Singaporebrides | Real Weddings

November 2023

Fatima and James’s Romantic Garden Wedding at Botanic Gardens Bandstand and COMO Dempsey

Fatima and James exchanged vows in a beautiful garden wedding at the Botanic Gardens Bandstand, followed by a COMO Dempsey wedding reception.

Fatima, 32,  Educator, and James, 34,  Educator, both made Singapore their home. The couple incorporated both of their cultures and their shared love for walks amidst nature into their Botanic Gardens Bandstand wedding ceremony, and celebrated their union with a feast for their closest family and friends at COMO Dempsey on 8 July 2023.

How did you meet each other?

Fatima: James and I met at our previous workplace. The day we met, out of the blue, James told my friend and me that the pram we had just walked past was facing the right way (facing the one who is pushing it as it promotes conversations with the baby). I found it so weird as we didn’t know each other and hadn’t engaged in any conversations yet. I told myself to never engage in a chat with this person. Five years later, I married that person!

What do you love most about your partner?

Fatima: Anyone who meets James would know what a great guy he is! He can talk about anything under the sun. He is cheerful and friendly, and enjoys chatting and connecting with people. He is so great with kids! James will say hi and play peek-a-boo with all the children we come across during our walks. Most of all, James is kind and caring. Not just to me but to everyone he meets. He is a ball of sunshine! 

What was the proposal like?

Fatima: I knew it was coming soon, as we had discussed it. We both wanted to be on the same page, as starting a new chapter as a couple is a big step. James also wanted to learn more about what style of engagement ring I like as he wanted to buy what I would like and something that reflects my personality and style. So when the discussions came, I knew it was not far off. The waiting game then gave me butterflies in my stomach, and I thought I would catch him on the day he intended to do so. But I was still surprised on that day!

James likes a nature walk every so often, so I didn’t think much of the invitation for a stroll before our dinner. James proposed by the lake at Gardens by the Bay, with Marina Bay Sands in the backdrop, on a lovely evening with pink skies. He asked me to pose with my back against him, and when I turned, he was there down on one knee. We had a lovely post-engagement dinner at North Miznon, where the crew was aware of our celebration and spoiled us with drinks and desserts! 

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

Fatima: There was no fixed theme for our wedding. We went with the flow while planning to include what we liked as individuals and a couple. Coming from different countries and Singapore being our home together, we wanted to add various elements and traditions of our cultures, and celebrate in the place we now call our home. We thought of what matters to us and what we would like to share with our loved ones on our special day.

I found Lydia K Photography on Instagram as one of her clients wore a wedding dress from the designer I was looking at for my dress, (thank you, IG algorithm). I browsed through her photos and fell in love with its light, bright, and airy feel. Coincidentally, The SingaporeBrides Wedding Fair was coming up, and she was going to be there. We took this opportunity to meet Lydia, and the event helped us to meet other vendors for the wedding too. I also read a few articles on SingaporeBrides which helped me with some ideas for my own special day. 

When we met Lydia and her now husband, Gary, we knew they were the right ones for us to take the photos of our special day. Lydia’s work reflects our personality and what we wanted our photos to be like. We felt her work was happy, light, and full of love. She also did our pre-wedding shoot, which helped us all get to know each other, adding to the dynamics and photos on the wedding day. She helped us to be comfortable in front of the camera and was  supportive of our ideas and plans. Lydia’s creativity speaks in her work. Lydia also shared her ideas and suggestions, adding much richness to our wedding album. Lydia and Gary were so helpful on our wedding day as it was such a DIY wedding. They were kind and friendly, and our guests loved them very much too. Lydia and Gary have a keen eye for special moments and it was nice to look back on our wedding photos as they captured all our intimate and special moments and celebrations with each other and the guests. 

We decided to go for COMO Dempsey for our wedding dinner as we really liked the space, restaurant, and style on offer as soon as we saw it. Their private room was just the right size for our intimate wedding. Pamelia, the events consultant for COMO was helpful, guiding us through the booking process and finalising the menu and details for our dinner. The COMO team were superb during the actual day and their service was impeccable. Even without a coordinator, everything went smoothly with their preparations and steadiness. The food was exquisite and the cocktail drinks were well crafted. Everyone enjoyed the feast!

A lot of our vendors had connection and meaning to our lives here in Singapore: the cake from a local cafe, flowers from a florist I used to live by etc. Since we love nature and our walks, we had our solemnisation at the iconic bandstand at Singapore Botanic Gardens. The setting was so lush. It was like something out of a fairytale. The most challenging part was planning around the weather since it was an outdoor event. It is something that you don’t have any control over. Our families and friends prayed so hard for a sunny day, which we were blessed with on our wedding day.

What was your wedding day like, and which was your favourite moment?

It was an intimate ceremony but we felt blessed to have special friends and our family there. The pastor was fantastic and the ceremony was full of joy. Fatima: It’s hard to pinpoint the most memorable moment, as everything about our wedding was spectacular. After months of planning, the emotions hit differently once you execute everything you have thought and planned. We just laughed at the few hiccups of the day (this is inevitable, and we have learned to embrace it), and we were thankful to be surrounded by the people important in our lives. I guess, for me as a bride, it was when I walked down the aisle with my parents to meet James–it was the most emotional part for me. 

The Size of the Wedding: 24 guests
The Venue:  The Bandstand at Singapore Botanic Gardens and followed by dinner at COMO Dempsey
The Wedding Day Photographer: Lydia K Photography
The Gown: Camisa top from Bridal by Vania Romoff and dress by Coloc the Tailor
The Bride’s Shoes:  Zara Shoes
The Suit: Coloc the Tailor
The Groom’s Shoes: Aldo Shoes
The Engagement Ring: Christopher George Jewellers
The Wedding Bands: Rio Diamonds
The Hairstylist and Makeup Artist:  Monina Galang
The Wedding Cake: Carpenter and Cook (one part carrot, one part chocolate – his and her flavours!!) 
The Florist: Rebecca of Avofloral for my wedding bouquet; Jennifer of Amazing Florals for our dinner table
The Pre-Wedding Photographer: Lydia K Photography
The Wedding Favours: Being an advocate for sustainability and eco friendly materials, we gave away orange enzyme cleaner by Project Your Star, supporting makers with autism. 
The Solemniser: Pastor Arnie Manzano 
The Wedding Car Rental: Ray’s Vintage Rental


Credits: Images by Lydia K Photography


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Fatima and James’s Romantic Garden Wedding at Botanic Gardens Bandstand and COMO Dempsey