Wang Leehom announces marriage

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(Photo Credit: Wang Leehom’s Facebook)

Yet another Mandopop heart throb off the shelves and this time round, its US born Chinese singer-songwriter, Wang Leehom.

The 37-year-old, who has all along kept mum about his love-life, posted a sentimental Facebook entry earlier on Wednesday (27-Nov) introducing his other half affectionately as his “Forever Love”.

“The past few years your comments here have often been about “hope you find your Forever Love”. I’m lucky to have met a girl to hold hands with and share my future. She’s not in the entertainment business so you don’t know her, but I also don’t want to create the opportunity for rumors so… her name is Lee Jinglei, she’s 27 years old and a graduate student at Columbia. Wangbaba & Mama love her and I hope you will too,” Leehom posted on his social media accounts.

As fans and media around the world were still trying to digest the shocking announcement, the talented singer-songwriter made another shocking statement, though his agent, the following day that he had registered for marriage with his girlfriend in New York.

Speaking to Taiwan Apple Daily, Leehom said it was not a whirlwind wedding as he has known his bride for 12 years. 27-year-old Lee Jinglei, believed to be of Japanese and Taiwanese descent, is a graduate student at Columbia University, an Ivy League university in New York. Fans speculate that the couple has been dating for nearly a year and a half and that Leehom proposed with a video clip he recorded at his recent world tour with fans saying “I Love You” in 37 languages.

Leehom, congratulations on finding your ‘Forever Love’!

Wedding Dress Sketches for Kim Kardashian

If you think you can’t keep up with reality star Kim Kardashian’s colourful life, rest assured that you are not the only one. But putting the drama aside, we’re absolutely blown away by the following series of sketches for Kim’s wedding dress that various designers have come up with. Looking at the designs, most of the designers have in mind show-stopping gowns with dramatic silhouettes and glamorous details so as to embody Kim’s spirit. A few others have, on the other hand, gone in the opposite direction to create a more elegant and timeless look for Kim. What’s a girl to do with so many choices? With Kim’s wedding day looming near, we’re equally curious on what would be her chosen look.

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All good things come at the back — this stunning sequinned design by Reem Acra features a sexy open back, and a stunningly elaborate train that is drama with a capital D.
alvinavalentaThis creation by Alvina Valenta likewise features an open back and magnificent train, but we love how the soft pastel shade and embellishments make the dress more whimsical and feminine — definitely a different feel from the piece above!angel rivera
In an obvious turn from complicated designs, Angel Rivera chose to come up with a sleek and elegant silhouette featuring an empire waist and a lace bodice with a plunging neckline. hayley paige
This creation by Hayley Paige is over-the-top vintage with its delicate lace sleeved gown paired with a show-stopping chapel veil.ines di santo
Ines Di Santo’s look is classic haute couture, without being too predictable and boring — we especially love the mix of fabrics and textures between the bodice and the skirt! jim hjelm
We’re loving Jim Hjelm’s creation for its airy and ethereal qualities. The dress is also conservation without being prudish at the same time — sheer fabrics and a plunging neckline give it its oomph, to great effect.kelly faetanini
One of our favourites from the lot — Kelly Faetanini sketched a form-fitting gown with a mermaid silhouette and sheer panelling at the back — all the better to complement Kim’s curves!rivini
Rivini’s design is simple and chic with a clean-cut silhouette, glammed up with an embellished bodice on top. theia
Theia’s creation is glamorous and almost princess-like with its extravagant embellishments over the entire gown.  val stefani
We love Val Stefani’s gown for its unconventional and creative pops of colours all around the gown. And the best (and most unusual) part is — the gown’s a two-piece creation! Imagine how much convenience that will bring during outfit changes. For the more adventurous, you might even mix and match the pieces in future!

Black Bridal Fashion

“Women think of all colors except the absence of color. I have said that black has it all. White too. Their beauty is absolute. It is the perfect harmony.”

– Coco Chanel on black colour

When we think about weddings, the first colour that comes to mind is white. Today, we’ll like to take your mind in the other direction to think about the more unlikely (and to some, taboo) colour, black. While white is widely associated with purity, black embodies more emotions — it can be timeless and elegant, glamourous and sexy, or gothic and unique, depending on how it is used. We’ve rounded up some inspiration around the web for these three different brides for whom black might just be right up their alley!

Elegant, timeless and classy

The dress: Who’s to say that black wedding dresses cannot be mainstream? For brides who are looking for a sophisticated black wedding dress, look no further than crowd favourites Vera Wang and Zac Posen — both designers had put out a divine collection of black dresses in Fall 2012.

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(Vera Wang Fall 2012 collection)

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(Zac Posen Fall 2012 collection)

The look: For styling, less is more — go for a classic up-do or chignon, and finish with well-defined brows, jet black liner and a red lip. For accessories, we recommend a pair of elegant pearl earrings. If you’re going for the vintage look, top it off with a birdcage veil and sheer gloves.

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Glamorous, mysterious, sexy

The dress: For glamour pusses, go for form-fitting black dresses in a powerful silhouette such as the mermaid or trumpet. The trick to looking dressed to the nines? Pick dresses that are updated with the season’s hottest details, such as cut-outs, sheer panels and metallics.

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(Black dresses from Elie Saab, Ralph Lauren and Yumi Katsura respectively)

The look: Apart from the black liner and red lipstick combination, you may also wish to go for a darker evening look with a sexy smoky eye and taupe or plum lipstick. In addition, turn up the bling with shoes and accessories such as a shiny clutch, or simple but impactful jewellery!

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(Heels from Badgley Mischka, black and gold clutch bag, drop earrings from Tiffany & Co)

Gothic and unique

The dress: All gothic brides out there will definitely have come across punk rock princess Avril Lavigne’s wedding look when she tied the knot with Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger in July this year. In her gothic theme wedding, Avril Lavigne wore a strapless Monique Lhuillier tulle dress that stayed true to her character, but was still romantic. Brides looking for a more full-on gothic look would love the Luis Monteiro and Dilek Hanif dresses below for their dramatic silhouette and trains. Last but not least, for cute gothic brides, Russian designer Ulyana Sergeenko’s dress is perfect with its lolita influences.

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(Avril Lavigne wearing Monique Lhuillier, Dilek Hanif and Luis Monteiro, and Ulyana Sergeenko respectively)

The look: Depending on your preferred style, you could go for smoky and heavy eye makeup or a completely minimalist nude look to complement your gothic wedding get-up. Another plus point of the gothic look is that you can also feel free to get slightly adventurous with the accessorising!

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(Alexander McQueen boots, butterfly veil, and black hand bouquet respectively)

Which is your favourite black bridal look? Leave us a message!

Lifestyle: EatPlayLove Cafe

We had heard that a couple chose this cafe for their wedding proposal earlier this year and so we decided to head down to find out for ourselves what makes this new addition in the overwhelming local cafe scene an ideal hangout for couples.

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(Photo Credits: Wedding & Travel)

Apart from the name which gave hints of romanticism no thanks to its similarity with widely popular book and movie “Eat Pray Love”, EatPlayLove Cafe is indeed a delightful place where one is surrounded by colorful decor and old-school furniture pieces. A fun ambience also lingers in the air, not just because this place is a favorite amongst families, but also because it allows you to have fun by indulging in good ol’ art and craft.

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For just $5 per hour (on weekdays, the time slot is extended to 2 hours!), work your creativity with free-flow art and craft materials, as well as guidance from staff, to create your very own masterpieces, be it drawing, DIY dolls or even accessories. We certainly think this is something couples can do for a change on dates and have good quality bonding time!

On the menu, you will find Thai delights served alongside simple Western fare. On weekdays, lunch set meals are the must-haves. For slightly more than $10, you get decent main dishes with a drink.

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EatPlayLove Cafe
28 Aliwal Street, #01-07, Aliwal Arts Centre, S(199918)
Opening Hours: Mon from 12nn to 10pm, Wed to Sun from 12nn to 10pm
6444 6400 | www.eatplaylove.com.sg

Lifestyle: Singapore Art Book Fair

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For all you art-lovers and bibliophiles out there, listen up — the inaugural Singapore Art Book Fair is here from 27 November to 1 December 2013 at Block 38 of the Gillman Barracks!

Jointly organised by local independent bookstore BooksActually and creative consultancy HJGHER, the Singapore Art Book Fair will be an annual book fair that specialises in contemporary art books and zines. Apart from familiar local names such as Math Paper Press, The Institute for Critical Zoologists, Underscore Magazine and Encounters Magazine, the fair will also feature a strong selection of regional and international titles such as Cereal, Offscreen, Mr. and so on!

Apart from books, you can also expect to be engaged in an array of interesting activities that will make an afternoon excursion to the Gillman Barracks worth the effort! The organisers have thoughtfully arranged a two-day weekend programme on 30 Nov (Sat) and 1 Dec (Sun) that includes talks with local artists such as Robert Zhao and Aiwei Foo, workshops on a variety of topics such as bookbinding, linocut printing and silkscreen printing, and even a live cooking demonstration!

The Singapore Art Book Fair will be at:

The U Factory
38 Malan Road, Gillman Barracks, Singapore 109441

Fair Days:
27 Nov – 1 Dec 2013
11am – 7pm
Except 30 Nov (Sat): 11am – 9pm (outdoor film screening from 7-9pm)

For more information and updates, you can visit the Singapore Art Book Fair’s official website at www.singaporeartbookfair.com.

Wedding Inspiration: Fern and Moss

For those of you DIY brides out there, or simply, brides who are looking for flowers and decorations that are something different from the norm, you may wish to consider using fern and moss for your wedding. Not only are they more fuss-free and economical than your usual blooms, they also add some charm to the overall look of your wedding! We’ve rounded up some inspiration around the web for you.

Table Pieces

You would be surprised by how simple it is to create an elegant look at the table with moss and fern. If you prefer to have some colour, either alternate moss and fern pieces with regular blooms, or integrate some small flowers into your moss and fern designs. Otherwise, you can go all green to create a sophisticated or rustic look, depending on how you play it! (Following images from here)

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Centrepiece with moss, wild grass and fruits
mossGrass/moss lining for the table
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Moss and fern centrepieces

Hand Bouquets

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While there are no lack of moss hand bouquet inspirations around the web (like the ones above), we’ll be taking a leaf out of supermodel Kate Moss’s book on this one (pun not intended)! We love how Kate Moss was able to seamlessly integrate moss into her floral design (she reportedly used roses, daisies and sweet peas, among other flowers) to create a vintage bohemian look that suited the vibe of her wedding perfectly.

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(Images from Vogue)

Wedding Favours

Instead of the usual standard favours, why not give your guests something adorable to take home that they can use to brighten up their homes? Check out these little moss wedding favours to get your inspiration going! For those of you with green fingers, you can attempt to make them on your own (it’s not that difficult, really!). For those who prefer not to, there are some vendors who can help to customise the perfect wedding favour for you! We’ll be featuring one such vendor in the coming weeks, so keep your eyes on the Wedding & Travel blog! (Below images from here and here respectively.)

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‘With this ring, I me wed’

And in more interesting wedding news, we read from CNN that you can now marry yourself with a “I Married Me Self-Wedding In a Box“.

This “self marriage” kit was created by a husband-and-wife team comprising jewelry designer Jeffrey Levin and branding consultant Bonnie Powers. The kit contains a handmade ring, ceremony instructions, three “Promises To Me” and an affirmation card for each day of the week.

In an interview with CNN, the couple explained that they hoped to alter stereotypical perceptions of the single person as a sad, leftover and unwanted individual with no hope of ever finding love with this kit. The “self marriage” kit celebrates the awesomeness of the individual, and seeks to “increase moments of positivity, and amplify your own sense of awareness about your emotional state”.

For those who might be concerned that the whole practice seems a little too self-centred, there is no need to set off alarm bells just yet. Levin and Powers are quick to say that they do not see self marriage as a substitute for marriage. Instead, the ritual is symbolic, and seeks to help individuals acknowledge their positive traits, which can be hard to stick to sometimes. For people who have yet to find themselves, the couple envisions the kit as a sort of “road map” to their path of self actualisation.

To sum it off, Powers said, “Certainly we would love the idea of people looking within themselves and recognising their awesomeness — because we all have awesomeness inside us, and we get tripped up and forget. Part of what Jeffrey and I want is for more people to focus on that in the most selfless way, so happiness and joy can spread.”

(Read the edited transcript of Levin and Power’s interview with CNN here.)

Well, if you ask us, this story sounds rather similar to an earlier story we shared, about a bride who organised a wedding for herself (without a groom). We can’t help but think, if the increased exhibition of self-love in today’s society is a reflection of the proportionate pressure we feel from societal norms and expectations? No matter what, we definitely have no objections to ideas that help us feel more positive about ourselves, single or not! There are enough things in the world raring to get us down, and there is no reason to let our own self esteem get in the way.

What do you think about getting married to oneself? Share your thoughts with us!

Travel: Cafe hopping in Bangkok – Vanilla Garden

Think gastronomic pleasure in Bangkok and the bustling city’s endless street stalls come to mind. The Land of Smiles however is cooking up a new platter of dining options – charming cafes serving satisfying food fare as well as much-needed respite after hours of shopping.

This is W&T’s final stop in our three-part cafe itinerary in Bangkok.

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(Photo Credits: Wedding & Travel)

One common grouse from tourists who embark on cafe hopping trips in Bangkok is that most cafes are hidden in complex alleys that are difficult to navigate. Even Tuk-tuk drivers get lost we heard! But don’t be put off by this for these spots are, most of the time, hidden gems. Vanilla Garden, tucked away in a residential street within Ekamai district, is such.

Nestled in a calming setting of manicured greenery around a water fountain, Vanilla Garden provides for a much-needed hideout away from Bangkok’s hustle and bustle. And that is why we chose this outlet to visit, rather than the much more accessible Vanilla Cafe located at Siam Square.

We were greeted with welcoming serenity the minute we stepped into Vanilla Cafe, the main attraction in Vanilla Garden which is also home to Sauce, a cookbook library; Royal Vanilla, a Chinese restaurant serving dimsum; as well as the main office of Vanilla Industry. With minimalist interior decor, adorned with elements of Japanese culture like vintage toys and shelves of manga, this charming spot displaces friendly and homely vibes that make you want to stay here and laze the afternoon away.

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Additional plus points come in the form of satisfying food fare. Specializing in Japanese as well as Japanese-Italian fusion cuisine, we strongly recommend Cold Japanese Ramen as well as a Sunny side up crepe. The former is a hearty mix of greens with salmon while the latter is a scrumptious serving of mushrooms, bacon and egg well wrapped in a crispy crepe wrap.

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Vanilla Garden
53 Ekamai Soi 12 (Nearest BTS is Ekamai)
Opens daily from 10am to 10pm
+66 2 381 6120

Related article: Cafe hopping in Bangkok – The Bookshop
Related article: Cafe hopping in Bangkok – Mr. Jones’ Orphanage

Vanness Wu goes punk rock for LA wedding

Taiwanese singer Vanness Wu may be all traditional with dos and don’ts before marriage but when it comes to the big day itself, the 35-year-old is all ready to be anything but a conformist.

Going by the unconventional theme of black and white, Wu’s wedding photos unveiled last Saturday (Nov-16) at his wedding reception in Los Angeles, were a lovely surprise and inspiration for brides and grooms to be who are planning for something off the norm.

Ditching the traditional get-up of a suit and gown, the stylish couple glammed up their wedding shots with a variety of casual and evening wear, including a rock-chic look, which we simply adore!
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The fashionable couple gives the all-white look a stylish twist.

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Punk.

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The fairytale. (All photos credit to here)

Vanness and his wife, Singaporean Arissa Cheo, first filed for marriage in Singapore on National Day (Aug-9) this year. They were formally married on Nov-7. According to media reports, the newlyweds had dated for nearly 7 years since their first meeting on set of Vanness’ music video “My Kingdom” in 2006.

Before wedding receptions in Taipei and Singapore (the latter is said to be held on Jan-5 next year before the couple jet off for honeymoon), Wu and Cheo first celebrated their union in the groom’s birth place, Los Angeles, over the weekend. Following in style of their wedding photos, the low-key and heavily-guarded wedding reception is a romantic yet unconventional affair.

The Wedding: Held at The Resort Pelican Hill, a five-star hotel which is known to be a celeb favorite for its privy location in the hills and a 40 minutes drive from city.

The newlyweds first held a simple ceremony at 3pm where they exchanged vows and rings in an intimate outdoor setting. The banquet, carried out in accordance with American traditions, later began at 7pm with the newlyweds taking to the floor for a first dance. After which, parents of both the bride and groom take turns to give a speech followed by cake cutting. The night ended with Taiwanese singer Elva Hsiao belting out a lovely rendition of “I Do Cherish You” played by a 8-man live band.

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The outdoor ceremony was said to be simple but moving. The newlyweds reportedly cried during the exchange of vows.

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The menu.

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The first dance at the wedding reception. (All photos credit to Arissa Cheo’s Instagram)

According to media reports, the hotel was heavily guarded to suit the bride’s preference for privacy. Guests were also forbidden to take pictures of the ceremony. All costs of the wedding, inclusive of airfare and accommodation at the luxurious hotel, are reportedly paid by Vanness. Total damage: approximately SGD$127,000.

The Wedding Look: The bride is said to have 2 gowns for the day while Vanness was decked out in a Tom Ford suit. For the “Punk Rock” themed reception, the newlyweds had on Christian Louboutin kicks.

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Christian Louboutin kicks for the night. (Photo Credit: Arissa Cheo’s Instagram)

The Wedding Invite: Features a graphic design of a unicorn and a horse with the pair’s initials, “VA”.

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(From left to right) The wedding invite, a USB as bespoke as well as a photo montage with the newlyweds’ wedding photos, childhood photos and writings from the bride. (Photo Credit: Arissa Cheo’s Instagram)

The Guests: 100 family members and close friends were invited. Apart from Elva Hsiao, the other celebrity in sight was the groom’s childhood friend, Jimmy Hung, son of Hong Kong star Sammo Hung. The rest of F4 cited work commitments for their absence.

Fashion: Anne Barge

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If there’s one thing we got from looking at Anne Barge’s Spring 2014 collection, it is that the mermaid silhouette is gonna be hot in the coming season. After all, almost half of this trendsetting label’s new collection features this glamorous silhouette — if this isn’t a shout out to announce the new hottest trend, we don’t know what is.

Hailing from Atlanta and established in 1999, Anne Barge has always epitomised timeless glamour in bridal fashion. Its ability to remain as one of the mainstays in the industry over the years is no doubt a combination of the following winning factors: constantly updated interpretations on classic looks; impressive handiwork on details such as beading; and the use of high quality fabrics (for example, its Spring 2014 collection uses generous amounts of Chantilly lace).

Indeed, Anne Barge’s new collection offers a romantic take on the classic mermaid silhouette, incorporating tulle and lace to impart an airy and lighter feel that is perfect for spring. We also love the elegant styling — scarlet lips and a low chignon — that add just the right touch to the beautiful gowns. Before you run and claim one of these to-die-for gowns for yourself (we know you want to!), here are some pointers on the mermaid silhouette that may be useful to keep in mind!

Advantages:
– Flattering for slender and hourglass figures
– Highlights feminine curves (if you already have them); if not, the mermaid silhouette adds curves to a straight figure
– Presents a glamourous and sexy look

Disadvantages:
– Can be quite merciless for fuller figures as it is rather fitting and conceals little, especially for brides with wider hips
– May be hard to move in
– Need extra care when choosing undergarments to prevent embarrassing VPLs