updated 28 May 2012, 12:10
user id password
Tue, Dec 09, 2008
The Sunday Times
Email Print Decrease text size Increase text size
It's all doom and groom
by Teo Cheng Wee

That's it. I'm not going to get married. Not the way weddings are going today.

This being the year-end wedding season, I've gone to a couple of them and I'm constantly reminded that each one needs to be more special than the last.

I guess it's only natural for couples to want to outdo others at the altar. It's a big day and nobody wants to have 'just another wedding'.

So I've gone to gardens, beaches and bungalows for weddings. I've even boarded a cruise ship that sailed around Singapore's Southern Islands, which I thought was hard to top.

But that was challenged by a wedding I attended recently where the couple shot and edited their own video, and the bride surprised the groom by secretly learning to play the guitar - no easy thing to hide when they are planning a wedding together - and singing a song to him on stage. The groom then surprised her by playing the keyboard.


By the time it's my turn, if I'm going to do something that no one else has done before, I would have to eat fire on stage - no, make that eat fire on stage while rollerblading - then throw knives blindfolded at my wife, who will catch them with her mouth.

Then - what the heck, since I have already put in so much effort - a trained polar bear can pass me my wedding rings.

Oh and of course, we'll quit our jobs two years before the big day to train for this.

It didn't seem that long ago that weddings were much simpler affairs. These days, everyone claims that their wedding is also 'a simple affair', but underneath that so-called simplicity is a whole lot of thought and attempt to stake a claim at uniqueness.

Think of the little creative activities I've been asked to do at different weddings: Use the marker pens we've provided and decorate the cards on your dinner table with your wishes. Sign our pop art canvas portrait. Take a polaroid picture with us and save it as a keepsake.

I haven't been around long enough to track the complete history of Singaporean weddings, but my take is that they evolve every decade or so.

There will be a period of stability, some kind of wedding norm that everyone sticks to for a period of time.

Then a group of smart alecks will decide that it's too stale and come up with a fancy new idea, triggering a quantum leap to another level. Everyone follows suit, another period of stability sets in, and so on.

Allow me to illustrate.

In the 1980s, as many of you will remember, weddings were straightforward affairs, held in some Chinese restaurant in Chinatown or Pasir Panjang.

Depending on your taste, you will enter the restaurant to the blaring sounds of Europe's Final Countdown or George Lam and Sally Yeh's Xuan Ze (Choice).

Fast forward a decade or so to the 1990s, and weddings were no longer deemed grand enough if you held them at Chinese restaurants, so everyone looked for their favourite five-star hotel ballroom in Orchard Road.

If you have taste, you will enter the ballroom to anything but Europe's Final Countdown or George Lam and Sally Yeh's Xuan Ze (Choice).

Another decade flies by and ballrooms have become passe. You should now hold your wedding on a beach in Bali.

Regardless of your taste, you will make your grand entrance to some song by a bossa nova singer no one has heard of.

Somewhere down the road, I can imagine this conversation taking place with my significant other.

Me: Why don't we fake a walk-in with music and smoke, but then burst out of the wedding cake?

Fiancee: I heard a friend of Jane's has already done that.

Me: How about we step into a box and appear on stage the next second?

Fiancee: Oh, John and Michelle did that at their wedding. He sawed her in half and put her back also.

Me: Okay. Why don't we call off the wedding?

Fiancee: I don't mind, but Paul and Peggy have already cancelled theirs first.

There are two ways to go forward for me. Use this as a convenient excuse if I don't get hitched. Or if you know a smart, funny woman who doesn't mind having knives thrown at her on her big day, give me a call.

I will take her to the zoo to see the polar bears.

This article was first published in The Sunday Times on Dec 7, 2008.

readers' comments

Copyright © 2012 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Co. Regn. No. 198402868E. All rights reserved.