Today’s wedding feature is set in the incredibly photogenic Hort Park, featuring a stunning sunset captured by Jacqueline Chang of 5degreeshift. Taking their cues from the weddings that pepper the pages of Pinterest, Aston and Celestyn’s wedding planner, Heaven’s Gift, orchestrated a charming, pared-down lawn wedding complete with baby’s breath, mason jars and quirky customized labels.
How did you two meet?
"The story of how we met is a classic: We were colleagues. Aston was an ex-broker looking to get away from a life of crazy partying and drinking, so he switched jobs to join a commodities reporting agency as an oil editor. The only problem was – he hated (and still hates) to write. I returned to Singapore from doing my Master’s in London and joined the company, also as an oil editor (I loved, and still love to write). A couple of nights later, he asked me out to lunch and we started talking on the office messenger, Yahoo chat, Whatsapp, email, text… I tried to have “the talk” with him a while later to tell him that we should go back to being friends because dating a colleague was just too complicated, but I never could bring myself to bring it up. We finally decided that finding love was too precious, and that it was way more important than a job. Aston eventually left the company for a job that would not require him to write, and here we are today."
How did Aston propose?
"We were in Taipei for a holiday to celebrate my birthday. At the stroke of midnight on October 23 (my birthday), he surprised me with 99 red roses. This really moved me because I could only imagine how he managed to arrange for the flowers to be delivered to our hotel room in Mandarin (Aston was raised in California and his Mandarin is disastrous). But no ring. So my guard was officially down for the rest of the day. I thought, you usually get flowers with a proposal right? And he wasn’t even acting at all strange the whole time. But at 11.55pm that night, he got down on one knee and proposed to me in our room, saying he “still had one more gift” for me. It was the ring."
Tell us about how you approached planning your garden wedding.
"We knew we wanted to get married outdoors, preferably surrounded by lots of greenery. I’m not big on huge floral arrangements because it always feels a bit too much, but Hort Park gave us exactly what we needed. We loved the space that the lawn provided, the organic, natural look of the shrubbery, and the fact that there was an air-conditioned hall just behind the lawn for our guests to be comfortable in. We saw one of the most amazing sunsets I’ve ever seen in Singapore that day and we couldn’t be happier about our choice of a garden wedding.
Our overall colour scheme was yellow and grey, with lots of mason jars, chalkboards and baby’s breath. Our wedding planner said the look was very “Style Me Pretty”."
Your wedding photos really tell a story.
"Our photographer and videographer were AMAZING. Jac captured all the moments that we want to remember, and we can now use all the little things to piece our special day together. Why Keen also took a wonderful video for us, focusing not only on the love between us as a couple, but also on the love from our families. The pictures and video helped us to share our special day with Aston’s friends in California, and so many of them said they felt like they were actually there."
I’m sure you have a lot of stories to tell about this whole experience.
"I actually lost my engagement ring TWICE as it would always slip off my finger while I was in the ladies’, and I was too stressed with work to realise it was gone until later in the day. That was one of the most terrifying experiences I’ve ever encountered and I was completely distraught. But instead of blaming me for my carelessness, Aston kept reassuring me that it was the love we shared and the marriage we were going to have that mattered, and that the ring was just a material reminder – we didn’t need it to prove anything. He was absolutely amazing, combing through CCTV footage of my office building, overturning my desk at work, joining hands with my colleagues to search and just being completely supportive during the whole painful process. He still nags me about resizing the engagement ring till today."
Any tips you’d like to share for brides and grooms-to-be?
"I’d say what really helped us at the start was charting out exactly what was important to us (and what we’d be willing to spend on) and what wasn’t that much of a priority. Setting a budget (and sticking to it) can be tough, but your wedding’s not supposed to bankrupt you. Keep detailed costing sheets and log everything so you don’t overcommit yourself in terms of finances without even knowing it.
Most importantly though, make sure your focus is on the marriage ahead. The wedding marks the start of a whole new journey as man and wife, but it is only one day. Don’t sweat the small stuff in the planning process and on the day itself – things might go wrong, but you WILL get married. That really helped us through the whole crazy planning process and we managed to get through it all without having a single argument! All necessary battles were kept external (with family members, vendors, etc) but we never fought with each other. It was really having our eyes set on the marriage that helped us through the entire year of planning.
On the wedding day, everything that can go wrong will go wrong. We were delayed by the tea ceremonies so the wedding started a full hour later, but we didn’t fret. We trusted that our guests loved us enough to enjoy our special day despite the delays in the sweltering heat – and getting married with the most beautiful sunset in the back was an unexpected blessing that came out of the delays. During the father-daughter dance, my mom kept fretting about the fact that my dad was stepping on the hem of my dress, but none of that mattered to me. I was just thankful that my father was holding me, loving me and telling me I’d always be his daughter even though I was now someone else’s wife."
Congratulations on your marriage, Aston and Celest! May you have many beautiful years ahead of you.
*Please note that we have been informed that furniture and equipment are not allowed to be placed directly on the Hort Park lawn and planks are required to protect the lawn from damage.
Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo; maroon pair from New Look
Groom’s Shoes: Brown pair from Bally; black pair from Paul Smith
Bridesmaid Dresses: Self-sourced yellow and grey dresses
Groomsmen’s Suits: Tailor in Katong Shopping Center
Flowers & Décor: Heaven’s Gift
; hand bouquets and boutonnieres by Jessie Tan from The Flower House
Cake: Timtam cheesecake from From Fleur
(previously the The Big Sheila)