DREW + ROUI
Oct. 21st 2017 // Singapore // Sentosa
There is yet but one word to describe Drew’s love for Roui- it is extraordinary. Just being on the side lines watching all unfold, it feels like a Disney movie. All the magic, wonder, and outrageousness you experience when engaging with such thought through creativity and excitement, is all the same feelings when I’ve watched Drew love Roui. From his insanely beautiful helicopter ride at the Grand Canyon to propose while they were visiting America to him singing a song to her at their wedding. Drew’s love would make any girl blush and weak in the knees.
Their friends call them Droui, and everywhere Droui goes, extreme amounts of joy and love is felt. This couple is a power couple. No one is too far off to love and nothing is too hard they cannot conquer together. My interactions with these two have left me with inspiration and wonder at what love can do.
They are both counselors for kids/young adults battling drug addiction in Singapore. They have some of the biggest hearts I’ve seen around. Drew is creative, talented, and so so so nice. Roui is compassionate, joyful, and has the kindest heart.
Above all they wanted to do things differently. They are not your average Singapore couple. They love Jesus with all their heart and their families with all that they have. I asked if they thought about getting eloped, they nodded in agreement with wishful eyes, but family means too much to them. In Singapore everyone has a big wedding and to forego a wedding would not be very respectful to family and friends wanting to celebrate this new stage of life with the couple. I completely understand and REALLY happy they decided to have a wedding, because it was ridiculously beautiful and so full of everything good under the sun. Music, food, and friends.
My my I have never been to a country like Singapore. It’s clean, well mannered, designed beautifully, very safe, public transit is so organized and easy, super wealthy, and a great mix of all cultures. Oh I forgot to mention…it’s HOT. But I love the humidity, so I was in love.
Drew and Roui had one FULL wedding day, 16 hours to be exact. This wedding consisted of Roui wearing three different wedding dresses, five live bands during ceremony and reception, three Chinese traditional tea ceremonies, one church ceremony and one harbor ceremony, one stop for bubble tea (line cutting as well) LOTS and LOTS of friends, Chinese food, dancing, speeches, blessings, and kisses!
In the images below you will see the full day from start to finish! I included everything so the story can play like a movie in your brain, filling in all the little pieces. We started the day at Roui’s house while she was getting ready. Some of my very favorite images from the day were her bridal portraits in the home she grew up. There is this Chinese tradition called Gatecrashing where the groomsmen come to where bridesmaids and bride is getting ready. BUT the bridesmaids must first make the groomsmen do “challenges” before they can enter the gate. I was told you could see anything from eating really spicy food, to silly games, to embarrassing activities. It was a good laugh we all had when the groomsmen walked up with recorders (yes those little instruments WE ALL learned across the world in elementary school) playing my heart will go on from the movie Titanic. Followed by Drew having to bribe the bridesmaids to get to Roui. All the while because of modern day technology, Roui was being Facetimed in from the room over. Her parents came in to put her veil on representing the passing of bride, for when Drew entered he lifted her veil. The tea ceremonies were following right after Gatecrashing. During these the couple kneels before their elders (parents, older sibilings, aunts, uncles, older cousins) in a sign of respect and thanking them for all that they had done in their life up to that point. It was beautiful to watch.
The sweetest moment of the whole day is when we went to Roui’s grandparents house for the tea ceremony. Her grandfather just survived open heart surgery a few weeks earlier. You will see the moment between the two that was so striking I started crying (first of MANY during the day I cried). He was not able to come to the wedding but hope he can experience it through these images.
Drew and Roui are Christians and really wanted to get married in a church but they are very expensive to rent out for a short ceremony. So they decided to have TWO ceremonies. One at St Andrew’s Cathedral (downtown Singapore open to the public) and one at the Harbor. Only their bridal party and family attended the church wedding. It was there they signed the marriage license and exchanged vows.
The harbor ceremony was filled with 280 of their friends and family on the island of Sentosa. Placed within the tropical vibes of palm trees, peacocks roaming, and beach front, the two decided this was to be the place their celebration was going to be held.
Image this… the sun is starting to set over the ocean. Palm trees sway back and forth waiting to watch from above. The live band starts to sing the song “From the Ground Up” (if you have not heard it go listen to it…or listen to it when you scroll through the images) as the bridesmaids walked down the isle. As Roui gets to the back of the rows the lyrics, “ We’ll build this love up from the ground up, for worse or for better. And I will be all you need. Beside you I’ll stand through the good and the bad. We’ll give all that we have. And we’ll build this love from the ground up.” Cue the tears rolling down everyones face. It was a site to see that I am even getting choked up again as I remember it all. The band continues to play as Roui’s dad hands her off to Drew and goes right into a worship music. It was all too much for both Hailey (my second shooter) and I. It was unlike another ceremony I had experienced before. It wasn’t for show or to get over quickly. It was all aligned so perfectly, the music, the sunset, the ocean. Drew’s father is a pastor and shared some words. They exchanged vows and kissed.
Dreamy, magical, extraordinary.
Then the dinner and hello Grand Entrance like no other!! Confetti, streamers, dry ice, spot light, and a live band singing. Come on now!!!
I noticed that this wedding celebration was different in one significant way compared to American weddings! In Singapore are they are more concerned with honoring and entertaining their guests rather then one big party where everyone dances for hours.Now they danced and danced hard but, their dinner was 8 courses with many many many speeches and blessings given. Can we talk about all the different bands and songs played?! I loved it and already thinking about all the ways I could convinced all my musical friends to play at my wedding together. It was all so grand. And fun. And magical. I fell in love with their friends and family. I cannot wait to go back and visit these amazing humans. What an honor to document this day in the life of Drew and Roui.
There is a quote from one of my favorite books that reminded me of these two and how they live their life.
“Being engaged is a way of doing life, a way of living and loving. It’s about going to extremes and expressing the bright hope that life offers us, a hope that makes us brave and expels darkness with light. That’s what I want my life to be all about – full of abandon, whimsy, and in love.”
Bob Goff, Love Does.
That they are, in love with life.
enjoy. xoxo Hannah Rose