“Both of us are huge fans of medieval and fantasy movies like The Lord Of The Rings and Harry Potter,” said Eugene Yuen, 30, product manager, who got hitched with 32-year-old sales coordinator Lynn Tay in October 2011.
“I’ve personally never liked attending normal wedding banquets as I always felt that it would be uneventful and boring… I wanted a place that had a “wow” factor and a sense of celebration and fun involved,” he added. “And we imagined ourselves during that (medieval) age, having a wedding in a castle’s town square where there are many market stalls set up with a whole host of activities happening all around.”
And that set the scene for their garden-fairytale-themed wedding at Gardens by the Bay (Bay East Interium Gardens), a government landscaping project still in the making.
Drawing inspiration from the magical realm where mystical creatures and evil forces roam, white picket fences, a big white bridge, wishing wells and Harry Potter movie-inspired props were set up to replicate a market square.
The fancy extravagance was not what many guests, especially some elderly ones, had expected when they were first told that it would be an outdoor buffet, said Eugene. “I had relatives thinking there wasn’t even going to be any tables and chairs and that everyone would just stand around holding plastic plates and cups!”
“What they don’t know is that holding a wedding outdoors and building everything up from scratch cost much more than at your typical five-star hotels! Of course, we confirmed that thought with the red packets we received,” Eugene quipped.
Eugene and Lynn first met when they were working for the same company. “Even though we sat next to each other, we didn’t say a word to each other until weeks later after I had joined the company,” said Eugene.
“Because of my looks, she thought I was much younger than her and wasn’t interested in a ‘little brother’,” he added. “When we finally did talk, we became very much intrigued with each other and keep coming up with excuses to go out together.”
After over two years of courtship and three months of planning, Eugene popped the big question on Oct 1, 2010, exactly one year before the wedding would take place.
“I tricked her into thinking that we were going on a trip to Krabi and she had packed all swimwear and light clothes. It was only at the airport where I surprised her by saying we were going to Hong Kong instead, where she had always wanted to go,” said Eugene.
In Hong Kong, Eugene booked a hotel room that comes with a private pool in the room and harbour view. And with a little “wizardry” (and good timing), he even put up a fireworks show for her.
“I knew there was going to be fireworks as Oct 1 was China’s National Day as well,” said Eugene. With the sizzling fireworks flashing in the sky, he proposed to an overjoyed Lynn in the pool.
What I love about Eugene, said Lynn, is that he is “humorous, romantic and full of surprises” – the perfect concoction for a strong love potion that has put her under his spell.