What's A Coffin Doing In A Wedding Photoshoot? There's A Surprisingly Powerful Reason Behind It.

You wouldn't expect it.

It's one thing to be legally bound to your significant other, but it's a whole other ball game when you take " 'til death do us part" quite literally. 

Professionals in the funeral trade, Singaporeans Jenny Tay and Darren Cheng, went through the typical motions that lead up to a wedding, including a beautiful photo shoot. But one particular object in their wedding photos stood out.

With Tay in a resplendent gown and Cheng in a sharp suit, it looked like a normal wedding photo shoot — except for the coffin.

joellimstudios.com via Jenny Tay
joellimstudios.com via Jenny Tay

The undertaker couple decided to center their photo shoot around a highly taboo topic, particularly in Asian culture. But why did they decide to do that? It turns out it partly had to do with a recent event in Cheng's life. 

In May this year, an Amtrak train derailed near Philadelphia, killing eight and injuring some 200 passengers. More than a dozen of Cheng's family members were onboard that train, including his parents. 

Despite working as a funeral director and dealing with death on a daily basis, Tay wrote in an email to A Plus that Cheng's family's brush with death had changed him.

So they set out on the memorable wedding photo shoot with the goal of changing how people perceive death.

joellimstudios.com via Jenny Tay
joellimstudios.com via Jenny Tay

Tay is a managing director at Direct Funeral Services, and Cheng its operations and business development director. The bride-to-be wrote to A Plus that she wanted the coffin-themed photo shoot to remind people of how fragile life is and how people should make the best of it.

"We hope that our message can help change the world's perspective on life, from our perspective on death," Tay wrote. "You shouldn't live life fearing death, but fear that at death, you realize you have not truly lived."

joellimstudios.com via Jenny Tay
joellimstudios.com via Jenny Tay

To the couple's pleasant surprise, there was an overwhelmingly positive response from their fellow Singaporeans.

"What was most surprising was when there were negative comments, especially the type where people raise taboos, we had angels who stepped up to defend us," Tay wrote, "saying that we were professional undertakers, saying that this shoot was not in anyway morbid but beautiful, etc."

joellimstudios.com via Jenny Tay
joellimstudios.com via Jenny Tay

It was a testament to the powerful message behind their photo shoot and Tay said it was a heartwarming experience, particularly because the funeral trade is "shunned" in Singapore. 

Kudos to the happy couple!

Cover image via joellimstudios.com/Jenny Tay