Singapore couples dress up as Batman and Superman for their weddings

Some Singapore couples dress up as Batman and Superman for their weddings, complete with superhero entourages

It was not Batman versus Superman when Mr Eugin Lee got married in July last year.

Instead the two superheroes joined hands, along with others such as Wolverine and Spider-Man, to collect their bounty - the bride Daphne Choo, from her parents' four-room HDB flat in Sengkang.

Instead of the standard shirt and slacks, Mr Lee, a 28-year-old research analyst, dressed as Superman - in a hulking outfit of red, blue and yellow, complete with a flowing cape. The only thing amiss was perhaps the thick padding in lieu of Man of Steel's otherworldly physique.

His Justice League of seven groomsmen were also dressed as superheroes, albeit in the same less- than-superheroic shape as him.

Still, the colourful Lycra extravaganza - courtesy of outfits rented from a costume shop - surprised her parents and relatives in the house, all of whom had no idea the characters of Marvel Comics and DC Comics were going to turn up.

I’m not as big a fan of superheroes as my husband, but I dressed up as Catwoman to match his Batman because we saw ourselves as ‘partners in crime’ in our relationship.
MS NICOLE ANDREA LEE on why she and her husband, Mr Adriel Li, chose to dress as Batman and Catwoman

Father of the bride, Mr Alex Choo, 57, recalls: "I was shocked when I saw them show up as superheroes. I am not familiar with the characters, but their outfits made the gate- crash event more fun and unique. The guys were very sporting."

The "gate-crash" event is a Chinese wedding tradition usually held on the morning of the wedding day, when the groom and his groomsmen complete challenges for the right to enter the bride's home to pick her up.

Instead of supervillains to overcome, Mr "Superman" Lee and his superhero friends were forced to accomplish tasks such as leg balances and push-ups, which proved to be no less formidable, given the weather and how heavily padded the superheroes' outfits were.

One can imagine how sweaty the men became after it all. Cue - no, not the maniacal laughter of Lex Luthor - but the affectionate chuckles of the bride and her bridesmaids.

Ms Choo, 29, says: "The bridesmaids enjoyed watching these superheroes 'suffer', because the costumes were so thick and bulky.

"When the guys walked through the HDB blocks, many people popped their heads out of their windows to stare. I think the outfits made the whole experience memorable for everyone."

The couple decided to go with a superhero theme for their gate- crash event because Superman means something special to them.

Ms Choo, a scheduling specialist, says: "Eugin gave me a Superman keychain while we were dating and said he would always be there for me, just like Superman is for Lois Lane. Superman stands for love and the ability to protect the people around him."

Mr Lee and Ms Choo are among several Singaporean couples who have incorporated the superhero theme into their wedding. Most do it purely for fun because of the colourful costumes and the playful nature of the theme.

Programmer Chan Chia How, 37, also turned up for the gate-crash at his bride's home dressed as a superhero - Batman. Like Mr Lee's groomsmen, his showed up as various other superheroes as well.

What was different was that all seven bridesmaids were also in costume, dressed up as female superheroes such as Wonder Woman and Batgirl. The couple wed in September 2013.

The bride, Ms Emily Peng, a 31-year-old project manager, says: "The girls wanted to be a part of the fun as well because they are game. I think all of the costumes made for really great pictures because it matched the boys'."

The bride, however, drew the line at ditching her own wedding gown for a superhero costume.

"I had already spent about $4,000 on my dress, so I didn't want it to go to waste," she says with a laugh.

Some grooms such as property director Adriel Li, dressed up simply because it was a chance for him to live out his fanboy fantasies.

The 31-year-old has been an ardent fan of Batman since he was a child, watching the animated cartoon TV show as well as playing the hit Batman: Arkham video game series.

For their wedding shoot, he and Ms Nicole Andrea Lee, 29, dressed as Batman and Catwoman and transported the characters out of Gotham City into the Old Airport Road Food Centre, where the superheroes briefly turned food hawkers.

Ms Lee, a marketing manager, explains: "I'm not as big a fan of superheroes as my husband, but I dressed up as Catwoman to match his Batman because we saw ourselves as 'partners in crime' in our relationship."

The couple, who got married in December 2013, had picked the hawker centre for the shoot as they also have a habit of drinking kopi at hawker centres together regularly.

"We localised Batman and Catwoman this way. These are very Singaporean superheroes," Ms Lee says.

As expected, the couple's striking outfits drew many curious glances throughout the day's shoot, with some hawker stallholders taking selfies with them. Ms Lee adds: "Several hawkers even let us go into their stalls to take pictures, so there are shots of us selling durian puffs as Batman and Catwoman. People were curious, but they were very welcoming at the same time."

An equally warm reception met 35-year-old childcare centre mana- ger Dawn Neo and her senior analyst husband Sng Shouzi when they took their superhero wedding photo and video shoot to Changi Airport in June 2013. Mr Sng had dressed up as Superman, while his six groomsmen donned other superhero outfits.

Mr Sng, 35, recalls: "I think the guys were a little hesitant about the superhero idea at first because they were a little shy. But as soon as we reached the airport, they acted like superstars. Tourists could not stop taking pictures with them and the guys could not stop posing for them."

Never mind that some of his groomsmen looked a little tubbier than the typical superhero.

Sales officer Damien Huang, 34, who had dressed up as Spider-Man, openly poked fun at his belly in the wedding video. He says with a laugh: "There is nothing to be embarrassed about. I'm a heavy guy. It's all just for fun anyway."

He tied the knot a year after his friend, but his own wedding was a "very normal" affair, without the presence of any superheroes. He says: "I was already a superhero for a day. I think that's enough."

•Follow Yip Wai Yee on Twitter @STyipwaiyee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 27, 2016, with the headline 'When Batman says 'I do''. Print Edition | Subscribe