It's a Sunday afternoon when we're wrapping up our shoot with Rachel Wee and Ken Chen. Rachel, a pharmacist, has to leave soon for work, but when asked about Ken, her entire face lights up and she graciously (and cheekily) recounts how they first met.
The second daughter of beauty mogul Jean Yip and Mervin Wee, first met her beau about two years ago through a mutual friend, who promised to matchmake her with someone 'really eligible'. The 30-year-old was single then, and thought, "why not?". And the rest, they say, is history.
Ahead of their wedding, we sit down with the couple to talk love and what they are looking forward to most in marriage.
Hi Rachel and Ken, congrats on your engagement! Tell us about the proposal.
Rachel Wee (RW) I've always wanted to dress up in traditional Korean outfits and take photos in the palace, and that's when Ken got down on one knee and surprised me with a proposal!
Ken Chen (KC) I knew in July last year that I wanted to pop the question, so I took Rachel's parents out for a meal and asked for their blessing. We were going on a trip to Korea in November for a friend's wedding, and that was going to be our only trip at the end of the year, so her friends told me that Rachel suspected that something was going to happen. To throw her off the scent, I asked her to go on a trip with me to Bali.
RW I didn't buy that! It was too obvious [laughs].
KC I got really "angry" when she wanted to shorten our Bali trip from four days to two, and we quarrelled about it. After that, Rachel was really sorry and told me that I didn't need to feel pressured to propose by the end of 2017. In the end, I popped the question in Korea, and I think I managed to pull off the surprise!
"I think love is putting the other person first, above your needs and wants. It's about giving and compromising." - Rachel Wee
What do you love most about each other?
RW I love that he's very responsible, and he handles stress very well—something I don't think I do too well in—so I feel in areas where I lack, he complements me. He works in banking so his hours are long, but even when he's tired from work, he's still willing to listen and give me good advice.
KC I like that she is very caring, and she's always bubbly and cheerful. She's also very responsible, understanding, and it's a bonus that she gets along well with my friends.
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What's the sweetest thing he/she has done for you?
RW Hmm… the proposal was definitely the sweetest, and there was one day while I was at work and craving for fried rice, so he surprised me with it.
KC Once when I wasn't feeling well and was working late, Rachel brought porridge and Chinese medicine she had brewed to my office.
"[Love is] caring for each other, being together with each other and doing things together. To love is to start something and do it to the end with your partner." - Ken Chen
How's the wedding planning coming along?
RW We've actually booked our wedding locations already! The theme is a secret for now, but we'll be doing a traditional tea ceremony, church wedding and dinner at The Ritz Carlton, Singapore. Ken is very meticulous, so while I've been the one to look for wedding vendors, he's the one who would do the calculations and keep the budget.
What are you looking forward most in married life?
RW Simple things like cooking or doing household chores together. We don’t get to spend too much time together because I work on weekends while he works on weekdays, so I think that would make me happy.
KC I'm definitely looking forward to living together. We've been dating for about two years and I usually see her two to three times a week, so I can't wait to spend every day with her. It's also the next stage in our relationship, so we'll be looking forward to starting a family.
RW I think my mum wants more grandchildren as soon as possible... [laughs]
KC I know Rachel wants kids before she turns 35, and we've agreed that having three kids would make a nice, happy family.
RW So... that means three kids in five years?!
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What is love to you?
RW I think love is putting the other person first, above your needs and wants. It's about giving and compromising.
KC Caring for each other, being together with each other and doing things together. To love is to start something and do it to the end with your partner.