8 Modern Wedding Venues Your Parents Will Approve Of
Want to avoid the typical hotel ballroom wedding but worried what the folks might say? We’ve got you covered.
Your wedding is your special day, so you and your intended should get to choose how it should all go from start to finish, right? Well, yes. But weddings, like life, involve much more than your heart’s desires. They involve logistics, plenty of moolah, and parents and in-laws too. Throw all those elements together and you’re likely to end up with a sizeable challenge.
Likewise, if you’re looking for a wedding venue that’s a little less traditional than a typical hotel ballroom filled with plumes of dry ice, you can choose a venue that marries your needs with the needs of your parents’ and their guests. After all, your wedding day may be a celebration of your eternal love, but for your parents, it is one of the proudest days of their lives as the people who brought and nurtured you into this world. You’d be surprised at how open the parents and in-laws might be to a non-traditional wedding space.
“I was hoping they would book a grand ballroom for their wedding, but I know these young couples like to be different these days,” said Theresa Lim, whose son Darius and his bride Julie held a garden wedding last April. “I just asked that the place isn’t too dark, and that there are not too many steps for the older guests to climb.”
“Also, it’s good if the restrooms are not too far away.”
With that in mind, here are eight wedding venues that provide beautiful surrounds and the chance to let loose with your nearest and dearest — all while pleasing the parents too.
1. Fullerton Bay Hotel – Clifford Pier and The Floating Pods
Once the landing point for immigrants to Singapore, Clifford Pier is now the picture-perfect venue for saying “I do” with the Marina Bay skyline as your backdrop. Family elders will no doubt wax nostalgic about their early experiences at the Pier while younger guests gush over the wedding couple’s spectacular entrance from a yacht (the venue has its private disembarkation point).
The restaurant with its sweeping arched ceilings and sumptuous tones of cream, blue and tangerine, can accommodate 208 guests, while its outdoor terrace holds 64.
For a more intimate and modernist setting, the Fullerton Bay’s two-storey Floating Pods come with an adjoining balcony and rooftop that looks out to Marina Bay. Built on the harbour’s waters and located just a stone’s throw away from the hotel, these crystal-accented pods can hold up to 20 guests for a sit-down banquet or double that for a buffet reception.
2. Ocean Gallery & Ocean Dome SEA Aquarium
Getting married at the bottom of the ocean is indubitably cool, but the problem with an underwater wedding is that the salt water totally ruins your dress. And if your folks aren’t keen on strapping on wet suits and oxygen tanks, how will they be part of your nuptials?
The Ocean Gallery at Resorts World Sentosa’s S.E.A Aquarium offers a drier experience and guaranteed marine life milling comfortably around as you exchange vows. The Gallery’s multi-tiered layout also means no one has to crane their necks while the person in front of them takes pictures of the wedding couple with their mobile phones. More than anything, a wedding in the world’s largest oceanarium is a surreal experience that no one will soon forget.
Those with a guest list of less than 40 people can opt for the Ocean Dome instead. This more intimate setting features a domed glass roof and large windows that offer an equally impressive view of the aquarium’s finned residents.
3. Marina Bay Sands Sky Park and Observation Deck
If you have cash to burn, there isn’t a more spectacular location than the 57th
floor of Marina Bay Sands. On the observation deck, where tourists pay good money to take windswept selfies, the view that stretches across the island is particularly stunning at dusk. Toast your nuptials and drink in the panoramic vistas of the Singapore Straits, Gardens By The Bay and the twinkling lights of the city spread out before you. While seating can be arranged for a solemnisation ceremony, the narrow nature of the observation deck means only standing cocktail receptions can be held here. Good thing the resort has plenty of ballrooms in which to hold that grand banquet your parents insist on having.
4. The White Rabbit
Those in search of a whimsical, elegant throwback will love this storied venue — the gorgeously restored Ebernezer Chapel that was built in the 1930s. Couples who wed here enjoy a sun-drenched dining hall anchored by a stained glass window and a menu of dependably delicious European classics. This Alice In Wonderland-inspired space seats up to 120 guests, who can mingle over pre-party drinks at the pretty outdoor bar called the Rabbit Hole. Solemnisations can be held here or in the dining room — the latter used to be the chapel hall, after all.
5. Capella Singapore
Beautifully restored by Foster + Partners, the 19th century bungalows and verdant grounds that make up Capella Singapore embody colonial grandeur. A floating platform perched above the swimming pool renders the illusion of the wedding couple floating on water as they pledge their eternal love. It also makes for fantastic pictures, especially with the vastness of the South China Sea in the background. There are intimate venues all over the property, but for bigger shindigs, the Grand Ballroom — Singapore’s only circular ballroom — accommodates up to 400 guests and boasts a foyer that opens out to the sprawling Portico and its majestic 25-metre-tall Ficus tree.
6. The Glass Pavilion at Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa
Set in the thick of lush tropical landscaping and little else for miles (well, 3.8 hectares if anyone’s counting), the Glass Pavilion at Amara Sanctuary Resort in Sentosa makes for a serene, romantic setting. Affectionately known as the “glass chapel”, the pavilion comes with an antique chapel bell to ring in your vows and a waterfall in the background to seal that love-in-the-forest vibe. For the grand banquet, there is the resort’s pillar-less ballroom, which can accommodate up to 450 guests. But perhaps the best thing about a wedding here is the wedding villa, with its stunning garden view and outdoor stone bath in which to unwind after your guests have gone. Book romantic villas for your parents too, so they don’t have to make the schlep home when the night is over.
7. CHIJMES Hall
In the 112 years since it was built, little has changed inside this neo-gothic chapel. Now an iconic landmark, this former chapel of the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus is a fabulous venue for a wedding ceremony and banquet. Able to hold up to 300 people inside, its vaulted ceilings, grand arches, sparkling chandeliers and light refracted through stained glass windows all conspire to imbue this cavernous hall with a regal, romantic ambience. Best of all, it’s conveniently located right at the edge of the city.
8. Tanjong Beach Club
If oceanside weddings are more your jam, Tanjong Beach Club makes for an excellent venue to let loose and get hitched. After you’ve exchanged vows under a diaphanous canopy on the white-sand beach, the wedding party can be as casual or formal as you and your parents want it to be. Indoor and outdoor dining sections mean guests can be seated in allocated spaces or mingle freely. They also mean that your parents and their posse can be seated in quieter spaces in the air-conditioned dining room, while your squad parties the night away on the sand. Stylishly appointed in laidback the-Hamptons-meets-Miami style, Tanjong Beach Club offers that slice of beach paradise without you — or your guests — having to jump on a plane.