Monday, October 3, 2022

Lionel and Leonie’s Enchanted Garden Wedding

Not many welcome the idea of a multi-day wedding celebration. This is understandable because it can be exhaustive, not to mention it being a hassle to have to repeat the same process of doing hair and makeup across different days. Vendors and logistics too must be planned and arranged meticulously throughout the various days.

However, the pandemic has inevitably made such split-day weddings more common if not a necessity. There can be many reasons why but perhaps most common of all is the hope that by the time the wedding reception day rolls around, the situation would be much much better.

Photo courtesy of Lionel & Leonie, taken by Trouve Photography

This as we know it is largely a game of chance. One minute we were moving forward, and the next thing we know, we’re moving back. Amidst the uncertainty and frustration of the ever-changing rules that seemingly get announced merely days before being implemented, Lionel and Leonie proved that love and dedication can see us through the hardest of challenges. And when we asked if they were glad they went ahead with their wedding during the pandemic?

Definitely! – We had no regrets whatsoever! One day of celebration turned into a three-day affair spanning more than a year!

Lionel & Leonie
Photo courtesy of Lionel & Leonie, taken by Trouve Photography

Lionel and Leonie braved through not just one but several restriction changes before their wedding plans were seen through. Originally set for 4 July 2020, their 400 pax wedding that was to see many international guests attending had to be postponed, changed and distilled into various plans.

Our original wedding date was scheduled for 4 July 2020. Once Covid hit, we decided to be prudent and cater for an ample amount of time, thinking that a 12- month gap would suffice for all this to die down. Our new postponed date was set for 3 July 2021.

Lionel

Between 4 July 2020 and 3 July 2021, Lionel and Leonie held a cosy home solemnisation witnessed only by their immediate family members. It was beautiful and heartfelt – read all about it here.

With the blessings from their loved ones, the newly minted husband and wife continued to plan for the larger celebration that will see them sharing the joy with their extended family and guests – a church ceremony will be held followed by an evening reception on 3 July 2021. However, as the day approached, what greeted them was the further tightening of the pandemic rules.

When the restrictions were extended once more in June this year till mid-July, we were faced with yet another roadblock in our plans. Wedding banquets were prohibited from happening due to the restrictions on dining out. Just as my wife, Leonie had finished her wedding make-up trial and was on the way to her Hens night, that dreaded news alert popped up.

Lionel
Photo courtesy of Lionel & Leonie, taken by Trouve Photography

It was a tough pill for the pair to swallow. They eventually came to terms that the reception was not going to happen as re-planned. Adamant to have the event continue regardless of what restrictions were in place, they re-postponed the reception to the next earliest available date, 15 August 2021. The church ceremony however would proceed as scheduled on 3 July 2021 with the guest list cut from 100 to only 50 pax. Those were not the only changes made because with a new set of restrictions, there were also a series of things that need to be re-catered for:

With little forewarning of the changing restrictions, it was tricky and tedious having to manoeuvre around them. This ranged from having to cut down our guest list, re-printing wedding invites, arranging last minute PET vendors, all the way down to whether we were even allowed to play music during the respective occasions.

Lionel

Having to almost restart the process of scheduling and liaising as though it was first time planning for the event all over again was painstaking. Sad to say that it did suck some of the enjoyment out from the entire experience. However, we soon came to the realisation that we were still fortunate to have each other and be relatively unscathed by Covid and its effects. This pandemic has impacted so many people across the world in a much greater way than just having to postpone a wedding. We were ultimately grateful that we were still able to plan for such an event despite having these unexpected curveballs thrown at us.

Lionel & Leonie
Photo courtesy of Lionel & Leonie, taken by Trouve Photography

Thankfully too, there was silver lining as it was not our first time handling a postponement, so we just soldiered on. We are so grateful to our family, friends and vendors who stuck by us this entire time and still made our Big Day so special.

Lionel & Leonie

In particular, Lionel and Leonie are appreciative of their venue manager who walked alongside them throughout the various postponements.  

Our dinner banquet was held at Shangri-La’s Tower Ballroom. As wonderful as the building itself was, the people working there was what made it most special. Our hotel wedding manager, Liyan, did an amazing job in handholding us throughout the entire process. Although she had other couples that were also impacted by the restrictions and were probably bombarding her with queries (as we were doing so as well), she always gave us her undivided attention. Thank you once again Liyan!

Lionel & Leonie

The couple was also able to see their dream “Enchanted Garden” wedding come to life at their dinner reception.

Guests left the wedding happily when they were asked to bring these flowers back at the end of the banquet.

Photo courtesy of Lionel & Leonie, taken by Trouve Photography
Photo courtesy of Lionel & Leonie, taken by Trouve Photography

Having guests go home with smiles on their faces is enough to make the wedding a success. However, what had made the day so meaningful and memorable for Lionel and Leonie is also the love, support and blessings they’ve received from their amazing guests.

As we made our way down for the tea ceremony, we were greeted by the family with smiles and cheers. It had been such a long time since we were all able to be together and it was such an amazing feeling. We could feel the love pouring in and that was when our hearts raced on for the remainder of the night.

(During the first march-in) There definitely was an overwhelming sense of emotion when the doors opened, and all those familiar faces celebrated together in unison with us. It was such a beautiful moment that will forever be cherished by us. As expected, the night flew by with tears of joy, the rumbling of uncontrollable laughter, and a few drunken slurs (haha). Before we knew it, the night that we had planned for so long went by in the few short hours.

Nevertheless, it was such an amazing night shared with amazing people… And yes, if we knowingly had to go through all those twists and turns to relive that evening, we would definitely do it all over again!

Lionel & Leonie

Love truly triumphs all and even with the chaos and uncertainty faced by the couple, Lionel made it a point to make the day even more special for Leonie.

My husband, Lionel, had planned a surprise for me during the Church wedding ceremony. As most daughters would want, I have always dreamt of the day my father could walk me down the aisle on the big day. Unfortunately, due to travel restrictions, they were not able to join us. However, Lionel arranged for a surprise video recording of my family sharing words of love which was to be played during the ceremony. Needless to say, the waterworks were turned on!

Leonie
Photo courtesy of Lionel & Leonie, taken by Trouve Photography

To every bride/groom-to-be, it is undoubtedly still challenging to plan the wedding of your dreams. However, as with what we’ve heard from many who have been there and done that, it is perhaps much wiser to focus on the bigger and more important things…

As special of an event a wedding day is meant to be, try not to focus too much on the material things as ultimately the marriage itself is the most important thing. Just go with the flow and enjoy the process! (I guess this can also be a good story to tell your future kids!)

Lionel

Thank you, Lionel and Leonie, for sharing your wedding planning journey and beautiful wedding with us! We are so happy to see the wedding come to life after more than a year of planning, re-planning and re-re-planning ! We wish that your love for each other stands even stronger today and for the many days to come!

Photo courtesy of Lionel & Leonie, taken by Trouve Photography

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