Singaporebrides | Real Weddings

April 2023

Kate and Tom’s Breathtaking Elopement in the Maldives and Raffles Singapore

Kate and Tom’s elopement in the Maldives was nothing short of magical, with sea turtles adorning their wedding finery and the sea and sky to witness their love.

Kate and Tom eloped twice! Wanting their wedding day to be just about them, the couple of best friends exchanged vows in a romantic beach elopement in the Maldives, where they walked down the aisle to the beat of Boduberu drummers. Kate wore a gorgeous gown intricately embroidered with the story of their love, featuring favourite sea creatures spotted on their deep dives as well as orchids and butterflies from their new home in Singapore. Back home to Singapore, the couple tied the knot on the lawn at Raffles Singapore in a beautiful garden celebration.

Tell us a bit about your story.

Tom: The only good thing to come out of Brexit! We met at work, and grew close during a stressful project which came about as a result of the UK’s self-destructive decision to leave.Kate and I had so much in common, found that we worked together really well, and also that we both thrived off each other’s drive, inspiring each other to go on to much greater things!

Kate: We did meet at work. Tom was always there for me in a hugely stressful project–he’s very supportive of my career, and he’s always celebrating my success and helping me. Plus, he had a fantastic sense of humour, he was great to hang out with. We laughed a lot and found we had so much in common; we just instantly clicked. When I moved to Singapore, we had 10 months apart due to Covid and travel restrictions; I missed him so much it was terrible. At the same time, he made such an effort to connect with me every single day, it just deepened our relationship and my love for him. I knew that if we could get through that we could get through anything together.

What do you love most about your partner?

Kate: Tom’s warmth and zest for life–he’s just so much fun to be around, and I can truly be myself with him. Plus he’s incredibly handsome–those twinkly blue eyes and big smile make my heart melt. I’m hugely lucky. He’s my best friend.

Tom: Kate is smart, funny, successful, adventurous, strong, warm, ambitious, stunningly beautiful, and above all, my best friend. Every day I think how lucky I am!

What was the proposal like?

Tom: I had planned to propose on holiday in the Caribbean, and then Covid hit and the world locked down the day before our flight!We were stranded in the UK, and when restrictions slightly lifted we did a day trip to the Lake District and hiked up England’s highest mountain.We had the top of the mountain (which is usually like Orchard before Christmas!) alone to ourselves for almost an hour, and I proposed to Kate there.I then took out a bottle of champagne and crystal glasses out of my cooler-backpack and we felt like we were on top of the world!

Kate: It was perfect; it felt very us. When Tom says a day trip; it was literally a 6-hour drive there! But, we were so excited for this big adventure, to do something different, something exciting, life affirming really, in what was such a hard period for everyone. We had this amazing epic hike (quite hard work!) up to the top of Scafell Pike. The views were sweeping–stunning, breathtaking really. And then when we sat down at the peak, we had it just to ourselves. It was magical, with the sun over the mountains, and it was just so calm and peaceful, and then the most amazing man I’ve ever met got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Of course I said yes! A million times yes!

Why did you decide to elope in the Maldives?

Kate: Maldives was special to us, it was the last place we went to before I moved to Singapore a few weeks later, and so it was really poignant because I didn’t know when I would see Tom again. It was–and is–the most magical and beautiful place, where time just seems to stand still, where the sea meets the sky and everything just looks and feels ethereal, like a dream. There is something just so unique about the light in the Maldives–the reflections, the sunsets–it’s gorgeous. Our love for the ocean, for marine life, for sharing that together (Tom helped me to get over my fear of scuba diving, and now I love it), it just felt like the perfect place. And Emerald felt like home to us–the team there are amazing–and going back to get married there felt like visiting old friends.

Tom: We had visited the Maldives as our first trip after lockdown and loved it, the beautiful islands and beaches, the immaculate service, and the unbelievable diving and snorkelling.Such a peaceful and empty place above water, but like the busiest fish city below. After the trip, we then didn’t see each other for 10 months, due to Covid, and so it was a special place for us.We got on so well with the staff, and especially the F&B Director, that we really trusted them to host our special day.

What was the day like and how did you feel?

Tom: It was amazing! But also by then we were tired!The weather leading up to the big day was challenging, so we had quite a few pre-dawn starts, taking photos and filming videos.But the joy of the day lifted us above everything, and it was truly wonderful.

Kate: The best day ever–I wish we could do it all over again! Seeing Tom at the end of the aisle, in front of the ocean, and surrounded by the most gorgeous flowers–it was beautiful. I had a very long walk across the beach and up the aisle surrounded by what felt like hundreds of flowers and candles, accompanied by the most amazing Maldivian drummers, and it felt like I was walking towards my future.

You eloped in Singapore as well! Tell us how you planned it.

Tom: Shortly after we had started planning Maldives, we found out the wedding there would not be internationally recognised, so we needed to get married here in Singapore, where we now live, as well.

We considered a simple solemnisation at ROM, but looked around and decided it just had to be the Lawn at Raffles Hotel. Raffles Hotel is a Singapore icon, and such a beautiful oasis of calm, right in the centre of the city. We love it!

Kate: Singapore is our home. We absolutely love being here, and have felt so welcomed. I feel like our story really began again in Singapore, after that long separation, and so there was no doubt in my mind that we wanted to have our legal solemnisation here, in the city that we are so blessed to live in, and where we have so many amazing memories (and hopefully many more!).

I used SingaporeBrides to find Darren & Jade Photography, and it also helped us to draw inspiration from the gorgeous venues showcased and florists, so it was a really helpful resource!

What was the most memorable moment of your elopements?

Kate: Oh wow, that’s too hard a question; there are too many to count! Seeing Tom tear up when I walked up the Raffles Lawn is probably my favourite. He looked so handsome (my favourite in the world auntie calls him James Bond!). Everything was so perfect and so gorgeous. His vows were very heart-felt, and we were honoured to have the amazing Dr Shirley Low be our solemniser. She is truly a special person, and rather fabulous.

Tom: There are so many it’s impossible to say.Fortunately we have the most amazing photos and videos of the two events, and there are so many captured.It was a lot of fun working with our photographers and videographers from Darren & Jade Photography!Darren, Benny, and Xinyi have such a great eye, such creativity, and the most amazing skills to capture the magic in every moment.I feel like we fed off each other so well, and that they have created the most dramatic photos, and a video that belongs in Hollywood (where Darren grew up)!

For me the top highlight has to be seeing Kate emerge on to the Raffles Lawn looking jaw-droppingly beautiful, and walking towards me to be my wife.I’ll also never forget the fun we had shooting on the sandbanks in Maldives, in Gardens by the Bay here, and then swimming with whale sharks and manta rays on our honeymoon.

Kate: Darren, Benny, and Xinyi are creative masters. We felt like movie stars! I loved having them be part of our wedding story, and blessed to have them as new friends. They are the most talented group of people. Their vision and story-telling is out of this world, and we just gelled with them so well, it felt like a real great partnership.

Darren & Jade Photography

The Size of the Wedding: Zero guests. We wanted it to be about just us.Darren and Benny were our witnesses!
The Cost of the Wedding: More than we planned, but we don’t regret a thing!
The Venue: Emerald Resort & Spa in the Maldives and Raffles Singapore
The Wedding Day Photographer: Darren, Benny, and Xinyi from Darren & Jade Photography
The Gown: Vivienne Westwood and Hermoine de Paula
The Bride’s Shoes: Westwood, Aquazurra, and Jimmy Choo
The Suit: Sartoria Rossi, Tuscany, Italy
The Groom’s Shoes: Loake Shoemakers, England
The Engagement Ring: Samara James
The Wedding Bands: Harry Winston and Piaget
The Hairstylist and Makeup Artist: Lindalino Makeup
The Nail Artist: Felicia from Q’Ticles
The Wedding Cake: Crummb
The Florist: The Flowering Year and Ikebana Maldives
The Wedding Stylist: Kate!
The Wedding Planner: Kate & Tom
The Pre-Wedding Photographer: Darren from Darren & Jade Photography
The Videographer: Benny & Xinyi from Darren & Jade Photography
The Band: Vocalise in Singapore and Emerald’s Boduberu drummers
The Solemniser: Dr. Shirley Low
The Wedding Car Rental: Bliss Wedding Cars
The Honeymoon: Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru & FS Explorer Diveboat

Credits: Images by Darren & Jade Photography

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Kate and Tom’s Breathtaking Elopement in the Maldives and Raffles Singapore