Happily Ever After

Text Lin Zixin Photo Hotel Re! @ Pearl’s Hill

Just like the perfect ending to a fairytale story, Joseph Ong and Jolene Chong, General Manager and Deputy General Manager of Hotel Re! @ Pearl’s Hill respectively, celebrate their engagement with a blast.

Here they are, the heroes and villians of my childhood fantasies right in front of me – Peter Pan and Captain Hook, Little Red Riding and the Big Bad Wolf and many others to boot. But no, this is not Disneyland. The fairyland for the night is at Re!Joice Ballroom of Hotel Re! @ Pearl’s Hill, and the stage is set for the arrival of the main characters – the prince and the princess. Welcome to Joseph and Jolene’s fairytale-themed engagement party.

A self-confessed Disney princess fan, it was clear to Jolene from the start that a fairytale theme was what she wanted to go for. “She was always into the princess thing,” Joseph laughed. Looking every bit regal in her glittery light blue ball gown, silver heels and tiara perched on an impeccable chignon, there’s no prizes for guessing which princess is Jolene’s favourite. (Just for the record, it’s Cinderella.)

It’s in the Details

Walking into the venue, it is evident that the couple had put in lots of thought into the details of the engagement party. To go with the theme, the reception area for cocktails before the meal was designated the ‘town square’ and decorated to look the part with medieval backdrops. As the centrepiece of the décor, a small Cherub fountain together with a sweeping tree draped with crystals and decorated with loving pictures of the couple were used.

While waiting for the party to begin, there were definitely no dull moments as guests could find entertainment all around the town square – get a speedy portrait done by the caricaturist who draws with two hands, be amazed by the magician and his tricks, win some pretty baby blue cupcakes by participating in a throwing game or wander outdoors and enjoy the sizzling fire performance.

Just for tonight, Cinderella is not coming to the ball by her pumpkin carriage. Instead, Jolene chose to make her grand entrance on a handsome white horse, led by (who other than) her prince charming, Joseph.

At the arrival of the golden pair, the guests were then invited into the ‘castle’ (banquet hall). Unlike the ‘town square’ that was dominated by shades of green, the ‘castle’ was resplendent in dreamy blues and whites, with candlelight to bring on the romantic mood at every table. Timeless Disney theme songs were also played by a live harpist to fit in with the fairytale theme.

Taking centrestage was the couple, who treated the guests to a short dance item before dinner began. Beginning with a solo performance by the barefooted Jolene, the couple then re-enacted the classic scene from Cinderella, with Joseph helping Jolene to slip on her heels before completing the dance together.

While the performance was immaculate and evoked collective awws from the crowd, it took lots of work on Joseph’s part to create this perfect moment. “I was already dancing in secondary school and university but he didn’t have any prior dance experience before this,” Jolene nodded. “When I first went for the dance lessons, they even said I danced like a robot,” Joseph grimaced in good humour.

And Joseph was not the only good sport in the house that night; the couple’s family and good friends were also sporting enough to turn up in costume. “We’re very lucky that they’re really supportive of us,” the couple beamed.

While the rest of us may take much longer to plan such a meticulous set-up, the couple was able to achieve the feat in just over a month with the help of a few colleagues and an external company who dealt with the decoration of the venue. However, when asked if they would come up with a wedding to top the success of their engagement party, the couple shook their heads in unison. “I think we might want to take things slow for now!” Jolene smiled knowingly. Joseph continued, “Well maybe not for now, since we were both so stressed from planning this [engagement party]. We might go for something low-key after this!”

Well, seeing how the engagement party was such a blast, we think it might be a waste if the couple stops at this. But you don’t say, since the couple may just come up with another wild idea for their big day. “After all, you know how girls are!” Joseph chuckled.

We’ll be waiting to see what Joseph and Jolene gets up to.