Virginia and Ivan Get hitched up high

virginai and Ivn in hot air balloon

Married during iso – Virginia and Ivan get hitched

Meet the couple

Virginia is an Australian born Singapore based Osteopath and Ivan is a Singaporean derivatives trader. Virginia has been living in Singapore for 20 years whereas Ivan was born and raised in Singapore. Up until recently, they have been based in Singapore but were back in Melbourne due to a family medical emergency.

Who proposed?

Ivan proposed early last year in 2019. It was very spur of the moment and unexpected.

How did you choose your ceremony and reception venue?

The original plans for the wedding began as a wedding and reception at The Farm at Yarra Valley in Warrandyte, however, as we were based in Singapore, it was difficult to plan things from over there. This was later changed to a simple ceremony at the Marriage Registry on 5 October 2020 and a reception on 15 October 2020 back in Singapore. COVID-19 times changed those plans and we had to cancel both bookings. So while being back in Melbourne, we decided to go ahead and get married the moment some restrictions were lifted rather than delay it any further for fear of any further lockdowns. It was a last minute decision by me to do something special considering COVID-19 had other plans for 2020. I wanted the micro wedding to be memorable and to also include our closest family and friends.

I suddenly thought, why not try a hot air balloon wedding! When I spoke to Kate from Global Ballooning she was a little surprised and mentioned people will do engagements however weddings weren’t common due to the uncertainty of the weather conditions. Since we were planning to have a wedding breakfast at Balgownie Estate after the flight, we decided to just go with the flow and have a back-up plan of just doing the ceremony right before breakfast should the ballooning be cancelled.

What was your wedding theme?

It was such a last minute micro wedding that we didn’t bother with a theme.

What made your wedding unique?

In Chinese culture, an auspicious date is usually chosen for the couple according to their date and time of birth. Coincidentally, the date we happened to choose out of necessity was actually the last auspicious date given to us for the year. Combining the auspicious date with the unusual decision to get married in a hot air balloon with only a few of our closest friends and family made it unique and special to us.

Is there a story behind your dress or veil?

The veil got lost in the mail and arrived on the day of the wedding after we were at the venue. I guess it was fated as friends mentioned the veil was so unnecessary as the dress was already beautiful and I must say, I have to agree.

Tell us about your wedding bands.

We had the initial intention to make bespoke wedding bands for each other at a Singapore silversmith studio. Unfortunately, Singapore went into a minor lockdown and we were not able to do this. We may still make rings for each other when we return to Singapore in the new year.

What makes your marriage?

Love, respect, communication and sometimes agreeing to disagree makes our marriage work. Although, we have only been married for less than weeks, we have been in a relationship for six years where one of the most important parts of making this work is the ability to discuss matters with each other. We do not have secrets from each other and Ivan couldn’t even if he tried – he’s the worst liar ever! He’s unable to keep anything from me, even one year when he tried to hide the fact that he was buying flowers for Valentine’s Day, his behaviour just gave it away!

What’s your best advice for planning the perfect wedding?

The planning for the initial wedding in Melbourne and reception in Singapore was just so stressful as due to the COVID0-19 situation, we weren’t even able to inform family and friends about the wedding until we could confirm that it could go ahead. This whole situation was a blessing in disguise as it led us to instead organise a micro wedding. My best advice is to have the wedding you want and having a micro wedding was the best thing we could have done. Someone asked me why I didn’t wait another three more days when restrictions would be further lifted and we could have more people. Yes, we could have but that would have led to even more stress and as much as we would have loved to have more people at the wedding, it was perfect. The perfect wedding is the wedding where you go with the flow and just let the day take you where it needs to.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Everything was so last minute and we were lucky my aunty, who is a flower wholesale importer, agreed to help us with the flowers. In the madness of the rush that morning, we remembered everything except the bridal bouquet! We are so grateful to Monica of Mignone Cakes who agreed to do our wedding cake at such last minute notice. I have never had a more amazing cake! One tier was a Ferrero Rocher mud cake and the second tier was a white chocolate mud cake with berry coulis. We had so many compliments from our guests that I knew we had hit the jackpot by finding Monica by chance.

We were so lucky. The vendors and preparations for the wedding were all by chance and we came across the most amazing people who went above and beyond to help us out, from my aunty who arranged the flowers, to Monica’s amazing cake, to a lovely girl at Officeworks who printed last minute place cards, to finding wonderful people including our celebrant, hair and make up artist, photographer and the fabulous team at Global Ballooning Australia, especially Kate.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, many family and friends from all around the world were not able to celebrate with us. Thank goodness for technology and social media – we were able to livestream the ceremony so everyone could join in on our special day, including my father, who is in aged care.

Vendor Credits
Photographer: Daniel Milligan Photography
Florist: May Flower Importer
Ceremony: Global Ballooning Australia

Reception Venue: Balgownie Estate
Cake: Mignone Cakes
Stationery: kikki.K wedding guest book
Printer: Officeworks
Celebrant: Leah Brady
Transport: Phoenix Airport Transport
Bridal gown designer: Stella York

Hair & Make up – Leanza Tang