A Bride's Guide To Her Dream Wedding: Solemnisation (Part 2)

Monday, September 11, 2017


This was my big wedding day. I held my wedding over a span of two days, the first day was this – the official solemnisation combined with the traditional Chinese tea ceremony – and the second day was my banquet dinner to celebrate with my family and friends.

In this post, I will be running through with you on the events that would occur during your solemnisation/tea ceremony. I will provide you with tips on how you can have your day run smoothly, and the things that you would want to avoid or be cautious about. Have a good read!


#1 | Getting Made Up And Ready

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Be prepared to wake up at 4AM in the morning, just so as to get ready for the entire day. The bridal makeup will take generally about 3-4 hours, depending on the complexity of your makeup/hairstyle and the wearing of your wedding gown.

Although you might feel jitters in your gut, and hence a lack of appetite, I strongly encourage you to stuff a sandwich down your stomach because the next time that you will have time to eat would be around 2pm.

Have your mom prepare something light, perhaps a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or an egg mayo sandwich. Just make sure that you eat something, because you wouldn't wanna risk fainting on your big day! There will be tons of activities going on and you're gonna need strength to get through the entire day.

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(Makeup & Hairstyle: Ling's Palette)

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(Bridal Gowns: Le Seine Bridal)

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Here is another tip for you: Create a whatsapp group, adding the bride and groom, brothers and sisters, and all other family personnels who have a role to play in your wedding (ie. door opener, family ic to inform the arrival of bride or groom for tea ceremony, extra pair of helping hands etc)

This would help greatly in the liaison of all events occurring that day. The brothers will have to update the group chat when they are about to leave the groom's place, the sisters will know how much time they have left on hand to get ready.

Everyone will be panicking. The house will be in chaos. And that is NORMAL!

So just take a breather and follow the pre-planned schedule, because that is what a schedule is for. It's your big wedding day, just enjoy – or so everyone tells me. :)


#2 | A Modern Twist To Gatecrashing

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(Groom's tie & Groomsmen's bowtie: The Little Link)
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Now you'll probably be wondering... what modern twist?! Here is the background story to it:

My parents were strongly against gatecrashing because they do not believe that their future son-in-law(s) should be tortured/humiliated/embarrassed just so as to marry their daughters. And so, for my elder sister's wedding, there was no gatecrashing at all.

For my wedding, there wasn't suppose to be either. However my (then) fiancé requested for it, saying "What fun is there in a wedding without some hardship?"

I thought about his request and my parents' concern... and I agree with my parents. I always hated seeing grooms being made to wear bras and panties, put on lipsticks, eat/drink a whole bunch of weird stuff, and the grooms and brothers end up looking very sloppy. My husband shouldn't have to look like a mess when he is trying to marry me.

Then again, I wanted to accede to his request. Thus I got creative and together with my sisters, we decided to play to the strengths of the boys men.

My sisters and I came up with puzzles to test their wits and intelligence, physical challenges to test their strength. We took their hobbies into account, and created games involving their favourite dart sport and love for whiskey/beer/liquor.

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All of the gatecrashing activities revolved around a central game. I was locked in my room (deliberately), and someone in the house had the key to the room. The men were required to pass each gatecrashing activity to attain a clue as to who held my room key?

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We gave them incredibly vague clues: "The person is below the age of 50", "The person's name has the letter L in it" and etc.

It was hilarious to see their -_- facial expression every time they received a vague clue, lol.


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Now remember the part about drinking liquor? I roped my dad in for this game and he sure did enjoy it!

My father collects alcohol, and particularly Chinese wine. I got my dad to choose four liquor from his Chinese wine collection, with specific instructions that only one shot of each liquor will be poured and given to the brothers.

How did everything go? The brothers enjoyed the liquor, my dad was fascinated and happy that he has found more drinking buddies, haha!

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Just for the sake and fun of it, we also included a couple of traditional "Guess My Body Part" and "Down Our Memory Lane" games.

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My mom got jealous that my dad had a part in the gatecrashing and said that she wanted one too!

And so, she was in charge of giving the 'jiak gan tang' boys a Chinese riddle and getting the 老婆饼 for our games, because according to my mom... 娶老婆要吃老婆饼!

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Yes, the husband cheated for the game "Down Our Memory Lane". He is bad with dates and so he went through my Instagram to try and match the dates to the pictures, pretty smart eh?

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Remember the central game that I mentioned about earlier? My niece was the one who held the key to my room!

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The brothers felt that it wasn't fair that they were the only ones drinking. Hence they brought their own equipments and ingredients, and made a cocktail for my sister team! #prosofhavinganexbartenderonteambro

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(Bridal bouquet & Corsages: FlowerAdvisor)
Quote [SOPHLEOW] for 15% off all your flower orders, valid till 15 Nov 2017

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Here is another tip for you: Who should I choose to be a part of my bridesmaids team?

Pick your team members based on their character, personality and their strengths. Do not pick your secondary school or junior college clique, just because they know each other and hence they should be able to work well together. Your hypothesis might just be the cause of a doomsday wedding!

It is okay if your chosen bridesmaids are unfamiliar with each other – we can all do with making more friends! Besides, the star of the show is you!

Avoid having a drama queen or a person who can "never be there to help" as your bridesmaid. Get people whom you can depend and rely upon. Your bridesmaids are there to help you, and not to be a flower vase for show!

I chose my bridesmaids/brideman for four specific reasons to fulfil four critical duties – 1) designing my e-invite card and managing all artistic matters, 2) handling my social media accounts, 3) keeping track and ensuring the smooth transition of all activities (timekeeper), and lastly 4) an individual who would be following me around closely on that day to take care of me and handle all my personal belongings (aka the maid of honour).

Pick wisely because a good team is the essence of a successful and smooth-sailing wedding!


#3 | The traditional Chinese tea ceremony


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(Traditional Kua: The Louvre Bridal)

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The traditional Chinese tea ceremony is another chaotic affair to happen on your wedding day.

For it to run as smoothly as possible, have a chronological list on who would be offered/offering the tea. This is to avoid any "You go first la! No la, you go first!" and the subsequent pushing back and forth of who should be having the tea first and who later – every minute during your wedding day is precious!

Your parents should always go first, followed by paternal grandparents and then maternal grandparents. It then goes back to the paternal side of the family, and onwards to the maternal side of the family. The ceremony ends off with your relatives who are younger than you, offering you and your spouse the tea.

Discuss the list with your parents a week before your wedding. Assign 4 individuals to help with the pouring of tea, exchanging of tea cups, collection of red packets received, and to call out the next individuals who will be offered/offering tea.


#4 | Solemnisation and Exchanging Vows

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(Photography: Depth of Tales)

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This is the big moment that you have been waiting for throughout the entire day – your solemnisation ceremony. Prepare some tissue in the event of some ugly crying (like me!) and do have your vows written in advance.

Facing difficulty writing your vows? Here are a few quick tips:
  1. Think about the first time that you met your other half, what were your thoughts or feelings then?
  2. Throughout the years of dating/courtship, was there any event which left a deep impression on you?
  3. Now that you are finally getting married, is there anything that you would like to say to him/her?
  4. Include one or two inside jokes, but none more than that – you wouldn't want to confuse your audience and make things too personal.
  5. End off your vows with promises (because that is what vows are for!) such as being loyal, being supportive, never falling out of love with him/her and etc.
If the tips aren't enough, watch my wedding video here for some much-needed inspiration!


#5 | The After-Party and Mini Photoshoot

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(Nail Art: The Mayfair Nail Spa)

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Your photographer and videographer would tend to want a bit of time for a quick photoshoot session.

Here, is the chance to re-use the posing skills that you have learnt during your prewedding photoshoot. Rope in your brothers and sisters for the photoshoot, because this might be the only time that you will get to capture some pretty pictures with them!

You will want to commemorate your time with this group of people because 1) they are important to you, 2) they've taken their time out to be here for you, 3) they deserve it a damn lot!

Have fun during the photoshoot session. Be as creative or as wacky as you like! Don't be alarmed if everyone siams away from the tossed bouquet and you end up having to throw the (now) mangled bridal bouquet three times, just to get a picture-perfect shot for your photographer.

Now that the day is over, take a breather and have a good rest. If you are throwing a wedding banquet tomorrow or the next week, start getting ready for the final round of your wedding event!


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For tips on how to plan and prepare for your ideal pre-wedding shoot – including selecting the location, photographer, wedding gowns and more – head over to read the first part of my wedding series, Dream Wedding: Pre-Wedding Shoot.


Wedding Collaborators

Photography: Depth of Tales Photography

White wedding gowns: Le Seine Bridal

Nail art: The Mayfair Nail Spa
  • Read the in-depth review here

Make up artist: Ling's Palette
  • Read the in-depth review here

Flowers: Flower Advisor Singapore
  • Read the in-depth review here
  • Quote [SOPHLEOW] for 15% off all your flower orders, valid till 15 Nov 2017

Tie and bowties: The Little Link
  • Read the in-depth review here
  • Quote [SOPHIE10] for 10% off your first order, valid forever

Traditional chinese kua: The Louvre Bridal
  • Read the in-depth review here