Derrick & Genevieve -
"A Touch Of Vegas" Wedding
12 January 2008
Hand in hand you both have found a happiness that grows.
Here is a brief account of the funky, funny, entertaining and full of love and
laughter wedding day from my perspective...
For me, the day started with a trip to the hairdresser to get my hair expertly
coiffured, complete with a feathered black and silver hair clip, in keeping
with the black and white colour scheme of the day. (My 'Touch of Vegas' came in
the form of dangly silver earrings with red and black dice and stars.) By 1pm I
had transformed from a T-shirt-and-jeans grandma into a somewhat elegant mother
of the groom in a black and white floral dress and wearing high-heeled shoes!
Gen had invited me to join her and the bridal party for some pre-wedding drinks
starting at 1.30pm at the Medina Executive South Yarra Melbourne (executive
hotel-apartments) where the bridal party had been staying for a couple of days
before the wedding. I arrived at the venue by taxi at exactly 1.30pm, right in
the midst of a flurry of 'girly' activities. We all drank champagne in between
the bridal make-up and hair-dos while waiting for the flowers to be delivered.
At 2.30pm, Gen’s sister-in-law, Caroline, gave Saskia (the hair and make-up
artist who had flown in from Sydney) and me a lift to the Botanical Gardens
where the rest of the guests had gathered for the wedding ceremony. Family and
friends from far and wide were already waiting – Gen’s Grandma Russell who is
96 years old and Grandma Gwen (Pauline’s mum) were also present to share the
special occasion with us. My beautiful and petite 25-year-old niece, Aisyah,
had flown in from Singapore the day before for this very special day. Deej
covered his pre-wedding jitters with some comic behavior while waiting for his
bride to arrive. The bridal party was fashionably late, of course, and when one
of the groomsmen ventured to say that it could be a "no show", Deej ran around
high-fiving everyone to hide his anxiety.
At about 3.25pm a white Cadillac pulled up at the Tacoma Pavilion
to a resounding cheer from the guests and a greatly relieved Deej wiped the
sweat from his brow… As soon as the limousine stopped, the photographer who was
standing and waiting, opened the back door just as the chauffeur stepped out.
The bridesmaids were assisted out of the limo in turn - Sarah was dressed in a
black dress with a white ribbon trim and Nicole was in a white dress with a
black ribbon trim. Gen’s dad, Peter, got out from the other side and came
around to assist Gen as she stepped out. She looked absolutely divine as she
walked across the garden lawn on her dad's arm. After the walk down the lawn,
we gathered round for the pre-wedding speeches.
The bridesmaid and M.C. for the bridal party, Sarah McPhee (long time mutual
friend of both Deej and Gen), made the opening speech before introducing Gen’s
mum, Pauline, with her speech. Sarah spoke of how she had fondly witnessed the
relationship of her two dear friends develop from mateship to love and romance
which eventually culminated into the reason why we were all gathered together
on this happy day. Pauline reflected fondly on the evidence of Gen's maturity
and strength of character that showed through from a very young age, recounting
humorous accounts from Gen's past. She also voiced her joy in welcoming Deej as
her son-in-law. I followed immediately after Pauline with my little
contribution and Wayne concluded the session with his speech.
My speech (which I had memorized word perfect beforehand but lost the eloquence
through sheer nervousness at public speaking) was as follows:
First of all, I’d like to extend a very warm welcome to all who are here today
to witness the marriage of Derrick and Genevieve. Hard to pick out, I know, but
I am the Chinese half of Derrick’s parentage. I never thought the only son I
gave birth to in Singapore some 34 years ago would EVER ‘tie the knot’… so my
heartiest congratulations to Genevieve, the lovely young lady who has won his
heart – and our family’s!
When I stepped forward to say my tuppence worth, I could almost hear a
collective groan from those who know me well. Relax, guys, I promise not to
gibber for very long. I would just like to express my joy in the knowledge that
this union of my Virgo-Ox son and Sagittarian-Dragon daughter-in-law-to-be is a
compatible one. They are blessed with the ability to work together to achieve
common goals through mutual respect and understanding. In my book, when love
and respect go hand in hand, happiness naturally follows.
I’ll close with this poem dedicated to Deej and Gen:
Hand in hand you’ve shared the joys a loving couple knows.
And in the future may
your hopes and all the things you’ve planned
Turn out just right for you to share together… hand in hand.
Congratulations, we love you.
Gen and Deej, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is wonderful to have this opportunity to be here with you all this
When Deej phoned us just after midnight on New Year’s Day a year or so ago to
pass on the news that he had proposed to Gen, and she had accepted, Mona and I
were ecstatic. We were beginning to get concerned that he might remain a
bachelor for years to come and now there are Gen and Weiner in his life - such
a wonderful girl and such a leg-friendly little dog.
Gen, you are the answer to our prayers. I take great pleasure in welcoming Gen
into our family and feel very honoured and proud that she has chosen to accept
my family name.
Gen and Deej, my heartiest congratulations.
The speeches were followed by the wedding ceremony conducted by the marriage
celebrant. Their wedding vows were non-traditional and hilarious and I can
hardly wait to get a copy of it to read and re-live the occasion. The ceremony
was followed by the photo session before the bridal party continued on their
way for more photos to be taken and the guests dispersed. Nina had prepared a
picnic lunch for the bridal party that consisted of an assortment of
sandwiches, decoratively cut up watermelon pieces, bottled water and
chocolates. She also included finger wipes, plastic cups, forks and napkins.
Talk about a super-efficient young lady! She had also prepared a similar picnic
fare for Wayne, her fiancé Dennis, Aisyah, Mikey, herself and me, so after
everyone departed, we had our little picnic at the Botanical Garden before
hopping into Dennis’ car to drive to a café near the Royce Hotel (where the
reception was to be held), for coffee and cake. After that we went to the Royce
Hotel and hung around with those who were already there to wait for the
reception to begin at 7pm.
Welcome, Genevieve, welcome to our family and long live love!
started with greeting of the guests by the families of the bride and groom. I
think half of Melbourne must have attended as it didn't take me long to become
totally confused by the sea of happy faces. Once the hand-shaking, kiss-kiss,
hug-hug introduction was over, the celebration began in earnest. Scott, the
M.C. for the evening, first got Gen’s dad, Peter, to come on stage to start the
ball rolling with his amusing anecdotal speech. Next to get called on stage
were Deej's sisters, Sharon and Selina (Nina), followed by Lyndon, Gen's
brother, who proposed a short and sweet toast to the newlyweds. Nina made an
impromptu short speech welcoming Gen into our family on behalf of Sharon who
suffered from stage fright.
Deej and Gen then took centre stage with their combined speeches which were
absolutely hilarious. They spoke of how they met and fell in love, their plans
to grow old together and starting souvenir teaspoons and fridge magnets
collections (isn't it great how much your kids take after you!), leaving discos
at 10.30pm, embarrassing their kids with their dance routines and free tutoring
for their kids from Nina! The two groomsmen (Aaron Roach and Sam Tremethick)
then took over with their individual anecdotal accounts of their friendship
with Deej and Gen.
Aaron spoke of his eight years of friendship with Deej, who is renowned for
resolving most issues with his two word philosophy. For example, when Aaron
admitted to not being able to drink anymore, Deej would say just two words,
"You girl!" and when Aaron said, "I can't puke anymore," Deej would advise,
"More beer!". Sam, with wisdom gathered from five months of married life, spoke
next about the importance of communication in a marriage. He recalled the first
time he met Wayne and me one Christmas Day many years ago and his amazement at
our communication skills --- via email while sitting side by side using our
newly acquired webcams! He suggested that the newlyweds should network all the
rooms in their new home to solve any communication issue. Bridesmaid Nicole
stepped up on stage after Sam, with her beautiful speech about Gen's many
admirable qualities that have endeared her to so many and ended with a toast to
the newlyweds. Scott brought the speeches to a close with his good wishes
before clearing a section of the dance floor for the wedding dance.
pair had spent five weeks rehearsing their choreographed dance routine – we all
thought it would be a traditional waltz but boy oh boy, were we surprised! They
started dancing the foxtrot to the first verse of the song, “I Get A Kick Out
Of You” before breaking into a medley of the 80’s dance routines, including a
touch of 'dirty dancing', and finished off with the foxtrot for the last verse
of “I Get A Kick Out Of You”. It was simply awesome and heartily enjoyed by
everyone in the room! With a live band in attendance, plenty of dancing
naturally followed and the joint was soon rockin'.
Those who were not into dancing kept busy with sampling the continuous supply
of finger foods which were well-presented, varied and super delicious. Every
time we turned around, there would be a waiter with a tray of yummy snacks -
mini hamburgers, mini pizzas, ramekins of beef burgundy, miniature noodle boxes
of vegetarian fried Hokkien Noodles, chicken kebabs, mouth-watering mini salmon
patties, miniature boxes of piping-hot fish and chips, cheese vol-u-vents and
spring rolls (strictly no pork or pork products). There was also a buffet table
filled with an assortment of fresh fruit, a variety of exotic cheeses, dips and
crackers and later on in the evening, cute little mini pavlovas (from the
The wedding cake was 'untraditional' – three tiers of cleverly arranged mini
pavlovas with a medium-sized pavlova on the top (fourth) tier. Champagne, wine,
beer and soft drinks flowed freely all though the night so it wasn’t long
before everyone loosened up and had a ball. No one got rip-roaring drunk (I
think everyone wanted to remain sober enough to remember the day). There was no
professional video-taping done but hopefully the guests who came armed with
video cameras will share their videos with us. At some time during the night,
Deej did a karaoke rendition of Louis Armstrong's “What A Wonderful World” and
boy, he was superb! Didn’t realize how talented my son is until then – I found
out later that he has won a few prizes on Karaoke nights with his rendition of
Later on during the night, Gen stood on a chair and threw her bridal bouquet
which hit the ceiling and fell back into her hands but she succeeded the second
time with the bouquet being caught by one of her single friends. A little bit
later, Deej removed his bride’s garter with his teeth amidst hoots of merriment
from young and old. He immediately used the garter as an arm-band before
throwing it over his shoulder for one of his bachelor friends to catch. More
dancing, eating and drinking followed before we finally took our leave just
after midnight. The celebration continued till 12.30am when Deej and Gen
finally retired to the bridal suite of the Royce Hotel. We came home with
aching feet, full tummies and joyful hearts. In conclusion, I regard this to be
the most unique and fun-filled wedding celebration I have ever attended.
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