Confessions Of A Bride: How To Plan A Beyond Regular Wedding
This is the second Confessions Of A Bride of their actual day. Wanlyn shared a beautiful account of the day that would be extremely useful for those of you wanting to plan a wedding that is even an hour or two away from home. View her full wedding feature here.
Wanlyn: “Thibaut is French and I am Singaporean. We met in Munich, moved to Singapore, and decided to get married in Malaysia, which is where we live now. We were engaged for a full year before the wedding date, and that gave us plenty of time to plan our event. But as all brides know, there never really exists such a thing as too much time when it comes to planning a wedding!
“Getting married is always a big deal. Trying to incorporate a dinner event, a vow exchange ceremony, a Chinese tea ceremony and a gatecrashing ceremony into a single day turned this into a monster of an event. On top of that we had 78 guests, of which 76 were foreigners, many of whom arrived in Asia for the first time only two days before the wedding day. The logistics for that bit alone became the cherry on top of an already-very-wobbly 10-tier wedding cake! And, 10-tier or not, you can’t have your cake and eat it too.
CONCEPT AND THEME
“We never really had an exact theme for our wedding. We had many random ideas, and we already knew that we wanted a colour palette that would gear towards autumn shades, with woodsy and neutral colours. What I knew for sure was that I had not a single artistic bone in my body, so Pinterest definitely saved my life there! Pictures do speak a thousand words, and with those photos I was able to convey to our decorator the look that we were trying to achieve. My tip to all brides is that if you do not have a specific theme, be clear to your wedding decorator about what are absolute no-gos!
“Our entire wedding day took place in Johor. Both of us being foreigners in Malaysia, gestures to support and be part of the local community are important to us, so we made it a point to scout for good local contacts for daily things such as hardware and grocery stores. When we planned our wedding, we favoured local boutique vendors over brand names.
“Our decorations for the wedding car, vow exchange and dinner ceremonies were managed by Weiss Decorations. They blew us away with what they did – it was exactly what we wanted, and so much more! Another example of why you should put your event in the good hands of vendors you can absolutely trust.
GATECRASHING AND TEA CEREMONY
“We started the morning with the gatecrashing ceremony, which took place at my parents’ home. I had gotten up at 5am to start on hair and makeup, and had hardly slept a wink the night before due to bad pre-wedding jitters. I’d like to believe that my girls delivered a crushing defeat to the groomsmen, but it was all in the name of good fun and entertainment, especially for most of our guests who had probably never witnessed a gatecrashing ceremony before!
“Afterwards, we had the Chinese tea ceremony in the living room of my parents’ home. I had on my cheongsam that had been tailored to fit me to a T, and I am very happy and proud to say that I chose the fabrics and designed the dress on my own. I even did some amateur sketches that unfortunately will be stowed away and that will never see the light of day again. The tea ceremony turned out to be a real tearjerker. I cried when people cried. I cried as well when no one was crying. No big damage done, but here’s another tip: request waterproof makeup.
SOLEMNISATION CEREMONY AND DINNER RECEPTION
“The vow exchange and dinner ceremonies were held at the Pulai Springs Resort. We had already had our legal ceremony in Singapore two days before the wedding date, so we had our vow exchange ceremony on a lawn overlooking the golf course. We walked down the aisle to Carpenters’ ‘Close To You’, and were met by Katya, the godmother of Thibaut, who solemnised the event. We met with some problems during this part of the day though. The skies looked threateningly grey, our music got cut midway through the walk down the aisle, and… I forgot my speech during the vow exchange! Our friend Seb remarked afterwards that it was all those bloopers that made it feel less rehearsed and more personal. That did make me feel a lot better!
“We had the bridal speeches, as well as the best man and maid of honour speeches during the dinner event. Dinner was a fabulous eight-course affair whipped up by the resort’s resident restaurant caterer Qing Palace. Simon and Flow provided the soundtrack to the evening for the guests to dance to, and we ended the night with fireworks, which, while not exactly legal, was a definite must-have, at least for me.
“As far as we were concerned, we were not holding a destination wedding since all events took place in Johor, where we live now. However, where our guests were concerned, they definitely were attending a destination wedding! Many were from Europe and flying into Asia for the first time. We did as much of the coordination as possible via emails for the first few months, progressed to Skype sessions when the date was nearing, and it all culminated in a 21-page Travel Bible PDF that guests could access to check out shuttle timings and arrangements, travel suggestions, hotel and room allocations, wedding day timings, dress etiquettes for various ceremonies, etc.
“To finish off, a wedding is never complete without its guests. Thibaut and I were truly humbled by the efforts that all our guests took to journey to our event. We appreciated the presence of every single person who made this an incredible day for us!
“We did experience our fair share of wedding bloopers, and I am very glad to say that we would not have had it any other way! My advice to all other brides is to do and plan what you can, but understand that a major part of the decision-making will take place right before the wedding or even during the event itself, and that it is very important to learn to fall back on people whom you can trust to hold it all together for you!”