Singaporebrides | Real Weddings

February 2022

Novy and Jinkai’s Grand Budapest Themed Pre-Wedding Shoot in Singapore

Novy and Jinkai embarked on a fun and unique themed pre-wedding shoot right here in Singapore.

Novy and Jinkai met through a mutual friend but only started talking months later when they chanced upon each other on a dating app. One thing led to another, and the rest, is history. To commemorate their love, Novy and Jinkai, together with their vendor friends, planned for a fun, Grand Budapest styled pre-wedding shoot with a touch of colour play and symmetry that captured the things that they loved as individuals and as a couple.

Share with us your story. How did the two of you meet?

Novy: We met through the help of our mutual friend (Ruixian from Studio HHFZ!) who was Jin Kai’s secondary school friend and my polytechnic classmate. The introduction was not met with any follow-up but we chanced upon each other on Tinder again months later, and this time round, our friend pushed me to swipe right on Jin Kai and so, we started talking which eventually lead to a series of dates and our relationship!

What drew you to each other?

Jin Kai: Funny thing, I did some ‘research’ and internet ‘stalking’ when I first heard about Novy from our mutual friends. Other than the looks (because she is so pretty), I saw she liked Mayday Parade as one of her favorite bands and I liked them a lot too! I followed her on Instagram for like a year before we finally met in person for the first time.

Novy: When we first started talking, I was attracted to how simple-minded JK was (and still is). I got to know that he had never been in a relationship which was why how his approach in dating was rather traditional and sweet, a little bit like those shows you watch where the guy asks the girl out and comes pick her up while bearing flowers kind of thing. He is awkward in a sweet way which made our conversation continue quite easily!

What is it about your partner that you love the most?

Jin Kai: She enables me and maybe sometimes too much until she gets tired of it, but will still try to entertain my nonsensical behaviour. What more can I ask for?

Novy: His simplistic ways and how he uncomplicates everything. I am an overthinker but JK grounds me.

What was the proposal like?

Jin Kai: Actually, Novy was waiting for a while now to be engaged to the most awesome fella and I have a few secretive plans up my sleeve. However, she sees through my surprises every single time. So, I went ahead with one of my exposed plans but with a slight twist at the end. Novy teared up real bad at the end of the night because it was not something she expected (because of the numerous failed plans, I gave up on the after-dinner proposal plan and proposed back at her place).

Novy: Basically he planned a detour surprise with some of my closest girlfriends (who all know that I tend to uncover surprises) when the original plan fell through. The original plan was dinner at Coastal Settlement (which was where we had our first meeting) followed by the proposal, but I found out he was making plans to the Coastal Settlement earlier and he planned the backup proposal in less than two weeks! I cried so badly when I realised it was a proposal at home, and also, because I was rather sad there wasn’t a proposal at the restaurant that I thought I knew was coming.

Why did you choose to do a Grand Budapest themed pre-wedding shoot?

Novy: I guess the theme kind of fell into place when we were discussing it with Cheryl, Rachel, Phillane (from Med Kärlek Inc.) and Sayher! It started from a question on what are some of the things that JK and I like, which revolve around travel and food and so certain elements start coming into place. The vibe that we wanted was a subtly styled set, and that led to colour play and symmetries (which was Sayher’s specialty!). We both liked what Phillane and Sayher proposed and we caught a few Wes Anderson movies and liked how he used colours and composition to tell a story so then everything else was nicely put together by the awesome team of vendors.

Take us back to your day of your pre-wedding shoot. What was the day like, and what was the experience like?

Novy: It started with a trip to Candy’s studio for hair and makeup, which gave us a preview of how our wedding day was going to be, so the day was filled with anticipation and glee cos we knew we had an awesome team of vendors who were really good in what they do and we were in great hands.

The day went by so smoothly because of everyone involved, something which JK and I were immensely grateful for! When we saw Sayher’s dedication to snap pictures in the rain, Phillane’s beautiful set-up over at Prive Tiong Bahru, the gowns and cheongsam from Time Taken and Studio HHFZ and Cheryl and Rachel coordinating the entire shoot, we just thought about how lucky we were to be a part of this shoot with them. Couples definitely look forward to pre-wedding shoots, especially when both of you are dressed in wedding outfits and get to share that experience together – in between shots you get to engage in your own conversation and it’s like having your own bubble even as there are many things happening around you (with your photographer snapping away and makeup artist on standby and so on).

Share with us some difficulties or funny/memorable moments your encountered during the shoot.

Jinkai: It was raining the first half of our shoot but I didn’t mind the rain. Sayher made the pics come out cooler than I thought. Some photos even had the emo vibes, like when you are sitting on the bus heading home and the rain’s falling as you look out the window.

There was also this one part when Sayher wanted to snap some photos from the road, with cars driving by every now and then, so we had to snap and stop, snap and stop to avoid incoming cars. It was quite comical when he had to run back and fourth between the sidewalk and the middle of the road. Bystanders were probably thinking, ‘What on earth is that guy doing!’.

Any tips to share with couples who are planning their pre-wedding shoot (themed or otherwise)?

Jinkai: Bring a mini portable fan for your soon-to-be wife so she’ll be less angsty throughout the hot day! On a more serious note, opening up or talking more to your photographer before and between shoots can help your photoshoot be more engaging, delightful and happy. They will eventually figure out what kind of person you are and take that into account when taking photos of both of you.

The Venue: Prive Tiong Bahru and Singapore Botanic Gardens
The Bride’s Outfits: Gowns from Time Taken to Make a Dress, Cheongsam from Studio HHFZ
The Groom’s Outfit: Customised Suit from Assemble SG
The Wedding Photographer: Sayher Heffernan
The Hairstylist and Makeup Artist: Candy T. Makeup Artistry
The Stylist: Med Kärlek Inc.
The Pre-Wedding Shoot Planner: The Wedding Concepteur
The Wedding Resource: SingaporeBrides

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Novy and Jinkai’s Grand Budapest Themed Pre-Wedding Shoot in Singapore