Singaporebrides | Real Weddings

January 2022

Damini and Guru’s Intimate Garden Wedding at Wheeler’s Estate

Damini and Guru planned not one, not two, but three weddings before finally tying the knot in a beautiful and intimate garden wedding at Wheeler’s Estate, filled with light and love.

Having met in Singapore, Damini Singh, 29, HR Business Partner, and Guru Adhar Mirthinti, 28, Marketing Manager, braved a long distance relationship which made them realise they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together. After three proposal attempts, and after changing their wedding plans three times due to COVID-19, the pair finally tied the knot on 24 July 2021 in a beautiful garden wedding at Wheeler’s Estate.

How did you two meet?

Guru: Damini is originally from New Delhi, India, and I am from Bangalore, India, and we met for the first time while undertaking our MBA at Nanyang Business School in July 2017. Being from two different parts of India that have different cultures and lifestyles, we’re anything but similar. What brought us together were our thoughts, beliefs, and opinions about life. As with most couples, our origin story also started with interesting conversations over kopi or teh.

The best part about college is that all the students undergo the same set of activities and experiences, which allows for a common ground. In retrospect, this community that we built for ourselves is what brought Damini and me closer. Living by ourselves in a different country, away from family and friends, while overcoming the trials and tribulations of a postgraduate degree, became a lot easier because of this community. And before we knew it, Damini and I went from being good friends to becoming each other’s support system.

After a year and a half, it was time for our relationship to enter a new phase—long distance. In January 2019, I decided to move back to India for career reasons, while Damini continued to live in Singapore. Sure, the long distance was challenging, and we had our fights. But it also convinced us enough to want to live our lives together and take the next step, which is marriage. This is where things started to get interesting because… COVID-19.

With the expanding pandemic situation, travel restrictions, and the uncertainty surrounding all of it, we’ve had to postpone our wedding twice. Amidst all of this, I managed to move back to Singapore in 2021 and we finally got married on 24 July during our third attempt. So we can actually say, “Third time’s the charm!” And interestingly, 24 July was also the date when our MBA coursework had started back in 2017. It feels almost magical, the way everything came full circle.

What was the proposal like?

Guru:The proposal was beautiful, but the planning was almost anxiety-triggering. As soon as my relocation to Singapore was confirmed, Damini and I had locked in our wedding date and started planning for it. With long distance and COVID-19, I never really got the opportunity to propose to her, and I knew that if we did not do it now, we would regret it.

So a significant period of my relocation and Stay Home Notice (SHN) was spent in planning for the proposal in May 2021. Everything was in place—the venue, the date and time, the photographer, the “distraction” plan with our friends. It was to happen exactly a week after I came out of my SHN. But, suddenly an announcement for tighter COVID-19 restrictions was made. My SHN got extended by a week, the venue could no longer hold events, the photographer could not support us, and our friends could not participate since only groups of two were allowed. At this point, I could not let COVID-19 disrupt everything again and so I went back to the drawing board to plan for the proposal the third time.

The proposal finally happened on 23 May at our residence. I planned with our friends to keep Damini busy and out of the house for a few hours while I got our house “proposal-ready” through a vendor called Picneeds.

It was a special, intimate lockdown proposal that turned out to be quite fun.

What was your wedding theme and how did you create it?

Damini: We used SingaporeBrides to research on wedding venues and also sought inspiration from other recent weddings that happened during the pandemic. We planned our wedding theme around the following factors:

Natural beauty: Both of us are nature-lovers. I am more into plants, and Guru is more into animals. But we really appreciate natural beauty more than lavish decor. So we looked at only those venues that offered such a setting. Of course, Singapore is known for its golden sunset, so we certainly wanted to capture this.

Management: Since we do not have family here in Singapore, we wanted a venue manager who was proactive, empathetic, understanding, and easy to work with. Of all the venues we explored, Eddie from Wheeler’s Estate was certainly the best we came across.

Summer pastel colours: Singapore has hot, sunny, and humid weather, so our colour theme included summer and pastel hues.

Location: With the lockdown and travel restrictions in place, we wanted to give ourselves and our guests an experience that would feel like they travelled out of Singapore. Wheeler’s Estate offered a great escape away from the city life.

What was your wedding day like?

Our wedding day was a culmination of intricate planning, sweat, arguments, and yes, last minute stress! Exactly two days before our wedding, new COVID-19 restrictions were announced. The new restriction for weddings was to get every wedding guest, and not just the core wedding party, to undergo a PET test. We were in a dilemma and we started considering cancelling the reception and reducing the guest count. We did not know how to arrange for an onsite testing facility at such short notice, nor did we want to make our guests uncomfortable by asking them to get the COVID-19 PET test done.

However, the next day, we picked ourselves up and started calling one clinic after another to either arrange for in-clinic testing or onsite testing. Almost every clinic we called said onsite testing was impossible at such a short notice. But thankfully, our venue manager Eddie solved this for us. He managed to arrange onsite testing for all our guests, and from then on, our wedding planning was a breeze again.

The other wedding-related restriction was regarding seating arrangement. Our original seating plan was finalised a month before the wedding day, and the new restriction took us by surprise. We had to go back to our drawing board and reorganise the seating plan so that all our guests were comfortable.

The wedding day itself was full of love, laughter, and lots of fun. We got to meet a lot of our friends whom we could not meet for a while, due to the safety measures. Thankfully, we also had great weather with a perfect sunset even though the forecast for most of July was rainy, cloudy, or slight showers. We were extremely grateful to have managed such an intimate, cozy wedding. Our parents, relatives, and friends who live outside Singapore joined us virtually through YouTube livestream.

The Size of the Wedding: 48 guests
The Venue: Wheeler’s Estate
The Wedding Day Photographer: Zachary from Chris Chang Photography
The Engagement Ring: India
The Wedding Bands: Lee Hwa Jewellery
The Hairstylist and Makeup Artist: Sahur Saleim
The Florist: Venue partners
The Wedding Stylist: The bride herself
The Wedding Planner: The bride herself
The Livestream: Xuhearn from Chris Chang Photography
The Wedding Favours: Honey Spree (for honey); SG Favours (sandalwood fans); Scoop Wholefoods (snacks); Succulent Succulents (for miniature succulents); Upcyclers Lab (India-based vendor that specialises in customised seed paper)
The Solemniser: Dr. Jasbir Singh

Credits: Images by Chris Chang Photography

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Damini and Guru’s Intimate Garden Wedding at Wheeler’s Estate