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102 couples say 'I do' on 20.11.2011They did not let the rain spoil wedding plans at Marina Waterfront
IT WAS pouring on their big day, but 102 couples did not let it rain on their parade as they gathered at the Marina Waterfront under a white tent to say - or renew - their wedding vows yesterday.
They were there at sundown for their wedding, timed specially for 20.11.2011.
The event, organised by the People's Association and Chinese daily Lianhe Wanbao, was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam.
The original plan had been for couples to say their vows simultaneously under open-sided gazebos scattered across the waterfront.
But the wet-weather plan had to be activated: The couples and their relatives were all marshalled under the main tent, which had covered sides to keep the proceedings drier.
Spirits were high as the couples awaited their turn to be married, with some calling the rain 'showers of blessings'.
One couple, Mr Nicholas Aw, 29, and Ms Emily Lin, 28, waited two hours for the rain to subside, just so they could fulfil their dream of rowing to their solemnisation in a dragon boat.
'Arriving in a dragon boat is really special to us because we met when learning how to row at a sea sports centre,' said the bride, who was in a customised T-shirt and a pair of shorts instead of a frothy wedding gown.
The couple's friends, who rowed the boat with them, wore identical shirts.
Another young couple put a traditional spin on things, arriving in a red Chinese wedding sedan and clad in Chinese wedding finery. Ms Soh Kai Yiing, 23, and Mr Andrew Chen, 25, both civil servants, said: 'We're excited, and we think it's special to be dressed like this because it's a way of keeping traditions alive.'
They were picked to make a grand entrance in the sedan, leading the 101 other couples as a Chinese orchestra played.
There to renew their vows after 31 years together were Mr Ng Meng Hiong and Madam Lim Lay Kuan, 57. It was also Mr Ng's 60th birthday, and their children aged 31, 25 and 22 were there.
Mr Ng said: 'We don't feel like the rain has dampened our happiness. When it comes to marriage, we have learnt that the secret to it is to always be positive, always be understanding. Then you can go through thick and thin together.'
Beaming, he added: 'After this, my wife and I are going to have a candlelight dinner at Lawry's The Prime Rib.'