Although it has been almost 3 years since we got married, I haven’t been posting about the wedding day until the end of last year. Our wedding coordinator published some IG stories of the wedding and it reminds me of the beautiful memories that I decided to share some snippets of the wedding day on my IG stories too! And many were asking about our vendors so here am I publishing the full version of my enchanted forest themed wedding here on the blog.
The pandemic has certainly altered how we host and celebrate nuptials but oh well, life carries on and I hope this post will serve as an idea starter especially if you’re new to planning your wedding!
So we held our wedding in the lush greenery of Labrador Nature Reserve, in a beautiful stand-alone, restored historical bungalow back in colonial times. We knew that we didn’t want a hotel ballroom as our wedding venue right from the start. So after a few months’ search, Tamarind Hill emerged as the perfect space for our wedding.
The venue was exclusive. I like the fact that it was nestled amid vast expanses of lush forests. Taking a visit to Tamarind Hill always feels like an escape from the city chaos. I love almost everything I see on my first visit – the twists and turns in the greenery before reaching the flawlessly chic bungalow, the serenity that encompasses the property, all reminds me of the Lakehouse in Cameron Highlands.
The airy, dreamy lounge with its unmistakable neo-rustic charm exudes a nostalgic and cosy ambience. The venue itself was the deal maker. It was also expansive enough to host 120 guests. The wedding package also comes with a night’s stay in the adjoining Villa Samadhi, a luxury boutique resort managed by the same guys behind the brand.
The venue resulted in an enchanted wedding celebration in the woods, as photographed by Juan Chan from Darren & Jade Photography. Everything was picture-perfect, even with a heavy downpour that morning.
My gown selecting journey wasn’t as smooth as I thought it would be. While I am a UK 10 which I consider my body frame as “moderate”, the gown sizes offered at most bridal boutiques in Singapore were mostly UK 6-8. So most of the time, I’ll have to try on poor-fitting sample dresses. While I understand that is how dress shopping is like at most places, the experience can be really mortifying and I ended up hating my figure when there was absolutely nothing wrong with it.
I remembered trying dresses at this particular boutique where the salesperson wouldn’t let me try on dresses that I liked, and made me try on dresses that weren’t my taste at all. The worst thing was she still pushed me some discount packages that are only valid for the day.
My advice to the bride-to-be who is experiencing the same problem: Walk away from these stores. Try not to be too tempted by the lure of a cheaper package “only today”. It is clear that these stores are not even trying. At the end of the day, you should not feel that you are being forced to make a decision when the store didn’t even offer a proper selection lineup or is sensitive enough to your shopping experience. While I was upset because it seemed that I was “too large to fit in” which was totally bullshit, I am glad I walked away from those places and found Blessed Brides.
It was the very first time that I feel that I have options. I can finally fit in those sample dresses, make better decision and feeling beautiful in my own body!
Blessed Brides carries European designer gowns carefully handpicked by their gown designer Kenji. I tried on a few dresses from Pronovias, Rosa Clara, House of St. Patrick and finally, decide on the lace mermaid cut gown from Rosa Clara as my main bridal gown. Kenji was super friendly and patient. Below are the dresses that I actually fitted nicely into and felt truly like a blessed bride – I was able to choose the right dress without the need to imagine myself in my size. And that was when I know I am at the right bridal boutique.
I also had my 2nd dress tailor-made at a Korean bridal brand called Modeny. It is a simple Mikado silk dress in tea length, featuring an A-line silhouette and short sleeves. I liked the simple design which I can see myself wearing the dress again after the wedding.
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To match my tea-length wedding dress, I purchased a face veil from Rosette Blanc, a handmade bridal accessories studio in Korea. While they have stopped producing bridal veils, they do carry intricate hand-made tiara and bridal hair accessories so if you can communicate in basic Korean, I’ll encourage you to approach them on Instagram! I also bought this beautiful handmade hairpin from a Taobao store that cost about SGD 7.43++ which was a great deal!
Ditching The Tradition
We ditched some of the wedding traditions during our wedding. And those were the best decisions ever.
No “Gate Crash”. No wedding cake cutting. I have both my parents walk me down the aisle and a Vespa Sidecar as the wedding car. We also do a simple champagne toasting ceremony at the banquet in replacement of a “Yumseng” session, without the awkward and rather uncomfortable and stressful moments of everyone cheering us on starting a family soon.
Don’t get me wrong, by no means am I suggesting that following a gate crash or other tradition is wrong. I believe that weddings are all about telling your unique story. If you are uncomfortable with certain traditions or feeling the pressure to follow through with certain rules, it is time to take things in a new direction. If you want certain traditions on your big day, be sure you are doing them intentionally, and not just because “that’s what everyone does at weddings”.
Designing the best day of your life comes from listening to yourself—not being concerned with what others have done in the past.
We are never a fan of “Gate Crashing” games, a wedding tradition in that the bridesmaid squad will create challenges for the groom and groomsmen, as a symbol that the bride should be “fought” for. I didn’t want to humiliate my husband and his groomsmen or my friends to get stressed and tired on my wedding day either. And more importantly, I am quite sensitive to noises so we eliminated this from the wedding itinerary and went ahead with a simple bride-fetching ceremony that morning. I am happy that the quiet but heartwarming moments were well captured by the crew.
Vespa Sidecar as Wedding Car
As the wedding ceremony, tea ceremony and luncheon took place at one location, we decided to have a vintage Vespa sidecar as our wedding car and it was one of the favourite photo spots for our guests!
One thing I absolutely loved about my wedding was the invitation suite. My talented friend P designed the main invitation card, the solemnisation ceremony invitation card, as well as the info sheet. I had the main invitation and vellum info sheet printed by The Gentlemen Press. Each of the main invitation cards is hand-pressed using a century-old letterpress machine in Singapore. The letterpress finishing definitely added a refined touch to the wedding.
I love how everything turns out to be exactly how I wanted – with my wedding colour palette incorporated into the invitation. The sage green wreath, the watercolour illustration on the info sheet that is printed on vellum paper, the misty grey envelope and the antique gold wax seal – all set the mood for the wedding.
Walk Down The Aisle With My Parents
I wanted to incorporate the two very important people together into the very important moment of my life. So I ditched the tradition again! I had my papa on my right and mama on my left as we walked down the aisle. Looking at the photos again I am so glad I did that. Indeed the best decision ever!
Lavender Wedding Toss
I chose to have my guests toss us in Lavender buds when we walk up the aisle as a married couple. As it rained heavily on my wedding day, the ceremony took place at the terrace instead of the garden. So I didn’t get my outdoor lavender toss photo that is all bright, airy and whimsical. That said, the photo turn out to be wonderful in its own way. Read more about how I DIY my Lavender buds wedding toss bag here.
Cheongsam for Tea Ceremony
I changed into a midi length Cheongsam for my tea ceremony. I love the combination of the intricate French lace with blush beige coloured satin silk underneath the lace, which also fits my wedding colour palette too. It is tailored made from a Cheongsam store that is based in Shanghai, and I ordered it on Taobao and cost about SGD 200 ++. Considered that it is a made-to-order dress, it is value for money. In fact, many cheongsam stores on Taobao are time-tested and renowned brands so the workmanship is guaranteed.
To my fellow bride-to-be readers, you may consider ordering your cheongsam slightly loose if you are worried about the sizing and cut, as you can still alter them here in Singapore once you received the item. I lost weight closer to my wedding date, so I had it altered at a local Cheongsam store at People’s Park Plaza. The seamstress advised the same thing too! It is always easier to make a loose cheongsam smaller.
Our guests arrived shortly after the tea ceremony. I liked that the restaurant offered a complimentary Sweet & Savoury Bar filled with Kacang Puteh and other local snacks at the bar. It was a pity there wasn’t any photo captured at the counter, but I had DIY a stack of wedding snack holders made of parchment papers and customised stickers from Taobao. It was super easy to make!
The restaurant offered complimentary wedding cookies as favours from Folks & Stories, and I also printed out the menu for the restaurant to place them onto the table.
March-in & Luncheon
The luncheon kicked off with us marching into the dining hall as husband and wife. We kept the whole event really simple. The layout of the restaurant was that there is a gorgeous chandelier bar in the middle, and the guests are seated at the two adjoining dining halls which have direct access to the bar. So we had the emcee invite our guests to grab their wine glasses and gathered at the bar while enjoying the light refreshments from the Sweet & Savoury bar at the counter.
We marched in, gave our thank you speech, popped the champagne and lunch is served. There is no real stage at the restaurant. You can, of course, set it up yourself but we really liked how the area is with a huge mirror and a gold buddha head as the centrepiece. Nice and elegant enough for our simple and cosy wedding luncheon!
According to our guests who are foodies, the food served on the day were impressive! Especially their Steamed Seabass with Lime & Chili. I received very good feedback from relatives, and also my friends and colleagues who are all in the lifestyle media industry. The food pairs really well with beer and wines, so if your guests drink, you’d better prepare enough!
All in all, Tamarind Hill is a dreamy and magical venue for an intimate wedding. The service crew were amazing! Everyone was so warm and hospitable. However, we had some seating arrangement issues as the restaurant did not get the updated version from Gdrive and the seating arrangement wasn’t reflected correctly and it was just 1.5 hours before the luncheon. At the same time, some close friends discovered that there were wedding favours labelled with other couples’ names being distributed at the tables.
We were really fortunate to have the capable ladies behind Do Good Weddings orchestrate the event. They did a splendid job and rectified all the issues within a short time frame while keeping the day feels so calm and flawless! Do Good Weddings is a passion project of Debbie and she does wedding day planning & coordination for charity. All your fees paid will be donated to a charity of your choice after deducting her transportation fee! So if you are looking to do good and also need a helping hand, please contact Debbie via Do Good Weddings Instagram!
WEDDING ENSEMBLE (BRIDE):
Main Dress: Rosa Clara Dress via Blessed Brides | Hair Accessories: AIYI 手工婚饰 | Bridal Shoes: Irostyle Wedding Shoes
Silk Tea Dress: Simple Mikado (Short Sleeves) from Modeny | Face Veil: Rosette Blanc
Tea Ceremony: Tailor-Made Qipao from Taobao
WEDDING ENSEMBLE (GROOM):
ROM Suit: Benjamin Barker | Luncheon Suit: Tailor-Made via Blessed Brides.
VESPA BRIDAL CAR: Little Tiffany Blue
PHOTOGRAPHY: Darren & Jade
WEDDING COORDINATION: Do Good Weddings