Today I want to share with you guys a boy-meets-girl story. This is a story that happens to take place at a mall called Raffles City Shopping Centre; A story that proves that any given time, two open hearts can meet and fall in love.
Back in the day, as a Ben & Jerry’s girl, I met a sporty and cheerful babe called Ginni. She was funny, bit of a klutz and also like most of the girls posted to the Raffles City outlet, quite the chatterbox. We would sing songs loudly in store, clean tables together and pull our hair out over closing. It was here where many of us made some of the best memories of our teenage years.
Just opposite from our open-concept ice cream parlour, just a brisk three-minute walk away, was a New Balance outlet. The New Balance outlet would not have much significance if it wasn’t because of something interesting that was brewing after a chance encounter.
You see, Ginni had visited the New Balance outlet in search of new sports shoes and that was where she got to know Alan, whom all of the Ben & Jerry’s girls would eventually endearingly refer to as “The New Balance Guy” as this little love story unfolded.
Alan would often visit Ginni at the store, buying ice creams after ice creams and then one day, after a leap of faith, both took that step to have that friendship go beyond just flirting to a committed relationship filled with the excitement of a shared common interest – the outdoors – cycling, running and triathlons. Hardcore, yo. Let me just say they are also one of the cutest couples I know. Their interactions are just adorbs.
Both of them had a different perspective of who started making eyes at whom first, but years later, the New Balance Guy tied the knot with the Ben & Jerry’s Girl and it was like watching a rom-com unfold. What gives! These things actually happen in real (and not just reel) life!
Alan and Ginni before their march-in
Watching these two march down the aisles was such an emotional experience.
There is no experience that hits harder that someone has grown up than the wedding ceremony. It’s so funny. Years can pass and still it doesn’t come naturally to me and it takes me some time to realise that we are no longer the same seventeen-year-olds scooping ice cream as a part-time job.
Intellectually I’ve registered that we’re all adults now, but I think the reality of it only really dawns on me when I see someone I’ve known from my teens, get hitched or maybe have a kid. It’s a rite-of-passage that signifies that the transition to adulthood has come.
The bride in her beautiful pink princess gown and the groom in a matching pink suit
Eight years and many shared experiences later – man and wife
I really loved being at Ginni and Alan’s wedding which was held at in the ballroom of the Peranakan-inspired InterContinental Singapore (Oh hey! Sister property)! It’s a very charming venue, with a long aisle walk in from a balcony area of sorts which is just really magical! It was a wedding lunch, so having the doors open up and light streaming through as the bride and groom came striding in – that moment was unforgettable. Months on, I still have that in mind. And then there’s the colonial design details of the building plus the really elegant chandeliers and gorgeous high ceiling. The pre-function area was very charming as well in white-washed and gold tones. Now I see why this is a popular wedding venue.
Ginni and Alan were dressed in matching pink and Ginni was such a princess in a classic poufy pink gown complete with fairy tale-esque sparkles on her tulle dress and layered bodice. It was so different from how I remembered her, but she was just beautiful. Alan really complemented her with a dapper pastel pink suit. He carried it off perfectly! These two are made for each other.
Little ‘Un Emma, isn’t so little no more
To date, I’ve attended two weddings of my Raffles City Girls, Sakinah and Ginni. It’s quite amazing to know it’s been years and years. It’s like where did all that time go and at the same time I am also feeling wonderment at how much can develop and blossom in several years. (Actually it’s been more than eight years since, come to think of it. One word: Wow.)
I really enjoy going for weddings especially when it involves these Ben & Jerry’s girls because it’s a great time for me to catch up with them. Everyone is leading such spectacularly different lives now and it’s really a sweet experience to just get to know them all over again – what are they doing, what are they preoccupied with, are they dating anyone now and so on.
Mama Jan and Shiwei
The passing years has also seen Lavi become a mother. From one little ‘un, she now has two. Emma is now a big girl and Julia has taken over the baton as baby girl of the house.
So far, I’ve noticed that at most weddings involving the Ben & Jerry’s girls, more often than not, little Emma is center of attention and now the superstar! Being the first baby means that she gets undivided attention from all the “aunties” and “zeh zehs” (Cantonese for big sister). It helps that she’s just such a charmer and super adorable to boot. She’s very chatty and just a ball of fun, always stealing the show. I wonder how things will be now that she’s gonna be big sis!
Ginni gets some time with Emma before her march in
Emma is real clueless as to why Ginni Jie Jie is in a huge poufy gown
Emms smouldering with that model-esque gaze
Ginni finally getting some hugs from Emma albeit not her undivided attention
Emma possibly hoping to grab someones phone rather than take a snap with the bride
All the “Aunties” and Jie Jies having their photo opp with Emma
I just wanted to blog about Ginni’s wedding because it truly felt like a mark in time showing me that life is really going by, life is happening every minute and second of the day and smallest seeds can grow into strong Sycamore trees.
I don’t see the Ben and Jerry’s girls all the time as well, so each wedding or major event (e.g. new baby) is always a huge milestone. We all share a bond but not in a “lets see each other every other weekend” kind of way (at least for me), but they will always have a special place in my heart.
The Ben & Jerry’s Raffles City Girls with Ginni and Alan
(Photo Credit: Ginni and Alan Chiang)
The whole bunch of New Balance Guys and Ben & Jerry’s Girls
(Photo Credit: Ginni and Alan Chiang)
Congratulations to Ginni and Alan and I wish you both a full life in union that is built on trust, love and openness that will weather any storm that relationships are so often put to trial, while enjoying the light hearted moments that marriage brings!
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no, it is an ever-fixèd mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand’ring bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
– Sonnet 116, 1 – 8, Shakespeare
Location: Intercontinental Singapore