Dream wedding, nightmare price tag

Dream wedding, nightmare price tag

SINGAPORE - For richer or poorer, till death do us part. So go the traditional wedding vows.

Some couples seem bent on making themselves poorer though. Since this is season for weddings, we thought we'd find out how much people were paying and had paid.

My jaw dropped when we uncovered stories of excess.

But then again, I am guilty of fuelling this trend.

Why?

One of my secret pleasures is Say Yes To The Dress, a reality programme on cable TV that centres around brides choosing their wedding gowns... which can cost more than US$20,000 (S$25,378).

The more extreme, the more expensive, I confess, the more I sit up and watch the show eagerly.

Cue the tears of joy at finding the gown she's saying yes to! Cue my gasps that the frock costs that amount and cue ... er... witchy criticisms about how that dress doesn't fit her that well.

Let's not kid ourselves, there is a massive market around weddings, and the images celebrated are that of opulence and finery.

Shows like Say Yes To The Dress, the multiple wedding magazines and extravaganzas help propagate the notion for women everywhere that the wedding is her big day and her dreams should come true.

And which man can resist that desire to give his future spouse her dream? Well, which man who still wants to stay on the good side of his bride, that is.

But as the new year rolls around, less frivolous thoughts are on my mind. It is clear that, soon, some of our heritage could be lost for good.

We tracked down one of the last two Samsui women left in Singapore, and one of the few remaining traditional chinese opera troupes.

It was heartwarming to see the family get dressed up in their costume finery, and the love and camaderie they share.

But it is also heartbreaking with the lone person watching their show.

This could be our collective chance to document their memories and histories as far, and as fast, as possible, before it all fades away.

natalie@sph.com.sg


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