With over 200,000 followers on Instagram, Melissa C. Koh is no stranger to fashion enthusiasts across Singapore and Southeast Asia. The Singaporean fashion blogger and social media influencer made waves last year when she announced her engagement to childhood friend-turned-fiancé, James Chen.
The pair first met in church when they were around 13 years old. "We didn't start dating back then. We were just really close friends who became study buddies," said James. "He would come to my house after school, almost every day, to study together and have dinner. Apparently, he had the biggest crush on me but I didn't know back then!" said Melissa.
Fast forward 14 years later, sparks flew and James soon proposed to Melissa at the church where they met for the very first time. "I was having a choir interview for a charity concert," recalled Melissa. "Things went normally at first, but then the interviewer started asking weird questions, about whether there was a special person in the choir. The person interviewing me also looked very familiar," she continued. As it turned out, the whole thing was staged—during the interview, James and his friends were preparing a romantic proposal setup outside! "Later on, they let me out of the room and he proposed," reminisced Melissa.
Although Melissa and James's actual wedding day is yet to come, they wanted to celebrate early with their closest friends. "The wedding will be such a big event, and we will hardly get to talk with everyone there," explained Melissa. "I also wanted my entire bridal party to bond, spend time together, and get to know each other by staying overseas for a couple of days," she continued. In the end, they decided to throw a laid-back and intimate engagement party in Bali with only 60 guests. "We've always wanted to have a beach wedding, which you can't get in Singapore," said James. As the closest tropical paradise to the Lion City, Bali naturally became their first choice.
The couple brought along a few trusted wedding vendors from Singapore to help out with their engagement party. "I've been working with them for a very long time, so I trust them enough to let them do whatever they want," said Melissa. As for the local vendors, Melissa and James left everything to Bridestory's very own Hilda wedding consultants. "Everyone else that Hilda brought on board was really good as well. There was not even one case when anyone came to us with something we didn't want. It was so easy!" said Melissa.
Take another look at Melissa and James's stunning engagement party photos above, and tell us what you think in the comments section below.