Jo and Al
We were married on 25 May 2014 at Poet’s Lane. As the leaves welcomed autumn with their crimson shades, we knew that our special day had arrived. Our year of preparation, which included handcrafted cards, invitations, guest lists, flowers, songs, origami, and so much more, was to culminate on this very day and we could not be more excited. This bubbling of excitement manifested quite differently for each of us. While Jo was completely relaxed, comfortable, and enjoying the day’s proceedings, my emotions could be accurately described as a bundle of frayed nerves and a hyperactive mind. Nevertheless, in our hearts we knew that it did not matter much if things went smoothly today or if it was an utter nightmare. Regardless, dreams were coming true.
Our celebrations began on the previous day with both of our extended families gathering for our Chinese tea ceremony. Dressed in traditional Chinese garments, Jo’s a gift from her grandmother’s brother and his wife, and mine a shirt that my Dad bought during his visit to China, people looked on as we served tea to our older family members and relatives. In return, we received much appreciated, little red packets of moolah that definitely helped to pay for the wedding. As was apparently traditional for the groom, my family brought a full suckling pig for afternoon tea, much to the surprise of our guests. Jo’s grandmother also made a sweet dessert for us which we later found out was associated to the number of children we would have in the future.
Image by Samuel Chan
Image by Samuel Chan
Image by Samuel Chan
Image by Samuel Chan
The day I had been waiting for was here, but I don’t think I ever felt more anxious. Our first item of the day was the preparation shots with the photographer. My shoulders were frozen tight in tension, my stomach filled with anxiety about anything that might be forgotten or out of place (I later found out that Jo was completely relaxed and enjoying herself). Nevertheless, I smiled for the photographer and laughed at jokes made (funny or otherwise). Finding myself constantly checking with my groomsmen about timing, placements, and guests, I was chastised pretty soon for worrying too much. Marrying my wife was a dream, something beyond doubt. But my head continued to spin and wonder if everything was perfect, and I couldn’t stand or sit still.
Jo says: “My perfect day began at my parents’ house, with a rainbow painted across the canvas of the blue sky. My bridesmaids and I had our hair and makeup session in the morning, and we were so appreciative of the wonderful professionalism and talent of Miss Aimmey and The Makeup Glossary. Our beautiful bouquets were created by our talented friend Amy from goldpop flowers. My dress and veil from Le Chateau Blanc Couture fit perfectly, but could hardly contain the excitement that was bubbling inside of me. We had plenty of photos taken by First Impressions Photography during our preparations and with my family and after lunch, our dapper chauffeur and friend Daryl drove the four of us to Poet’s Lane in my brother’s car, which had been decorated with beautiful, purple ribbon across the front.
I walked down the aisle with my Dad to the song “Marry Me” by Train – conscious not to trip on my dress while having the biggest smile on my face. The chapel was packed with our loved ones, some of whom had come all the way from Malaysia and Singapore to be here. Our bridal party looked respectively beautiful and dashing in their different shades of purple and grey. It was also such an honour to have our previous young adults pastor, Josiah Conner, conduct our ceremony for us. He was engaging, encouraging and humourous, and lent a light casual vibe to the proceedings. Two of our friends led the congregation in a couple of songs that we chose and also sang and played while, witnessed by our mums, we signed our marriage certificate. We also had a dear friend read a couple of our favourite Bible passages for us. We wrote our own vows, which were kept secret till the day. Al’s vows took the form of a heartfelt poem.
Michael from First Impressions Photography was very professional in organising everyone for our many group photos and then patiently helping us to capture the perfect couple shots with the beautiful autumn scenery as our backdrop.
Two of our friends were MCs for the night and they did a great job keeping everyone entertained and informed. Our bridal party entered the reception room ahead of us, bowing and curtseying to each other before making their way to their seats. Poet’s Lane had cooked up a lavish spread, even after all the canapes that they had served before the reception started. Entrees were alternated between veal white wine tortellini and minted lamb parcels, and as for the main course, there was bocconcini chicken and crispy pork loin. The highlight of the night according to our guests, only in regards to the food I am sure, was the dessert buffet.
Our parents, maid of honour, and best man gave excellent speeches and toasts, while Jo and I did a combined speech, where instead of Jo tossing her bridesmaid’s bouquet, we presented them to our Mums on the night. Later in the night, we cut into our beautiful masterpiece of a wedding cake made by my sisters Connie and Cassie as more photos were taken. The cake had layers that took turns between chocolate and butter, and was gorgeously decorated with flowers, butterflies, and birds. Our night ended with our “first dance,” where we danced a few steps to “All About Us” by He is We, before singing the rest of the lyrics with myself on guitar.
Our wedding day was everything we had envisioned and we are deeply grateful for all our willing helpers and generous support that we received from family and friends.”
Photography by First Impressions Photography
Ms Gingham says: A beautiful post! I love having both the bride and the groom write about their experiences of the day.
Jo says: I enjoy laughing and crying through chick flicks and the fuzzy moments that make my heart melt. D&Ms are one of the best ways for me to connect with my friends, especially over a delicious home cooked meal made by my husband. I would like to visit as many beaches around the world and explore as much of the world as I can.
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- Tea Ceremony Photographer
- Samuel Chan
- Wedding Cake
- Cornelia Chong and Cassandra Chong
- Rachel Leong