What an honor to be called Singapore’s Wong Kar-Wai
I am adopting the tradition of one of my favourite TV producers, Chuck Lorre, I have decided to write a vanity card to describe the very profound wedding that was Paul and Charissa’s. It had been an emotional trip for me at the wedding just two days ago. When I turned up at Charissa’s place, Mrs. Wong opened the door welcomed me in with a warm smile, calling my name. I knew that it would be a wonderful day then. The theme song to the TV show “Cheers” was playing in my head as I unpacked to start the day, it surely was a wonderful way to start work where
“You wanna go where people know,
people are all the same,
You wanna go where everybody knows
~ Lyrics from
by Gary Portnoy and Judy Hart Angelo
The whole family made me feel so welcome! Of course, I was there for the second time, and that helped. A little over a year ago, I was Celest’s videographer so I was no stranger to the family in that sense. But beyond that, I think, I was immensely lucky because Aston and Celest’s video was one of the most personal I have edited, and the feeling was mutual for the family. In a small way, it became a part of their story.
What happened was Serendipity.
n. pl. ser·en·dip·i·ties
1. The faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident.
2. The fact or occurrence of such discoveries.
3. An instance of making such a discovery.
(Source : http://www.thefreedictionary.com/serendipity)
The second definition stood out where applied to Aston and Celest’s finding each other(the title to their SDE was “Serendipitous Me”), and later in Celest’s speech to her sister about Paul and Charissa’s story. I realised, and I am going to be immodest when I say this, that the first definition might apply to me too. I have to acknowledge my part in making some fortunate discoveries by accident. When there is a right person at the right place at the right time, the person MUST absolutely be READY for it.
To openly admit that I have a talent for serendipity doesn’t come easy for me. Charissa, in her note to me the morning after her wedding banquet, very eloquently gave the responsibility of capturing the essence of their beautiful wedding to me. What began with a smile and a friendly face in the morning ended with a message that moved me profoundly.
Hi Why Keen!!!!!
First, we are so sorry that this has come a day late, and we are only typing this now because the craziness of the wedding dinner only ended at 3am last night and as much as we were bursting with excitement to tell you how massively close to our hearts this video has been, we wanted to wait for the a quiet moment to be able to share with you just how much this video meant and will always mean to us.
When the video started playing in the room and we saw “in His shoes”, my dad looked over at Paul with quivering lips and gave him the nod – the nod that only a daughter would know finally seals the deal, he knew with all that was in his golden heart that his daughter’s life would be secured and safely treasured by this one man worthy enough to fill his infinitely sized shoes. And I started crying, not because I’m just a big sentimental mess (which I admit I still am) but it was because of something else, something only my dad and I know. Do you remember me giving my dad a card and a gift when we served him tea? In that very card, I wrote to him that Paul is the first boy I have ever taken home, or rather, the first boyfriend I’ve had, only because my father has created such massive shoes to fill that no one even came close to filling a little portion of it. And so unexpectedly but so perfectly, Paul came along and there was no question or doubt, he was the one who already had it in him to fill that little portion so seamlessly and the only one who can slowly fill that wildly infinite space that was delicately crafted by a daughter’s first love. And exactly like those three words, it was all about being “in His shoes”. How did you know? How could you have known? You didn’t, but like all things inexplicably woven together to create this beautiful union between our families, it was perfect.
my father has created such massive shoes to fill
Why Keen, you did it once again. This sentence doesn’t come with an exclamation mark but with a full stop – only because it has not come as a surprise at all, you are our amazing friend Why Keen and you were right there in your element capturing moments with an eye that saw things everyone else took a mere glance of. You have a rare gift, and in you, my family has seen so much more than just an amazing videographer who can do mind blowing work, we have seen a sensitive and gentle spirit, a guy with a massive heart overflowing with love for people around him, and you have touched so many hearts with your undeniable talent and passion for the art of videography. I don’t remember a single moment at our wedding where you didn’t have the widest beam on your face. That smile never left your face, and for a slight moment, I was even worried that your cheeks would hurt. You were always smiling and we felt so much joy just being around you, and the day went on feeling like an enormous family party, there was so much love and this love was so beautifully shared and captured behind this massive smile of yours. It has been our greatest honour and privilege getting to know you as an amazing part of our big family and you have given us the greatest gift anyone could ever ask for. You captured our story in its rawest essence and you brought it together in such an intricately beautiful and personal way. You captured and crafted a story that will continue to live on for years and generations to come.
The video continued on. A dish was just served at each table, yet we had every single person glued to the screen. The food was getting cold but no one cared, this was so much more important. We laughed a lot, we cried a lot, and we all loved a lot. I saw my uncle putting his arm on his wife and smiling at her – it brought more than just our two little families together.
We laughed a lot, we cried a lot, and we all loved a lot.
The way you put everything together to create this one video just for us – we know and deeply feel how much time, energy and sleep you have sacrificed just to do this for us, and we cannot thank you enough for being so so dedicated and for loving our family like your own. Telling you that we absolutely and unquestionably loved the video does not even come close to describing how we felt when we watched it for the first time (and trust me, this feeling will be reignited each and every time I watch this again – I lied to Celest, I didn’t watch her video 40 times, I’ve actually seen it about 60 times and each time I still bawl like a baby because it always brings me back to that very day and all the emotions start rushing back again). You captured the most precious moments to us, and as simple as these moments may have seemed to some, you captured them showing just how important they meant to us. You reminded us to love and laugh and to celebrate life, and to cherish little and big milestones in life with people we love. When it came to the part where my dad was searching for the right pair of shoes and passing the torch over to Paul, it sealed the deal for all of us and my dad looked back at Paul and gave him a second nod, affirming Paul of his assurance and trust in him.
You reminded us to love and laugh and to celebrate life
Thank you so much for working so hard at our wedding, for capturing the most important moments to us that will stay close to our hearts for the rest of our lives and for touching so many hearts and bringing so many families together in that one precious moment. You have been nothing but amazing to our family, and we cannot thank you enough for making this wedding so so special for us. Having the privilege of knowing you (along with Sam, Anna and Bobbie) and having our wedding captured by you will forever be the best thing that has happened to us.
Thank you so much for being you Why Keen, get ready for mountains of work to come rolling in, because your work speaks for itself and you have a rare gift that never stops giving and we have been so incredibly blessed by you.
With all our love for you and your family, Paul and Charissa
Charissa and Paul took their time to tell me how they felt, and I take every word to heart. Even as I am reading this again for the fourth time, I find my tears welling up.
I made someone happy with something I created with my own two hands.
I made this world a slightly happier place.
Most importantly, I needed someone to tell me I did. Paul, Charissa, Aston and Celest all did. In part 2, I will share more about the dark times we went through, and why the boost of confidence came at just the right time.