My Singapore Summer Garden Wedding
Hello Everyone, I’m Kylie and I am new to this website. I am very inspired by this website and what it has to offer and decided I should share my unique wedding story with the members here, in hopes to inspire and help other brides out there perhaps with a similar unique situation like ours.
What so unique about my wedding story? Well, I believe every wedding is special especially in the hearts of the bride and groom but mine is different because not only it was planned in a short time (less than 6 months actually!) but it is also planned while both of us Singaporeans are located overseas apart, to have our wedding done in our home country, the sunny Singapore where our families and most of our friends resided in. You can imagine the stress and hair pulling moments. Yes, my bridezilla moments appear way too much often, according to my husband anyways.To those who may not know where Singapore is, its a tiny island (but it is a country on its own), at the south tip of Malaysia, in the South East Asia region. As Singapore is forever sunny (we do not have any seasonal changes), we opt for a garden wedding at the luscious greenery central location of Singapore.
Talking about my husband, we won’t be showing our faces in the photos I posted here as both of us are extremely private persons and I want to respect the wishes of my husband to keep our lives as much as offline. But it’s so hard because I want to share all our beautiful photos with the world! Don’t worry; I will still be sharing my photos here, just without our faces. :)
Without further ado, please allow me to introduce myself and give a little bit of background of my husband as well. Both of us are Singaporeans and we are hardworking, fun-loving, adventurous individuals in our early thirties. I am an ambitious career minded lady, who was relocated to Shanghai, China to explore and expand the Chinese market. My husband is a passionate skillful talent man who was moved to Malaysia due to region requirements.
Both of us did not planned to enter into a relationship as we have already committed ourselves to relocating to another country. He, some 310km from home and me, a good 6 hours flight from Singapore. As most relationships, we met through common friends and we hit it off pretty quickly, probably due to the fact both of us are moving away from the comforts of our families and the conversation centrally around preparations, excitement about moving and of course, woeful that we are tearing ourselves from our comfort zone. Our conversation continues from texting and emailing.
As destiny has it, I moved over to Shanghai by myself and a few weeks later, he flew over to join me and to help me to set up my new apartment; our relationship blossomed in between the midst of wallpaper choosing, furniture selections and unpacking.
As much as both of us realized that long distance relationship don’t last, we both know we need to give it a try. We dated for 2 years before one fine day, we woke up and decided no more long distance anymore, and we want to get married in June! By the way, this was in February the same year. Most brides have at least a year, if not 18 months to plan for their fairy tale wedding and I only have…. 4 months! This is absolutely crazy! But hey, we managed to pull it off and with a success too!
I will share all my nifty-gritty secrets and how we managed to pull an event of hosting 100 folks for our wedding garden lunch.
So first thing I do after panicking over and over again and calling all my friends and gushed about it “I’m finally off the shelves!!!!” is to come up with a plan of some sorts. Those who know me will understand my insane need to organize everything according to my planning. I will never leave anything to chance.
So first, we need a location and choosing a location in Singapore is never easy. A floating rumor has it that a Singaporean couple will usually booked and paid 50% of the deposit to secure a restaurant 2 years in advance. Shocking! And I only have 4 months to go, I wonder if I can find anyplace at all or do I have to have it in my house. So I started searching and digging every special place I could find online. My fiancé and I agree not to have a big wedding, no hotel banquet and no unknown relatives gatecrashing our wedding. I hate big weddings; it makes going to celebrate the bride’s love a little redundant when she won’t even remember if I attended or not until she sees the guest book because there are just too many people. We are never going to be like that, not at our wedding.
So I started researching on beach wedding, garden wedding and yacht weddings. I have found for beach wedding, this Mana Mana Beach Club East Coast looks very dreamy and I always love the sun, the sea, the sand. If you like what I love, you can find them here: http://www.manamana.com
Then for garden wedding, I found this quaint little place called PS Café www.pscafe.sg (which happens to be our favorite cake place! They really make delicious cakes. Oh, so good!). They have several branches but we had our eyes set on the one at Harding Road.
For the yacht, who doesn’t like a yacht princess wedding? Getting married on the gentle waves instead of feet firmly on land is somewhat romantic and unique to me. I imagine my guests swaying in the gentle sea breeze while jazz music wafting through the air. I’m fortunate to stumble one company who does this here: http://www.yachtcharter.sg/
But Mr Husband don’t like beaching wedding or yachting wedding, he said it is very cliché. :( So it is the garden wedding, only to have my hopes crushed because their price was over our budget many times. But at the very least, we have our directions set on having a garden wedding. Woohoo!
Finally, after emailing 10 over restaurant vendors, we narrowed it down to 3 places to visit. It is not easy, coordinating through only email, through different time zones because during these 4 months, both of us are not stationed in one place, we are traveling all over the globe.
1. Vineyard @ Hort Park www.vineyardhortpark.com.sg – because of its luscious settings in a greenery park
2. Skyve www.skyve.com.sg - of its nostalgic ambience of an old school
3. UNA @ 1 Rochester www.una.sg - of the fantastic food there (I am a huge fan of their food!)
I shall tell you which one I have chosen out of the 3! Keep guessing!
Have you guess it yet?
After rushing from place to place on a same day, yes, both of us actually flew down together to Singapore to look at the restaurants. We decided on UNA @ 1 Rochester. Not only both of us love the food, we love the location that is central enough for our guests to easily travel to via public transport and we also love the beautiful fresh greenery surrounding us. More pictures here! Isn't the place gorgeous? It has a rustic Balinese feel to it. Once entering it, it will take you away from the hustle and bustle of city life and embraced you in the arms of Mother Nature.
Most importantly, to us is that we have tasted their food before and it is crucial in a Chinese wedding to have good abundance food. As a host, it reflected badly on us if we do not serve good food or worst, enough food for our guests!
Since we have one of the more important aspect of our wedding planning nailed firmly down, next is to find a theme for our wedding. Our wedding planner has three different themes for us to pick however, I decide to challenge myself and want to customize my own theme, much to husband’s chagrin. I started going through Pininterest, wedding forums and wedding magazines. I have found several pretty themes.
First, I wanted a specific theme:
I have a garden so why not deck out in country style theme so my best men and groom can go all cowboy style! So adorable!
Another good theme is forest theme, very enchanting and fairy tale like but since we are holding it in the afternoon, its kinda not that appropriate but still its so beautiful!
And which bride does not want to be a princess on the most important day of our lives? Swish swish swish, Flutter flutter flutter, Awwwww…
Then I went all bonkers and start to come up with the gothic theme wedding, which is something evil Kylie personality would die for. But in view of the older generations and my mother-in-law, I guess I will only don a black wedding dress in my dreams. Context: Black is inauspicious for Chinese and represents death.
Alas, sad to say all the themes above will take up too many of our time and time is a luxury we don’t have on our hands. I need to quickly wake up from my dreams and be more realistic in planning our wedding. Hence, I went with the color theme.
Firstly, I look at the more popular ones like below color themes:
Pretty in Pink & Cream
Tiffany Blue (Tiffany is the key word here.. Haha!)
I got overwhelmed and grabbed my wedding go-to advisor, my lil sister! She gave a sound advice – chose the color that represent both my husband and me. I love Passionate Reds and he is a blue guy. So we ended up with this two color themes.
My husband thinks this is too American-ish (if there is such a thing) but I thought the flower girl look adorable!
My husband picked the final choice of this! (I think he was secretly relive I didn’t choose the princess theme. Too sugary and girly for us.)
Phew! A lock down in theme! Next on the list...... What else? Oh dear, I almost forgot something important.....
I totally forgot we have to check on the legal stuff pertaining to getting married in Singapore. Shocking! My fingers flew across the keyboard and read every single word on Singapore Registry of Marriage website (in case, you are like me, here is the web link www.rom.gov.sg).
First of all, we need to register online, no more than 3 months from the date we want to get married and no less than 3 weeks from the date either. Then we need to anticipate a letter from the government for an appointment for verification of documents (probably is to identify you are the correct person registering online). Then we need to find someone who is able to legally wed us in front of our families and friends and have him to submit our application to the Registry of Marriage on the location where he will perform the rites.
As small as Singapore, both of us and our friends did not know anyone who has the legal ability to bound us together as husband and wife so I start sourcing online and digging through pages and pages of wedding forums. Registry of Marriage does provide a list of legally available solemnizers, some of them are lawyers, and some are pastors and priest while others are members of the grassroots leaders in our community. That should be easy right? Nope, its isn’t because I had my bridezilla thinking cap on and decided that I want someone who is mature fatherly looking, Chinese, humorous, kind, positive and jovial. My husband just want someone who can marry us. His words “It only take 15mins to marry us, how does the solemnizer being kind and jovial have anything to do with our ceremony?” My retort “I don’t want a grumpy old maid to ask if I really want to be your wife.”
So I started blasting out emails to 10 famous and popular solemnizers in Singapore. Yes, we Singaporeans are fanatics when comes to ranking. It’s nothing but the best especially since I am the bride-to-be. Muahaha!
All said they are already booked on that day except for kind Mr Francis Ng who agree to be our solemnizer even though we couldn’t meet him before the wedding (as per stipulated by Registry of Marriage, a need to meet up). He was extremely accommodating in his email and even gave me his Whatsapp so I can text him as and when I want. See! Kind and positive! I’ve got a photo of him so you can take a look.
Fatherly looking, right? Yes, I am now ready to begin the nifty gritty planning. If you think finding a location, picking out a theme and securing a solemnizer were the hardest part of my planning, you absolutely have no idea.
The hardest part to us is probably the distance and the lack of touch. As much as we are thankful for the latest technology to make our lives a lot easier, like FaceTime, Skype, emails and Whatsapp, nothing can compare to hugging your loved ones, giving them a ruffle on the head, a gentle caress on the cheek even a playful pat on the butt.
Long distance relationships are the hardest and I would never wished it upon my worst enemy. It is painful and sad when two people in love are separate because of distance. I often seek solace from here: http://members.lovingfromadistance.com/forum... which provide really good advice and encouragements for all the long distance relationships.
Coming back to planning, it is difficult when comes to wedding planning because you not only have to match both of yours expectations but also to respect the wishes of our families, namely our parents. Most Chinese parents only look forward to two milestones in their children’s life, one is when their kid grew up and got married, and the other is when they hold their grandchild in their arms.
Both of us have to consult our own parents and align their expectation with ours. One good thing deriving out of long distance relationships is we are forced to communicate all the time, even putting our emotions into words. Who is going to know if you shed tears after you logged out of Skype? Oh yes, tears are a big part of long distance relationships, even bigger than a normal relationship.
Being in Shanghai – a foreign country alone is not easy for me as well, I couldn’t have my girlfriends around me to gush about the color theme, go shopping for shoes or even browse through wedding magazines and giggle together at the famous Hollywood stars’ choices of their gowns. Nope, none of that. But I still want my closest girlfriends with me hence I set up a Whatsapp group entitled Marrying Kylie Off. My husband also did that with his group of friends. Below is my chat group logo.. Hehe.. So epic, right?www.duitang.com in providing me with pictures and photos to describe what I am looking for. I am very fortunate to have Melissa, the wedding planner from UNA 1 Rochester to help out with all related coordination.
When I get sad, I'll have this to comfort me...