I know this is probably close to three weeks late, but I finally got down, had some time to myself, gather all the photos and details, and started to pen down this day in my life. So for those of you who are wondering, on 20th September 2012, I proposed to Kai.
It was a day that I’ve planned for quite a while, so I’ll attempt to bring you right back to the beginning when the first seeds of this plan was planted, and subsequently, the journey and help I received from my wonderful friends. You see, back when we were schooling, I fooled around with the idea and also joked to Kai that I will give her a surprise by proposing to her inside Nanyang Auditorium after our convocation. Her reaction was this.
Ok I’m kidding. It wasn’t that extravagant. And because our finals were coming up real fast, I shelved the idea of a proposal and chiong-ed my papers. After we were set free from pulau NTU, I came back to my plans again.
And as you know, all proposals will come complete with a ring (although for some, the Singaporean way of proposal is to bid for a BTO flat hahaha). But it’s really a unique way of doing so, don’t you think? :p
I started looking for the ring quite a while ago, and honestly, none of them caught my eye. They were either too yellowish, or those that are of a considerable colour were too expensive. For some reason, Taka, SK and Soo Kee didn’t quite make the cut in my mind, so I stuck with Lee Hwa, Citigems and Goldheart. Love & Co was slightly out of my reach (they charge separately for both the band and the diamond, wtf?!)
We also went around looking at jewelers and trying on different rings, but of course, just for fun. We’ve had salesmen who taught us that the size of the diamond must not be more than 3/4 the size of your finger, listened to idiots who claim the cost of the ring must be 3 times the salary of the men (you’re just over-materialistic if you think like that wtf), and even a ridiculous saleswoman from SK who claimed her diamond looked yellow “because of the lighting in the shop and the white balance will be off” -.-
So after months of looking around and comparing prices (and at the same time, learning a lot about diamonds and their 4Cs – go google it yourself I’m not going to give a diamond lecture here lol!), I decided to get one that caught my eye in ION Orchard.
Now I have to get used to it scratching my finger occasionally (because of its four prongs) when I hold her hand hahaha!
Coming back to the proposal plans…
So after we finished our final papers, I didn’t plan for the proposal to happen overnight, but I figured it was probably a good time to start planning. And now, it was like someone up there was helping us with
our my plans. We found a house we both loved, took the leap of faith and bought it! I decided to rope in her best friend FJ, as my trustworthy confident and “advisor” for anything related to this proposal. I more or less decided on the venue, wanting it to be at the same place that I got together with Kai 2 1/2 years ago, at Keppel Island. So, we headed there for a reccee one evening, on the pretext that I was supposed to have dinner with two of my secondary school buddies LOL. (#Tell tale sign for girls to take note of…)
There were many ideas up in my head, but I really didn’t know which one would work. Plus the spoil-market videos on YouTube made me want to create a much more special and significant moment for her. I wanted something simple, yet romantic and memorable, instead of just bringing her to dinner, pop a ring out of her chicken/fish/steak and go down on one knee. So, during the initial reccee, we came up with the idea that I would blindfold her and bring her to a decorated pavilion. That was all that was discussed. As simple as that.
As I was still on an intensive course back then in August, I didn’t have much time to put thought into it, except for a few dates which I shortlisted. Kai explicitly stated that she didn’t want it to be before convocation (and neither DURING convocation itself LOL), so it had to be after 2nd August. And because my course ended on 31 August, I went for dates after 1 September. It came down to 12 Sept 12 (which happened to be our 33rd month together), 20 Sept 12, 22 Sept 12, and 10 October 12.
I chose 20 Sept 12 because the dates in numbers – 200912, coincides with the year and the month/date we got together (2009, 12).
Countdown: 3 weeks to D-day
Soon, end-August came, and I realised: SHIT, I’ve not done up my plans yet! All I had was to “blindfold her, and lead her to a decorated pavilion”. FML. I didn’t think of how am I going to decorate the pavilion, how am I going to bring her there, how will things go inside the pavilion… lol. So I panicked.
Countdown: 1.5 weeks D-day
Firstly, I had to settle flowers. And after looking online (and also boycotting the very expensive and not-worth-it Xpressflowers), I found Orchard Florist, conveniently located at Tiong Bahru Industrial Estate near my office! It was quite a hassle deciding between 10 and 20 roses, as I had no freaking idea how big the bouquet would be based on a photo on the internet! So, I took the gamble and went for 20, and tadah! It was perfect!
And with the flowers settled, the next step would be to plan the program, and it wasn’t until the night before the proposal on our recce that we got things properly sorted out. Out of the excuse that I am having dinner with some friends (again), I met up with FJ, her boyfriend Kay Hian, and my two secondary school buddies to head down to Keppel Island once again. We brought with us candles, candle holders and other cha-pa-lang stuff that we would want to try out there, as the plan to decorate the pavilion would be to line up two rows of candles leading into the pavilion, where there would be a laptop with a video I made specially for her! But the one thing we were scared of was the wind there (as it was just next to the sea!) and whether the candles would extinguish themselves before we even arrived there!
Thankfully, all went well that night. I roped in a couple more friends to help “secure” that area, as it was supposedly public and the guards would regularly make their rounds on bicycles there. In order not to have any “disturbance”, I enlisted my friends’ help to stand “guard” at different paths leading to the pavilion to ensure that no guards would come our way and disturb the proposal! The last thing I want would be for them to turn up mid-way and spoil everything! Like imagine this:
Halfway through the proposal… JUST when the crucial moment comes…
Me: B… will you… (about to pop the question)…
Security guard: *rides a bicycle and approaches the pavilion suddenly* eh hello hello… whatchu doing here whatchu doing here?
Hahaha. So on that night of the final reccee, I handed over my laptop table, candles, candle holders, camera and other stuff to Kay Hian and FJ as they will be there earlier to set up the place while I bring Kai for dinner. Can you imagine the nervousness at that point in time?
Countdown: 1 day to D-day
20 September: THE DAY IS HERE
Trust me when I said I had no mood to work. Literally. And my nerves weren’t soothed even though I went for a departmental lunch at Marina Bay Sands’ Pizzeria Mozza (another post on that coming up!). I was pacing up and down the whole day, running through the sequence of events plus the contingency plans, and basically just fiddling here and there.
So when the clock struck 5, I packed up and zoomed out of office. Took my own sweet time to head down to Tiong Bahru to collect because I was still ahead of schedule (and yes, I did up a time schedule for me to stick to in case things turned out wrong).
Collected the flowers, and headed to Kai’s place to pick her. She stepped into the car, and I texted FJ: Just picked her up. It has begun. LOL! Machiam like some expedition. Trying to keep the mood as light as possible but yet trying SO hard not to let the cat out of the bag, I innocently drove up Bukit Timah and brought her to Restorante da Valentino at Turf City for dinner. The place was great and we arrived just on time as planned (of course in my covert schedule) at 7.00 p.m.
We started with their signature minestrone soup (traditional Italian vegetable soup), and proceeded with our main courses. Kai ordered their Ravioli ai Funghi Porcini al sapore di Tartufo, which is basically stuffed ravioli with mushrooms and truffle oil. I had their special ribeye steak, which was FAN-TAS-TIC!
After dinner was actually the “start” of everything, where I once again innocently asked her: shall we go back to Keppel Bay? The thing was that it was already 8.30 p.m., and on a normal day, it would be a tad too late for us to head there (considering the fact that we’re right in the middle of Bukit Timah). Kai told me later that she suspected something was amiss, but went along anyway :P *phew*
I had plans to text or miss call Lin Kah or FJ when I was turning into Keppel Bay’s entrance, so they could light the candles (to prevent them from getting blown out too early). And miss call them I did, proud to say, without Kai noticing!
Parked the car, saw Kay Hian’s car there, and led her up to the atrium of the Club. This was the awkward moment where I had to go to the toilet to pass Lin Kah and Callison my car keys for them to retrieve the flowers from my boot, and the poor two guys were hiding in the toilet with a cleaner eyeing them suspiciously HAHAHA.
So I started my “walk” with Kai, along the edge of the Marina and halfway through upon reaching one of my “checkpoints”, I stopped her, and making sure nobody was around to think that I’m kidnapping her, blindfolded her eyes with a sleeping mask.
The walk continued, with me leading her the way to the pavilion where my friends painstakingly decorated. Eunice’s shutter sounds were rather loud, and there was a moment where she heard it and went: EUNICE CHAN IS THAT YOU? *God, I didn’t know now she can recognize the photographer by the shutter sound.
Well there was a slight hiccup here. You see, my friends were supposed to “secure” the pavilion and explain to the people around there and ask for their cooperation to give us a few private moments (i.e. to make space for us). Now if it were you, and someone came up to say there’ll be a proposal going on, you’d feel awkward being present there right? Or at least you’d want to give the couple some privacy… Well, not so for some fishermen who were happily fishing away. They moved, yes. But they moved from the pavilion to right beside the pavilion…
CAN YOU IMAGINE PROPOSING WHEN YOU HAVE 4 IDIOTS STANDING LESS THAN 20 METRES AWAY FROM YOU WHEN ALL YOU WANTED WAS PEACEFUL, QUIET AND EMPTY SURROUNDINGS?
Damn uncooperative and thick-skinned, these people.
So just before FJ handed me the flowers and the ring before the pavilion, I was scolding them in my heart, hoping that they’d fish a shark out that would bite them… lol. But nevertheless, I didn’t have any choices but to continue. Grabbed my flowers, led Kai up to the “trail” of candles, and undid her blindfold.
Managed to capture a screen shot of the place.
Led her in, showed her the video that I made for her, and I plucked the courage to do what I went there to do, to ask her the question of our lives.
AND SHE SAID YES!
So after the proposal, I was trying to locate my friends but it was simply too dark to find them, until I had to call FJ and told her: erm it’s over, you all can come out already. And one by one, they started strolling out of the darkness like models emerging on a runway >.< hahaha epic.
To all my friends who helped out in this proposal in one way or another, be it giving ideas, suggestions, or even just saying “yeah ok I think it’s good”, thank you so much for your support.
And of course, to the 7 friends whose help I enlisted on that special night – Feng Jun, Kay Hian, Walter, Wen Tong, Eunice, Callison and Lin Kah, a big thank you to all of you. Without you guys, this special night for us would not have been possible and a big success.
Yup that’s it. That’s the story of how we got engaged – the story of the day she said ‘yes’.