Real Wedding: Karen & Joseph’s Destination Wedding by Brendan Fitzpatrick

We’ve got an absolutely stunning destination wedding to share with you all today – grab your passports because we’re going all the way to Singapore! Welsh girl Karen and New Zealand boy Joseph had been in a long distance relationship for two years before their beautiful wedding at Nosh Bar and Restaurant, Rochester Park, Singapore in November this year, shot by Brendan Fitzpatrick. How gorgeous is their wedding stationery?! :)karen & joseph

We asked them a few questions about their day…

Was was your budget? We didn’t really set ourselves a budget. At first we had no of how much things would cost here in Singapore in comparison to back home! We just made sure that when we were booking/buying/arranging things that we were doing it efficiently and not spending unnecessary money.

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For example, I really wanted a videographer but Joe wasn’t so keen as they seemed super expensive. In the end we decided to put the money towards something else and filmed the day ourselves. We used our own camcorder and let everyone know to feel free to pick it up and film throughout of the day.

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As we are both graphic designers we were really lucky that we could be quite creative and were able to design and create a lot of things ourselves including all the stationery, place settings, signage and table names etc. which saved us quite a bit of money!

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How would you describe your wedding theme? Love travels the distance.

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We had been in a long distance relationship for the best part of two years before we got married. We calculated that between the two of us we have travelled over 57,500 miles to see each other since we first met! For that reason and the fact that we both love to travel, it was a really obvious theme for us.

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Our stationery had a very strong “airmail” look and feel to it which then dictated our colour scheme. Sapphire blue, to match my engagement ring, and ruby red.

What was your favourite part of the wedding? It would be absolutely impossible to pinpoint one favourite part! There were so many things which made the day so magical for us…

1. Having all of our incredible friends and family travel to Singapore to share the day with us. This was incredible. We were unsure at first if anyone would be able to make it as we appreciated that it was a long way to come and a big expense! It was actually the first time that both sets of parents had even met. Even more special as who knows when both families will ever be in the same place at the same time again.

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2. My Uncle (who was unfortunately unable to join us on the day) along with help from Joe’s sisters, Heather and Natasha made a surprise “wish we were there” video of friends and family who were unable to be there sending us their love and best wishes. It was a fabulous idea that brought a few tears to the eyes!

3. My older brother, Christopher, did a reading during the ceremony which was absolutely beautiful. That also made me cry! And of course the speeches, including one from my Matron of Honour, Lauren, were incredible. Everyone did really well! Lauren even printed her speech out and framed it for me as a keepsake. A very lovely touch!

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4. Our first dance. Thanks to our friend Karen, we managed to squeeze in a dance lesson a few days before so to make sure we weren’t absolutely awful on the night. We managed to pull it off!

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Who did you pick as your bridesmaids/best man and why? It was very easy for me to pick my bridesmaids. Last year I was Maid of Honour for my best friend Lauren, and I was fortunate to catch her bouquet. Just after I caught it I hugged her and whispered “will you be my matron of honour?” in her ear. I had no idea when Joe and I would get married, I just knew that Lauren would be by my side no matter what!

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Carley, Amanda, Jennie and Betsy are friends from all different chapters of my life. Carley and I met in college many years ago. Amanda and I studied Graphic Design together in university. Jennie is a old work collegue and Betsy (also an old work colleague) is our flatmate in Singapore. They are the bestest friends a girl could wish for who have all been an incredible support system for us both since we have been together.

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They all looked absolutely stunning on the day and we had picked convertible dresses, which meant they all got to style themselves however they felt comfortable.

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Joe picked his best friend Paul as his Best Man. They have known each other for years and are thick as theives! Paul delivered an outstanding speech on the day! Joe’s younger brother, Paul, was groomsman and MC for the day and my older brother Christopher was an usher.

How did the proposal happen? In February 2013 I spent two weeks in New Zealand visiting Joe and his family. I was due to leave to head back to Singapore on Valentines Day. On the 13th, Joe and I decided to picnic in the Auckland Domain near the Winter Gardens. Whilst lying on the picnic blanket drinking champagne and chatting about how the next few months would pan out Joe pulled a beautiful sapphire and diamond ring out of his pocket and asked me to marry him. It was perfect.

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With the time difference between New Zealand and the UK it was extremely hard to contain our excitement whilst waiting for all of our family and friends in the UK to wake up! A few of them got an early morning 4am phone call with the news!

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Getting engaged then having to leave him behind in Auckland, again, was so sad. But we set a date not long after that and the planning commenced!

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Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share? We designed all of our own stationery and even built our own website! It was such a great thing to do together although we did feel under a lot of pressure, knowing that people would be expecting big things from us!

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We also made our own signage for the venue, including a travel sign which had all the places from afar that people had travelled so that everyone felt appreciated and considered.

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We used Etsy. A lot! It’s such a great place to find props and gifts. Even more special when you can work with the seller to create unique pieces. I even managed to get a map ring cushion made which had Singapore on it!Karen & Joseph Singapore Travel Themed Wedding_003

What was your first dance and why? Come Fly With Me by Frank Sinatra. It was sung by our friend Tom who has been a very close friend of mine for many years.


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We have many songs that remind us of each other. But not one that we thought was suitable for our first dance. We were back in the UK in May and whilst driving from Wales to Heathrow we were listening to Michael Buble. Come Fly With Me came on and we both instantly said “this is it!”. Perfectly fitting for our theme and upbeat enough to get everyone up on the dance floor with us!

In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently? Not one single thing…Joe and I agree that our day was perfect just the way it was.

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The only thing I would advise for every bride is not to have your hen do the night before the big day! We had all joked about how potentially dangerous it was and I was adamant that it would be fine…but there were certainly a few sore heads the morning of the wedding! All great memories though thanks to my wonderful bridesmaids.

Do you have any advice for future couples? In terms of getting married and the wedding…enjoy the preparations! The planning for us was so much fun. We really enjoyed making things together and coming up with unique ideas for the day. On the day itself, savor every single moment as it goes by too quickly!

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Why did you choose your venue? Weddings here in Singapore are very different to the traditional weddings that we are used to in the UK and New Zealand. They do things on a much bigger scale! We had considered some of the many wonderful hotels here, but they just didn’t have the right feel for us. Too big, too corporate and certainly not quaint enough for our theme.

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My bridesmaid Betsy decided to visit Nosh for brunch one Sunday. I knew as soon as I walked up the stairs that we had found the venue for us. It’s an old historical black-and-white colonial building nestled away in Rochester Park, a short drive out of the city centre. The alfresco green house, with retractable roof (Singapore is known for flash storms!) where our ceremony and reception was held was the perfect size for the amount of guests we had invited. We were lucky enough to have a beautiful day weather wise and the roof of the venue was open throughout the ceremony and the reception.

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They also have a great team of people working there. Tom, the events manager was extremely accommodating and made all of our ideas come to life!

What’s the best piece of marriage advice you have received? Lauren made a themed book for my hen do which everyone wrote in. She had allocated a special page each for both of our mums to write in.

My mum’s advice was… Take care of each other. Always.

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Joe’s mum’s advice was… May you go through life hand in hand. Let there be no secrets and be open to whatever comes your way.

We will treasure both the book and all the wonderful messages forever.

What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding? We enjoyed every single aspect of it! For us it was all about detail. We wanted to make sure that everything was thought through and that things would make people smile on the day.

A few of our favourite “special touches” included the boys cufflinks. We had them customised so one cufflink had a map of their hometown, and the other a map of Singapore. Our favours were small map notebooks, which we wrote personal messages to each guest in and we donated money to the Alzheimer’s society in exchange for “forget-me-not” flower badges in memory of my late grandmother who we lost not long before the wedding.

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We had lots of wonderful messages after the wedding saying how amazing all of the personal touches were. It made the planning and effort well worth it! We hope it was just as memorable a day for our family and guests as it was for us!

Photographer : Brendan Fitzpatrick
Videographer : We shot the day ourselves.
Ceremony & Reception Venue : Nosh Bar and Restaurant, Rochester Park, Singapore
Bride’s Dress & Headpiece : Rosetta Nicolini (Jorga) from Berkertex Cardiff 
Bride’s Jewelley : Chomel
Brides Shoes : Roland Cartier at Debenhams
Grooms Outfit : Racing Green
Bridesmaid’s Dresses : BHS (Twist & Wrap Bridesmaid Dress)
Bridesmaid’s Accessories : I bought them fans from Chinatown here in Singapore and they wore wrist corsages supplied by the florist.
Cake : Missus Bonbon
Flowers : One Olive
Hair : My hair was done by P.S. Jesslyn a local makeup artist. The bridesmaids hair was styled by Natasha Fitzsimons, Joe’s little sister.
Band : We had some of our close friends play on the day. Rachel Liddington and Ben Glyn provided the ambient music whilst we had our photographs taken. Tom Gilbert sang at the start of the evening and supported our saxophonist Johnnie James who continued the entertainment into the evening. All of these acts are managed by White Noise Creations
Stationery : We designed all of our own stationery. However, a lot of it was printed by friends in the UK called Genie.
Transport : White London Taxi Cabs

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