Top 10 Types of Wedding Guests in Singapore

Singaporeans are generally not as loud and dramatic compared to wedding guests in America or Europe, but we can be quirky too! Next time you attend a wedding, keep your eyes open and see if you can spot these guests among the friends, relatives, colleagues, NS buddies, church mates and ex-schoolmates gathered. These are the 10 most common wedding guests in Singapore:

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Dear Friends, guess who just arrived.
Photo by Zonzon Productions

1. The ‘Yaw Kwee’ 饿鬼

“I was shocked there was still so much food left. Some of my colleagues and hubby’s friends ate like they have never seen food before.” – Cheryl Lin, 28, bride.

Literally these guests scare everyone with their appetites as they go back for a fourth or even a fifth helping. Spotting them at a proper Chinese banquet is trickier. The only tell-tale signs you’ll ever notice is that the food keeps disappearing before you finish your first serving. Spooky!

2. The Fashionably Late

“Halfway through the reception, my daughter’s colleague walked into the hall. She greeted the other colleagues loudly and sat down at their table. She never said hello to us or greeted my daughter. I was speechless.” – Madam Tan, 56, mother of the bride.

Nothing is more embarrassing than acknowledging that the late-comer is your friend. You can sense everyone shaking their heads and whispering. Things are much worst when the VIRs (very important relatives) are late. You will be forced to sit and listen to your stomach growl.

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Dear Underdressed, be like your grandparents and learn to dress for the occasion.
Photo by Annabel Law Productions

3. The Underdressed 

“Singaporeans don’t dress well. I hate it when they come to church weddings in three-quarter pants, slippers and t-shirts. It’s very disrespectful.” – Mr. Wattana, 43, groom’s colleague.

Some Singaporean think it’s acceptable to appear in three-quarter pants, t-shirts and sneakers at a formal reception. You certainly feel puzzled and overdressed when you see so many of them flocking together. Thankfully, these days, people are better dressed, right?

4. The Over Enthusiastic

“I guess having people ‘ooooing’ and ‘ahhhhhing’ all the time isn’t that bad. They really show they are enjoying the wedding.” – Nur Aisha, 30, couple’s ex-schoolmate and wedding guest.

These are the small group of relatives or friends who are constantly pointing and commenting. It is quaint at first, but after half an hour, it feels a little fake. Telling them to keep quiet would too rude, so you have to either play along or pretend to ignore them.

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Dear Critics, smile and celebrate with the couple instead of complaining.
Photo by Berryhappy Photography

5. The Critic

“She’s so negative. It’s annoying. I sat next to her all evening and heard her complain about the food, the décor and even the wedding gown. Sheeesh.” – Sandra Lam, 18, cousin of the groom.

You can spot these downers easily as everyone is avoiding them. If you were blur enough to miss these obvious signs, then you’re in for a treat. Walk away or you may turn into one of them! It’s no secret that Singaporeans are always looking for something to whine about.

6. The One-Upper

“Yes I know. You told me three times that your son’s wedding was bigger, grander, more expensive, etc. It gets old after sometime.” – John Fang, 29, groomsmen.

This person seems to enjoy tearing things down by telling the world they have attended far better weddings. As the conversation drags on, the monologue becomes repetitive and exaggerated. You really wonder why they even bother lingering around. Retreat as soon as possible!

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Dear Phantom Guests, don’t assume the couple will never notice your empty seats.
Photo by Affinity Pictures

7. The Phantom Guest

“I will understand when you say you cannot come. Don’t RSVP for the sake of RSVP-ing. I get very annoyed when I see an empty chair.” – Ming Haojun, 31, groom.

There are so many chairs around. Even though you have someone to your right, you are constantly inching away from the empty to your left. The opposite yours isn’t fully occupied either. Perhaps if these well-meaning guests had been kind enough not to RSVP then the hotel ballroom won’t feel like a ghost town.

8. The Loudmouths

“You know those group of aunties? They are very happening. They laugh, they scream and they clap. They seem to have the most fun.” – Ho Wanjin, 26, bridesmaid.

These cliques can be identified by their loud voices. While we like to think they are a group of older women with greying hair, don’t be surprised to find yourself listening to a bunch of fresh grads. You should be glad that they aren’t drunk.

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Dear Handphone Addict, many people consider texting at weddings to be very rude.
Photo by Zonzon Productions

9. The Handphone Addict

‘Is it Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? I don’t know what they’re doing. Every time I look up there is at least one person checking their handphone.’ – Raj, 32, groom.

Being able to tap into free wifi is guaranteed to send these under-forties into a frenzy. Even though you struggle to strike up a meaningful conversation, you are amazed that they managed to avoid spilling anything as they eat and text at the same time. They really behave like robots controlled by a detachable remote.

10. The Selfies

‘Snap, snap, snap! They crowd round the dias and the wedding cake. They gather round me and my husband. They even stop to pose in front of the buffet. My ex-schoolmates are more on than my photographer.” – Zulaika, 28, bride.

The selfies love stretching out their hands and huddling around a tiny screen. Often they become so engrossed that they don’t even realize they are blocking the way. Just when you think they’ve finally run out of battery, a new camera or a power bank appears. Don’t appear interested or you’ll become their personal photographer!

Weddings are constantly changing. Many of us are slowly stepping away from the lavish two hundred to three hundred guest events and settling for something more intimate. As our guest list shrinks, we may say good-bye to the Phantom Guests and the Underdressed, but most of the other personalities are here to stay. Sit in the corner at your next family gathering and you’ll see what we mean.

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