An Art Deco Inspired Wedding at Shangri-La: Tian and Jess

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The Great Gatsby’s Academy Award-winning production and costume designs have served as the inspiration for parties and weddings all over the globe. In today’s wedding feature shot by Aloysius and Eng Hong of 39 East Photography, we dive headfirst into a world first created by the great F. Scott Fitzgerald, and brought to life here by Spellbound Weddings. There is certainly no shortage of elegant floral arrangements, chandeliers and feathered centrepieces in Tian and Jess’s magnificent Art Deco-inspired wedding that will leave you utterly enchanted.

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How did you meet?
"We met more than 10 years ago at the Kallang Squash Courts. Back then we played for our respective school teams and we met during the inter-school tournaments. Jess was an "ice queen"; she looked very fierce whenever she played so asking her out was a little intimidating. I looked her up on mIRC – the super popular Internet Relay Chat program during our secondary school days – asked her out anyway and we clicked." ~ Tian

How did Tian propose?
"I surprised her with a trip to Maldives. I secretly got her boss' number from her mobile phone, and arranged for her boss to lie to her and say that he was sending her off for a conference at Raffles Marina. So she took a taxi to Raffles Marina thinking she was going for a conference in the middle of the day, only to end up finding me there holding our luggage and all. I continued to lie and said that I was bringing her to Sentosa for a staycation, right up until we got into the taxi and I told the driver to bring us to the airport. I proposed to her one morning as we were watching the sunrise from our bed in our water villa in the Maldives." ~ Tian

"Never in my wildest dreams did I think Tian Loon would pull off something like this. He is not exactly the sweet or romantic type. He doesn't believe in flowers, or surprises – or so I thought. His proposal is hands down the most romantic thing he could have done for me and I couldn't have asked for more." ~ Jess

What was your theme, and how did you go about finding the right décor?
"Although the theme was meant to be Art Deco, we tried to avoid using too much black as we knew the older generation would not like it. Anna from Spellbound Weddings did a great job with this as she listened and understood the concerns of our parents and grandparents. She made the necessary changes to the initial mood board and eventually created the perfect décor for the ballroom that left all of our family and friends in awe." ~ Tian

"Our theme was Art Deco. It wasn't something that we decided from the beginning as we started planning for the wedding. I always envisioned my theme to be something along the lines of a vintage French garden, so Art Deco never really crossed my mind. We bought my gowns and dresses before we decided on the theme. The theme came about as we were designing our wedding invitation. Tian Loon saw one of the cards that The Write Impression designed for one of their clients and he liked the style a great deal. It was predominantly black with gold trimmings and words – obviously Great Gatsby inspired. At that time we had not even seen the movie. But because he liked the style so much, we decided to go with the theme for the wedding. The challenge then was to make an art deco-inspired invite with minimal use of black, and more gold or red, as this was requested by the members of the older generation of our family. It was fun working with The Write Impression to design our card. In the end our invite turned out better than we expected, with a cover that was predominantly gold and inside, black text against a cream background with gold borders. We loved it." ~ Jess

Did you undertake any DIY projects for your wedding?
"We partially DIY-ed our stopmotion childhood photomontage. It was a fun project that took 3 nights to make with the help of our videographer. Tian had a chance to showcase his creative side and his drawing skills, while I did all the writing and other non-creative tasks like the cutting of photos, etc. Tian was the creative director of the video and he was very passionate about turning his vision into reality. He decided how the pages transitioned into one another, how the photos moved into and out of the pages, how to decorate the pages, and the song choice. I was definitely more of the logistics manager." ~ Jess

Your photo booth looked like a lot of fun!
"We used Hello Forever for our photo booth and they were absolutely wonderful. Our planner Spellbound Wedding customised our backdrop so we did not use Hello Forever's standard backdrops or pay additional for any of their customised backdrops. But I must say that this was my best photo booth experience so far because the Hello Forever crew was amazing. They provided us with a "cheerleader" figure who was super enthusiastic and cheerful. She was the main reason why our guests had fun at the photo booth. She would always cheer them on, helping them relax in front of the camera and prompting them to do funny poses. The photos were of fantastic quality and they all came in such a nice, luxurious envelope."

What sort of wedding favours did you opt for, and why?
"One of our favours was an aromatherapy candle and candle holder because Jess thought it would add a nice touch. The other was a small crystal dish, for placing small trinkets. We thought it was a practical gift that was functional yet decorative." ~ Tian

What were some of the highlights of this entire experience?
"I actually burst into tears when the doors to the ballroom opened and I saw the décor all put together. When I was having my hair and makeup done, my bridesmaids had already started sending me photos of the beautiful ballroom, so I thought I already knew what to expect. I was totally caught off guard by my reaction; I definitely did not expect myself to react that way. I couldn't hold my tears back and was crying all the way down the aisle while trying to muster a smile. I was definitely nervous while waiting outside the ballroom for the first march but in the end I was overwhelmed by the stunning decor of the huge ballroom. I thought I would only ever admire such beautiful weddings in magazines, and I never dreamt that I could have such a gorgeous wedding myself. I am so blessed to have a husband who loves me so much that he gave me my dream wedding. 

Tian Loon's father's speech was definitely the highlight of the dinner and had everyone talking about it even months after the wedding. Guests thought that the speech was so funny and that Tian's father was a very good speaker. It was a brilliantly witty speech about us as a couple. He spoke about how Tian and I have been together for 13 years without him realising it, and told us about his "expectations”. He gave us advice, and expressed his joy to have seen Tian and I grow up and mature together over the years.

One of my favourite parts of the entire wedding experience was our engagement shoot in NYC. Tian Loon did not think much of the engagement shoot at the beginning so I was so happy to see him enjoying the process and subsequently falling in love with our photos. One year after the shoot, I still find him admiring the pictures frequently. We already have 3 canvases of our NYC engagement pictures hanging in our bedroom, but if he had his way, he would probably have printed 4 or 5. We had a lot of fun during the one and a half day shoot in NYC with Eng Hong from 39 East Photography, our kind and helpful makeup artist and our friendly chauffeur who was quite the fatherly figure." ~ Jess

Any cost-saving tips for brides-to-be looking for the perfect dress?
"1. Look out for sample sales; you can get really good bargains there. Boutiques like The Atelier Bridal have really good sample sales and their sample gowns are in superb condition. I had a great experience with them because they only serve one client at a time in their boutique. We had the whole place to ourselves and the lady there was so patient with me as I tried on several gowns over and over again. Unfortunately, samples usually come in US sizes 6-8. Girls who are UK 6-8 like me have to make sure that the gown can be altered before buying it.

2. For alterations, I highly recommend Alternations Initiative who did a great job at altering my size 8 gown to a size 4. The gown was heavily embroidered all around and their seamstress managed to take in the sides and sleeves without affecting much of the embroidery and the look of the dress.

3. I love www.preownedweddingdresses.com. This is a great place where you can get designer wedding gowns for less. You can also opt to sell your wedding gown on the site so that another budget-conscious bride can get the chance to wear the gorgeous gown that you had the privilege of wearing." ~ Jess

What do you think makes a strong marriage?
"Never stop doing things together and spending quality time with each other. Communicate constantly and make decisions together. Take turns to give in to each other's requests. Know each other's strengths and utilise those strengths, instead of giving each other a hard time about your weaknesses or forcing each other to do things that they are not good at or not willing to do. Most importantly, always remember to make each other laugh!"

 

Congratulations on your marriage Tian and Jess! May it be every bit as beautiful as your wedding!

 

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Vendor Information
Photography: Aloysius and Eng Hong, 39 East Photography
Venue: Shangri-La Island Ballroom
Tea Ceremony Catering: Rasel Catering
Tea Ceremony Cupcakes: High Society
Wedding Dresses: Vera Wang from Pre-Owned Wedding Dresses and Marchesa from The Atelier Bridal
Cheongsam: Lai Chan
Evening Gown: Francis Cheong
Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Groom’s Suits and Tuxedo: Dick's Beaumonde
Groom’s Shoes: Giorgio Armani
Bridesmaid Dresses: ASOS
Groomsmen’s Suits: Men's Tradition: Peninsula Shopping Centre #03-27, 3 Coleman Street, Singapore 179804
Wedding Planner & Stylist: Spellbound Weddings
Hair and Makeup: Jyue Huey of The Make Up Room 
Jewellery: The Canary Diamond Company
Flowers & Décor: Spellbound Weddings
Catering, Wedding Cake & Favours: Shangri-La Island Ballroom
Wedding Invitations: The Write Impression
Wedding Dinner Stationery and Customized Photo Booth Backdrop: Spellbound Weddings
Photo Booth: Hello Forever
Entertainment: ShiLi and Adi
Car Rental: Royal Rides
Videography: Tan Shi Wei, Lightedpixels Photography


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