Singaporebrides | Photography
Michelle and Byron’s Beautiful and Elegant Wedding at The Ritz Carlton, Millenia Singapore
Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Michelle and Byron tied the knot in a beautiful wedding at The Ritz Carlton, Millenia Singapore.
Secondary school sweethearts Michelle and Byron have known each other for almost two decades. Their young love blossomed when they were in secondary school and strengthened throughout the years of courtship. After a surprise romantic proposal in the city of love, Paris, where Michelle, owner of L’eclair Patisserie, was studying for a diploma, Michelle and Byron embarked on a wedding planning journey they never expected to have, facing and tackling the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic posed to their happily-ever-after, and tied the knot in a beautiful wedding at The Ritz Carlton, Millenia Singapore where their family and friends joined in the celebration virtually and in person.
What drew you to each other? What’s one of the things you love most about your partner?
Michelle: His good looks. Haha, i’m kidding. His loyalty. We have actually started dating since we were 15 and we actually went through 7 years of long-distance relationship (2010 to 2017) while he was studying in Melbourne, Australia.
Byron: I like to think that I am a very simple person, and Michelle does not make life complicated for me (most of the time at least!).
What was the proposal like?
Michelle: I was doing a pastry diploma in Paris in 2013 when Byron flew over to visit me while he was on his Winter break. We went to the Palace of Versailles for some sightseeing and while we were exploring Marie Antoniette’s garden, Byron suddenly went down on one knee to propose to me. It was completely unexpected as he still had four more years of studies in Melbourne. I found out later that he actually went to meet my parents to ask for their blessings before flying out to Paris.
Tell us about your pre-wedding shoot in Japan.
Japan is a country that I visit yearly for holidays with my family, and Byron and I have been to Japan together multiple times. It’s one of our favourite travel destinations. We initially did not plan on doing an overseas pre-wedding shoot as Byron and I have very hectic work schedules which makes it really hard to plan in advance. However, our friend, Bryan, who is from Antelope studios, convinced us that we should. Eventually, closer to the date, Byron and I managed to fit in a short trip to Japan for holiday and a pre-wedding shoot with Bryan.
It was early winter when we were there, so I had to wake up in the wee hours of the morning to get my hair and makeup done so that we can get to the photo spots early to avoid the tourist crowds. We had two days of shoot; the first day’s shoot went really smoothly, however, the second day’s shoot had to be cancelled, unfortunately. We took a 45-minute car ride to the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest but the skies were gloomy and upon arriving, it started to drizzle. We were hoping to wait out the rain and start shooting when it stopped. However, 15 minutes later, it started pouring. We had no choice but to call off the shoot. I was very disappointed as the makeup artist for the second day did a really good job and it was the only window where I was gonna shoot my Silhouette gown.
Other than that, our pre-wedding shoot was very enjoyable and stress-free! Bryan and I actually have worked together on some product shoots for my brand, L’eclair Patisserie, so it was really easy to work with him as we have been friends for some time. I am normally pretty self-conscious and the thought of having to pose in front of a camera was rather nerve-wrecking, but Bryan managed to make me and Byron feel at ease throughout the entire shoot.
Do you have any words of advice for couples who are embarking on a pre-wedding shoot?
Try to arrange the photoshoot to be as early in the morning as possible, as it will be cooler and the morning light is less harsh. You should also discuss with the photographer in advance on the style you would like your photos to be, but also trust your photographer to deliver. Oh, and you should always be prepared for bad weather!
Tell us about your wedding. Where was your wedding venue and why did you choose it as the place to wed?
We held our wedding at The Ritz Carlton, Millenia. Somehow even though I had never attended any wedding banquet at Ritz myself prior to my own wedding, I kind of knew that I would like to hold our banquet in Ritz’s grand ballroom as I really liked the space, for both banquet and solemnisation. Also, both Byron and I have big families and we needed venues that could accommodate at least 500 persons or more. Hence, there were not many options for us to choose from.
What was your wedding planning journey like and where did you get married at?
The wedding planning started really smoothly as I started the planning almost one and a half years before the actual day, when we had the date confirmed by our Fengshui master. By the end of 2018, I had already secured my wedding planner, photographer and venue (kiasu much!). We chose The Ritz Carlton, Millenia Singapore as our wedding venue. Somehow, even though I had never attended any weddings there, I knew that I would like to have ours in The Ritz Carlton, Millenia Singapore’s grand ballroom as I really liked the space, for both the banquet and solemnisation. Also, both Byron and I have big families, and we needed a venue that could accommodate at least 500 persons or more.
The challenge came when the Covid-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, just a couple of months before our wedding, and it started to peak sometime in February and March. It was really nerve-wrecking as the situation was very unpredictable and the scale of our wedding was rather huge. Our guest list was almost at 700 persons and we were going to have quite a few overseas guests flying over. Byron is actually a frontline healthcare worker (A&E doctor) and he was screening patients for Covid-19. It was rather scary as Covid-19 was still very unknown back then and we were worried that he might contract the virus somehow with the daily encounters and would not be able to attend his own wedding.
It was also stressful as The Ritz Carlton, Millenia Singapore had a strict no-cancellation or postponement policy. As the date drew closer, the situation got worse and the government was recommending for large-scale events to scale down as more clusters were forming. We were caught in a huge dilemma and we did not really know what we should do. Eventually in March, we decided to postpone the wedding as we thought that it was the right thing to do and that we should not put all our guests at risk.
Take us back to your wedding day. What was the day like and how were you feeling? Was there a wedding theme?
It was everything that I had expected or actually, even better. There were no hiccups (I think) throughout the day. We also managed to keep to the schedule that my wonderful planners have done for us, and everything was executed as planned. I felt great and really happy the entire day. I also did not feel a need to rush or constantly stress over details as I really did have a wonderful team of vendors that I could count on.
We did not have a wedding theme. I only wanted it to look pretty! My color palette was rather simple to achieve and I am very thankful most of my vendors really knew and understood what I liked without needing me to elaborate much. I did put together a few Pinterest boards to give them a rough idea on how I wanted the wedding to turn out.
You had four dresses for the wedding! Tell us more about them and why you decided on having four dresses.
For the wedding, I had a total of four dresses, three white gowns and one cheongsam. I started gown shopping really early and visited at least 10-15 bridal studios. I knew that I wanted to customise a gown with JessicaCindy from the very start, as I really like her designs. Instead on relying on the dresses that I’ve shortlisted on Pinterest, I decided to visit a few bridal studios in person to try on designer gowns to see what kind of style complemented me.
While my Pinterest boards were full of gowns with tiered skirts and had none of the mermaid or body-hugging silhouettes, in reality, I realised that gowns with tiered skirts were too heavy on my petite frame and made me look unproportionate. While I was mainly looking at A-line gowns, I was also open to suggestions. I think I might have tried on a total of 60-70 gowns, but I still did not find the one for me. It was on my third visit to Truly Enamoured that I found the dress for me. It was a new arrival and the moment I put it on, I knew that I had to have it as one of my gowns. It was big enough to have the oomph effect with the glittery skirt that I had always wanted and a corset-like top that was very flattering and didn’t require me to lose weight to fit into it.
During the time I was searching for an off-the-rack gown, I was actually in the midst of discussing my bespoke gown with JessicaCindy. I gave her all the elements of what I liked in a gown and left it to her to design the wedding dress of my dreams. I was not planning for a third gown but during my visit to Silhouette the Atelier, Minda recommended a particular style of dress which I never would have thought I would like. To my surprise, it was actually very flattering and I really liked it! So, I decided that even if I did not have the time to wear it on my actual wedding day, I would want to capture it during my pre-wedding shoot (which, sadly did not happen because our second day of shoot had to be cancelled due to the rain).
What did your family/friends have to say about your wedding day?
Everyone enjoyed it thoroughly, even those who were not able to be physically there to celebrate with us. We actually did a live streaming of our solemnisation ceremony as well as some segments of our banquet so all our guests could join in the celebration.
Byron and I are very lucky to have friends who were able to make the wedding really fun for all despite all the Covid-19 restrictions. We had a couple of activities (that did not require physical interactions) by our friends who emceed for us and after the banquet, many friends and family who were present at the celebration shared that it did not feel like a Covid-wedding, and that it was a beautiful and really fun one. It made Byron and I really happy to hear that.
Share with us the most memorable moment of your wedding?
Michelle: I can’t really specify a particular moment because the entire day was really memorable and as I had mentioned, I had a wonderful team of vendors. I really enjoyed the entire process and savored every moment of my wedding day. Even until today, the events of my wedding day are still very fresh in my mind.
Byron: There were many great memories from our wedding but the most memorable one would probably be during our solemnisation when Michelle was walking down the aisle towards me.
What is one lesson you’ve learned from your wedding planning that you’d like to share with other couples?
Be flexible with changes, especially in this current climate where no one knows how the pandemic will affect your plans, and enjoy every moment of the planning process even though sometimes it can get frustrating. I actually really miss the whole planning process.
The Size of the Wedding: 100 pax
The Cost of the Wedding: $76,000 (inclusive of pre-wedding shoot)
The Venue: The Ritz Carlton, Millenia Singapore
The Pre-Wedding Day Photographer: Antelope Studios
The Wedding Day Photographer: Bobby Kiran Photography
The Wedding Videographer: Sense Gallery Production
The Bride’s Gowns: Truly Enamoured, JessicaCindy, Silhouette the Atelier (pre-wedding shoot and actual wedding day), The Ivory Bridal
The Bride’s Shoes: Charlotte Olympia and Jimmy Choo
The Groom’s Suit: Assemble
The Groom’s Shoes: Diamond Walker Bespoke Shoes
The Bride’s Accessories: Eclat by Oui
The Hairstylist and Makeup Artist: Esta Hsu Makeup Artistry and Aesta Makeup
The Wedding Planner: The Wedding Concepteur
The Event Stylist: Wulala!
The Bridesmaids’ Dresses: White by Vera Wang
The Groomsmen’s Suits: Local Tailor
The Florist: The Florté
The Photobooth: Roving: Srslyphotobooth
The Wedding Invitations and Stationery: Natalie Studio
The Wedding Favours: L’eclair Patisserie
The Solemniser: Ng Chui Hua (Angie)
The Wedding Car: Rolls Royce Wraith
Wedding Resource: SingaporeBrides
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