We sat down with the creative minds behind Heaven’s Gift, Hannah Chong & Kim Tay, to talk about the perfect wedding and how to approach it.
Heaven’s Gift is a special events designer and wedding planner. How does your work differ from that of a normal wedding planner?
Hannah: We are not just wedding planners, we are concept designers. We internalise the desires of our couples and craft the creative vision for the event. That involves from the staging, the decorations, the floral, the lightings, the music even to the intricate details such as wedding cakes, and wedding stationery. Every thing must ooze out from the main creative vision.
We also don’t just leave the catering to the hotel or caterer, we are involved in the F&B dining concept, all aim to whip out a wedding dining experience like no other.
For the past 12 years, we even have done weddings locally in Singapore as well as cities in Bali, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Tokyo, Penang, the Seychelles and Chennai, and have transformeded many hundred of events.
What can you do for a couple seeking to organise their wedding/party?
Hannah: Pretty much anything. The couple only hires us and we will craft the creative expression and then we will work with our partners that we desire from floral, the contractors, the artists and whatever else is needed to make the experience happening.
How long in advance should one start preparing for one’s wedding?
Kim: Taking it from my experience, I would say that 8 months is a good lead-time. That way one can avoid stress and disappointments.
What are the keys to success when it comes to organising the perfect wedding?
Kim: The most important thing is that the couple is relaxed and they enjoy themselves.
Hannah: A perfect wedding is very subjective and is different for everybody. Trust is very important. If a couple decides after their research to hire us, then they have to learn to trust us to create their perfect wedding. Most younger couples want to have some control or involvements in their weddings. Often we tell our couples, learn to share with us as much what are your dream ideas, your do and don’t’s, and then hand over the baton of empowerment to us, and allow us to perfect your wedding with our expertise in what we do, so that when it is your wedding day, you can truly be wowed by what has been discussed over the planning process because Faith begets faith.
What are the most common things that people forget when it comes to the organisation of weddings?
Hannah: One mistake is that couples have already choosen the venue and wedding gown before deciding on their final budget. And often what they wanted in their dream wedding are inspirations they get from magazines, which depict more of actual day detailing, and these details do cost money, so it is better to have a clear idea what is the total budget you want to spend on your wedding, before deciding the venue, because that will also ensure you have enough budget to invest on the details .
Kim: Couples often don’t know what it costs to create a certain look. There can be a lot of hidden costs. It is our job to find the best solution for the client.
If someone doesn’t know where to start organising their wedding or doesn’t know what they want – what do you do to help them?
Kim: In the beginning we will hold an interview session with the couple. But it is important for us to get to know their preferences throughout the entire process. As the operations director my work starts with couples coming to us. I will source the venues, private chefs and anything else that suits their needs. I will even take the bride shopping for her dress. While I am working on the shopping aspect with the bride, Hannah’s role is to focus on crafting the creative vision for our couple.
Hannah: Interestingly, 50% of the couples don’t know what they want. However, we also have very particular couples that know exactly what they want – for that we cater as well. In general we have three questions we ask.
- What is your dream desire?
If we find the desire, we can build a concept around it.
- What is your budget?
Even it you don’t know your desire, your probably have a budget in mind.
- What is really important?
If a client wants lots of flowers, but doesn’t want to spend money on it, then they need to decide what really matters.
Kim: As some couples have guests flying in from overseas, we also assist them with their hostels, transportation and other hospitality needs, especially if the location of the wedding is different to where the couple lives.
What are the most extravagant and most unique requests that you have encountered?
Hannah: For us there are no extravagant requests. Every request is doable as long the expectations are set clearly, and the budget is given clearly from the beginning,
Hannah: The first trend evolves around a rustic-DIY and casual concept. But there is also another group of clients that really hate a casual wedding. They often want it to be more elegant and luxurious. These weddings aren’t over the top, but rather chic and sophisticated. Sometimes both of these even come together in one wedding.
Another trend is that more and more couples want to do a wedding that is really out of the norm. A wedding can become more thematic. We have couples requested us to do a “Wanderlust” wedding of all the places they have fallen in, we have couples who asked us to create a Gatsby wedding, or a Movie theme wedding like.