Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Chong Wai & Wan Yi’s Handmade Wedding in Singapore

We’re sure you’ve heard that “Slow and Steady Wins The Race”. Yet, against our best judgement, when everything seems to be unravelling, it’s easy to want to jump right into the situation to save everything. Still, the wise one inside all of us know that sometimes, a more consistent approach, albeit it being a slower one, can be a far better way to get to the finishing line.   

Chong Wai and Wan Yi’s wedding is a perfect embodiment of what it means to do things one step at a time. Originally planned for June 2020, the couple finally tied the knot in October 2020 before hosting their wedding celebration in March 2021. If you recall, this was a period of absolute uncertainty. The couple braved through all the changes in restrictions and regulations immediately after the Circuit Breaker and through all the various Phases Singapore had gone through since, namely Phase 1, 2 and 3.

Photo courtesy of Chong Wai & Wan Yi, taken by Samuel Goh

Even the thought of that makes us break out in sweats. And so we asked them, “were you glad you still went ahead with your wedding?

So so glad. We have no regrets about taking the plunge and going ahead with our wedding even though it meant more stress and work for us.  With the uncertainty this pandemic brings, we could only try to take things one day at a time and make the best of the given situation.

Chong Wai & Wan Yi

So it seems, the way to go through this is to be clear about the destination, plan for the big milestone, look into the little details and take it one. Step. At. A. Time.

Be Clear About Your Destination

If you’re planning your wedding now, set your sight on your destination and take it one step at a time. For sure, anxieties, doubts, concerns, frustrations…you name it, would creep in along the way. However, if you are clear about where you’re headed to, you won’t be lost for too long.

It was really disappointing and frustrating at first when we had been looking forward to our wedding day for so long. It was also a rollercoaster of emotions every time new wedding regulations were announced, and we had to scramble to decipher what that meant for us. In all these months of uncertainty, there were definitely moments where we had to take a step back and discuss if we really wanted (and needed!) to go ahead with the wedding celebration since it was not what we envisioned at all, what with the mask-wearing, social distancing, and how long drawn the whole thing was.

Chong Wai & Wan Yi
Photo courtesy of Chong Wai & Wan Yi, taken by Samuel Goh
Photo courtesy of Chong Wai & Wan Yi, taken by Samuel Goh

We were trying really hard not to feel trapped by the down payments we had already made to our vendors, and to make sure it was something we truly wanted not just for the glam and glitz, but also as a milestone event to celebrate our relationship so far and to thank our loved ones for being with us all the way.

Chong Wai & Wan Yi

When everything started coming together, we realised things weren’t that bad after all and we could still hold our wedding in a way everyone could enjoy. Despite all stress and uncertainty, it turned out to be super lovely and fun, and was surely a day we will fondly look back on for the rest of our lives.

Chong Wai & Wan Yi

Set Up the Big Milestones

Chong Wai and Wan Yi’s wedding was originally set for June 2020 – a period dangerously close to just the end of the Circuit Breaker where things could either be super great or go South entirely. Given the uncertainty, they chose to postpone the wedding indefinitely.

It was only when things started to look up that they decided to take the next big step – their solemnisation.

As things got better in Phase 2, we wanted to move in together and start our new phase of life. So, in October 2020, exactly a year after we got engaged, we had a cosy solemnisation ceremony in our freshly renovated BTO home (we literally finished renovations in the week leading up to our ceremony) with just 8 of our immediate family members and best friends.

Chong Wai & Wan Yi

And when the sky starts to clear even more with Singapore entering Phase 3 just before the new year, Chong Wai and Wan Yi finally had the courage to set their wedding celebration for March 2021.

Photo courtesy of Chong Wai & Wan Yi, taken by Samuel Goh

Besides consulting some married friends, the couple had undertaken the whole planning and coordination process all on their own! The key lessons they took away from the experience was that they should have started planning earlier when they’ve decided to hold the reception in March and that a scaled down event does not mean a scaled down planning process.

Honestly, we only got serious about sorting out the details a month before because it still felt like plans could fall through anytime and we didn’t want to have our hopes dashed once again.

We also had the mindset that since we scaled down and simplified our event we didn’t have much to do, but we were super wrong because we DIY-ed and coordinated everything ourselves. In the mere weeks leading up to the wedding, we were still trying to confirm our caterer, design our stationery, and conceptualise and source for our table decorations. It was a mad rush to the finish line with our long to-do list, and it could totally have been avoided if we had planned in advance.

(Pro tip: Plan early, things can get a lot more expensive when you need them urgently!)

Chong Wai & Wan Yi

Look into the Little Details

Even as they were managing all the big plans for the wedding, Chong Wai and Wan Yi did not neglect the littlest of things. Being creatives, aesthetics is important to them. Details naturally became something they placed a lot of emphasis on even when they were short on time. They had incorporated plenty of little touches that make the wedding truly “them” and to let their guests feel loved.

Chong Wai is known for his love for cooking and baking, so he spent a few days baking hundreds of cookies as wedding favours. He also edited our video montage himself.

Wan Yi
Photo courtesy of Chong Wai & Wan Yi, taken by Samuel Goh

Wan Yi drew personalised portraits of all our guests. We got them printed out as post cards and wrote personalised messages on them — they also doubled as seating name tags! She also designed all the other wedding stationery (the invites, menus, table numbers, advice cards, stickers for the cookies etc.).

Chong Wai
Photo courtesy of Chong Wai & Wan Yi, taken by Samuel Goh

We also had to conceptualise all our own DIY table décor as this was something we didn’t want to engage a vendor to spend too much on. We compiled a mood board, sourced for appropriate props, and even had to spray paint all our fake gold leaves by hand as they turned up in a yellower shade of gold than we liked. The spare room in our house turned into something of a nightmare as we used it to store all our props and mock-up the table setting.

Chong Wai & Wan Yi
Photo courtesy of Chong Wai & Wan Yi, taken by Samuel Goh
Photo courtesy of Chong Wai & Wan Yi, taken by Samuel Goh

We designed little advice cards for our guests to write and draw on, hosted a funny quiz about us where guests could answer on their phones, and gave each table a disposable camera to snap candid pics with.


As weddings are way more scaled-down now, it’s worth investing in little heartfelt gestures that could still make your guests feel appreciated and enjoy their time at the wedding without the need for splashy entertainment.

Chong Wai & Wan Yi
Photo courtesy of Chong Wai & Wan Yi, taken by Samuel Goh

The Finishing Line

Talking about heartfelt, it was their videographer and photographer who left them the most heartfelt of memories. Chong Wai and Wan Yi had worked so hard to make this a memorable day for their guests. We’re glad they also have these precious memories of just the two of them that will be cherished from here on.

Photo courtesy of Chong Wai & Wan Yi, taken by Samuel Goh

At the suggestion of our videographer, we prepared a secret letter for each other before the day. Before the guests arrived and the busyness started, we stepped outside and read it to each other. Amidst the stress of making things perfect for our guests, this felt like a moment that was for just the two of us and helped ground us in the significance of why we were there that day.

When our lunch was coming to an end, our amazing photographer Samuel asked us to head to the balcony area outside and just twirl around freely, revelling in the joy of finally being done with the wedding! That was really really cathartic.

Chong Wai and Wan Yi

It is no wonder Chong Wai thinks engaging their photographer and videographer was the best purchase of their wedding! In Chong Wai’s words –

We firmly believe it’s the only thing you spend on that increases in value over time, and that having skilled people to capture your memories is absolutely essential. It was something I was extremely particular with and we really wanted people who could create great imagery for us. And they absolutely did. No regrets at all!

Chong Wai

We hope Chong Wai and Wan Yi’s wedding planning journey had provided you some insights as to how to go about yours. Remember, you don’t have to rush into everything at once!

Professionals engaged for the wedding:

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