Singaporebrides | Fashion
Brenda and Matthew’s Romantic Wedding at Sinfonia Ristorante
Brenda and Matthew decided to press ahead with their wedding and said their “I dos” in beautiful celebration with an intimate group of family and friends.
It was written in the stars that Brenda and Matthew were meant to find each other and fall in love. While it was not love at first sight for the sweethearts, they got to know each other better over time and came to realise how their differences complemented one another. The lovebirds tied the knot in Sinfonia Ristorante at Victoria Concert Hall with an intimate group of family and friends who bore witness to their love and commitment to one another.
Share with us your story. How did the two of you meet?
Brenda: We first met when I was a recruiter at a bank, and he was one of the candidates I was interviewing for the role. After he got the job, we didn’t contact each other until he called me again one day to ask about work-related matters. Our conversation moved from a phone call to messaging on WhatsApp, and we continued chatting from there. When he found out that I go to church too, he asked if I would like to visit his church and catch up over lunch. We sat in a hawker centre that Sunday afternoon and chatted for hours until I had to leave. We continued hanging out after that day.
What drew you to each other?
Brenda: We’d both agree that it was definitely not love at first sight. In fact, we are quite different because I’m someone who’s rather serious whereas Matt is a lot more spontaneous and light-hearted. He’s extremely gifted in music and sports, whereas I’m more of a books person. But as we got to know each other better, we realised that our values and beliefs are very similar. Family and friends are the most important to us. We’d always make time for the people we love and will not hesitate to help them. In a way, we came to realise that our differences complement one another.
What is it about your partner that you love the most?
Mattew: Her personality. There was something peaceful about her. She didn’t come across as intimidating, but instead she’s warm and welcoming. It made me feel that I could really be myself around her.
Brenda: He has a really big and generous heart, and always puts others before himself. He’s also a very supportive and encouraging partner who has brought me a lot of joy and laughter, which I’m very thankful for.
What was the proposal like?
Brenda: We were on holiday with friends in America in March 2019, starting our trip in Lake Tahoe and then Disneyland – which were places both of us hadn’t been – so we were really excited and were looking forward to it for months. It was our last day in Lake Tahoe so we took a break from snowboarding to tour the region ourselves. After a lunch break at a really quaint barbecue joint, we drove towards the mountains to take some photos. After stopping at one of the lookout points, we found a spot at the peak which overlooked the entire lake.
Matt tricked me into thinking we took a self-timed selfie when he got down on one knee. We were also really blessed with light snow as it hadn’t been snowing throughout our whole trip. The next surprise was when I found out a lady whom we had asked for directions before, was actually a photographer whom Matt had arranged with to be in the area to take our proposal photos. The surprise didn’t end there, because when we were back in the car, he showed me a video with a song he composed and sang, and which featured my dearest family and friends who wished us well. It was really heartwarming and thoughtful of him.
Tell us about your wedding and the challenges COVID-19 posed to your planning.
We had our wedding at Sinfonia Ristorante located at Victoria Concert Hall. We knew we didn’t want a typical hotel wedding banquet, and so our search was focused on restaurants. Sinfonia Ristorante was actually the first and only place we visited because we liked that it felt intimate yet grand at the same time.
Originally, our plan was to have the wedding in May 2021 in hopes that the restrictions would ease. But given the uncertainty, in faith we decided to bring forward our wedding to December 2020 instead and keep the wedding small and intimate.
Since we brought forward the wedding, we only had about three months to plan everything. We weren’t very stressed by that as we split most of the work. I would source for vendors, and he would arrange Zoom calls with them, so it was very efficient. I was most worried that I couldn’t find a wedding dress I liked, so I booked 11 appointments over two weeks to try as many as possible.
After visiting almost seven boutiques prior to my stop at Amanda Lee weddings, I was impressed after trying a few dresses and Miah told me I could change up some of the designs, whereas the other boutiques only offered to adjust the fit if it’s an off-the-rack gown. I wanted an illusion mermaid-cut gown with a long train, and there were sufficient options that I could try. Their gowns were lightweight, simple yet elegant. I liked that it was personalised to the style and look of the bride to some extent as well. It didn’t take me long to know that this was the dress I wanted, especially when he told me I could pair it with a long veil for the long train effect, rather than having a dress with a long train which would be harder to walk in. On a whole, it was an extremely pleasant experience and Miah was really attentive to the details.
In hindsight, we would say the biggest challenge was not knowing when our plans had to change again because of new restrictions. We had to amend our guest list several times. What really helped was the vendors we worked with, who were all extremely understanding and gave us suggestions on what could work given the situation. It helps to encourage one another as partners too that it’s important to enjoy the process of wedding planning, rather than obsess over wanting everything to be perfect.
Did you have a wedding theme, and how did you bring it to life?
Brenda: We didn’t have a theme per se, but more of what we wanted our guests to feel, which was warmth. Matt and I designed all the invitation cards, hand-wrote personalised messages for each guest, and wax-sealed them ourselves. We didn’t like how typical wedding banquets mostly felt processional, and since we had the chance to have an intimate wedding, we wanted every guest to feel special by adding that personal touch.
We didn’t have a wedding planner or stylist, and so everything was conceptualised by us. Because the architecture of Victoria Concert Hall is quite grand, we added warm lights to accentuate the characteristics of the venue. We went with an autumn colour palette for the flowers and bridesmaid and groomsmen ensemble, so that it gives off a romantic vibe for the night ceremony. We had a vision of how we wanted our photos and videos to look. So as we discussed the flower arrangements, we also thought about how it would frame our photos.
We also highlighted to the photographers and videographers the types of moments we wanted to capture – which was the emotions that people felt throughout the day. My makeup artist also used loose flowers to give a softer, more timeless look. The wedding dress also featured a long veil, which was a great recommendation by Miah from Amanda Lee Weddings because it suits the venue perfectly.
Take us back to your wedding day. What was the day like and how were you feeling?
Brenda: Both Matt and I would say that we were nervous and didn’t know what to expect. Even though I was told to get as much sleep as I could the night before to look my best, I couldn’t fall asleep at all! We had a lot of help from our bridesmaids and groomsmen, who made sure everything went according to plan, drove us around, constantly asked if we needed water, and made sure we were on time for every activity. We didn’t have to worry much and could enjoy the day because we knew we were in good hands. After the initial anxiousness ebbed away, it was replaced with excitement for the rest of the day.
What did your family/friends have to say about your wedding day?
Brenda: After the wedding, we received messages saying that the wedding was well-planned and went very smoothly, and the individual cards we wrote were a nice personal touch. Many of them were amazed at how efficient we were throughout the day – we were on time for all our activities!
Share with us the most memorable moment of your wedding?
Brenda: Matt’s most memorable moment of the wedding was when we exchanged our vows. It’s the same for me too, but I also really loved the “first look” moment because he hadn’t seen my wedding dress before that. We wrote letters to each other, and it was a special moment for us right outside the venue, just before we went into the main hall for the ceremony.
What is one lesson you’ve learned from your wedding planning that you’d like to share with other couples?
Brenda: It helps to remember you are working together as a team in this whole process, and to be encouraging and understanding towards your partner. There are times when one can fuss over the minor details or be stressed by something not going according to plan, but ultimately this is meant to be an enjoyable journey for both of you, and you’d want to remember this process with fond memories.
The Venue: Sinfonia Ristorante
The Bride’s Gown: Amanda Lee Weddings
The Bride’s Shoes: Taobao
The Groom’s Suit: Common Suits
The Groom’s Shoes: Zegna
The Wedding Photographer: Andri Tei Photography
The Wedding Videographer: Iki Company
The Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Shein
The Groomsmen’s Suits: Common Suits
The Hairstylist and Makeup Artist: Vicky Ang Makeup
The Florist: Bucket Full Of Roses
The Wedding Favours: A Love Knot
The Solemniser: Pastor Simon Chua
The Wedding Car: Kia Seltos
The Wedding Resource: SingaporeBrides
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