By now, Ming Bridges has gotten married to her husband three times. Two of these weddings had been planned months in advance and were extensively documented. Bridges’ mixed heritage—she is British-Singaporean—meant that she wanted to hold a full Chinese ceremony in Singapore, witnessed by over 200 guests and replete with every intricate tradition. Then came a smaller, but equally elaborate, destination wedding in Cadiz, Spain.
What most guests did not know was that some time before either public event, Bridges and her husband Liam had already gotten married in secret. Soon after their engagement, the couple held an intimate ceremony in their home, with a select few in attendance: their immediate families, and of course, their dog.
Bridges is halfway through an idyllic honeymoon in Italy when she sits down for a chat with me over Zoom. Sunkissed and fresh-faced, it is not difficult to see why the social media personality and fashion entrepreneur (Bridges runs Rentadella, an evening wear and gown rental business in Singapore) was once a model and musician—or picture her as a dazzling bride.
“Liam is unapologetically himself. He is really kind, but also knows his own self-worth”
Bridges looked the part for her Singapore wedding in a custom scarlet qi pao from Lily Sasongko Couture and Bridal, while Liam’s jacket was handmade by a local tailor. She matched her outfit with family heirloom jewellery gifted by her aunt and grandmother during her guo da li, a Chinese betrothal ceremony that marks the first formal meeting between the families of the bride and groom.
In hindsight, she looks back most fondly on the tea ceremony and the gatecrash—a series of cheeky games planned by the bridesmaids to test the groom. The most insurmountable of the challenges Bridges’ bridal party had in store? The groomsmen were asked to carry her all the way home—in a sedan chair.
How they pulled that off remains a mystery, but Bridges theorises that they were motivated by her wedding cake from Aquarela Cakes, which she describes as her “dream combination of berry tarts and mille-feuille”.
In contrast to her Singapore ceremony, the Spanish wedding was conceptualised as a gigantic party. Music was a big part of the event—with Bridges’ venue and events producer Nigel of Chez Vous Events DJing till 4am.
The bride’s wardrobe was fittingly extravagant. For the ceremony, she donned an elegant off-the-shoulder Elie Saab gown and veil, before slipping into a glitzy, curve-hugging Galia Lahav dress for the reception that followed. When it came time for the after-party, she had one main consideration in mind when opting for an over-the-top, disco-inspired number from Australian label Helen O Connor. “I really, really, really wanted to dance.”
And dance she did—so much so that the soles of the strappy Oscar De La Renta she had selected for the evening had fallen off by midnight. “Luckily, I had a bunch of espadrilles on standby as dancing shoes for all the ladies at the wedding.”
Considerate, and certainly something I would appreciate as a wedding guest. Bridges is happy to hear as much. When it came to details, the pair left no stone unturned. In Spain, they hired a charming fleet of Mini Mokes from The Jolly Mile to drive their guests up a hill for cocktail hour.
Back home, special touches came in the form of little jars of kaya they handed out as wedding favours—“I wanted everyone to take a little bit of Singapore home with them”—and a massive takeaway order from local dim sum institution Swee Choon for the Chinese tea ceremony. Bridges reveals shyly: “We had one of our first dates at Swee Choon and it is still one of our favourite spots to visit together.”
“We had one of our first dates at Swee Choon and it is still one of our favourite spots to visit together”
The couple met online six years ago. A month and a half into dating, he had met her whole family on a ski holiday in France. She giggles: “It was actually a really terrible holiday—we were both jet-lagged and he hated skiing. He also tried to make a plant-based treat for my sister, who was vegan at the time. It turned out disgusting.”
She pauses mid-laugh and her tone softens. “But that’s who Liam is—unapologetically himself. He is really kind, but also knows his own self-worth and isn’t worried about what people think. I knew after that trip that I was going to marry him.”
Four years on, Liam got down on one knee in the balcony of the home they shared. One tearful “yes” later, Bridges’ parents came over to join the pair for a special dinner. “I had suspected that my mother might have known prior, since she asked me to get my nails done a week before. But it turns out that she was just being an Asian mum and preparing for the best case scenario.”
Bridges’ mother, whom she describes as her “best friend”, played a pivotal role in both her weddings. She provided most of the jewellery Bridges wore during her ceremonies—a regal set of jade earrings for her reception in Singapore and a second vintage pair for the after-party—and even whipped out her sewing kit to deftly mend a wardrobe malfunction that happened just minutes before the ceremony in Spain was set to begin.
“She was sewing up a piece of the dress that had fallen out with light blue string,” Bridges shares. “Part of me feels like it was destined to happen, since it became my ‘something blue’.”
She wells up as she recounts the one wedding moment that stands out the strongest. While she had curated a stellar line-up of musicians for her wedding in Spain (including a glorious string quartet), she decided to play ‘First Day of My Life’ by the band Bright Eyes on her phone right before she would walk down the aisle. It was a song she had loved deeply since the age of 13. “When you’re a little girl, you imagine that special moment, never quite believing that it would happen to you. It was the most surreal feeling I’ve ever had, knowing that it was happening for me—with someone as wonderful as Liam.”