After dating for six years, content creator Nicole Chang Min, 29, and actor James Seah, 32, wed on Jan 15 at 1-Atico, at ION Sky on the 55th storey of ION Orchard. It was a glitzy affair that was attended by celebs such as Desmond Tan, Pierre Png, Elvin Ng and Paige Chua.
The couple got engaged when James proposed on Christmas Day in 2019. According to Nicole, the proposal was “unexpected and pretty chaotic!”
“But I’m still glad it happened the way it did and it was unforgettable in many ways,” she shares in an interview with Her World.
The couple, who initially envisioned a carnival-themed wedding with various interactive booths for guests to mingle at, had to shelve their plans due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Instead, they opted for a day “that was not too formal or traditional”, and one where their final guest list of 165 could enjoy the night as much as the newlyweds.
Here, Nicole shares more about her wedding, how she met James, and her tips on remaining calm during her wedding preparations.
Nicole: We met at a friend’s birthday party and James was an uninvited guest. Halfway through the night, the party was running low on food and drinks, and that’s when James was called in to be our last minute ‘Grab Delivery’ personnel. His friends gave him an SOS call and he happened to be chilling at home at that moment so he agreed to come.
He arrived shortly at the party armed with more food and drinks, and excitedly rang the doorbell while I was preparing the surprise birthday cake for the birthday girl. Not wanting to alarm her, I quickly opened the door and was greeted with James’ loud “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!”. Thinking he would ruin the surprise, I retaliated with “SHUT UP LA!” and that’s how we first met. He has been besotted with me ever since.
Nicole: Everything happened on the same day. We had a simple tea ceremony in the afternoon that was done via Zoom just before the solemnisation ceremony and dinner.
We wanted our flowers to be lush and structured, and nothing too sweet or romantic. We discussed our choice of flowers and the colour palette we liked with our florist [and fellow newlywed], Kayly Loh of Bucket Full of Roses, and let her work her magic!
With the venue, James and I wanted something different from the usual floral arches, and something that would accentuate the tall, airy ceilings of the space. So we decided to have a few hanging arrangements to mimic the cloud-like aspect, as the venue was 55 floors up in the sky.
We also did away with the solemnisation table and replaced it with a cocktail table for the signing of the vows, so that the floral decor from the solemnisation ceremony wasn’t blocked.
Nicole: To replace the initial interactive feature we wanted, we created a scent of the night and diffused it into the venue for guests to have a whiff of what our idea of love smells like. They were also able to bring home bottled eau de parfums (EDPs) of the scent as wedding favours to remember the night.
Coherent with the slightly tropical floral theme, we also placed various fruits on the guest’s tables for them to munch on throughout the night or to bring home to enjoy. I guess what caught many of our guests’ attention were the Toto tickets that were given as door gifts. The tickets were given to guests at the entrance of our wedding.
James and I thought it would be fun to see if anyone became a millionaire overnight! (Spoiler: No one did, to our knowledge.) It was also a good ice breaker as I saw many people comparing Toto numbers at their tables.
Nicole: It was finally seeing all my friends and family gathered in one space after so long due to the Covid-19 restrictions. It felt very surreal seeing everyone face to face, and I was very touched to spend this special day in their presence.
One of the highlights from our wedding was definitely exchanging of our vows. James is not a sweet talker, nor is he good with words so I was really looking forward to hearing his vows as we kept it a secret from each other while writing them. You can hop over to my vlog on my YouTube channel for snippets of our vows!
Nicole: Mine was: “I promise to remember that neither of us are perfect but I will strive to remind myself of the ways we are perfect together.”
James’ was: “I would like to start off my wedding vow with a quote from Dr Seuss. ‘We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, so when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness; and then we call it love.’”
Nicole: We pushed back our wedding for more than half a year due to Covid-19, and only started planning just four months prior when we saw that the Covid-19 situation was looking slightly better. So everything was a little rushed and choppy but we still managed to pull through!
Nicole: I visited a lot of bridal boutiques and was waiting to have that ‘wow’ moment. After trying on a few dresses, I had a clearer idea in mind of what I wanted and managed to find my dresses at Truly Enamoured.
The team was such a great help in picking out my gowns, giving me a lot of suggestions and recommendations. When we tried on the Kaia gown from Lee Grebenau, both Linda (the co-founder of Truly Enamoured) and I had a “Yes, this is it moment” and that’s how the decision was made!
Nicole: Yes, we decided to hire a wedding planner, Holy Moly, as James was very busy with filming. While planning for our wedding, he barely had the time for much else. Most of the details and planning aspects were handled by our planner and I.
Hiring a wedding planner was an excellent decision as it took a lot of wedding stress off our shoulders, and we could find a way to work around our hectic schedules.
Nicole: About one month leading to our wedding, I decided to take up fewer jobs and campaigns so I could be fully present in the moment; I didn’t want to be swamped with or stressed by work.
At the time, if I found that I was struggling to make time throughout the day for all my tasks, I would wake up an hour earlier just to ensure that I had sufficient time to juggle both work and planning.
I also started my day with a quick meditation. The occasional self-check-in really helped during the stressful or dull moments, too.
Nicole: Do your research on the vendors you plan to engage, and talk to as many people who have wedding experience as possible. Everyone will definitely have good advice to share with you.
Also, take it easy. After all, you ultimately want to enjoy your special day.
Nicole: I wish I had extended our dinner to five hours! The three-hour time frame we had was too short. Five hours would have given us enough time to go around and catch up with all our guests.
If we could do it over again, we probably would have had high tea leading into dinner, so everyone can be relaxed and simply have fun.
Nicole: I mentioned this in my vlog, that not everything for a wedding has to be expensive. You can always find cheaper alternatives online or go DIY!
For example, I know a lot of friends who have done their photo gallery area themselves to save on decor costs.
James and I forgot to arrange for flowers for our bridal car. Thankfully, we managed to find something last-minute on Carousell for $50 and it worked out well! It also saved us some money compared to if we’d sent our request to the store to get the flowers for our car rushed out.