Haw Par Villa, Museum of Ice Cream, Tipi Tents: 10 unconventional wedding venues in Singapore

Big hotel weddings are starting to lose their shine. In recent years, young couples have started retiring their cookie-cutter ballrooms and predictable dinner menus. To blow tens of thousands of dollars on a reception like anyone else’s? Some are thinking twice.

When the pandemic struck, newlyweds saw a silver lining in that they could now downsize. They ditched hotel ballrooms for quirky alternatives – from alfresco cafes to industrial spaces  – for more personalised weddings.

Even as long guest lists come back in action, there is no reason why your big day can’t remain a unique affair to call your own. Here’s a list of unconventional wedding venues in Singapore that will be imprinted on both you and your guests.

1. NIGHT SAFARI AND RIVER WONDERS

There’s no chance of a farmhouse wedding in the country here, but the Wildlife Weddings at Mandai Wildlife Group’s properties come pretty close.

Channel Taylor Swift from her Wildest Dreams music video by exchanging vows in a colonial-style Tipi Tent. From S$318 per guest, they will be treated to admission to the Night Safari and a 20-minute animal appearance among other package inclusions. The 40-man tent is completely air-conditioned so there will be no sweating in tuxedos and evening gowns.

If you have a smaller budget and a bigger crowd, the Amazon Flooded Forest promises quite the bang for your buck. From S$188 per head, this new property hosts up to 60 guests if you don’t mind their manatees stealing your limelight.

2. UNIVERSAL STUDIOS SINGAPORE

Forget Halloween Horror Nights – your wedding might just give guests exclusive access to Universal Studios Singapore after hours.

From S$278 per head, you can host up to 200 people on New York Street, which will be cordoned off in the theme park. Guests can have a Met Gala moment at a Hollywood red carpet entrance and access to the Lights, Camera, Action! show on top of a six-course dinner. You even get to pick three USS character mascots for a meet-and-greet. Let’s just say every parent at the wedding will be eternally grateful if you summoned the Minions.

3. HAW PAR VILLA

Here’s a theme park that will take your wedding from PG to M18. It remains an enigma why we were allowed in the Ten Courts Of Hell as children, but after its relaunch in 2021, it’s now the perfect place to say “till death do us part”.

From S$1,500 per four-hour blocks, take your pick from the RoAM museum halls, entry hall, or a culture courtyard fit for a Chinese imperial wedding. You’d have to sort the decor, catering, and drinks out yourselves, but private theatrical dinner performances with their partner vendors, Strawberries Inc as well as Patch And Punnet, can be arranged. But, of course, it would not be a complete Haw Par Villa experience without a private tour to Hell’s Museum after dark.

4. WILD WILD WET

If you met your fiancee or fiance way before class chalets turned into snazzy staycations, a solemnisation at Downtown East will bring back all the feels.

From just S$55 per person, you can have the Jacuzzi Poolside all to yourselves for two hours. This price includes the set-up of a wedding arch, aisle decor, food options, and the use of their sound system. You may not be able to hold a full-fledged wedding banquet here, but the nearby D’Resort @ Downtown East has indoor and outdoor venues that accommodate up to a hundred tables.

They are reopening in mid-July after a two-year closure due to the pandemic – right on time for childhood sweethearts and their friends to take a walk down memory lane.

5. MUSEUM OF ICE CREAM

Opened during the pandemic, the Museum Of Ice Cream’s potential as a wedding venue is just waiting to be unleashed. Forget the feature wall at your reception – you’re practically getting married within a photo booth.

Small celebrations can be held in two locations. The private events room, which costs north of S$2,000 for two hours, offers a cosy setting that seats up to 30 guests. The MOIC Cafe & Bar, on the other hand, has an indoors and exterior space with a combined seating capacity of 83. From S$1,500 and with a minimum spend starting at S$100 per table, it can be booked out for three hours. Solemnisations can even be held in the photogenic sprinkle pool. And if you want to go really big, you can even book the entire museum.

A guest’s experience here isn’t complete without access to the museum as well as a free-flow drinks and ice cream package – both of which cost S$38 per guest.

6. THE PROJECTOR

With its 1970s relics, vintage typographies, and pastel tones, The Projector is an unmistakable hit among wedding photographers. But the space had also been a backdrop for solemnisation and receptions that Wes Anderson will probably approve of.

Four-hour blocks in their cinema halls go for anything between S$800 and S$2,500. The exact rate will depend on whether your event is happening in the day or at night, on weekdays or over the weekend, and your room of choice. After the solemnisation, throwing an after-party at the Intermission Bar Foyer requires a minimum spend on food and beverages varying from S$1,000 to S$2,250.

7. KARAOKE

When the reopening of KTVs was announced, karaoke fans who had been singing in the shower for the last two years were unleashed like the Kraken. Most outlets were booked out in days.

At 7th Heaven KTV & Cafe, however, the mic is all yours for four hours. Depending on the time and day of your wedding, bookings require minimum spending of S$2,000 to S$3,000 while lunch and dinner packages start at S$28 and S$32 respectively. The main hall seats a whopping 150 people, so we would start allocating performance slots now if we were you. This wedding will be as much yours as it is everyone else’s.

8. ZOUK

Former party animals who have retired to bars and pubs because “the music is too loud” or “bedtime is 10pm” can now feel young at heart once more when you hold your wedding at Zouk.

According to venue rental platform Venuerific, the massive Zouk Mainroom, which can accommodate up to 2,000 guests, starts from S$20,000. Phuture and Capital, on the other hand, may be more suitable for weddings of a smaller scale.

9. JEWEL CHANGI AIRPORT

Jewel Changi Airport is, without a doubt, the favourite child in Singapore’s humongous family of shopping malls. No wonder there’s so much hype surrounding its launch of wedding venues last year.

The venue boasts four wedding spaces set against iconic backdrops like the HSBC Rain Vortex, Shiseido Forest Valley, and Canopy Park. The Jewel Suite, Valley View Private Suite, and Floral Arch host up to 20 people at intimate solemnisation ceremonies, but the Cloud9 Piazza, which accommodates as many as 200 guests, is where the party is at. Rates and package inclusions can be found here.

10. ROYAL ALBATROSS

You’ve seen people get proposed to on yachts, but what about setting sail with more than 70 guests on the actual wedding day?

The Royal Albatross, a classical tall ship turned superyacht, has made that possible with lunch and dinner wedding packages from S$308 and S$338 per person respectively.

You and your guests will spend two out of three hours out at sea indulging in a three-course meal, watching the sunset from the ship’s upper deck and sipping champagne in its charming Grand Salon. As a cherry on top, you can also use the Owners Cabin during the day to get ready and live your best Bling Empire life.

BONUS OPTION: NIKOI ISLAND

Singapore has 64 offshore islands, but not a single one supports our fantasy of a destination wedding. We know the headline said venues on the red dot but we could not resist adding this private island.

Located a little ways off Bintan, Nikoi is two and a half hours away from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal. The resort island welcomes a handful of visitors with its luxury villas, wellness, and adventurous offerings, but couples with deep pockets can book the entire island at nightly rates of S$19,500 and S$25,000 on weekdays and weekends respectively.

The only catch (apart from its price point, of course) is that while Nikoi can cater up to 100 meals, their lodging properties can accommodate only 42 guests. We think a destination wedding is still plausible, though, given that Bintan Resorts is just over an hour away.

Wherever you choose in the end, remember that your wedding venue is ultimately a backdrop and not the main event. With that said, don’t sweat the small stuff, spend within your means, and soak up the company of your loved ones on the big day!

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