This Australian-Japanese Couple Incorporated Elements of Their Cultures into Their Singapore Wedding
In a cosmopolitan city like Singapore, it isn’t difficult to forge new friendships with someone of a different race or nationality. For business executive Carlos Quaderi and jewellery designer Miwako Sasao, however, a chance meeting in Keong Saik Street here led to four years of courtship—and now, the rest of their lives together.
“Carlos had three of his best friends visiting from Australia for a long holiday weekend, and they had popped into The Study for dinner and a drink,” Miwako shared, recounting their first meeting in 2016.
“I was also enjoying a Friday night out with a very good friend and Japanese colleague at the same venue, and we all ended up next to each other at the bar counter.”
It was thanks to one of Carlos’ best friends, Phil, who sparked a conversation in fluent Japanese, that got the couple acquainted. The rest, as they say, is history.
Amidst the early uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 outbreak, Carlos and Miwako held their dream wedding in the company of family and friends on February 22 this year. It was, however, no easy feat.
“We had worked closely with our wedding planner Sophia and the Chère Weddings team over the preceding nine months, but nothing had prepared us for the sudden coronavirus outbreak with less than 30 days to our wedding date,” Miwako said.
With 95 per cent of guests travelling from Japan, England and Australia for the wedding, the fact that Singapore was identified as a high-risk country caused concerns if the celebrations would go ahead as planned and if it was safe for the guests to travel. Contingency plans and safety measures were quickly put together in the days leading up to the wedding.
“In the end, other than one close friend who had cancelled, the big day went to plan and all our family and friends were there. Sophia and her team were the reason we had the best day of our lives in an event universally acknowledged by everyone as one of the best celebrations they have ever attended.”
(Related: These Couples Got Married During the Covid-19 Outbreak—Here’s How They Held Their Weddings in Singapore and Hong Kong)
Theme and Concept
Originally planning for an alfresco wedding by the ocean with a terrace or garden, Carlos and Miwako eventually decided upon The Clifford Pier at The Fullerton Bay Hotel for the cocktail reception and celebration dinner, and Lantern rooftop bar—where they had enjoyed their memorable first date—for the after-party.
The couple worked with their wedding planners and vendors to bring the garden indoors instead, settling on a palette of dusty rose pink, white and gold that complemented the colonial-inspired aesthetic of the hotel.
To celebrate their cross-cultural union, Carlos, who is a British-born Australian; and Miwako, who is a Japanese and spends time between Singapore and Japan, incorporated elements of their heritage into the concept, food, and programme of their wedding. The floral design of their invitation and stationery, custom-drawn by Pearlyn from Pearlyn and Paper, featured cherry blossoms, roses and acacia, which are the national flowers of Japan, England and Australia. Orchids were also included as a tribute to the city where they first met.
The multi-national theme extended to the couple’s menu, which was carefully curated with the team at The Fullerton Bay Hotel to include an eclectic selection of cuisines from Japanese and Western to Singapore’s multi-ethnic delicacies. The celebration dinner was served buffet-style, from manned food stations.
(Related: A Wedding that Took Place at Two Iconic Buildings In Singapore: Jewel Changi Airport and Marina Bay Sands)
A touching highlight at the wedding was Miwako’s formal letter to her parents, which she read out during the evening celebrations.
“In Japanese culture, this is a really important part of the ceremony, and she hadn’t shared such a personal message to her parents before, so it was a really moving moment for all. There were plenty of tears in the room during this part of the evening and even though the letter was read in Japanese, the non-Japanese guests—helped by translated subtitles on the screen—were also really moved by it,” Carlos said.
Carlos and Miwako also found a way to include their family and closest friends at the wedding in their childhood montage video, featuring memories that they’ve shared across the years and in different countries.
The jet-setting couple put together their outfits from their favourite places around the world during their travels in Japan, London, and Singapore. Miwako dressed up in a classic Monique Lhuillier gown for the ceremony and a custom Vera Wang mermaid gown for the evening celebrations, paired with Jimmy Choo shoes, and accessorised with a hairpiece from Hermoine Harbutt and earrings from Jennifer Behr. Carlos suited up in a three-piece suit from Boss Made to Measure, and a lush tuxedo suit from Pink Shirtmaker, and Gieves & Hawkes on Savile Row with shoes by Tod’s.
But the most distinctive detail of their outfit would have to be their wedding rings, designed by Miwako herself.
“Miwako custom-designed our rings from scratch based on the specific designs we wanted, which made the rings all the more special and memorable. The rings were hand-finished in Tokyo, Japan, based on Miwako’s designs,” Carlos explained.
“From the hand-designed invitation cards and bespoke favours to the montage video and custom rings, the customised and personalised touches of the wedding was one of the aspects that we were really proud of. The fact that we were able to successfully merge our diverse cultures and ceremonial traditions together in Singapore as well made it such a memorable experience for everyone that night,” the couple expressed.
- Production Chère Weddings
- Photography Wan Sheng from Feldberyl
- Videography Leura Film
- Location The Clifford Pier and Lantern at The Fullerton Bay Hotel
- Outfit Bride: Monique Lhuillier from Truly Enamoured, Vera Wang
- Outfit Groom: Boss Made to Measure, Pink Shirtmaker London
- Jewellery Miwako Jewelry
- Make-Up Mawaki and team
- Florist CC Lee Designs
- Illustration Pearlyn and Paper