Singaporebrides | Real Weddings
Intimate Wedding at The Halia
The sweet and low-key Jean and Alex show us how to keep wedding celebrations small and intimate for maximum love and personality. See how they created the perfect cosy setting for their intimate wedding.
Jean Leong, 34, Tutor, &;
Alex Chew, 31, Architect
Date of Wedding
3 May 2014
Tell us, how did your story begin?
Jean: We met online in May 2012. I had been single for a while so my sister practically forced me to sign up at an online dating site, going so far as to post a profile and scope out some possible matches. Alex stood out as he seemed nerdy, sweet and unassuming.
Alex: We began texting and exchanging physics jokes. It was a relief that our online chemistry translated when we eventually met in person.
Sparks flew off the screen and in real life, we see. Was the proposal full of fireworks too?
Jean: It was low-key and simple, characteristic of him. He had been harbouring the ring for a while and wondering when to pop the question. One fine day after about 7 months of dating, he randomly asked me to marry him when we were on the way home. I was so taken aback that I was speechless. He broke the tension by cheerfully suggesting that I could keep the ring and think about it.
You had a small and intimate wedding, didn’t you?
Jean: I have always enjoyed the intimacy of small weddings and was very thankful we had to host only 110 guests.
Alex: We were seeking an alternative to a Chinese banquet so we held our holy matrimony and a sit-down lunch reception at The Halia restaurant, at Raffles Hotel, which serves delicious modern fusion cuisine. Goodbye sharks fin, hello chilli crab spaghettini!
Was it simple planning for a smaller wedding?
Jean: No matter how small a wedding is, there is still quite a lot of planning and work to be done. All the wedding preparation turned out to be precious bonding time with my pals and sisters, some of whom had flown back especially for the occasion.
Tell us how you created the perfect intimate setting for your wedding.
Jean: The hotel and restaurant have a colonial but slightly rustic feel so our overall aesthetic aimed to complement that. I loved how the reception table was decorated with a 5-tier cupcake tower, old books, lots of foliage, chocolates my sister brought over from Perth and framed photos from a pre-wedding shoot we took with our pet golden retriever.
Alex: Having live music was an essential element to the great atmosphere. Tee Yau, who happens to be my uni-mate and a gifted musician, blew us away with his soulful voice and unlimited repertoire of songs.
Did you have help getting everything just right?
Jean: It was my honour and privilege to have a talented bridal entourage with nifty hands. They worked tirelessly the night before to make everything look pretty and chic.
My close friend Mel, who is the owner and stylist extraordinaire of Wonderland for Detailed Planners, made the gorgeous bridal bouquet and taught the rest of us how to do the table arrangements. Besides being my emcee, my lovely friend Sharon, who is co-owner of Soon Lee boutique, worked her styling magic on the reception table and made it look better than I could imagine.
I was so touched by how much effort and time my six bridesmaids committed despite their busy schedules to help me with everything, from constructing the ribbon backdrop to dressing the reception table and doing the table floral arrangements. My sisters jokingly called themselves POW (Prisoners of Wedding) but I prefer to think of them as willing victims.
Your cosy wedding must have been full of precious, memorable moments. Which were particularly special?
Jean: There were moments when I was overwhelmed with emotion, from our morning ‘first look’ to the worship session just before we were pronounced husband and wife. It was very moving to see our joy reflected on our parents’ faces too.
Can you tell us the cost of your wedding, and where you spent the most?
Jean: Total cost amounted to about $20k, with 60% of it spent on the lunch reception. Our outfits made up the lowest expenditure in our budget.
The gowns: Wedding gown by Jenny Yoo from BHLDN; cheongsam for tea ceremony from online store
The bridal shoes: Charles and Keith
The jewellery: Pearl necklace from Robinsons, vintage earrings
The suit: G2000, bowtie from Van Garie
The groom’s shoes: Marks and Spencer
The rings: Ling’s Jewellery
The bridesmaids’ dresses: Bridesmaids’ own
The groomsmen’s suits: Groomsmen’s own, bowties from Hong Kong
The venue: The Halia, Raffles Hotel
The hairstylist and makeup artist : Jennifer Koh, The Makeup Room
The desserts: Maple and Market
The florist: Wonderland for Detailed Planners
The photographer: Bloc Memoire
The wedding stationery suite: Vistaprint
The event stylist: Wonderland for Detailed Planners
The music: Ong Tee Yau
The customised wedding autograph art print: HelloAm
Credits: Images by Bloc Memoire Photography
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