Two With Nature
Globetrotters brought together by chance and eventually bound by love, Dexter Lee and Brena Tan celebrated their union with an romantic garden soiree.
You can swim in the deepest oceans, cross barren deserts and scale the highest peaks to try to conquer your one true love, but most of the time love blooms when nature is allowed to take its course. That was the case for 35-year-old pilot Dexter Lee and Brena Tan, 29, a property consultant at her parents’ property management firm. With their globetrotting lifestyles, coming together was really the work of fate. He was frequently jetting about for work while she had just returned from five months of holidaying in London and Australia, when they first met in 2011. Their introduction through a friend in Singapore may have been brief but the impression the couple left on each other lingered for much longer.
For the marriage proposal in March 2013, Dexter arranged first-class travel to Milan and a train ride to the stunning Lake Como. What followed couldn’t have been more romantic, with only two of them and Mother Nature as witnesses. Brena recalls, “It was cold, wet day, yet he suggested we take a stroll along the lake. Somewhere along the way, he knelt down in the rain and with one hand holding the umbrella, he proposed.”
Theme & Concept
For their wedding celebration, the lovebirds chose Suburbia Sentosa, a quaint former monorail station-turned-European fine dining restaurant. It had everything they wanted for an intimate garden solemnisation ceremony: a tranquil outdoor setting amidst lush foliage, a cosy atmosphere and enough space to accommodate their guests. Peacocks strutting around the premises before sunset added to the romantic feel.
A dining area awash in beautiful floral arrangements by Fiore Dorato set the tone for a sophisticated dinner. After detailed consultations with the team, Brena and Dexter decided on hydrangeas, carnations and roses in a palette of cream, white and pink. Brena was particularly thrilled with her bridal bouquet, which echoed the event’s colour theme. She says, “My bridal bouquet was one of the most amazing arrangements I’d seen with peonies and garden roses in a spectrum of pretty colours all put into one!”
Instead of a traditional Chinese wedding dinner, guests tucked in to European fare. “We put a lot of thought into the menu as we wanted our guests to enjoy something different from the traditional Chinese wedding, something special,” shares Brena. Delicacies such as foie gras, escargot, Wagyu ribeye steak, lobster with caviar and cod saffron risotto were served. The dining pleasures were heightened by a selection of wines specially imported from Italy. For that all-important champagne toast, the pair went with the finest label they could find, Dom Perignon.
Frequent travelling meant Dexter had plenty of opportunities to shop for suits abroad. One was created by Danish Bespoke Tailors in Copenhagen and the other, an Ermenegildo Zegna design, was from La Rinascente in Milan.
Complementing her beau’s dapper look and keeping to the classy chic theme, the bride deliberately chose white for the colour of both her gowns and the same designer, Danny L – not something most brides do. She was careful to ensure they both looked very different, though. For the garden ceremony, she donned a princess-like sweetheart tulle gown and for dinner, she morphed into a sophisticated beauty with an alluring mermaid-cut gown.
Most of the planning was done by the couple themselves, but there were some things the bride was kept in the dark about, like the string quartet her loving husband had secretly arranged. “They played during the march in. It was a really sweet surprise!” she says. The pair’s touch was evident in almost every aspect of their union, making it all the more memorable for them and their loved ones. Not only were the invitation cards painstakingly decorated with lace and ribbons by the bride to convey a sweet-romance feel, the dinner menu was sent to guests in advance so they could choose their main course. At the wedding dinner, each guest was invited to take an individual portrait photo which was immediately placed beside their name tag on their respective table. Needless to say, this made for a thoughtful souvenir in addition to the wedding favours specially handpicked by the couple. “We chose a pair of gold and white angel doves, which signify purity and love,” shares Brena.
Ermenegildo Zegna; Danish Bespoke Tailors
Daren Chong Photography
Wedding Day Photography
Wansheng, Feldberyl Images
Hair & Make-Up
Veron Woon/Veron Mimi Studios