It was a lovely wedding celebration with an even lovelier guest list, which included local politicians and stars.
But the bride, former Ch 8 actress Tracy Lee who joined Star Search a decade ago, almost didn’t want to hold a wedding dinner.
Tracy, 32, married businessman Ben Goi, 41, last Saturday after a 19-month courtship. The banquet was held at Shangri-La Hotel, with about 400 guests in attendance.
The groom is the son of Singaporean tycoon Sam Goi, famed for his popiah skin business Tee Yih Jia. Sam is currently ranked 10th in Forbes’ Singapore’s 50 Richest, and has a net worth of US$2.1bil (S$2.86bil).
“We wanted to just register our marriage and have a simple celebration with a few relatives," a cheerful Tracy tells us over the phone. "In the end, we held a small wedding and kept it cosy with a capacity of 40 tables. Usually, Ben’s family would hold banquets with at least 100 tables (laughs)."
She declined to reveal how much they spent on the wedding, including details of the two wedding dresses she had on for the dinner.
Tracy’s wedding came as a surprise to many as she and her husband decided to get married only in August.
“I’m a very impromptu and spontaneous person (guffaws),” the Malaysian star quips. “We came back from a trip in Bhutan in August, and felt that we wanted to get married this year. We didn’t want our wedding date to be too near the festive season so we chose sometime between end September and early October (laughs).”
She muses: “Many of my friends thought that they were seat fillers ‘cos I only invited them in August. However, they were the first few people I invited! Those who know me well know that I’ve always been easy-going and spontaneous. Thanks everyone for accommodating us like this! (Laughs).”
8 DAYS: Congrats on your wedding! How did you and Ben meet?
TRACY LEE: Thanks! I knew Ben in 2010 through some mutual friends when I came to Singapore to work. However, we only started dating early last year after I met him again when a group of us went to his place for a barbecue. I think it’s fate. He told me he has never felt the urge to get married until he met me. As for me, I feel like I’ve found my sense of direction in life after dating him.
How did he propose?
That’s the funny thing, he didn’t propose. He’s not a romantic person at all, so I always joke and tell him: “You owe me a marriage proposal.” (Laughs) We started talking about marriage shortly after dating, and we simply decided to get married after our Bhutan trip in August. We were looking at the dates and we felt that end September or early October would be perfect. If we pushed it to next year, it would have to be in June as we’d have to wait for Chinese New Year and Qing Ming Festival to be over, and I felt that that would be quite late (laughs).
So did he eventually give you a diamond ring?
(Chuckles) Yes, he gave me a 1.5 carat diamond ring during the gatecrashing session on Saturday morning. I can’t tell you the cut of the diamond as I’m not very good with such stuff. I’m not big on gifts so it doesn’t really matter (laughs).
How rushed was the wedding prep given that you only had a month to work on it?
(Chuckles) Yes, it’s quite rushed and I’ve been so busy since we decided [to get married] in August. We went on to book a venue, videographer, photographer and everything else. I’m a perfectionist so I planned everything myself without a wedding planner. I wanted a garden wedding but my husband doesn’t take to the hot weather here very well so we gave our wedding venue a garden theme instead, with lots of flowers and greenery. Now that the wedding here is over, we’ll be heading over to my hometown in Kuala Lumpur next weekend for the Malaysian leg (laughs).
There were many VIPs at your wedding, including former President Tony Tan and ESM Goh Chok Tong.
Yes, security was quite tight. However, we don’t wish to make that the main focus of our wedding. I’m just thankful and grateful that they took time out of their hectic schedules to be there.
The last time we saw you on TV was in Ch 8 drama Peace & Prosperity (2016). What have you been up to this year?
I was hospitalised last year as I was too stressed from work, so I decided to cut myself some slack this year and take it easy. I’ve been resting and travelling quite a lot with Ben. I still want to continue acting even after getting married, and I hope to still venture into Taiwan or China in the future if opportunities arise.
Where are you going for your honeymoon?
As I’m super spontaneous, I think I’ll head to either Australia and New Zealand once we have time in October after our wedding in Malaysia. We haven’t booked anything or planned anything though (laughs).
Are you planning to have a kid soon?
I’m a Gemini, so I’m hoping to try for a Gemini baby after a year of marriage!