I’ve my eyes on the Church of St Teresa for my wedding ever since I first went there for Mass many years ago. This is even when the potential groom was in sight.
The church was established in 1929 (note: it’s not the oldest Catholic church in Singapore but it’s one of the older ones), and its design is inspired by the Romano-Byzantine design of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Montmartre in Paris. There’s a lot of interesting stories about this church and you can read all about it here.
Thankfully, Keith likes the church too and we very quickly decided on it after he proposed. Booking the church was the first thing we did after he proposed. It helps that my favourite priest, Fr. Stephen Yim, who used to serve at my parish (Church of Christ the King) is now serving at St Teresa’s, so we quickly secured his time to preside over our wedding too.
For floral decorations, we engaged the church’s florist and she did a wonderful job. I picked a purple theme for the flowers because my bridesmaids’ dresses were purple. The bridal bouquet (that my bridal studio prepared) was also in the same theme.
My favourite floral decoration at my wedding was the wedding ball and arch at the entrance.
The decorations on our chairs were beautiful too. There were two options available: either flowers on each chair, or like ours, a joint setting.
Here’s the bridal entourage and the groom making final preparations before my arrival. If you’re wondering where the bride (that’s me!) was “hiding” while our parents, bridal party and Keith were mingling with the guests before the wedding, I was at a room near the parish office, waiting for the signal that it’s about time to start. Then, one of my bridesmaids and the groomsman who’s driving the bridal car came over to pick me up, drive to the front of the church and wait for the doors to be closed (so I can make an appearance at the entrance after the doors reopened.)
The wedding is about the start and this is my groom waiting for me at the altar.
Before I entered, our bridesmaids and groomsmen marched in first.
The doors opened and I walked in with my dad. The processional music I chose was Here Comes The Bride.
We exchanged vows. I love the Catholic wedding vow because it’s really meaningful if you understand the concept of marriage according to God. It’s a “standard” version, in other words, you can’t change it if you’re in a Catholic marriage. And there’s really not a word I want to add or omit from it, because it’s so all-encompassing and beautiful.
And then we exchanged rings, which are a sign of our love and fidelity for each other.
Then Fr. Stephen pronounced us man and wife.
Most priests have the ROM license to preside over a civil marriage too, so we, together with Fr Stephen and our dads (the witnesses) proceeded to sign on the ROM certificate after the wedding mass was over.
And yay! We’re married!
Note that St Teresa’s is an extremely popular “wedding church”, so if you really want to get married there, make sure you make a booking early. We booked about one year in advance. Also, because of how popular it is, the coordinator who helps with things like arranging a rehearsal is very, very busy. It was extremely hard for us to get hold of her because she doesn’t pick up calls nor reply texts. We literally had to stalk her at the church to find her. While we don’t blame her because we know she has many duties in church she’s busy with, but it can really be stressful for us, particularly when the wedding date gets near.
There were other churches that I considered, and if you couldn’t get a date with St Teresa’s or if you decided you don’t want to deal with stressful situations with coordination, you could consider them too: Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (if you like old churches like St Teresa’s) and Church of Immaculate Heart of Mary, Church of St Mary of the Angels and Church of St Francis Xavier (if you like beautiful modern-looking churches).
Final note: Catholic churches are only available to Catholics for their weddings. In other words, one of you have to be Catholic to make a booking. Besides presenting your baptism cert for the booking, you and your other half have to have completed the marriage preparation course too (there’s a cert given to you at the end of it).