Singaporebrides | Real Weddings

September 2020

Charlene and Brian’s Chinoiserie Wedding Photography in an Old Kampong Attap Roof House

Charlene and Brian blended influences from their time abroad and Old Shanghainese films in a Chinoiserie wedding photography session at the bride’s old kampong childhood home.

Charlene Liang, 33, Digital Marketing Manager, and Brian Tan, 37, Product Line and Digital Content Manager, wrote their own history in a Chinoiserie wedding shoot at Charlene’s childhood home, a traditional Singaporean kampong zinc attap roof house that has been in the family since 1937.

How did you meet each other?

Brian: It all began with a joke between one of Charlene’s closest friends and me at the Singapore Chinese Chamber Institute of Business where we were both undertaking classes for work. Michelle introduced three women to me: one free-thinker, one Christian, and one Roman Catholic, and asked me which I wanted to be matched with. By the grace of God, I chose the Roman Catholic (a.k.a. Charlene), and I was lucky at first try!

What’s your favourite thing about your partner?

Brian: I love how we move together in unison while facing uncertainties, surprises, and excitement in life. I think this is something in which both of us are very in sync. I fell in love with her honesty, her adventurous spirit, and also her way of encouraging me to be a better person in life.

Charlene: I was attracted to Brian’s ability to make me feel loved, cared for, and protected, and knowing that he will always have my best interests at heart. He is the grounded and careful one in the relationship so he balances my extreme crazy ideas and is my sounding board all the time!

In these uncertain COVID-19 times, with ever-changing decisions that need to be made, we’ve stood steadfast, and chose each other day in and day out, again and again.

What was the proposal like?

Charlene: It was a surprise trip entirely planned by Brian. This has never happened before in our time together and it was so nice to sit back and enjoy the experience. It was pouring and he was very nervous about things not being perfect. Very honestly, it was everything I had dreamed of, and even better: in nature, away from Singapore, and in cool weather (so even the rain, planned by the great man up there, was perfect).

Tell us the idea behind your engagement session.

For this Chinoiserie Colonial-inspired, shoot we wanted to blend influences from our time overseas in Western countries with our Chinese heritage and upbringing in Singapore. This shoot took place in Charlene’s childhood home which is a traditional Singaporean kampong zinc attap roof house that has been in the family’s care for five generations and counting, since 1937. For the look of this shoot, we were inspired by In the Mood for Love and various other Old Shanghainese films. This shoot was shot on film and with it, we wanted to experiment and play with shadows, varying angles, double exposures, and a juxtaposition of a Western wardrobe for Brian and a cheongsam for Charlene, to represent the British influence in Singapore during the 1940s as well as our studies abroad.

What was it like shooting at such a significant location?

Charlene: I was raised by my grandparents in the “old house” as we continue to call it to this day. My cousins and I used to play in the yard, playing masak masak, using plants from the garden and water drawn from the well (which is still working today!). Life was a lot simpler then and we all grew up close to nature. My granny was the one who raised me, and even though she has since passed away, the “old house” was the perfect depiction of my childhood and the perfect way to bring a piece of my upbringing into the shoot. This is beautifully translated and etched on film to mark the start of our beautiful journey.

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

We plan to hold it in St Mary of the Angel and Raffles Hotel, although the plans are on hold and flexible, dependent on the Covid situation! (crosses fingers and toes). We used SingaporeBrides as a wedding resource as the platform is filled with so much inspiration on what we can research on for the preparation of the wedding!

The Photographer: Maritha Mae Photography
The Bride’s Outfits: Pink jumpsuit by Ong Shunmugam, pink cheongsam by Vikas Dayal, blush cheongsam by Style Lease, black cheongsam by The Treasure Collective
The Bride’s Shoes: Christian Louboutin
The Groom’s Outfits: Dezenno Uomo
The Shoot Locations: Bride’s family home
The Hairstylist and Makeup Artist: Airin Lee
The Florist: Flourish by Charlene
The Prop Rentals: Bride’s own

Credits: Photography by Maritha Mae Photography

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Charlene and Brian’s Chinoiserie Wedding Photography in an Old Kampong Attap Roof House