When consultant surgeon Ganesh Ramalingam first set eyes on Lisa Gwee at a party organised by a fellow doctor, the attraction was instant. The director of G&L Surgical Clinic recalls, “I was captivated by her beauty. Mustering the courage, I struck up a conversation. Her grace and charm attracted me deeply. That night, I fell asleep with her on my mind.”
The pair bonded over their common interest in medicine and film, and in time, Ganesh found himself drawn to Lisa’s intelligence, capability, inner strength and commitment to the family. “One thing that stood out was that she was fiercely protective of me. She even took care of trivial matters. It was then that I realised she was the one for me,” says Ganesh.
Exactly 111 days after the pair’s first meeting, Ganesh proposed.
It is common for wedding couples to use their initials in everything from wedding invitation seals to place cards at the banquet tables, but for this pair, their initials G & L formed the theme for the celebration and represented something deeper. “It was not just Ganesh and Lisa, but also something larger than ourselves: Gratitude and Love. This represents how the wedding had never been about us, and how we view ourselves as part of a larger entity. We are immensely grateful for the love and support that has brought us this far,” says Lisa, the manager director of G&L Surgical Clinic.
Following a traditional ceremony among Ganesh’s family and relatives, the couple were united by the laws of the church at Chijmes hall in March 2016. The Gothic-styled 19th century chapel, with its domed roof, columns and arched entryways, fit perfectly with Lisa’s idea of a fairytale wedding. Long tables lined with white linen, gold Tiffany chairs and fresh blooms imbued the space with romance. “Red roses are an emblem of love and romance, and a time-honoured way to express appreciation not only to each other but also to all our loved ones,” says Lisa.
Two days later, a glitzy dinner reception was held at The St Regis Singapore. Some 450 guests were invited, including minister of state, Ministry of Health, Lam Pin Min, professors and family from Australia and India. They partook of an extravagant 10-course Cantonese feast which was accompanied with Champagne Trouillard a Hautvillers-France, specially ordered from France. The bottles were dated 2016 to mark the couple’s wedding year and bore the words “With compliments from Ganesh et Lisa” in gold. A dessert table by Celebrate with Cake rounded out the meal, the centrepiece being an 86cm tall Ladurée macaron tower air-flown from Hong Kong.
For the final event, the newlyweds flew to Taiwan in January 2017 for a Chinese tea reception at The Westin Taipei. Lisa cut a stunning figure in a cheongsam as the pair offered tea to her parents.
The bride wore a bespoke lace gown from Rico-A-Mona Bridal’s Garden Collection as she walked down the red carpet on the arm of her beaming father. The sweeping soft-laced mermaid gown was intricately tailored with floral details. She had three other outfits, all graceful, and each evoking a different feel. While canary yellow isn’t a colour normally chosen by brides, she carried it off with unmistakable poise at the solemnisation ceremony where she wore a sari from India in the rich colour.
Her wedding bling were a combination of pieces from Larry Jewelry and CW Jewels. As a special gift, Ganesh personally designed her ring and emerald earrings which were then handcrafted by a private jeweller. “I can still remember running to the jewellery shop in between seeing patients and performing operations,” he recalls. “Seeing her smile on the big day made every little effort worth it.”
Careful attention was paid to outfits for the seven bridesmaids, too. From girly in flowy pink gowns at the daytime ceremony, they morphed into sultry sirens in satin gold dresses that accentuated the elegant decor of the St Regis ballroom during the dinner reception.
The G & L theme was also conveyed through the couple’s choice of favours, which were handmade by the disabled. It was their way of doing good through their wedding. “We wanted to give back to society by collaborating with less privileged individuals and tapping on their potential in simple acts
of love,” says Lisa.