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A Young Bride Speaks: Breaking Stereotypes in Singapore

Ladyy Claire Makeup has worked with brides of all ages and backgrounds, and are always inspired by all the empowering, strong women that let us take care of them on their big day. We would like to inspire our readers and brides-to-be with a story from one of our amazing brides, Jolean.

The trend that we all know of now, is that millennials are putting marriage in the backseat, and focusing on their careers instead. It is no wonder why, as our standard of living continues to rise and things are definitely not the same as the previous generations’. Not only that, there has been a rising stereotype of young wedded couples being married due to unplanned pregnancies. But one of our beautiful brides has managed to prove us wrong. At just twenty-two, Jolean got engaged and married to her current husband, who is only just twenty-three years old, and their reason? They simply felt it was right!

Hi Jolean! Thank you for agreeing to this e-interview. How have you been and what have you and your husband been up to?

Hi Phoebe! We have been well, I am actually working for Shopee now, and my husband is still in the Navy.

Have there been any instances whereby his work in the navy caused him to miss important events?

The thing about the Navy is that nothing is impossible. My husband actually missed my birthday twice. He also couldn’t attend a lot of important occasions and sometimes has to go off sailing for 5 days to a week, and his next one is 3 months. However, he gets to come home every day even though it is not usually on time. It is definitely better than his BMT period as that was two months and was really tough on us.

How did you and your husband meet?

We met in 2017 while doing freelance events, we were allocated to the same department. I am not the initiative kind, but we needed to submit a proposal. We were in the same work group chat, and he took my number from there and texted me to ask if I had submitted the proposal, we checked how our areas might overlap and that’s when we started talking.

What made you guys decide to tie the knot?

There was no particular reason that made us want to get married. To be very realistic, we just wanted a place of our own and we tried Build-To-Order housing (BTO), which did not require us to be engaged immediately because there is a waiting period for BTO. So we tried BTO and Sales of Balance housing for two times but decided that the waiting time was getting a bit too long, and the price was higher than what we could afford.

My mom passed on last year in August. I really wanted her to witness our marriage so it was very hard on me. She also left me a sum of money, and I had to exercise a lot of self-control after seeing the balance in my bank account as I am the kind that will take whatever money I have in the bank to spend when I see that there is enough money left. So instead of doing that, we quickly decided to take a look at resale flats and we were extremely decisive on the area just after looking at a couple of flats. Right when we were at the coffee shop we realized we had to file for a notice of marriage (ROM) if we wanted the flat. We were already in a stable relationship and we both knew that marriage was the end goal for us, so we just decided there and then, at the coffee shop, to tie the knot.

Did your mother’s passing affect your relationship with your husband at that time?

It did not affect us negatively, instead, I felt that it brought us together closer. I would say I am an independent person. I am not close to my siblings - my elder siblings are 6 to 10 years older than me. My parents were divorced and my stepfather was not present. So I only had my husband to rely on. He was a really strong pillar of support for me as he knew that I was all alone after my mother’s passing.

What were the responses from your family and friends?

I texted my friends right after we decided on our ROM, which was at the coffee shop. My friend immediately thought that it was an unplanned pregnancy, which was quite funny. I assured them that I was not pregnant and that we just wanted to do this because we both felt that it was already the right time. Realistically, the house was also a big push for us. For my family, they too felt I was really early to be married, as I was only the second child in my maternal family to get married, and the first person only got married at 28 years old. Nevertheless, everyone was supportive of our decision and gave us their blessings, as they also knew that we were serious about one another and that we both had the same goals for our stable relationship.

Did you find any challenges in your engagement?

Yes, I did. My plan was to have a simple ROM which will move on to dinner at a restaurant, but we would have to book the entire restaurant. That was simply out of the budget for us. Luckily, I managed to find Warehouse 16, an events space. It was perfect for what we wanted to do as we could engage external catering and it could accommodate our guests.

Unfortunately, due to the covid restraints, we also could not get my husband's father's family to come as they lived in Penang. It was disappointing, to say the least, but we believe that we still had their blessing despite them being unable to be there physically.

Another challenge was the money matters. Even though my mum left me a sum of money, we did not want to splurge it on a wedding. We wanted to save it for the house instead. However, we were lucky that our red packet money managed to fully cover the cost of the wedding, as we budgeted our wedding and kept it small.

Did you also plan your own wedding independently?

Yes, my husband left everything to me since I used to be an events organizer. He only decided on the flower arch and the customized coasters. My husband was pleasantly surprised by the setup as he did not expect that with our budget, that we would be able to pull it off as nicely as how it turned out to be.

Why did you choose to engage Ladyy Claire Makeup (LCM)?

I started out a bit lost because there were so many makeup artists and us brides can never be sure which would be suitable for ourselves. So I put up a question-and-answer box on my Instagram page, asking for recommendations on a good hair and makeup artist. My friend, who used to do lashes where Claire used to work, recommended Claire and described her to be extremely detailed, and that she pays attention to things that others do not usually see.

So I went to take a look at Ladyy Claire Makeup’s Instagram, and saw that there was a recently uploaded video on how to remove your makeup after a bridal makeover. I was extremely impressed by that video because it shows how different she is from other artists, that she would go the extra mile to make such a video to take care of her brides, and even potential brides. This really spoke out to me and so I booked an appointment with her for my pre-wedding photoshoot (PWS).

How would you describe your experience with LCM?

So I initially only booked LCM for PWS to use that as a trial for me to see if I would also want her to be there for my actual day (AD). During the PWS makeover, Claire was exactly as my friend had described her - detail-oriented and caring. Claire made sure to even out my uneven eyelids, and catered to all my requests. On top of that, she even provided suggestions on hair and makeup that I did not even think of, and was perfectly suitable for me, and I was so impressed by the outcome. You can tell that Claire has your best interests in mind and that she is not just there to complete a job and leave. She makes sure that you are comfortable and well taken care of, and that everything is to your liking.

Moving forward, what is upcoming for your future with your husband?

That would be our house. We have already collected the keys and are going through the renovation works. This experience has made me realize that a house renovation is tougher than organizing a wedding. As a past events organizer, I like to get hands-on and understand the processes, thus realizing how difficult it actually is and that not all renovations may turn out perfectly and so I am anticipating a few hiccups and am ready for any more challenges that may come with it. Thankfully, I have found an interior designer and have handed over the house works to him.

Times are tough now because of the pandemic, what advice would you give brides-to-be in 2021/22?

Brides, be decisive with your guest list and take full control of it. Remember that the wedding is your celebration and that it belongs to you. It is not to show off your wealth, but a celebration of you and your husband. However, we have to be understanding of our parents and family. They may want to have a say in your wedding, but ultimately, make sure that you are satisfied with the decisions and not have them make all of it if you are not agreeable to it.

Keep in mind that you have to buffer your budget by about 5 to 10% and do not expect it to be entirely covered through the red packets. Give it an estimate of 50% coverage so as not to be disappointed. I only got lucky that my relatives were extremely generous with their red packets and that my wedding was not a grand and costly one.

You do not necessarily need to go for luxurious or expensive vendors. Find one that is suitable for you. Join the brides' telegram group (you can find it through a little Google search), and read through brides’ real reviews. Vendors that sponsor influencers are usually on the expensive side and are not necessarily the best, so pick wisely.

In all, as we cannot avoid the pandemic, be sure to limit your guest count and always make room for any setbacks. Be firm with your decisions and do not let anyone step all over you - after all, it is YOUR big day!

Wedding Credits:

Venue by Warehouse 16

Photography by Intricked

Floral by Khoocoon

If you have any questions on how to plan makeup and hair into your schedule, feel free to consult us when you are booking with us! We will recommend a good time estimate to get ready by, and try our best to fit into your schedule and preferences. 

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