Charlene Tan and Kok Hongyi Dylan
Charlene and Dylan said their I Do’s on 25 October 2014
Even from the start, the sea and the military have played a big part in Charlene and Dylan’s relationship, with the two first meeting at the Officer Cadet School for the Navy. However, despite their time together, they did not develop anything beyond mere friendship – if anything, they actually annoyed each other.
Charlene remembers, “At the end of OCS I was like, ‘Finally I don’t have to see him anymore!’”
Dylan had similar sentiments “I was like, ‘Yes! You go where you wanna go; I go where I wanna go and do real man stuff.”
As it happened, it needed four years – with Charlene studying in New York, and Dylan staying in Singapore to pursue his Naval career – before they came to appreciate each other. When they eventually met again, they came to see each other’s finer qualities. Their time apart, and the developments they went through during those times, have made them attracted to each other.
“Things changed. I grew up, I became more mature,” says Dylan.
“I think it was just him growing up. I was the same,” Charlene agrees. “But my impression of him changed and I was kind of surprised. He was no longer annoying, he listens when you talk to him. And he was no longer that thin, scrawny guy who thinks he’s macho – he really is macho.”
Soon, they’ve developed a mutual affection, and their love has been sailing smoothly since then.
Objective 1: Obtain the Subject. Charlene was “kidnapped” in the middle of the day and given a pretty cocktail dress to wear. She was then tasked to visit various marked locations. The subject is completely baffled.
Charlene says, “I was like, ‘What’s happening?!”
Objective 2: Go on the Hunt. The subject visited the locations and found various clues of the operation’s mastermind: videos and montages of her and Dylan chronicling their love story. She is then instructed to go to Underwater World at Sentosa.
Objective 3: Meet the Mastermind. The subject finally meets the person behind the whole operation – Dylan, who was then inside the aquarium, wearing his dive suit. Using a series of placards, the mastermind then expressed his love for Charlene and showed a picture of a diamond ring.
“At the end of the message, I started tearing, really crying,” she recalls.
After his message, Dylan got out of the tank, got down on one knee, and asked the subject if she would marry him.
Operation Status: Successful!
Charlene and Dylan decided to have their pre-wedding photographs taken at local spots that were important to their relationship. First on their list was the SAFTI Military Institute where they first met; here, Charlene wore her bridal dress while Dylan wore his Officer’s uniform. Unique to the couple were their pictures on RSS Resolution, including sweet and funny shots of them at the ship’s bridge, which hark back to their training days.
Charlene says, “The weather was just gorgeous that day.” She thanks their photographer, Avior Pictures, “for making it so fun and enjoyable while you captured these memories for us, and of course for the gorgeous pictures! We chose Avior pictures because we loved how they were able to capture pictures in the moment. We have been bridesmaids and groomsmen for so many weddings and the photographers always had to have replay of certain moments but avior was able to capture all the wonderful memories whilst never getting in the way. This certainly gave us space and took a whole load of pressure off us on our special day. Chuian Feng and his team definitely delivered the desired results with the least fuss.”
The couple also had pictures of them doing things that they love doing together, including track and field exercises, riding go-karts, playing at the park and winding down at the beach. Completing the collection was the couple’s shots at Labrador Park, where they have spent many heart-to-heart discussions.
As naval officers, it is the couple’s duty to protect Singapore against pirates. But for the gate crash, Dylan reversed that order and had himself and his brothers play the role of pirates who are out to get their “Captain’s treasure”, the beautiful bride.
“Charlene spends her day fighting pirates,” Dylan said just before they came to face her sisters, “So let her fight these pirates!”
Of course, Charlene’s sisters didn’t make it easy for them. To welcome the groom’s party, the sisters made them perform yoga, one of Charlene’s favourite activity and one that Dylan has always struggled with. Next up, the groom and his brothers had to take punishment for not knowing the bride’s favourite band and had to eat an eggplant salad flavoured with wasabi, vinegar, and bitter medicine, among much else.
The brothers then had to form a message on Dylan’s body – with lipstick marks from their own lips, of course! – and then take a group selfie. After that, the men had to dance to Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” complete with stockings and a special tutu for the groom. Lastly, Dylan had to express his love by giving bills to the sisters and, amid the brothers’ heckling and joking, give a sincere promise to Charlene:
“I vow to never lose my temper at you.
I vow to drive you wherever you want to go,
and wait for you wherever you are.
My money is really your money,
and your money is… still your money.”
Recalling their wedding, Charlene says, “Our wedding was one of much fun, similar to how we both are. … We had many tongue in cheek videos, jokes, live band, and we even sang a duet!”
Unlike most couples, Charlene and Dylan chose to forego having a bridal studio as they thought it might limit their options. And while looking for each of their vendors had been tedious, they said that they are both very happy with their vendors’ services, prices, and results.
The theme for the couple’s solemnization and wedding banquet was “Eat. Play. Love”, and it featured an explosion of colours and laughter. Says Charlene, “We wanted to enjoy our wedding, surrounded by our family and friends, so everything was planned so all could join in the fun.”
As for married life, the couple has had a great experience so far, although Dylan was deployed shortly after their honeymoon. And while they may not spend as much time together as they would like to, Charlene says that she is proud to be a military wife and that she would continue to love and support Dylan at home and when he’s away.
As she says, “The wedding is but the beginning.”
Wedding Gown: BQueens Wedding
Suit: Paul’s Fashion
Photography: Avior Pictures
Videography: Wedding Paparazzi
Make-Up Artist: Mrs. Fish Bridal
Venue: InterContinental Singapore
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