samantha tuan.jpgThe couple met twice through mutual friends. Training together for a 20km obstacle course called the Tough Mudder in Melbourne sparked to a friendship that led to this day.

Melbourne-based Samantha Goh, 32 and Tuan Vu, 33, tied the knot after six years of friendship and 18 months in a relationship. She tells us:

samantha tuan2.jpgThe couple featured fun elements like photos of their courtship days, and these books of love created by The Pixie Cups.

samantha tuan3.jpg

samantha tuan11.jpgSamantha carried an exuberant bouquet of her favourite peonies and hydrangeas.

“His proposal was a surprise! We’d been together for 18 months. He had my family and his gather in our Melbourne home, and even got my best friend on Facetime. I thought we were alone when he asked me to look into the Thermomix (food processor) where there was a box with a fake ring.

samantha tuan4.jpgSamantha and her parents before they walked her down the aisle.

The bridesmaids, who carried cabbage roses, had free reign ove their dress choices.

Just as he was about to propose, everyone burst into the kitchen. It was only later that he got down on bended knee and asked me when we were finally alone.

samantha tuan8.jpgThe sign that greeted guests at the reception.

samantha tuan7.jpg

samantha tuan9.jpgColourful buntings and paper cards played up the whimsical mood.

The wedding and reception was inspired by my favourite things. They centred around my love of books, dogs and all things whimsical. The gatecrashing, tea ceremony, church ceremony and first reception took place in Singapore, where I was born and grew up. We later had dinner in Vietnam – where Tuan’s family is from – with his relatives.

samantha tuan10.jpgSam didn’t get to see her groom till the moment her parents gave her away at the altar.

tuan_sam0976.jpgThe decor on and around the reception table had an eclectic vibe.

samantha tuan12.jpgThis strawberry cake at the dessert table was polished off in minutes.

Fun times: As the priest was late to the service, watching my sister begin to panic while still trying to appear calm was pretty memorable. Also, I thought it was whimsical to choose mismatched dress styles for my bridesmaids instead of having everyone match up.

tuan_sam1102.jpgThe Chijmes celebration was relaxed and laced with laughter.

tuan_sam0961.jpgThe dinner at Chijmes featured a long table for VIPs and round tables for othe guests.

tuan_sam1216.jpg

tuan_sam0993.jpg

At the ceremony, I didn’t see Tuan at first. Some guests blocked my view of him as I was walking down the aisle. When we finally met, my first thought was “Ooh, he is so sweaty!” My husband grew up in Melbourne, and is unused to such a warm climate.

tuan_sam0962.jpgThe hand-painted cake was inspired by Enid Blyton’s The Magical Faraway Tree.

tuan_sam0957.jpg
Burlap heart-shaped place cards.

samantha tuan13.jpgMost of the decor was influenced by Sam’s love of whimsy and childhood classics by Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl.

tuan_sam1269.jpgThe couple and their families in a boisterous yum seng.

tuan_sam1518.jpgWhile guests sat down to dinner, the new Mr and Mrs Vu slipped away to take this picture.

We planned the celebrations ourselves and things turned out fine. On hindsight, however, I wished we’d hired a wedding planner to keep stress to a minimum.”

CHECKLIST
Venue 
Church of St. Francis Xavier (6280-6076); Chijmes (6337-7810)

Wardrobe Gowns: Time Taken To Make A Dress (6391-9802); headpiece: www.frankly-my-dear-store.myshopify.com; her shoes: Stuart Weiztman (6734-2331) and Sophia Websiter from On Pedder (6835-1307). His suit and shoes: www.shop.jacklondon.com.au

Hair and makeup The Style Atelier (Joy Tan, 9846-0550)

Photography Tinydot Photography (Yu Hsin, 6674-7367)

Videography Substance Films (Yang, 9299-4143)

Decor The Pixie Cups (Granny Yan, 8133-3199). Flowes: Yum-Mammas (Vivian Nguyen, www.yum-mammas.com.au)

Cake and desserts Church desserts: Plain Vanilla (6465-5942); coffee: Nylon (6220-2330); paella: Le Patio (6887-0077); burgers: De Burg (6538-2874); wedding cake: Cupplets (cuppletsco.sales@gmail.com); dessert table at Chijmes dinner: The Pixie Cups (thepixiecups@gmail.com).

Special thanks to: My beautiful sister Valerie Goh, who also took care of the church reception with her boyfriend, and best friend Alison Li for taking charge of everything. Our parents for being so wonderful. My bridesmaids, especially Viv for the beautiful bouquets! Yang and Yu Hsin for keeping us smiling and happy throughout. Granny Yan for her exceptional patience and kindness. The groomsmen for keeping Tuan on his toes.

This article was first featured in Her World Brides June – August 2015.