Rachel and Bayu embracing after their wedding ceremony

Rachel and Bayu first met in 2013 at an overseas Christian Fellowship meeting, while they were both at King’s College London. “At the meeting we were paired up as group leaders and then became best friends,” says Rachel.

“We started dating in 2015, at the end of our second year, and had our first date in a little burger joint. We both felt a mixture of awkwardness but also comfort, as we had been best friends for a while. There were lots of butterflies in our tummies, as we knew we had big feelings for each other.”

Rachel and Bayu's first look with Bayu removing the veil from Rachel's face

A proposal in the Cotswolds

The couple dated for six years before Bayu proposed. “We had a long distance relationship for four years, as I started my dental degree in Newcastle after graduating in London,” says Rachel. “However, Bayu was working in London. The proposal was a huge surprise, as I thought he would propose after I graduated in Newcastle. He knew that if he proposed afterwards I would expect it, therefore he chose to do it earlier to surprise me, which worked!”

Rachel and Bayu kissing during their first look with them both holding Rachel's wedding flower bouque

"It was so beautiful and I was so shocked. He proposed in August 2020 in an arboretum in the Cotswolds. He chose a secluded area and set up a tripod to film the proposal, under the pretence of it being a selfie. I was so surprised and in total awe. His speech was wonderful and so thoughtful. I felt like the luckiest girl in the world.”

Rachel walking down the street with her two bridesmaids all in their wedding attire

Shopping for the dress

“Bayu actually helped me find WED2B online,” says Rachel. “I was struggling to find bridal stores and he found WED2B Camberley, which was closest to us. The first time I went with my mum, who was visiting from Singapore. It was a lovely experience from beginning to end. The staff welcomed us in without us feeling overwhelmed or uncomfortable. We then got to see a range of different dresses and try them on. It was the first time I’d tried on bridal gowns, so I knew I needed to come back another time to think about it. I also wanted to see what else there was when I returned, as WED2B has new styles every month. Plus, it was great that I didn’t need to make an appointment.”

Back view of Rachel and Bayu sitting during their weddign ceremony with all their wedding guests also seated

“The second time, I returned with one of my best friends who gave more advice on what suited me. I was more prepared and felt more comfortable trying other styles. And this time I found my dream dress! It was fun going with someone who was more opinionated and again it was great trying on different styles to make sure I felt comfortable and beautiful.”

Close up image of Rachel and Bayu holding hands

Modern lace with a stunning train

Rachel chose Lennox. “I loved every part of this gown,” she says. For similar styles have a closer look at Coreena, Ffion or Monikh.

“My favourite part is her dramatic train and the lace details. I also love that it’s A-line, so it’s very flattering and comfortable for sitting and eating. I love the straps that fit very well for my petite build and also that it has a button-up (with zip) mini corset with an open back. So glad I chose this gown!”

Photo of Rachel with the veil blush over her face during their wedding ceremony

A wedding in Singapore

For their wedding in Singapore, the couple chose a large rustic/industrial-looking event space called The Ahava. “We wanted something quirky and different to the normal church/hotel vibe,” says Rachel. “I loved how elegant it looked with the chandeliers and large double doors but also how earthy it felt, due to the rustic elements. We actually viewed the location online, as we were planning in the UK, but when we first saw it, we fell in love straight away! It was very much our style and more unique than traditional venues.”

Rachel and Bayu standing side by side looking at their wedding guests during their ceremony

The big day

The wedding in Singapore was on 30th July 2022. “In the morning I got ready with my bridesmaids and my mum in my childhood home,” says Rachel. “I was very nervous but also filled with excitement, as it was finally our big day! The weather was great, no predictions of rain. This was fantastic, as it rained for the few days before.”

Rachel and Bayu embracing and kissing after they've repeated their wedding vows

“After we finished getting ready, our photographer took some solo shots of me and my bridesmaids. Then Bayu joined us with the bouquet to collect me and to have our first look. The moment I saw Bayu all my nerves went away. I felt totally calm, because I knew I was going to do this with my best friend. We then went to take some couple photos and photos with the bridal party before heading to the venue.”

Rachel and Bayu recreating a romantic film kiss

A personal ceremony

“My father walked me down the aisle, which was very sweet. He cracked jokes as we walked, to ease my nerves,” says Rachel. “We walked in to ‘Moon River’, which is a song that means a lot to me and Bayu. It was a beautiful Christian ceremony and we were so grateful to my sister’s father-in-law who was our preacher. I loved that my sister, her husband and her brother-in-law were our worship band and they did an incredible job during the ceremony. It felt so personal and amazing to have so many of my loved ones lead the ceremony.”

Rachel and Bayu walking hand in hand back up the aisle as a married couple

“My favourite part was when we walked back in after the ceremony to ‘Fly As Me’ by Silk Sonic and did a mini dance to surprise our guests,” says Rachel. “It was great entertainment, as we wouldn’t classify ourselves as dancers at all. So it was very funny! All in all it was a beautiful day and I was so thankful it all went according to plan.”

Rachel and Bayu's wedding guests dancing during their wedding reception

Dancing the night away

“After the ceremony we had a lunch buffet banquet,” says Rachel. “I really enjoyed seeing our friends and family meeting each other, as they were all from different parts of our lives. It was very meaningful to us, especially since we planned our wedding during Covid and we weren’t sure if we could even have people at our wedding. Our first dance was ‘She Chose Me’ by Bruno Major, which was a lovely song and perfect to start the dancing off.”

Rachel dancing with some of her wedding guests during her wedding reception

Stylish blues, purples and whites

“The main colours were blues, purples and whites, as blue is Bayu’s favourite colour and purple is mine,” says Rachel. “We designed and planned the whole wedding ourselves and wanted to ensure that our guests had a good time, were well fed and could relax and enjoy themselves. There were some wildflower-style displays to make the space more colourful. We also designed all the name cards, our photo slide show/banner designs, invites and information booklets. This allowed us to have fun but also made it feel very personal.”

Rachel and Bayu dancing with their wedding guests

“Our party favours were red velvet cupcakes and Indonesian batik handmade shopping bags. As both Bayu and I are from different cultures (Singaporean and Indonesian), it was important we showed parts of both our cultures on our big day. There was also a quiz where guests could answer questions about us with prizes that were personal to us.”

Close up photo of Rachel dancing with her friends

The best bits...

"The most memorable moment of our wedding in Singapore was my first look with Bayu,” says Rachel. “It reminded us both of our love for each other and it brought back those warm fuzzy feelings we had when we first started dating. Also, how thankful I was to have him in my life and that we were going to spend forever together.”

Rachel and Bayu laughing and smiling while dancing

My top tips…

“Be organised, start planning early and learn to delegate!” says Rachel. “Also remember all the small items, as well as the big items. For example, don’t just think about booking venues and securing dates. Think about the organisation for the day itself too, such as delegating tasks and having people to help with getting you food and providing pens for the guestbook. Finally, remember that the day is about you and your husband-to-be, so have lots of fun and enjoy it. Even if things don’t go 100% to plan, just roll with it and have fun. I’m so glad we did!”

Photo of Bayu kissing Rachel's cheek inside their wedding venue

Rachel and Bayu’s Dream Team

Photographer: Smitten Pixels

Venue: The Ahava 

Wedding dresses: WED2B

Wedding coordination: Manna Weddings

Florist: Skinnyblooms 

Catering: Manna Pot 

Hair and makeup artist: Jenn from Iheartblooms

If you would like us to feature your big day, like this wedding in Singapore, then please click here to share your story and photos with us and we’ll be in touch. Your nearest WED2B is closer than you think, click here for your nearest store and here for what to expect when you visit.