Personal trainer and former commando Zachary Lee (centre, wearing “helmet”) and his groomsmen dressed up as Spartan warriors for his wedding gate-crashing. PHOTO: BENJAMIN HO
Gate-crashing "brothers" and their self-humiliation antics usually provide lots of laughter on the wedding day for Chinese couples.
But two entourages have especially gained attention for their wacky costumes and their willingness to throw dignity to the wind. Coincidentally, they both happened on May 28.
The first group is a bunch of shirtless guys dressed as Spartan warriors, complete with short skirts and gladiator sandals. A photo of them was posted last Monday onto the Facebook page of Singapore humour website SGAG and has since garnered more than 3,500 "likes".
It was an impressive sight: nine topless hunks in short skirts and showing off six-pack abs. The groom is Mr Zachary Lee, 25, a personal trainer and former commando.
Lest you think they are all fitness professionals, only one groomsman is a personal trainer. The others include marketing executives, a navy officer and undergraduates.
Netizens had a field day commenting on the men's sculpted physiques, with Odelia Js writing: "Can I wash my clothes on your abs?"
Charles Klaosamutara wrote: "The evillest thing the sisters can do for a game would be to make them eat carbs and drink sugared drinks."
The Singaporean, who met his wife while they were undergraduates at the University of Queensland, says he chose a costume that would be "fun and memorable".
He adds: "Having lived in Australia for so long, I also do not take well to humid weather."
Some of the groomsmen often exercise together, and Mr Lee himself works out for up to two hours a day.
On the big day, the group met at a fitness corner in Upper Paya Lebar to change into their Spartan costumes and proceeded to the gate-crash at the bride's terrace house nearby.
Their capes and "Spartan skirts" were made from cloth bought from Spotlight. The rest of their props were bought from Daiso, such as their "spears" (budget gardening tools) and the groom's "Trojan helmet" (cheap construction safety helmet spray-painted gold and attached with two pom-poms).
Total cost of the costumes? $60.
During the 30-minute gatecrash, Mr Lee and his groomsmen did challenges such as forming a human pyramid and dancing to pop tunes such as Britney Spears' Toxic.
The bride, Ms Elsa Kwok, 25, wore a regular dress and used a garbage bag as a veil. She says: "I wanted Zachary to see me in my gown only at the church ceremony later that day."
Adds her father, Mr Kwok Kin Hong, 58: "We are an easy-going family. It is their wedding and we just want them to enjoy themselves."
The second entourage that made a splash did so for different reasons.
The group of five "brothers" wore pastel-coloured unicorn onesies, looking like budget mascots from an old theme park. They were led by the groom, lawyer Ian Chew, 31, to fetch the bride from her parental home, a bungalow in Holland Road.
Why the unicorn get-up?
It is a pun on the bride's name: Uni Khng, 29, a lawyer.
The idea for the costumes came from groomsman Darren Neubronner, 32, an entrepreneur, who explains: "It was either this or yoga tights and singlets, since Uni loves yoga. It was an easy choice."
The onesies cost $30 each and were bought from China by one of the groomsmen.
The groom says: "We wore T-shirts and shorts inside, but the material of the onesies was thin, so we didn't feel very hot."
This story was first published in The Straits Times. See Zachary's workout tips for grooms, as well as real wedding feature (with his lovely bride Elsa) in our pages, soon.