Singaporebrides | Real Weddings

June 2022

Valerie and Wei Zhong’s Sunrise Yoga Shoot at Upper Peirce Reservoir and Singapore Botanic Gardens

Valerie and Wei Zhong wanted a casual pre-wedding shoot that capture their love for nature and each other.

Although Valerie and Wei Zhong were primary school schoolmates, they only got to know each other years later during a gathering with friends. One date led to another, and it wasn’t long before Wei Zhong won Valerie’s heart. They wanted to capture their love for nature and each other in a simple and casual pre-wedding shoot and succeeded in capturing their love against the beautiful golden glow of a morning sunrise.

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

Valerie: Wei Zhong and I have known each other since primary school. We were just classmates who hardly talked to each other back then. We reconnected over a Christmas gathering that a group of our primary school friends organised when he picked my gift during the gift exchange. That’s when we started to get to know each other.

I can still remember our first date. I warned him not to doll up as I would not be doing so, and he thought I was joking. So, he turned up very well dressed! I, on the other hand, was dressed in a T-shirt and a pair of shorts. He couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw me in such a casual outfit. We looked funny standing together then.

One date led to another, and it was a matter of months before he won my heart. He would go for a jog with me despite hating jogging.

What attracted you to each other, and what do you love most about them?

Valerie: Wei Zhong is a very caring person and his gestures never fail to surprise me. He would be the one who would stop his car by the road side to help an elderly person or anyone in need to cross the road, or help carry a heavy grocery basket down the stairs.

He always listens to me attentively and gives me advice when I need it the most. He supports me in whatever I do, and would go all out to help any one of my family members. Most importantly, he accepts me for who I am, my quirky behaviour and craziness, and never forces me to do the things I do not like. That’s what I love about him.

Wei Zhong: Valerie is strong-willed and never lets anything stop her once she sets her goal on something. She appreciates the little things in life and always helps me see that the world is so much more than I imagine. She never fails to put a smile on my face when I am feeling down, and is always a genuine person who never hides her emotions or feelings. Above all, I love her smile.

What was the proposal like?

Valerie: He proposed during my birthday celebration, but it wasn’t exactly a surprise proposal. We had gone for dinner at an Italian restaurant before returning to his place. Before he could even pop the question, his mother asked if she could see the ring and his brother congratulated me.

He later proposed in his room, where he knelt down on one knee holding onto a diamond on a ring support. The ring that he had designed for me was not yet ready, so he proposed with the diamond on a ring support instead. When I finally received the ring he had designed for me, I loved it!

Tell us about your pre-wedding shoot.

Valerie: I am an exercise addict. I love to jog, swim, hike and I especially love yoga. I even got certified to teach yoga. Wei Zhong, on the other hand, only likes to exercise because of me. We both wanted a casual shoot instead of the usual wedding dress shoot, so we requested for a yoga themed morning shoot.

To have the best of both worlds, we also put on our formal white wedding dress and black suit for the shoot as well. Monica and Sebastian from Senica Photos suggested doing the shoot at Upper Peirce Reservoir and Gallop Extension at the Singapore Botanic Gardens when we pointed out that we like nature and simple photos. We didn’t have a particular theme in mind, and simply wanted to capture our usual activities in our pre-wedding shoot.

Take us back to the shoot. What was the day like and how were you feeling?

Valerie: We wanted to catch the sunrise, so we had a super early morning shoot. Since it was a casual exercise themed shoot, we did not have to put on any make-up or doll ourselves up. We were both very nervous since we hardly took photos of ourselves. Wei Zhong, especially, was so nervous that he kept talking to me during the shoot to calm himself down. All in all, it was a fun, tiring and enjoyable day.

Were there any challenges during the shoot?

Valerie: Initially, I had wanted to capture more cool yoga poses but the uneven grass patches didn’t allow for such moves. Although the grass was wet due to the rain from the previous night, we didn’t hesitate to lie on it and enjoyed the shoot!

We also often ran out of poses. Thankfully, we had Monica and Sebastian to help us and give us plenty of ideas on posing.

Share with us one funny or memorable moment from your pre-wedding shoot.

Valerie: During the formal shoot with our wedding dress and suit, we met two young girls. They were telling their daddy loudly, “Daddy, she looks like a princess!”. After which, the two young sisters followed us around as we did our shoot. We both felt pretty shy about having the two girls stare at us the entire time, it was really funny.

Do you have any advice for couples who are planning or embarking on their pre-wedding shoot, or are planning their wedding?

The only advice is we have for couples who are planning their pre-wedding shoot is to look for a photographer whose style you like. Then, like that one famous yoga quote, trust the process. Trust your photographer to do what they do best, and follow the flow. Everything will turn out great when you have each other.

The Venue: Upper Peirce Reservoir and Gallop Extension at Singapore Botanic Gardens
The Bride’s Gown: Gown from Alisha & Lace, Yoga outfit from Lululemon
The Groom’s Suit: Alisha & Lace, Zara
The Pre-Wedding Photographer: Senica Photos
The Wedding Bands: JannPaul Diamonds
The Hairstylist and Makeup Artist: Sandy from Alisha & Lace

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Valerie and Wei Zhong’s Sunrise Yoga Shoot at Upper Peirce Reservoir and Singapore Botanic Gardens