Text SUMMER LEE

The Perfect Wedding Speech 101

Jasmine Lee had Yip Chee Weng under her spell the moment he set eyes on her picture. So captivated was he that he did not hesitate to say “yes” when his friend offered to introduce them.

Since the first day they met, Chee Weng has never failed to make Jasmine feel like a princess. The 34-year-old operations manager would open the door for her, dote on her to a fault, and always manage to draw a smile from her even when she had a bad day.

“I’ve always been a sucker for a gentleman, someone who dares to express his affection to his loved ones, and yet at the same time is man enough to be firm and assertive…… With Chee Weng, I don’t have to look beyond his shoulder,” said Jasmine, 35, who works as an agency manager at a financial institution.

The pair dated for about a year before Chee Weng proposed to her at Siloso Beach Resort with 99 roses and a PowerPoint slideshow – for which he burnt the midnight oil putting together – chronologising the days of their courtship. The slideshow ended with the final slide popping the question: Will you marry me?

“I got down on my knees and asked her to marry me. To make sure she says ‘yes’, I invested in a ring from a shop that most girls love while most guys hate. It starts with ‘T’. And luckily, she said yes,” Chee Weng recounted.

The wedding bash held in January 2008 at the Fort Gate of Fort Canning Park took around seven months to prepare with the help of their wedding planner Spellbound Weddings. It was an outdoor event with warmly lit marquees.

The theme for the night was a gold and white fairy tale wedding. Special invitations under the names Prince Chee Weng and Princess Jasmine were sent out to friends – a.k.a. Duke or Duchess on the invitations. The guests were encouraged to wear anything that fitted the theme.

“Initially we wanted to get the Justice of Peace to dress up as Fairy Godmother, but she appeared to be too stern. We didn’t dare to ask,” said Chee Weng.

At the pre-wedding cocktail reception, the couple got some friends to put on fake fairy wings and hand out gifts such as “magical” jellybeans and golden eggs. The bridesmaids also wore fake fairy wings while the groomsmen carried “swords”. Even the MC turned up with a pair of black wings.

Disney’s classic movie Cinderella was played to entertain the guests before the start of the dinner. To keep the kids occupied, Disney colouring sheets and colour pencils were provided.

To make sure that he was dressed for the occasion, Chee Weng got himself a tailor-made white and gold Prince costume. The newlyweds strolled into their “royal gala” with an eight-piece band playing in the background.

So much attention was devoted to details that not even the fish dish for the dinner was overlooked. It was renamed Finding Nemo. Even the wedding bands were customised by a jeweller called Fairy’s Inc.

There was no better way to wrap up the night than a spectacular 1½ minute fireworks display to symbolise a happy ending.

The total cost of the wedding came close to $90,000 of which $40,000 was plunked down for the banquet.

After the wedding, just when you thought that the bride would hop into the inviting arms of her groom and gallop away on their white steed to some ancient castle, the honeymoon was uncharacteristically in the tropical Maldives, nonetheless just as romantic.

text SUMMER LEE

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