It's been almost 40 days since we tied the knot and I can finally sit down and reflect on all the wonderful moments that made the day exceptionally special.
Noel and I had spent quite a while trying to find the perfect location because we both knew we didn't want a hotel ballroom dinner celebration. For only 150 guests, we wanted somewhere quaint, cosy and not overpriced so when he suggested Changi Cottage, I was definitely intrigued. In order to book this venue, you'll have to be a Civil Service Club member, AND if you wanna use it for your wedding, you have to book it under the Corporate Rates. (If you don't, you only have a minimum of 60 days before your event to book it, so it's quite risky if you're sending out invitations and such)
Initially we were gonna engage an external vendor to take charge of decor. But we figured that as creative as we are, we could probably manage to do a lot of it on our own. Wedding decor of any kind is also VERY EXPENSIVE in Singapore.
After some careful consideration, we decided to do everything ourselves, of course we would still get the basics, a caterer, videographer, photographer + hire tables and chairs but other than that, we literally had a DIY wedding. A few friends who run an event company provided our sound system and projector screen and we were very grateful we could save a few more dollars in that department.
I was very concerned about making sure everything was done as early as possible so wedding prep started 3 months before our big day. We folded paper flowers, painted masks, recycled baked bean tins, wine bottles, built a replica of the house from Up, frequented most of the Cash Converters outlets, Mustafa centre, Spotlight and Daiso, went to garage sales and bought a lot of cheap decor in Johor and online (including fairy lights, lanterns, artificial flowers and other bits and bobs you'll see in the photos.)
We made our initials N & G out of cardboard, styrofoam and artificial flowers.
We bought lots of artificial flowers from a beautiful store in Johor.
The Up House came in many parts. While it was a challenge to put it together, we constructed it within a day. I must say it's a fun activity to do with your partner.
It's almost done!
Noel putting the finishing touches to our house...
Here is it! Our Up House replica sitting on top of the ang pao box.
I think the purchase I am proudest of is a huge photo frame I found at Cash Converters in Toa Payoh. When I saw the price tag I was amazed at how cheap it was...$6.00! It was a bitch to carry but totally worth it. Noel gave it a fantastic makeover and it looked really pretty when it was done! We had a lot of friends and family help us with all our wedding prep, we definitely couldn't have done it without them.
We booked Changi Cottage for 4 days and the day before the wedding we tried to set everything up so it wouldn't be stressful the following morning. Noel and his friends hung up the string lights and when it got dark we found that people were not gonna be able to see their food! So a couple of friends had to rush to IKEA to buy some tealight holders and wicks with oil to put on each table.
The set-up being done on the day of our wedding. Thanks to our dear friends and family, we had a lot of hands on deck. Thanks guys!
We'd planned to use wooden pallets for our stage but the night before, I was really worried it was going to look bare and very low-budget. Thankfully, dear Noel and his friends did such a fabulous job dressing it up with LED lights and warm bulbs, I was so pleasantly surprised at how gorgeous it looked the next day!
Our stage with two types of LED lights...
The morning of our wedding, tensions were high and there were quite a few hiccups but we managed to get through them all without any dramas. A bunch of pesky ants had gotten to the individual wedding cakes for the guests so a lot of them had to be dumped. It was such a relief that we decided to go with a cheaper option for those cakes at the last minute. How many people really eat wedding cake anyway?
People were just so blown away by the venue that we honestly didn't have to do that much to dress it up. There were gorgeous birds that would pass by, we saw a family of hornbills and a couple of eagles above us too. When we told our friends we were having an outdoor wedding, their first few questions were always "If rain how ah?" or they would say "Outdoor? So hot! Got fans anot?" Well, the weather couldn't have been more perfect! A cool sea breeze, clear skies and NO RAIN at all! (Tip: Place an onion and a red chilli on a satay stick and poke it into the soil...it's an old wives' tale that it will keep the rain away. Skeptics can say what they want, but Noel did this and we didn't have a single drop of rain, the very next day it poured and the sky was dark throughout!)
Our food was provided by Ali Nachia, he makes awesome dishes and he's a friend of the family so he went all out to make sure everything was scrumptious. Check out his stall at Tanjong Pagar Plaza if you're a fan of briyani. People were raving about it for weeks after our wedding. A lot of our liquor was sponsored by relatives and friends and we ordered the rest from NTUC. My mum and cousin made Mild and Wild Garden Punch, which was a mixture of Vodka, Rum, Fruit Punch and Fresh Fruits with the former being non-alcoholic for the teetotalers.
People seemed to be getting absolutely wasted on the punch because it was so sweet and easy to drink! We also ordered fresh coconuts as a welcome drink but we had so many left over. And would you believe we had so much beer left too!? Noel was paranoid that we'd run out of booze quite early so we told our emcee to open the bar slightly later. Some 'alchohol enthusiasts' as we shall politely call them, couldn't wait that long so a few of them dashed out to Changi Village to buy an ENTIRE case of beer. Oh well, as they always say, it's better to have too much than too little.
We bought cheap snacks and candies from Mustafa Centre and put them in glass jars from Daiso. Initially we wanted to engage an authentic Kacang Putih man but logistically it wouldn't have worked out so we decided to create a 'Snackies' table on our own. I teased Noel that I wanted to place plastic cockroaches around the food just to scare people but he was adamant that we kept the event classy so I respectfully compromised. (There will always be other occasions where I can prank people)
More photos from our wedding!
The entire evening was everything we had ever wanted and more. All the hard work, planning and preparing had all been completely worth it. It's times like these, I wish I had a remote like the movie Click, so I can relive it over and over again.