(I shot this for The Canary Diamond Co recently. It’s a love story between Cheryl Lee, a partner at Restaurant Lerouy, and Gavin Sung, managing director (Asia Pacific) at an FTSE 100 company and motoring director for the Porsche Club in Singapore. And, blimey, it’s a love story that’s 18 years in the making. I did this interview with the couple separately for the purpose of telling their story from both perspectives — his and hers — and what they each remember of moments big and small. Enjoy.)
Theirs is a love story that could give Harry and Sally a run for their money. When Gavin met Cheryl, they were just a couple of teenagers. The year was 2000. The setting, a university student soirée in the United Kingdom.
For him, it was love at first sight. Even at 19 and under party lighting, Cheryl was gorgeous and confident. “I thought, this woman is someone who knows what she wants and what she doesn’t want,” he says. “I was intrigued.”
Eighteen years ago, Gavin was just a boy standing in front of a girl — speechless in the first moments of their encounter — asking only that she’d say hello to him. What he didn’t know then — ah, life — is that he would one day, on 16 August 2014, to be exact, be a boy kneeling in front of that same girl, asking her to marry him.
She said “yes!”.
They married in 2016.
Can you recall the first time you met?
Cheryl: We were in the UK in 2000 during our university days. I remember it was student night at a local club called Icon.
What was your first impression of him?
Cheryl: When we first met, he was so shy he couldn’t speak for a minute. That was so adorable!
Who made the first move?
Cheryl: Hmm… Well, his friend Ricardo made the first move, to be very accurate . Ricardo approached me and pretty much begged me to follow him over to be introduced to Gavin.
When did you realise that Gavin is The One?
Cheryl: When I was going through some tough times, Gavin was always there for me despite us living in different continents. His unwavering love for me made me realise that he’s the one for me.
What three qualities about him are you most attracted to?
Cheryl: He is the most reliable person
I know. He gets me — he knows me so well it still amazes me till today. And his eyes! They are light brown with a tint of green.
How did he propose?
Cheryl: We were in Cape Town. After a long day of sightseeing, we decided to stay in for dinner. We had the worst Chinese meal of our lives and some champagne. After dinner, we went out to the balcony which overlooked Table Mountain. That was when Gavin took a ring out of his pocket and asked me to marry him.
Did you see it coming?
Cheryl: I definitely saw it coming! For a month leading up to the proposal, Gavin would ask, “When are we getting married?” at least three times a day. He started sounding like a broken record. (Laughs.) But I must admit that only when he actually asked did it sink in that it was real!
Tell us about the ring.
Cheryl: My parents have been friends with Judy and William, who own The Canary Diamond since before I was born. They are like godparents to me. Without a doubt, I buy all my
jewellery from them. They found us this beautiful stone, it was so brilliant I immediately fell in love with. It is a 3.3-carat cushion-cut diamond with two trilliums on each side.
What was your first reaction when you saw the ring?
Cheryl: The ring! Now that’s an interesting story. When Gavin proposed, he took out a ring from his pocket, which I thought looked a little dubious even in the dim light on the balcony. So my immediate worry was, “is it real?”, “did he get cheated?” The questions kept coming. Finally, he folded and told me that it was a Swarovski crystal makeshift!
What, to you, is one of the most memorable moments you’ve shared together?
Cheryl: The most memorable moment has got to be the night we met. Until today, the story is often retold and reminisced by the both of us.
Be spontaneous: What is one thing you’d really like to say to him right now?
Cheryl: When are we going on our honeymoon, darling? xoxo
What really happened before the proposal? Read Gavin’s side of the story here.