We stood outside the John Jacob Ballroom at The St. Regis Singapore, bracing ourselves for the first wedding march-in. I felt Raevian tightening her hand around my arm. I put my hand over hers, and told her in the most reassuring tone I could muster:
“It will be all right dear. Just breathe.”
The march-in song started playing, and a short while later the hefty doors slowly opened to bright white lights, wispy white smoke, and silhouettes of our guests giving a standing ovation. I could feel my heart beating really fast now. After months of preparation, this moment had finally arrived.
“I love you,” I whispered to Raevian. Together, we slowly walked into the majestic ballroom.
The Initial Stages: Decisions, Decisions, Decisions
That was truly a magical moment, but it had taken months of tedious planning to get to that point. After visiting many hotel ballrooms, we decided to go with The St. Regis Singapore because Raevian loved the design of the majestic John Jacob Ballroom.
Our wedding coordinator was Christine, who worked with us throughout our entire St. Regis wedding journey. From the start, she was very helpful and professional. Our first email correspondence with her was on 15 October 2015, and our wedding took place on 18 December 2016. So the whole process took over a year!
After choosing the wedding venue, we still had tons of other decisions to make! My advice is to start planning early so that you do not have to make rushed decisions, which can be a very stressful situation to be in. Below are some of our pre-wedding decisions.
1. Negotiating the Contract
First, we had to negotiate the terms of the contract. For example, we did not need the “corkage waiver” fee as we were not bringing in outside drinks for our wedding. We exchanged this perk for something else instead.
One thing we liked about St. Regis was their wedding guests price scheme. Firstly, the hotel charges by number of wedding guests instead of tables. Therefore, even though we had 256 guests, we were charged the “per head” price instead of the price for 26 tables. Secondly, St. Regis has a separate kids menu, which is priced lower than the adult menu.
2. Wedding Invitation Cards
For our wedding invitation cards, we had to choose from a list of external vendors provided by St Regis. After researching online, we went with American Wedding Treasures (AWT) for our wedding cards. We had a wonderful experience working with Shirley (lady boss of AWT) and would highly recommend her services. You can read about our wedding card design journey here.
3. Floral Arrangements
VIP Table flowers
Guest Table flowers
Candle Stand and Flower Petals (self bought) on Guest Table
Likewise for the floral arrangements, we were given a list of florists to choose from and we went with CCLee. We liaised with Jessica and it was a very pleasant experience working with her. She was extremely patient in answering Raevian’s tons of questions about the floral arrangements for the banquet tables.
4. Food Tasting Session
We got to check out the Canapés and Main Course menu during the food tasting session, which took place about four months before our wedding day.
For the canapés (snacks served during cocktail reception), we went with the Honeydew Melon and Prosciutto Loukoum, Minced Seafood with Lettuce, and Tartare Shrimp and Celery Summer Roll. These tasted pretty good.
The main course items are served via individual plating, and we were very impressed by the pretty presentation of the food.
We were also glad that the St. Regis took careful note of all our feedback after the tasting session. We requested for more chili crab sauce for the crabmeat, more sauce for the pork, stronger flavour for the fish, more garnishings, etc – and all these requests were met. One of our requests was “to ensure that the soup would be served hot on the actual day”. On the wedding day, there was still steam rising from the soup when it was served. We were also allowed to slightly customize the dishes: for example, we included a layer of leaf at the bottom of our noodles to enhance its appearance, and we added a raspberry for our dessert.
The vegetarian menu was impressive too, and our three veggie-loving guests at the wedding were very satisfied with the food.
Below were our final choices:
Set Lunch Menu
1. Deep Fried Prawn with Wasabi Mayonnaise / Chilled Smoked Duck Breast with Sweet Pineapple / Crispy Crabmeat with Chili Crab Sauce
2. Double-boiled Fish Maw, with American Top Shell and Cordycep Flower
3. Braised Sliced Abalone with Flower Mushroom and Seasonal Greens
4. Deep-fried Cod Fillet with Mango Salsa
5. Oven-baked Kurobuta Pork with Black Pepper Sauce
6. Braised Hong Kong Ee-Fu Noodles with Dried Fish Powder, Mushroom and Seafood
7. *Chilled Avocado Sago Puree with Vanilla Ice Cream / Lemongrass Jelly with Lychee Sherbet and Raspberry
*we chose to serve two types of desserts for the banquet
1. Crispy Vegetarian Mushroom with Wasabi Mayo Black Fungus Salad / Crispy Lychee and Bean Curd Compote Infused with Grape Dressing
2. Double-boiled Vegetable Consomme with Bamboo Pith, Fungus and Mushroom
3. Braised “Lo Han Zhi” Vegetables
4. Braised Mock Abalone, Spinach and “Bai Ling” Mushroom
5. Stir-Fried Homemade Tofu with Lily Bulb and Cashew Nut
6. Braised Hong Kong Ee-Fu Noodles with Mushroom and Chives
7. Lemongrass Jelly with Lychee Sherbet and Raspberry
5. Wedding Cake / Wedding Favours
For the wedding cake, there were just a few options and we went with the one pictured above.
Christine emailed us pictures of the wedding favours, and we decided to go with the Molton Brown Hand Soap and Chocolate Pralines (Truffle & Early Grey). We had tried the pralines before and they were pretty delicious.
6. Table Set Up
We took quite a bit of time to decide the table set up because this was such an important decision. The colors of the tables and chairs would determine the entire vibe of the ballroom.
In the end, we went with the bronze table cloth and bronze chair cover (with gold sash). For the table setting, we chose the white show plates and bronze napkins. We used the same setup for both the VIP Tables and Guest Tables. We chose this color combination because we felt that it would exude a stately charm and further enhance the ballroom’s sophisticated splendor – and we were right. The ballroom looked magnificently grand on our wedding day.
Actual Day Photo Taking at St. Regis
And before I knew it, the Big Day had arrived. I woke up at an unearthly hour, survived the inedible food and challenging games during the gatecrash, went through the usual wedding customs, and made our way to St. Regis for our wedding lunch banquet.
One reason why we chose St. Regis for our wedding was because it has great photo spots around the hotel. In addition, it was year end so there were many pretty Christmas decorations. Our AD photographer took many beautiful photos of us and our friends.
Wedding Solemnization and Tea Ceremony at The Diplomat Room
Mr Francis Ng, our awesome Justice of the Peace (JP)
After photo taking, it was time for our tea ceremony at The Diplomat Room. After that, we exchanged our vows under the supervision of Mr Francis Ng, our Justice of the Peace (JP). He was really amicable and humorous, and we would highly recommend him as your Solemnizer. Make sure you book him way in advance though, because he is very popular with couples in Singapore.
Awesome Reception Area
We also liked the cocktail reception area very much. The foyer is separated into two parts: one open area is for the reception tables, while the other is an enclosed area. The open area is bright and spacious, while the enclosed area provides a private and classy space for guests to mingle.
The Majestic John Jacob Ballroom
Our favourite part of the wedding was of course the majestic John Jacob Ballroom! We were blown away by how beautiful it looked on the actual day. With its luxurious carpet, magnificent floor-to-ceiling mirrors, classy furnishings and grand center stage, the ballroom exudes stately charm and sophisticated splendor like no other.
The sound system was very good too. As I walked around the ballroom, I could tell that the background music was distributed very evenly, with just the right levels of bass, mids, and treble (yes, I am a bit of an audiophile). Even during my boring wedding speech, I could tell that I had the attention of guests seated right at the back of the ballroom, thanks to the great sound system.
The John Jacob Ballroom is pillar-less, and all our guests had clear view of the stage and the two large projectors.
Delicious Food and Impeccable Service
We spoke to some guests after the wedding, and they all told us that they simply loved the food.
We were also gratified to hear from our guests that they enjoyed impeccable service during the lunch banquet. There was always a St. Regis staff near the table to meet their needs, and they were all very prompt and courteous.
The Amazing St. Regis Team
With our helpful butler Wen Hui
On the wedding day, I was feeling a mix of emotions: joy, anxiety, excitement, fatigue, and more! Therefore, I was really glad that we had a competent St. Regis Team to assist us during the wedding. Christine kept an eye on everything and kept reassuring us that everything would be all right. According to our friends, the banquet manager (his name is Mao) was very competent and ensured that everything went on smoothly during the wedding.
One person that we are extremely grateful to is Wen Hui, our personal butler during the wedding. She stayed by Raevian throughout the wedding, helping to carry the wedding gown train, bringing slippers for Raevian’s aching feet, and basically helping out in every way possible. She also helped us with the tea ceremony and ran many errands for us too.
(And of course, the wedding wouldn’t have been possible without our wonderful “brothers” and “jiemeis”, who were up from 3am in the morning to help us with the wedding!)
St. Regis Suite
After the wedding, we went up to our very atas St Regis Suite, which exudes elegance, luxury and sophisticated splendor. The one-night suite stay was part of the wedding package. The hotel had very thoughtfully arranged for all our banquet food to be brought up to the suite. This was because we simply didn’t have time to eat during the wedding. After eating the delicious food in a stoned state, we crashed in the comfy bed for twelve hours straight.
The Happiest Day of Our Lives
We are grateful to The St. Regis Singapore for helping us hold such a perfect wedding. It was a blessing to celebrate our special day with family and friends at the beautiful John Jacob Ballroom, assisted by the wonderful Regis staff. This was truly the happiest day of our lives.
This is part of a series of articles where I share about my wedding preparations leading up to the Big Day. Check it out: Evan and Raevian’s Wedding Journey