Not the sort to follow the crowd and jump on Pinterest-hyped trends for the sake of it, Vanessa and Adriel made sure their one-of-a-kind wedding in Singapore fitted their fun-loving personalities to a tee – intimate, laidback and a lil' alternative, without any over-the-top decorations or unnecessary frills. Taking the planning into their own hands, they incorporated a mix of modern touches with traditional culture, opting for a casual, retro 50s-inspired church ceremony, a traditional Peranakan tea ceremony and a dim sum dinner (with a DJ in tow!). We're thrilled by their non-conventional touches, such as the bride's rockabilly-inspired polka dot wedding dress and the flower girls armed with bubble guns instead of petals. Vanessa tells us more about their '#Seahlebration' below...
How they met:
Rewind to 9 years ago, I was 17 and Adriel was 21 when we met. How we got together doesn't matter – let's just say I saved him from a psycho ex-girlfriend. :)
Adriel proposed without getting down on one knee – no props, no event planner, no candles and no crowd. It was simple and intimate, the way he knew I would like it best.
The bride's look:
I wanted something vintage and unique. I hated all of the dresses I tried in bridal shops. Nothing was right! Then I found an old picture I had saved many years ago and remembered that it was my 'dream wedding dress'. I found a seamstress who could make it, and ta-da!
Hair and make-up:
I knew from the start that I would do my own hair and make-up. I love doing my own make-up and knew exactly what I wanted.
The groom's outfit:
Adriel wanted a three-piece grey suit, and that's what he had!
The wedding party's style:
Our favourite colour is black, so it was only natural that the bridesmaids' dresses were black. My mum chose the flower girls' dresses – they were cute and matched, so why not?
The church was stunning and almost gothic looking, with a long aisle. We loved Royal China for the food and how simple and intimate it was – just the right size for our dinner party.
The church decor was inspired by the '50s pin-up era, while the dinner was Peranakan-inspired.
I knew I wanted a live DJ. My friend fit the bill and he flew in from Cambodia to spin at our wedding. I chose a few songs that fit our style and let him have free reign over the music. The games were organised by my emcees of the night, who were also part of our wedding entourage.
Gilbert (from 9 Frames) did an amazing job. He captured moments we didn't see and he made us feel comfortable throughout the day (we're quite shy in front of the camera!).
We chose Peranakan dessert spoons as the wedding favour. It was pretty and seemed way better than giving salt and pepper shakers.
The invitations were entirely DIY – we designed, printed and created the whole thing ourselves. The dinner place cards and table numbers were designed and crafted by us too. We bought the flowers the day before and the bridesmaids arranged them as table centrepieces.
Vanessa's wedding advice for brides-to-be:
Do not conform. Do what you like – it is YOUR wedding. Always have fun!
Venue: Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Royal China at Raffles Hotel
Bridal gown: Custom-made by Vivian Gown
Kebaya: Toko Aljunied
Peranakan Pang Teh (tea ceremony) outfit: Baba Richard Tan
Jewellery: Tian Po, Poh Heng and heirloom pieces
Shoes: Bimba y Lola
Veil & hair accessories: Veil by Vivian Gown and DIY; hair accessory from ASOS
Groom's suit: Bangkok
Groom's shoes: Ed Et Al
Groom's accessories: Gifted
Bridesmaids' outfits: Zalora
Groomsmen's outfits: Daiso and Bangkok
Flowers: Bridesmaids, with help from the church
Decor: DIY by the bridesmaids and groomsmen
Food & drinks: Royal China and Old Chang Kee
Stationery: DIY by the couple
Wedding favours: Little Nyonya Batik
Entertainment: DJ Little Bastard
Transport: The wonderful Uncle Wong
Photographer: Gilbert from 9Frames
Videographer: Red Dot Studio