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Sunday, January 16, 2005

Third wedding in three months

Three months, three weddings. This must be something of a record. All I need is one more wedding, a funeral and meeting the same girl at all five occasions, and I'll feel like Hugh Grant in a movie I have never watched.

This wedding was held at Orchid Country Club, waaaaaay up north at Yishun. Fortunately, my parents didn't need the car, so I got to use it. Lesson learned from a previous wedding. Getting there proved to be a challenge, even though I had memorised the route, i.e.:
  1. The exit from the expressway was Exit 3. For the longest time, Singapore's expressway exits have been numbered sequentially, not by the distance (like they're done in the U.S.). So I planned to count two exits before moving left. Turns out that Exit 3 was the first exit at three kilometres in. I wonder when they made the big switcheroo. I missed the exit and was forced to make a big U-turn.
  2. To get to the club, I had to turn right at a traffic junction. But I had not anticipated arriving at that junction so soon after exiting the expressway. I had no choice but to make another huge U-turn.
The important thing is that I got to the club without incident.

The solemnization ceremony was going to be held before the dinner, so all of the guests were requested to be seated by 6:15pm so that it could begin 15 minutes later. I arrived at 6:20pm, but as expected, I was not late. The ceremony started at around 6:50pm, which I guess is quite good.

The ceremony was very simple: bride walks up aisle, couple exchanges rings, couple exchanges vows, couple kisses. Then the bride tossed her bouquet for a group of single women, which included some preteen girls, which made me wonder what sort of message would be sent if one of them caught it. The master of ceremony was the same as the one at the November wedding, so there were some laughs.

After a brief cocktail reception, dinner was served in a hall. The size of the large hall gave the impression that it was a small wedding, though there were 50 tables (though some were not fully occupied). Everything was done very well, from the decorations to the cutlery to the preparation of the food. Before dinner commenced, we were treated to a video of the tea ceremony held the day before. Watching it gave me some ideas about how such a video should be done, although I thought it was strange that the videographer had chosen to exclude *all* dialogue except for something like 10 words. Music played over the rest of the video.

Then again, that's what I did for my cousin's wedding video, though I really wished I didn't. I retained the dialogue in my colleague's wedding video. Especially for a traditional ceremony like the tea offering, I feel that dialogue is important. The relatives are blessing the couple and these words should be kept for posterity, even if they sound empty.

But I digress...

During dinner, it was revealed that the groom had not paid the full ang pow to the bride's "sisters" during the bargaining session when he had gone to pick up his wife-to-be. The promised amount was a whopping $8,888 for the four of them. To earn their money, they were supposed to do a pseudo-lap dance for him on stage. What they did instead was to pull the bride up and make her do the lap dance for them. Everyone had a good time, though I don't know if the money was paid up.

Then the groom's father sang. Brrr....

I left with my colleagues at about 10:40pm and gave two of them lifts home.

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Incidentally, I discovered that my colleage the groom is the brother of Belinda Lee, a local television actress. That's how it is in Singapore. It's not six degrees of separation, more like three or four.

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