Every wedding, I learnt new inspiring “Words of Wisdoms” on marriage and love. At Franics-Echo wedding, Juliana taught us the difference between a promise and a vow. “A promise is a pact you make with a person. A vow is a holy pact you made with God”, she said. Last night at Lionnel & Joey’s post wedding dinner, Jimmy reminded us the difference between wedding and marriage. “Wedding lasted only a day but Marriage lasted a lifetime. A lot of young people dreamt of a perfect wedding, they forgotten about the lifelong journey of a marriage.”
Last Friday, I flew back specially to attend the most important wedding celebration of the year – as one of the Men of Honor (aka “the brothers) for the matrimony of my best brother/friend Lionnel and Joey! This is one wedding all of us have been waiting for a long long time! Lionnel possesses the best traits in our clan – he is without any doubt the noblest one within the band of brothers. He is humorous, selfless, attentive and most importantly, Lionnel is a man of filial devotion towards his loved ones. And he is possibly the richest golden bachelor in our group with all the thick hongbao collections he shamelessly collected over the decade.
It was a long tiring for all the old boys. At 7:45am, the brothers arrived at Lionnel’s home. All of us were already in our gears and he was still in his pyjamas! Lionnel’s mother and sister served us well. They prepared breakfasts and meals for us. While the brothers were discussing the strategies of “gate crashing”, Lionnel’s mother and sister were giving him their blessings and “Words of Wisdom”. It was a heart-warming moment. No matter how old Lionnel is, he is still the little boy in their eyes.
At 8am, the boys set off. Felicia came to provide videography support and Elkan was our secret weapon to woo the young bridesmaids at the other side. Lionnel and Joey picked a nice tall jeep for their wedding car. It is certainly the perfect vehicle to take them through all terrains in their new life.
8:40am – The Men of Honor arrived at Joey’s home. We did made our presence felt as the boys woke up the whole neighbourhood with loud horns at 8:40am on a Sunday morning. Many people stood by their windows looking down at us. We waited for 10 minutes… no one came down to fetch the groom. We horned again and this time, some of the neighbours responded with loud vulgarities and angry faces. Yifu reminded us to be mindful that some watchers may secretly taped and “stomped” us on social media. Hahah.. apparently, Stomp (the local citizen’s online news portal) has successfully instilled fear in Singaporeans. No one wants to be “stomped”.
8:57am – Time to attack the Bridesmaids! We sent our secret weapon, Elkan to woo, whine and tackle the ladies. Our strategy was to let Elkan dragged time closer to the auspicious hour so the old boys suffered lesser on those gate-crashing pranks. However, those heartless b**** destroyed our little boy effortlessly. Elkan walked back sobbing in tears.
In the end, the boys sweated it out. We have no choice because Joey put one tigress inside the door. The boys were abused and commanded to consume 4 standard items (Sweet, Sour, Bitter and Spicy dishes). Gareth and I weren’t push-overs too. We put the hong baos at the most inconvenient parts of Gareth’s body (the chest and the you-know-where) and dared the girls to take the packets out. In the end, the keys to the door were hidden in a bucket of worms. It didn’t shock the boys as we were too seasoned for such pranks. Gareth grabbed the keys out of the bucket and we opened the gate. There was another door between Lionnel and Joey. Lionnel was compelled to pledge his life for Joey with a long matrimony contract of poo-clearing tasks, long-haul holiday trips and branded-handbag-pampering. Oh dear, my poor brother signed his life / freedom / rights away at that moment.
4:05pm – After a short 2-hour break, we arrived at the hotel where Lionnel and Joey held their wedding dinner. Joanne, Tracy and Kalinda were there since 3pm to dress up the space. Kalinda and Felicia spent weeks to make the props and decorations. The theme colours were in blue and white. Even Elkan’s Lego parts came into play! The girls constructed a Lego Ring Stand for the couple. It is so creative and cute!
6:13pm – Lionnel and Joey officially formalised their marriage in the presence of the Peace of Justice, families and friends.
8:10pm – The wedding reception was a great success! Instead of the conventional sign-in book, guests took instant photos and hanged their greetings and wishes on the branches (a great idea by Kalinda). The couple also engaged an onsite photo-taking services, Phooth (see next blog posting). The guests were so engrossed in taking the photos that I have to terminate the service in order to help the wedding helpers to usher the guests into the ballroom.
9:45pm – Dinner went on well smoothly. 2 perfect walkin and a powerful energy-charged Yam-Seng toasting. Walking though the tables was a breeze for the couple. Lionnel and Joey’s friends were pretty tamed – there were not much sabotaging or spiking of drinks.
The Wahbiang Clan were having a great time – photo taking and catching up with one another. Kalinda was snapping photographs for her port-folio.
By 10:25pm, the wedding dinner ended and most of the guests left. The Wahbiang Clan presented our wedding gift to the couple. It is a handmade photo-frame of little drawers filled with goodies and hong bao money. In the middle of the frame, it holds a printed book (produced in Australia) of our wishes and photos. A priceless and precious gift indeed as it has taken Felicia and Kalinda many months to produce. This may be the last Wahbiang Wedding Gift we made, unless we hear more wedding bells from the last 1 or 2 remaining members of the clan.
Thanks to Lionnel and Joey - they connected the brothers and sisters on their special day. Years of separations have eroded the bonds and ties of the clan. On this special day, the brothers and sisters spent lots of hours together – mending bad ties, laughing, gossiping and sharing. This is the perfect reunion we always wanted but ever have the time or commitment to make it happen. Thanks for this great night where new friends and family portraits were captured and printed! Those were precious keepers!
And thanks for making the brothers “feel young” again with the quirky pink-shorts-pink-bow-ties attire. We looked terribly attractive – surely defines the meaning of Ah Men to Boys! Congrats Lionnel and Joey – always live well, respect each other, protect each other and be happy in the long course of marriage. Always keep a healthy balance – work, life and love. Both have to be giving and forgiving. This will be the sole longest journey you ever embarked together as friends, lovers, spouses and soon to be parents. The marriage path is never easy but it promises tons of rewards and happiness if you walk well together. Hand in hand, heart to heart.