Jack Neo's daughter gets married
It was a bittersweet day for Jack Neo.
The local film-maker experienced a mixed bag of emotions when he walked his daughter, Ethel, 25, down the aisle yesterday.
He was over the moon, yet he could not shake off the sense of sadness.
"Different feelings and memories came flooding back when we were doing the slow march into the church sanctuary," the 56-year-oldtold The New Paper on Sunday over the phone.
"I didn't expect this day would come so soon."
HAPPY DAY: (Clockwise from left) Jack Neo, his son-in-law, Peter Lau, his daughter, Ethel and his wife, Irene. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/JACKNEONCK
The ceremony was held at Bedok Methodist Church.
Neo has three other children, sons aged 22, 17 and 12.
He admitted that it was initially hard to accept that his only girl is now a married woman.
He said: "It was the part of the (wedding) ceremony where I had to hand her over to the pastor, that really hit me hard.
"Reality finally sank in when they were pronounced 'man and wife' and she was introduced as Mrs Lau.
"She is no longer Miss Neo... She is not mine any more."
Neo said the days leading up to the wedding were rough as he was overwhelmed by emotions.
His wife, Irene, is handling the emotion better than him, he said while laughing.
Neo said: "Maybe it is because talks about marriage have been going on for years.
"When a video of her growing up - from baby to adulthood - was screened, it was a test of self-control.
"I called the video, A Movie: 25 Years In The Making."
In his thank-you speech, Mr Peter Lau, 31, told Neo: "I grew up watching (the long-running variety show) Gao Xiao Xing Dong (Comedy Nite), Liang Popo and Liang Ximei... and I can't believe that you are now my father-in-law."
Neo said the couple had agreed to wait for Ethel to get some working experience before exchanging vows.She has her own online business, while the groom is a training manager at Golden Village.
They will be having their wedding dinner in December.
Neo is thankful that his son-in-law is someone he can entrust Ethel to.
"They have been dating for seven years, so we knew very well what kind of person he is," he said.
"He is my daughter's first and only boyfriend. I trust her judgment.
"(Peter) has also shown to us that he truly loves my daughter and is one who will look after her well."
While he feels that his daughter is still young, the Neos did encourage her to settle down early.
"I married Irene when she was 25. I was 31, like Peter."
The next milestone Neo is anticipating will be his first grandchild.
"I have been a father for so many years, it is time to get promoted. My wife gave birth to Ethel when she was 26, so Ethel can follow her mum's example too," he said.
He added that it is good to start a family while they are young, especially if they want to have a few children.
"There are several government incentives now, they might as well make full use of them," he added, laughing.
"Don't be like me... I am 56, and I still have to worry about PSLE."
While Ethel may no longer be Miss Neo, Neo is happy that she is not leaving the nest yet.
The newlyweds will live with the Neos until renovations at their own home is completed by year end.
"I can still see her every night at home," said Neo.
"So nothing has changed... yet," he said, laughing.
"Reality finally sank in when they were pronounced ‘man and wife’ and she was introduced as Mrs Lau. She is no longer Miss Neo... She is not mine any more."
— Jack Neo on his daughter, Ethel