Corded lace and satin mermaid gown from Rico-A-Mona. Hydrangea, David Austin rose tulip and ranunculus bouquet, from Green Point Flowers. Photography: Vernon Wong
Styling: Steve Thio. Assisted by: Michelle Lee & Ashley Phan. Hair: Reno Tan / Hairloom, using Goldwell. Makeup: Larry Yeo, using Nudestix. Photo: Her World Brides December 2015.
Being in the political spotlight several years back – she was the youngest female candidate in the 2011 Singapore General Elections and the second most popular politician online – taught Nicole to be cautious about revealing too many details about her life. In fact, she told Her World magazine in May in 2014 that publicity had its price, and it had made her extremely reticent about her personal matters.
However, since moving to work in an advertising firm in Bangkok, Thailand, Nicole is now more open and even chatty about romance and her marriage to Bryan, a 29-year-old Singaporean engineer based in Australia. She declined to reveal his last name.
We find out more from Nicole, also 29, who tied the knot in a low-key ceremony in August 2015, and was in the process of moving back to Singapore from Bangkok for good by the end of December 2015.
“I was crying non-stop during the solemnisation, and so were our mothers,” says Nicole. Corded lace and satin mermaid gown from Rico-A-Mona. Silk flowers, from Inside The Knot.
You’ve had several high-profile relationships previously, but little is known about Bryan. What can you tell us about him?
I met him when I was holidaying in Australia three years ago. Our mums introduced us and his mum later got him to help me with an errand. After spending just one day together, he ended up asking me out for the next two weeks. At first, we didn’t think it was a good idea to get serious as we both lived in different countries. Then he downloaded Whatsapp and Skype the day I left, and we’ve been talking non-stop ever since.
What makes him different from the rest?
I’m very comfortable with him. As someone who used to have a high profile in the media, I like that Bryan sees me as I really am, and doesn’t care about what others think or say.
How have your past relationships shaped your outlook and approach towards your relationship with Bryan?
I appreciate the importance of being in a relationship where both parties respect each other wholeheartedly. There is no room for compromise in that area. It’s also important to be with someone you can count on a friend as well. We’ve taken a very pragmatic approach to our relationship. The decision to be together is a conscious choice we make every day, and this keeps our feelings for each other strong.
Nicole and Bryan at their solemnisation ceremony at the Registry of Marriages.
When did you know that he was the one?
I’ve seen many friends in long-distance relationships and there was always emotional turbulence. Bryan and I work well as a team. Sure, there were challenges along the way, but our relationship is great.
So how did he pop the question?
It was a very HDB-style proposal, as we are both not romantic people. I was in Australia visiting him and we were discussing the future of our relationship when he logged on to the ROM website. We got married on August 21. I don’t have an engagement ring because I feel diamonds are too dressy for everyday wear.
We understand Bryan will be moving back to Singapore. Will this be for good or is there a chance you’ll live in Australia later on?
He misses Singapore very much and we’re both happy to be coming home. To be honest, I don’t see us moving to Australia. I’ve been to a few cities there, but I still prefer living in Singapore. We both want to settle down here.
You had a very low-key wedding with just close friends and family present. Was this deliberate?
Yes, I don’t like fanfare and dealing with too many groups of people. Ours was a very intimate and emotional ceremony.
How did you put it together?
I set up a Facebook chat group to coordinate with everyone, as my in-laws lived in Australia, I was in Bangkok and my family was in Singapore. I managed the occasion like I would a work project with checklists and constant work-in-progress updates. I also checked on everyone to make sure they all knew what was going on, and that they were happy with the plans. The entire process took about three months in total. I know that to many people, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime event, and details matter. But I just have a different way of expressing my commitment to my better half. I also didn’t want to have so many things afterwards as it creates physical clutter in a home. The marriage cert was enough for us.
Did you have a theme?
Not at all. In fact, we dropped by a flower shop in Tanjong Pagar on the day itself for the bouquet because my mum insisted on it. After searching for images, I told the florist that I wanted a simple bouquet with a mix of soft colours.
“I appreciate the importance of being in a relationship where both parties respect each other wholeheartedly.” Crystal-embellished chiffon gown, from Digio Bridal. Hydrangea, David Austin rose tulip and ranunculus bouquet, from Green Point Flowers.
What was the highlight or most precious moment on the day you got married?
It was that moment during the solemnisation when we looked into each other’s eyes and said our vows while Bryan held my hand very firmly. It was quite overwhelming. Every word was significant and meaningful. One particular line in the vows encapsulated what love and marraige are all about: “I vow to always keep our love as pure as it is today.” (See also: 25 romantic quotes from books and movies for your wedding vows and speeches.)
Was the wedding what you imagined it would be?
Even as a girl, I’d never thought about my own wedding, so I didn’t have any preconceived notions about it.
Will you be holding another reception later?
Probably. We want to settle back in Singapore first, so timelines are still tentative.
Your wedding outfits were pretty chic and unique. Was that how you planned it?
Not at all. I got my dress in a sale here at 70 per cent off. I liked that it was simple. We bought Bryan’s suit from Uniqlo in Bangkok. (See also: 11 wedding-worthy dresses for your ROM.)
Photo: Nicole Seah’s instagram (@sheerpoultry), kindly reproduced with permission.
Where did you get your engagement and wedding rings from? Did you choose them or were they a surprise from Bryan?
We looked at rings together in both Australia and Thailand. I ended up getting our bands from Tampines Mall, and during the Great Singapore Sale earlier in 2015. We had a long conversation over the rings on Facebook, and I negotiated with the jeweller to let Bryan change the design if he didn’t like his band. He ended up liking the design I chose for him. (See the jewellers to check out for chic wedding bands here.)
What have you learnt as a newly-wed?
There are more responsibilities when you are dealing with two sets of families!
Any tips for future brides?
I’d tell them to enjoy the process, and to remember that the marriage is always more important than the wedding. Also, everyone will want to have a say in the wedding, and it is easy to become overwhelmed. At the end of the day, remember that your loved ones have your best interests at heart. But you still need to be very clear about what you want, and take ownership of the decisions you make. (See also: 5 things to know about stress-free wedding planning).
This story was first featured in Her World Brides December 2015.