It’s a tale as old as time… Boy and girl meet, fall in love, and begin their happily ever after. But one couple from Singapore is living a real-life fairytale, and they have the Disney-themed wedding photos to prove it!
Lifestyle consultant Juliana Chong Stryker married her Prince Charming in November 2014, and every magical moment was caught on camera. Now, in an exclusive interview with The Knot, the princess bride is sharing all of the dream-worthy details, as well as cluing other brides-to-be in on how to create their own Disney-themed wedding.
“We were both literally a pair of hopeful romantics when we met,” Stryker says of her relationship with husband Bobby, “and our shared love of Disney became something central to our very own fairytale romance.”
“Disney clearly left a strong impression on both of us in our childhoods,” she tells The Knot. “The magic, the mystique and the romance. There’s something about Disney’s fairytales that simply speaks to the child in all of us.”
Little did the couple know that their love for Disney would lead to a fairytale wedding planning adventure not soon to be forgotten. “Our first holiday together was to Disneyland in Hong Kong,” Stryker tells The Knot, “and as our relationship blossomed, it became obvious that we had to have a Disney-inspired wedding.”
After dating for about a year, the couple got engaged and the one-of-a-kind wedding planning began. “We came up with our own fairytale story and filmed it on location in Paris,” Stryker explains, “but the unique feature was that the story, as if by magic, continued in real time at the wedding itself in front of our guests.”
“It took months of planning and preparation and we still can’t believe we managed to pull it off,” the bride tells us. “As we only had one chance to get it right in front of our guests, but it seems lady luck was with us that night as it turned out to be truly magical.”
While the couple incorporated many famous Disney storylines into their special day, they put a special emphasis on Beauty and the Beast, which happens to be their favorite. “I think the reason we chose Beauty and the Beast as the main theme is simply because my husband and I both love and relate to the characters so much,” Stryker tells The Knot. “Growing up, seeing Belle’s fascination with her books, her sense of adventure and longing for something more, and the idea that you should never judge a book by its cover, it was something I could really relate to on so many levels.”
After sharing their first dance as husband and wife to a “lovely instrumental piano version of Tale As Old As Time,” the couple cut their wedding cake, which was a nearly too-pretty-to-eat glowing princess castle. “The other showstopper, without a doubt, was our fairytale wedding cake,” Stryker shares. “Many were surprised that it was a real cake but it was!” She goes on, “It was such a magical sight to behold; I almost didn’t want to put the knife in when the time came to share it with my guests.”
So how did the blushing bride manage to create such an elegant Disney-themed wedding experience? “Although we wanted to incorporate our favourite Disney fairytales into our wedding,” she explains, “we were mindful that if we were not careful, instead of being a delicate, tasteful homage to our favourite fairytales, we could end up crossing over into fancy dress/pantomime territory, which we definitely did not want.”
“So with that in mind, we focused our wardrobe changes on only the most elegant of themes and those most befitting of a traditional white wedding,” says the bride, who donned multiple Disney-themed wedding dresses during the couple’s photo shoot and wedding day. “To the unknowing bystander, it was actually wholly possible that they would miss the Disney elements in our wardrobe changes. However, the discerning Disney lover would surely pick up our nods to our favourite Disney fairytales.”
The bride, whose wedding took place at Cotton, a beachside restaurant in Singapore, wants other brides-to-be to know that a Disney-themed wedding is possible for any Disney lover. “I hope readers will be able to see that they too can have a Disney-themed wedding or photo-shoot,” Stryker tells The Knot. “It doesn’t have to break the bank; you just need to really, really want it.”
“After learning to do my own makeup and hair on location, my husband-to-be helping me change in and out of different gowns, and with the help of some very very understanding photographers, it really [was] possible,” she explains. “For wedding props, I managed to save a bomb by sourcing for ideas locally, on eBay, TaoBao (the Chinese equivalent of eBay) and pretty much anywhere else I could find. So if anyone out there dreams of one day having a Disney fairytale themed wedding, I say go for it!”
And where does a bride-to-be find a wedding gown fit for a princess? “My actual wedding gowns were from Loov Production,” Stryker tells us, “whereas the gowns used in Paris were from both Loov Production as well as Love Potion Singapore.”
But it seems a fairytale prince can’t find suitable wedding attire off the rack. “My husband’s Beauty and the Beast blazer was custom made by Intrend Fashions,” Stryker tells The Knot.
Their fairytale inspired Disney-themed wedding is what happily ever afters are made of, and Stryker is grateful to everyone who helped create the magic. “I feel truly blessed that I was able to have such a magical wedding, but it really wouldn’t have been possible without help from so many people,” the princess bride tells us. “My amazing husband, bridesmaids, photographers, makeup artists and loving family and friends. Thank you all so much!”