Touching vows as TV celebs wed in quiet ceremony
By all accounts, it was an occasion worthy of a television drama.
The scenery was perfect, kisses and moving words were exchanged, and tears flowed freely.
The bride, local TV star Joanne Peh, 31, exuded elegance in her scoop-back wedding gown, and the groom, actor, Qi Yuwu, 37, looked immaculate in a matching white suit.
And if there was any script, no one paid it any mind.
The intimate hour-long solemnisation, which took place at 3.30pm on Tuesday, saw the couple exchange their vows in Mandarin.
When Peh's father handed over Peh's hand to Qi, he teared and hugged Qi.
The heartwarming moment saw nary a dry eye.
A guest present recounted a touching moment when Peh told Qi in her wedding vows: "I've missed you for the first half of my life and I am glad I am going to spend the second half of my life with you."
The quiet ceremony, held at the Movenpick Heritage Hotel in Sentosa, was attended only by 40 of the couple's family members and friends, including Qi's relatives, who flew here from Guangzhou.
Besides celebrity hairstylist David Gan (below), no other local celebrities were present.
There were two red candles at the ceremony with dragon and phoenix motifs - a nod to the couple's Chinese heritage.
Before Peh made her way down the aisle, So Have You by Hong Kong singer Danny Chan Pak Keung was played.
Gan said: "The lyrics were beautiful and meaningful, but unfortunately, Joanne doesn't speak Cantonese and didn't understand the significance."
According to Gan, the whole event was organised by local veteran film-maker Daniel Yun (above), who also hired the day's photographers.
When contacted yesterday, Yun declined to comment, saying: "I feel it is now their moment."
Gan had posted two "teasing" photos on his Instagram account on Tuesday evening without showing the couple's faces but hinting at their marriage.
One was of the couple's back view in front of the Merlion statue, while the other was of a woman wearing a bridal veil, with the caption in Chinese: "My other daughter is married (off)."
His pictures set the Internet abuzz, as netizens speculated if Peh and Qi were indeed married.
The couple started dating in April last year, soon after the actress ended her high-profile four-year relationship with Italian-American radio DJ Bobby Tonelli.
China-born Qi came to Singapore in 1999.
He and Peh had known each other for a decade and had starred in several dramas together in the past, including playing a couple in police drama C.L.I.F. 2 and 3.
It is understood that the couple had chosen Sept 9 to tie the knot as the date symbolises "everlasting love" in Mandarin.
They will hold another wedding celebration next year.
The couple's managers released a joint statement yesterday morning, detailing the couple's history before confirming the happy occasion.
"Qi Yuwu and Joanne Peh were colleagues in MediaCorp for over 10 years. They were co-stars, friends before becoming a couple," the statement started.
"In the last year while their filming schedules and work commitments have been a challenge for them to spend time together, both have travelled to be with each other whenever possible - Joanne flying to Beijing, and Qi to Kuala Lumpur.
"Please join us to wish them forever love and happiness."
The day ended with a simple dinner at 7pm where the guests were served a buffet spread of international cuisine in the hotel's whisky lounge, which was turned into a private dining area for the night.
A guest who did not want to be named said: "It was very heartwarming and sincere. The way the couple said their vows to each other was very natural and touching."
Peh's make-up artist Kenneth Lee told TNP that Peh was "quite calm", but also very happy for her big day.
"As for Qi Yuwu, he is usually quite cool and aloof, but we could tell that he was such a happy man that day."
- Additional reporting by Judith Tan
BEHIND THE SCENES
The New Paper hunted down the team behind Peh and Qi's "hush-hush" solemnisation ceremony, and asked them to give us a peek into what went on behind the scenes on Tuesday.
Even though the people involved were initially reluctant to talk, they opened up after some persuasion.
Here's the lowdown:
MAKE-UP AND HAIR
Celebrity make-up artist Kenneth Lee (above, right) gave Peh a "clean and natural look" for her solemnisation ceremony.
He used a pink-toned eye shadow, a light eyeliner and mascara for her eyes. He placed more focus on her lips by using a bolder peach-orange colour.
Lee said: "I didn't use any falsies (false eyelashes) on her. I wanted a simple and healthy look for her, nothing too exaggerated. She can carry off the look very well, it gives her a radiant glow."
He added: "I only took 45 minutes for her face and used a mixture of Lancome, Dior, Chanel and Laneige for the make-up."
For Qi, Lee used Laneige make-up and only concealed his blemishes to give his face some natural glow.
Peh's hair was put together by celebrity hairstylist David Gan. Explaining Peh's slicked-back hairstyle, Gan said: "Joanne had wanted something simple yet elegant, hence the choice."
Peh's wedding gown is by local fashion designer Lai Chan (above), who owns an eponymous boutique at Raffles Hotel Arcade. It is ivory white and long-sleeved with a scoop-back design showing off her toned back.
The wedding solemnisation was held at the porte cochere roof terrace of the Movenpick Heritage Hotel Sentosa (above).
The location, which is an open area on the second storey of the heritage wing of the hotel, overlooks the iconic Merlion statue.
Miss Lau Ler Ling, public relations and marketing communications manager of the hotel, said: "This is the first time a couple has chosen that spot to hold a solemnisation ceremony. It is unique."
She added: "The Merlion statue is iconic to Singapore. As Qi Yuwu is from China, he wanted something iconic as Singapore holds a special place in his heart."
PHOTOS: INSTAGRAM/KENNETH LEE, INSTAGRAM/HER WORLD BRIDES, MÖVENPICK HERITAGE HOTEL, ST FILE, MEDIACORP, TNP FILE
The couple chose a garden theme for the ceremony. The set-up included an oval floral arc (above) with fresh green, white, and cream-coloured flowers, including orchids and cymbidiums.
Sources say that Qi proposed to Peh with a diamond ring.
Gan said: "Yiwu's taste is extremely refined and I'm sure it was a beautiful rock, nothing garish."
The guests at the simple dinner reception on Tuesday were served a buffet spread of international cuisine.