There are some things I have learnt after spending over my past 10 years in Singapore. An actual day wedding ceremony in Singapore is vastly different from that of a wedding day in most Western countries, or from where I came from, France. That’s also the reason why the photographs that come out of a Singapore wedding is also vastly different looking! (I’m talking about the events, not the people.)
7AM to 9AM
First of all, in Singapore, when couples get married, the bride and the groom are in separate locations. The bride will be at her parents’ place, while the groom can be anywhere outside (usually at his own house).
The actual day photographer will be at the bride’s place and taking photographs of her and her bridesmaid having their makeup done and getting into the wedding dress.
9AM to 11AM
Soon after, the groom arrives with his entourage of best men. To get into the bride’s house and for the day’s ceremony to start proper, the bridesmaids will usually make the groom and his best men to play ‘games’. Usually these games are torturous in nature, and would usually require the groom and his best men to either eat extremely weird tasting food or act all silly. This ritual in Singapore’s actual day wedding ceremonies is also meant to symbolize the groom willing to go through hardship to get the bride. (Sounds weird I know, but it’s something which most Chinese couples in Singapore practise.) The photographs taken at this event is quite funny. Just Google for such actual day photographs and you’ll know what I mean.
Thereafter, there will be a tea ceremony, where the couple will pay their respects to their bride’s parents by toasting them tea and asking for ‘permission’ to get married.
11AM to 1PM
Now, the couple will drive off or get chauffeured in a bridal car to the groom’s parents’ place, where the same tea ceremony will take place.
1pM to 2PM
Usually, lunch will be taken here and now.
2PM to 4PM
This is usually just a rest time for the couple as well as for the bridesmaids. The couple will change into their evening suit and gown, and start preparing for the evening banquet ceremony which is usually held at a posh restaurant at a hotel. This is also the time where the actual day photographer will be editing the photographs taken in the morning so that it can be showcased as a slideshow during the dinner banquet around 6pm to 7pm.
5PM to 6PM
Guests start arriving for the dinner banquet (some of them are those who were already around since the morning).
6PM to 7PM
The official dinner banquet starts, and the couple enters into the ballroom with the wedding chimes ringing! This is usually the grandest part of the day, and the highlight of the wedding day. At this point in time, the photographer will then broadcast the wedding photographs taken in the earlier part of the day in a musical slideshow format.
7PM to 9PM
The couple will usually toast and talk to the guests at this point in time and this is usually just dinner time for the rest of the guest. (Read: just a random Straits Times article on how expensive a wedding dinner in Singapore can be.) The photographer will simply capture the scenes at this point in time. Group photos are very commonly taken at this point in time of the wedding by the actual day wedding photographer.
Now that you got a better and clear idea of how an actual day wedding ceremony is like in Singapore, you will better understand why actual day bridal photos taken in Singapore usually look vastly different from that of those taken in another country.
This is also the reason why the actual day photography in Singapore looks much more unique and with lots of different locations when you compare it to wedding day photographs of ceremonies held in Western countries.