How did you meet?
We met in February 2014 in Paris. I was waiting on tables in an English pub while pursuing my studies. It was my first week of work and I was really busy when Clement came in on a Saturday night with his high school friends. He tried to talk to me but I barely understood him as he spoke very fast and my French was not very fluent then.
The pub was also very loud and noisy. I could only smile and give short replies. Even then, he didn’t give up. He left with his friends and then came back for my number and called me two hours later. He still carries that piece of paper in his wallet.
We did not have the fairy-tale proposal. It was more of a pragmatic decision to marry that we made together as he was living in Hong Kong and I was working in Singapore.
After a long, three-and-a-half years in a long distance relationship and moving around so much, we just wanted to settle down and finally start our lives together.
He prepared a romantic dinner at home before the proposal. He cooked his signature Cambodian dish Com Bo Luxc Lac (shaken beef and tomanto rice), served wine and told me how happy he was to be with me. Then he presented me with the ring.
We celebrated over four days. The first was after we signed the papers in Hong Kong. We had lunch in a private kitchen for 25 guests. The second was a family dinner and tea ceremony in Paris at Sinorama, a Chinese restaurant owned by Clement’s dad.
Then we had a church and tea ceremony, followed by a dinner for 350 guests in Jakarta in an 18th century colonial heritage building. The fourth was the exchange of personal vows in Bali, with dinner and dancing by the beach for 110 guests.
I bought my Jarlo London dress online at the last minute. It had the boho chic style I was looking for and I loved the cut. For the after-party, I wore a light BCBG Max Azria dress my cousin found for me.
I was really happy and relaxed throughout all the celebrations and ceremonies. There were no tense or stressful moments. The only regret was not getting a videographer in Bali. We would have loved a nicely shot video of the night’s hazy, alcohol-infused moments.
The couple had an amazing experience when they exchanged personal vows in Bali. It was heartfelt, memorable and so picturesque.
The theme for the festivities was “boho beach picnic”.
Their ceremony and celebration were held at a beach villa in Seminyak.
Pampas grass and dried palm leaves were used throughout the decor and settings.
Clement and Ilona went with a more relaxed and welcoming ambience instead of a formal meal. They decided against flowers as it was an unnecessary expense and not very eco-friendly.
All the decoration, including the centrepieces and bouquet, were made entirely of fabric, leaves, branches and pineapples.
The casual setting was a wise choice that allowed guests to let loose and have fun.
Guests dressed according to the boho chic theme.
This wedding was originally featured in Her World Brides December 2019.