Singaporebrides | Real Weddings

March 2019

Ellen and Andre’s Fun, Animal-Themed Wedding at The White Rabbit

Having met at the Singapore Zoo, animal lovers Ellen and Andre celebrated their story with a fun animal-themed White Rabbit wedding!

Animal lovers Ellen Lu, 28, Senior Trainer Presenter at Singapore Zoo, and Andre Taleon, 40, Animal Care Officer at River Safari, met at the Singapore Zoo, and one day, Andre plucked up the courage to ask for Ellen’s number during the manatee feeding. Celebrating their unique story and love for critters, the couple wed in an animal-themed wedding at The White Rabbit on 28 December 2017, with their pet dog and cat as part of their bridal party!

How did you meet?

Ellen: Andre started working in the Singapore Zoo in 2008, whereas I started working part-time for animal presentations in 2009. He was working with the sea lions and polar bears, which meant quite a close working relationship with my department. We would see each other a lot during token feedings or shows. He was always very quiet but one day at the manatee feeding, he suddenly asked me for my number. Back then, I didn’t realise what a big deal that was considering how shy he is.

What do you love most about your partner?

Ellen: We have a very easygoing relationship and always have. There’s absolutely no jealousy and zero controlling. We are who we are and have never tried to change the other person. It sounds like such a cliché but at the end of the day, we’re best friends, and not many people know me as well as he does. Also, we share a love for animals.

What was the proposal like?

Ellen: It was simple and intimate. We were staying at an Airbnb in Adelaide on our first overseas trip together when he got down on one knee in our room and popped the question. He’s very bad at keeping things from me so I was actually aware that he was going to pop the question during our trip!

How did you create your wedding?

Ellen: Honestly, I had never been part of planning a wedding before, being the first of my siblings to get married, so I didn’t have a clue how to get started! The only thing I was sure of at the start of planning was that I knew I wanted a small wedding at The White Rabbit. I definitely needed a wedding planner and found Amperian through a bridal app. I definitely wouldn’t have been able to manage the process without them.

My main vision was a wedding that was zoo-themed. Not only are Andre and I animal lovers, but also a large portion of our guests were colleagues from the Singapore Zoo, River Safari, and Night Safari. Everything was animal-themed, from the printouts for the table numbers to the flamingo-print backdrop for the photobooth. Yanling and her team at Amperian did an incredible job with the animal theme and managed to make it all look so beautiful without overdoing it. Amperian worked really hard to spray paint animal figurines and rose gold. They turned out so beautiful that one of my guests actually took a whole bunch of them from the tables while we were doing our march out! No idea who it was. They even took mine. They were that popular.

Family is very important to us and our pets are an extension of that, and of course having an animal-themed wedding would hardly be complete without actual animals. There was never any doubt in my mind that my tripod dog Zora and my cat Dany (whom I adopted close to the wedding) would be part of the ceremony.

What was your wedding day like?

Ellen: It was full of love and laughter. It was a very simple ceremony, just solemnisation followed by dinner. We wanted an intimate wedding with our closest family and friends. My youngest brother and my best friend/maid of honour stood in as emcees for the night. It was a huge whirlwind for me though. I barely ate the whole night because I was running back and forth between my seat and the photobooth!

What was the most memorable moment of your White Rabbit wedding?

Ellen: I loved the speeches given by our family and friends. In particular my dad’s speech moved me to tears. I don’t remember exactly what it was that he said but it was just extremely moving and funny at the same time.

The Size of the Wedding: 120 guests
The Cost of the Wedding: $35,000
The Venue: The White Rabbit
The Wedding Day Photographer: Colossal Weddings
The Gown: Kelly’s Bridal (It was a bespoke rental and very value-for-money!)
The Bride’s Shoes: Very “unglam” platform shoes from Charles and Keith (As usual I opted for comfort over fashion. My sister refused to let me live it down and included a story regarding them in her speech.)
The Suit: Kelly’s Bridal
The Groom’s Shoes: Clarks
The Engagement Ring: SK Jewellery
The Wedding Bands: eClarity
The Bridesmaids’ Dresses: ASOS
The Groomsmen’s Suits: Groomsmen’s own
The Pet Collars: Customised from Etsy
The Hairstylist and Makeup Artist: Karis Chiu from Kelly’s Bridal
The Hair Colourist: Hair Inc
The Nail Artist: Glitzy Fingers
The Wedding Cake: Crème Maison
The Cake toppers: Manatee cake topper by Morgan the Creator on Etsy (The cake topper was one of the first things I bought for the wedding. It made sense since our relationship started at the manatee exhibit.)
The Florist: Amperian
The Wedding Stylist: Amperian
The Wedding Planner: Amperian
The Pre-Wedding Photographer: Couple’s friend Rizwan (We took pre-wedding photos in our uniforms around the zoo and River Safari.)
The Photobooth: Hello Forever
The Wedding Invitations and Stationery: DIY-ed on
The Wedding Favours: Animal figurines spray-painted rose gold by Amperian
The Band: Spotify!
The Solemniser: Professor Low Cheng Hock, who was a good friend of the bride’s late paternal grandfather
The Wedding Car Rental: Kombi from Scoopy’s and Cream

Credits: Images by Colossal Weddings

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Ellen and Andre’s Fun, Animal-Themed Wedding at The White Rabbit