Singaporebrides | Real Weddings
Colette and Jimmy’s Romantic Pre-Wedding Shoot in Taipei, Taiwan
Colette and Jimmy were co-workers and have known each other for years. It was only when Colette left the company that their relationship grew, and they are now in the midst of planning their wedding. The love birds decided to take their pre-wedding photos in Taipei, Taiwan.
Former co-workers Colette, 32, and Jimmy, 37, have the sweetest proposal story under the big fireworks on New Year’s Eve. As they plan to celebrate their big day in February 2021, they decide to jet off to Taipei, Taiwan, for their pre-wedding shoot and had the most exciting time! It definitely was a once in a lifetime experience for the two of them.
How did the two of you meet?
Jimmy: We used to work together in the past.
Colette: Yeah, we were actually working together in the same industry and I’ve known him for a few years. I didn’t have a very good first impression of him initially though, but we got along quite well as co-workers. After I left the company, we continued to stay in touch with each other and hung out a couple of times before we became an item.
What drew you to each other? What’s one of the things you love most about your partner?
Jimmy: Perhaps it’s the fact that we can talk about almost anything under the sun! I will give a few things I love about her instead of one. I like that Colette is not a spendthrift – she does not spend unnecessarily (unless it is to buy things that she really likes, but even then, she does take forever to decide if she should get it or not).
She is also honest about things, speaks her mind, and is open to communication. And finally, she takes effort to plan for surprises during special occasions like my birthday!
Colette: For me it’s easy for me to speak to him about things and feel very at ease. I can be myself whenever I’m with him. I think this is something both of us are very in sync about.
He’s also thoughtful and meticulous. He’ll fill in the gaps that I tend to miss out on. He’ll plan our getaway trips from the beginning till the end to make sure that it’s convenient, comfortable, and memorable. And the other thing is that for a guy, he’s REALLY neat. Sometimes it can be quite overwhelming. I had to label him as the one with OCD.
What was the proposal like?
Jimmy: Initially, I had planned to propose to her on my birthday in February, but we were also trying to arrange the photoshoot in Taiwan then. So when the photoshoot plans were finalised only in February, I had to change my plan.
Colette was going to Kuala Lumpur to spend New Year’s Eve with her parents, so my new plan was that I decided to propose on New Year’s Eve. Of course, this could not be done without help. I called Colette’s mom about one month prior to the date, and discussed the plan together with her. During the conversation, she mentioned that it was also their (Colette’s parents’) wedding anniversary on 1 January. I remembered that her parents’ place also has an unblocked view of the fireworks, so it seemed like the perfect plan! Her mom sounded really excited for it too.
I started to plan my travel itinerary. I had to plan my flight and my accommodation. I also had to order a bouquet of flowers.
Colette: I’d previously told him that if he were to propose, he did not need to get me flowers. If he really wants to get flowers though, just one stalk will do. I’m someone who is not very bothered about flowers.
Jimmy: I even had to tell her a white lie in order to get the contact of the driver she uses for the airport transfer. Basically, the whole world knows the plan… except her.
Colette: I feel over the moon! I really didn’t see the proposal coming my way honestly. To me, it was just another trip to KL cos I really wanted to spend time with my parents as I have not been spending New Year’s Eve with them for a while.
I remember how I was telling Jimmy when he was sending me to the airport for my flight that I wished he could be there with me. When I reached my parents’ place, I was shocked to see the whole house nicely decorated with LED lights and balloons. At the back of my mind, I was wondering if it was to celebrate my parents’ wedding anniversary and so did not suspect anything. My mom also insisted to go to Daiso the next day with her to buy more balloons since those she had prepared previously had already burst.
Jimmy: My flight was scheduled for the next day at noon and I told Colette I had a lunch appointment with a client, so that she would not suspect if I don’t reply her messages. Little did she know I was already on the plane…
I stopped by to pick up the bouquet at Midvalley after leaving the airport. I was worried my plan was exposed or that Colette would happen to see me while I was out.
Colette: The whole day I was basically sending him pictures of the yummy food I was having, and every location I was at and what I was doing. He’d even rejected my video call saying that he was busy.
Jimmy: Even going to McDonalds to buy a meal was worrisome. I had to sneak out hurriedly and order takeaway so that I won’t be seen.
Colette: We had dinner with some of my relatives that night. After that, we went back to my parents’ place to have some drinks and dessert while waiting for the fireworks at midnight.
Jimmy: I reached their place at 11.45pm and waited outside while everyone was at the balcony waiting for the fireworks. At midnight when the fireworks were lit, I went in and popped the question. The fireworks did help with the moment, although they were just a little loud.
Colette: I was so focused on taking video of the fireworks, I was not able to react in time when I saw him. I exclaimed, “Oh my god, what are you doing here?” and just continued taking videos of the fireworks. I thought I was dreaming (I had a few drinks by then!), but reality really hit only when he went down on one knee!
Was there a theme for your pre-wedding shoot?
Jimmy: We really adore the European style and nature so we decided to go with an outdoor shoot in Taiwan. This is something that you can only do once in a lifetime so I wanted this wedding shoot to be memorable as part of our wedding plans. I wanted it to be something nice to look back on when we walk down memory lane in the future.
Where did you go for your pre-wedding shoot, and why did you choose that location?
Jimmy: We flew over to Taipei, Taiwan. We wanted to experience something different instead of doing a typical studio shoot. We’d also Googled, and seen and heard friends going on destination wedding shoots. We felt that it’s a good idea to experience it for ourselves. After all, it’s once in a lifetime.
Walk us through your pre-wedding shoot. What was it like that day and did you have fun?
Colette: Super fun! We headed to the bridal studio after lunch for gown fitting on the day we landed. The gowns were all so pretty – no wonder it’s a paradise for brides-to-be.
Jimmy: Preparation started really early the next morning, our appointment with the makeup artist was at 7.30am so we had our breakfast before heading over to the bridal studio. The day was very special as we were excited and looking forward to it. However, towards the end of the day, it was exhausting because we had spent the whole day travelling around to so many different locations.
Colette: My hair and makeup took about 2.5 to 3 hours. We had a final discussion with our photographer on some details that we wanted, and finally set off around 10.45am to the first two locations. Initially, we were really worried about the weather because the weather was forecasted to be super cool and I had forgotten to bring my heat packs. My loving husband-to-be made a quick dash to the nearest convenience store to get a couple of heat packs for me. The weather turned out to be incredibly nice! It was the perfect weather for a photoshoot.
It was really fun because we were anticipating this for so long! We had many questions prior to the shoot though. One of which was how we were going to get changed during the outdoor shoot as I had four different looks and Jimmy had two.
Before we headed to our next location at Yang Ming Shan, the driver stopped by the roadside. A tent was quickly set up behind where I was able to change. I also had the most delicious lunch bento box in my life!
This photoshoot was really amazing because we went to places that we would have never gone or explored by ourselves. The weather was excellent, and it only rained when we were done for the day. We had a splendid time!
Why did you choose Chow Tai Fook for your engagement ring? What was your experience with them during the process of choosing your engagement ring?
Jimmy: I spent a long while shopping and looking around the many jewellers out there and also researched online to get more information about engagement rings in general. I wanted to find a perfect ring for Colette. I had zero knowledge about picking engagement rings so thought that the best way to learn more was simply to go straight to the jewellery shop and get professional advice.
While most local and international jewellers had nice designs, I wanted something more meaningful. A friend recommended Chow Tai Fook and I was amazed at the wide selection of engagement rings they had. I visited their VivoCity branch and was welcomed by the team of friendly sales people. I was attended by Wilson who professionally explained the 4Cs (a guideline to choosing diamonds). He also clarified my doubts and helped me pick the perfect engagement ring. All I did was tell him my expectations and he immediately selected a couple of designs for me.
The engagement ring I eventually chose was a solitaire which looked extremely unique because of the setting in which the diamond sits on. From the side view, it looks like a crown, something that’s very different from the rest of the solitaire rings I’ve come across. It could represent that she’s the “Queen of my Heart” – it was indeed a ring with a meaning.
The experience with Chow Tai Fook was a very pleasant one. I like that they are very professional and knowledgeable about their products. They shared professional knowledge and they were also interested to get to know me personally as well. They did not hard-sell any of their products, had excellent service, and they had great designs. They are indeed a reputable jeweller and deserve a good shoutout!
Share with us any obstacles or funny moments you’ve encountered during the shoot.
Colette: I think we struggled to communicate in proper Mandarin. As Singaporeans we tend to use a mixture of Singlish and Mandarin in our conversations, so our phrasing was very awkward, and it was hard to express our thoughts fully to our photographer.
Jimmy: My issue was not being able to differentiate left or right in Mandarin. When the photographer directs me to turn to the left in Mandarin, it took a while for me to register before I was able to figure it out.
Colette: At the beginning of the shoot, we felt that our poses were a little stiff as passers-by stopped to look at our shoot. Some even took photos of us! As the day went on, we were more comfortable and got to really enjoy the shoot.
Jimmy: The final location of the shoot was a beautiful, picturesque sea view. It was very rocky and it wasn’t the easiest to walk on as it was really slippery. We had to climb through a cave-like structure to get to the other side. Despite all these, the pictures were nicely taken and it was all worth it.
If you could share three pieces of advice about pre-wedding shoots with couples who will be embarking on theirs, what would it be?
Colette: First, plan way ahead, at least one year ahead for your shoot, so that you’ll have more time to prepare for the actual day. Second, search for our favourite gowns that define your style. You should also decide where you want your shoot to be at, whether it is in Singapore or overseas. Look up bridal studios’ portfolios and reviews at your country of choice – this is super important! Finally, visit wedding fairs or sign up for wedding showcases! Listen to what the vendors have to offer, but don’t sign anything until you are really sure! It’s good to check out one to two more studios for comparison.
What was the most memorable moment of your pre-wedding shoot?
Colette: Our pre-wedding shoot itself was already a memorable day. Every single moment was memorable with my husband-to-be.
But if I had to choose, one memorable moment during this entire process was when we had to go back to the studio for the selection of the pictures the next day. It also happened to be Valentine’s Day! We spent half the day at the studio filtering through all the pictures – it was super romantic yet stressful cause all the pictures were so beautifully taken!
Jimmy: I could not believe that I was taking pre-wedding photos with my loved one, as it wasn’t something that I envisioned for myself previously. And I’ve never seen her with full, complete hair and makeup before. She looked really beautiful and gorgeous, like a model.
Colette: Yeah, his jaw dropped when I changed into the gown, haha!
The Gown: France Paris Bridal
The Bride’s Shoes: Pazzion
The Engagement Ring: Chow Tai Fook
The Pre-Wedding Photographer: France Paris Bridal
Credits: Images by France Paris Bridal
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