The current pandemic has put a sudden halt on weddings worldwide, with industry vendors and couples alike finding themselves displaced to a great extent. The ensuing disruptions in international travels have forced many couples intending to hold a Destination Wedding to stop their plans abruptly.
Despite the gloomy outlook for the rest of the year, some vendors and couples remain positive that the situation will turn around in 2021. Hopeful, today we follow Qian Chi and Heren, a China based couple on their Destination Wedding journey. The two had chosen to celebrate their nuptial away from home on the tiny beautiful island of Singapore – a country that has played pivotal role in their relationship.
For a few years, the couple went through a long-distance relationship. Heren was pursuing her studies in Singapore, while Qian Chi remained in China to advance in his career. Their relationship took shape and deepen through these years of being apart and the island-city of Singapore became a significant part of their love story. It was instinctive to them to pick Singapore as the place to seal the deal of their relationship. Already residing in China by then, hiring a local wedding planner to assist with their wedding plans was the natural next step for them. Through social media, the pair came across Chere Weddings a Singapore-based wedding planning team. A meeting was set up in Singapore soon after to get the wedding plans in order. We were let in by their wedding planner, Sophia from Chere Weddings that the planning process for the couple took on a rather unusual form for her – discussions of wedding details were carried out through phone calls as well as China based Instant Messaging App, WeChat. Planning processes were re-structured to fit the couple’s schedule and also their preferred way of communication – in Mandarin. “It has been long since I used Mandarin Chinese in such a formal setting!”, Sophia shared. Thankfully for her, the couple’s decisive nature and the trust they had already placed on Sophia from the first meeting led to a rather smooth planning process.
The celebration saw a party of 60 guests flying in from across the globe and were all put up at the iconic The Fullerton Hotel. To express their heartfelt thanks towards beloved guests who had taken the time to celebrate with them, the love birds prepared well-thought out welcome gifts that greeted the guests upon upon their arrival in Singapore. This included a box of Traditional Chinese wedding pastries in a welcome bag that also carried maps that highlighted important locations of the wedding. The sincerity and thoughtfulness of the couple was met with beaming smiles and nods of approval by each of the guests.
The big day – 21st December 2018, saw Heren and her bridal party starting the day at the break of dawn. Make-up sessions had been pre-arranged for the group and while the guests were preparing to look their best for the day ahead, the wedding team consisting of Chere Weddings and boutique floral studio, Bucket Full of Roses, were over at CHIJMES, making sure the wedding venue looked perfect for this very important day.
With its intricate façade and charming interior, CHIJMES was the wedding venue of choice for the couple from the very beginning. Moreover, with it being where the wedding scene was shot in Hollywood film “Crazy Rich Asians”, it is difficult not to love this space.
Within the church, gold Napolean chairs were arranged in neat rows at the front for the solemnization ceremony. Two elaborate long tables flanged both sides of the aisle and would be where lunch would be served. Separating the two areas were a pair of identical white album tables, each lined with baby blue runner cloths – decked with photographic memories of Qianchi and Heren. It was the perfect depiction of the love they had for each other throughout these years.
The dining tables were a joy to look at with blooms of white and blue elegantly arranged by Bucket Full of Roses. These were complemented by cutleries of gold. Personalized name cards were neatly aligned to indicate each allocated seat with a thoughtful gift for guests to enjoy before the start of the reception. The overall look was exquisite and divine, with a pristine white carpet covering the full length of the aisle ready to welcome everyone.
Buses arranged to ferry guests from The Fullerton Hotel to CHIJMES soon filled the once empty cocktail foyer. As they arrived, some guests rushed eagerly towards the guest book table eager to pen their well wishes, while others stood around photo-worthy spots of the venue to capture precious memories of this moment. It wasn’t long before everyone took their seats in anticipation for the bride’s arrival. Before the grand march-in, guests viewed a special video featuring the mother of the groom, who was unable to join the occasion in person. The video ended on a heartfelt note and it harmonized beautifully into an uplifting pre-wedding music video put together by a professional videographer team who flew in from China. That video showcased ever so perfectly the affection and affinity between two individuals who are about to tie the knot once and for all.
While CHIJMES hall was chock full of loving emotions, Heren, together with her father, stood behind the doors waiting for the perfect moment to enter. As soon as they opened. the bridesmaids begun their walk into the church one by one, with Canon in D playing in the background by VETTA quartet, a live string quartet hired for the occasion. Just after the page boy entered the church, guests stood and watched in eagerness as the bride and her father took their first step on the white carpeted aisle, revealing slowly behind them, the words, “From this day forward, you shall not walk alone.” With Heren’s father giving her hand over to Qianchi, it signified the couple’s new beginnings, for two hearts to begin beating as one.
The solemnization ceremony was followed by the lunch reception, where meals were specially selected by the couple to suit the guests palate. As guests took their seats at the long tables, the couple stood ready for their official walk in as a newly wedded couple. The doors opened once again, this time to welcome the new Mr and Mrs Qian as they playfully danced in to “Can’t help falling in love” by Michael Buble playing in the background.
Prepared at the front was a magnificent 3-tiered wedding cake, designed by Corine & Cake made to Heren’s specification. Following the cake cutting ceremony were speeches made by several important guests.
In most weddings, bouquets are tossed by the bride, and a guest who is lucky enough to catch it receives the luck of love from the couple. However, Heren decided to dedicate her bridal bouquet solely to a treasured friend, Yuan Yuan, who has stood next to her through every ups and downs. It was Heren’s way of expressing her gratitude towards an unconditional friendship forged between the two. It was an afternoon filled with overflowing emotions (and tummy!) making it difficult to leave. Everyone boarded the bus back to The Fullerton Hotel only because they knew they had to prepare for an exciting night to come.
The couple hosted an After Party Dinner at Empress Restaurant, located at the Asian Civilisation Museum. The modern Chinese restaurant overlooked the Singapore River and serves delectable dishes. Keeping in line with the wedding theme, floral centrepieces of white and blue were once again being placed on each table. A photobooth by Busybody was set up by the side to let guests commemorate this day. Balloons might just be Heren’s first love because the backdrop of this photobooth was an entire balloon garland from Little Red Balloon!
The emcee for the night was one of the couple’s friends, who with his inside stories made the party a lot more personal and cozy. Speaking of personal, friends of the couple who were unable to fly in for the wedding made a video collage extending their blessings to the couple.
Soon after, dinner commenced, and the live band featuring Jeeyon as the lead vocalist from Lush Entertainment begun livening up the mood. In between dishes, a same day edit video was presented, allowing everyone to look back on activities which happened earlier during the day.
A wedding is never complete without performances – one that had brought much laughter to the crowd was a dance by the couple themselves together with one of the groomsmen. They grooved and sang along to the song “Closer” by Chainsmokers and to everyone’s delight, the groom actually rapped along with the song lyrics! – Everyone, including Sophia and her team as well as the vendors present that day were all caught by surprise!
The night ended on a high, with guests not just requesting for songs from JeeYon but also singing along with him and the live band. It was not only the adults, the kids in attendance also went ahead to sing in front of everyone! This energized and hyped up the crowd over at Empress, making it a night to remember for many years to come.
Wedding Team for Qianchi & Heren
Wedding Planner: Chere Weddings
Photographer: Couple’s Friend
Videographer: MR Song
Hair & Makeup: Heren’s friend (bridal look), Autelier (bridal party)
Floral Décor: Bucket Full of Roses
Photobooth: Busybody, Little Red Balloon (photobooth backdrop)
Entertainment: VETTA Quartet (ceremony quartet), Lush Entertainment (dinner live band)
Venue(s): CHIJMES (solemnisation & lunch reception), Empress (dinner after party)