A high-flying couple with a taste for the finer things, Jeffrey Lu and Daphne Teo indulged their family and friends with a lavish but intimate three-part soiree.
Entering a relationship was farthest from the mind of former investment banker Daphne Teo when she first met Taiwanese-American Jeffrey Lu. The pair were brought together in 2012 when Jeffrey’s best friend Nikhil Verghese threw a small party in Singapore to celebrate Jeffrey’s birthday. Jeffrey was instantly smitten by Daphne, and just one month after their initial meeting, he was sure she was The One. Daphne, however, couldn’t see how a relationship could work out as Jeffrey, then AirAsia’s Group Head of Commercial Strategy, was constantly travelling.
To prove his commitment to her, Jeffrey not only moved into an apartment in Singapore, flying between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur for work daily, he eventually took on a new role in the company that allowed him to be permanently based in Singapore. The travel-loving couple, who are co-founders of Goodman Capital, reveal that their courtship involved monthly vacations. On one surprise trip to Gili Lankanfushi Maldives, Jeffrey organised a dolphin watching experience before indulging Daphne with a private candlelit dinner on a tiny island with nothing but a palm tree and dining table for two. He proposed to her back at their villa that evening but he didn’t have a ring. Instead, he got down on one knee and presented her with a 3-carat D colour perfect loose diamond. They later flew to her favourite jeweller to have an engagement ring custom-designed together.
The Theme & Concept
Following a wedding tradition in Daphne’s family, the couple hosted family, friends and extended relatives to a dinner celebration at the opulent Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore a week before their wedding ceremony. For the actual ceremony however, the couple wanted something other than a conventional hotel celebration, so they went with a garden gazebo wedding at the Tudor-styled Alkaff Mansion, a well-known gathering place for notable members of society in the 1930s. “The Mansion has a rich history, which was a great opportunity for Jeffrey’s family and friends, who flew in from all over the world, to see another side of Singapore than the usual tourist spots,” says Daphne.
Working to the theme All Things Pretty, planner The Wedding Entourage played with a colour palette of icy pink and white, which was seen in everything from the table settings to the charming marquee and flowers. The bride walked down the petal-strewn aisle in a Silhouette Bespoke bustier creation while the groom sported a bespoke coat by Hong Kong’s WW Chan beneath a shirt with studs custom-made by the family jeweller in Hong Kong with AAA Akoya pearls and handmade bespoke shoes by UK’s Gaziano & Girling. During the lunch, the bride changed into an ethereal, slightly vintage Jenny Packham dress, which suited the casual garden setting perfectly. All her wedding outfits were matched with brilliant diamond jewellery which were gifts from the groom throughout their couplehood.
The scene changed to classic black-and-white during the intimate dinner at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon. This event captured the mood of the couple’s weekends together—with great food and wine and in the company of family and friends. Dinner was an epicurean’s dream with a seven-course French menu that included many of the couple’s favourite foods, from caviar to Kagoshima beef, foie gras, lobster, uni, aged cheeses and chocolate truffles. The evening’s beverages were handpicked and further showed the couple’s impeccable taste for the finer things in life. From Dom Perignon’s Luminous collection for pre-dinner cocktails, guests went on to savour other exquisite tipples such as the 1996 Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Champagne, the 2009 Haut-Brion Bordeaux, Castarède Armagnac 1983 and 1985 (representing the newlyweds’ birth years), Nikka Taketsuru 21 Year Old Whisky and Lagavulin 1995 Distillers Edition Whisky. Complementing the beverages, a range of premium cigars from Trinidad, Cohiba, Opus X and Romeo y Julieta, favourites of the newlyweds’ fathers, were offered for guests’ enjoyment.
A carefully chosen entertainment line-up meant that guests enjoyed lively commentary and jokes by Daphne’s favourite DJ during her growing-up years, The Flying Dutchman, as well as a contemporary rock music performance by Jack and Rai. Songbird Dawn Ho later belted out smooth jazz tunes that made every drop of fine whisky and champagne that much more delectable.
Among the guests were a few other talented crooners too. First was Jeffrey’s father who serenaded the couple before imparting wise words on how to have a successful marriage. This was followed by a tribute to the newlyweds by the bridesmaids, one of whom later dedicated a song to them.
One of Daphne’s favourite things about the wedding was the pink and white dessert table set up by her maid-of-honour Linda Cai. She says, “Linda personally folded pink and white windmills, tied ribbons on the candy jars and painstakingly labelled everything using little chalkboards on easels. Many candies were Jeff’s favourites while growing up and shipped in directly from the US.”
To thank their bridal party, the newlyweds gifted each groomsman with a bottle of Castarède Armagnac from their birth year and a Valextra wallet personalised with their insignia. The bridesmaids, who were all dressed in Vera Wang gowns, each received a custom-made diamond necklace with a heartfelt handwritten note. Topping off the splendorous celebration, Jeffrey and Daphne checked into The St Regis Singapore for the night, and as another token of appreciation, checked in their entire bridal party with their partners into the same hotel.
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