EXPERT ADVICE: Timeless wedding tips from Zoe Tay

Short speeches, fusion cuisine, a vintage gown and simple accessories coupled with a sleek updo. Zoe Tay shows how you can turn your wedding into a stylish and trendy statement.

walbums zoe dec 2001.jpgThe Queen of Caldecott Hill looked effortlessly stylish in a vintage-styled beaded Vera Wang gown, which was paired with understated jewellery and a simple posy, to her church ceremony when she wed pilot Philip Chionh in 2001. PHOTO: Her World Brides Dec 2001 - Feb 2002.

Simple and Elegant
It's tempting to go to the full hoopla on the biggest day of your life. Big gown, bigger train, mile-long veil, all the jewellery. don't. Well, not in this lifetime anyway. The beauty of Zoe's get-up is its modern and timeless simplicity; her beaded Vera Wang gown, understated jewellery, to her radiant makeup and puled-back hair, anchored with small flowers - all mirroring the grace of iconic brides like the late Grace Kelly and Carolyn Bessette- Kennedy.

Short Speeches
Brides and grooms, take note: When it was time for Zoe and hubby Philip Chionh to give their speeches, they put a cap on it — each spent less than 30 seconds thanking their families and close friends.

Weddings are like the Oscars: too much time spent on one thing would delay other things lined up for the evening. The point here: Be gracious and show your appreciation for families, friends and relatives. Just don't be long-winded, and please, don't run a laundry list that includes everyone you know since you were two years old. Unnecessary.

Long banquet tables
While traditional round tables make practical sense (every one can speak to every one), there's something so very stylish and modern about long banquet ones (never mind you can only talk to guests sitting in front of or next to you). Besides, a long table still remains as one of the hottest wedidng trends, set by Hollywood celebrity weddings. Zoe had columns of long tables. Each column featured 18 tables and each table sat 18 guests.

Fusion cuisine
With Singaporeans, food is a big issue. You not only have to consider what the older relatives would like to eat, but also what your new-age friends think of your choice of menu.

Well then, take a bite out of Zoe's idea. Instead of the traditional eight or 10-course fare, Zoe opted for a combination of East and West - all served individually to each guest. The bottom line: If you feed your guests with good food, no one's going to whine about it not being an eight or 10-course Chinese dinner.

Desserts thereafter
Who says desserts have to be served at the table? Zoe, again breaking tradition, offered not just one type of dessert, but a wide assortment (from chocolate cakes to strawberry tarts) all laid out in the cocktail area outisde The Ritz-Carlton Millenia's ballroom. This encouraged guests to hang out longer, mingle, eat, drink and make merry some more.

Hanging pictures
Don't run slide shows of your wedding pictures or put up a big easel of your "official" couple portrait (been there, done that). Zoe opted for an interesting "hang loose" photo gallery suspended from a stand. Each frame featured black and white postcard-sized pictures (our take, you can even print your pictures in squares like a gallery on Instagram. A good idea to adopt (or adapt): Guests can pose next to your pictures for some Insta-worthy happy shots.

This article was first featured in Dec 2001 - Feb 2002.