It wasn’t love at first sight for the couple, Chelza and Yu Jin, when they first met at 16 years old. But they did get to know each other better when they became housemates while studying in Melbourne, Australia.


“Jin was always the joker in the group so it wasn’t difficult to get along with him,” says Chelza. “At that time, I was seeing someone else; and though I didn’t believe in platonic relationships, Jin made me feel that such a friendship was actually possible.”

The couple: Chelza Pok is an art director in publishing,
while Lim Yu Jin works in the shipping industry

Years later, after graduation and into working life, Chelza (who, by then, was single) and Jin were still friends who hung out together on Friday nights and caught movies together.



“We didn’t really question if our ‘friendship’ was anything more,” says Chelza. “It wasn’t until I was about to start another relationship and I actually panicked when I thought about how I would have give up my Friday dates with Jin. It was then that it dawned on me if Jin and I were more than just friends.”


Thankfully, the feeling was mutual – Jin confessed to Chelza, and she in turn reciprocated. The couple dated for another six years, before Jin proposed.


THINKING OUT OF THE BOX

While most brides begin their storyboard with ideas they like, Chelza did otherwise. “I didn’t settle my theme until much later in the planning stage. I had a lot of ideas but didn’t know where to start! So I worked around what I don’t like, rather than what I liked. I didn’t want too much attention on me (yes, it does seem strange), I didn’t want informality, and I certainly didn’t want to overspend.”


LET’S WOW THEM WITH COLOURS

And so, the couple decided on using bright, cheery colours, an entourage of eight bridesmaids who could choose whatever they wanted to wear (they just had to work with the colour palette that Chelza came up with), and eight groomsmen who would match the colour of their ties to their respective bridesmaids, since their suits would complement the groom’s colours. Chelza also used bright colours for her invitation cards.


Because they didn’t want to veer from their set budget, the couple was very clear about what they would and wouldn’t have for their wedding. “Generally, I kept it simple, such as flowers for the church. I chose to work with chrysanthemums because I wanted a touch of bright yellow to gel with the overall theme,” says Chelza.


EASY DOES IT

The couple’s day began with a short nuptial service, which included their solemnisation, held at the Blessed Sacrament Church. Their tea ceremony followed later in the day.


PARTY LATER

The couple had their lunch reception at the Mandarin Oriental one week later. All the better to enjoy their wedding. Together with their wedding planner, Anna from Spellbound Weddings, they brought out the “poppy colours theme” at the reception with unique and interesting ideas.



For starters, childhood snaps, family photos and recent pictures were displayed on easels or hung on lines. Chelza’s close friend who is in the ice cream business offered to supply customised ice cream (flavours that were specially created for Chelza and Jin) as a treat. So Anna incorporated an ice cream counter into the set-up.


WHAT THE BOYS AND GIRLS WORE

The bride, with the help of Olive Suite, designed her own gown – a simple and stunning strapless number – while the groom settled for a grey three-piece suit. But it was the bridesmaids who had the most fun as each “popped” up in her own bold shade, which ranged from red, turquoise to purple. A striking, fun sight, if you ask us.


IF I HAD MY DRUTHERS

If there was one thing Chelza wouldn’t mind doing once more, it would be to walk down the aisle again. “I was so worried about tripping in my gown that I didn’t look at Jin at all as I walked down the aisle. The next thing I knew, he was right in front of me! I was also gripping my dad’s arm really hard – you can so totally see it in the pictures! But that cracked me up…” says Chelza, smiling at the memory.


FOOD FOR THE SOUL

Chelza’s best friend, Ling, surprised the couple by getting Jill-Marie Thomas (winner of OMG, a local talent competition show) to perform three songs for the couple. Chelza, a huge fan, was ecstatic. “Music is very important to me but I gave up the idea of getting a band in because I felt it wasn’t cost efficient.


“I also didn’t know where to find a band that would play the kind of music I wanted – indie folk/rock and accoustic… So I played my own CDs. One guest told me the wedding felt like a indie folk festival – which was exactly what I wanted to hear. I wanted my guests to feel the songs that I enjoy, to personalise the ambience. Having Jill-Marie Thomas perform was really the icing on the cake!”


Last tip Chelza advises: “Be mentally prepared. Brides overstress themselves – it’s a given. But if you are well- prepared, things can go on autopilot on the big day. Appoint a trustworthy ‘head’ bridesmaid to help keep track of everything that’s happening that day and to ensure everything’s in place.


She says that “if you have a budget, note down the things you seriously don’t need. No one will remember how exquisite your decorations were, how big your band was or even the Jimmy Choos hidden under your gown when the next bride comes along. There’s always a more affordable option.”

COP THE LOOK


CEREMONY:
Blessed Sacrament Church, 1 Commonwealth Drive, Tel: 6474 0582

LUNCH RECEPTION: Mandarin Oriental, 5 Raffles Avenue, Marina Square, Tel: 6885 3488.



WEDDING GOWN: Olive Suite, #03-26 Delfi Orchard, Tel: 6733 8832.


RECEPTION AND BRIDESMAIDS’ DRESSES: Kim, #11-359 Blk 246 Tampines Street 21, Tel: 9647 8146.


SUIT AND GROOMSMEN’S VESTS: Tessuti Collezioni, #03-17 Peninsula Shopping Centre, Tel: 6337 2320.


HAIR & MAKEUP: Shunji Matsuo, Tel: 9059 4845 (Comb), Face Bistro, Tel: 9695 2876 (Sophia)/ 9797 9009 (Dily Wang).


FLOWERS FOR THE CHURCH CEREMONY: Christanio De Florist, #02-51 Upper Serangoon Shopping Centre, 756 Upper Serangoon Road, Tel: 9788 8327 (Christopher).


BOUQUETS, CORSAGES & WEDDING DECOR: Spellbound Weddings, Tel: 9658 0816 (Anna), website: www.spellbound.com.sg


VIDEOGRAPHY: Simple Motion, #06-56 Midview City, Blk 20 Sin Ming Lane, Tel: 9477 7772 (Samuel), website: www.simplemotion.com.sg

ICE CREAM VENDOR: Scoop n Shake, email: scoop.n.shake@gmail.com (Woon or Marilyn), Facebook page: www.facebook.com/scoopnshake



This article was originally published in Her World Brides September-November 2011.