Janice & Zhi Cheng – A Desert Romance

Love indeed moves in mysterious, surprising ways.

Janice, Consultant
Zhi Cheng, Portfolio Management
Wedding Date: 10 March 2012

Janice and Zhi Cheng


Serendipitous Romance

Just when Janice Tan was about to leave Dubai forever to live in the U.K., she happened to meet Zhi Cheng on a date that wasn’t even supposed to pair them together. That night, common friends of theirs were trying to set him up with another girl, but it was Janice who caught his eyes. Things went well for them but, alas, she had to leave and the couple could only manage a long distance relationship.

On one of their almost-daily Skype meetings, Zhi Cheng excitedly invited Janice to go to Sweden and see the Northern Lights. “So off we went to see Santa and the Northern Lights in December,” Janice recalls. Unfortunately, they had a bad weather during their stay and the famed Aurora Borealis couldn’t be seen. On their last evening, Zhi Cheng took Janice to a nearby frozen river and offered her something more beautiful. He said: “You want to get married? But it won’t be so cold… the desert is pretty hot.”

Celebration in the Sands

Janice and Zhi Cheng wanted a relaxed and stress-free wedding and so decided to hold it in Dubai, where they will have to cater to fewer guests. It was a small, intimate affair attended only by 60 of the couple’s closest and dearest family and friends, many of which had to fly from different parts of the world. Even the bridesmaids had to take a 14-hour flight all the way from Melbourne. But in the end, it was the right choice and everyone celebrated the couple’s union in great spirits.

The wedding was held at the Bab al Shams Resort, which has an expansive view of the Dubai desert. The bride wore a strapless A-line wedding dress with beaded details and corset bodice, and carried a bouquet of her favorite flowers, orange calla lilies. The groom, meanwhile, was dressed in a long-tail coat and striped pants, and gamely played along when teased with being in a penguin parade.

The Wedding Experience

As with in their proposal, the weather played a part in the couple’s wedding. On the big day, Janice and Zhi Cheng woke up with a sandstorm blowing outside, which could require the couple to make a lot of changes in their wedding plan. As Janice says, “Massive sandstorm in Dubai meant that you could not speak without tasting the crunch of sand in your mouth.”

Fortunately, the sandstorm magically cleared by 4PM and the couple and their guests were able to proceed with their ceremony in the desert. Maintaining their simple theme, the venue was decorated only with a wedding arch, pew markers, and a large carpet with Arabic motif that served as a ground cover. After the ceremony, the couple proceeded to have their photos taken in the glow of the sunset and at the resort’s pool garden.

As the day turned into evening, the party moved to the rooftop bar to have cocktails while an Arab band played on the background. Dinner soon followed with speeches, toasts and songs, until it was time for the couple’s first dance. Janice and Zhi Cheng had a traditional slow dance, and then switched to party mode with Will.I.Am’s “I Like to Move It”. Among their guests’ feedbacks are that it was a fun and magical wedding.

“Love was in the air,” Janice says of her wedding, “Not only for us, but also for our guest.”

Venue: Bab Al Shams, Dubai, UAE

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