kept thinking, what if I really don’t like the dress? Will it show on my face? But the moment I put on my gown (Amanda helped me with my eyes closed), I felt the weight and the texture of the gown, and I could feel like it’s something I’ll like without even looking at it.

When I first saw the dress on me, I felt Amanda nailed every aspect of it. It was elegant, and yet a little different. The gown speaks of “me”. At that moment, I knew what this “bridal moment” brides talk about was, just that in my case, it was overwhelming. (I mean, which bride sees her gown only on her wedding day??!)

What was your favourite part of the dress?

KC:All of it, especially the train that was added during the first march-in. The hand-painted details along with the presentation of the entire look.

Pearlyn: Do I really have to pick one? I love ALL of it, seriously! But if I really had to pick one, I would say the asymmetrical detailing for the wedding gown, and of course the hand painted train!! So gorgeous, love! As for the evening gown, I love the unique colour combination!

What was your wedding theme and how did you decide on it when your wedding dress was kept a secret from you?

My wedding theme was urban tropical forest. It was conceptualised by Amanda, and beautifully executed by FLOUR. I’m not the most girly or naturally romantic kind of girl, and I’m always a little drawn to things that are a little bolder or different in some ways. We chose a lush green palette as the base for the theme, and played with more greenery than florals. To be honest, I left most of the final creation to the creative team at FLOUR! We had a brief, then I stood back and I said “I’ll leave it to you guys”. I only saw everything in place when the door opened during our first march-in. Best decision ever.

Take us back to your wedding day. What was the day like and how were you feeling?

KC: I started getting nervous and excited after breakfast. However when the time came, it all started to feel very natural and at ease for me (note that I am not a public person).

Pearlyn: Honestly? I was very tired. I had many long nights prior to that, trying to get my work done, finishing up my family’s outfits for my wedding, and of course, going through the nitty gritty part of the preparation! But the tiring part was only the initial part in the morning. Once my hair and make up started (which was at 12pm), the excitement of the day itself coupled with adrenaline rush just filled me up. I only remembered feeling really happy, excited, touched, and beautiful most of the time! We did away with the traditional gate crashing at home and had our families checked into the hotel. It made things a lot easier as our families were able to rest and not worry about having to rush around on the day itself.

How did your family and friends react to your secret wedding dress? Did they enjoy themselves at the wedding?

They loved it too! Prior to the wedding, we got our friend, who is a designer from Made by Mate to design our invites according to the theme. It was beautiful and it gave our guests an expectation of the wedding theme. On the day, they loved the overall decor and concept of the “foliage bar”, where they DIY-ed their own bouquet to bring home. They also loved the live projection and photography services by LiveStudios. Fashion Illustrator Grace Ciao, also did a beautiful illustration of KC and I, which was made into a photo holder for our guests to bring home.

On the dress and suit, they were all surprised at how fancy KC’s suit were! It was so fancy, but KC carried it off really well. As for my dress, they all loved it too! I have friends commenting on the silhouette of the wedding gown, and how they love the train and bouquet that complemented each other. They also loved the evening gown, especially the sparkle on the skirt, and the interesting detailing on the bodice.

What was the most memorable moment of your wedding?

KC: Definitely the surprise first dance that I was called upon to do. Not forgetting my speech.

Pearlyn: Can I pick two? The first look for myself, and when KC recited his vows to me. He is a man of little words, so every word from his vows went straight into my heart.

What is one lesson you’ve learned from your wedding planning that you’d like to share with other couples?

KC: Do not, I repeat, do not feel stressed over it. It is supposed to be a joyous occasion, so there’s no point taking in negative emotions for the preparation. Do note that she did most of the planning, while I did most of the paying hahahaha!

Pearlyn: On the wedding, get a trusted team of vendors and friends to work along with you. They will be your lifesaver! On each other, always choose care, respect, and support. The wedding is like a prelude to a marriage, and should be treated with love.

The Size of Wedding: 280 guests
The Venue: Conrad Centennial Singapore
The Pre-Wedding Photographer: Beatrici Photography
The Photographer: Feldberyl Images
The Videographer: XD Studios
The Wedding Gown: Amanda Lee Weddings
The Wedding Shoes: Sam Elderman
The Pre-Wedding Gown: Amanda Lee Online and Amanda Lee Weddings
The Groom’s Suit: Amanda Lee Weddings
The Groom’s Shoes: Aldo (one was hand painted by Amanda Lee)
The Wedding Bands: Larry Jewellery
The Flower Girls’ Dresses: Gingersnaps
The Hair and Makeup Artist:, Zann Thiang
Floral Crown: Triceratops (Pre-wedding shoot)
The Wedding Cake: Baker’s Brew Studios
The Florist: FLOUR
The Event Stylist: FLOUR
The Wedding Invitations and Stationery: Made by Mate (graphic design of logo and wedding stationery) and Grace Ciao (Illustration)
The Solemniser: Dr Phua Tan Tee
Wedding Resource: SingaporeBrides

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