Wedding in Singapore // Shankari and Dzafir

Author: emmaboileau

Category: 2020 Wedding


Singapore Botanic Gardens Wedding Portrait

Wedding in Singapore

Last year I photographed a wedding in Singapore. I still can’t believe it happened. When Shankari and Dzafir first contacted me I thought I must have dreamt it. But it turned out to be real, and before I knew it, there I was in Singapore sweating my face off. If you have never been to Singapore, it’s HOT. I took a lot of photographs over this epic 3 day event, so it’s been a bit of a mammoth job to narrow it down. One positive to come from the current lockdown situation, is that I’ve had the time to take a breath and look back through this little adventure. Travel and exploring different cultures has played a huge part in my life, and it’s something I feel very privileged to have been able to do over the past decade. To be able to combine this with work still feels a little unreal.

Quite a lot happened over the few days I spent with Shankari and Dzafir, they were BUSY. We had the Mehndi party with Shankari’s family and friends, a pre-wedding shoot at Fort Canning Park , the solemnisation and evening wedding reception at Singapore Botanic Gardens, followed the next day by the Malay bersanding at Orchid Country Club.

Mehndi Party

The Mehndi party took place at Shankari’s parents home. Singapore apartments all have open air communal spaces on the ground floor, which make the perfect place for a party. Shankari’s Mum is well known for throwing a great party, and this one didn’t disappoint. Great food, beautiful henna creations from Zahra Bridal Henna, a lot of fun, and plenty of dancing from everyone. This set the tone for the next couple of days.

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Pre-Shoot at Fort Canning Park
With so much to organise for the two days ahead, we managed to squeeze in a window of time for the three of us to head off for a wedding pre-shoot at the hilltop landmark Fort Canning Park. This was originally going to be the venue for their wedding reception, but due to the Singapore Bicentennial celebrations there was a change of plan. It was lovely to explore, and spend a little bit of time with Shankari and Dzafir before full celebrations began. They both had plenty of jobs to tick off before the next day, including the final dress fitting for Shankari. I never get to see this part of the preparations so it was a real treat, and to meet Jade at Time Taken To Make A Dress too.

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It was an early start at Shankari’s parents apartment, with preparation filling every room. Shankari looked a vision in red as we arrived at the Botanic Gardens;  with Dzafir eagerly waiting. Once the formal ceremony took place there was some time for everyone to eat and relax before heading off until the evening reception.

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Evening Wedding Reception

There was a little time to relax after an early start and a busy few days before preparations began for the evening. Dzafir and Shankari had recently moved into their own apartment, it was a special moment to see Dzafir beaming when he saw Shankari in her incredible lace dress for the first time. We managed to catch the last of the sun for a few portraits around the gardens before making our way into The Villa. Blanc Studios had been working their magic to create the most incredible floral displays, I don’t think I’ve every seen so many tropical flowers in one place.

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I absolutely loved the ceremony and exchange of personal vows. Both Dzafir and Shankari had the biggest smiles throughout, they make such a brilliant couple. The Mehndi party had clearly been the dance warm up for this evening, as there were moves and dance off happening from all angles. Shankari’s Mum even changed outfits so she could bring her A-game to the dancefloor, which she did with style. There is nothing quite like holding a camera in the middle of a packed out and crazy dance floor, you should all try it.

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Malay Ceremony

This was my first experience of a traditional Malay bersanding,and what an experience it was. Often with photographing weddings, it’s rare that you get to see everyone again. which can make me feel a bit sad after having spent such a special day with my couples and their guests. With Shankari and Dzafir, I got to hang out with people 2 or three times. It felt like I had made a 100 new friends as I was greeted by a sea of smiles.

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Wow, what an experience. A whirlwind of incredible people, and the most wonderful of hosts. Being asked to photograph this wedding will be always be a highlight of wedding photography. Thank you SO much to Shankari, Dzafir, and their brilliant families and friends, for making this so special. Big thanks also to the team from Colossal too, it was such a pleasure to work along side them.


Venue: Singapore Botanic Gardens and Orchid Country Club
Florist: Blanc Studios
Caterers: The Halia at Botanic Gardens
Cake: Comestivel Desserts
Wedding dress: Time Taken To Make A Dress
Hair: Priscilla Loo
Make up: Make up by Roxx
Saree Draping: Hairstyling by Hameedah
Groom and Groomsmen Suits: Red Dot Bespoke
Henna: Zahra Bridal Henna
Wedding Planner: The Perfect Host
DJ: DJ Asher Ashvin
Malay wedding outfits and accessories: The Wedding Brocade