Singaporebrides | Real Weddings
Michelle and William’s Beautiful and Intimate Botanico Wedding
With personal touches such as a DIY Pimms bar and a wedding cake made of cheese wheels, Michelle and William celebrated their wedding in a beautiful church solemnisation, an intimate Botanico wedding dinner, and a lunch banquet at Grand Hyatt Singapore.
Michelle, 25, Accountant, and William, 29, Civil Servant, braved a long-distance relationship for five years while she was in London and he was in Singapore. The couple celebrated their wedding day with personal touches that reflected their story, such as a Pimms bar and a Wally-themed gatecrash, and tied the knot in a beautiful church solemnisation and an intimate Botanico wedding dinner with close family and friends, followed by a lunch banquet in Grand Hyatt Singapore on 4 and 5 August 2018.
How did you meet?
Michelle: William and I studied in London and we attended the Overseas Christian Fellowship there, which was mainly made up of Singaporeans and Malaysians. I always knew of his existence but found him intimidating and awkward! We only started chatting properly when we were paired as co-leaders for a Bible study group. I was mistaken about him being intimidating, but he definitely is an awkward person!
After he chased me for a few months, I finally agreed to be his girlfriend, just one week before he left London for good! That marked the start of our ongoing five-year long-distance relationship as I finished university and continued to work in London. Being in an LDR has definitely been challenging, but it taught us to communicate better and express love in different ways. We’re looking forward to being reunited when I move back in three months!
What do you love most about your partner?
Michelle: I love William’s ability to remain calm and steady in every situation—nothing ever throws him off. Even in what I deem to be a crisis, he is still able to think rationally and break down a problem such that the solution ends up being obvious and even simple.
William: What first drew me to Michelle was her quirkiness, her spontaneity, and her sense of adventure. In short, everything that I am not and because of that, she has made my life that much richer.
I also appreciate that she has never wavered in being true to herself, and in being her own person. It’s always easy and tempting to bend oneself to fit the mould of everyone’s expectations. She has resisted that and, instead, is always a reminder that we are all made in a different perfect way.
What was the proposal like?
William: Because Michelle has been living abroad and we are rarely together, truth be told it was always difficult for the proposal to be a complete surprise. It happened during one of those times when I visited her in London, and after a long period of reflection. I considered a few things—I knew that we had always preferred a private proposal where we could first enjoy the moment ourselves before sharing it with others, and that it would be more meaningful to do it in a way that was uniquely us. I toyed with the idea of proposing at or near one of the many gorgeous locations in London or Greece, which we would visit later that week, but decided that nothing was more us than Korean fried chicken and ice cream. So there it was—in her room in London, simple, probably rather unexpected, yet fitting in its own way.
Did you have a wedding theme?
Michelle: We wanted it to be deeply personal and intimate, so we made sure that every detail reflected our relationship and personalities. William always chooses the cheese course over dessert when we dine, so we opted for a cheese “cake” in place of a typical cake as the wedding cake for our Botanico wedding dinner. We bought whole wheels of cheese, stacked them up, and decorated them to resemble a wedding cake.
As I love Pimms, we had a DIY Pimp Your Pimms bar in place of a dessert table. Our guests could garnish their cocktails with fruits and herbs of their choice—it was perfect because it’s fun, interactive, Instagrammable, and alcoholic! Being massive tea-lovers, for wedding favours we had servings of tea in little tins. There were five blends of tea, and to each we attached a silly fact about our relationship that was related to the name of the tea.
In place of a typical “him-or-her” couple game, we recorded a interview video to serve as mealtime entertainment. In the video, we each answered some questions while the other had headphones on, which allowed our answers to be as honest and sincere as possible. It was meant to allow us to share more about our relationship with our guests, in a humorous yet identifiable way. We also had a pre-dinner bingo game where guests had to find others who met certain criteria (e.g. someone who played rugby with William in school) and a London-inspired (since that was where we met) pub quiz about our favourite topics (e.g. Lord of the Rings).
William’s nickname in school was Wally, so we had a “Where’s Wally’s Bride”-themed gatecrash. We also planned the games around William’s embarrassing love for Kpop and my constant need to take selfies.
We also wrote and memorised our own vows and customised gin-based (our favourite spirit!) cocktails.
How was the wedding planning?
Michelle: Perhaps the highlight of the planning process was getting my second dress! I’ve always loved the Hollie 2.0 gown by Grace Loves Lace but it was over budget. I’d explored getting it second-hand but plans always fell through, so I gave up on it. In May, I saw a Facebook event for a sample sale in London. Despite already having my wedding gown, I started queuing for the sale at 5.30am, telling myself that I’d just “have a look”. After the most hectic and stressful hour of my life, I left with my dream dress.
We had an excellent and easy experience with most of our vendors; we knew we’d made the right choice with them as they executed our vision perfectly. We did run into some hiccups, but we didn’t let such experiences ruin the planning process entirely for us.
What was your wedding day like?
Michelle: It truly was magical. Throughout the entire day, I just kept thinking about how happy and blessed I was.
Everything went very smoothly, thanks to our thoughtful and selfless friends who handled everything in the background to make sure we had the most wonderful day. It also was so surreal, stepping out of the bridal room at Botanico to see my entire vision, what I’d been working on for months, come to life, exactly how I’d dreamed it’d be.
We also requested an unplugged wedding, which we think made it feel a lot more intimate and personal.
William: In a nutshell, to me, our wedding was only made possible by the grace and generosity of God, and the many, many people who helped run everything to the tiniest detail. Of course, I thoroughly enjoyed the many elements of our wedding (and I hope our guests did too), but since they were the result of our planning we pretty much knew what to expect. What struck me the most was the way in which our friends and family all gave of themselves to allow Michelle and I the opportunity and space to enjoy the day to the maximum. So, alongside the many indescribably beautiful moments that Michelle and I had on our special day, I’ll also remember the many hands and personalities that made them.
What was the most memorable moment of your wedding?
Michelle: We chose not to see each other in our wedding attire until the altar, but we wanted to pray together before the ceremony. So we stood back-to-back to pray, and it was an emotional moment for me—committing our marriage to the Lord.
William: For me it was probably the exchange of vows during the solemnisation ceremony. In a way, those short few minutes were the very heart and core of our wedding. Amidst all the fun, laughter, and tears, our vows captured how we wanted to define our marriage, and our relationship with each other and God. In that moment, we had eyes only for each other and, under the watchful presence of God and our loved ones, began a new journey in life.
The Size of the Wedding: 300 guests at church // 64 guests at dinner // 270 guests at lunch
The Venue: Bedok Lutheran Church // Botanico at The Garage for dinner // Grand Hyatt Singapore for lunch
The Wedding Day Photographer: The Beautiful Moment Photography, Juanmoley
The Gown: Enzoani (solemnisation and lunch) // Grace Loves Lace (dinner)
The Bride’s Shoes: Harriet Wilde // Jimmy Choo
The Dried Flower Crown: Autumn Vine
The Suit: Masterpiece Tailor
The Groom’s Shoes: Pedro
The Engagement Ring: Jann Paul
The Wedding Bands: Canary Jewellery
The Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Fayth
The Groomsmen’s Suits: Masterpiece Tailor
The Hairstylist and Makeup Artist: Tangyong Makeup
The Caterer: Mum’s Kitchen
The Wedding Cake: The Cheese Shop
The Florist: Florals by Benita for personal flowers // Gathered & Styled for venue florals
The Wedding Stylist: DIY
The Wedding Favours: Tea from Yumchaa (UK)
The Videographer: Twenty8Picks
The Wedding Invitations and Stationery: Craft By Jo for solemnisation // Art and Wanders for dinner // Etsy for lunch
The Printer: Dominie Press
The Solemniser: Pastor Chris Chia
The Pre-wedding videographer: Forte Visuals
The Wedding Resource: SingaporeBrides
Credits: Images by The Beautiful Moment Photography
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