As early as 2011, I’ve been thinking of ways to propose to Ruifang and I finally decided on how to do it about 5 weeks before the marriage proposal date on 18th August 2012.
There hasn’t been a doubt that she will say “Yes” to marrying me as I do believe that I speak for the both of us when I say that we have a rock-solid relationship. In fact, we did the Singaporean thing by applying for a HDB flat way before the proposal. That is part of the reasons why I wanted to make this a big proposal so that she deservingly feels the romance despite the realities of getting a flat at an opportune time.
She had been hinting and sometimes even half threatening me about asking for her hand and her friends will nod their heads furiously in agreement about her readiness for marriage. I knew that she will expect it if I didn’t plan this correctly so I had to throw multiple bluffs/lies at her.
“We are going to get married anyway, so why do I need to ask?”
She knows that I don’t really believe in marriage so it was easy to plant the idea that I won’t ever propose since there’s no point to it. 2nd August is our anniversary so I purposely planned the marriage proposal date to be after that.
I knew her very well so I manipulated her into thinking that it was her idea at the very start to model for my fake project for Oasia Hotel. I just said that my “client” needed non-professional models for a corporate online video and she almost immediately volunteered herself and her two great friends, Josephine and Reena. This set-up ensures that she will be filmed for the whole time without the need to hide cameras. Using this approach, it was also easier for me to set up meetings and arrange for logistics for the video shoot. It was half the truth after all.
Josephine & Reena were let in on the plan and they took it upon themselves to bring Ruifang on a roller-coaster ride of emotions as they pretended to be disinterested or have cold feet about the video shoot from time to time. They were also the one who managed to get her ring size for me. At one point in time, Ruifang was so angry at Reena for having cold feet that I felt really bad but I had to pretend to be all business like.
Ruifang and I live together at her parents place so communications was the biggest worry for me. We don’t look at each others phones but we know each of our passwords to them and to our email/social accounts. My iPhone was also a huge concern with the pop-ups of text and emails and I didn’t want to hide them to arouse suspicion.
I created a new email address and found a way to lock specific apps with a special way to unlock them so that there is no way of her stumbling onto the emails. Communications with Oasia Hotel, MINI Habitat (Story here), JannPaul Diamonds & all our friends and relatives were almost all done exclusively on that channel.
The biggest challenge of it all was to get 40 relatives and friends to attend the proposal without her finding out at all. Two weeks before the actual date, I contacted the guests and set very specific instructions to where and what time they may arrive at the 22nd floor of Oasia Hotel. An accidental text or Freudian slip from any of them could have foiled the whole plan but everything went well despite a few hiccups. I still had many sleepless nights though.
There were other bluffs I threw like having a staff at the hotel send her an official email of work engagement, casually looking around at ring designs to show that I have not even bought one and asking friends to check if she had plans for the proposal date.
The Marriage Proposal Day
I barely slept for 3 hrs but I knew I was in good hands for the video and photo coverage with Derek Foo, Song and Melvin Ho leading the shoot. After doing a “car scene” at the hotel, I pretended to leave for another event so Ruifang and the crew went upstairs while I waited at the lobby till they are in the room.
My Mum & Aunt came too early and spotted Ruifang from afar and headed in the opposite direction. Later, I was extremely lucky to catch them before they went up. I also had another group of friends who drove by too early and amazingly, Ruifang found the car familiar but did not think that it was her friends in it.
I wanted the beauty of the sunset for her walk-in but the clouds didn’t help me that day. Nonetheless, it was fair weather and I am grateful for that.
She took a lot of time before she realised what was going on and at my sight of her reddening eyes, I couldn’t help but teared uncontrollably even before she stepped onto the platform where I was.
I did plan what to say but my mind was blank and I could only say what I really meant while struggling hard to not choke on my own tears. The premise was simple; Love before marriage. Marriage is empty without Love but Love is never empty without marriage.
Our vows were taken before marriage and that is “to Love and Honour each other till the end of our lives.”
I am thankful for all the extra miles that Oasia Hotel put in to ensure a smooth execution. I have countless queries from friends on where the venue was and how pretty it is. The venue is perfect for ROMs and small weddings. (Contact for the Oasia Hotel here.)
I am thankful for all the relatives and friends who had to keep such a big secret and act along.
I am thankful for the wonderful photos that Melvin took (My future bro-in-law). He not only captured wonderful moments of the both of us but also of my guests. (Melvin’s Facebook Page, Melvin’s website.)
I am thankful for the expertise of Derek and Song who refined upon my ideas for the video and added so much more dimensions and story telling to it. (Derek’s Facebook Page)
I am especially thankful for finding a woman like Ruifang and her appreciation for all the little things that I do for her.
This “big” thing was my gift for my fiancée, my dear Ruifang.