East meets West in this classic day with a taste of the Orient – we love this quirky couple’s vintage wedding theme!
How they met
A brief meeting in a bar was the starting point for Kaymi and Lee’s romance. “He asked for my number as I was leaving, and then asked me out on a date by text message,” Kaymi recalls. “I wanted to celebrate my football team winning the FA cup, so I took him on a pub crawl around Shoreditch and Liverpool Street. He seemed quite shy at first, but very sweet and kind.”
Lee asked for Kaymi’s hand in marriage at her family home in Singapore. “It was past midnight, and he brought out his guitar and started to play me a song,” Kaymi smiles. “I told him off as it was too late and everyone was asleep! He panicked, got down on one knee and brought out a ring box, which was hidden in his guitar case. I opened it to find the most beautiful ring, which he’d spent all his money on.”
The bride’s outfit
Kaymi found her bargain Essense of Australia gown in a sample sale at Angelical Bridal. It was a trumpet-style ivory dress with intricate lace, sparkling beads and a low, open back. “When I first tried it on, I didn’t feel it had the wow factor, but it was close to what I had imagined wearing and was such a good price that I decided to buy it,” Kaymi explains. “But a month before the wedding, I took it back to the boutique and had some alterations made, and when I tried it on again afterwards, it was like wearing a different dress.” She wore her customised gown with a birdcage veil and gold-soled shoes from Freya Rose.
The groom’s outfit
Lee chose a Savile Row-inspired slim fit suit in dark charcoal grey from Marks & Spencer. “He knew he didn’t want a formal wedding suit, so he opted for a smart style that he would be able to wear after the wedding,” Kaymi says.
Maid of honour Irene chose the perfect gowns for Kaymi’s four bridesmaids – a short, soft chiffon dress in a Champagne tone, from an online store in Singapore. “I was quite flexible about what they wore, so they all chose their own shoes, and had their hair how they wanted,” says Kaymi.
Prested hall, a luxurious country house hotel in Essex, was the perfect location for Kaymi and Lee’s civil wedding, where a solo violinist played during the ceremony. “I walked into the room with my mum to Pachelbel’s Canon in D,” Kaymi recalls. “Before I went in, I took some time to listen to the music – it was my first chance to relax. Then I walked in, and heard everyone say, ‘Wow!’.”
Creative bride Kaymi put together beautiful bouquets of white peonies, peach roses and gypsophila from new Covent Garden market. The ceremony room was decorated with tins filled with gypsophila, and Kaymi collected vintage amber bottles, which were filled with flowers and used as table centres.
Out of respect for Kaymi’s Buddhist beliefs, the guests dined on a delectable vegetarian menu including asparagus puff pastry with Champagne cream and mango pavlova. “The speeches were brilliant – the best man came out with all sorts of funny stories about Lee’s past, and he had to confess to which ones were true,” laughs Kaymi. “Lee’s speech was short and impromptu but very sincere, and I was really touched.”
Kaymi and Lee chose a vintage theme with Eastern influences. “I made table runners out of burlap fabric, illuminated letters of our initials and paper flowers and garlands as the backdrop for our photo booth,” Kaymi explains. “My aunt cut Chinese wedding characters out of red paper, which were placed at the door – a tradition in Chinese marriage ceremonies.”
Made by Finesse Cakes, the cake featured three different flavours, covered with Champagne icing and topped with peonies.
Kaymi and Lee gave their guests chocolates from Green & Black’s.
“My family had travelled to the UK for our wedding, so we took them on a mini tour of Europe, including Fussen, Salzburg and Munich,” Kaymi explains.