Sep 19, 2010
Perfect 10.10.10 wedding
Oct 10, 2010 is a special date as wedding bells ring for more than 700 couples here, even though it costs more to say I do on that day
Here are some figures on couples who chose to get married in Singapore on popular or auspicious dates:
Feb 14, 1995: 1,082
Aug 8, 2008: 443
Sept 9, 2009: 357
Oct 10, 2010: 774 (as of Sept 15)
Average number of marriages on a normal day: 70
JAY LIM, 30, doctor, and ELIZABETH FOCK, 26, cardiac technologist (main picture)-- PHOTOS: AZIZ HUSSIN, AIDAH RAUF, COURTESY OF CHAI YEE WEI
It is going to be a perfect 10 wedding for hundreds of couples in Singapore next month - on Oct 10, 2010.
Statistics from the Registry Of Marriages show that 774 couples have signed up already on that 10/10/10 date, compared to 70 on a normal day.
In recent years, two dates rang wedding bells because of their unique numbers: 357 couples got married on Sept 9, 2009, while 443 tied the knot on Aug 8, 2008.
However, on the calendar of desirable dates, the biggie was Feb 14, 1995. A record-breaking 1,082 couples got hitched that day, as it was Valentine's Day and it coincided with the 15th day of the Lunar New Year.
Oct 10 is not just a Big Day for couples, but it is also a money-spinner for businesses associated with weddings. Hotels are charging 5 to 20 per cent more for bookings made on this date.
Hotels, photographers, florists, stylists and wedding solemnisers are experiencing a surge in demand for that red-hot date.
Soon-to-be-newlyweds who have put a circle around Oct 10 say it is a beautiful date as it has a nice 'ring' to it.
Product executive Kamal Yacob, who is the founding member and bass player of home-grown indie band Stoned Revivals, is among those saying 'I do' that day.
The 37-year-old says: 'We chose this date because of the number 10.10.10. It is unique and easy to remember. It also falls on a Sunday, which is perfect for us.'
He and wife-to-be June Khoo, also 37, are celebrating their wedding on a yacht at Marina at Keppel Bay, so no wonder they want everything to be ship-shape.
Singapore film-maker Chai Yee Wei, 34, who also chose the same date, agrees: 'The Chinese believe that the number 10 represents completion, perfection and beauty when used in the Chinese idiom, 'shi quan shi mei'. I love that idiom and I want my marriage to be perfect.' The idiom means perfect and flawless.
The same goes for St James Holdings marketing executive Gordon Foo, 28, and his 27-year-old fiancee Doreen Chua.
Mr Foo, whose father is St James' chief executive officer Dennis Foo, says: 'It is a nice date. Plus we had the assurance from the feng shui master that it is a good date to get married. Couples who get married on this date are said to conceive within the next three years.'
With a surge in weddings on Oct 10, hotels are also looking forward to that date.
The 15 hotels LifeStyle spoke to are having a busy time. Some have turned away as many as 50 to 100 couples who want to book a venue for their wedding reception that day.
Many of the hotels are imposing a 5 to 20 per cent surcharge on that date.
Pan Pacific Singapore Hotel is hosting three weddings that day, with the earliest booking made more than a year ago. It had to reject more than 100 couples who wanted to hold their reception there then.
The couples who managed to book will pay 20 per cent more, with each table costing $1,388++.
Over at Goodwood Park Hotel, all of its five wedding venues have been booked for Oct 10 for both lunch and dinner, with a $50 surcharge for a table. It had to turn away 50 couples.
Mandarin Orchard is hosting three weddings that day, with a 5 per cent surcharge.
Referring to the Oct 10 date, general manager John Sartain says: 'Ten is an even, round number which is auspicious to the Chinese as it symbolises a pair and union. There's also a Chinese idiom associated to 10 which loosely translates to perfection. Moreover, 10/10/10 is indeed an auspicious date in the Chinese almanac.'
Master Hui Jie, director of Hui Master International Geomancy, says the date is a day of harmony, which means couples will have a harmonious marriage.
Though such obsession with numbers is more prevalent among the Chinese, he adds that the 10.10.10 date is popular with other races as well.
Master Hui Jie, who has picked the date for about 20 couples, says: 'I have an Indian couple who are getting married on that day too.'
Another geomancer, Ms Adelina Pang of Adelina Pang Fengshui Consultancy, says that this number is popular among the non-Chinese because of its novelty and it is an easy date to remember.
Businesses are happy too. Mr Kelvin Koh, founder of Lightedpixels Photography, postponed his sabbatical plans next month after getting 20 inquiries for wedding-photo packages.
Like all wedding photographers, he can take on only one client as a wedding shoot takes up the whole day.
For that day, his terms are that couples must sign up for the $5,000 full-day package instead of the usual option between that and a $4,000 image-only package.
Mr Chris Woon of moretopurple Photography turned away nine couples for that day too, but he will not be charging more for his services.
He says: 'Couples pay for the quality of the work. It is not as if I will shoot particularly well on that day.'
Business at florists is blooming, too.
Florist Michelle Poh, business development manager of The Red Petals Florist, has hired five more staff and rented an extra vehicle to cope with the double workload that day.
She says: 'I will be shuttling among 10 locations and surviving on just a bun the whole day. But I love the adrenaline rush.'
And Sing See Soon Floral and Landscape is increasing its manpower from 40 to 70 that day to cope with an expected 40 weddings.
Local Justice of Peace Tan Poi Eng is solemnising four weddings that day and had to turn away three other couples.
The 63-year-old, who has been a wedding solemniser for the past 11 years, says: 'I restricted it to four weddings on Oct 10 as I did not want to tire myself out. On normal weekends, I may get one wedding or none at all.'
But all the hype does not guarantee a perfect 10 marriage, says consultant Gerard Lee, 30, who has chosen to hold his wedding on Oct 9 instead.
He says: 'All the hotels will be so busy and the quality may be compromised. It may also be a chance for organisers to increase prices.
'A wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event and I have an important crowd to please. Anyway, the number 9 symbolises everlasting in Chinese, so it's good too.'
JAY LIM, 30, doctor, and ELIZABETH FOCK, 26, cardiac technologist (main picture)
Wedding reception: Singapore Orchid Country Club
Lim: 'The lame reason is that you can sing that date to the tune of the wedding march.
But seriously, we just want an easy date to remember. We were supposed to get married
on Sept 9, 2009, but we were both working in Australia then.
We had problems booking a venue and make-up artists.
Food-wise, I am concerned about the quality on that day as all the other banquet halls
at the Orchid Country Club where my lunch reception is being held are booked.
I am keeping my fingers crossed.'
KAMAL YACOB, 37, bass player of local band Stoned Revivals, and JUNE KHOO, 37, account manager
Wedding reception: On a yacht
Kamal: 'We are holding our wedding reception on a yacht with 20 to 30 close friends and family on board. It costs 5 to 10 per cent more to rent the yacht on this date but we did not want to change our decision because of the surcharge. Oct 10 is a nice number and it's on a Sunday, making everything fall into place.'
CHAI YEE WEI, 34, Singapore film-maker, and DIANE CHAN, 37, marketing manager
Wedding reception: Hotel
Chai: 'We looked around at a couple of hotels but many were already booked on Oct 10. Ultimately, we settled for one that cost over $1,200 a table, which is 20 to 30 per cent more than the usual price. But the date is very good and easy to remember, so it is pretty worth it.'
FRANCIS CHOO, 34, graphic designer, and ELIN SOO, 24, sales executive
Wedding reception: Goodwood Park Hotel
Soo: 'We started looking for a wedding venue 18 months ago. We wanted a dinner reception but the ballroom at the hotel we wanted was already booked. We were quite disappointed initially but we decided to do a lunch reception by the poolside instead. I like how everything fits in perfectly, because my name Elin also sounds the same as 1-0 (one-zero) when pronounced in Mandarin.'