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Life With You | Wedding of Rebecca and Shafiq


Rebecca Quinn’s inquisitive and free spirited nature brought her on travels and she found herself couchsurfing at Shafiq Som’s home back in 2009. She was travelling though Singapore, before heading off to Vietnam for work. They continued to stay in touch and met again coincidentally in Vietnam months later. It was then that they couldn’t deny that there was still a connection between them. “I spent couple of days traveling with my friends before meeting up with Becc and her friends,” Shafiq remembers. “We spent the New Year’s Eve dancing on the beach in Nha Trang, and the next day we had a talk and that’s it, we were together as a couple.”

But they weren’t always physically by each other’s side. Life had other plans and the pair had to move from country to country and acquire new jobs just to be together. It wasn’t until much later that Shafiq and Becc could be together once again in the same country – Singapore.

But in September that same year Becc was diagnosed with colon cancer and they had to return to Australia for medical attention. Shafiq stayed with her until the end of January 2012, before returning to Singapore. “Skype was the main method for us to be in touch but it was never the same as being able to talk in person face-to-face.” Despite it all, the odds were in their favour. The pair had talked about getting married and the night before Shafiq had to leave Australia, he asked her father for his daughter’s hand in marriage.

Becc didn’t mind not getting a proposal at all. In fact, Shafiq’s gesture was special in its own way. “Shafiq had seen me at my absolute sickest and my worst and still wanted to spend the rest of his life me, the actual proposal seemed insignificant.” But wait, the good guys always have something extra amazing up their sleeves! “Months later when I came to Singapore for a quick visit before another operation, he got on his knee, and shyly proposed with a ring. We'd already been engaged for six months!”

Becc had on a white baju kurong for the wedding in Singapore, and gown for the reception in Australia. Her baju kurong flaunted an elegant full lace skirt in a mermaid cut style and a chiffon top, accompanied with a lace veil. “I chose the theme colours to be white and peach, with a splash of rainbow,” she says. “My mother and I made my shoes. I don't really like high heels so we got a pair of real ballet slippers, dyed some of my lace a pale peach colour and decorated the slippers. They were like fairy shoes. It was the only splash of colour on the whole outfit.  They were probably my favourite part of the outfit.”

For the groom’s suit, Shafiq had a white and peach coloured traditional Malay outfit, tailored with a light, breathable fabric to accommodate Singapore’s warm weather.

Shafiq loved the fact that they were able to plan a wedding according to their own expectations, instead of what others would have wanted and Becc loved getting creative during the wedding planning! With Becc in Australia and Shafiq in Singapore, it wasn’t an easy feat coordinating between countries without a wedding planner, but they made the best out of it with the help of family and friends. They also worked on keeping expenses low and discussed ideas and themes over video chats online.

Shafiq’s groomsmen were also his best logistical helpers, multitasking as efficiently as they could. “They really took care of everything on the wedding day, from helping me to get prepared in my outfit, to taking care of the decoration of the venue, to the transportation of our families to the Mosque for the solemnisation, everything!” All Shafiq had to do was to keep calm and leave the day to his groomsmen. “I kept telling myself to get it over and done with, and not get too stressed out about being in the spotlight.”

A week before the wedding, Becc had some time away from the planning sightsee with her family, “My family came to Singapore for the first time in the week before the wedding so again, I was not preparing but playing tour guide, while Shafiq and his groomsmen did all the work!”

It was an emotional occasion for Becc’s family but she kept herself together on the wedding day. “The Qadi understood that I was still recovering and kept the solemnisation brief.  He did it all in English and he would stop and explain to my family what he was doing and saying.  I thought that was really nice and they really appreciated it.  The reception was relaxed and intimate which was really nice. I was definitely tired by the end of the day though!'”

Traditions can still be kept alive too, especially when you get creative with them. “When my dad started talking excitedly about 'walking me down the aisle', I didn't have the heart to tell him that there was no aisle in a Malay wedding, “ Becc shares.  “I organised it so that he would walk me from the entrance of the mosque to my place on floor beside Shafiq. It worked out nicely.”

We asked if there were something that could be done differently for the wedding, and these was their ideals:

We kept the invite for 150 guests, partly because that was the limit the venue had and because we wanted to keep it small where we could mingle with everyone. But not everyone came at the same time so I guess it wouldn’t hurt if we could have invited more. – Shafiq

I had wanted my brother to sing a song that my dad had written for my mum when we were children. It was always my favourite. It had been so long since my father played a guitar though that no one could remember exactly how it went and we all got too busy to sit down and work it out. - Becc

And when the day’s done, both of them agree on one thing - family and friends will always have your back.

Solemisation Venue: Sultan Mosque
Reception Venue: Nabin’s @ Sultan Gate
Caterer: Nabin’s
Photography: Brian Ho, thegaleria
Hair & Make-Up: Fionna Lau
Wedding Flowers: Angel Florist
Wedding Bands: Gem by Gems
Wedding Cake: RibbonsCream Cake Shoppe
Gown: Teresa Goh

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