Singaporebrides | Real Weddings
Felicia and Jonathan’s Lively and Colourful Wedding at The Alkaff Mansion and The Church of St. Francis Xavier
Felicia and Jonathan tied the knot at The Alkaff Mansion in a lively and colourful wedding that reflected their bubbly and fun-loving personalities.
What started out as friendship for university batch mates Felicia and Jonathan slowly but surely turned into a blossoming romance that brought the two soulmates together in their last year of university. After an intimate and romantic proposal, they planned for the wedding of their dreams, only to be thwarted by the COVID-19 pandemic. After postponing their big day for a year, the sweethearts decided to go ahead with their plans after making a couple of revisions to adhere to the current COVID-19 regulations. Although it was not what they initially envisioned for their wedding, they couldn’t have been more pleased with how it turned out, as they were able to celebrate their union with an intimate party of family and friends and embark on a new milestone of their lives.
How did the two of you meet?
Felicia: We were batchmates in university (NTU WKWSCI). The first time we ever saw each other was during orientation camp, while playing some pool game where members of different teams had to meet in the middle of a float bridge. You had to play a quick game of scissors, paper, stone and the loser would have to dunk themselves into the pool. Obviously, he lost.
Jonathan: We started off as friends first and only started dating in the last year of university, just as we were about to graduate.
What drew you to each other?
Jonathan: Her shy, enigmatic nature that belied a weird (but wonderful) sense of humour, a sharp mind and a creative soul. Underneath her beauty, there was a rich inner world that I wanted to be a part of. There was also always this unspoken understanding of each other’s thoughts and feelings. We could sit with each other in silence and it wouldn’t be awkward.
Felicia: His cheerful disposition attracted me, as well as how kind he was to everyone, and how easy he was to talk to. I’m a much bigger introvert than him (and way more cynical!) so I was really drawn to his energy. Of course, he’s very cute too (and still is!) and we have such similar world views, hobbies, and an equally degenerate humour.
What is it about your partner that you love the most?
Felicia: I love him for his patience.
Jonathan: I love how she accepts me for who I am, warts and all; which in turn helps me accept myself and makes me aspire to be the best version of myself.
What was the proposal like?
Jonathan: There’s a playground near my parents’ place where we used to hang out on dates. It was where we spent time just talking and where we confessed our feelings for each other. With the help of my brother and a photographer friend, we dressed the place up with lights. I made up some story about needing to pass my brother something there and she didn’t suspect a thing. After reading a letter I wrote for her, I got down on one knee and popped the question. It was a really private and intimate affair. We had a home cooked candle-lit dinner after that and part two of the proposal came in the form of a surprise trip to Japan! I had secretly texted her boss to apply for vacation leave beforehand and we flew off for a winter holiday a week after the proposal.
Tell us about your wedding. What was your wedding planning journey like amidst the COVID-19 pandemic?
Jonathan: For the wedding mass we chose the Church of St. Francis Xavier as that was where my parents got married. So, it was a really poignant way of starting our union as husband and wife, keeping to certain traditions but embarking on our own unique journey too.
Felicia: We chose The Alkaff Mansion for our reception because we knew we didn’t want a hotel ballroom setting. We required a venue that could fit approximately 250 guests, and that automatically ruled out most of the more intimate wedding venues. This was pre-COVID-19, of course. We visited a handful of venues, both hotels and intimate venues, just to keep our options open, but we did not feel drawn to any of them.
When we visited The Alkaff Mansion, for the first time, we felt that we could visualise how our wedding would turn out and got excited about it. The outdoor patio was perfect because the only thing we really wanted was to have a full live electric band (we do love our music!). So, we decided to do a full buyout of the venue, to have guests on both levels, and a full Timbre live music bar vibe going on at the outdoor patio.
How did COVID-19 affect your original wedding plans and how did you deal with it?
Our wedding was initially scheduled for June 2020, but then, COVID-19 hit. Not only did we need to postpone it to July 2021, we had to separate our solemnisation ceremony and reception. Our reception later had to be postponed by a further two months to September 2021.
Dealing with the ever-changing COVID-19 regulations was anxiety inducing! We had to shrink our guest list for the solemnisation ceremony to 50 guests and 100 guests for the reception. We also had to convert our booking with The Alkaff Mansion to just a level 2 venue booking, and obviously, we had to drop the idea of having a live band as well.
We had to take some time to process the fact that our special day wouldn’t go as we’d envisioned before the pandemic struck. We were definitely a little disappointed. But we made sure to always remind ourselves that the most important thing about that day would be marrying each other. That was the one thing that kept us going. Also, just understanding that everything that’s happening is completely out of anyone’s control.
The uncertainty around everything definitely affected our morale and many times, took the joy out of the planning process. Some days, it really felt like we just wanted to get this over and done with – as so many other couples who were planning their wedding during the pandemic would relate. Looking back, we’re actually happy for the more intimate celebrations we had and we wouldn’t change a thing!
What was your decision behind going ahead with a wedding amidst the COVID-19 pandemic instead of waiting it out?
On the more practical side of things, we had already postponed our celebrations for a year and the COVID-19 situation was still extremely fluid. We decided that there wasn’t any point postponing it further because well, we simply can’t predict the future! Plus, we’ve had all our vendors and venue on hold for so long now.
On the more emotional side of things, I guess we couldn’t wait to be officially wedded to each other anymore.
Take us back to your wedding day. What was the day like? Was there a wedding theme?
We didn’t really have a theme per se, but simply referenced to things that we genuinely like, like eras and colours. This made things quite easy because we were just following our usual style and making decisions and suggestions along the way!
We love the music, style and interiors of the 1960s-1980s, that “matching yet not matching” sort of aesthetics, and we knew we wanted really colourful flowers. So, we shared our thoughts with the team from HellofromFlour, and they really got us, so the entire process was basically effortless.
Jonathan: In the days leading up to our wedding day, we were so caught up with all the preparations, I remember feeling almost in a state of denial when the day finally came. Everything in my head was all about hoping everything would run smoothly, so I had to remind myself to relax and take it all in. It only really hit me when we did our first look at the church, right before the wedding mass. It was just a rush of pure emotion seeing Felicia in her gown and a sense of “this is what today is supposed to be about” taking over.
For the reception at The Alkaff Mansion, we were much more relaxed; almost too relaxed even, especially myself. There was not as much pressure to be “perfect”. A lot of the Safe Management Measures sort of let the dinner run itself. It was still a great time, our guests enjoyed being out and about, enjoying the food and the good vibes.
What did your family/friends have to say about your wedding day?
They told us the wedding mass was beautiful and that the reception had a lot of good vibes. The menu was unique, and the music we had on for the night added a lot to the feel-good atmosphere.
Share with us the most memorable moment of your wedding?
For me, it would always be that first look at the church. I’ll always remember that moment when all the emotions just poured out of my heart (and teary eyes). I’ll also remember the feeling of everyone’s love and support of our union at the reception.
What is one lesson you’ve learned from your wedding planning that you’d like to share with other couples?
Always remember that your wedding is meant to celebrate your union, and that’s the most important thing. Be genuine in the process, don’t get too caught up or stressed out by the expectations of everyone else. The most ‘perfect’ weddings are the ones that truly represent the couple!
The Venue: Church of St. Francis Xavier (solemnisation) and The Alkaff Mansion (reception)
Size of Wedding: 50 persons (solemnisation), 95 persons (reception)
The Bride’s Gown: Caramel & Co.
The Bride’s Shoes: Zara
The Groom’s Suit: Mills
The Groom’s Shoes: CNES Shoemaker
The Wedding Photographer and Videographer: Sloth Creatives Weddings
The Wedding Bands: Artemis Rings
The Hairstylist and Makeup Artist: Kat Zhang (solemnisation), Dawn Yeo (reception)
The Caterer: The Alkaff Mansion
The Florist: HellofromFlour
The Wedding Favours: Homemade
Wedding Invitations and Stationery: DIY by the couple’s friend, Melvin Yeong
The Wedding Resource: SingaporeBrides
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