- Posted on Thursday, 18 April 2019
Ah, the concrete jungle where dreams are made of… for TWS’ Photo Editor Natalie and her love Andrew, New York was where some of their fondest memories were made while they were dating. Naturally, it was also their #1 choice for a pre-wedding shoot destination.
Conceived as an elopement-style shoot and captured by Singapore-based photographer Super Panda Presents, the images of the fun-loving pair are full of energy, sass and romance. The couple ventured to iconic spots around the Big Apple – from Central Park and Grand Central Terminal to Top of the Rock – in style, with the bride-to-be wearing a series of unconventional looks, including a pink pantsuit and a grunge-y leather biker jacket.
P/S: Don’t miss checking out how Natalie saved thousands on her wedding dresses, the couple’s other engagement shoot featuring adorable puppies and perfect marriage proposal!
What was the inspiration behind your shoot?
“We shared memories in NYC during our dating days, so when we were set to return to the city (after almost 4 years!) for a friend's wedding, we toyed with the idea of doing our pre-wedding shoot there as part of the trip. It happened that our wedding photographer Joseph would be shooting near NYC during that time too and before we knew it, our plans fell into place.
Beyond planning the venues, outfits and vendors, we found that coming up with a theme first really made the whole process more enjoyable. We considered the city’s vibes, our personalities and most importantly, our relationship and upcoming wedding. As we were having a pretty traditional celebration back home with a big guest list, we decided to do the opposite for our engagement shoot with a fun and relaxed ‘NYC elopement’ theme, and planned everything else around that. We were also hugely inspired by the song “Escape (The Piña Colada Song)” by Rupert Holmes!’” ~ Natalie
The couple's NYC elopement moodboard:
Do you have any interesting moments or stories to share from the days of shooting?
“When we first got to Top of the Rock’s observation deck, the floors were wet because it had been raining. The skirt of my dress became wet and heavy as we were shooting and one of the shoulder straps of my dress snapped from the weight!
We went all the way back to the ground floor looking for help and a saleslady from the souvenir store just happened to have a sewing kit with her and quickly offered it to me. She was such a kind soul. Andrew then calmly fixed the strap back on for me (I’ve never felt luckier to have a husband who can sew!) and I had a moment of clarity then. That little mishap taught me that even though life may not always go my way, I shouldn’t sweat the small stuff and that beyond all the things that could go wrong are the same number of things I often forget to be grateful for – what a timely reminder amidst the craziness of wedding planning!
During our shoot after the incident, a tourist came up to us and said, “You know, where I’m from, they say it’s good luck when it rains on your wedding day – congratulations!” I thought he summed it up really nicely.
Also, Andrew and I enjoy bar hopping and checking out a destination’s nightlife whenever we travel, so we planned our last shoot location to be at a speakeasy and took some final photos before inviting our friends and Joseph to join us for drinks. The best part? The bar was right above Five Guys; burgers and drinks had to be the best way to cap off our three-day shoot!” ~ Natalie
Do you have any tips and advice for couples planning destination pre-wedding shoots?
“A destination pre-wedding can be stressful to plan but it’s also a chance to get away from the madness of wedding planning back home and bring the focus back to the relationship between the two of you.
While planning our elopement storyline, Andrew and I envisioned ourselves re-living memories while discovering the city in a new way and spontaneously deciding to get married at the very place we fell in love in. We included elements like the city’s iconic sites, our favourite dating haunts, a bridal fitting at one of my favourite local designer’s boutique, Houghton, and an unofficial vow exchange.
Our favourite memory of the entire shoot has to be our vow exchange! As it was just going to be the two of us, we decided our vows could be cheeky and slightly inappropriate, and had so much fun writing them and teasing each other in the lead-up to the day. We said our vows during sunrise at the rooftop of our Airbnb; there was laughter, some tears, and for a brief minute it felt like time stopped for the both of us. They were some of the most raw, emotional and moving moments we have shared together.
Looking back, it felt almost like we were having another intimate wedding of our own and it was a meaningful prelude to our big day back home in Singapore. Doing our shoot at a place that held meaning for us, and working with wonderful vendors who shared in our joy and vision, really turned a to-do on our wedding checklist into an unforgettable adventure that reflected our story and us as a couple.” ~ Natalie
An excerpt from Natalie’s vows:
Marriage to me is not about perfect love or fairytales. It’s about working out a love story together that not only makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside, but one that’s able to weather the storms, only to come out stronger – a love story that we can uniquely call our own. And I look forward to forever and to continue to make this love story of ours one that will make our hearts burst from joy, to remind myself and us that while we may be good as individuals, we’ll always be better together. This is my promise to you, I love you.
An excerpt from Andrew’s vows:
I promise to tell you that I love you every single day. I promise to buy you food, I promise to make you smile and I promise to smile at you with that same smile that you know and still cannot tahan. I promise to please you as much as you want, and try even when you don’t want. I promise to practise our ‘chopstix’ code word when we get in a fight, and will not pick a fight with you in our home or in public places. I promise to take care of my health because I want to spend a lifetime together with you. I promise that even though I have a lot of room in my heart for other people and other things, I will never forget to show my appreciation for your support for me and your patience with me, because you show me truly how much room you have in your heart for me.
Congratulations on your engagement, Natalie and Andrew, and we wish you a lifetime of love!
Venues: Central Park, Guggenheim Museum, Ellen's Stardust Diner, Brooklyn Bridge, Grand Central Terminal, Top of the Rock, The Garret (West Village), and the neighbourhoods of Bushwick, New York City
Photography: Joseph of Super Panda Presents
Bride’s Outfits: Christos from Your Dream Wedding Dress (cold-shoulder gown), Houghton NYC (long-sleeved gown), A Gentleman’s Tale (pink pantsuit) and Klarra (white pants)
Bride’s Shoes: Soludos and SJP
Groom’s Outfits: A Gentleman’s Tale
Hair and Makeup: Tiffany Tarazi
Jewellery: Dearest (wedding rings) and The Heng’s Jewellery (engagement ring)