All photos: Bobby Kiran Yeo (@bobbykiranyeo). Gown: Seraphina Grace (@seraphinagrace)

Congratulations! How did you guys meet? Was it love at first sight? 
Jon: We met at a friend’s Christmas party in 2009. We both go every year, but our paths had never crossed before that. I thought she was here on holiday and the prettiest girl at the party in her purple dress. We talked and later exchanged numbers, but I took my time to get back to her. Dating or starting a relationship was not on my agenda then as I was way too focused on rehearsals for Voyage de la Vie, one of the longest running theatre productions in Singapore. We only reconnected eight to nine months later, when Jen came to watch the show with her sister.

Jen: I was shocked when he asked if I was from China when we first met! It was definitely love at first spark for me. I thought he was really cute. We chatted all night, and I was expecting him to ask me out on a date soon afterwards, but he really took his time.  

How long have you been together?
Jon: I’m pretty old-school, so I asked her if she wanted to be my girlfriend on Aug 23, 2010.  

What was the proposal like?
Jon: There were two. The first was mega-modest. The second came a couple of years after, when I could finally afford to buy a proper engagement ring.

Jen: The first time was really funny. We were out walking our dog Toto late one night, like we usually do. But this time, Jon was all dressed up, which I found very strange. Then I spotted the ring box sticking out of his back pocket. I pretended that I didn’t know what was going on and went with the programme. The funniest part was when he told me he had something stuck in his toe just so he could get down on one knee to propose. 

The second proposal happened on a road trip along the Great Ocean Road in Australia. I was surprised because I wasn’t expecting it. He stopped the car at a very scenic spot in the middle of nowhere and asked me again. I don’t think we will ever find our way back to that place, but we do have photos. 

What do you like about each other?
Jon: We understand each other and embrace our differences. We have very different tastes in things, but I believe we also share a similar value system. Jen is very independent, and I like that in a woman. A clingy, needy person is not a good match for me. She also has a heart of gold. She’s kind and she empathises with people, and that’s a quality I really love.

Jen: I like how Jon encourages me to express my feelings. I’m naturally pretty reserved and used to keep my emotions to myself. We’ve made a promise to never go to bed angry with each other – and he’s better at that than I am. Most of all, I love that he’s very loyal and self-aware. He’s constantly improving himself and our relationship, and takes steps to make things better when something’s not going right.

Jon’s also the more romantic one. He leaves me love notes around the house, lets me sleep in during the weekends, and always buys me breakfast. He also buys all the groceries. Yup, he’s the houseman!

Every relationship has its ups and downs. How do you manage the tough times?
Jon: Communication is important – I’ve had too many relationships fail because of a lack of it. It helps that I’m the more extroverted one and a lot more vocal as well.

When we decided to be a couple, I really made an effort to do things differently in this relationship. I wanted things to work. Everyone has different love languages, and I believe it’s best to be open about everything, including want we want from and for each other.

Jen: There were definitely periods of friction initially, but that was mainly because we didn’t quite understand each other as we come from very different backgrounds. Over the years, we’ve become a lot more accepting of and understanding about each other’s personalities. I believe that you cannot change a person. It’s all about compromises and rethinking your own perception on matters.

Why Dec 26 for your wedding? 
Jen: Because we met at a Christmas party! 

Jon: I think it’s a wonderful idea because I only need to buy one present for both our wedding anniversary and Christmas from now on.

When it comes to planning and preparations, who’s calling the shots?   
Jon: I think I’m more of a trophy groom! I’d be very happy with a fried chicken and beer party, so I wouldn’t trust myself to orchestrate this. Jen is the one with real opinions about the wedding prep. She has the eye for design and detail. 

Jen: Most friends tell me that they would like their partners to contribute more ideas and get really involved in the wedding preparation, but I’m actually very happy doing it all myself. Jon has some really strange ideas, like wanting to be the wedding singer and emcee as well. I just need him to sort out his own outfit and guest list – and show up on the wedding day.

Have you had any arguments about the wedding? How did you resolve them?
Jen: It was difficult at the start, as we didn’t know how much things would cost. On top of that, we have a new home with some renovation to do, and furniture and appliances to consider. Once we made the relevant enquiries and came up with a budget we were comfortable with, things got easier and less stressful.

Jon: No difficulties from my point of view. I just try to agree as much as I can.

You started planning at the beginning of this year. Any advice for our readers?
Jen: The first thing to do is to make a list of everything you want for your wedding. Next, set a realistic budget. Then, start checking off your list of things to do early, so you won’t be overwhelmed by too many things left undone at the last minute. 

It also helps to be specific. Start a wedding inspiration board on Pinterest and collate all the looks you like, so you can better visualise how you want your wedding to look. With pictures, it’s easier to translate your ideas to the people you’re working with as well. 

And, although there’ll be a lot of people giving you all kinds of ideas and advice, stay focused and stick to your guns. 

You spent some time shopping for the perfect gown. Did Jon help with the search?
Jen: I spent a lot of time trying off-the-rack gowns, but couldn’t find anything I really liked. Then I found Seraphina Grace, who helped me customise my dream gown. I can’t wait to see the result! And, nope, Jon did not help with the search. He went to a gown fitting once and was so grumpy throughout!

Jon: Jen’s fussy and knows what she wants. She really doesn’t care what I think about her sense of style anyway. I believe she’ll look great in any gown. I just can’t wait to celebrate the day. 

What are your wishes for the day?
Jon: Now that the date is fast approaching, it’s all about the guests. We want to make sure they have a good time. We also want to be able to spend time catching up with close friends and family. 

Jen: All the people we love will be there, so that’s going to be awesome. Jon’s planning the playlist and has hired some friends who are really great jazz musicians to play at the wedding, so we hope everyone will truly enjoy themselves. Of course, we expect that there might be hiccups, but we’re not going to let that get to us. It’s a celebration after all, and hiccups do make for good memories. 

This story was originally published in Her World Brides December 2015.