Perfectly Romantic: Stephanie Yap and Cheo Mingyou
You could say the story of Stephanie Yap and Cheo Mingyou began with instant attraction. “When Stephanie walked into the room during a gathering organised by a mutual friend, I immediately took notice and tried to get her attention in every way possible,” recalls Mingyou—blushingly, we would like to think.
The CEO of Choon Heng Group, where his father Cheo Tiong Heng is chairman, must have done something right as Stephanie says, “My first impression of him was that he was pretty charming and witty, an intelligent guy with style.”
Stephanie may have been living in Sydney at that point, but the distance did not deter Mingyou, who flew almost 4,000 miles just to be with her. Their first date entailed a stroll by the sea where they were surprised by an unexpected display of fireworks, an apt reflection of the sparks between them.
During their two-year courtship, the adventure junkies explored various countries together, including Hong Kong where Mingyou surprised Stephanie with a room filled with floating heart-shaped balloons and rose petals strewn everywhere. Going down on one knee with a custom-made diamond ring from Hong Kong jeweller Ronald Abram, he asked Stephanie to marry him.
Theme & concept
Motivated to find a unique venue that was not overused for weddings, the couple say it was love at first sight when they saw The Clifford Pier at The Fullerton Bay Hotel. Furthermore, The Lantern rooftop at the property was where they had their initial chats about a future together, making it a fitting place to hold their marriage solemnisation ceremony.
Theme & concept
Having shared so many memorable adventures together, the couple decided to recreate the most significant of these—their first trip to Tokyo together—for their wedding. The magic they experienced on that journey, with vignettes of sakuras blossoming against lightly falling snow—became the theme for their wedding banquet.
Their florist, Fiore Dorato, decked the entire hall with overarching bouquets of sakuras accompanied by low floral arrangements of peonies, roses, hydrangeas, orchids, and eustomas in shades of blush pink—the bride’s favourite colour. “That, together with the wash lights and heritage arches of The Clifford Pier, resulted in an incredible ambiance,” Stephanie recalls.
(Related: Sakura Forecast: Where And When To See Japan's Cherry Blossoms In 2018)
Theme & concept
She marched into the venue wearing a dreamy Vera Wang lace and tulle gown with floral embroidery and a long train, changing into a silk chiffon evening dress by Alexander McQueen as the night progressed. Meanwhile, the groom was dressed in Dior from top to toe, save for a Cartier timepiece gifted by his father. The bridesmaids were outfitted by InnitBangkok, a boutique owned by Mingyou’s sister.
Dinner was accompanied by melodious sounds from Vetta Quartet, an eight-piece orchestra, and later, singer-pianist duo Jenny and June. The menu, which was meticulously curated by the bride and groom, included exquisite ingredients such as Alaskan king crab, sous vide octopus and Wagyu beef short rib. “We wanted to make it a special experience for the guests,” says the couple.
(Related: Vera Wang Creates Designer Wedding Treats With Ladurée)
The couple’s outgoing nature was manifested in several ways, right down to the wedding cake, a massive structure measuring 1.8 metres by 1.8 metres. Instead of the traditional yam seng, they decided on a champagne show that started with an enchanting cake mapping of the galaxies, images of the couple and fireworks done by Oofle as waiters marched in with bottles of Château de Passavant Crémant de Loire Brut 2007, a gift from Mingyou’s father.
There was unexpected entertainment, too: the bestman caught the cork when the couple popped the champagne bottle. Mingyou says, “It was so smooth, everyone thought it was rehearsed!”
(Related: The World Drank 306 Million Bottles Of Champagne Last Year)
Amidst the joy and laughter, there were a few tears shed. To convey his blessings for the couple, the bride’s father, Janson Yap, composed a song. It was performed by Jenny and June while a slideshow of the newlyweds played, leaving the couple overwhelmed and warmed by his expression of love.
Guests took home Ladurée macarons, a sweet souvenir of the beautiful union. Looking back, the bride could not have asked for anything more than the joy she experienced on her big day, except for one thing: “I only wish I had more time to sit back, enjoy, and take in the beauty of everything on this unforgettable occasion!”
(Related: What Will Meghan Markle Wear For Her Wedding?)
Bride's outfits Alexander McQueen; Vera Wang
Groom's outfits Dior
Photography Antelope Studios; Imaj Gallery; Finnalogy
Videography Substance Films
Make-up and hair Martha Mok
Flowers Fiore Dorato
Planner Chere Weddings