Irena & Thian Khoon: A Wedding Rich in Heritage

Featuring newly-weds:

Irena Josoeb, homemaker
Ng Thian Khoon, Division Head for Interactive Media

Irena and Thian Khoon exchanged their vows on 29 November 2014

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Prompt Proposal and Prolonged Photoshoot

As wedding proposals go, Thian Khoon wasn’t the most romantic, though no less earnest: as the couple just arrived at Thian Khoon’s home from the gym, our handsome groom immediately popped the big question to our bride, almost as though out of the blue.

“He decided he couldn’t wait anymore,” recalled Irena, “And he was so nervous he didn’t even show me the ring but just passed me the blue Tiffany box with the ribbon still intact!”

To commemorate their engagement, the couple had a pre-wedding photo shoot with a local studio in Jakarta. While the shoot had been quite challenging—due to a long preparation time and a total of nine outfit changes, which the studio kindly accommodated—the couple are happy with the results.

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Showing off a strong chemistry and a shared sense of humour, the couple posed with various props in both indoor and outdoor settings. Set on a picnic and a rustic kitchen, their photographs give us a charming glimpse of Irena and Thian Khoon’s future domestic life.

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Meanwhile, their formal portraits feature the couple in loving poses over serenely majestic backgrounds. Irena says that while the shoots may have left them feeling extremely exhausted, the photographs are well worth the effort.

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A Perfect Wedding: A Marriage of Cultures

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Like with most brides, Irena’s wedding was a nerve-racking experience for her, but perhaps especially more so due to her background in marketing, which she feared may have made her guests think that managing an event—even if it is her own wedding—should be easy peasy for the bride. Thankfully, the couple’s talented vendors lived up to their promises and the couple’s entourage were ever reliable.

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One of the things that sets Irena and Thian Khoon’s wedding apart was how our Indonesian-Chinese bride and Singaporean groom devoted themselves to honouring their different heritages. This marriage of cultures is perhaps best exemplified by when the couple performed the tea ceremony while dressed in traditional Indonesian garb.

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During the ceremony, the couple also recited their personally-written vows in English and Mandarin, so as to make it easier for their elder guests to understand them and feel the sincerity of their words. An unintended effect of this though was that Thian Khoon mispronounced some of his words in Bahasa, providing a short and welcome comic relief to the ceremony.

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To cap, the bride is also thankful to their wedding venue, Mövenpick Heritage Hotel Sentosa, which provided them with a team of wedding specialists, who made sure that everything were in their right places and that the couple’s wedding proceed on schedule, resulting to a smooth, beautiful, and successful event.

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3 Gowns: Traditional, Modern and Couture

Asked what the most unique element in their wedding is, Irena says it’s her dresses: “I had tonnes of wedding outfits, courtesy of my understandably fussy Mom, who only wanted nothing but the best for her only daughter.”

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However, Irena admits that the making of her dresses had been exhausting. For eight months, the couple (who was then living in Jakarta) had to check up on the gowns every other weekend, half of which Irena wasn’t even able to wear during the wedding as there simply wasn’t enough time to change. Nevertheless, the bride looked undeniably gorgeous in all her choices.

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Irena’s first gown—her own favourite, and the one she wore for the gatecrash—was a white Javanese-style kebaya with a traditional motif, accented by a jasmine headpiece and matching jewellery.

For the ceremony, the bride chose a contemporary princess wedding dress with a sweetheart neckline and crystal-studded appliqués over the bodice and on the hemline.

During the evening, Irena graced the wedding banquet in a magnificent dress in Mandarin red with multiple wavy overlays that made the bride look like a splendid rose in full bloom.

 

Celebrating Love Through Dance and Cheers

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One great feature of Irena and Thian Khoon’s wedding was the flash mob, which was participated by more than 30 of their guests and, of course, led by the couples themselves. And while many of the dancers forgot the steps, the surprise was a hit and many of the other guests started snapping away and filming the whole dance.

And unlike some weddings that the bride has attended, her own was different for how the guests thoroughly enjoyed themselves and stayed on even after the desserts have been served, with not a single soul feeling out of place. The couple says that they are very happy with how everyone had a wonderful and memorable time.

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Indeed, Irena and Thian Khoon’s union was met with good fortune as the couple not only had a great wedding, but is also now expecting their first child.

(As trivia, Mövenpick Heritage Hotel Sentosa looks like a lucky wedding venue for couples who want to have a child soon as celebrity couple Qi Yuwu and Joanne Peh, who had their wedding at Mövenpick two months ahead of Irena and Thian Khoon, also just had their first child, coincidentally also two months ahead of Irena and Thian Khoon’s baby boy.)

“We are so forever grateful to everyone for making it such a memorable and happy occasion,” says Irena, “We look back on our wedding with much fondness even till today!”

Photographer: Eirik Tan
Make-up Artist: Christopher Tan
Venue: Mövenpick Heritage Hotel Sentosa

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