updated 28 Feb 2009, 10:13
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Tue, Feb 24, 2009
The Straits Times
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Jiawei's love match
by Lin Xinyi

She usually spends just minutes to get ready to go on court - even for the biggest of matches.

But on Sunday, Li Jiawei took about two hours.

It was no ordinary day for the national table tennis player. Staff members from bridal boutique WhiteLink and Nail Queen Beauty Services fussed over her hair, make-up and nails from about noon to 2pm.

Then, the 27-year-old world No. 7 picked up her bat for the love match between her and Beijing businessman husband Li Chao, who is in his mid-30s.

The Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA) auditorium was the first stop for the couple's wedding pictures. The other venues included the Esplanade, Singapore Flyer and Sentosa.

They decided to have a shoot at STTA because the sport plays a big role in Jiawei's life. She also wanted a morale booster.

'Playing with him increases my confidence,' she joked. 'He can't return my shots.'

Displaying a wit that is as quick as her smash, Li Chao quipped: 'I focus on the player and not the ball.'

Their spirits were so high, not even the rain could put a dampener on their outdoor photo shoot at the Esplanade.

Despite his best efforts to lift up the 3m train of Jiawei's beaded bustier gown with black french lace, it got drenched.

Jiawei did not seem too concerned. 'At least, it isn't hot. If not, he'd be perspiring like crazy,' she said.

In total, she wore four gowns, excluding the table tennis outfit, for the wedding shoot yesterday.

These were picked from the 13 hand-sewn gowns that have been prepared for her big day, the wedding banquet.

The total cost for the gowns, hair, make-up, photography, videography and wedding planning is believed to be a 'six-figure sum', said an insider.

The couple met through a mutual friend and got married in Beijing on Sept 26 last year after a six-month romance.

They are set to hold their wedding banquet in the Chinese capital in May or June, but the venue has yet to be fixed.

It has been reported that she does not mind spending top dollar for the celebrations.

This will be followed by an intimate ceremony in Singapore.

This article was first published in The Straits Times.

readers' comments
ya lor, everytime mention ljw hubby is mid-30s. they thot we got myopia cannot see properly, pls lah, can be her father liao...why dun they mention ljw's greatest regret in her life is that she was beaten twice by kim kyung ah in olypmics???
Posted by ckhmckhm on Wed, 25 Feb 2009 at 10:11 AM
Money well spent Singapore. Your tax payers money is footing the wedding tab.

Oh! Why is it that all reports kept ref to her husband's age as 30-something? Just out with the truth already. He is 50 soon to be!
Posted by Daniel30 on Wed, 25 Feb 2009 at 09:03 AM

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