Thursday, September 21, 2023

Transforming a 400 Pax International Wedding Into a Cosy Home Wedding

This article is part of our Planning a Wedding in a Pandemic: Covid-19 series.

With COVID-19 measures being constantly updated, some couples have opted to take the approach of sticking to their original wedding date. Some do it in a pro-active way by adapting their wedding plans according to the most recent measures while some have taken time to take a breather.

No matter which league you’re on, to give you some insights on how these couples managed to work through it, we hear from them about how their planning journey was like and how they stayed on top of their plans (and sane) during this period of fluidity.

Leonie is from the United States and she met Lionel, who is from Singapore, in Australia. It is a love story that spans across oceans and one could only imagine how international their wedding is going to be!

Who would have thought they would eventually tie the knot right in the garden of their home, in the presence of only eight guests? Read on about their cosy home wedding!

cosy home wedding
Photo courtesy of Lionel & Leonie
1. Describe your plans for your wedding day pre-COVID-19.

Our original wedding date was scheduled for 4 July 2020. The day’s itinerary was to have a morning church solemnisation, followed by a tea ceremony in the afternoon, dinner reception banquet at a hotel and ending the night off with one heck of an afterparty.

2. Use a word to describe your feelings when the pandemic struck.


3. How did the plan change? How did both of you arrive at this wedding arrangement?

Our guest list (of approximately 400 pax) comprised of friends and family members flying down from USA, South Korea, Australia, Japan, Vietnam and Thailand. With the situation worsening globally, we bit the bullet and postponed our wedding banquet by 12 months. We were fortunate to be able to secure the date as this was done just shortly before the Circuit Break restrictions were implemented. 

Once the first round of restriction-easing was rolled out, we decided to have a small ROM ceremony at Lionel’s home (still abiding by the regulations of course!). We did our best to plan for this in the span of 2 months — which included sorting out the flowers and decor, engaging vendors, planning for the Zoom call, etc.

4. How did you overcome the feelings you experienced when the plan changed?

We were definitely heartbroken that my immediate family (from U.S.A) were not able to be physically present for our big day. At the end of the day, we tried to stay positive as we knew that the marriage itself was far more important than any fanfare celebration. Both of our families were still as delighted as ever that we got married and were starting this new chapter of our lives together!

5. Were there any wedding professionals who helped you along the way?

We did not engage the help of any wedding planners/coordinators for this day as we were able to manage it on our own. However, we were very blessed to have Lionel’s immediate family to help with some of the things during the ceremony itself.

garden wedding
Photo courtesy of Lionel & Leonie
6. Describe the wedding day!

Even though things did not play out according to our original plan, it was still a blissful day of love and happiness. Tears of joy were shed; laughter filled the air and the sun literally emerged from the clouds to shine upon us (as it had just stopped raining just minutes before the ceremony began)!

7. Any words of advice for engaged couples?

With a million and one things seeming to go wrong, do not lose sight of the reason why you’re getting married. Let the strength of your love carry you through!

Indeed! No matter how immaculate a plan is, things are still bound to go wrong. Even so, that is no reason why you shouldn’t be celebrating the fact that you’re marrying the person you love. COVID-19 may have changed many things, but your conviction to live the rest of your life with your partner does not have to.

We hope Leonie and Lionel’s story gives you the strength to go on planning for one of the biggest days of your life!

Feature image – Photo courtesy of Amanda Lee Weddings

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