- Posted on Tuesday, 19 August 2014
Getting hitched on a perfectly pruned lawn overlooking the sea sounds like an absolute dream to us city dwellers, and we can't help but ooh and aah at John and Sher's nuptials held at the magnificent Paresa Resort in Phuket, Thailand. Shot by the skilful Jonathan Ong, the couple's wedding was punctuated with a show of fireworks, after which the bride and groom lit their very own floating lantern, sealing their bond for eternity in the night sky.
How did you meet?
“I am from a little town called Klang whereas John hails from sunny Singapore. We both studied medicine in Johor Bahru and after we graduated, we relocated to Melbourne for work. Like all nerdy medical people, we met in the library. I was literally hiding at the back of the library and John appeared out of nowhere and struck a conversation with me.
I had heard of John before from mutual friends but always thought he was an arrogant Singaporean. After speaking to him for the first time, I found myself very attracted to this humble and charismatic man; little did I know it was mutual. John then returned everyday to chat with me and we soon changed our stranger status to lovers!
We went everywhere on Jamie, his vintage Vespa. We would ride around Johor Bahru and in various places in Singapore. Our first movie date was to see the animated movie, Up. We both love travelling, and we soon found ourselves trekking the globe for holidays and medical mission work. And that’s how The Adventures of John and Sher began...” ~ Sher
How did he propose?
“Unbeknownst to me, John returned to my hometown to ask my parents for my hand in marriage. He secretly bought the engagement ring in Singapore and planned for a three-part surprise proposal.
The proposal took place in a quaint little town called Trafalgar where I was working for a short stint. John had specially picked 23 November 2012 as the proposal date because it would have marked 3 years since we started dating. I was away for a day course and when I was about to return to Trafalgar, I was shocked to see a whole bunch of balloons attached to my car with a little card that said, “Come back to Trafalgar for a bigger surprise!” I then drove back to my cottage only to be surprised further with a diamond ring and the biggest question which would change my life forever. The best part of the surprise was, John had never been to my little cottage at Trafalgar, so he actually went to my neighbour’s house to propose! My neighbours thought he was on his first date with me because he looked so nervous!
The second part of the surprise was a celebratory dinner and stay at Balgownie Estate where we greatly enjoyed the delicious food! And when I thought my proposal adventure was over, John surprised me with a hot air balloon ride to catch the sun rise over the Yarra Valley.” ~ Sher
What was the inspiration behind your wedding?
“John and I both love two things: Vespas and the animated movie, Up. We are firm believers that ‘Adventure is out there!’ The wedding theme revolved around these two things; we wanted our guests to join in on The Greatest Adventure of John and Sher.” ~ Sher
What made you decide to have a destination wedding and what makes this location special to you as a couple?
“Since I am from Malaysia and John is from Singapore, and we both work in Melbourne, we figured all of our family and friends would have to fly somewhere. So we thought, why not have a destination wedding? After all, it would be another adventure for us!
We decided on the beautiful island of Phuket simply because we fell in love with the Miracle Lawn at Paresa Resort. I stumbled across a photo of the gorgeous lawn overlooking the Andaman Sea while searching on Google and never looked back since. I then sent out multiple emails to various planners in Phuket and we decided on the amazing Marry Me Thailand.” ~ Sher
How did you find the experience of planning your destination wedding?
“As shocking as it may sound to most people, I loved every part of the wedding planning!
We have been blessed to have help from our family members, friends and Marry Me Thailand; they have all made our wedding planning much easier. The beauty of destination weddings at Phuket is that the wedding comes in a package – all you have to do is choose what you like and voila! We were lucky to have Marry Me Thailand on our side. The team (Andrea Chappell, Donna Toon, Orsi Farkas and Paul Chappell) was brilliant, efficient and very accommodating.
Marry Me Thailand made all our dreams came true – we wanted the boys to ride in on Vespas, so Andrea scouted the entire island to find these vintage scooters for us. We also envisioned our dinner with fairy lights hanging from above, and they made this possible by placing poles all around the venue! They were very efficient in their email responses and very transparent with financial matters. We exchanged close to 1000 emails and that doesn’t even include meeting the team in person, having them take us around to scout for the perfect wedding venue, and the list goes on...
The team also worked effortlessly on the wedding day itself. From setting up, decorating, coordinating the flow of the itinerary, to being our DJ and cleaning up, we take our hats off to them.
The most difficult thing was planning the transportation and logistics of the wedding. I took charge of this and was planning until the very morning of the wedding! I was then acknowledged as the ‘Queen of Whatsapp Groups’ because I created so many groups on the app that I was blocked from creating more.
The best part of the whole thing was that I was planning this wedding with John. He was the world’s calmest groom and nothing stressed him out. John oversaw the big picture of the wedding whereas I focused on the details; he handled finances and payments, our guests’ flights and accommodation and our itinerary. He constantly reminded me that our love would pull us through everything!
The end result was a beautiful wedding which we both thoroughly enjoyed and we wouldn’t have it any other way.” ~ Sher
Tell us about the ceremony.
“The ceremony was held at the Miracle Lawn at Paresa Resort, Phuket. It’s a beautiful lawn overlooking the Andaman Sea and our wedding was held at sunset. The team from Marry Me Thailand decorated the lawn with white Tiffany chairs and a gorgeous white gazebo where we said our vows. We had simple decorations which included flowers in glass bottles hanging from the side of the chairs, custom-made hand fans by Hsulynn Pang and water bottles with our signature ‘John and Sher’ labels. The flowers were made of beautiful roses, dahlias and carnations with greenery in a gorgeous pastel palette of cream and a variety of pink.
The ceremony was a Christian ceremony which included the classic walk-in, a scripture reading by Grace Ling, a short sermon, and a prayer followed by Holy Communion and a special song dedication by my beautiful friends Rachel Low and Daniel Seliong. The guests were then treated to delicious canapés while watching the sunset.” ~ Sher
Tell us about the reception.
“The wedding reception was so magical! We had a plein-air dinner overlooking the Andaman Sea with fairy lights hanging above us. Our wedding emcees, Rayner Tan and Ong Weide, are John’s best mates and they sure made the night lively and fun with their Singaporean flair. We played ‘The Shoe Game’ and a very fun kissing game where we would kiss as long as our guests picked up the challenge of doing a dare such as kissing John’s father, dancing with the Maid of Honor and dirty dancing!
While the guests were enjoying the gourmet Thai Cuisine, we had speeches and special song dedications from our family and bridal party. We ended the night with our first dance to the ‘Ellie Badge’ soundtrack, singing ‘You and I’ with John playing the ukulele, followed by a grand finale of fireworks!” ~ Sher
Did you undertake any DIY projects for the wedding?
"Yes! We and our parents created the water bottles and wedding favours using the ‘John and Sher’ design by Hsulynn Pang. We also had In Merry Motion hand make other decorative items such as the ‘Mr and Mrs’ signs, the ring holder and the ‘Here comes the bride!’ sign, who later planned our Singapore reception.” ~ Sher
Did you set a budget and were you able to stick to it?
“Yes, we did and I have John to thank for that; he has been the financial planner in our relationship all along. Sorry girls, he’s taken!” ~ Sher
Finally, do you have any words of wisdom for couples planning their big day?
“Enjoy the wedding planning process – the wedding will be the best day of your life! Be organised, plan early, make room for boo-boos and anticipate change. Recruit your family members and best mates. Choose an adventure and pick that dress you’ve been dreaming of! And remember to look at your husband when you walk down the aisle!” ~ Sher
Congratulations on your marriage, John and Sher! May it be every bit as beautiful as your wedding!
Photography: Jonathan Ong
Venue, Cake and Catering: Paresa Resort, Phuket, Thailand
Bridal Gown: Corrina by Anna Campbell, made by Brodie O’Neill
Bridesmaids Dresses: ASOS
Groom’s Suit and Groomsmen’s Trousers: Jack London
Hair: Khun Jam
Makeup: Khun Elle
Wedding Rings: Wah Chan (Malaysia)
Planning and Styling: Marry Me Thailand
Boutonnieres: Esther Wong, Mini Bites Malaysia
Stationery and Paper Goods: Hsulynn Pang Illustrations
Cake Toppers: Esther Griggs, owner of Pegit Dolls on Etsy
Celebrant: Pastor Gideon Lee
Music: Paul Chappell, owner of Marry Me Thailand
Transportation: Phuket Minibus
Videographer: Adrian Yap