Couple Story: Vishal & Melissa
We linked up online via a rather wacky app, which botched our first planned meetup. The app’s server faced some technical difficulties which meant we were unable to get in touch with each other on the day of the meetup. It actually may have turned out to be a very good thing, since it was a funny icebreaker for us! A week later, on a lovely Sunday evening in May, at a pub called Harry’s along the Singapore River, we finally met for the first time. We talked for hours, only pausing to breathe and glance at the live telecast of the Monaco Formula 1 GP. He asked me out again for an Angry Birds movie the next Friday. We met again on Saturday, AND on Sunday, and from then on, we knew we couldn’t get enough of each other.
The twist in the tale: He was already in the process of relocating to Poland when we met! We decided to adopt a ‘just wing it’ outlook and enjoy being together for whatever time we had left. Luckily for us, we both love travel and adventure, so being in different continents for a year wasn’t so bad. It was the perfect excuse to travel, and we took full advantage, visiting Indonesia, India, Poland, Germany, Czech Republic, France in the last few months, learning to ski, snowboard, dive, surf and climb mountains.
When we decided to get some photos taken in Paris. I contacted Pierre ‘in secret’ a couple of weeks earlier and told him about my intentions of proposing and wanting to keep it as a surprise. Pierre was very helpful and we coordinated vie email over the ‘code phrase’, “the weather is perfect”, a sentence he would say during the session, as a hint for it to be the right time for me to get down on my knee and ask her the question. Little did I know my girlfriend was planning a counter-proposal expecting me to do something during the photo shoot. It was beautifully executed and its really nice to have these moments captured forever.
We had discussed future plans in general, and I knew that he was planning to finish up a full year in Poland before relocating back to Singapore in the later half of 2017. We had two more vacations planned – Paris in March, and Leh, India in June. I had a gut feeling he’d plan something for either one of these vacations! I’m one of those who believe very strongly in equality in relationships – in taking efforts to make things work, in being an independent person, while at the same time being two halves of a whole unit. I thought hey, besides saying YES to him, I also want to let him know that I choose him, and I also want to ask him to be mine for life. So I searched for a titanium ring that would fit his outdoorsy & adventurous personality, and carried it along in my pocket, planning to counter-propose, if/when he finally decided to pop the question!
Vishal: In my mind , I did my best to keep her clueless about when I would actually be proposing. Knowing me and my adventurous side, she probably expected me to do it during a mountain summit in the Himalayas. But, I had no idea that she’d planned a counter-proposal and had come prepared with a titanium ring! It was a total surprise for me and the fact that she’s so meticulous in terms of how she planned it and the ring. I just cant help but adore and love her even more.
Melissa: I loved the way he proposed… He made me laugh in his speech because he used some of our self-invented code words… it was so natural and heartfelt! Though I had to ask him to repeat his speech again later because I was so cold and nervous about the surprise I was going to spring on him that I couldn’t remember everything he said! Plus, he got me a gorgeous sapphire ring! He knew I love blue and didn’t want a diamond, so it was truly perfect. I was so glad the proposal & counter-proposal happened the way it did, because he’d always know that I was already prepared to say yes anytime he asked! And I think starting off this journey on an equal footing is something which we will treasure and work hard to maintain throughout our lives together.
Paris is the beautiful city of love. It was the perfect time of year to visit – not too hot not too cold. We were looking for a destination in Europe to meet, and where better than Paris to reunite with the person you love and miss the most! Truly, the entire Paris trip was something we looked forward to so much. Being in a long-distance relationship, every opportunity you get to hold each other’s hand, every hug and every kiss, is just filled with wonder, and something about Paris just added that little bit of extra magic. Without even knowing for sure that the proposal and counter-proposal would happen during the photo shoot, we were really looking forward to having Pierre capture some lovely moments and beautiful scenery for us to cherish. This was a wonderful added bonus, and we were so happy to share that special sunny morning with Pierre.
Our advice to all couples out there: Do what feels right for you and your partner, don’t do what everyone else expects, just because.
We have THREE wedding celebrations planned – benefits of being in a cross-cultural relationship 🙂
We’re officially getting married in 5 days’ time in Singapore on 23rd Sep 2017, and we are holding our solemnisation ceremony at Harry’s – where else! The place where we had our first date 🙂
This will be followed by a family lunch and a wedding ‘happy hour’ with our friends. We are eschewing all traditional ceremonies/customs, keeping it very chill and unplugged with an open bar and a retro 3-piece band.
This will be followed in Oct by a dinner reception in Bangalore, India, Vishal’s hometown, where we would have a traditional ‘seven-step’ wedding ceremony, but with a twist as well – Mel will be wearing a traditional Chinese outfit called a cheongsam, instead of traditional Indian attire.
The first two events will be primarily celebrations for our families and relatives. The wedding of our hearts will be a beach destination wedding in Phuket on 11.11, a dream which both of us shared, and will be coming true soon! All we can say at this point is there will be a blue theme, since blue is our favourite colour 😀