In Serenity’s Arms
Against a palette of whites and pastels, and framed by romantic lines, an air of tranquillity swirled during the nuptials of CINDY ZIKIF AND BENJAMIN NGIAM
Cindy Zikif and Benjamin Ngiam
The love story of Cindy Zikif and Benjamin Ngiam affirms the oft-heard saying that the way to a man’s heart is through his tummy. A mutual friend of the pair had ordered a food item for Benjamin from the company Cindy works at, but little did he know that when the package was delivered to his door, it would be along with his future wife. Call it coincidence or the hand of fate, but the rest, as they say, is history.
Barely had they dated for a year than Benjamin decided it was time to take their relationship to the next level—quite literally, in fact, when he got down on one knee and asked Cindy to marry him while they were hiking halfway up a mountain. If not for bad weather prompting them to turn around and head back down, the proposal might have taken place at the summit, but the romantic gesture moved Cindy nonetheless.
On the defining point when she knew Benjamin was “the one”, she asserts, “It was when he made my problems his.” Once, the diamond from Cindy’s engagement ring fell off unknowingly and as she traced her steps back to the restaurant where she had dinner the previous night, she recalls, “the diamond was just on the floor, as if waiting for me to pick it up.” It was perhaps a sign that even the universe thinks they are meant to be.
THEME & CONCEPT
Only a handful of venues in Singapore could accommodate the guestlist of over 600, but for Cindy and Benjamin, the final vote went to The Ritz- Carlton, Millenia Singapore. “It is known for its excellent service and hospitality, and we wanted our guests to feel taken care of,” they share.
Envisioning a banquet that was simple and traditional yet classy and elegant, they turned to Jakarta-based planner Tearose Wedding, which has orchestrated numerous high-profile celebrations in Indonesia, to conceptualise and oversee the decorations for their wedding. “Ours is the first wedding Tearose has done in Singapore,” Cindy quips, clearly pleased with the result.
An air of serene charm consumed the hotel’s Grand Ballroom. Orchids, roses and other lush blooms in white and pastel shades twirled romantically around wooden frames on the long tables, creating the perfect frame for photographs. Meanwhile, gold tiffany chairs were draped with a sheer fabric, lending greater softness and movement to the room.
The bride made a striking entrance in an alluring low-back gown by Israeli designer Galia Lahav. Crafted with luxurious fabrics and bearing intricate handwork, it flaunted her statuesque figure while the graceful long train elongated her silhouette. She later changed into an off-shoulder evening gown by local designer Jessicacindy while Benjamin traded his three-piece midnight blue suit for a more formal tuxedo from Oxford Tailor.
Coming from a traditional family, Cindy attached great importance to choosing an auspicious wedding date. May 14 was not only favourable, it also happened to be Mother’s Day. This inspired the couple’s idea of having a tea cart by The 1872 Clipper Tea Co so guests could have a sensorial treat sampling a variety of teas during the celebration. They were also invited to take home their favourite loose tea leaves as wedding favours-cum-Mother’s Day gifts.
An unforgettable moment for the bride was when Benjamin and his groomsmen turned up in costumes at her doorstep on the morning of their wedding day for the gatecrash. It was unexpected, but she appreciated the effort the men had put into the festivities, which took some of the stress off the wedding and made her laugh in the process.
Tossing out the idea of a conventional photo montage for guests’ entertainment, the couple engaged Substance Films to produce a pre-wedding concept film that allowed their guests to get a deeper insight into their personalities and life as a couple. Shooting took an entire day, but it was worth the time as the resulting video was well-received by the newlyweds’ family and friends.
Emotions rang high during the speeches, particularly Cindy’s. “Although my ability to speak Bahasa (Indonesia) is limited, my delivery brought tears to my mum’s eyes,” she recalls. As the evening grew, a convivial, relaxed mood swept through the ballroom as guests made a beeline for exquisite tipple from The Macallan Bar in between merry conversations with family, long-lost friends and new acquaintances alike.