Singaporebrides | Real Weddings

August 2019

Eileen and Alan’s Moroccan Themed Wedding at Zafferano

Eileen and Alan, and their guests, were having so much fun that they partied hard and late into the night!

It took Alan three tries before Eileen agreed to go out on a date with him. The pair of sweethearts first met at one of Asia’s biggest hoteliers exhibition and became an item after they discovered an undeniable connection with each other. However, the lovebirds had to cross a hurdle before they could get to where they are today – objection from the family! Read their love story and sneak a peek at their inspiring Moroccan themed wedding at Zafferano here!

It took three tries before you agreed to go on a date with Alan. Tell us more about it!

Eileen: We met at the Food and Hotels Asia exhibition back when he was working for another wine company and they were an exhibitor. It all began when I chanced upon his booth in my search for a wine supplier. He attempted to ask me for my number and out for a date but I rejected him twice. It was only on his third try that I agreed to go on a date with him as I felt more at ease about it then. To be honest, it was my first time dating an “ang moh”, so I was contemplating a lot before going on our first date.

But our first date was amazing! Surprisingly, we had a lot to talk about and conversation just kept on flowing the entire night. After that, we just kept wanting to see each other again. Then, one night, he invited me over to his place for dinner. He prepared a candlelight steak dinner, one which he had fallen off his bicycle while cycling home in the rain from grocery shopping for, and popped the question “Will you be my girlfriend?” It was really sweet.

There was a fair bit of resistance towards your relationship in the beginning. How did you overcome it?

There was a period where we had a tough time getting my family to accept him. I remember my cousin had come across our first photo together on Facebook and showed it to my grandma. She panicked and called my father, who was overseas then, to reprimand him for not keeping an eye on me, thinking that I had gone astray by dating this “bad guy-looking ang moh”. It was disastrous!

Both my father and I received calls from everyone, even our overseas friends and clients, forbidding our relationship. Even my father, whom I was the closest to, had stopped talking to me for almost two weeks because of my relationship with Alan.

Until one day, my father decided to have a man-to-man talk with Alan. He met up with him and warned Alan that if his intention was to fool around with me, he should walk away right now. However, if he was serious about me, then he will give us his support. On hindsight, it was hilarious, and look at us now – happily married! All my family and friends love Alan very much now, and both our families get along very well too!

What do you love most about Alan? What made you fall in love with him?

We have a lot in common despite our big age gap, and our thoughts are aligned. To be honest, he is as childish as I am! He is fun and outgoing like me. We both enjoy good food, good wine, cooking, live music – everything! We love each other’s company, we make jokes out of each other from the day we met until today. There is never a dull moment with him.

He is a real keeper, very thoughtful, attentive and gentle. He prefers being in the kitchen more than I do – sometimes it feels like he is the woman in the relationship while I am the man! I love that when things got tough with my family, he had put in the extra effort to talk to them, take them out for dinner and spend time with them to gain their trust – that feels like what a real man should do and it just melts my heart.

What was your proposal like?

Alan was planning a surprise for my proposal and went to my dad a week before to ask for my hand in marriage. A few days later, while my dad and I were out for drinks with some friends, he accidentally let the cat out of the bag! So, I knew it was coming.

The actual proposal took place at Sentosa’s Bikini Bar. Alan had ganged up with our friends, a well-known local band called O.K Ready, who were the guest performers at Bikini Bar that night. They called him up to the stage to sing and he pulled me along. That’s when he got down on one knee, in front of many strangers and tourists at the bar, and I said “Yes!” when he popped the question. Then, I turned around and I saw our friends around us. It was a really memorable night!

Why a Moroccan wedding theme?

I’ve always wanted to visit Morocco and am intrigued by their culture and art. Every element from their culture is simply so beautiful, therefore, I decided on a Moroccan-themed wedding. However, sourcing for props was not easy, so I ended up engaging a wedding stylist to help fulfill the theme by decorating my photo album display table with Moroccan elements. I also picked a gown to complement my Moroccan themed wedding.

Tell us more about your wedding and evening gowns.

I got my wedding gown from Rico-A-Mona and had a lovely experience with them. They were very helpful and allowed me to try on as many gowns as I liked until I found the one that complements my theme and body type.

My evening gown was from Divine Couture. Kim was very knowledgeable and easy to communicate with. She has many beautiful gowns, all designed by herself. She specially handcrafted my evening gown, piecing all the embroidery and beads to form the design. It was a very beautiful piece that won me many praises during my wedding! Plus, I get to keep it since it was a custom piece.

Take us back to your wedding day. What was it like?

It was amazing! I would like to give a big shout-out to the absolutely helpful and friendly staff at Zafferano, and to our amazing wedding band, O.K Ready, for giving our guests and us such an unforgettable wedding experience! We partied until four in the morning! It was so much fun, we can’t even begin to describe our feelings, except that it was the wedding of the era and we wish we could do this again!

Our wedding was massive, given the size of the venue. Zafferano can actually accommodate a maximum of 150 seated guests but since we had about 220 guests, we opted for the buffet option. The downside was that not every guest had a seat indoors – some of them had to sit at the bar tables outdoors. It was a free and easy affair where our guests were free to interact with one another – very different from the usual banquet wedding, which was why our guests loved it! We received so much positive feedback from our guests about how much fun they had and thanked us for the chance to experience a different kind of wedding.

Initially, Alan and I were worried that our dinner arrangement might be difficult for most of our Singaporean guests to accept, especially the elderly. But we decided to give it a shot and it turned out better than we could ever expect! So, here’s a tip for couples who are currently planning their wedding: Go for what you want for your wedding and don’t leave any room for regrets. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so make it fun and enjoyable. Those who turn up for your wedding, despite all odds, only want the best for you and are truly happy for you.

What was the most memorable moment of your wedding?

Seeing our guests, including the Zafferano staff, dancing all night to the live band music and everyone interacting with each other, which was exactly what we had wished to achieve! Every table was filled with joy and laughter late into the night (and wee hours in the morning!) that it seemed as if they’ve forgotten about the time. It was simply spectacular.

The Venue: Zafferano
The Size of Wedding: 220 guests
The Cost of Wedding: Approximately $70,000
The Wedding Photographer: Annabel Law Productions
The Wedding Gown: Divine Couture and Rico-A-Mona
The Bride’s Shoes: Ted Baker
The Groom’s Suit: Oxford Tailor
The Groom’s Shoes: Dolce & Gabbana
The Engagement Ring: Customised by Mouawad
The Wedding Bands: Bvlgari
The Bridesmaids’ Dresses: The Thread Theory and Lace and Ebony
The Groomsmen’s Suits: Their own shirts and pants from Uniqlo
The Hair and Makeup Artist: Esta Hsu Makeup
The Wedding Stylist and Florist: Everything with Crates
The Wedding Cake: Cooqies
The Wedding Invitations: Self-made
The Wedding Favours: Kanemochi (Dessert Table) and Spatula and Whisk (mini customised packet cookies)
The Band: O.K Ready
The Solemniser: Dr Shirley Low
The Wedding Resource: SingaporeBrides

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Eileen and Alan’s Moroccan Themed Wedding at Zafferano