Singaporebrides | Real Weddings
Sarala and Kelvin’s Merry and Vibrant Wedding at Masons at Gillman Barracks
Sarala and Kelvin’s happy nuptials at MASONS at Gillman Barracks was nothing short of beautiful and heartwarming.
Sarala Devi and husband Kelvin Toh were schoolmates during their junior college and university days but only grew closer as they spent more time together during their studies at Nanyang Technological University. Drawn to the level of comfort they felt when they were in each other’s company, Sarala and Kelvin could chat about anything under the sun and soon started completing each other’s sentences without any prompting. Love blossomed and after a romantic proposal in the Philippines that involved a giant sand sculpture and a candlelight dinner at the beach, the lovebirds tied the knot in a joyous and vibrant wedding at the colonial-style MASONS at Gillman Barracks surrounded by family and friends.
Take us back to the beginning, to when you first met and what it was about your partner that caught your eye.
We knew each other back during our Junior College days, but we were just friends at that point in time. We lost contact for a few years and bumped into each other one day and managed to exchange phone numbers. We got to hang out more often when we were both in Nanyang Technological University. Sparks flew as we spent more time together and the rest is history.
Kelvin: We were able to chat about anything in life and felt very comfortable with each other – it’s like meeting a lover from your previous life. It’s an indescribable feeling. Also, we stayed near each other and thus have more chances to meet up with each other. I also came up with many excuses just to meet up with her.
Sarala: For me it was the level of comfort whenever I am with him. Maybe it was because we were already friends, so there was no need to make a first impression whenever we met for meals or drinks. I felt very at ease and felt that I could be myself. I could tell him anything and everything under the sun and he would still listen.
What do you love most about your partner?
Kelvin: I was attracted to her smile, her beautiful face and her ability to know me in and out. I like how unique and exotic she is as she is a mix of Indian/ Malay and some Chinese and she speaks Mandarin as that was her Mother Tongue in school. We are so similar in character and it’s hard to find someone who shares the same desire and drive in life. She is someone who encourages me in life, lifts me up when I am down, somewhat like an auditor of me. I also love the fact that we understand each other telepathically, completing each other’s sentences such as ordering the same food.
Sarala: For me, it was his ability to make me laugh at the silliest of things. He always had a way to tickle my funny bone, to crack me up. Over time, we started completing each other’s sentences and knowing what’s on each other’s mind without even having to say it out. That was when I knew, I may have found the one whom I would want to spend the rest of my life with. There is also this charm about him that gets more endearing as days go by and a very unique and infectious laughter to boot, what’s not to love?
What was the proposal like?
Kelvin: We were on a trip to Boracay, Philippines for our June holiday. Initially, I had planned to engage a helicopter to fly us around the island for some nice scenery. The staff would then write “Will you marry me” on the sand and I will propose to her in the air. However, that idea had to be scraped as the government decided to stop the helicopter services due to environmental issues.
Hence, I went with plan number two, which was a full day of spa at Bella Isa Spa bundled with a sunset sail and a candlelight dinner at the beach. They got the staff to build a giant sand sculpture that said “Will You Marry Me” and I serenaded her with the song “Always Be My Baby” by David Cook, while she watched a short video of our memories together which I made.
Walk us through your wedding planning journey.
We were initially quite lost as to how to plan a whole wedding on our own. There were just too many things to take note of and get done. Luckily for us, we managed to engage Phillane from Med Kärlek Inc. who helped us a great deal with the styling and decoration of the actual wedding day. We told her what we wanted and she took it from there. She came up with a moodboard to include what we wanted and suggested some of her own ideas, which we were very pleased with. We started imagining how it would all look like even before the actual day came, we were pretty stoked to see the wedding come alive.
We chose MASONS at Gillman Barracks as our wedding venue because we liked the monochromatic colours of the restaurant. It also has a little of the colonial feel to give it the rustic wedding vibe that we wanted. But with the venue, we faced a challenge of fitting all our guests into the relatively small space as the restaurant had a limited capacity of 150 guests. It was a feat to do so and after a lot of shuffling, we managed to pull it off eventually. The wedding was also executed smoothly, without much hiccups.
When it came to our wedding theme, we did not have a specific one in mind, but wanted something rustic with lots of flowers. We also wanted something unique and different from all other weddings. Because the venue was predominantly black and white, the colour theme for the flowers and decoration would stand out well. Additionally, we wanted to have an outdoor solemnisation and the restaurant was the perfect place for that as they had a beautiful outdoor space that could fit our guests.
Sarala: We decided on lots of flowers for our décor because I personally love flowers as I find that they brighten up a space and with a monochromatic space like MASONS at Gillman Barracks, it would be perfect.
What was your wedding day like?
Kelvin: We checked into different rooms the night before at The St. Regis Singapore and I could not sleep as I was so nervous yet excited about marrying the love of my life. As my parents and my brothers slowly made their way into my room, the butterflies in my stomach became more prominent as time flew by. I have never been so nervous in my life! I was actually trembling for the first hour and had to go to the toilet many times. After which, we had the mini-gate crash at her room.
Thankfully, my brothers were there to calm me down and I slowly got into the groove and felt more relaxed after that. We made our way to MASONS at Gillman Barracks in a Land Rover Defender, which was really unique and different. Time simply flew past at MASONS. One major worry was that it started to drizzle before our outdoor solemnisation. Thankfully, the rain stopped and we managed to continue as planned. There were also some minor hiccups but at the end of the day, the event was organised quite smoothly. Even though it was very tiring at the end of the wedding, I felt really happy and ecstatic to be marrying the love of my life.
Sarala: The day went by so quickly that I did not even realise time was passing! Surprisingly, I was not very nervous until I had to walk down the aisle before the solemnisation began. We started with a mini gate-crash where Kelvin and his brothers had to come up with a Sonnet that consists of a couple of helping words. This was pretty challenging for them I must say, but they did a really good job with it.
We then proceeded to MASONS for the solemnisation and luncheon. From the time we got to the venue, everything was like clockwork and before we knew it the day was over. Throughout the whole day, I took my time to soak in everything that was happening bit by bit and was pretty chill throughout. I was just very happy to see all my family and friends coming together to witness our special day, and after six years of dating, finally marrying my soulmate.
What did your family/friends have to say about your wedding day?
Kelvin: Our parents left the planning completely to us and they were really happy for us. They were simply enjoying their time at the wedding and making sure that everything is all right. Our friends were really impressed with the decorations, ice cream truck and churros station. At the end of the day, we were really glad that our family and friends enjoyed the wedding.
What was the most memorable moment of your wedding?
The most memorable moment of the wedding was the solemnisation. We decided to write our own vows, so we had no idea what each other wrote in our vows. Surprisingly, our contents were very much similar, just phrased in different ways and there were moments during the solemnisation where we had to try not to get too caught up with emotions that were welling up in us to prevent ourselves from tearing after hearing what the other had to say.
What is one lesson you’ve learnt from your wedding planning that you’d like to share with other couples?
Kelvin: It would be good to plan well ahead for the wedding. We started planning one and a half years in advance and this gave us ample time to prepare and make any changes if necessary. We had seen many couples doing last minute planning and this resulted in a mad rush for time. One way to save some money is to engage freelancers for your wedding. Also, plan the wedding with the guests in mind, to provide entertainment and excitement to them as well entertained and engaged guests will make the wedding even more satisfying.
The Size of Wedding: 150 guests
The Cost of Wedding: Approximately $30,000
The Venue: MASONS at Gillman Barracks
The Photographer: Androidsinboots
The Videographer: The Peeping Thom Photography
The Wedding Gown: Thomson Wedding Collection
The Wedding Shoes: Zara
The Groom’s Suit: Thomson Wedding Collection
The Groom’s Shoes: Simon Carter
The Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Fashmob
The Groomsmen’s Suits: Zalora/Taobao
The Hair and Makeup Artist: Thomson Wedding Collection
The Wedding Bands: Love & Co.
The Wedding Florist: Dawn Q Florals
The Wedding Stylist: Med Kärlek Inc.
The Caterer: MASONS at Gillman Barracks
The Wedding Invitations and Stationery: Decorated by Med Kärlek Inc. / DIY
The Wedding Favours: Candy bar designed by Med Kärlek Inc.
The Wedding Car: Defender Weddings
The Solemniser: Mr. Tan Meng
Wedding Resource: SingaporeBrides
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