Singaporebrides | Real Weddings
Lauren and Nikias’ Elegant Destination Wedding in Singapore
Both hailing from Australia, Lauren and Nikias love the Little Red Dot so much that they held their destination wedding in Singapore with a close knit celebration at Clifford Pier in Fullerton Bay Hotel!
Lauren Alexandra Anne Wills, 27, Business Owner and Head of Client Services, and Nikias Bernard Charles Leigh, 28, Business Owner and CEO & Franchisor, are both from Australia. They frequently travelled to Singapore because they love the country, and the moment they got engaged, they knew they had to have their wedding in Singapore! Together with an intimate party of family and friends, Lauren and Nikias tied the knot in Clifford Pier on 17 March 2017.
How did you two meet?
Lauren: I am originally from New Zealand and moved to Townsville, Australia, when I was 15. Three days after I landed, I got a job in a fish and chip shop… and that is where I met Nik! He worked there also. He was so friendly and kind and introduced himself to me right away. We were both in grade 12 and had only both very recently moved to Townsville, North Queensland, Australia, so neither of us knew a lot of people, and we became very close friends and used to spend a lot of time together.
We became very close friends and when we graduated from high school in 2006, Nik came to my graduation/formal as my partner. He was pretty much a part of my family! I will never forget the words my mother said on the night of my grade 12 graduation when we were standing together: “Nikias is the only boy I will ever let my daughter marry.” She obviously meant it! We remained friends when we began university, then sadly, we drifted apart and went our separate ways–myself to Canberra and Nik to Melbourne.
After things didn’t work out for myself in Canberra (and unbeknownst to myself, things didn’t work out for Nik in Melbourne either), I moved to Brisbane to start again. I was on Facebook one day after a year or so of not having it, and Nik came up as a suggested friend. I messaged him asking how he was and how he was going in Melbourne, to which he promptly replied stating that he was no longer in Melbourne and he in fact lived in Brisbane. I couldn’t believe it so I quickly replied and told him I also lived in Brisbane! I asked if he wanted to get a coffee one day and catch up (it would have been five years since we had spoken) and he said, “I will take you to dinner tonight!”
We haven’t been apart since that moment. It is so funny how the world works and how people who are truly meant to be together, are brought back together somehow. I am truly blessed and grateful for how everything turned out and how Nik and I were brought back together–everything was just meant to be!
What drew you to each other and what’s one of the things you love most about your partner?
Lauren: What I love the most about Nik? A very hard one as there is truly so much to love about him. I love what he teaches me and shows me to be true. I love his determination, passion, and drive in life to succeed. I love the way he challenges me and encourages me. Nik is very protective of me and makes me feel safe. He is kind and generous and always puts everyone before himself. He is completely selfless and that is rare to find in a person.
Nik has shown me what it means to support someone unconditionally and how everyone needs somebody to be inspired by, somebody to look up to. He’s somebody who sets the bar really high, somebody who puts the needs of others before his own and who doesn’t resent them for it, somebody who encourages you to do the right thing then forgives you when you don’t. I found a stillness and bravery in myself with Nik. He makes me feel brave and reminds me that for the rest of my life someone will always be there, no matter what.
Nikias: Our complete appreciation for each other’s company is what I believe has brought us together and kept us together! Not only do we share all of the same interests, but we quickly became best friends, ultimately drawing us together as husband and wife! What I love most about my wife is her love for food. Sharing a meal has the ability to draw us closer together, and gives us an opportunity to really enjoy each other’s company! This is also why we love Singapore so much as there are so many options for good food.
What was the proposal like?
Lauren: The proposal was perfect–I know everyone would say that, but it truly was. It was intimate, it was Nikias all over, and there was not one suspicion from me! That’s hard to believe if you know me–I pick up on everything–but this day I had no idea.
Nik woke very early one morning saying he wasn’t feeling well so he was just going to go to the lounge and get some work done. I rolled over and went back to sleep thinking nothing of it… But truthfully, he had been planning this morning for a while. He got up and baked fresh muffins, prepared bagels with salmon and fresh orange juice, and packed it all into a picnic basket without me knowing. He came in an hour or so later with a coffee and told me we were going to have a breakfast picnic and watch the sunrise. So off we went, and we arrived at a beautiful park on the Brisbane River–the park we had our first catch up after the five or so years apart. He got the picnic basket out and we sat on the riverbank and he started unpacking the basket; I was very impressed with everything he had made. After a few minutes he told me to close my eyes and put my hands out. When I opened my eyes, in my hand there was a jar of homemade granola, yoghurt, and berries. On the jar was a label which read, “Will you marry me?”
I was speechless. I looked over to him and there he sat with the box in his hand. Now this might sound weird to some, but it was something we had always talked about. Nik proposed to me with a watch, not a ring–a Tag Heuer watch. So the box in his hand was a whole lot bigger than a ring box–it was huge. My eyes darted between the jar in my hand and the box in his, and my heart was flipping about in my chest. His beautiful face said it all. I dropped the jar and threw my arms around him with tears rolling down my face. I didn’t realise, but I hadn’t even answered! I sat back and he looked at me and said, “Well, will you?!”
What did you want for your wedding and how you created it?
Lauren: On our first trip to Singapore in 2013, we both said that if we ever got married, it would be in Singapore and it had to be at Fullerton Bay Hotel. We instantly fell in love with the place as soon as we stepped inside. Eleven years after I met him for the first time, we became husband and wife in the most beautiful country in the world and there is not a single thing we would have changed. We wanted class, elegance, and intimacy and we got it all. We didn’t want a huge wedding; we wanted only family, and we wanted it to be stress-free. Other than the paperwork, it was so much fun! I wasn’t ever stressed or worried at all. The only reason the paperwork was tricky was that I am a New Zealand citizen living in Australia who got married in Singapore!
Nikias received the male version of the engagement watch from Tag Heuer. My wedding ring was designed and created by Xennonx Diamonds in Brisbane, Australia. This was done by using diamonds and gold handed down to me from my beautiful mother and late grandmother. The ring is made of white gold with seven diamonds, and is an engagement-style ring in the shape of a flower.
How did you prepare for your wedding from overseas?
Lauren: Every single one of the vendors was amazing! Planning a wedding from a different country may sound stressful and difficult, but every single person we chose made everything incredible. I loved reading through SingaporeBrides and finding ideas and different things to think about! It was extremely helpful and I still love to look now!
Our wedding was different from how solemnisations are generally carried out in Singapore, however, I cannot sing the praises of every single vendor enough. My father-in-law Roy Leigh from Zen Images was our wedding photographer. He is a fantastic wedding photographer here is Australia–we were very lucky he photographed our wedding. He was fun, energetic, and very engaging. He had brilliant ideas for locations and how to stand and look. He made us laugh and we felt very comfortable, not just because he is family, but because he knows what he is doing and how to engage a couple to get their very best selves to shine through in their wedding photos. Roy made the whole experience very memorable.
Our solemniser Simon Sim was the absolute best choice we could have possibly made! We visited Singapore late last year in October to meet with Simon to ensure we were all happy and comfortable with each other and our selection. We had never laughed so much or felt more comfortable around a complete stranger in our lives! He truly made the entire experience so memorable and he will always hold a special place in our hearts. We will never forget the amazing man we were lucky enough to be married by.
My hair and makeup was done by Stella Leung and she too was absolutely wonderful. I feel like I have found a friend in her for life. Stella is so talented and friendly. In October last year, I had my hair and makeup trial with her and we instantly clicked. Our cake was by Zeellebakery. Again, I feel like these beautiful people will be my friends forever. Their service, their friendliness, their professionalism, and their kindness were nothing but perfection. The cake tasted and looked absolutely beautiful and I couldn’t have chosen a better place to make our wedding cake. When it was delivered, there was a small gift and card attached from Elle–a lady I’ve never met but who took the time to write a handwritten card to Nik and myself for our wedding day. It was extremely special. I still keep in touch with these beautiful people!
My florist was Windflower Florist and they were nothing short of incredible! Their service and their kindness was so lovely and their flowers–I couldn’t have dreamed of flowers as beautiful as they made for me–just perfect! My brothers, mum, and Nik all had boutonnieres, my flower girls had flower crowns made from baby’s breath, the rose petals on the aisle, and my bouquet were all breathtaking. Their professionalism was of the highest standard and I mean it when I say that the flowers were the most stunning flowers I have ever seen in any wedding in my entire life.
The staff members at the Fullerton Bay Hotel and The Clifford Pier were the very best! Their professionalism, service, and kind wishes in every single moment leading up to the wedding and the day of, couldn’t have been more perfect. They made all our wedding dreams come true.
Every single supplier and person we met along the way in our wedding journey are people who are so special to us now and truly helped to make our day as perfect as it was. I would highly recommend every single one of the above mentioned–these people are truly amazing and without them all, our day would certainly not have been anything near as wonderful as it was! They have all left very special memories in our hearts.
What was your wedding day like?
Lauren: Nik and I woke up and had a beautiful buffet breakfast together at the La Brassiere restaurant at the Fullerton Bay Hotel. We went for a lovely walk by the water and talked about how in a few hours we would be getting married. We headed back to our room and we had a glass of Veuve champagne together (gifted to us by the Fullerton Bay Hotel staff). Nik got his suit on in the room whilst I was getting ready and then headed down to the lobby and bar area to meet his brothers for a pre-wedding drink together. I dressed my flower girls and did their hair. Once my hair and makeup was done, Stella, my makeup artist, and my mum helped me put my dress on and then the flower girls put my shoes on me. We then went down to the lobby and Roy was taking photos throughout the hotel on the way down to the Pier.
When the music started, my brothers and I walked along the beautiful deck with Marina Bay Sands in the backdrop as the rain fell very lightly. The ceremony took place and after about 25 minutes, we became husband and wife! We signed the certificate with my mum and Nikias’ father as the witnesses. We shared some moments with family and Roy took some photos. Nik, Roy and myself headed out to several locations around Singapore to have photos taken. Places such as Orchard Road, Fullerton Hotel, the museum, the National Gallery of Singapore, and we even went in to Lau Pa Sat for a photo of us eating our favourite hawker meal, which we always have when we visit Singapore–Hainanese chicken rice!
Back at the Clifford Pier restaurant, Roy introduced us as Mr and Mrs Leigh, and we enjoyed the most beautiful five-course Asian dinner with lots of laughter and happiness. We were very tired, so we went up to our beautiful bay view room and stood on our little deck with champagne and watched the light show over MBS before heading to bed. The day was more than perfect! We were so thrilled to be able to have our special day in Singapore and to marry each other in our favourite place on earth, surrounded by all our family from Australia. It was more than we could have ever wished for. There is not one single thing we would ever change about this day and we are so blessed and honoured to have been married in this perfectly beautiful country and share it with our families. The day was more perfect than we ever thought possible.
What was the most memorable moment of your wedding?
Lauren: There are a couple that I have to mention! First, when I walked around the corner of the Clifford Pier, with my two brothers at my side, and looked up and saw Nikias in his suit standing there waiting for me. The moment we locked eyes, his entire face lit up. I held back tears and was overcome with excitement to walk towards him! I had to stop myself from running! Another was when Nikias read me his vows. Also, when Simon pronounced us husband and wife, Nik grabbed me and kissed me and said, “I love you, my wife!”
Nikias: I think I would have to say when the music started and I looked up and saw my beautiful wife walk down the aisle. This is a moment that I will truly never forget! It could not have been a more perfect setting or moment, as she walked down the Fullerton Bay’s Clifford Pier, and looked the most stunning I have ever seen. At this point I knew that it was all becoming real!
The Size of the Wedding: 22
The Cost of the Wedding: About AUD$10,000
The Venue: The Clifford Pier, The Fullerton Bay Hotel
The Bride’s Shoes: Christian Louboutin
The Suit: Herringbone Dinner Suit
The Groom’s Shoes: RM Williams
The Engagement Ring: Tag Heuer engagement watch
The Wedding Bands: Tag Heuer watch for Nikias and Xennonx Diamonds, Brisbane for Lauren
The Flower Girls’ Dresses: Zara
The Hairstylist and Makeup Artist: Stella Leung from Makeup by Stella
The Wedding Cake: Zeelle Bakery
The Florist: Windflower Florist
The Wedding Planner: Lauren
The Wedding Photographer: Roy Leigh from Zen Images
The Wedding Invitations and Stationery: Nikias
The Wedding Favours: Personalised Favours, Australia
The Solemniser: Simon Sim
Images by Zen Images
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