23 January, 2019
Weddings

That Bride: Nicole Froelich, Founder of Bespoken For Weddings

23 January, 2019

Nicole Froelich shares all the details about how she celebrated the best day of her life.

When Nicole Froelich sent through her wedding photos with a bit of a backstory, we knew we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to hear all about how she created her dream day. From killer bachelor and bachelorette parties, to being carried into the dinner on palanquins (traditional Moroccan plates) and monogrammed wedding favours, Christopher and Nicole held nothing back. With Marrakesh as the background, this Moroccan wedding turned a picture-perfect vision into reality. As the founder of Bespoken For Weddings, a bespoke wedding planning company, Nicole combined research, attention to detail and thoughtful touches to make sure each of their wedding guests enjoyed the celebrations as much as the couple.

Read more: How He Asked: Our That Brides Share Their Proposal Stories

Every bride has a proposal story. What’s yours?

Three and a half years into our relationship, we planned to head to the Philippines over Chinese New Year. I was doing the online check in, but when the system couldn’t find our booking I nervously contacted our travel agent, only to find out she had lost our tickets. I was lost for words, but Christopher managed to get last minute flights elsewhere – I was open to a last-minute surprise! I was advised to look away at the check in counter and the immigration officer was briefed so he didn’t share the destination. Rushing to the gate – we were heading to Malé! Once we arrived in the Maldives, a hotel car dropped us off at a transit hotel. The resorts were all booked out during the busy season, so this was the only place available. Who cared, we were in the Maldives!

At 6am, Christopher woke me up claiming another surprise and explaining that we had to go back to the airport. The next thing I knew, the butler from Six Senses Laamu was guiding us onto a small plane to take us to the private island. The surprises didn’t stop there. From a private sailing boat, a spa treatment, a candle light dinner at the beach to sunset watching on a private sandbank, it was more than I’d ever imagined.

Getting off the boat to the sandbank, the butler quickly mentioned that the stunning dinner set up was for another couple, and that we were only booked for sunset watching on the beanbags. I laughed and said to Christopher that it was obvious some guy would be proposing to his girl at the romantic dinner, there’d be no better place! We watched the most beautiful sunset of our life and dolphins started to jump in front of us! I (understandably) freaked out and that was the moment he got on his knee and said, “Nicole, will you marry me?”

Bursting into laughter, excitement and so much joy, I screamed out a big “Yes!” Christopher had to confess that everything had been planned for months and he tricked me in every way. He even convinced our travel agent to send me a FAKE e-ticket. Being a wedding planner myself, he knew it was a very difficult task to surprise me but it was more than perfect!

Tell us about the ring.

Before I even noticed the ring, I was in awe at the super cool ring box that he got from CLIFTON. It’s so slim that I would never have suspected that he was about to pop the question. The first time I saw the ring shape I wanted was when I was “killing some time” in Harry Winston. It was love at first sight I “accidentally” mentioned it to Christopher. Luckily, he paid attention. It is a brilliant cut with baguettes on each side. He got our engagement ring through his connection in Israel, from Messika Jewelry.

What did you do for your hen party?

I was born in Switzerland, but had been living in Asia for 11 years, so I couldn’t pick a destination that would include my closest girl friends from both parts of the world. We ended up doing two. The first bachelorette was before our civil registration in Lisbon, Portugal with my Swiss girls. A long weekend with an Ironman theme (Christopher was dressed as Ironman at the costume party we met at), and a Mermaid theme – all super well organised by my maid of honour. The second bachelorette we did was in Shanghai, where I used to live, and was a crazy party weekend with my Hong Kong and Shanghai girls. The theme for this was China doll. Both were so much fun and the best excuse for a girls trip with priceless memories created.

Tell us about the dress. How many did you try on?

During the wedding planning of my girlfriend, an Israeli wedding dress designer had been planted in my mind – Galia Lahav. In order not to jinx it, I never mentioned a word about it until the day I was engaged. I went to the bridal store Trinity Bridal that carried Galia Lahav.

I took my maid of honour and friend (he’s the best personal stylist) to be my critical eyes. The moment I took the beautiful GALA708 dress off the rack, both of them screamed “YES”.  I couldn’t believe my search for the dress had just began and was already over so, just to be sure… I went to every bridal store in Hong Kong and tried approximately 20 dresses on in total. The first one was still the one, so I bought it.

Lluvy from Trinity Bridal made sure that she gave me “lessons” on how to walk the perfect walk in a Galia Lahav dress, and (shout out to her) that little training session really helped. I didn’t show any of my other bridesmaids the dress and had so much fun revealing it to them while getting ready. The look on their faces was phenomenal

The dress couldn’t have made me feel more beautiful – I felt so comfortable in it. It was a confidence booster that I wore with pride and joy. It was nerve wrecking (in a good way) to witness the reaction of my husband when I walked down the aisle. He made me feel like I was the most beautiful bride in the world – it was priceless.

The best advice you received before the big day? 

Family and friends all told me to take the time to plan.

You don’t want to be a stressed bride, thinking “when will this finally be over”. Try to determine at the beginning of wedding planning what are the three most important topics during the wedding. Our wish was for it to be the biggest celebration of our lives. For that to happen calmly, it was important we had the right flow, so a rundown and floor-plan was very important. Everything was looked at together, not individually, so the momentum could be kept through smooth transitions. Another key bit of advice was to make it as easy as possible for the guests to avoid any complications and delays.

What was the wedding like?

The most amazing feeling in my life so far. I did a yoga session in the morning before getting ready and used a mantra in my meditation to stay in the moment, completely present. I wanted the time to pass slowly. It worked, and I was able to enjoy every single second of it. I’ve never felt so much love from everyone and it’s just fantastic that you have all your loved ones, friends and family in one place, with everyone happy and excited. The wedding took place at the Beldi Country Club, surrounded by a rose field. We started with a ceremony with an officiant that was a comedian so that was extremely entertaining. It was followed by a cocktail reception in the garden with Henna tattoo artists, a saxophone player, a vintage photo booth and some speeches. After the wedding entrance spectacle, we had a Moroccan dinner followed by dancing through until 6am in the morning. Thank goodness for the kebab-fries buffet at 2am, giving us some extra energy. Can we do this again, please?

Do you have a favourite part?

It was the grand entrance from the cocktail to the dinner. Whilst all the guests were getting seated, we took a moment to ourselves, hiding in the bridal room, soaking in what had happened so far. There was nothing like looking into each other’s eyes and realising that this was the moment we’d been waiting for. Next? We hoped on the palanquins, which are Moroccan traditional plates, with eight men who then carried us inside to the dinner location. That was the absolute highlight, where we could feel the energy from everyone, with all our loved ones singing along to “Alabina” and firing up the sparklers. The atmosphere right in that moment was unforgettable.

What were memorable parts from the speeches?

We loved all the speeches! It was all so heartfelt, and we were honoured to have our two dads, the maid of honour, Christopher’s twin sister and groomsmen all make speeches. We included some words of wisdom from the bridal party in our ceremony which became even more meaningful. The funniest one was the family video with a hilarious interpretation of our relationship. It was just brilliant!

One detail you and the groom just couldn’t agree on?

There were a few elements we had to discuss more than just once, but that is absolutely normal. You get to compromise and you need to pick your battles. We had a discussion around inviting or not inviting kids (we ended up inviting full families, with the kids), and debated a big or small celebration (we went big). As long as you discuss, compromise and move on, nothing can go wrong.

What was the most fun element of planning the big day?

No matter how stressful it got, I tried to love every second of the process. There were too many fun moments, from wedding dress hunting, bridesmaid dress selecting with the girls, putting together colour palettes and mood boards, brainstorming the ceremony content, creating the wedding invitation, finding unique decorations and ideas to DIY on all the favours.

The most stressful element?

The logistics, but it was my idea. We wanted all our 150 guests to experience the most hassle-free wedding. So, I became almost a travel agent and helped with hotel bookings (I got to know most of the Riads and hotels for special deals). It was important that all transportation throughout the weekend was smoothly organised so everything was taken care of for our guests. I wanted everyone to feel relaxed. I used the guest check-in app Zkipster, created by a high school friend, to support the wedding coordinator team on-site.

The best decision?

We decided to do mini celebrations prior the big days, a family dinner and a bridal party dinner to make sure we could really enjoy everyone’s company during our destination wedding. We also organised a welcome cocktail dinner in the middle of the desert. It was a white party at a desert luxury camp called Scarabeo Camp with sunset watching, camels, a Andalous live band, a field of candles, surrounded the X-shaped dinner setting with thousands of dark red rose petals scattered under the Moroccan stars.

That gave us extra time to spend with more guests, as did the recovery brunch the day after. On the big day, everything was quite hectic, so it was important for us to have those special moments before and after.

What were the wedding favours?

At the bridal party dinner, we had traditional Moroccan hats. At the welcome cocktail dinner, we had white scarfs for everyone. On the wedding day we had orange blossom water essence in flasks on the dinner tables and hangover kits at the exit. For the ones staying at the wedding hotel, we prepared baskets with everyone’s initial on it, with beauty amenity kits, included a monogrammed travel adaptor, heel stoppers and a “Do not disturb” sign. I also couldn’t resist adding little thank you notes with good-night chocolate pralines.

And that brings us naturally to your honeymoon. Where did you end up going?

Directly after our wedding weekend, we went to Santorini in Greece for a mini-honeymoon. We took the 5 days to sink in, hide our phones in the safe, share our experience and enjoy our first moments as Mr and Mrs Feit. We haven’t taken our main honeymoon yet because we wanted to wait a little (it’s been a lot all at once), but we’ll be going back to Six Senses Laamu in the Maldives to continue to celebrate.

Any tips and tricks for brides-to-be?

The most common two mistakes are not hiring a wedding planner or not hiring a videographer! It takes approximately 480 hours to plan a wedding and involves approximately 20 different vendors so you’re doing yourself do a favour by investing in a wedding planner or wedding coordinator. A wedding planner knows what details to look out for, makes sure you don’t get overcharged and knows how to keep the flow of the whole wedding day so your party can go on forever.

I can’t express how important it is to get a talented videographer that is aligned with your visual preferences! I looked into 47 different videographers, but it was worth it. It will be the only way to relive those emotions and capture special moments that deserve to have a “Play, Pause, Loop” button. Even with that, create a wedding hashtag because, if you are as impatient as me, it’s great to see some snaps before you get all the official ones. Our official photographer, Tali Photography, did an incredible job capturing all the candid moments in the day.

iAnd, just in case I can add some additional tips, feel free to contact me. But most of all, don’t forget to focus on the love you and your partner share, because that’s the reason everyone comes to a wedding in the first place.

What was the moment that led you to create your own company around weddings?

I studied at the Hospitality School in Switzerland, looking into hospitality as I was fluent in Mandarin Chinese, German, Swiss-German, French and English. I then moved to Asia and developed my career in events management for luxury brands. I learned all about production, operations and logistics but most importantly, on how to be detail-orientated and to deliver high quality quickly. One day my position was made redundant, so in my free time, I helped my friend out with her wedding planning. That moment, my passion revealed itself. The next thing I knew, I had my first client under Bespoken For Weddings. That wedding got into Philippines Tatler Magazine and Metro Society, and soon after, I had another wedding lined up. My approach is simple “You say jump and I say how high?”

What unique touch does Bespoken For Weddings bring?

So far, I’ve experienced a few wedding planners and they don’t usually prepare the couple emotionally for the day(s), as they prioritise what happens operationally and logistically. But what about the stress before, or the post wedding blues? What about the mental headspace, the beauty routine and fitness plan before the big day? Weddings are emotional, intimate and every single one is different. It reflects, not just a person, but the couple as one. It’s an event that cannot be duplicated. Everyone has their own understanding of weddings and I find nothing more exciting than creating the reflection of a couple’s love, sharing that with their loved ones and appreciating everyone choosing to come together to witness that special moment when they say their “I do’s”. My dream has always been to turn someone’s vision of “the perfect day” into reality. It’s about celebrating, having fun and experiencing joy. Nothing makes my life more meaningful than to share my passion with others.

All images courtesy of Nicole Froelich

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