Singaporebrides | Photography
Nicole and Li Hang’s Romantic Soiree at Villa Halia, Singapore Botanic Gardens
Nicole and Li Hang got married at the iconic Band Stand and Villa Halia at the Singapore Botanic Gardens.
Junior College classmates Nicole Tham, 28, Art Therapist, and Tay Li Hang, 28, Civil Servant, tied the knot in a light-filled, dreamy solemnisation at the well-loved Band Stand and celebrated their union at the elegant Villa Halia at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Backed by the lovely glow of the evening sun and surrounded by their family and friends, the hexagon shaped pavilion and its lattice white pillars provided the perfect spot for the lovebirds’ solemnisation while the modern and air-conditioned Villa Halia offered a beautiful and comfortable wedding dinner venue that complimented Nicole and Li Hang’s vision of a light-hearted, outdoor and nature filled celebration. Take a peek at their romantic soiree, perfectly captured by Fiona Sng from Smittenpixels Photography.
Tell us about the day you met. When, where and how did you meet?
We met as classmates in junior college, but we hardly spoke as we took different subjects and were hardly in the same classes. We only started to get closer while studying for the ‘A’ levels and started dating after that.
What was the proposal like?
Li Hang proposed during a picnic in a park at night. He cooked a huge pot of pasta for dinner and set up a table in the middle of the park. My dog was there too, although she was quite oblivious to what was going on.
Tell us about your wedding planning. How was it like? Did you meet with any challenges along the way?
We started by following wedding websites like Singaporebrides and wedding vendors on social media to get ideas and find out more about the process. We started looking for venues quite late as we were clear that we did not want to get married in a hotel ballroom. That made our venue search much quicker. We wanted a wedding that reflected more or less who we were in our lives. Therefore, simple and handmade was the way we went. We sourced for things a la carte and DIY-ed most of our wedding.
Your solenisation at the iconic Band Stand at The Botanic Gardens was beautiful! Was there a reason for picking that location?
We wanted an outdoorsy nature wedding that was not going to be too uncomfortable for guests. Exploring parks in Singapore also formed a big part of our dating days. Therefore, a wedding at the Botanic Gardens appealed to us greatly. We were very glad when we found that we could have our solemnisation at the Band Stand, followed by dinner at Villa Halia nearby. It was not difficult to arrange the use of Band Stand with NParks. However, NParks does not allow exclusive booking of the Band Stand and we had to be prepared to share the occasion with other park users. That was fine with us though. One other thing to note for brides-to-be who plan on solemnising at the Band Stand is the limited parking space nearby, which means some of your guests may have to park quite a distance away.
Tell us more about your wedding theme.
Our wedding theme was ‘nature + forest + animals’. We always liked the idea of getting married in a place surrounded by nature and greenery, and we love animals. So, instead of numbering the tables, we named our tables after animals and decorated each table with a matching paper toy animal and wild flowers in glass bottles. We also had a Sun-shaped pinata, in line with the nature theme, that we stuffed with cookies as wedding favours, and had ‘well wishes’ / quotes embedded in the cookies for guests to discover.
As for our colour theme, it was blue, grey and purple – which were the colours the bridesmaids wore, and were also the colours of the bridal bouquet. As we were dating for 9 years before getting married, we also had a lot of old photographs from our teenage years. We decorated a corner of the venue with them tied to blue, purple and silver helium balloons.
How was the actual day like? Did things run smoothly? How were you feeling?
The actual day went by really quickly and we were glad most things ran smoothly, thanks to the strong support of our siblings, bridesmaids and groomsmen. Our bridesmaids, groomsmen and some of our other creative friends really helped in the days leading up to the wedding by preparing all the flowers, collecting glass bottles, making small pinatas, folding the paper toys, supporting the baker and decorating the bridal car. At the end of the day, all we felt was gratitude and love for all the support we had, ensuring a wonderful wedding day. We couldn’t have asked for a better start to our married life.
What did your family and friends have to say about your wedding?
Our parents felt it was eccentric as it was different from the usual banquet, and they were adamant that the food had to be good and the venue air-conditioned. Thankfully, Villa Halia fit those criteria. Our friends commented that the wedding was light-hearted and sweet, which was what we had intended. Many even brought back the paper toy animals and flowers on their tables.
Were there any particular moments during your wedding that were especially memorable or special to you?
The moment when we were walking together from Villa Halia to the Bandstand for the solemnisation ceremony, and saw all our friends and family gathered waiting for us. That was a wonderful moment, especially as the sun was setting behind the Band Stand and the light on the trees was just beautiful. Another unforgettable moment was when we sang our vows. We decided to make our vows light-hearted by writing simple lyrics and singing them in the form of a song. It was quite out of tune but we had a lot of laughs.
The beautifully decorated place collectively pulled off by the hard work of all our family, bridesmaids and groomsmen is also something we really remember. They knew how important the day was for us and did their best, and it turned out beyond what we ever hoped for. We are really grateful for them!
Size of Wedding: 210 guests
Cost of Wedding: Approximately $40,000
The Venue: Bandstand & Villa Halia at Singapore Botanic Gardens
The Wedding Gown: Custom-made at Vivian Gown
The Wedding Shoes: Stardust
The Groom’s Suit: Benjamin Barker
The Groom’s Shoes: Taobao
The Wedding Bands: Ling Jewellery
The Hair and Makeup: Lina of beautyexpertlina
The Wedding Flowers: Heaven in a Wildflower (bridal bouquet & corsages); DIY (other floral arrangements)
The Wedding Styling: DIY by Nicole and her bridesmaids
The Wedding Favours: Amanda from carramellatte
The Photographer: Fiona Sng from Smittenpixels Photography
Wedding Planning: SingaporeBrides
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