What a feeling!.. A mixture of sadness, happiness, love and the memory of the precious moments that would be forever etched in my mind and treasured forever. Yes, Saturday 24th October 2009, the day my daughter got married. As I walked my daughter slowly down the aisle, I was the happiest father of the moment and feeling proud, my only daughter tying the knot! A slight thinge of sadness though, my daughter the bride, leading and guiding her dad down the isle instead of me doing so. The ceremony started with the Deputy Registrar of Marriages welcoming everyonel in the room to the special occasion of the marriage of Jeremy Smithers and Wern-Yi Yam. We were invited to sit down and she began the proceedings to solemnised the wedding.
Backtracking a few hours, as we entered the main gates to this historical 17th century greystone building, my dear wife, Hong described to me in minute details about the beauty of the place. Large vast of green grasslands, trees standing majestically, leaves of brown, gold and red magnifying the colour contrast on this special autmn day. Another first perhaps, my daughter, the bride drivng us to her own wedding from London to Hartwell House, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. We had no idea about the wedding location and it was indeed a lovely surprise to arrive at Hartwell House, located 20 miles (30km) north of London.
As the Deputy Registrar continued her speech, all were listening to her and particularly myself, not missing out a single word and giving my outmost attention to the ceremony ongoings, so much so that I said , "Yep! that's me" instead of `I am' when the registrar mentioned in her speech if the father of the bride would be giving away the bride to her husband to be then. The ceremony proceeded with the traditional, customary taking of vows, exchanging of wedding rings and recital of poems. The final highlight of the ceremony was the signing of the weddng register book and it was a special moment for the newlyweds as it was witnessed by close friends and relatives of both families.
The cocktail reception following the ceremony was one that I truly enjoyed. The sun was out and a slight autmn cool breeze blowing whilst all the wedding guests were out in the garden mingling around, drinking champagne and lots of of photo sessions. A perfect day for the newlyweds! Both sides of the family got to know one another much better during the reception. Everyone was smartly dressed especially the men of the bride and groom' s family. They were wearing the morning tail coat suits with the orange cravat. When the newly weds joined the reception for the photoshoots with the family and guests, all were excited and I could hear cameras clicking away.
Then came the annoucement - dinner would be served.
The master of ceremony whispered in my ears that she would be announcing the father of the bride would be giving his speech. I quickly took a sip of the white wine to wet my throat. What a wonderful experience to be able to speak about my daughter, sharing my thoughts and feelings. It was another public speaking in the dark. No doubt I could not see the happy faces in the dinning room but I could sense the warmth and frendly environment. Next, was the speech by the groom, the best man and breaking the English tradition, the father of the groom also delivered a speech. Great dinner, great speeches, great company; those were the ingredients that made the dinner event so memorable and enjoyable. Finally, coffee, tea and the wedding cakes were served in the drawing room where again, all guests mingled among one another, some sat down, some stood around the fireplace with the firewood blazing away, providing the warmth in the cold autumn evening. A night that was to be remembered by all.
Wow! I am a father-in-law! It was just like only yesterday Wern-Yi was a cheeky little girl, a bit of a spoiled brat, probaby my doing, and now she's the wife of Jeremy Smithers. I missed not being able to see her in her beautiful wedding dress and the moments when she officially became Mrs Smithers. Nevertheless, I am still the happiest father, can't see but can feel and hear the beautiful ceremony. What a memorable day!!!
More challenging times ahead!