Never in my life did I think that I would have such a dreamy wedding.
And by the grace of God for the perfect weather, Jon, family and friends, the Seattle wedding was nothing short of perfect.
Wedding photography was one of the most important aspects for us and we took quite a long time to find the perfect wedding photographer. Jon and I knew that we were not the most photogenic couple and knew that right from the start we would need to find a wedding photographer that we would be able to connect with. We needed chemistry.
We met Ali Mae on skype for the first time and sparks flew. We knew that she was the one. The next time we met, we were in Seattle for the pre-wedding photoshoot.
And guess what! We got Dubs, the University of Washington mascot! Yes yes yes, it’s the real dog, not just any husky. I mean it, the real Dubs!
We got permission to shoot in Suzzallo library too!
The pre-wedding shots were a breeze and the energy that Ali has…incredible. I felt so tired but she never seemed the least bit tired! I was terribly nervous the day before the photoshoot, not knowing what to expect, but Ali made everything feel comfortable, good and natural.
In Singapore, it is quite common to have friends (some have a whole entourage) help you for the photoshoot. Apparently, it’s not so common in the U.S. but I’m so blessed to have these two by my side :)
The actual wedding day went on auto-pilot mode. The setup at home was gorgeous, the groom and groomsmen looked perfectly coordinated, the church was beautiful, the weather was perfect, everyone dressed to the nines, the bridesmaids and groomsmen were the best group ever, the dinner venue was stunning, Steve Amerson’s voice was divine and I didn’t misplace my speech. We couldn’t have hoped for more.
I don’t like being the center of attention but on that day, I just felt like I was among close friends and family having a dinner party.
I wrote my speech on the plane. Jon was asleep, the plane was dark but inspiration kept flowing, as did my tears. Of course, I couldn’t help my tears on that day either.
I pondered for a long while about this and decided to post my speech here. It’s too precious to lose because I meant every word.
“Jon and I are infinitely blessed to have you all here today, especially those who have flown in for the wedding.
First and foremost, I would like to thank my bridesmaids.
To Jane, my baby sister with whom I spent most of my child and teenage-hood with, with me playing on the piano, she dancing, we choreographing our own dances, our fake cooking escapades, singing marathons, piano duets and all the other nights we lay in our beds discussing secrets we agreed would stay between our four walls. I’ll definitely miss you when Jon and I move to our own place.
To Sara and Sheryl. Thank you for being the best colleagues anyone could have, continuously watching my back and coaching me in work and in life. I still remember the times when we were colleagues, how we met every morning at Starbucks without fail, starting each of our days just right, with endless laughter, or endless comfort, it any one of use needed it. You both have been the best pillars at work anyone could ever have and now that you’ve both moved on to a different company, we have progressed to become the best pillars for life!
To Sharon. Thank you for being such a great roommate in freshman year. I always reminisce the times we studied so hard together in our dorm room, applied and got into the Foster School of Business together, and most importantly, how sometimes our work discussions would turn into discussions of life, until today.
To Ashley. Thank you for sharing the joys of the Matsumoto cookie, the best chocolate chip cookie Jon and I ever had. Jon and I absolutely can’t stop thinking about it, up till today! Thank you for all the times you always agreed to let me copy your school homework. I always remember the time when we went to Disneyland together and you and your family shared your valuable Disneyland knowledge with us, and the time you drove us to the airport when Jon and I flew back to Singapore for good. We had our last meal together with you.
(And yes! Ashley brought bags of freshly baked Matsumoto cookies the day of the wedding! It was such a sweet surprise :))
And lastly, to Jamie. Thank you for being my Maid of Honor and as Roy (Jon’s best man) puts it, my “bridesmaid’s boss”! I’m so glad we stayed close friends after all this while and I’m so thankful in our (more like mine) ineptitude in math that brought us together in math tuition class. I still remember the time you got your mom to drive you to my house on my birthday and days before our A levels to personally wish me happy birthday with a handmade card, which I proudly displayed through my college days. You have been a true friend!
And to my parents. Dad, you may not be here with us but I know you are continually watching over us. Thank you for imparting all your words of wisdom and thank you for teaching me that it doesn’t mater what others perceive of us, but most importantly, how we perceive ourselves, and knowing that we’re always doing the right thing.
To my mom. Thank you for being the best mom and for being there for me and making yourself available whenever I needed your comfort. Thank you for always encouraging me to do what I love to do, as long as I worked hard at it. You probably don’t remember but I always remember the time you told me to do something major by myself and I said to you, “how can you trust that I can do something like this by myself?” and you said “well, I’ve spent all my life teaching and guiding you. You’re 16 now, and I trust that you can do things on your own.” At that moment, I remember thinking to myself – that is the kind of mother I want to be to my children in the future.
To my siblings, Jessica, Julian and Jane and to their other halves, Donny and Michelle. Thank you for being the amazing and fun siblings you all have always been. I always look forward to the time you all come back to Singapore and make the house so noisy. I always remember feeling luckier than all my other friends who had fewer siblings than I did because of all the fun and laughter they would have missed out.
To my new parents. Thank you for raising Jon to be the man that he is today, as well as for your generosity and kindness in accepting me to be part of your family. I’m very grateful for all that you have done for me to this day and I look forward to all the time that we will spend together in the days to come.
And finally, to my husband. Thank you for your unwavering love all through these years and for letting me experience how my first love can and did eventually become my true love. Thank you for always being the selfless one – the one to give up the only chicken wing if that’s what’s left, the one to give up the better half of the bed always, and the one to give up the best part of the cornetto ice cream. That’s when I know you truly did love me…just joking :) But really, I do know and believe deep down in my heart that you always have me as your number one priority. Thank you for planning this beautiful and perfect wedding for me and for doing the bulk of the planning. As your wife, I promise to always be there for you to share your joy, and especially your burden. I’m so proud of the memories we’ve forged together but I’m certain that I’ll be prouder of the future we’ll create together. “
I didn’t mention the TAOs in my speech since Jon did in his. But I want to specially mention them here. They were the backbone to planning the wedding and their constant support through the wedding preparation was what made us know that we would be able to pull this off. They arranged for our marriage license, went venue and church hunting with us, went for food tasting, arranged for the dress to be steamed and ironed, previewed our first dance days before the wedding day, and gave a speech. Thank you both so much, as always.
I am not a dancer and I don’t really like to dance but I did. We jumped and skipped and hopped and twirled. We were so hot and sweaty from the jumping I had to tell the staff to switch off the heater. High heel shoes were kicked off, ties were used as dance props, jackets were hung up. We moved to the grass so that our feet wouldn’t hurt so much. We lost all the calories we ate the entire dinner. I heard the bridal party went for Dick’s burger after that ;P
At this point, most of our friends were either drunk or high. That’s the best part about not drinking – I was so sober I could see them all drunk. As we were leaving, most of them had come to hug Jon and I, all sweaty, proudly exclaiming to the moon, “this is the BEST wedding ever!”
Of course, Jon and I agreed. We didn’t want it to end either.
P.S. this was only part one.