Singaporebrides | Fine Dining

June 2019

Rochelle and Mervyn’s Peranakan Themed Destination Wedding in Singapore at Village Hotel Katong

Rochelle and Mervyn found love on a popular dating application and decided to tie the knot in Singapore in a Peranakan themed wedding.

Rochelle Serrano and Mervyn Gabatin connected on the popular dating application, Tinder, and never looked back. Rochelle found the connection she was looking for in Mervyn and after a couple of dates, the two lovebirds officially became a couple. Now, two years later, Rochelle and Mervyn decided to tie the knot in Singapore, a country where they’ve lived and worked in for many years, with a Singapore themed wedding for their overseas guests at Village Hotel Katong.

How did you meet? Tell us a little bit about your journey as a couple.

Rochelle: I found him on Tinder! After my previous relationship of a few years ended, I was quite sad and depressed. Just as I was resigned to being single for the rest of my life, a friend introduced me to Tinder, a dating application where she found her current boyfriend. I matched with a few guys but they didn’t quite meet my expectations nor did I feel any “connection” after meeting them. And then, one day, I matched with Mervyn and found out that we have many things in common. We stayed in the same hometown in the Philippines, went to the same university and even had mutual friends on Facebook that we weren’t aware of. And of course, I found the “connection” I was looking for in him.

Mervyn: I had also just come out from a long long-distanced relationship when my friend introduced Tinder to me. After a few swipes, I was matched with Rochelle. She was my first and last match, and after a few dates, we decided to date officially. Things went well and two years later, everything felt right and I decided to put a ring on her!

What do you love most about your partner? What made you fall in love with your partner?

Rochelle: It was easy for me to fall in love with him because he’s kind hearted, understanding, and very serious about our relationship. His love for his family and God also convinced me that he is for keeping. And he cooks – even better than me (but only for some Filipino dishes!).

Mervyn: My first impression of her was that she is intimidating and has a strong personality. But after getting to know her, I found that she is fun to be with, and very caring. The relationship went smoothly. We shared the same interests and similar family backgrounds. She listens to my stories and rants, and supports my decisions and goals, plus she eats my cooking (and I’m confident that she loves it… haha). We both love to cook and love the same food (except vegetables which she hates!), we love to travel, have same life goals, and we have the same love and respect for our faith and families.

What was the proposal like?

Rochelle: My maid of honor, Daylene told this story during her wedding speech, as she is the only witness of the actual proposal. Two years ago on Christmas eve, after our church service, we returned home with our housemates for our Christmas dinner spread. After chilling out with some wine and whisky, I went to bed. I was half asleep when Mervyn entered the room, woke me up and proposed to me, kneeling at the side of my bed with three Kinder Bueno egg chocolates, asking me to open them. After opening them, I found a ring inside one of them! That’s when he asked me to marry him.

Right at this moment, my maid of honour Daylene walked into the room and witnessed the proposal. I then shared the happy news with the rest of our housemates.

Mervyn: I planned to propose on Christmas eve to make it more special and festive. A few hours before the proposal, I was thinking about how I will propose to her. Then, I decided to hide the ring in my “pretend” Christmas present – Kinder Bueno chocolate eggs. These chocolate eggs have a free toy inside and I removed one of the toys and replaced with the engagement ring. I wanted the proposal to be intimate and personal and also, because I’m shy, I decided to do it in her room where I can be alone with her. She said ‘Yes’, but she kept on asking me over and over if I was sure that her housemate barged in and all the excitement just spread around the house.

Why did you choose a Peranakan theme for your wedding?

Rochelle: Singapore has been my home for almost 18 years and this is where I met Mervyn as well. So it is quite fitting for us to have our wedding in Singapore. We wanted a Singapore themed wedding for our families and guests who are first time tourists to Singapore for them to experience Singapore while celebrating our wedding. I DIY-ed props for our photobooth with Singapore slang words, the London cab, Nonya Kueh dessert station, Peranakan themed reception desk and a Singapore Chinese wedding food menu. We also incorporated our favorite colour, blue, into our theme.

Mervyn: Rochelle and I are blessed to be given the opportunity to work and live here in Singapore, and we wanted to share our Singapore experiences with our friends and family by having a Singapore themed wedding.

Tell us about your wedding.

We had our solemnisation at the Church of St. Mary of the Angels, our parish church where we go for mass every Sunday. We know and feel that we have a spiritual bond with this church. We chose Village Hotel Katong as our wedding venue because the Peranakan themed hotel was a perfect fit for our Singapore themed wedding. We had a great experience working with them. Although we had some changes and hiccups along the way, the team at Village Hotel Katong was very pro-active, accommodating and understanding. They rendered full assistance from Day 1 up until the wedding – they even had a follow-up service a month after the wedding!

Although most of the wedding things were provided by the hotel, we still needed to coordinate some details by ourselves. So, it was a stressful week before my wedding. However, our wedding day was surreal and we just went with the flow. It was full of fun and mixed emotions.

What was the most memorable moment of your wedding?

Rochelle: I think the most memorable moment was the speech from our parents who were so emotional. For a moment, even our guests were crying with us. Another memorable moment was the shoe game we played during the banquet. That’s when we actually realised that Mervyn and I are really compatible because all of our answers matched!

We are also grateful for our guests who came to witness our wedding and for those who made so much effort to come, from the Philippines and other parts of the globe – Canada, Japan, Australia and the United Kingdom. They made our wedding so special and an important event of their lives too.

Mervyn: My father-in-law’s speech really touched me. He offered to be my second Dad – ever since my father passed away in 2007, I’ve been longing for a father’s love. I know he’s happy now that finally I got married.

The Venue: Church of St. Mary of the Angels // Village Hotel Katong
The Size of Wedding: 100 guests
The Pre-Wedding Photographer: Marjouri Joy of 4Leaf Studio (Philippines)
The Wedding Photographer: Aaron of Leftear Photography and Dan Cruz
The Wedding Gown: Em Adizas (Philippines)
The Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka
The Groom’s Suit: Sacoor Brothers
The Groom’s Shoes: Rockport
The Engagement Ring: Boonlay Gems
The Wedding Bands: Cartier
The Bridesmaids’ Dresses: The BMD Shop
The Groomsmen’s Shirts: G2000
The Flower Girls’ Dresses: Gingersnaps
The Hair and Makeup Artist: Kath Guanzon (Bride) // Majouri Joy Santos, Rhon Malicad and Amiel Pua (Bridesmaids)
The Nail Artist: Jasmine Nail
The Wedding Florist: The Floral Singapore (Reception) and Patricia of Creatif Link (bouquet and entourage)
The Wedding Cake: Monikai Cakes
The Wedding Singers: Katrina Paz, Rodel Miguel, Ana Lisa and Richard Gabatin
The Wedding Videographer: Javen Liam of Javen Liam Films
The Wedding Invitations and Stationery: DIY by the bride
The Wedding Favours and Nonya Kueh Dessert Table: Village Hotel Katong
The Photobooth: Canpix Photobooth
The Solemniser: Fr Clifford Augustine of Church of St. Mary of the Angels
The Wedding Car Rental: London cab owner Mr. Edward
The Wedding Resource: SingaporeBrides

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Rochelle and Mervyn’s Peranakan Themed Destination Wedding in Singapore at Village Hotel Katong