kiasu is the way to go.
Disclaimer: this post is a sharing of my experience but hope it acts as a guide with the JP’s contacts for brides-to-be in case you happen to drop by this page. I started off with only finding the bilingual ones but as the rejections get stronger, I went for everyone. Mostly from the Top 35/40 Lists you can easily google but also from words-of-mouth recommendations from graduated brides. All the best!!
Used to think that to register for marriage, you just need to have a couple plus two witnesses, head down to ROM and sign some papers. And of cos, if you’re doing your solemnization ceremony outside of ROM, just invite a licensed solemnizer to your venue and TADAH~ But yes, have heard so much about the hardest part being finding the licensed solemnizer.
People always say you need to be KIASU especially if you want to find a good solemnizer. Thus, here I am, being VERY KIASU, I started my search in October 2016 (about 8 months before our big day). Shouldn’t be that hard, right?
So yup, the very first person I emailed was Dr Phua Tan Tee. He was my top choice since seeing him at a friend’s wedding few years back. Actually I’m pretty sure he’s at the top of many people’s list but not everyone is that lucky to have him…
- Phua Tan Tee
• Email: PHUA_Tan_Tee@nea.gov.sg
• He replied the next day and mentioned it’s too early and asked for us to contact him again in April 2017, after a few exchange of emails, he said he will be unavailable at our preferred timing and suggested to move the timing earlier so we decided to give up engaging him. ☹
So I moved on.. There were so many other recommendations by other brides and I saw many good reviews for Mr Lee Ka But and how he will donate the ang bao you give him to charity under your name. He also has this 慈祥老爷爷 look which I like so emailed him the next day after getting rejected by Mr Phua and guess what! We managed to soft book him!!
- Lee Ka But Alex
• Email: email@example.com
• He replied about half a day later and said he will put our date down in his calendar and told us that he will confirm with us again in February 2017.
So there, one thing off our checklist and onto the pending list… Waited and waited for February to come and was so over the moon when he emailed me on 31st January 2017 to confirm the appointment! Then was going through some details with him and I told him I’ll confirm the final details with him as we have yet to tie it down with the hotel when he suddenly called me. That was when I realized that stupid me told him the wrong timing (7pm) which was too late and clashed with our other activities and he is unable to make it at our preferred timing (6pm).
Just when I thought we got this settled…. *CRIES* Anyway, he was really friendly and helpful and gave us other alternatives and suggestions just that none worked for us. So in the end, had no choice but to give up the “slot” and that’s’ when the mad rush begins! ☹
So on 2nd February 2017, more than 4 month to our big day (still), I started emailing other solemnizers recommended by brides over Facebook and forums one by one. Somehow, rejection was real. And I panicked so I started spamming emails instead.
- Zenon Teh Chin Huak
• Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• He replied within 6 hours and informed that all his time slots for that day have been taken up. ☹
- Tan Peng Yam
• Email: email@example.com
• He replied within 5 hours and informed he is unable to make it. ☹
- Chiang Heng Liang
• Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• He replied within 9 hours and informed he has prior engagements during that evening. ☹
- Kwoh Chee Keong
• Email: email@example.com
• He replied within 2 hours and said it’s too early to confirm anything yet so to contact him only 3 months before our wedding. Btw, we emailed him again to ask if he could do as an exception or if he can at least let us know if he has anything on that day but he didn’t reply after that. ☹
- Francis Ng Chin Fah
• Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• He replied after 2 days and informed he will not be available on our wedding day. ☹
- Ng Yan Huay Steven
• Email: email@example.com
• He replied within 5 minutes and informed he has other commitments. ☹
- Tan Yan Boon, Alex
• Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• No replies
- Teo Chong Tee
• Email: email@example.com / HP: 97505348
• He replied after about 12 hours and informed he will be away in June thus will not be available. ☹
- Ho Nai Kiong
• Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• He replied after an hour and informed he will be in USA to celebrate his golden wedding anniversary thus unable to solemnize our wedding. ☹
- William Cheong
• Email: email@example.com
• He replied after an hour and said he will be happy to be our solemniser but requested for us to move forward the ceremony to 5.30pm. We couldn’t accommodate the time so asked if he could do 6pm but he didn’t reply. (edit) He replied after we confirmed our solemniser that he can do 6pm so we had to reject him…. ☹
At this point, I started getting desperate as some emails took too long to get back. I sent one text message and the response was quite immediate. So, I decided to send text messages to those that have mobile numbers.
- Tam Chee Wah
• HP: 93801780
• He replied within 2 hours and informed he is already booked on that day. ☹
- Kan Teck San
• HP: 96820054
• He replied after 9 hours and said he will get back to me. But no more replies after that.(edit) He replied after we confirmed our solemniser that he can do 6pm so we had to reject him…. ☹
- Koh Kok Weng
• HP: 96301728
• He replied after 5 hours and informed he is unable to solemnize our wedding as he will be outstation that week. ☹
- Leng Chin Fai
• Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• No replies.
- Tay Hock Ann
• HP: 97408981
• He replied after 5 minutes and informed his license has expired. ☹
- Peter Lee Keok Boon
• HP: 97910598
• He replied within 2 hours and informed he was not reappointed to solemnize wedding but he can help facilitate rings and vows exchange after the formal signing of marriage cert at ROM which isn’t what I want/need. ☹
- Phang Tai Heng
• HP: 97503633
• He replied after a few hours and apologized and asked me to find other solemnizer so I supposed he’s not available too. ☹
- Jennifer Lim Lay Choo
• HP: 91822168
• She replied about 3 hours later and informed her schedule is already fully booked. ☹
- Chia Siew Tin
• HP: 97351533
• She replied almost immediately to ask me to call her in the evening cos she was out and I was elated thinking got chance liao. In the end when I called her, she said she’s taken at that timing and asked if I wanna do half an hour earlier. She sounded nice but too bad, I couldn’t change my time. ☹
- Foo Siew Fong
• HP: 97370301
• Replied after more than a day and informed she’s not available and have to turn down the honour. ☹
- Chan Chee Keong
• HP: 96271890
• He replied the next day and informed he has retired as a solemniser from 1st July 2016. ☹
- Dr Low Shirley
• HP: 96365477
• No replies.
- Chung Tang Fong
• HP: 96729312
• He replied in like 15 hours and informed his license expired on 31st December 2015 and did not renew it. ☹
- Lim Cheng Kheng
• HP: 94753150
• He replied after more than a day and informed he is unavailable. ☹
- Dr Baey Lian Peck
• Home: 62748157
• Called him as he did not have a mobile number available, it was about 8pm I think, he answered saying he is in his pyjamas or something and did not want to get up, after I asked if I should call him the next day, he hung up. Don’t know if I should call him back but felt a little uncomfortable to already. ☹
- Simon Sim
• Email: email@example.com
• No replies
- Joanna Portilla
• HP: 91011935
• She replied within 5 minutes and informed she has another couple at the same timing and suggested I move forward or backwards the timing but my schedule couldn’t fit. She was very friendly in her texts though and told us we could find her if we needed any advice.
- Wee Pang Kiat
• HP: 91833618
• FINALLY GOT A YES! But zzz, I couldn’t confirm right then so I texted him again about 4 days later wanting to confirm him and he told me he’s not available ALREADY! Quite unprofessional but I blame myself for being indecisive… ☹
- Yu Shi Ming
• HP: 97366131
• He replied after 9 hours and informed he does not do solemnization anymore. ☹
- Ong Ying Ying
• HP: 97732346
• She replied within 5 minutes and informed it’s a popular date and she will not be available ☹
So that’s about 32 rejections over about a week or so, due to my stupid mistake. You know, I really would have love to have my confirmed Mr Lee Ka But but SIGH. Just gotta move on with life…
Anyways, here’s the last one I got before I got a YES. And this time, I jumped into it and no more considerations. Just confirm liao!!
- Tang Kan Hoy
• HP: 96838015
• He replied after 2 hours and informed he’s AVAILABLE! He also told me he has blocked the date, time and venue in his diary and proceeded to text me on the e-filing process in the evening. ☺☺☺
SUPER ELATED PLEASE!!! Finally, we’ve confirmed our JP on 11th February 2017, just about 4 months before the big day! Just did the e-filing today and emailed him our details and he sent us the signed consent form and guided us on the procedures. Still kinda lost since he doesn’t do meet up before the actual day.. Seen so many brides sharing their experiences when meeting their JP but there’s not much I can share. I managed to find just a few old reviews on him and he seems like a nice guy. And so far, interactions with him (through SMS, WhatsApp and email) have been good so keeping fingers crossed! Well, at least it’s a BIG TICK off the long long checklist!