Bianca The Bride:
A mutual friend set us up on a coffee date when we were both living in New York City. In summer 2015 while I was visiting my family in Singapore, Jason conspired with my mother and sisters to surprise me. I was brought after hours to a beautiful restaurant Jason and I visited together and Jason was there with roses, candles and Champagne and he proposed. The most important thing to us on wedding day was that our closest friends and family could attend. We also wanted great food and great pictures.
My dress turned out to be really similar to this dress I always loved from the movie Gigi. The main character, Gigi, wears a white off shoulder gown in the last scene of the movie. I hadn’t planned or specifically looked for that style but the off shoulder dress I tried on turned out to be the one.
Jason really wanted to own a tux. He saw me going through all of the work searching for dresses, going to fittings, etc. and he figured there would never be a more appropriate time to wear a tux, so now was the time to buy one.
Nicola from Flowers by Eve
instantly made me feel like we were on the same page. She let me explain different elements of the day and then just explained what she thought would be best and it was exactly what I had in mind. I also felt like she understood what I wanted for the bouquets and centerpieces and recommended the best flowers for the season.
Our ceremony was at Holy Trinity Clapham, which is the local church that we attend. We dropped the line about “obey” but otherwise used the traditional Anglican vows. We each had a close friend read a Bible passage and one of my bridesmaids sang to organ music while we signed the register (witnessed by Jason’s grandmother and my aunt). I walked down the aisle to Handel’s water and fireworks music which I thought was very fitting for the location and type of ceremony we had, yet different enough that it isn’t extremely common. We walked out together to You Make My Dreams Come True by Hall & Oates and then we were showered in rose petals by our guests before they hopped on a double decker bus to head to the reception.
Some good advice that we received was that you’ll spend about a year planning your wedding and it will be the best day of your life, but once it’s over, your pictures are one of the only things to remember it by. With that said, while we had a budget, our goal was to find the best photographer we could whose style matched the kind of moments we wanted captured. We saw Miss Gen’s
style as authentic and natural, creative and classic yet contemporary – if that makes sense. She captures real moments in a beautiful and creative way. While her style is trendy, we believe that they retain a classic elegance that the pictures won’t look dated when showing the album to future grandkids.
We were surprised how many pictures we got back. It was thousands, both in colour and in black and white. What we wanted (and I think what most couples want) was enough pictures so that we could flip through an album of the day, but also a dozen or so pictures that we absolutely loved and could frame. Having thousands to choose from made this easy. We also hired Gen for an engagement shoot, so we already knew that Gen would be great to work with on our wedding day. She’s fun to be around and she’s also a calming influence – which is so important during the inevitable stressful moments of the day.
Favourite photos - it’s incredibly hard to choose just one. I love the one of Jason and I in the castle at night that looks like a painting, the one of us in front of Syon Park where he dipped me, and the one of my mum, sisters and Jason that was just a posed photo.
Our first dance song was In My Life by the Beatles. As two foreigners to the UK we thought it was hard to go wrong with the Beatles. This song, while a classic, meant a lot to us. For us it was about how we lived very different lives before we met (me being from Singapore, Jason being from rural America), embracing who we are, who the other person is, and how are love and our life together is unique.
We had an organist play at our ceremony. At the reception we had croquet and “giant jenga” in the lawn during or Pimms and canapés reception for dinner. After dinner we had a live band, Electric Soul Club.
Our primary colours were white, shades of blush pink and rose gold. Our theme/style was mostly derived from our reception venue – which was a tall, domed, glass botanical garden. The venue had great natural lighting and beautiful plants and flowers. The rose gold colour scheme and centre pieces added some detail, but our approach was to let the venue be beautiful and try not to do too much.
Our first dance was a special moment. Neither of us are good dancers so we didn't try a special routine or anything, but you don't appreciate how few moments you have during the day to just be close to each other, talk about everything that's happening and take it all in. I also really liked sneaking off into the castle for photos for this reason. I think it was incredibly important to have some time with just your new husband/wife during the day.
Hire a wedding planner. We didn’t and we should have. If I tried to itemise all of the tasks that went into planning a wedding and then assigned a reasonable number of hours to each of those tasks, I wouldn't come close to the actual number of hours it took. We’re talking several hundred hours. Aside from practical advice, steal a couple of moments for the two of you. Everyone is going to want your attention all day. But as the bride and groom, you can do no wrong. So don't feel bad about wandering off, or just ignoring people for 5 minutes so that the two of you can have a moment to take it all in.