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

Singapore Tatler Wedding - - CONTENTS -

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.

HIGHLIGHTS

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.

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