Fall in Love
COVER GIRL RACHEL LIM OF LOVE, BONITO ON ROMANCE & HER DREAM WEDDING
How did you meet and was it love at first sight?
RACHEL: In church. While I wouldn’t say it was love at first sight, it was definitely attraction at first sight! LEO: Honestly, I don’t think it’s possible to fall in love at first sight. It starts with an attraction that makes you want to know the person more.
What do you guys love about each other?
RACHEL: We are very different. I tend to be very spontaneous, excitable, energetic, and a bit on the extreme side. Leo is so calm, it’s very hard to rock his boat. Even if the world were to crumble, he’d probably be very calm. When I have problems and go to him, he is the peace I need. He is very unfrazzled and anchors me. I think that’s very important. He helps me calm down and talk through the issues and problems I have at hand in a very systematic way. And then I’d realise that the problems weren’t as big as I’d thought. LEO: Rachel brings a lot of vibrancy to my life. It’s like we complement each other perfectly. I don’t show my emotions easily and openly, but she has helped make me become more expressive. She is the light in my life!
RACHEL: I bring a lot of joy and light into his life, and he brings a lot of stability and calmness into my life.
When did he propose?
RACHEL: Last October; after we’d been dating for three years. LEO: It didn’t go as planned at all. Rachel is very inquisitive. She spoils her own surprises! It happened in New York. I’d planned where I wanted to propose, and then thought I’d better have some back-ups because of how Rachel is. The first place I wanted to propose at was on Bow Bridge in Central Park that’s been in many movies. But we were there on a weekend and it was packed with tourists. Plan B was Grand Central Station. Also always crowded, but I thought it’d be romantic to propose with a crowd around us. However, another couple was already there and doing a wedding shoot. Plan C didn’t work either. It was in a restaurant near The High Line in New York City, but the tables were packed so close together that I couldn’t even go down on one knee!
RACHEL: Leo was very upset. He’s the type who needs everything to go as planned. In the end, he proposed in our hotel room, which I thought was perfect, and what I really wanted – for us to enjoy the moment, so it would always be meaningful.
What is important in a relationship?
LEO: Communication. I may take time to respond, and it may seem like I prefer to be quiet, but I want to reflect before talking things through. I think it’s crucial that both parties communicate all the time and try to fix issues they may have. Never leave anything unresolved as it could blow up in your faces one day.
RACHEL: Understanding. Initially, I didn’t understand how Leo could go to bed every time we quarrelled. I’d call and text him furiously to insist we settled it immediately. It took me a year to figure out that he is someone who needs his space in order to calm down and clear his mind before talking things through. There were many times we wanted to give up, but what helped us be strong was remembering how far we’d come and why we really loved each other in the first place. With God at the centre of our relationship, there’s nothing we can’t overcome.
What’s your wedding going to be like?
LEO: It’ll be in Bali, at the Alila Villas in Uluwatu. That’s where we had our first holiday together. It’s going to be an outdoor wedding overlooking the ocean and cliffs, and we chose a breezy time of the year, so the weather won’t be too uncomfortable for guests. RACHEL: It’s going to be a celebration with our closest and dearest.
Any celebration in Singapore?
LEO: We will be having one for our parents. I’m the youngest and the last to marry in my family.
Mum is 80 and Dad is 78, so they wanted to have a dinner celebration. It will be held at the Intercontinental Singapore as we love the Man Fu Yuan Cantonese restaurant there.
So who’s in charge of the preparations?
RACHEL: I initially thought I could do it myself, but engaged a planner in the end. Honestly, I’m terrible with details and usually very busy.
Were there any difficulties when it came to holding it in Bali?
RACHEL: We could go ahead and have a symbolic ceremony with vows and all, but the biggest issue was not being able to have a civil ceremony and register our marriage there. Instead, we needed to register our marriage here first. We also had to fly out just for the food tasting. Finding a good live band in Bali turned out to be tough, too.
Did you get any planning tips, so you wouldn’t be clueless?
RACHEL: Friends told me to just make sure I enjoy the day because, ultimately, it’s for the both of us. Don’t over-stress and let them help by handling everything on the big day. Also to spend within our limits; save the extra money for a house or the honeymoon. LEO: It’s important to have friends you trust to help you with all the small little things. We are very blessed because we have friends who are willing to sacrifice a lot to help us.
Any wishes for the wedding day?
RACHEL: We hope all our guests will really enjoy themselves with us! LEO: I haven’t given it much thought yet. Maybe when it approaches, I might get more excited. I just hope I don’t cry!
Satin and lace mermaid gown, price upon enquiry, from SILHOUETTE THE ATELIER. Lovelle diamond necklace, price upon enquiry, from GOLDHEART JEWELRY. Suit and shoes, Leonard’s.