The World’s Best Wedding Photos

Ever heard of the Fearless Awards?

Just in case you are thinking about reality show “The Fear Factor”, this has nothing to do with that.

Instead, the Fearless Awards is a bimonthly award organized by Fearless Photographers, an online directory boasting of the world’s best photographers, curating extraordinary wedding photos. Some have called the awards the equivalent of Oscars in the world of wedding photography and more than 200 photos are unveiled once every two months as the crème of the crop.

For this post, W&T looks at some of our favorites amongst the tops from over the world and hope they inspire you for your big day.

Where the lovebirds take centre stage.
1
Clovergraphy , Australia

2
Kajul Photography, Germany

5
Apresh Chavda, United Kingdom

8
Gary Evan, Indonesia

7
Hiram Trillo, Fort Worth


Because weddings has never been just about the couple, so we particularly love it when photos capture families, friends and not forgetting, our pets.

3
Erika Mann, Canada

4
Andrea Corsi, Italy

6
Gardner Hamilton, New York

9
Cole Kor, Singapore

Which are your favorites? Tell us your thoughts! To view more amazing snaps from the Fearless Awards, go to www.fearlessphotographers.com/.

Polyamorous Relationship… I’m Sorry, What?

(Original article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-23726120)

The strange things you find around — we recently read the above article on BBC News about polyamorous relationships, which is defined as “the practice of having simultaneous intimate relationships with more than one person at a time, with the knowledge and consent of all partners”.

What happens is that these four people, namely, Sarah, Chris, Charlie and Tom (from top left, clockwise), live together in a house, and have close relationships with each other’s partners, and they’re totally cool about it. They might also be cool to someone new joining their “circle”, but all parties have to agree. So what counts as crossing the line, you ask? Only if any party tells a lie.

While this practice may seem baffling to the majority of us, Sarah, Chris, Charlie and Tom, see it as a viable and arguably, legitimate alternative to monogamy. After all, they say, one learns to navigate monotony in monogamous relationships, and accordingly, in the case of polyamorous relationships, one learns to deal with jealousy. Apparently, the polyamorous circle has even come up with their own word, “compersion” to describe the “little warm glow that you get when you see somebody you really care about loving somebody else and being loved” — their “antidote” to jealousy.

Well, to be honest, we at Wedding & Travel can hardly see the attraction to polyamorous relationships. After all, we’ve seen so many perfect couples and weddings through the course of our jobs, and we have no doubt that monogamous relationships work. Surely, there can be no more beautiful thing than two people feeling brave enough to pledge themselves as the one and only to each other, and devoting effort and time to maintain the exclusive relationship. It is definitely not easy, and we want to pay homage to that. In the article, Charlie admits that she was afraid of commitment, and with a polyamorous relationship, she felt that she could love her partner as deeply as she wanted to, without the fear of breaking his heart if she fell in love with someone else. To be honest, this sounds a wee bit too self-serving for us — is this not just a lack of courage or will to believe that both of you are settling for the right person? There may be someone ‘better’ who could come along, but we all know that love can never be measured in the tangibles, and who’s to say who is better than who?

But of course, it is not our job to pass judgment on the lifestyles of other people. At the end of the day, all’s good as long as all parties are happy with the arrangement, and they live a fulfilling life, isn’t it? We won’t deny something different just because we won’t do the same ourselves. Diversity is the order of the day, and it is only right that we celebrate that.

We hope this was a thought-provoking piece to read. Do share with us your views, we’ll be waiting!

Lifestyle: Singapore Night Festival 2013

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The annual Singapore Night Festival is back again! Happening on the weekends of 23-24 August and 30-31 August 2013, this year’s Night Festival is bigger and better, and will cover the area all the way from Raffles City to Plaza Singapura!

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Pyramid of Void by Compagnie Retouramont

As with previous years, you can expect extravagant acts including aerial performances, installation fireworks and music and dance performance across cultures. Looking at the line-up this year, we are rather fascinated by the Oomoonbeings by Singapierrot and the Pyramid of Void by Compagnie Retouramont, both of which appear to be mysterious performances that celebrate the night and its beauty! The latter, particularly, is a stunning aerial item whereby the dancers create a visual dialogue, only supported by a pyramid of ropes.

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Night light installations at the Singapore Art Museum

It is no surprise that you can expect the crowd-pleasing night light installations to be on, when our museums will take on a new skin during the festival period. A new addition this year is the Public Garden Flea Market, which will be taking place at Chijmes during the festival. Now here’s your chance to satisfy those late night shopping cravings by indulging in this local creative market!

Speaking of local, the Singapore Management University Campus Green will be the venue for the HOMEMADE music showcase. As suggested by its name, the showcase features favourite homegrown names such as Pleasantry, The Obedient Wives Club, Inch Chua and The Bushmen. Also look out for The Electric Symphony Project — a 23-piece band who will make its debut during the showcase!

Of course, on top of these special events, the museums in the Bras Basah Bugis precint will also be open for free admission during the Night Festival. With so much to do and see, there is no excuse for not getting out there in the night!

Lifestyle: The Phantom of the Opera

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(Photo Credit: Base Entertainment Asia)

It has been staged twice in Singapore, first in 1995 at Kallang Theatre then a most successful sold-out run at the Esplanade Theatres in 2007. In between, it was also given an airing on our big screens with Gerard Butler as the tortured protagonist.

But it seems, Singaporeans still can’t get enough of this timeless story, adapted from a novel penned by French writer Gaston Leroux in 1911, which tells of a tragic love a disfigured and tormented musical genius has for his beautiful and talented protégé, Christine.

The Phantom of the Opera” musical, which is back in Singapore since July 16 and is taking up residence at the Marina Bay Sands’ Grand Theatre, has seen a spectacular box-office thus far. New tickets added to the classic musical, created by Andrew Lloyd Webber in 1986, have been snapped up instantly.

This is, of course, nothing new for the timeless musical which celebrates its 26th year on Broadway this year, making it still the longest-running musical to date. Along the way, the much loved musical, characterized by elaborate sets and wardrobe as well as stirring music like “Music of the Night”, has picked up 130 million audience members in 27 countries and earned more than US$5.6 billion.

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(Photo Credit: Base Entertainment Asia)

Also returning to our sunny shores along with the show is American actor, Brad Little. The 49-year-old is only one of four actors in the musical’s history to have performed the tortured lovelorn “Phantom”. Having acted in more than 2,200 shows across the globe, including the 2007 run in Singapore, Little says he never got and will probably never be bored with his role. “I know what an honor it is to be one of the gentlemen to play the man behind the mask. I keep that in the back of my mind every time I step on the stage. (On how I keep myself fresh,) I have the beautiful privilege to perform opposite two wonderful Christines. Each of them are very different in their take on the role but both have such truth to their performance it makes me always stay fresh and on my toes.”

And taking on the role of the ingenue “Christine”, is Australian songstress Claire Lyon. The 26-year-old was previously a ballet dancer before delving into classical singing. Prior to “The Phantom of the Opera”, Lyon was an understudy for Christine in the musical’s sequel “Love Never Dies”. On whether it was stressful to act against a most experienced Little, Lyon said, “Not at all. Brad and I have come to form our own bond and we really trust each other on stage and the choices that each of us make. We just have fun up there every night and enjoy the whole experience.”

Brad Little and Claire Lyon have been performing to a hectic schedule of about eight shows per week so we at Wedding & Travel are very lucky indeed to have an interview with them. Read on about what the two leads have to say on love for their respective characters and the classic musical.

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Brad Little and Claire Lyon as the Phantom and Christine. (Photo Credit: Base Entertainment Asia)

W&T: Which is the most difficult scene for your role?
Claire: One of the most difficult scenes is actually ‘Think of Me’. I have a quick change into an extremely heavy skirt which weighs me down a fair bit, not to mention I’ve just done a whole scene full of dancing so I can get a little puffed at times.

Brad: The first scene the Phantom has, when he sings “Music of the Night” is the most difficult. This is because, you sing the most famous song from the show right at the beginning of your night on stage. You must be high-energy and perfect.

W&T: What is it that you love most about “The Phantom of the Opera” and your role?
Claire: I love the journey I get to go on every night. I start out as a naive young girl and grow into a woman throughout the course of the show. I also love that I get to do classical ballet as well as sing and act which is quite rare for a lead role.

Brad: (I love most that) I’m a part of musical theatre history. “The Phantom of the Opera” will continue to amaze people long long after I retire and have left this world. To be a part of this legacy is truly mind blowing.
It wasn’t until playing the Phantom that I learned how important it is to the people of the world. It is therapy without having to see the doctor. The letters I receive, on how Phantom has changed their lives, has made me realize that the show is far more than just entertainment. So, it gives me thoughts about life. Big time!

“The Phantom of the Opera” is on from now till Sept-1 at the Marina Bay Sands Theatre. Tickets can be purchased at www.marinabaysands.com/ticketing, 6688-8826 or in person at the Marina Bay Sands Box Offices or SISTIC.

Ticketing information as below:

Day/Times

VIP

A Reserve

B Reserve

C Reserve

D
Reserve

E Reserve

Tue – Fri – 8pmSat – Sun 2pm & 8pm

$230

$165

$145

$125

$95

$55

Traditional Confectioneries for Guo Da Li

As all of you couples will be aware, Guo Da Li (过大礼) is the traditional procedure whereby the groom delivers wedding cakes and confectioneries to the bride’s family. The bride’s family will then distribute these cakes and confectioneries to their family and friends when they deliver the wedding invitations.

Depending on the family, the guo da li confectioneries might not figure as such a big part in one’s wedding preparations nowadays. After all, it is easy to get them at almost any of our modern confectioneries around. Some people have even made the switch to distributing cake vouchers instead! But if you’re like us, and still hold some conviction and nostalgia towards our older-day traditions, we’ve rounded up some of the traditional confectioneries around that will serve up just the perfect guo da li cakes, like the ones our Moms had before.

Gin Thye
423 Sembawang Road, Singapore 758392

http://www.ginthye.com/occasion_wedding.html

With six branches in Singapore at Sembawang Road, Bukit Batok, Bishan, Kallang, Ang Mo Kio and Bangkit Road, we suppose it would be a breeze getting your Guo Da Li confectioneries from Gin Thye. From what we’ve gathered around, Gin Thye is particularly popular among couples for their Teochew confectioneries. An added bonus would be the shop’s comprehensive website (something hard to come by among such traditional confectioneries), where you can easily check out the wide range of wedding cakes available online, before heading down.

Le Café Confectionery & Pastry
Elias Building, 264 Middle Road, Singapore 188990
http://www.lecafe.com.sg/wedding_cakes.htm

It is easy to get an inkling of Le Café’s illustrious history from the single fact that it has been located at its Middle Road outlet since it was established in 1949. While the confectionery will count Andy Lau’s order for his Golden Horse Awards celebration cake as one of its glorious moments, it is equally conscientious when it comes to their daily work as well. After all, it is not every day that you find a shop that has been faithfully serving wedding couples since the 1960s, when they started producing guo da li cakes.

Tai Thong Cake Shop
35 Mosque St, Singapore 059513

Set up in the 1950s, Tai Thong specialises in Cantonese confectioneries and is perhaps most famous for its jianvbing (嫁女饼 — literally translated as ‘biscuits for a daughter’s wedding’) and longfengbing (龙凤饼 phoenix biscuits). While the shop has passed over to its second generation owners in 2002, you will be glad to know that it retains its age-old philosophy of producing all its cakes and pastries at its shop with only the best ingredients. A piece of trivial here — the cooking oil used in its products are sourced from Sime Darby Edible Products, the only edible oil refinery in Singapore!

Apart from our 3 picks above, you may also wish to consider these other names we’ve listed below!

Neo Kian Guang Confectionery & Cake
Blk 7 Hougang Ave 3, #01-50, Singapore 530007
http://www.nkgconfectionery.com/wedding.html

A traditional confectionery that supplies Hokkien, Teochew, Hainan cakes for weddings.

Tong Heng Confectionery
285 South Bridge Rd, Singapore 058833

A traditional Cantonese confectionery most famous for their diamond-shape egg tarts.

Ng Kim Lee Confectionery
4 Chun Tin Road, Singapore 599591

A confectionery with more than 50 years of history that serves up traditional Chinese and Western treats.