Whenever I’m at a wedding, it’s always the speeches that get me.

And as I listened to the speeches of Natasha and Shiu Yuen’s oldest friends that night, things start to fall into place. I remember coming back buzzing from photographing the two of them in Hong Kong (photos here); it was easily one of my best destination sessions. Because even when you first meet the both of them, it’s so easy to be embraced by their genuine, warm and welcoming personalities.

Natasha and Shiu Yuen had only gotten together for a month before they had to be separated by distance for seven long years. If you haven’t been through long distance relationships.. well, I can personally tell you that they are frickin hard – and I haven’t even experienced a fraction of what these two did. But they stuck together through it all, and I’m so glad that they could finally tie the knot and equally lucky that I could be a part of it.

Venue – Hotel Fort Canning
Florals and stationary – DIY by the bride
Stylist – Flour
Make up – Makeup Maestro

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The first thing that hit me when I met Fiona for the first time was her personality – strong, forthright and uncompromisingly honest.

Yet, as time passed and our friendship deepened, I learned that there was so much more to this woman who left her banking job to pursue her passion in floristry, while coincidentally becoming a mother of two striving to provide the best education and childhood for her kids. She is uncompromisingly passionate about delivering quality work to all of her clients, often going the extra mile to go above and beyond what she promised. Forthright and direct in her words, but honest in her thoughts and in her actions. She is strong and unwavering in her character but undeniably loyal and giving to her friends.

These are the qualities that has formed the cornerstones of her business and the way she creates her floral arrangements and how she styles a wedding. On the occasions where I’ve been fortunate enough to photograph her clients, the results are always a visual celebration mostly attributed to her bold and indie flower bouquets and backdrops.

Unbeknownst to most, Fiona is also a bespoke wedding stylist. She has a knack of feeling the bride’s personality, picking up on clues during their conversations and eventually curating a style that is unique and cohesive.

To see more of Fiona’s work, head onto her website HERE.

Also, check out Ashley + Jarrod’s wedding at Prinsep Street Presbyterian Church earlier this year that was full of good vibes, and of course craftily styled by Fiona herself.

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How long has Fiona Treadwell been around for, and how did it all come about?

Fiona Treadwell turned four this year. It started out after I got married in Singapore and had a hard time looking for natural and organic arrangements for my own wedding. Hence I wanted to make sure other brides are accessible to it.

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Describe your style in three words.

Natural, Wild and Free.

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What is the reason behind leaving your full time job to pursue floristry?

The reason was my family and is still my family. In order to witness all my children’s milestones, I decided to work at my own pace, so that I get to spend more time with them.

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What is the best thing that you have gotten out of your floristry so far?

The experiences and the memories definitely.

The grueling hours and hard work always pay off. The smiles, the thanks and the final product always makes me feel that it is all worth it.

It is a rewarding job.

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What is the process like when couples approach you to style their wedding?

It is a long process, usually 3-6 months before the actual day.

The process starts when an email comes in and after getting down the basic details we will move on to consultations. It is important that I meet clients so I can determine their style, read their vibe and concoct something that is personal to them.

It is a continuous process – even after we have aligned the styles, I still keep in contact with the bride to nail down other aesthetics of the wedding such as hair styling, make up and even (wedding) favors to match the overall look.

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Final thoughts – what is one advice that you will give to couples who are deciding on their styling/floral theme for their wedding?

Choosing floral for your wedding is as personal as choosing your gown.

Choose something that is you.

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If you’ve ever made your way down King George’s avenue, you’ll undoubtedly have found yourself in an area surrounded by industrial hardware shops trading metals and glass. Yet right smack in the middle of them is nestled a shop front framed with glass that stands out amongst all the dusty aged metal roller shutters. As you pull open the black framed doors and step out from the warm, humid weather, into cool air-conditioning, you’ll be greeted by a sunlit room tastefully transformed into a flower filled space of which is Floral Magic.

I first met Lucy (or Auntie Lucy as I call her) and Josephine at Nosh when I first got back to Singapore in 2013 and since then we’ve worked together regularly, with their flowers adding a sense of impeccable style to the weddings I’ve had the pleasure of photographing. If you were to ask me, Floral Magic feels more than just a florists; it has a familiar sense of warmth and kindness that is all too commonly connected with family.

They may be a household name now, but the business started with humble beginnings and Lucy had to learn everything from scratch. As time went by, Jo, Linnette and Anna joined Floral Magic and modernised the business; incorporating social media and various collaborations that has seen its style keep up with times, yet stayed humble and true to its roots.

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How big is the Floral Magic team and who is in it?

We have a stable of five – Jo, Anna, Linnette, Lucy and Patricia, and a roster of part timers who drop in to help us out.

Describe Floral Magic’s style in five words.

Natural. Fresh. Moving. Organic. Lush

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Why does your floral decor stand out from others?

We’ve been exposed to floristry by Lucy (our mum/ aunt) from young, before the dawn of Pinterest and Instagram.

A lot of the work that she did was grounded in the technical aspects of arrangement and structure making. Drawing inspiration was going for walks, looking out of the window, and not on a screen (which we still are guilty of!).

With her guidance, we also gradually honed our an eye for colour, form and textural balance, even in our wildest work.

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We’ve worked together on some really great weddings, how do clients normally come across your services?

We’re very blessed that we’ve had industry friends like photographers and wedding planners recommend our work to their clients, and also guests who attend weddings and like them enough to ask about us!

Word-of-mouth is very important, but now Instagram increasingly so as well.
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What advice will you give a couple looking for a wedding florist?

Very many couples come to us not knowing what they want, that can be complicated, but it’s okay!

As long as you know what you DON’T want, we share with you more of our work, discuss which styles appeal to you, and fine tune them for a wedding that’s yours and yours only.

If you could match music with your flowers, what will be on your playlist?

MGMT – Electric Feel
Mild High Club – Skiptracing
Curtis Mayfield – Move On Up
Michael Kiwanuka – One More night
The Black Keys – Never Gonna Give You Up
CITIZENS! – True Romance
Stevie Wonder – Signed Sealed Delivered
Al Green – Let’s Stay Together

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For most parts of my childhood I remember studying.

School and tuition lessons, homework and more homework again, cramming words from the textbooks into my teenage brain. The downside of the educational system here is that it asks of you to be perfect. It awards perfection, but perfection that is achieved by only following the model answer and soon enough, you have an entire generation of kids who are good at copying and replicating work, but without a sense of creativity and individuality.

That was me.

That is, until I failed and saw the matrix for what it is. The moment I held the camera I struggled for years to break free from this restraint of copying and replicating. I’m getting better at it as time goes by, and I hope that one day I’ll be able to succeed.

The best things are often unplanned. Its the exploration, the real and honest yet spontaneous moments that make a picture. And that is what I look for when I photograph a couple – the honest moments, the genuine emotions deep inside the both of them. Its these little things that make a photograph meaningful and memorable, to you.

My photography is a journey and I’m still at the beginning of it; there is just so much more to discover. It’s an evolution and it always changes.

When I photograph the both of you, I can’t promise that I’ll produce the style of work that I did before.

I won’t.

All I ask is for you to place your trust in me, and be willing to be open and be a part of this journey too, and we’ll create something that you’ll be able to call your own.

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The black sand with shiny glittering bits like stars, the strong hue in the sunset and the blue line of light that cuts it diagonally in the middle, the roaring waterfall that felt strangely peaceful. The hours and hours of driving, music from my headphones, padi fields and the early morning fog up that blanketed the mountains.

These are some of the things I remembered from the two days spent with Stephanie and Jeremy in Bali. It’s a curious place, a fusion of modernisation and century old culture. It’s absolutely breathtaking beautiful in some parts, and this is how I’ll remember it.

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