Endearing Engagements

Old Shanghai Tinghun for Longtime Sweethearts

'We realized that being safe with our loved ones is all that matters'

Achilles Lance Garcia and Danna Go first met as young children during their grade school years. “We became best friends but Aki transferred in high school,” Danna recalls. “We still kept in touch after and eventually became more than just friends. So now we’ve been together for 10 years.”

Planning their ting-hun presented to be a challenge for the couple because their families wished to have 100 guests but the ever changing quarantine levels made it difficult to invite their loved ones in advance. They were only able to finalize their guest list a week before the event. Aki and Danna held their intimate ting-hun on February 27, 2021.

Danna says the couple decided on a theme that fit perfectly with their venue, Canton Road at Shangri-La The Fort. This meant they did not have to bring in too much when it came to styling, a worthy tip to consider for couples planning their ting-hun or wedding–work with what you have. Another way to execute this is to book a venue that already checks off items on your vision board to minimize your styling needs.

Below, Danna talks in detail about their Old Shanghai ting-hun, how they managed the changing guidelines, and what they found to be most important for their ting-hun. Read on!

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What was your vision for your ting-hun?

We wanted it to have an Old Shanghai feel. Since Canton Road's interior was already perfect for the theme, it was easier to make decisions on the styling. 

Our non-negotiable was actually the design of the backdrop and the "lighted sanghee" because it sets the mood to the space and it was the focal point of the event. It was nice that we didn't have to think about the whole venue and just focused on the backdrop and ceremony table.

We wanted to take a lot of photos with family and friends so we also didn't want to compromise on the photo and video. It was a once in a lifetime experience to have this event so making sure to document everything is a big deal for us.

Was this your original plan?

When we planned the event, it was Covid season already but it was when business operations were allowed. At first, our families wanted to have at least 100 guests since it was possible to book a venue at the time that was big enough to accommodate guests while social-distancing. In the process of planning, the pandemic was really unpredictable so we decided on downsizing the event.

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What were the challenges you encountered?

We didn't encounter a lot of challenges with suppliers because Tinghun Tris (our coordinator) helped us a lot during the process. The one thing we had a hard time with was inviting guests. It was really unpredictable because we couldn't foresee if the pandemic would get better or worse so our guests weren't really sure if they wanted to go or not. Of course, we understood the circumstances and didn't want to pressure them to give us an answer right away. We were not able to finalize our guest list until a week before the event.

How did you handle the challenges?

In the end, we decided to downsize the guest list to 50pax only since this was the safest option. We also conducted Antigen swab testing for all guests and suppliers who were attending the event.

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How did you feel during your ting-hun?

It was the first time we saw all our family and friends since the pandemic so it was definitely an event to remember. We also realized that even though it was an intimate event, the presence of our loved ones and the ones that made time for us is all that matters.

Do you have advice for couples planning their ting-hun?

Prioritize what's important to you and let go of what you can't control. If you're planning an event at this time, being flexible is the way to go. Stressing over little things isn't worth it. We realized that being safe with our loved ones is all that matters and that an intimate event isn't that bad at all.

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The Dream Team

Venue: Canton Road, Shangri-La The Fort | Coordination: Tinghun Tris | Ceremony Table: Tinghun Tris x Majic Touch | Styling: Majic Touch | Gown: Teena Sabrina | Hair and makeup: Ennah Trinidad | Photography: Toto Villaruel | Video: The Modern Collective | Cake: Penk Ching

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