Nicole and her husband, Bryan. Photo is reproduced with kind permission from Nicole Seah.
You and your then fiance were based overseas when you were planning for your solemnisation ceremony. How did you go about it?
There was a lot of communication involved, even over the smallest things. We wanted to keep the event as small and simple as possible and we tried to keep it that way. But do note that along the way, well-meaning friends and relatives may be quite adamant about adding on certain details; it’s really up to you to accept their suggestions or not. For instance, I kept getting asked if I needed a veil but I turned it down as it was one less item to deal with.
I started a Facebook chat group, email thread and regular Skype sessions with Thailand (where I was based), Singapore (my mum) and Australia (in-laws). We made it a point to update our parents on every new development, such as when we selected a restaurant for the post-solemnisation celoberation, or when we had an appointment to verify documents. We also made sure we got everyone’s buy-in on things like food choices.
What were the main priorities/ considerations when you were planning the event in Singapore?
It had to be wheelchair-friendly for our elderly grandparents. Food had to be reasonable priced and the reception had to be held in in a decent location. It was also about coordinating transport for our guests and families, and making sure everyone was aware of timings.
How did you go about sourcing for your wedding wardrobe?
I went through online boutiques in my free time, and spoke to some friends about tailoring an outfit. I didn’t want anything too dressy; I always wanted a very simple, clean and basic look.
It was a moment of serendipity when I found my dress on a discount rack and tried it on. Bryan already had a suit from Uniqlo that we bought in Thailand a few months ago, and our friend passed Bryan a pair of loafers he couldn’t fit into anymore. Once we found something that we both agreed on, we just bought it and kept it away until the big day. Ultimately we wanted to look simple and presentable. I almost went dressed in a white blazer and tailored pants if I had not found that dress!
What was the toughest part during your wedding prep?
The amount of paperwork and jargon for the registration. As I’ve never gotten married before it was all a blur to us. Especially deciding whether to solemnise our vows in Australia or Singapore.
I also find that it is very crucial to keep everyone’s feelings in check and be sensitive to any inter-family dynamics, while balancing it out with our personal preferences and wishes.
Sharing a heartwarming moment during the solemnisation ceremony. Photo is reproduced with kind permission from Nicole Seah.
I understand you will be having a simple lunch with your family, relatives and in-laws early next year. Is it tough planning for it too?
Again, it’s mainly the paperwork and having to visit suppliers and vendors to decide on details like paper samples etc. It’s little things like that which you have to make time for in your regular schedule. I was a bit stressed at first because I haven’t planned a dinner before; even the simple dinners can be quite logistically challenging with deadlines to meet. Having to juggle that with the daily work demands can be quite time-consuming, so it helps to plan in advance.
I think it helps that we’re having a hotel lunch – a good hotel would make ensure the process is as painless as possible. Personally, I would prefer a more intimate and personalised setting, but our extended family members were keen to celebrate our nuptials and usher in the lunar new year as well. So again, it’s really about compromising and understanding what makes the family happy, but without taking away the wishes of the bride and groom.
What are your thoughts on the entire wedding prep experience?
Sometimes people tend to overlook the marriage for the wedding. At the end of the day, the wedding is the main event and a relatively public occasion too, but marriage is what you’ll wake up to the morning after and for the rest of your life. So that perspective is very important to keep in mind.
Also, a couple that can plan a wedding well together or have fun through the process together, will make a really good team!
For more, see the things we learned from shooting with Nicole here. Also, get the whole story on Nicole’s wedding planning process, as well as insights into her relationship, in Her World Brides December 2015.