Featuring the newlyweds:
Khoo Li Zhen, Financial Consultant
Tan Chia Yeow, Engineer
Li Zhen and Chia Yeow said their I Do’s on 7 September 2014
Like with many couples today, Li Zhen and Chia Yeow’s relationship was spurred by the internet. Through Friendster and MSN, the two found and reached each other, quickly exchanging phone numbers, and have pretty much been inseparable since then. Their love was mutual and developed in a flash as if, as Li Zhen puts is, they’ve known each other from long, long ago.
“We talked on the phone from midnight ‘til six in the morning, and then meet up in the afternoon,” Li Zhen recalls. “Six days after we first met, we were officially a couple.”
Eight years into their relationship and already with plans to marry, Chia Yeow made his romantic proposal in Udo Island in Korea. With some help from the taxi driver that the couple has hired to show them around the place, the crafty engineer gave his bride-to-be a surprise proposal. While they were posing for a photograph in front of some statues, Chia Yeow knelt down on one knee and popped the big question, with the kindly taxi driver photographing it all.
“I wasn’t expecting that,” says Li Zhen, “and it made it sweeter that the driver managed to capture the pictures for us to share with our friends.”
While Li Zhen may not have been expecting Chia Yeow’s surprise proposal, the couple have already arranged their wedding by the time it happened. In fact, the main reason why they were in Korea was to have their pre-wedding photoshoot. It was quite jumbled up, Li Zhen admits: “We bought our BTO in 2011, booked our banquet a week before we flew to Korea, and he proposed two days before the shot.”
The couple had their photoshoot in the now very popular Jeju Island, back when few people in Singapore have heard about it. The island was marvelous and Li Zhen and Chia Yeow fell in love with it straight away. But the beautiful landscape and backgrounds came with a cost: the couple had to shoot in 12°C temperature, and with strong wind to boot, causing the poor bride-to-be to become ill for a week after.
Still, the photographs were well worth the effort. The natural beauty of the scenery and the lovely couple themselves in their white gown and black tuxedo all made for great pictures. Says Li Zhen, “I liked that the make-up was natural and light. There was not much Photoshop done to the pictures.”
Li Zhen and Chia Yeow knew early on that they wanted an impressive wedding with value for their money, and so the first part of their preparation was to look for wedding discounts and promos. Their first luck brought the bride to win a free pre-wedding video courtesy of Express-Oh Photography and a $1000 cash prize. Next, the couple got a discounted bridal studio package from Calla Bridal for being one of the first 10 couples to sign up, and then, because they signed their hotel banquet during a bridal fair promo, they got $1,288 off their total bill.
Still, those weren’t enough savings for our couple. (The bride, after all, is a financial consultant.) Instead of hiring other people to set up the hotel, Li Zhen simply requested her bridesmaids to do it in return of a dinner treat. Finally, the couple trimmed their wedding budget by narrowing down their guest list to only their dearest family and friends.
All of Li Zhen and Chia Yeow’s wedding guests gave positive feedback. The most number of compliments went to the delicious food, which were generously served, the bride’s beautiful wedding and evening gowns, and the couple’s touching pre-wedding video. And while there were some hiccups along the way, the couple remained calm and was still able to fully enjoy the day.
Asked what she finds most special about their wedding, the bride said that it’s the pre-wedding video that they won, which offset the cost of their photography package and which they used instead of the typical childhood montage. More importantly, it gave Li Zhen and Chia Yeow an opportunity to get closer by working together, and it showed the couple’s friends and relatives how they truly are and what their love is like.
In closing, LI Zhen says, “The wedding reminded many of our guests that it can be simple and yet filled with love!”
Bridal Studio & Suit: Calla Bridal
Photo & Video: Express-oh Photography
Make-up Artist: Christopher Tan
Venue: Grand Park City Hall
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