Couple ring in the New Year with Registry wedding

News story
There were smiles all round as Ying and Phaik celebrated their nuptials, the first wedding of the year at the Registry for Births, Deaths and Marriages.
BDM Wedding 2021

The lovebirds, who share a passion for cooking, met at the train station when Phaik asked Ying for directions.

They are hoping that embarking on their new life together at the start of 2021 is a good omen.

Their special day was officiated by Mei Sutherland with the help of an interpreter provided by the Department of Justice.

Mei has worked at BDM since 1988 shortly after arriving in Australia from Malaysia.

She has married almost 5,000 couples from all different cultures and has learned to say ‘congratulations’ in multiple languages.  

‘Being from a different culture I suppose gives you a little bit more scope, you can understand where the couples are coming from.’

‘I enjoy meeting all the people that come in to get married. I talk to them and try and understand, ask them when and how they do things, whether they have different formats, some people wear rings on the right hand and whereas here we wear rings on our left hand.’

Though some may think getting hitched at the Registry is unromantic, Mei would disagree.

‘A marriage is how the couple feel not so much where they get married or the bells and whistles.’

‘I always hope they will be happy and I say - I don't want to see you come back sitting in those chairs.’

‘To be able to give them that service I think we should be very proud. If I do a wedding well and the customers are very happy. I feel very satisfied.’

After the ceremony the newlyweds went for dim sum with friends.

In 2020, 593 couples were married at the Registry for Births, Deaths and Marriages.

Page reviewed 5 January 2021