Singaporebrides | Real Weddings
Cecilia and Terence’s Beautiful Wedding at Sheraton Towers Singapore
Cecilia and Terence wed in a beautiful wedding at St. Francis Xavier Church and Sheraton Towers Singapore with family and friends in attendance.
Healthcare workers Cecilia and Terence met almost a decade ago at a hospital. The pair of sweethearts were meant to meet on that fateful day and bonded over their occupation, religion and dreams. After a romantic proposal overseas, Cecilia and Terence planned their dream wedding, only to have it on hold due to the pandemic. After two years of postponement, they finally tied the knot in a beautiful wedding at St. Francis Xavier Church and celebrated their nuptials at Sheraton Towers Singapore, with their nearest and dearest in attendance.
How did the two of you meet?
We met in 2013 at Mount Alvernia Hospital. Cecilia had just ended her day while on a clinical attachment and was on her way to the chapel to rest and thank God for an amazing day before heading home. At the same time, I had decided to make a pit-stop at the hospital to cool myself down in the air-conditioned chapel before continuing my walk home.
When I saw her in her uniform, I decided to approach her. The conversation started with me asking if she was doing her attachment at Mount Alvernia Hospital and continued from there. We added each other on Facebook, and the rest, as they say, is history.
What drew you to each other?
The fact that we were both originally from the same occupation, same religion, we had very similar likes and dreams.
What is it about your partner that you love the most?
We accept each other’s flaws and bad habits, complement each other to become better versions of ourselves and we work as a team to get things done and are always willing to come out of our comfort zone to learn new things.
What was the proposal like?
Cecilia: Back in 2019, Terence had planned a road trip to Perth, where he planned to have an intimate proposal on 19 September 2019 at Leeuwin Lighthouse Beach. He pretended not to know how to fix the camera to the tripod stand and made me fix it. He then asked me to look into the viewfinder to focus on the image.
Little did I know, he was kneeling down on one knee. After I had found the focus on the image, I saw him on one knee. Words were exchanged, and I said “yes”! After tears were wiped away, we did our own mini photoshoot with the camera and our handy timer.
After Terence’s proposal, I decided to give Terence a ring too, because, why should the man be the only one to give the engagement ring and propose? He should deserve something special too, so I made a jigsaw puzzle for him to solve during a dinner at the Ocean Restaurant at S.E.A Aquarium. Upon solving the puzzle, I gave him an engagement ring too!
Tell us about your wedding. What was it like planning your wedding admidst a pandemic?
We chose Sheraton Towers as our wedding venue for the dinner banquet because of the unique L-shaped ballroom. It meant that we could walk down the aisle at two locations of the L-shaped aisle, hence making it more intimate as we will be walking down the aisle near everyone. No one would be left out or too far from the aisle, the stage would be in the middle and all our guests would be able to see the stage clearly. We also chose Sheraton Towers because they have chilli crab with mantou on their dinner menu, which Cecilia loves!
Planning the wedding was a crazy rollercoaster ride for us. We first started planning the wedding on our own before COVID-19 hit, but after the pandemic happened, our workload at the hospital increased and it became harder to plan the wedding by ourselves. So, we hired a wedding planner to help with the planning while we concentrated on work. We postponed our wedding and had to find another church for our holy matrimony, only to find out a month before our wedding day, that our second chosen church would not be able to finish their renovations, which was delayed due to the pandemic. So, we went on a frantic search for a third church by calling every single Catholic church in Singapore before we found St. Francis Xavier Church available. We also had to find another vendor to decorate the church, and thankfully, we found 5 Stones Florist.
Besides the issue with finding a church, Sheraton Towers also informed us that they had become a SHN hotel, so we would not have a bridal suite on our wedding day. We had to search for another hotel, as we needed a place to eat at and freshen up before heading to our dinner banquet. We eventually booked a few rooms at Goodwood Park Hotel for us and our bridal party. We also had trouble with our guest list as we could only invite 48 guests to the holy matrimony, and had to crack our heads and decide who would be invited for the ceremony.
Despite the challenges, we decided to go ahead with the wedding because we did not know when the pandemic would come to an end. Instead of the big wedding we had thought of, we decided that having a wedding during COVID-19 would be more intimate and we would be able to interact and make it more personalised. We also loved the idea of live-streaming the holy matrimony so all our friends and relatives in every part of the world could take part in our wedding, especially our colleagues who could not attend because they were busying fighting the pandemic. We would not have thought of this idea if not for the pandemic, which I guess was a positive thing that came out of it.
Did you have a wedding theme?
Terence: We didn’t really have a theme. We just wanted the wedding to be elegant, and personal along with a touch of tradition and to incorporate the colours red and black, as red is Cecilia’s favourite colour and black is mine. We created a wedding website which was printed in each wedding invite so that our guests would know more about our story of how we met and also the challenges we faced, along with our pre-wedding photoshoot pictures, as we did not want the guests to crowd around the photos that were displayed on the wedding day.
For our church holy matrimony, the bridesmaids were in burgundy dressed while the groomsmen were in black suits with red bow ties.The bridal bouquet consisted of red roses and white orchids as Cecilia loves the meaning behind the flowers. We got our unity candle from the Sisters at the Carmelite Monastery and gave a donation. They would fast and pray for us and our marriage while making the candle. We felt that was personal instead of buying it off some shelf. We gave a bouquet of flowers each to Mother Mary, our mothers and grandmothers during the mass to thank them for everything they have done for us. We also had a small tray in the front of the church with the pictures of all our loved ones who passed away as we wanted them to be part of our holy matrimony.
For the dinner banquet, we made handwritten cards for our guests which were placed on the plates. We incorporated the red and black colours along with a touch of tradition by not wearing the same colours for our traditional outfit but instead complementing each other with Cecilias’s red lengha and my dark blue Sherwani. Our final personal touch was to give every guest a slice of our wedding cake to take home and enjoy with their loved ones whom we could not invite due to the restrictions.
What was your wedding day like?
Cecilia: We didn’t have any gate crash or the tradition where all the groomsmen would go to the groom’s house and all the bridesmaids would go the bride’s house. Instead, we split everyone into Team Groom and Team Bride. A mixture of groomsmen and bridesmaids on each side who are our close family and friends. We had a small prayer together in each house respectively before heading off to the church where Terence would meet me at the altar. When I was leaving the house, a group of Malay neighbours came down to play the traditional Malay instrument used for Malay weddings. All the neighbours looked out of the window and started waving and taking photos of everything including the limousine. On the way to church, the bridesmaids and I had drinks in the limousine and it was just so awesome to have close friends on the ride to church to keep me calm and to enjoy the moment. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
We were slightly nervous because we had waited eight years for this day and we had been through one obstacle after another, and finally, the day we had been waiting for arrived. Thankfully, we remained calm because at the back of our minds, we knew that our coordinator, Felicia from Manna Weddings, had our backs, along with our groomsmen and bridesmaids. They told us to enjoy the day and the moment because it was our day, and they would handle everything. That really touched us because we knew everyone had our backs.
What did your family/friends have to say about your wedding day?
Our guests said that it was the best wedding they had attended and that it even beat the weddings they attended before the pandemic. Food was delicious, and we made sure that our wedding was personalised and the entertainment for our guests by Alfred George was wonderful. Even with all the COVID-19 restrictions in place, he managed to incorporate games with masks on and no intermingling between tables. They were really impressed with how coordinated everything was from the church until the end of the dinner. It would not have been possible without the help from Manna Weddings.
Our guests also complimented our traditional outfits by Mastani Bridal, as it was very regal looking, along with all the jewellery provided. They also complimented the design and craftsmanship of our wedding rings by LeCaine Gems, who did a wonderful job by bringing our dream wedding rings to life. Above all, they were most surprised and mesmerised by the Sparkulars and how it made the wedding even more memorable because they had never seen it in any other weddings and there was a dramatic effect felt.
Share with us the most memorable moment of your wedding?
The most memorable moment was when we did our Indian dance in for the second march-in and a spin in the middle of the ballroom and the sparkulars were released, with no rehearsal beforehand. Our close friends knew we were nervous about the spin as we had no rehearsal and we were afraid that it would not turn out nice and we might fall. However, it turned out to be a perfect moment along with the sparkulars at the background when we did the spin. It was definitely a moment we will remember for life.
What is one lesson you’ve learned from your wedding planning that you’d like to share with other couples?
Always , always have a reliable group of friends and family as your wedding party! You really need to rely on them on the actual day even with a wedding coordinator, and remember that there will never be a perfect wedding especially with the ever-changing rules. If you have the extra budget, it would be nice to have a wedding coordinator so that everyone in your family and wedding party can enjoy your big day. Our wedding coordinator did the heavy lifting and our family and bridal party helped when necessary. Every one of our friends and family had the chance to sit and enjoy the big day which was what we wanted for them, to enjoy our day and not fret over the small stuff for us. Our friends and family could have helped us coordinate our wedding but the best decision we made was getting Manna Weddings to coordinate for us and giving every one of our family and friends a chance to enjoy the day. After all, we only get married once, and our family and close friends would only get one chance to enjoy our special day.
The Venue: Church of Saint Francis Xavier and Sheraton Towers
Size of Wedding: 50 persons
Cost of Wedding: $70,000
The Bride’s Gown: Malena Bridal Haute Couture (church and first march-in) and Mastani Bridal Couture (Lengha for second march-in)
The Bride’s Shoes: Steve Madden
The Groom’s Suit: Blazer set from Malena Bridal Haute Couture and customised shirt from Edit Suits Co. (church and first march-in), Mastani Bridal Couture (Sherwani for second march-in)
The Groom’s Shoes: Aldo
The Wedding Photographer: MX.Cheah
The Wedding Videographer: The Forever Films
The Wedding Bands: LeCaine Gems
The Bridesmaids’ Dresses: My Little Bow
The Groomsmen’s Suits: Malena Bridal Haute Couture
The Hairstylist and Makeup Artist: Makeup Hair by Annabella
The Florist: 5 Stones Florist
The Caterer: Takeaway food by Manna Pot Catering
The Wedding Cake: Bob the Baker Boy
The Event Stylist: Manna Weddings
The Wedding Stationery: Dreamweavers (church invite) and Lil’Art Cards (dinner invite)
The Wedding Favours: Dreamweavers
The Solemniser: Msgr. Ambrose Vaz
The Wedding Car: Limousine by Royal Rides Singapore
The Emcee: Alfred George Pillay
The Sparkulars: Tech Display
The Live Stream: Just Married Films
The Wedding Resource: SingaporeBrides
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