“Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
Thank you for gracing this occasion with your presence here today. It really means a lot to us to have so many family and friends come and give us your congratulations and your blessings. We are really touched and honoured. Thank you again for coming.
I would like to take this opportunity to say a few words to just some of you who have made a difference in my life.
My old friends, Chin Leng, Kevin, Gerald, Jeremy, Yee Siang and Daniel.
Each one of you entered my life at just the right time, so that at every point in my life, from childhood to university, I managed to find that one good friend to hang out with, to pour out my soul to and to lean on. You guys are the best friends a boy and a man could ever have.
To Cheng, Michelle, Leigh, Sam and Pam, Val’s friends and bridesmaids.
Thank you for contributing so much to this wedding, and thank you as well, for being my friends and not just knowing me as Val’s other half.
To my Aunty Wah Wan and my Uncle Chang Choon,
thank you for your love, care and encouragement, especially when I had the accident with my eyes just before my A levels.
To my mum,
I have always relied on your strength of character, your faith and your goodness and I will always cherish the times we spent together, especially when I was a little kid, and you tried to be the brother and sister to me that I never had.
To my dad,
who through the many little things that he does, and thinks that I do not notice, but I do, shows that underneath that gruff exterior is a man who loves me dearly.
And to you both, thank you for showing me by example and through your love what it takes to make a good marriage and be good parents.
To Val’s parents
Thank you for bringing up such an amazing woman. I love your daughter and I will do everything in my power to live up to your hopes and dreams for her.
And to you Valerie,
thank you for loving me as you do, unconditionally, despite knowing me through and through, thank you Val for saying Yes and agreeing to spend your life with me. I am without doubt the luckiest man in the world.
People ask me all the time: How do you know that Valerie’s the one for you? How do you know?
Well, for me the answer is that it’s a gradual process of different degrees of illumination over time.
I first thought that maybe she was the one when I saw her one day in the NUS canteen and her hair was tied up with a maroon hairband and she smiled, and it took my breath away.
I first thought that she quite possibly was the one when she brought me to the wake of the mother of this old clerk who worked in her office, and there was no one else there so she sat down and talked to this old man for an hour and I saw the compassion in her face.
I first thought that she was very likely to be the one when I was going through a period when everything I did seemed to go wrong and she told me that the only thing that I ever needed to do right was to love her.
I first thought that she was probably the one when once she was feeling down and I did something to surprise her and when she threw her arms around me I realised that her happiness meant more to me than anything else in this world.
And I knew for sure that she was the one when in the middle of proposing to her I suddenly lost confidence and I asked in a moment of self doubt could you marry me instead of will you marry me and she took me by my shoulders, looked me squarely in the eyes and said in a clear firm voice, I will.
And that ladies and gentlemen, is how I knew then and how I know now.
Published with permission from Tan Boon Gin