- Posted on Wednesday, 30 March 2016
Move over rustic chic, industrial is in and wedding photographer Sayher and fashion-turned-freelance-writer Amelia show us how during their nuptials at a venue housed in a former railway substation. The high ceilings and exposed brick surrounds were softened with elegant white floral arrangements and the exceedingly creative couple and their troop of friends took design elements into their own hands to personalise almost every inch of the wedding. Topped off with the neon ‘Be Mine’ sign which featured during their proposal, this super-cool wedding with photos by Jonathan Ong will leave you catching your breath.
How did you meet?
“We met in Singapore in April 2012 but it took 1.5 years for Sayher to convince me to date him because I didn’t think a long distance relationship was going to work. We met through mutual friends at Maison Ikkoku, a cosy rooftop bar at Kandahar Street. However, I took no notice of him that evening as there was a huge group of people! He was apparently ‘attracted’ to me when he saw me.
We eventually started dating in November 2013 and the long distance relationship wasn’t easy. We tried to see each other every 6 – 8 weeks and that was the best we could do with our jobs; it still felt like we were living separate lives until we saw each other for those few days or weeks. Sayher proposed in October 2014 and I moved over to Melbourne in June 2015, 3 months before our wedding.” ~ Amelia
What was the proposal like?
“Sayher proposed in October 2014 on the balcony rooftop at the Pelaco Building in Richmond, Melbourne. He had a neon sign made that said, ‘Be Mine’ and had it propped on top of the balcony ledge with a stunning view of Melbourne city. He blindfolded me and led me up to the rooftop. When he removed my blindfold, I saw the sign and the gorgeous, expansive skyline. I turned around and Sayher was on one knee holding up a ring (which I actually didn’t see). He said four words, ‘Will you marry me?’ I said ‘YES’ and hugged him. It was only about three minutes later that he said, ‘Ummm, do you want to see the ring?’ Afterwards, fireworks went off in the city (not planned! – although Sayher likes to say he did it) because of the Diwali celebrations going on at the time. It was surreal.” ~ Amelia
Please tell us more about your wedding!
“As I work in the magazine industry, I really love how a fashion shoot comes together – models all wearing different dresses but it always ties in together nicely with one theme. All I did was tell the girls to wear white lace or crochet dresses above the knee and have them pick their own. I wanted them to feel comfortable with what they were wearing. I believe some brands they wore were BHLDN, Sportsgirl, Bardot, H&M, old vintage pieces, etc.” ~ Amelia
“I wore a gorgeous hand-embroidered headpiece from Bo & Luca to match the dress. I also had on simple diamond studs from my dad and a delicate Swarovski crystal bracelet from my grandmother. My engagement band is an emerald cut with two baguettes which was designed by Sayher and his friend Chris, who owns Hannan Jewellery Designs. Our wedding rings were from Van Cleef & Arpels – mine is the yellow gold Perlee band, and Sayher’s is a slim platinum band.” ~ Amelia
Hair and Makeup
“Aimmey was friendly, energetic and such a joy to have around on your wedding day. She understood my idea of a natural glow with a ‘no-makeup makeup’ look. My makeup was so fresh on the day and I loved it.” ~ Amelia
“Bunched Together did an amazing hanging tulip feature for our reception and had a selection of other white flowers in vases on the tables. I really wanted an all-white, classic and elegant feel with the flowers as I felt it would blend nicely with the raw, industrial feel of our reception venue.” ~ Amelia
“It’s hard to pinpoint an exact inspiration or theme. I wanted it to be classy, chic and elegant but with touches of personalisation and creativity. We started out not knowing what we wanted, but knowing exactly what we didn’t want. All our flowers and décor were white, with green leaves and branches.
Everything was pretty much DIY with the setup, our florists set up the hanging tulip feature at the Substation and did all the white flowers in vases, but each place setting (which included plate, cutlery, water glass, wine glass, napkin tied together with name tag and gold string, and handwritten personalised note sitting on top of that) was done by us. Our friends who work at Kikki K’s headquarters in Melbourne helped to put it together on the day itself.
At the Gardens House, Sayher got 7 giant balloons from Spotlight to sit at the front. His older sister Melanie made rosemary wreaths to hang along the aisle. As the garden venue was already beautiful, we didn’t see the need for over-the-top décor. We got blackboards for signs and had my illustrator bridesmaid Julienne to write on them for us.” ~ Amelia
Stationery / Paper Goods
“We pretty much did it ourselves. It also helped that Sayher was a graphic designer before he became a wedding photographer, and I used to work for Harper’s BAZAAR Singapore and August Man before becoming a freelance writer.
Sayher designed our invites (we wanted it poster-style so that people could pin it up on their walls). We had them printed at Bambra Press. We bought all our place setting tags and gold string from Paperpoint in South Melbourne and had Julienne handwrite them for us.
We had on each plate a printed menu that Sayher designed and printed and then a little personalised note to each guest written on the back of a selection of photographs that showed moments throughout our dating life (a picture of a rollercoaster at Coney Island, New York, waterfalls at Milford Sound, New Zealand, and a photo of us on the streets of Hong Kong).
The personalised note to each guest was probably my favourite part of the whole ensemble, and we had a handful of friends that came up to us after and told us what a great idea it was. To be honest, I got inspired by online shopping. I always love receiving a package in the mail from Net-A-Porter or the likes, with a handwritten ‘thank you’ note in it. It always made me feel so happy. We wanted to make our guests feel appreciated, especially as so many of them have travelled from afar. It was fun writing to everyone as well because it allowed us to say what we really wanted to say to each person that could make it.” ~ Amelia
“We dreamt up candles with bamboo wicks sitting in amber jars and wanted to personalise them. We designed our own tags and had candles in two flavours: Coconut & Lime and White Sangria. Sayher’s younger sister Anneleise loves making candles in her free time as a hobby so we got her to help us out.” ~ Amelia
“The cake was made by one of our very good friends, the extremely talented Lynsey Leong of Eleos Cakes, who recently started this love project as a hobby. We had an amazing two-tier, eight-layer naked cake covered in Swiss meringue buttercream (the bottom tier was a dark chocolate mud cake with salted caramel ganache and crushed raspberries; the top tier was a vanilla mud cake with Nutella buttercream and Nutella!) Sayher made the cake base himself with a round concrete slab that he spray painted gold.” ~ Amelia
“Food was an Asian fusion menu. Our friend Sarah Masny, who owns The Fair Foodstore in Richmond, helped with our catering. We wanted an Asian fusion menu in a similar style to the famous Chin Chin restaurant in Melbourne. She came up with a delicious menu that included palm sugar cured kingfish, sticky pork belly and soy and white pepper-marinated roasted sirloin.
Our good friends Travis and Cat Sanders, owners of Farmgate Cheese, did a splendid cheese table at our wedding, which people ate during cocktail hour and later on during dessert. The spread included Australian and European cheeses such as queso manchego, Gippsland double brie, cloth matured cheddar and fresh chèvre - we love them all! Paired with Farmgarte Cheese’s homemade moscato and balsamic jelly, it was heaven. The cheese table was styled with flowers and above that was the ‘Be Mine’ neon sign that Sayher proposed with. We wanted it there as it means something to the both of us.” ~ Amelia
Entertainment / Emcee
“Our emcee was our friend Phil Smith who does acting as a hobby. He was the lead actor in The Producers musical in Melbourne.
We had our friend Joel Cheng (brother of Singaporean singer Sarah Cheng De-Winne) perform an acoustic set for us. He sang Ed Sheeren’s ‘Thinking Out Loud’ and Train’s ‘Marry Me’. We then played the shoe game and had two friends host it. The shoe game is when the bride and groom sit on chairs back to back, holding one of each person’s shoes. The hosts ask a bunch of controversial questions and the couple raises the shoe of whom he or she thinks is the answer – cheeky questions like ‘who’s the better kisser?’, ‘who made the first move?’, ‘who’s the more stylish one?’, etc. are common questions to ask. The funniest answers are the ones that are controversial and it’s just great for the audience as everyone has a big laugh. The audience usually gathers around the couple in a circle to watch.
After the shoe game we had our first dance (to Etta James’ ‘At Last’) which we really didn’t want nor practise! It just came on and we started swaying and got everyone to join us on the dance floor. Everyone partied hard for the next hour or so. We had older folk dancing with our two-year-old page boy, girls dancing in circles and couples showing their moves on the dance floor.
We also did an abbreviated version of Asian gatecrashing games during dinner! My bridesmaids came up with two easy games to show the Australian audience what typical gatecrashing games were like. We did it on stage as part of the dinner entertainment. The first game was the usual eating of sweet, sour, bitter and spicy treats. The groomsmen had to eat it off a fishing line tied to a hanger. We got the audience to participate by getting people to stand on chairs and hold up the fishing line. The second game was getting people from the audience to stick post it notes on all the boys (as many as they wanted, wherever they wanted!) and the boys had to dance and shake it off without using their hands to Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake It Off’. It was funny and entertaining and the Aussies had a great time.
We also had a friend lead in a traditional ‘yam seng’ – the Aussies loved that, and followed up spontaneously with the Aussie cheer ‘Aussie aussie aussie, oi, oi, oi!’” ~ Amelia
“We borrowed our friend’s Jeep as that has always been the car I wanted to get married in!” ~ Amelia
Do you have any tips and wedding advice for other brides and grooms-to-be?
“It doesn’t matter what other people say or have done with their weddings – the most important thing is the both of you having a wedding that best represents you and your personalities. It’s so easy to get caught up in the wedding game and try and make your wedding Pinterest-worthy, but remember that your day will already be amazing because you’ll have your closest friends and family surrounding you.
There were many things we wanted (like gold foil instead of digital gold printing) on our invites but it cost twice the price and at the end of the day – does it really matter? Everyone will still love your invites! Finally, remember that if a certain aspect doesn’t happen the way it should on your wedding day – relax! Because nobody else but you would know the vision that you had initially created. They will all think it was meant to look like that anyway." ~ Amelia
What do you think makes a strong marriage?
"We are still on our journey but we think that marriage counseling, a good support network of friends and family, lots of communication, understanding and putting the other person’s needs first are important in our marriage." ~ Amelia
Congratulations on your marriage, Sayher and Amelia! May it be every bit as beautiful as your wedding!
Number of Guests: 150
Venue: Gardens House, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria (ceremony), and The Substation (reception), Melbourne, Australia
Photography: Jonathan Ong
Wedding Dresses: Bo & Luca (white gown) and Rachel Comey (black dress)
Bride’s Shoes: Dolce & Gabbana
Groom’s Outfits: Jack London (navy suit), SABA (shirt), M.J. Bale (bowtie) and Aquila (belt)
Groom’s Shoes: Aquila
Groomsmen’s Outfits: Country Road
Jewellery: Bo & Luca (headpiece), Swarovski (bracelet), Hannan Jewellery Designs (engagement ring) and Van Cleef & Arpels (wedding bands)
Hair and Makeup: Miss Aimmey
Flowers: Bunched Together
Wedding Favours: Personalised candles by groom’s sister
Stationery / Paper Goods: Invitations designed by bride and groom, Bambra Press (printing), Paperpoint (place card setting tags and gold string) and Julienne Tan (calligraphy)
Cake: Eleos Cakes and cake base DIY-ed by groom
Catering: The Fair Foodstore and Farmgate Cheese