By Stephanie Jade Arlindita
Most people in SingHealth know Mrs Tan-Huang Shuo Mei as the Group Director of Communications and Service Quality. But few know that she is a Licensed Marriage Solemniser. She was proud to share that she has officiated weddings some of our own colleagues’ weddings, and that of her fellow directors.
How long have you been a marriage solemniser?
I was appointed some 16 years ago as part of my job at the then Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports. Even though I do not work there anymore, I’ve continued doing it because it’s a community service I enjoy.
I like to see couples getting married and celebrating it in the presence of their friends and relatives. For the newly-weds, the advantage of holding their solemnisation outside ROM (Registry of Marriages) is that they get to invite many more people. And the celebration of marriage should be witnessed by family and friends.
How many weddings have you solemnised?
Each year, I do two or three weddings, so over the years I would say I’ve probably solemnised about 60 weddings.
Any memorable solemnisations?
That of my nieces, my own staff and also two of our doctors who were so busy with work, they actually missed filing their notice of marriage on time and had to pay a fine!
I hope that one day, I will get to do a solemnisation in the wards for patients or their children.
Shuo Mei recently solemnised the wedding of SingHealth Group Chief Human Resource Officer Esther Tan’s daughter
Tell us about your family.
My husband and I have been married for 30 years. Valentine’s Day, wedding anniversaries and birthdays do not feature a lot in our relationship – we are both pragmatic people. We have three adult yet-to-be-married daughters who tell me that I’m not allowed to give up my solemniser license until I solemnise their marriages.
What tips would you give to newlyweds or soon-to be married couples?
- Be very intentional about creating beautiful memories that are deeply etched in your minds.
- Respect your in-laws like your own parents and siblings. Encourage your spouse’s generosity to them.
- You don’t have to have the last word. Losing (an argument) is often winning.
- The kitchen of your home is the “nerve centre” of the home. Create warm hearty meals and the occasional heirloom dishes; they are reasons for the family to come home.