SINGAPORE - After being married for 25 years, Singapore musician Goh Kheng Long and his wife chose to renew their commitment to each other on Wednesday (Nov 28) in an intimate church ceremony in Paris, with Hong Kong singer-actor Jacky Cheung and former Mediacorp actress Sharon Au as witnesses.
Au, who is a good friend of the couple, shared photos of the heart-warming ceremony at The American Church in Paris' 7th arrondissement on her Facebook profile.
In one of the photos, Goh is dressed in a navy blue suit and poses with his wife Tay Ting Ting, who is wearing a simple, flowy white dress and holding a bouquet of flowers.
The couple are flanked by Au and Cheung, who held his 207th concert of his world tour in the French capital on Wednesday night.
Goh, 51, is the concert music director for Cheung's A Classic Tour, while 48-year-old Tay is the band manager.
In her Facebook post, Au, 43, wrote: "Here's to a glorious 25th wedding anniversary Ting and Long! And how perfect it is celebrating this milestone in Paris!"
Speaking to The Straits Times on Thursday, Au said that she was very excited to learn that the couple would be touring London and Paris around the same time as their 25th wedding anniversary.
And when Tay suggested renewing her vows with Goh in Paris, Au was fully on board with the idea.
Together with her best friend in Paris, Au made arrangements for the church ceremony and lunch for 55 guests, including several of the couple's close friends who flew from Singapore specially for the day.
"Ting Ting never had flowers when they married 25 years ago, because Kheng Long forgot. So this time we made sure we bought very beautiful ones," said Au, who also did Tay's make-up.
"They also didn't have a church wedding or an Eiffel Tower, so this time we made her dream come true," she added.
Tay told ST that while they had decided on a ceremony in Paris in August, they had not expected it to fall on the same day as Cheung's concert.
The concert was initially scheduled for the weekend, but was later moved to Wednesday.
However, they managed to fit in a short ceremony in the morning.
She said: "We were really touched that (Cheung) made an effort to come and share in our joy.
"He hugged us so strongly and long that we could feel his sincere and genuine well wishes. It was really heart-warming for us."
She added that she and Goh got baptised only a few years after marriage and, thus, they had always wanted to renew their vows in church.
"It's all the more meaningful that we did it on our 25th anniversary, and with many of our friends in Paris," she said, adding that her husband was as nervous, excited and overjoyed as he was 25 years ago.
Au added that it was "very hard" not to cry when the couple exchanged rings, as the drummer of Cheung's band played the guitar and sang a hymn.
She also recalled a funny moment during the photo-taking after the ceremony, where 57-year-old Cheung had quipped: "Everyone please take picture as quickly as possible because we have a concert tonight."
Au, who has been working as an investment director in a private equity firm since October, got to know Tay during her school days in CHIJ St Nicholas Girls' School, and she met Goh in 2011 when he was the music director for that year's National Day Parade.
Tay, when asked about her tips for a long-lasting marriage, said: "Every relationship is unique. For us, we play as hard as we work!"
Tay had met her husband at Yamaha Music School in Plaza Singapura when she was 18 years old and Goh, then 21, was fresh out of the army.
The couple enjoy going for holidays, skiing, watching football matches and relaxing at beach resorts. They do not have children.
Tay added: "We communicate a lot, often chatting till the wee hours of the morning. We also speak our mind so we don't have to second guess. Above all these, our faith in God and the strong and warm, intimate bonds with our fellow church friends are the very pillars of our relationship."