- Posted on Saturday, 22 March 2014
When two performing artists get together, they make sweet music. Add a few of their talented friends, and it’s one hell of a party! Zach and Joanna’s solemnisation was held on the famous Henderson Waves Bridge. Their special day was made even more special by their nearest and dearest who made everything possible for their reception at "Dominic Khoo's 28th Février", an urban art gallery. The result was a party that will surely be talked about for years to come.
Tell us about your wedding dress...
“My wedding outfit consisted of two separate pieces: a custom-printed floral sequin party dress and duchess satin overcoat. It was designed and tailored by Phisit and Saksit of Tube Gallery (Bangkok). I got to know them because they designed the costumes for 881 The Musical, a production I was in. We decided on a two-piece for dramatic effect - so I could strip off the coat to reveal the party dress underneath when the dancing got going. The floral motif came only after we got the groom his suit.”
Tell us about your wedding reception...
“Our guests said it was the party of the year - maybe because many of them had to get down and dirty to make it happen! The reception was held in a lovely art gallery that was converted from an old mill. The dreamy high ceilings and minimalist white walls made it the perfect venue for us. The fact that it happened to be situated in an industrial area where it was alright to make loud music late into the night was just the icing on the cake! As performing artists, we may not be rolling in dough, but we were affluent in the kind of wealth that comes in the form of talented friends. Social capital, as they say. Friends did the photography, print design, mood lighting set up, sound system, live music, DJ, and site decoration. Even the bar was manned by friends who were "sabo-ed" into becoming bartenders for the night.
The decor was simple but painstaking to create - my husband and a small army of friends spent the afternoon inflating many large helium balloons, including two giant ones. Some were used to set the background for our photo booth, valiantly manned by our buddy Jovian Lim. For the room decor, my initial idea was to have the balloons suspended in mid-air. Kudos to everyone for trying various approaches, but by late afternoon we knew it was a no-go, so another friend suggested tying ribbons to them for a visual effect. This would also allow us to retrieve the balloons after they had floated up to the ceiling. It ended up looking beautifully surreal. I took away an important lesson from that experience - there is no point in being “Bride-zilla” and insisting on having everything exactly how I envisioned it. The results of going with the flow exceeded the limits of my own imagination.
Instagram hashtag aggregators are nothing new by now, but we did have a lovely projection onto a white wall, connected to a laptop running a screensaver called Screenstagram. There was a live feed of the images our friends were capturing from their point of view, hastagged #zachwedsjo. There were a few bugs, but the interface looked good and it worked well enough considering it was free.
Inspired by Pina Bausch's "Seasons March", we wanted to have a communal "dance-around" instead of the traditional march-in. Done to a live rendition of "Blue Skies", our friends Sing and Chan Meng from Jitterbugs Swingapore helped to choreograph and demonstrate a few simple moves, which our guests promptly picked up, much to our delight! That pretty much helped to send out our message for the night: it is our wedding, but the party belongs to everyone! Thereafter, we had an open jam-session (thanks to our friend who supplied a comprehensive band system set-up), and I daresay that the line-up would rival any of local music festivals. Amongst our friends who performed were Alemay Fernandez, Richard Jackson, Charlie Lim, DJ Koflow, Beverly Morata, Sarah Cheng-Dewinne, Tay Kewei... not to mention they were accompanied by some of the best musicians in town! We also had performances by non-professional musician friends, who were no less awesome!
Dinner was buffet-style, so there was plenty of floor space for mingling and dancing. The food was excellent, courtesy of our caterers who we got to know through theatre productions. There was no fancy plating or overly opulent ingredients, but it was delicious and everyone ate as much as they liked. Drinks were simple – a variety of wines, and an endless supply of mini Asahi cans. The size of the cans ensured the beer stayed cold, and everyone could drink without the pressure of remembering where they last left their glass.
The highlight of the night for me was our "Yum Seng" toasts - we love the traditional toasting. It was the one thing that we decided we had to honour as part of our heritage. We asked our guests to give us their best, and what ensued was probably the longest "Yum Sengs" ever heard on this island. Each of them lasted for at least 2 minutes, culminating in the final chorus of what felt like 7 or more minutes of the most beautiful sounds I have ever heard.
So that's it. The party went from 8pm till nearly 3am. Food, drinks, music, and dancing. To me that was elegance – instead of a complicated programme, we just set the stage for things to happen, and things happened.
The most emotional part of the night was still yet to come - some friends stayed back for what we refer to in theatre as "strike": artwork had to be re-hung on the gallery walls, the area cleaned up, lights and sound equipment packed and balloons taken down (with our helpers amusing themselves with hilarious helium voices). I was too inebriated to be of much assistance, but my last happy memory of the night was seeing my husband and friends selflessly pack up amidst happy chatter and laughter. I remember feeling overwhelmed with gratitude, and then everything faded into a white (flourescent) light.”
Congratulations on your marriage Zach and Joanna! May it be every bit as beautiful as your wedding!
Photography: Jovian Lim and Tan Ngiap Heng (The Pond)
Solemnisation Venue: Henderson Waves Bridge
Wedding Reception Venue: Dominic Khoo's 28th Février
Catering: Pines Food Catering
Mobile Coffee: Nylon Coffee Roasters
Wedding Dress: Phisit and Saksit of Tube Gallery (Bangkok)
Bride's Shoes: Jil Sander Navy
Jewellery: The engagement ring, wedding ring and bespoke ear pieces were designed and made by Shing of Argentum. The gold chain was a gift from Joanna’s mother-in-law
Hair: Ashley Lim (Joanna’s long braid is actually a wig!)
Makeup: Bobbie Ng of The Make Up Room
Groom’s Suit: Comme Des Garçons
Poster and Invite Design: Leong Hon-Kit, email address - firstname.lastname@example.org
Lighting Design and Rigging: Kuo Jian Hong (Artistic Director, The Theater Practice), Gabriel Chan (Lighting Designer), Dorothy Png (Lighting Designer)
Sound System: Brandon Chong, email address - email@example.com
Emcees: Kuo Jian Hong and George Chan
Dance Choreography: Sing Lim and Chong Chan Meng, Jitterbugs Swingapore