Covid may have derailed many plans, but it didn’t stop Jasmine Ang and Poh Boon Kiat (Fu Wen Jie) from getting hitched. The couple, who dated for two years, tied the knot on August 8, 2020, in an intimate half-day event that consisted of a solemnisation ceremony, tea ceremony and wedding lunch.
Pre-Covid, they had planned for a 400-guest wedding dinner at Ritz-Carlton. But seeing how there was no end in sight for the pandemic, the couple decided to proceed with their event with the Phase 2 capacity restrictions in mind.
Jasmine, 35, who works as a managing director, said: “We decided against postponing the celebration as we really like our wedding date (August 8, 2020), and we were uncertain about when we would be able to hold the event.”
Another hiccup came when the government announced the easing of capacity limits at weddings in end July 2020.
Said Wen Jie, 42, a finance director: “It seemed like good news but we were caught in a dilemma when we had to decide who to invite.” The couple had just one week to extend their guest list from 20 to 50 pax.
Thankfully, their plans worked out eventually. Here, Jasmine and Wen Jie share more about their wedding, from courtship to proposal to the turn of events.
Jasmine: We met on a dating app, and conversed a while on WhatsApp before we finally met up. I believe he knew I was the one when he first met me (haha). I knew he was the one after a few dates when I could see that he takes really good care of me, and puts me before him.
Wen Jie: We indeed met on a dating app. I received a “like” from her, which means my profile photo had attracted her (haha). This gave me the opportunity to message her and start a conversation.
During our initial chat, I could already feel the connection between us. It seemed like she understood me really well. Plus, we have a lot in common. During our dates, we could talk about anything under the sun – there wasn’t any awkward silence between us. From then, I knew she’s the one I cannot spend my life without.
J: He proposed on April 25, 2019. I was very surprised as I didn’t expect him to propose on a weekday at my place. He planned the setup with Komo Events and I could tell a lot of effort was put into it. I thought I saw some tears in his eyes when he was walking in, and I was quite touched.
WJ: I approached Komo Events to arrange a surprise proposal for her. I knew that if I did it during weekends or at those places we had been before, she would suspect something fishy. Therefore, I chose to do it at her place where her parents could witness this moment too.
Before the proposal, I picked her up from her dinner place to send her home. During the journey back, I was feeling nervous and she kept asking why I was ignoring her questions.
When we reached her place, I opened the door for her and she was surprised by the setup. I led her to the living room where all her parents and siblings were waiting, went down on one knee and proposed to her. (PS: I did not cry!)
J: Our initial plan for the wedding celebration consisted of the traditional morning ceremony, solemnisation ceremony at Di Zang Lin (Buddhist temple), followed by a 400-guest banquet dinner at Ritz-Carlton.
We worked with our wedding planner, Bliss Pact to create a timeless fairytale-themed wedding where we were supposed to have a mirrored aisle with fairy lights to match my bespoke lighted gown.
WJ: The wedding I envisioned was whatever my wife envisioned.
J: We were stuck in limbo when the Circuit Breaker was announced. We didn’t know if our wedding could still go on as planned due to the CB restrictions that resulted in logistical delays as well. But we reckoned that we had to scale down our wedding celebration. Work kept us extremely busy during the CB period, so we decided to halt the wedding planning until there were new directions from the government.
WJ: The downsized celebration affected our ang bao collection. (haha)
J: Yes, we did. However, we decided against postponing the celebration as we really like our wedding date (August 8, 2020), and we were uncertain about when we would be able to hold the wedding celebration that we initially planned.
J: The capacity limit at weddings was eased from 20 to 50 with effect from August 4, 2020. This meant that more family members and friends could attend our celebration. We had to inform the Abbot of Di Zang Lin, who is also our Justice of the Peace, of our plan to increase the number of guests as well as seek permission. It was a mad rush, having to inform our guests at short notice. But we managed to coordinate everything with the help of our family and our wedding planner, Clare.
WJ: The relaxation of the capacity limit for weddings took place one week before our wedding. It seemed like good news but we were caught in a dilemma when we had to decide who to invite.
J: Though the wedding celebration was much smaller in scale than we originally planned, everyone was happy. As the ceremony was held in the temple, we did not plan to do up the place so as to be respectful to the venue. However, the Abbot of Di Zang Lin surprised us with simple chirpy balloon decorations that instantly added a celebratory vibe to the temple.
J: We had the solemnisation ceremony at the temple, followed by a simple tea ceremony, and a wedding lunch at elemen restaurant, all in the same day.
J: I had only one outfit – the traditional kua. It made sense for us to don traditional wedding outfits since we were having our solemnisation at the temple.
I was supposed to have three or four outfits, including the kua (which was rented), and my husband was supposed to have two outfits – all specially designed and made to measure by local designer Danny Lim. I’m glad we managed to wear them for our pre-wedding shoot!
J: I’m not a big fan of flowers, so I left it to Clare from Bliss Pact to decide for me.
J: The most memorable part was holding it at Di Zang Lin and having Venerable Shi You Wei solemnise our wedding. Being a Buddhist and a student of Venerable Shi You Wei, nothing beats having him bless and officiate our wedding.
J: We didn’t write personalised vows but I reminded him that his wife is always right, and “happy wife, happy life” during our speeches. Haha!
WJ: I’m looking forward to bicker and banter with her for the rest of our lives.
Both: Tired! We were rather exhausted, though it was a half-day and small-scale event.
J: There’s nothing I would change now. We are happily married and I think that’s what is most important. My only regret is not being able to wear the lighted gown that I specially got Danny to design.
WJ: My only regret was to pass all the ang baos to my wife! Haha.
J: My advice is to go with the flow. Nothing is certain to go your way, even with the most extensive planning. We started planning our wedding in June 2019, booking our venue and vendors almost a year before our wedding. But Covid-19 changed everything.
WJ: For the men, try to empathise with your partner because most women will want a wedding to remember, but having their dream wedding may be impossible during this pandemic.
WJ: Spend within your means.
J: We were rather lucky that everything went smoothly in our preparation and on our wedding day!
Venue: Di Zang Lin, elemen 元素
Wardrobe: Danny L for gowns and suit; The Red Wedding for kua
Hair and makeup artist: Raine Yeo
Photography: Trouve Photography for event; Acapella Photography for pre-wedding shoot
Videography: Substance Films
Bridal bouquet: CC Lee Design
Wedding planner: Bliss Pact
Special thanks: Venerable Shi You Wei of Di Zang Lin