Singaporebrides | Fine Dining

January 2020

Rachel Wong and Anders Aplin’s Free-Spirited Pre-Wedding Shoot

Rachel and Anders encourage each other to chase their passions and live their dreams, and the couple celebrated their love for adventure with a beautiful pre-wedding shoot at the ArtScience Museum and on the beach.

Rachel Wong, 25, Actress and Talent, and Anders Aplin, 28, Professional Footballer, got to know each other during a diving trip to Tioman where they both got their license. The couple spurred each other to live their dreams, and celebrated their love with a beautiful and different pre-wedding shoot at the ArtScience Museum, and at East Coast Park with their dog.

Tell us how your story began.

We were both from the same faculty in university, Nanyang Business School in Nanyang Technological University, majoring in Marketing. We knew of each other from the first week of school because of Freshmen Orientation Camp but never talked, because we were neither in the same Orientation Group nor taking the same modules in the first semester.

Rachel: During the one-week semester break in September, we both coincidentally signed up for the school’s Scuba Diving Club, where we would go on a diving trip to Tioman to get our diving license. I was there with my best friend, while Anders went alone. Coincidentally, one of our Hall friends was also there alone and so tagged along with my best friend and I. He also made friends with Anders since they both signed up for the trip alone. Eventually, we linked up and hung out as a group. That was how Anders and I first spoke to each other. We kept in touch when we were back in school, and a few months later, we got attached.

What do you love most about your partner?

Rachel: Three things: The ability to live in the moment, be free, and chase his dreams/passion. Anders is everything that I wasn’t when I first met him! I used to be someone with a very straight and narrow mindset who stuck very strongly to routine, and I was very serious and practical. But Anders was a free bird and lived in the moment. I think that’s the best thing I’ve learnt from him – to let go, have fun, and be ok with not being in control sometimes. I’ve realised that sometimes, people may look like they have their lives together, but really what they’ve done is learnt to adapt and make the best out of where they are, then plan their next steps.

The other thing that I really, really admire Anders for, is his courage to chase his dreams and passion from the day I met him. He’s currently a professional football player and he started this career while we were still studying in NTU. The old me would’ve been really against it. Four years ago, I had a lot of doubts about this decision. Being in the Singapore system made me think only about the conventional path – internships, resumes, job applications, etc., but at the same time, I knew deep down that Anders and I were not the type to join the corporate rat race. And this made me realise that there’s nothing bad about Anders choosing football as a career. This was him wanting to chase his dreams and do what he’s passionate about, which was something that I didn’t have the courage to do, back then. He was my source of strength and inspiration from the first day, and that gave me the courage to explore, to find my passion, and to give what I love a shot too. That’s how I went into acting.

I guess it’s true that opposites attract! I was already so rigid, skeptical, and timid. I didn’t need someone who’s even more of what I already am. I needed someone to show me the world, and to show me what I didn’t know I was capable of!

What was the proposal like?

Rachel: Haha! The proposal was extremely well-planned, I have to say. I had no clue what was about to happen. During that period, I was busy filming for a Toggle series almost every day. Anders actually worked out a plan with my agency, Faces TM, to plan the proposal, and they even held a meeting on a couple of days. So, Faces told me that I was booked for a shoot with Sofitel, along with two of my friends from Faces. This shoot was set to happen on one of my filming dates, where I would wrap by noon and then rush off to Sofitel for my “second shoot”. Prior to that day, my manager created a group chat with the three of us in it to tell us the “shoot details”, kept it really professional, and asked all of us to send wardrobe options for the “client” to see. Both my friends really did send some photos and my manager even replied with the “choices” by saying, “Client wants you to bring this and this”. At that point, I really did think that it was a usual shoot.

On the actual day, I was already tired and flustered from back to back shoots. But one of my friends, Kishan, on this “Sofitel shoot”, was such an amazing actor that I got fooled inside out! He warned me about how the “client” was on edge, so that set the pace and tone for me. I had to be on the ball and do exactly what “the client” wants. Basically, it made me so nervous that I had no time to question anything. But what I didn’t know was that the “client” and “videographer” were actors recruited by Faces and were all in this, and there were cameras hidden all over the villa to catch me in action.

I actually did go through the shoot for a good 20 minutes until one of the scenes where I had to be blindfolded and brought out to the garden where the blindfold will be removed. We rehearsed this scene once, and then the “client” made some comments and changes and we were told to shoot this scene one more time. This time round, when the blindfold was taken off, I suddenly noticed that there were a lot of people in the background. Initially, I thought they were part of the “client side” and I made a mental note to not break out of character or get distracted so that I won’t spoil the shot. But then I made eye contact with someone and I realised, it was a friend! I looked around and realised that I knew everyone there. My sister was there, and so were a lot of my friends from university and Faces! I hadn’t noticed Anders until then, and that was when it hit me. So I turned and I saw him standing there holding a bouquet of flowers, at the end of the carpet that was laid out, with a floral arch behind him. It was funny how he was the last person I saw in this whole scene.

Where did you go for your pre-wedding shoot?

Rachel: We’ve done quite a few styled shoots over the years but the most recent opportunity came about when Bridefully Yours reached out to me for a collaboration on a styled shoot. By then, Anders and I had already spoken about possible wedding plans, and had even secured our BTO. So we figured that doing a styled shoot was very timely, and we could also use the photos as our actual pre-wedding shoot.

The shoot was done at three different locations. The first one is at Art Science Museum, where the vibe is more glamorous yet fun. The lighting from the different exhibits was really one of a kind and definitely not something that we could find anywhere else. The second series was done at a secluded place under the MCE bridge, and we went for edgy vibes in an urban setting. It was cool because it didn’t have the usual nature vibes that a lot of wedding shoots have. The last location was at East Coast Park, at the beach. This one has a more casual and girly vibe and we felt it was also a good representation of us, because we love the outdoors, we love the beach, and we’re also holding our wedding on a beach!

How was the shoot experience?

Rachel: The shoot with Bridefully Yours was amazing and I’m so thankful for this opportunity. I had heard of Bridefully Yours prior to this shoot and saw that they had lots of gorgeous gowns! So naturally, I was super excited to see their gown collections. Through them, I met some of the most amazing people in this wedding industry and that helped me tremendously in my wedding planning! The makeup artist was one of the best that I’ve worked with and was super easy to get along with! The photographer is also someone that I’m really thankful to have met. She’s extremely talented, directs very, very well and her edits are also extremely nice and unique. In fact, we’d say that it was the exact style that we were looking for!

I guess we went in with an open mind, not knowing what to expect. But I think that was the beauty of it. Anders and I are very spontaneous people and we try to live in the moment whenever we can. We’re adventurous, we love exploring, and we love new experiences! So naturally, when it came to our relationship and a wedding, we just wanted it to be different and unique! And that’s exactly what this shoot was.

When will the wedding be, and what are your plans for it?

We Googled around for wedding venues because we were searching specifically for outdoor wedding venues. SingaporeBrides came up a lot in our search when we were looking for wedding venues. We also Google a lot for wedding themes and décor inspiration and we took some of the featured Real Weddings as inspiration.

Our wedding will be held in December this year. It’s going to be a beach wedding held at Shangri-La Rasa Sentosa’s beach venue, Diamond Site. We decided to do away with the traditional banquet wedding because we both agreed that we want our guests to loosen up and enjoy the night. A wedding is about everyone coming together to celebrate our marriage, and we didn’t really see the point in holding a usual banquet where everyone turns up, sits down, eats their dinner, and leaves. They wouldn’t even get to talk to us for more than two minutes the whole night!

So that’s why we’re doing a beach wedding, with long tables, in a buffet style. That way, people will walk around instead of having food served to them, and mingle more! It’ll be a lot livelier, more fun, more interactive, and definitely a lot more casual! We want them to have fun!

In the same light, we’re also doing away with the usual hotel wedding favours, and sourcing our own instead. Guests will get to pick from four wedding favour options that we’ve prepared. But that’s a surprise for the wedding day itself!

The Photographer: Bridelope Productions
The Bride’s Outfits: Bridefully Yours
The Groom’s Outfits: Bridefully Yours
The Engagement Ring: Jann Paul
The Shoot Locations: Art Science Museum // East Coast Park
The Hairstylist and Makeup Artist: Esta Hsu Makeup
The Hair Accessories: Esta Hsu Makeup
The Florist: Amy T. Fleur
The Videographer: Highest Kite Weddings

Credits: Images by Bridelope Productions

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Rachel Wong and Anders Aplin’s Free-Spirited Pre-Wedding Shoot