Pop songs you can use for your big day: Show Luo

Looking for a new music playlist for your big day?

Look nowhere but here! W&T is starting a new blog series where we select tunes suitable for playing at your wedding from your favorite singers. Be it western pop, Mandopop, Jpop or Kpop, you name it, we’ll do it.

And so for our inaugural post, we are kicking things off with Taiwanese singer, Show Luo who’s due to perform at the Singapore Indoor Stadium this weekend.

1. 《今天你最漂亮》

Penned by lyricist Yan Yun Nong, this song waxes lyrical of a man’s desire to settle down with his lady. Along with the fact that Luo’s best on-screen partner Rainie Yang co-starred in the music video, it’s no wonder why this song is a hot favorite among fans who voted it as a top pick for weddings.

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2. 《惜命命》

Another popular recommendation among fans is this Hokkien (yes, you’re reading right) song which is upbeat and boasts of a catchy chorus. Written by Show Luo himself, the lyrics, which sing of a man’s promise to his girl, are bound to make you go “awww…”

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3. 《恋爱达人》

This duet, that Luo sang with show host Xiao S, is so popular that we’re sure even non Show Luo fans can sing this song even without a lyrics promptor. Netizens recommend this as a song to be sung at the banquet by the newlyweds, what do you think?

Show Luo 2014 Over the limit: Dance soul returns world live tour
Date: 3 May 2014 (Saturday)
Time: 8 PM
Venue: Singapore Indoor Stadium
Ticket prices: $198 | $168 | $138 | $88 (excludes $4 booking fee)

George Clooney’s Engagement News

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(Photo from The Independent)

Hold your gasps now — Hollywood’s most eligible bachelor, and man who declared that he will “never marry again”, George Clooney, 52, is reportedly engaged. And the lucky lady? Amal Amaluddin, 36, a British-based human rights lawyer who has worked as an adviser to former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

George Clooney was previously married to actress Talia Balsam for four years, before the pair separated in 1993. He made his famous statement about never marrying again shortly after the divorce, and has kept to his stance over the years. Clooney was quoted in Esquire Magazine last year, saying, “I haven’t had aspirations [for marriage] in that way, ever. I was married in 1989. I wasn’t very good at it. I was quoted as saying I’ll never get married again pretty much right after I got divorced and then I’ve never talked about it since.”

In light of Clooney’s past attitude towards marriage, there is no doubt that many were surprised, and some, even sceptical, when news of the pair’s engagement first broke. But the pair seems to be serious — Amal was reportedly spotted with a giant engagement ring in Malibu. While Clooney has yet to officially confirm this news, we can only expect that he will do so in time.

Read the full story at The Independent.

Travel: Benesse House, Naoshima, Japan

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(Photo from Benesse House website)

Planning a romantic getaway to Japan with your beau soon? If you are looking for something new apart from the usual itinerary of Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto, why not check out the breathtaking island of Naoshima? Located in the Shikoku region of Japan, travelling to Naoshima is a breeze from Tokyo — simply take a 3.5-hour shinkansen ride to Okayama, and switch to the local ferry.

Long known for its reputation as an island of art, Naoshima is where you can take things slow, and enjoy the beautiful art and architecture that is littered all around the island. Our top pick of accommodation? The famed Benesse House.

Benesse House is one of Naoshima’s premium modern art institutions, and is designed by none other than Japan’s star architect, Ando Tadao. The building, conceived in Ando’s signature reinforced concrete and glass and designed to integrate with the natural landscape around it, is an imposing sight perched on a hilltop.

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(Photo from Benesse House website; Museum suites)

For art fanatics, staying at the Benesse House will be a dream come true — after all, it is not every day that you get to stay on the grounds of a museum! Guests staying in the adjoining accommodation blocks with the museum can enjoy 24-hour access to the museum, which means, you get the luxury of browsing through the exhibitions at your leisure after closing hours. How extravagant is that!

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(Photo from Benesse House website; Beach suites)

For couples who prefer to be close to the sea, you can also choose to stay at one of Benesse House’s eight exquisite beach suites, which are sited right next to the water. (Note: All rooms at Benesse House boast magnificent views of the Seto Inland Sea, though.) Apart from unparalleled sea views, the beach suites are also just a stone’s throw away from Benesse House’s numerous outdoor art installations, including the famous Yayoi Kusama pumpkin.

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(Photo by Wedding & Travel; Yayoi Kusama’s Pumpkin set against the backdrop of the Seto Inland Sea — one of Naoshima’s most iconic sights.)

While a night’s stay at the Benesse House will set you back by more than S$300, the experience of being close to art and nature is one that is hard to come by elsewhere. For more information, visit the Benesse House’s website (http://www.benesse-artsite.jp/en).

Cool Weddings: Couple parodies classic rom-coms in engagement photos

Movies are fast becoming an increasingly popular source of inspiration for couples who want to have a unique wedding or bridal photo collection. And this couple from Los Angeles did exactly just that.

Ditching the run-of-the-mill engagement photo poses, Dean and Julie decided to mimic movie posters of some classic romantic comedies. Have fun guessing which movies the below photos parodied!

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(Photos credit to here)

Travel: Graf, Osaka, Japan

In our last entry, we talked about refined spaces in Osaka that defy the traditional image of the city (if you missed it, here it is again). To take things up where we left off, today, we introduce you to Graf — a beautifully curated shop/cafe in Osaka located just a stone’s throw away from the Osaka Science Museum.

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(Photo by Wedding & Travel)

Graf is run by a design studio based in Osaka, and has long been known for its exquisite selection of well-designed goods, and its function as a collaborative space for the local community. The store’s interiors largely take after the Scandinavian influence, with heavy use of wooden furniture and warm lighting that makes one feel at home upon stepping in. Graf makes a fresh and interesting shopping experience with a tightly curated showcase of furniture, indie music, local food stuffs and so on. If you are looking for something that you can bring back, you would definitely be spoilt for choice with the beautiful stationery and handmade jewellery (by local designers) on display!

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(Photo by Wedding & Travel)

When you’re done shopping, take a seat at the adjoined cafe, which has a reasonably priced menu of drinks and desserts that would be great for an indulgent afternoon snack. We recommend trying out the limited edition seasonal tea (after all, who can resist the temptation of the phrase ‘limited edition’?) and the chocolate pound cake, which has a pleasant subtle sweetness, but hits the spot all the same! If you’re in luck, you might just snag a window seat, which gives a spectacular view of the cherry blossom trees lining the street outside!

For more information, visit Graf’s website at www.graf-d3.com.

Travel: Truck Furniture, Osaka, Japan

Many would know Osaka, located in the Kansai region of Japan, to be the more enthusiastic and brasher cousin of Tokyo. Despite the city’s reputation, you will be pleasantly surprised to know that it has its fair share of refined spaces that you will enjoy on your holiday. Today, Wedding & Travel features one such store — Truck Furniture.

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(Photo by Truck Furniture)

Founded by a husband-and-wife team, Tokuhiko Kise and Hiromi Karatsu in 1997, Truck Furniture has built up an enduring brand with its tasteful catalog of furniture that is designed and manufactured by the duo.

Located in an idyllic neighbourhood away from the main commercial belts of Osaka, a visit to Truck Furniture starts off the right note by giving you a rare glimpse into Japanese daily life. The store is expansive by Japanese standards, covering an entire floor in the building it is located in. With its display of beautiful furniture featuring a skillful combination of wooden and industrial design elements, and a good selection of quality homeware items, clothes and books, we dare say that Truck Furniture would appeal equally to males and females — no more shopping woes for couples who have different interests!

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(Photo by Bird Coffee)

While you’re there, also do check out Bird Coffee, which is located just beside Truck Furniture. Apart from being a pleasant space to just chill out and enjoy the day, this is the place where you can actually experience the beauty of Truck Furniture’s creations — most of the furniture used in the cafe are what is sold in the store as well. If you’re feeling slightly peckish, you can also try out the cafe’s menu, which features a good mix of Japanese and Western cuisine.

For more information, check out the websites below:
http://truck-furniture.co.jp
http://www.bird-coffee.com

Trend report from the Bridal Fashion Week

Earlier this month, top designers from all around the world flexed their creative muscles and showcased a splendid performance of fashion magic with their latest wedding collections at the Bridal Fashion Week in New York City. Fashion-forward brides who are looking forward to designs more than just sweetheart necklines and lace, here are the top 5 looks we saw on the runways and simply can’t stop loving!

1. Bare your midriff with a crop top
It’s official: the latest fashion fad has crossed over to bridal fashion. For those who think the look is best worn by adolescents and only fit for casual occasions, here are some stunners that will make you think twice.

elizabeth stuart
Elizabeth Stuart

theia
Theia

2. Nude lace details
This season, designers played around with lace, which has been a staple in bridal designs, with nude underlay to channel a softer and feminine look.

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Anna Maier

Carolina Herrera
Carolina Herrera

elizabeth stuart
Elizabeth Stuart

3. So fluffy…
Skirts of tulle and silk with a fluffy effect remain a dominant force on the runways and should continue to be hot favorites among brides going after the ethereal look.

Kelly Faetanini
Kelly Faetanini

Theia
Theia

Truly Zac Posen
Truly Zac Posen

4. Get your sexy back with a V-neck
With so many designers opting to include this into their works, V-neck is undeniably the comeback kid this season.

Carolina Herrera
Carolina Herrera

Ines Di Santo
Ines Di Santo

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J. Mendel

5. Ditch white
The runways are getting incredibly colorful with designers ditching the traditional white for other shades. While grey seems to be a popular choice, blue, pink and wine colors are equally hot!

Truly Zac Posen
Truly Zac Posen

Amsale Spring
Amsale Spring

elizabeth stuart
Elizabeth Stuart

Ines Di Santo
Ines Di Santo (All photos credit to here)

Travel: Cafehopping in Tokyo

Raise your hand if you can’t go without your daily cup of joe — we certainly can’t! Going on a holiday does not mean that you have to forgo your daily caffeine fix. Wedding & Travel checks out the vibrant cafe scene in Tokyo and gives you our top picks!

Little Nap Coffee

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(Photo by Wedding & Travel)

Nestled in a lovely side road just off Yoyogi Park, Little Nap Coffee is a small coffee stand that you absolutely must stop by in Tokyo. The joint, though modest in size, is serious about their trade and serves up a mean cup of coffee — we certainly enjoyed our flavorful drip coffee (the beans of the day were Columbian) when we dropped by on a crisp spring morning! The bar counter seats are great for looking out on the little park just in front of the cafe. Or, better yet, sit alfresco outside if the weather permits!

Omotesando Koffee

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(Photo by Wedding & Travel; Customers enjoying a cup of coffee in Omotesando Koffee’s small Japanese garden.)

Taking the namesake of the hip neighbourhood it is located in, you will be delighted to know, though, that Omotesando Koffee is worlds apart from the hustle and bustle of the area. Tucked in a quiet residential street away from the main thoroughfare, the cafe is a non-descript space that is easy to miss if you don’t keep your eyes peeled; we would have missed it too if not for the sound of grinding coffee beans! But rest assured that the walk will be worth it. The experience at Omotesando Koffee is poetic — the cafe boasts minimalistic bamboo interiors, and the drinking actually takes place in a small Japanese garden.

Lifeson

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(Photo by Wedding & Travel)

Located in a lively residential neighbourhood, Lifeson is where you go to for a feel of local life. The cafe enjoys a lively crowd of customers who come and go, as well as regulars, who certainly looked well settled in when we were there. Cafehoppers will be happy to know that Lifeson offers the option of a small cup of coffee at just 200 yen — perfect for a taste of the brew without getting filled up! If you are into art and design, the cafe also features the occasional exhibition, so do check the event schedule if you’re planning to drop by. While you’re there, take the chance to check out the adjoining bakery, which also sells some good old slow food which is locally produced.

What do you think of our picks? Let us know if you have any other good recommendations!

Wedding Tips: Guestlist Management

Managing the guestlist is often one of the top sources of stress for couples planning their wedding. Where do you draw the line for extended family and your parents’ friends? Do you have to invite everyone at your office? Check out our tips below to help make the process easier!

Decide your ideal guest number

The most important, but most overlooked step in the process is deciding how many guests you would ideally like to have at your wedding. Only when you set the parameters, can you start to build your guestlist the way you like it.

Where do you draw the line for invitations to extended family members?

Some couples prefer to allocate a fixed number of places and let their parents do the filling up; others start by shortlisting the potential guests on their own, before confirming with their parents if there is anyone else they should be including on the list. Some couples also find it useful to run the list by the grandparents for another round of “checks”, as they would be the ones who are most familiar with the entire family, and the ones that people who were missed out would go to.

How should you handle invitations to your parents’ friends?

The amount of space you allocate to your parents’ friends would largely depend on your desired number of guests. However, as a rule of thumb, if your parents are contributing financially to your wedding, it is only respectful to seek their opinions on how much space they would need, and try to reach a compromise on the final allocation from there.

Do you need to invite everyone from your office?

Some couples may feel compelled to invite all their colleagues from the office even though they are not on the same terms with everyone. A good guideline to consider who to invite is whether you would hang out with this person in private. If you have no interactions with a colleague beyond work, then he/she should also not feel offended not to be invited for your wedding.

Who needs a plus one?

While it has become more common for friends to bring their plus ones to others’ weddings, if you have a space constraint, sometimes it might be useful to set some parameters. For example, some couples allocate a plus one only for people who are seriously dating, living together, engaged or married. Also, if your guest has to travel long distances to get to your wedding (e.g. flying in from overseas), allocating a plus one would be an incentive for that friend to come. Same goes for friends who might not know anyone else at your wedding.

We hope the above tips will be useful in helping you manage your guestlist and reduce some stress! Do you have any other handy tips? We would love to know!

Fashion: Floral Accessories for Spring

When we talk about spring, we naturally associate it with images of flowers and blooms. It’s the same for bridal fashion — instead of conventional veils this season, why not consider these pretty floral accessories to spice up your wedding look?

1. Flower Crown

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(Pictures from here, here and here.)

Thanks to the resurgence in hippie fashion, flower crowns have become one of the most popular hair accessories around, even in mainstream fashion. For brides who are going for a bohemian or vintage wedding, it is of course, an accessory that cannot be missed. On styling, for brides with long hair, we recommend loose voluminous curls to create a romantic look. For brides with mid-length hair, we are in love with a loose bob that is fresh and cute at the same time. For brides with short hair, simply smooth back your locks with some anti-frizz serum for a crisp spring look.

2. Floral Comb

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(Pictures from here and here)

While flower crowns are perfect for casual and light-hearted affairs, floral combs, on the other hand, are suitable for stately and sophisticated weddings. For a glamorous and extravagant look, turn on the bling and opt for combs that are generously adorned with crystals and diamantes. If you prefer something that is more elegant and romantic, look out for combs that use mixed materials such as pearls and fabric flowers.

3. Fabric Flowers

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(Pictures from here and here)

Fabric flowers are one of the easiest hair accessories to rock out there — they are suitable for all hair lengths, and the best part is, the disproportionate size that they come in would help to create the illusion of a smaller face. Depending on your gown, you may choose to go for one big single flower for more dramatic effect, or a cluster of different sized flowers for a dainty look. Apart from classic white, also check out flowers in shades of off white and dusty pink, as these colours complement most skin tones as well.