Singaporebrides | Real Weddings
Paige and Wilson’s Quirky and Intimate Solemnisation at the Night Safari Singapore
Paige and Wilson had to postpone their solemnisation but that did not stop them from having the wedding of their dreams at the Night Safari Singapore.
Paige Lee and Wilson Lim met on an online dating app and clicked almost instantly. Less than a year later, they were engaged and planning their wedding. However, their wedding plans were inevitably disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but that did not dampen their hopes of an intimate and quirky Wes Anderson themed solemnisation at the Night Safari Singapore. Read about how they coped with the ever-changing landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic and successfully planned their dream solemnisation here!
How did the two of you meet?
We met on an online dating app and Wilson was the first guy I actually met up with in person.
What were your first impressions of each other?
Paige: Wilson’s maturity and calm nature was a stark contrast to mine. In addition, his spontaneous and carefree nature surprised (despite his age) and attracted me.
Wilson: Paige’s non-pretentious nature was an immediate draw for me! I love her candidness and how she was just being naturally herself! (Though, she did try to take spicy food when she can’t.)
What is it about your partner that you love the most?
Paige: I love Wilson’s attention to detail and how he can read me very well from my body language and sometimes suppressed facial expressions when we’re in public never fails to amaze me.
Wilson: I love Paige’s selfless, caring and always supporting nature! The way she supported me in many aspects where she even planned our dates to help me prepare for my job interview.
What was the proposal like?
Paige: Five months after we met, we had our first Valentine’s Day dinner at KFC after a work event. To my surprise, Wilson told me to check my email and I found a confirmation email for flight tickets to Taiwan. Fast forward to two months later in April 2019, we were on the summit of Alishan mountain at 6 a.m., camping for the sunrise with a whole crowd of tourists. The view of the sunrise was covered by clouds and there wasn’t any to our disappointment.
The last train to ferry us down was at 7 a.m. so I kept rushing him to head to the station but he kept stalling and insisting that we must take a photo by the quite-bare cherry blossom tree. Eventually, he managed to get a man to help us take a photo but right after he snapped our photo, he chucked the camera back to Wilson and excused himself. Wilson was shivering (not sure if it was due to the cold) and started stuttering. Before he could finish saying whatever he planned to say, I kind of guessed what was happening and was already in tears. Suddenly, the same man who took our photo a short while ago popped out of nowhere and interrupted Wilson to ask what was going on. Wilson had to point out to him that he was in the midst of proposing and asked for some time alone.
Everything was obviously not going according to his plan and his proposal was starting to turn into a comedy. In addition, he kept trying to dig for the ring case hidden in his jacket’s inner pocket and could not locate it.
I asked if he was going to get down on his knees and he confessed that he was going to, but to give him some time to find the ring case. After some time spent fumbling, he found the ring case and got down on his knees.
Actually, prior to our departure from Singapore, I suspected that he was going to propose and got him a watch as an engagement gift as well. While I was helping him put on the watch immediately after his proposal, the same man came back again and asked us to help him take a photo for his family. Although he got on our nerves at that time, we had a good laugh recounting that morning.
Tell us about your wedding. Why did you choose to wed at the Night Safari Singapore?
We’ve always wanted an intimate and cosy wedding without many guests but our parents wanted something more traditional like a wedding banquet. Hence, we planned for a separate solemnisation ceremony event with only our immediate family and close friends at the Tipi Tent in the Night Safari.
Wilson works at Wild Reserves Singapore (WRS) and suggested it for fun one day. While we are both animal lovers, I was hesitant; an exotic kind of ceremony was definitely not what I was looking for. However, when we went down for a site recce, I fell in love with the venue and could immediately picture how the ceremony would look like.
In addition, we had a theme that we wanted for our solemnisation (quirky, Wes Anderson kind of feel) and the Tipi Tent fit right into our theme. It was also a bonus that the Tipi Tent was air-conditioned and could provide a comfortable setting for the post-ceremony dinner. The cost was also reasonable and comfortable for our budget despite it being in an attraction venue.
Share with us more about your chosen wedding theme. How did you achieve it?
We wanted a colourful solemnisation ceremony with a tinge of quirkiness, very much like the running themes in Wes Anderson films (Paige is a huge fan of Wes Anderson’s films). We discussed with our vendors (videographer and decoration team) but was advised that the Wes Anderson-feel was quite tricky to achieve. Our videographers advised that the colours, props and outfits would play a large part in contributing to the overall feel so we paid more attention to those aspects.
We requested for the ceremony area to be decorated in bright, colourful colours with a rustic-feel to pay tribute to Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom while blending in to the forest-like surroundings of Night Safari. We got paper fox masks for our bridal party (inspired by Wes Anderson’s Mr Fantastic Fox) and requested our bridal party to turn up in bright block-coloured attire.
You decided to tie the knot amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. What was it like planning a wedding during the pandemic, and how did it affect your original wedding plans?
Our solemnisation was originally scheduled for 2 May 2020 but due to the pandemic, we had to postpone it. While the regulations were uncertain and ever-changing, we understood the necessity. Although the delay due to the pandemic dampened our spirits, we felt fortunate enough to be safe and to be able to tide during the circuit breaker period comfortably with our loved ones – a luxury that some did not have.
We were also lucky to have vendors who were helpful and understanding of the pandemic to not charge additional costs for the postponement.
Some of our friends and relatives from overseas also were not able to make it back for our solemnisation ceremony. So, we had to devise ways for them to be part of the celebration with us, such as live-streaming the ceremony on Facebook Live.
Take us back to your wedding day. What was the day like and how were you feeling?
It felt surreal even until this day. It had been raining since morning that day and we were worried that the rain would not stop in time for our outdoor ceremony. Pre-wedding jitters were constantly there, right up to the time we said our vows, but it was reassuring to know that we were in this together.
The rain finally stopped an hour before our solemnisation was due to commence, and the decor team helped to set up the outdoor ceremony area quickly. We had a pre-ceremony shoot with our bridal party and the air was humid – my curled hair straightened 10 minutes after I stepped out of the air-conditioned tent.
Despite all the hiccups and unexpected blunders the rain brought us, the presence of our closest friends provided us with much heartwarming assurance and happiness. We were really touched and grateful that our friends could be there to celebrate with us, and constantly made sure that we were well taken care of.
What did your family/friends have to say about your wedding day?
Our friends and family were awed by how special our solemnisation ceremony was, right from the moment they were greeted by the WRS dogs at the entrance of the Night Safari. In addition, they were intrigued to be accompanied by the dogs on their dedicated tram ride into the Tipi Tent area. The animal interaction segment presented by the WRS staff was much appreciated and wowed our guests.
In addition, the sit-down dinner prepared by the Executive Chef of WRS was highly praised by our guests. We were all surprised by the quality of the food coming from an attraction. Needless to say, we were all impressed by the high service provided by all the WRS staff who served us that evening.
Share with us the most memorable moment of your wedding?
The most memorable moment for me would be when our maid-of-honour and best man gave their speeches. While it was mortifying to hear them share our most embarrassing moments with the guests, we could feel their love and heartfelt blessings for us as newlyweds.
What is one lesson you’ve learned from your wedding planning that you’d like to share with other couples?
All the detailed planning in the world could not prepare us for the effects of Murphy’s law. There will always be unforeseen circumstances that would be out of our hands and control so most importantly, couples should enjoy their big day with their other halves. Afterall, it is your first day in your journey of husband and wife.
The Venue: Tipi Tent at Night Safari Singapore
Size of Wedding: 34 guests
Cost of Wedding: Approximately $17,500
The Gown: Odelia Bridal
The Bride’s Shoes: Pazzion
The Suit: Precision SG
The Groom’s Shoes: Earnest Collective
The Wedding Bands: The Canary Diamond Co.
The Wedding Photographer: Leslie Photography
The Wedding Videographer: Twenty8Picks
The Hairstylist and Makeup Artist: Elsa from Odelia Bridal
The Event Stylist: The Wedding Props
The Wedding Favours: Customised face masks pouch from Autumnsews on Carousell
The Solemniser: Mr Edward Foong
Wedding Resource: SingaporeBrides
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