- Posted on Friday, 07 April 2017
Getting married in Santorini may sound like a pipe dream to most, but Andrew knew the moment he laid eyes on the Grecian isle that he wanted to one day wed there, and five years later, he did. Andrew married Felicia in an intimate ceremony at Fanari Villas Hotel in Oia with only their celebrant and their photographer Jon Low as witnesses.
How did you meet?
“I met my wife a few years ago, when I had just gotten back to Malaysia. I was in between relationships then, and although we spent quite a lot of time together with our group of friends, we didn't speak to each other much. Everything changed one night when we hung out over dinner at a mamak. Most of our friends couldn't make it that night, so only Felicia, our friend Eddy and I were there. I was slightly late, and when I arrived, the food was already on our table.
Eddy and Felicia were about to finish eating their food when Felicia began to help herself to the maggi goreng and lamb rendang before I even had a bite to eat. I remember being quite shocked and thinking to myself, 'Man, this girl can eat! She's definitely not one of those 'I'll just have a salad' type of girl!'
I had never seen someone so unpretentious and simple until I met Felicia, and it's what I love most about her. She has seen me at my worst, and me likewise. We're happy to say that we've been happily married for almost three years now. We've been blessed with a baby girl, and we couldn't ask for anything more.” ~ Andrew
How did you propose?
“I proposed on my birthday in 2013. One of my friends owns this bar called The Otheroom Seremban, and thanks to him, I had the whole place at my disposal. My friends and I decorated the place with lanterns, pictures and candles to create a magical ambiance. The smoke from the candles made it look ethereal (when in fact, I almost burned the whole place down!). I also managed to pull some strings to have a two-piece band with a saxophone to serenade us.
That night, Felicia was told that we'll be dropping by Otheroom to get some wine before going to KL for my birthday celebration. Since I have a habit of bringing my own wine to parties, she didn't suspect a thing. I intentionally left my wallet in the car, so I could call and ask her to bring it upstairs. As she stepped through the door, the band played her favourite song, 'Endless Love'. I got down on one knee and popped the question. She said yes.” ~ Andrew
Tell us about your wedding.
“The wedding was a simple ceremony where we had a celebrant present to solemnize us. We were in Santorini, one of the most beautiful places in the world. What else could we possibly have asked for? We wanted it to be intimate, so we didn’t invite anyone else. What mattered to us was that we were with each other. We did ask for pastel-coloured decor, and we also chose to wear shades of blue to compliment the blue and white washed buildings on the caldera. We wanted it to be timeless.” ~ Andrew
What made you decide to get married in Santorini?
“I am lucky enough to have visited Santorini twice. The first time was in 2009, with a bunch of my friends during our semester break. To be honest, once I laid my eyes on the remarkable beauty of the caldera for the first time, I felt like a part of me would always stay in Santorini. The sunset, the church, the houses – all of those things I remember vividly in my mind, like a picture on a canvas. I told myself I would one day get married there, and 5 years later, I fulfilled the promise I made to myself.” ~ Andrew
Any tips or wedding advice for other brides and grooms-to-be?
“The planning and cost-saving are always the most challenging parts of any wedding. We always try to get the best value out of our limited resources, and because of this, we're forced to be savvy. I was given a nickname by my friends and family: the 'Groomzilla'. This is because after I learned what my wife's priorities were, I planned and executed every single detail. I suppose it's important to focus on our priorities and to never stray from the budget. In order to stick to our budget, I didn’t engage the services of a wedding planner, and that meant having to go through a lot of obstacles on our own. I remember having to go to Putrajaya to obtain the Single Status Certificate, having the required documents translated thrice due to unforeseeable errors and subsequently having them notary stamped, as well as meeting with the Greek ambassador multiple times prior to posting all the required documents to Greece. It certainly wasn’t easy, but overcoming these difficulties made the reward that much sweeter.
Kudos to our dear friend and wedding photographer Jon Low for being so accommodating. He wasn't at all particular about his accommodation and the food that we provided for him – we booked an Airbnb, and I even cooked for him! We managed to save a little bit because of that. He was kind enough to bring my wife’s wedding gown over from Malaysia. He didn’t seem to mind, and we couldn't be more grateful. Did I mention that his return tickets were purchased using my credit card air miles? Everything was planned years ahead of time. You just have to be very resourceful as weddings can be really costly and you don’t want the bills to become a source of any dispute in your relationship. My advice is: always stick to your budget and be resourceful!
P.S. Be kind to all your vendors! We were lucky enough to have vendors who treated us like friends. It was very enjoyable working with all of them.” ~ Andrew
What do you think makes a strong marriage?
“My rule of thumb is 'Happy wife, happy life!' I say that all the time. (laughs)
We haven't been married for that long, but I am happy to say that everything is going well. I believe we should never stop trying to make each other a better person. Personally, I've never stopped surprising my wife. All the little surprises help re-ignite the sparks in a long-term relationship: whether it be making her dinner or planning trips for her, etc. That aside, honesty and trust are the pillars of a strong marriage. My wife never judges or doubts me. She’s very supportive of everything I do and I certainly appreciate it. Of course, trust has to be earned, so be honest with each other always.” ~ Andrew
Congratulations on your marriage, Andrew and Felicia! May it be every bit as beautiful as your wedding!
Venue, Decor and Cake: Fanari Villas Hotel, Oia, Santorini, Greece
Photography: Jon Low Studios
Wedding Dress: Lusan Mandongus, Enya Mareine Bridal
Bride's Shoes: Valerie Fan
Groom's Outfit: Ted Baker, De Tailor Bangkok
Groom's Shoes: Ted Baker
Jewellery: TSL Jewellery
Hair: Bella Damigou
Makeup: Renia Bledaki