Singaporebrides | Real Weddings
Stefani and Kevin’s Glamorous, Art Deco Wedding Aboard the Orient Express Singapore
Stefani and Kevin brought their guests on a stunning, time-travelling journey aboard the Orient Express Singapore in their glamorous, Art Deco wedding!
With his bespoke engagement ring stuck in Hong Kong, Kevin proposed with a video of it on Instagram, and Stefani said yes! On 23 June, 2021, the art-loving couple invited their guests to celebrate with them in a secret wedding venue that turned out to be aboard the Orient Express! Their stunning wedding transported their guests back in time to the glamorous 1920s, with Instagrammable spots in the original Orient Express artefact carriage, art galleries filled with Stefani and Kevin’s cinematic pre-wedding photographs, and finally, a solemnisation theatre with an enchanting floral aisle.
What was the proposal like?
Kevin: I started customising an engagement ring in Hong Kong during the autumn of 2020. Stone selection, sourcing, design, and production took a few months, so my original plan was to propose during New Year’s Eve of 2021. A friend was to bring the ring over to Singapore as a surprise. However, the travel bubble never realised and the ring was stuck in Hong Kong. By February 2021, I did not see the travel bubble opening soon, so I decided to propose without the ring.
I booked a private room in a restaurant and proposed after our anniversary dinner. I run a private Instagram account where I regularly upload fun photos of Stefani with sarcastic comments. So I uploaded a few videos of the engagement ring as the 500th post with the question and asked her to check Instagram. I am no good at handling emotional conversations so this was my quiet way of popping the question. I am sure she would have preferred me to be on one knee, announcing the question with flowers and a ring in my hands… nevertheless she let me off and said yes.
Stefani: His proposal was nothing like the typical proposal in my mind. I didn’t realise the engagement ring he posted on our Instagram account was for real. I was not expecting his proposal and thought he downloaded some random videos to tease me. Then, at the end of the video, I saw that the jewellery box for the ring was from my good friend’s jewellery shop. Only then did I realise he was proposing to me. I could see he put in a lot of thought and efforts. I was touched and said yes.
Tell us about your wedding theme.
We both enjoy art, culture, antiques, and artefacts, so while some may find the Orient Express Singapore exhibition an unconventional wedding venue, it was a logical choice for us. Once we selected the venue, other things became clear. From the mood of the pre-wedding pictures, décor, music, and dress code at the event, down to the wedding favours, everything needed to match the feel of the exhibits and the era. The 1920s, The Great Gatsby, cinematic, time, and travel became the key concepts behind our wedding.
What was your pre-wedding shoot like?
The original 1920s Orient Express Carriage naturally became our core shooting location. We also shot at the exterior of the Capitol Theatre in the evening—the neon sign on top of the classic architecture gave a classic cinematic feel. The National Gallery and the National Kitchen by Violet Oon was recommended by our photographer (another) Kevin. We had eaten there before and we knew it was beautiful, but we did not realise the place was so photogenic. The decor is elegant and carries a lot of texture and depth. Finally, we took some photos at home. If you want people to know you better, it is a good idea to let them see your dwelling.
We hoped the pictures could carry a cinematic 1920s mood and feel. Our photographer was a wedding photographer but he also had rich fashion and commercial photography experience. He guided us to produce pictures with the mood we wanted, which is different from typical wedding photographs. We also worked with our tailor Leslie and sourced the right clothing for the shoot.
Fortunately, the government allowed photoshoots with social distancing in place so our shoot proceeded as planned. In fact, with COVID-19 dining restrictions, F&B shooting venues could afford to be flexible when our shoot ran overtime. The overall process was fun. Having said that, waking up at 4 a.m. has never been our specialty and we ended up rather exhausted after a day’s shoot. We were asked to kiss far more times than we’ve ever kissed since we have been together! Ultimately, what matters is that we are happy with the final product.
Tell us all about your wedding at the Orient Express Singapore!
Something we enjoy least in weddings is the waiting time before the ceremony/reception, where guests could be hanging around doing nothing with a group of strangers. This is worsened during COVID-19 when we are not allowed to serve canapes and beverages, with cross-group socialisation prohibited. We were keen to find ways to keep our guests engaged and interested during the wait.
We sent our guests 1920s dress code mood boards well before the event to enhance the theme and mood of the evening. We worked with our wedding stylists to design the venue decor to create Instagramable spots. Dressing up created more hassle for our guests but we hoped they would at least find it worthwhile in the pictures.
We kept the wedding venue secret and only informed our guests of a meet up point inside Gardens by the Bay on the day before. At the meet up point, they would be picked up and ferried to the venue by buggy.
Before our guests boarded the original Orient Express artefact carriage, we gave them their unique train tickets that contained wedding information, their social distancing group, and seat number. They could then commence their “journey” which was divided into four parts.
Guests would first walk through the original Orient Express train carriage which the exhibition beautifully restored to its 1920s state. This is the perfect setting to get everyone into the right mood where they can take vintage looking pictures in their outfit within the luxurious 1920s carriage.
Off the train carriage, they then arrived at the first exhibition hall which we have turned into a “Rue de Fleur” with festive vintage jazz music in the background. Here we greeted and took pictures with our guests next to the train landing point decorated with flowers and props. From there, guests walked through a lane full of flowers. They were invited to pick flowers of their choice and the florist behind the flower cart at the end of the hall would help them create their bouquets. They could take that home alongside the memento for the evening: a vintage-looking crystal whiskey tumbler with our wedding logo engraved and gold-filled by hand.
The guests then moved on to the next gallery, which we transformed to an art gallery with 12 projector screens showing our pre-wedding footages. There were decorated benches where guests could rest, and a Polaroid corner. The sound system was playing interview monologues by us on our perspectives on travel, timelessness, and lifetime partnership.
When the time of the solemnisation ceremony came, theatre drapes to the next exhibition space were drawn open. The space was transformed into a “solemnisation theatre”. Our wedding stylists did a marvellous job in carving out a march-in aisle and solemnisation area with beautiful light poles, fresh flowers and trees. This arrangement turned the original Orient Express train into background scenery for our ceremony.
Unfortunately, the original plan of dinner at the on-site French dining replica carriage had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 prohibition on wedding receptions. We look forward to celebrating over food and beverages there with our friends when the pandemic situation stabilises.
Finally, our friends and family abroad were not able to join us in person given travel restrictions. But they could still witness our wedding live through Facebook. It’s amazing what technology can do these days.
What was the most memorable moment of your wedding?
Kevin: It would be when Stefani was walking towards me down the aisle. She was the one pushing for creating a march-in aisle in that space. Unfortunately, my father-in-law could not make it to Singapore due to travel restrictions so she had to do the march-in on her own. The set-up, together with the lighting and colour scheme, was so beautiful that she looked as if she was walking out of an oil painting in her gown. I was moved as I felt that she had a beautiful idea and she single-handedly turned it into reality.
Stefani: Our wedding night was the most memorable evening in my life so far. There were a couple of very special moments: when I met my guests at the ticketing/reception hall, I saw that many of them were beautifully dressed according to the 1920s dress code. I was so touched by their efforts: some had to source their outfit in advance, and our wedding fell on a work day so they had to make extra time arrangements to dress up. And from Kevin’s vows, I could tell how much he appreciates our relationship.
The Venue: Once Upon a Time on the Orient Express Exhibition, Singapore
The Train: Ajecta
The Pre-Wedding and Wedding Day Photographer: Dapper Pictures
The Gown: Naeem Khan & Romona Keveza from Belle & Tulle
The Bride’s Shoes: Giorgio Rossi & Rene Caovilla
The Suit: PIMABS
The Groom’s Shoes: Churches
The Engagement Ring: Customised
The Wedding Bands: Boucheron
The Hairstylist and Makeup Artist: Queenie Cong Makeover
The Wedding Stylist: Inside The Knot
The Videographer: BeyondPictures Cinematography
The Engraving and Gold-Fill: The General Co.
The Pre-Wedding Shoot Locations: The Orient Express Exhibition, Singapore, National Kitchen by Violet Oon at National Gallery, Capitol Theatre, couple’s home
Credits: Images by Dapper Pictures.
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