One year ago today, we said yes to a lifetime together.
We chose to have an intimate destination wedding before our Chinese wedding ceremony and banquet which was held 6 weeks after that (more about that another day!).
It was one of the best decisions we made. We got to travel, we got to spend quality time with friends and families, and most important of all, we got to celebrate our union in a place CX used to call home for 10 years of his life.
We wanted to have the ceremony somewhere away from the city, preferably a quaint little place to host our friends and families. Decided on Stones of the Yarra Valley and couldn’t be happier with our venue of choice!
Booked the venue without even viewing it in person (because it was 7 hours flight away…) but we had no regrets. The team at Stones were very professional, responsive and understanding. Communication with them was a breeze :)
Fun fact of the day: My bridesmaids and I almost couldn't make it to the wedding venue.
We got ready in the city, and I had booked a bridal van to bring us to the venue (45 minutes away from the city). Prior to the wedding, I've sent multiple confirmation emails to the company - all seem to be OK, until the van did not turn up on the actual day. The driver was supposed to pick us up at 7.45am and I asked my bridesmaid to start calling the driver at 7.30am just to inform the driver of the exact pick up point. Nobody answered the call until 7.50am, and to my horror - she told me that "it wasn't in her calendar". My bridesmaids and I were surprisingly calm (though I am pretty sure they were all panicking on the inside) - we decided to order two separate Uber cars to get us to the venue instead.
Phew we made it there (and we weren't late). TIP: Always buffer extra time for all these unforeseen circumstances. Your heart will thank you.
Sharing some pictures of the gorgeous venue.
ALL THINGS FLORAL
Jess from Sassafras Flower Design handled all our wedding florals. Sent her our mood board and she got it right away!
A Floral Hug
Hugs - I love receiving hugs as much as I love giving them, and wanted to incorporate this into our wedding.
Jess created an open arch fo us, with one side taller than the other and curved inwards at the top, symbolising a hug - asymmetrical yet perfect.
In between the arch, we had a banner that was about 3 meters in height, featuring a personalised poem written for us by my college friend - Amirul. He has always been very good with words, and I hope that one day more people will come to know about this talent of his!
The poem he wrote for us was based on our love for staying at home, enjoying each other's company and doing absolutely everything and nothing at all.
Home is often thought as the house we grew up in,
Surrounded by people that we've known our whole lives.
But without realizing it, our thoughts of home had begun to overlap with each other's existence.
Home is not much of a place anymore,
Home is where we are,
Doing nothing and everything.
Dayna from Crafted by Day hand calligraphed the poem on the fabric banner and got it shipped directly to the venue before the wedding. Thank you, Dayna!
PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEOGRAPHY
Our amazing, amazing photographer was Chloe from Chloe May Photography.
Due to some unexpected drama with our initial photographer, we found Chloe only 5 months before our wedding. She was such a sweetheart, has a very calming presence and was able to understand what we were looking for, right from the very beginning. We absolutely loved the shots she took, and couldn't be happier that our initial photographer bailed on us.
I particularly love her black & white shots - the right contrast to bring out all the feels.
All the photos in this blog were taken by Chloe and I'm so happy to be sharing her work with all of you :)
The hunt for a new videographer restarted just two weeks before the wedding (who says a wedding planner won't have any hiccups in her wedding planning journey?!) and I guess it was a blessing in disguise because we LOVED all of our wedding videos. Our videographer, Callum from The White Tree could work well together with Chloe, our photographer and that definitely put me at ease throughout the day.
THE CEREMONY + CELEBRANT
We engaged a civil celebrant to officiate our wedding ceremony. After a videocall that lasted an hour with Mona, I knew that she would be right fit for our wedding day! She could speak Cantonese and Mandarin, which is great because then our grandparents would be able to understand the ceremony too, instead of sitting there being clueless if the entire ceremony was held in English.
The way Mona conducted the ceremony was very, very personalised and heartwarming.
Prior to the wedding, she sent a questionnaire to CX and myself, separately.
Multiple questions were asked in the questionnaire - about our families, our favourite memories growing up, our relationship and the list goes on. She also sent a few questions to our bridal party, to get more insights from them. None of us knew what were our friends' answers to her question, except Mona herself.
During my conversation with Mona, it felt like I was talking to a long lost friend. We had lots of fun talking about the wedding industry, how weddings make us feel, and how amazing it is to be a part of someone's special day.
On the actual day, she arrived earlier than expected, and helped out with some minor hiccups. I still remember that she came up to me and said "Let go, Michelle. Delegate. Don't even think about working today!" (I think we all know that there's a tendency for me to want to manage things still - occupational hazard)
We engaged a harpist who would be playing songs of our choice for the ceremony, and I walked down the aisle to "The Luckiest" by Ben Folds
The ceremony started with Mona reading letter from CX to his family, followed my letter from me to my family. We were standing diagonally facing our respective parents, so that we could look at them when Mona read out our letters (instead of our back facing them).
I remember crying SO SO SO MUCH.
The amazingggg Mona :)
Sharing more pictures from the day :)
Hanging floral installation done by Jess and her team, we had a floral cloud above us the entire reception!
Our friends surprised us with this gorgeous and absolutely delicious wedding cake! I was totally caught off guard and was so shocked to see it when we entered the reception venue. Thank you PB and YM!
Place cards for every single guest - with handwritten personalised message at the back :')
I spent a few days just writing those messages - this is the least I can do to thank our guests personally, right?
We used postcards to replace the traditional guest book that would usually be placed at the registration table. The front side of the postcard had our wedding poem letter-pressed on it, while the back side of the postcard featured the layout of a traditional postcard.
This way, guests could take their time to write their messages to us while being in the comfort of their seats. I also wanted to have a postcard-guest book instead of a traditional one because I have a habit of sending postcards to myself when I travel, and wanted to weave this part into our wedding day.
One year on, the postcards we received are now bound together - like a book! We can easily flip through the "book" and reminisce about the day and memories made.