updated 28 Jul 2014, 16:53
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Thu, Jan 09, 2014
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Serenade surprise
by Charlene Chua

SINGAPORE - The bride surprised her singer-groom by serenading him with a song.

It was an oldie, and it got the American-born Taiwanese singer-actor Van Ness Wu and the guests all teary-eyed.

In return, he gave her three songs, but instead of singing them himself, the former member of mega-popular Taiwanese boy band F4 got his pal, Taiwan star Wang Lee Hom, to sing them.

The bride was Ms Arissa Cheo, a Singaporean, and the groom, Van Ness Wu.

On Sunday night, they held their purple-themed wedding dinner at The St Regis Singapore hotel amid laughter, tears and secret surprises.

A guest, who only wanted to be known as Mr X, said Wu, 35, was visibly touched as Ms Cheo, a 30-year-old jewellery designer, sang him an oldie.

Among the more than 500-strong guests present were celebrities such as Taiwan stars Wang and Jerry Yan and Hong Kong's Andy On, Jaycee Chan and Philip Ng.

Yan, who was sporting a goatee, was the only F4 member who attended the dinner.

Mr X told The New Paper: "(The wedding dinner) looked like a fairy tale.

"I met Arissa a few years ago and she's a nice girl, very sweet.

"I don't think there's a more matching couple than these two. They are the perfect couple."

On Ms Cheo singing to her husband, he said: "Arissa's no Whitney Houston, but she's got a really sweet voice.

"I was really happy for them."

So how did Wu surprise his bride in return?

Laughing, Mr X said: "Er, he got Lee Hom to sing three songs to Arissa. I think that more than made up for her surprise to him.

"Actually that was the highlight of the night, everyone loved his vocals."

One of the songs that Wang dedicated to the bride and groom was Eddie Cantor's jazz classic Makin' Whoopee.

Wang's wife, Columbia University doctoral student Li Jinglei, 27, was also seen enjoying her husband's candour.


The guests, dressed to the nines, started trickling in at 6pm and the dinner started promptly at 7pm.

Wu and Ms Cheo began the evening by thanking their family members and friends.

They gave special thanks to their mums for bringing them into the world.

Wu's mother and sisters Stacy and Wendy had flown in from the US to attend the reception. Then the wining and dining began.

Mr X said that they were served a sumptuous six-course menu that included scallops, pork ribs, fish and soup.

There was also free flow of wine and "any alcohol that you wished for at the open bar".

Said Mr X: "The most amazing part of the dinner was the dessert buffet.

"There were lots of sweets - cotton candy, macaroons and a white chocolate fountain."

Ms Cheo posted a picture of the dessert buffet on Instagram yesterday saying: "Dessert buffet that I didn't get to enjoy. Thanks everyone for coming last night! I hope you guys had fun."

Wu and Ms Cheo, who changed outfits four times, had their closest friends seated at two long tables facing each other.

Apart from these tables, which sat about 50 each, there were also round tables which accommodated the other guests.

Wu was also the recipient of many good wishes, especially when he found out that one of the hongbaos he had received contained a few thousand dollars.

Said Mr X: "As a good friend of his, I gave him a few thousand dollars and that was on top of the $8,000 I spent flying here.

"I had to give him that much because this was a really special occasion."

Hong Kong actor Ng also drew much laughter from the crowd when he made a heart-warming comedic speech that ended with him plugging his latest movie, Once Upon A Time In Shanghai.

The dinner ended around midnight, but the party carried on till the wee hours.

Wu and Ms Cheo had first registered their notice of marriage here in August last year.

This was followed by a lavish wedding ceremony and punk-themed dinner at the five-star The Resort At Pelican Hill in Newport Beach, California, last November.

Apple Daily reported that singer Elva Hsiao and actor Sammo Hung's son Jimmy, who is a member of Taiwanese band Tension, were the only show-business friends spotted at the US wedding.

Ms Cheo also posted pictures of her and Wu honeymooning in Phuket at the end of November.

On Sunday, their nuptials culminated in a dinner here attended by their close friends and family.

There were 100 service and security personnel on hand to make sure everything went smoothly.

Said Mr X: "My wedding wishes to Van Ness were health and happiness always. There's nothing more important than that.

"If he were to have a kid, I would like to be its godfather but these things you have to wait for him to ask!"

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