Tag Archives: engagement

The Story of How I Found the Love of my Life

People frequently ask me how B and I met. Many assume it’s a typical schoolmates turned lovers kinda story, but we actually needed more of a push than that to find each other.

Firstly, let me begin by saying that though we were both from NUS Business (Accountancy) AND Kent Ridge Hall, B and I are 4 years apart and we didn’t have any similar interests or many mutual friends in hall. Thus, our paths never really crossed until Dec 2012 at a mutual friend – Edwin’s 21st birthday party.

I got to know Edwin from the NUS Biz Pageant in 2012. I was one of the organisers and he eventually became Biz King no less. The funny thing is that I paired him and my fav junior (Cheryl) as partners in the pageant not just because of height but also because I thought their personalities would gel well together. They eventually got together – score 1 point of karma for me, and I eventually got rewarded with meeting my soulmate at his party, lucky me! B said that he was actually invited at the last minute after he happened to go for a run with Edwin 2 nights before the party! So it really must be fate.

At the party, all the non-freshies were seated together at a table, which is when B came over to introduce himself and sat down with us. IT WAS NOT LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT SADLY HAHA. My first impressions were that he’s pretty sociable, not bad looking, BUT he was a little drunk that day and behaving a little childishly (for e.g. trying to stick an empty bottle up Edwin’s ass). At the end of the night, he & Shaun (a close friend) even stole my phone and refused to give it back to me! See below for a recreation of how I reacted that night HAHA.

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So after that night, B FB messaged me (using the ruse of apologising for stealing my phone) to talk. He eventually gave me his number as he said it would be much more convenient to talk through whatsapp (How smooth haha). After a few days of good conversations, the Christmas period was just over and we were both back to hall for our various activities, and we spent a couple of nights chit-chatting and watching movies. All very innocent, no hand holding even!

On New Year’s Eve, I was supposed to have plans with my JC Tennis friends, but they all bailed on me. B sensed an opportunity and asked me to meet him at the bar he was working at, and I agreed. He met me at the bus stop minutes before midnight and held my hand! My heart was pounding and I got butterflies in my tummy. We managed to make it to the bar right before countdown, and we had our first kiss at midnight after wishing each other Happy New Year hehe. It was indeed the best start to the year and to our relationship as we never looked back (: After a drink or two, we headed to Zouk with some of the people at the bar and danced the night away. The two of us, being gluttons, were hungry by the end of the night so we had our first meal at Meng’s Kitchen near his place! What a glamorous first date place huh. He then drove me home all the way to the East like a gentleman.

I was simply smitten by then. He even sent me this when he got home! So super romantic.

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Okay there you have it, the story of how we met and started to fall in love! I shall end this post with some portraits taken on our engagement day by Josh of The Beautiful Moment Photography.

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XOXO,

Daryl

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Our Proposal Story – 21st June 2015

The first question people asked me when they found out the news of our engagement was – HOW DID HE PROPOSE??? So now that we’ve gotten the pro photos (taken by Joshua Sim of The Beautiful Moment Photography), I thought I’d share my side of the story.

A lot of people asked if the proposal was a surprise – well the answer is that we both feel a proposal isn’t something that should 100% be a surprise. We have talked about getting married for a long time and made sure we were ready to settle down AND that it was with the other. We also discussed stuff like a timeline for our relationship, e.g. when we would ideally like to get married & how long it takes to plan a wedding. With that, I left Baldwin to set his own timeline as to the proposal, so I kinda knew it was in the works, but of course not when the exact day would be or how it would go down.

Prior to the big day, B dropped many hints which I tried really hard not to connect as I really wanted to be surprised. He was simply too excited & said he didn’t like to keep secrets from me (which I guess is a good thing in the long run haha)

On THE day (which was actually Fathers’ Day), he said we were going to meet some friends for dinner. I thought this was a little fishy as B is very close to his dad so I couldn’t understand why he didn’t want to have dinner with his dad that day. He also kept evading the question about where we were going to that day, which made it really hard for me to decide on what to wear haha. In the end I just trusted in his plans & thought to myself that it would be nice if it happened that day, but also not to get my hopes up and enjoy the evening!

On the way there in the car, I started to realise where we were headed! Looked like we were going to Rochester Park, which was actually where we both met in Dec 2012 (I’ll save this story for another day!). We walked into Nosh & his friends were all there already having a drink, so we grabbed some wine too. Suddenly someone suggested taking a polaroid, so we all crowded to the swing there & somehow B & I ended up in the middle! A stranger (who was actually the Photographer Josh) helped us take a couple of photos, then we waited for the images to form. Marc started to pass me the photos & I thought to myself “hmm looks not bad”, but it was only after more prompting that I realised that in one of the pictures, the boys had actually taken off their shirts, and had on t-shirts with the words DARYL WILL YOU MARRY ME?

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At that point, I realised that it was really happening & I started freaking out (on the inside haha, though I did let out a little squeal)! B held both my hands & knelt down & said a really sweet speech, but unfortunately in all my freaking out, the only thing I remember him saying is “I suddenly forgot what to say” HAHA.

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And by the time he said the words “Daryl, will you marry me?”, my eyes were already welling up in tears.

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Without any hesitation, I said the most important YES in my life, and gave him a hug! He then slipped on my pretty ring HEHE. Look at how pleased I am!

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I then burst into full blown tears and sobs of happiness hahaha.

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When I had finally regained my composure, I turned around to see yet another surprise – my family & close friends were here too to celebrate!!! I truly had no idea that they were behind me watching the whole time. It was so nice of B to include them in our special day.

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We were then whisked away by Josh for some engagement photos! B was sweating profusely by then & had to borrow Marc’s shirt haha (if you’re wondering why he suddenly had a change of attire). Oh btw, the outfit that he wore to propose was actually what he wore when he first met me!!! How extremely sweet of him to remember! I will upload the engagement photos in a separate post (:

We then settled down to have a lovely dinner in the Al Fresco area, it was so nice to celebrate the first few hours of being engaged with the people closest to us.

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After dinner, B pulled out yet another surprise – a room key to Mandarin Orchard to continue the celebration of this special day!! Turns out Ian had booked it for us & even got us a bottle of bubbly + a very sweet card, which was super nice of him. I had to take urgent leave from work the next day though, felt a little bad but oh well this is a once in a lifetime event!

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After taking many pictures together, we were hungry & decided to pop by Macs to get some nuggets. We then headed back to the room to snack, drinking half the Prosecco & watching part of The Hunger Games before falling asleep. True to our usual Piggy selves. The next morning, B headed off to gym (as usual) & I went to the pool for a tan. We then came back to finish the Prosecco & checked out. Headed to Wild Honey for Brunch with the giant balloons which earned us lots of stares & congratulations haha.

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After yummy brunch, we decided to make use of our off day & caught a random movie (Spy I think, Melissa McCarthy is hilarious! loved her since Gilmore Girls)

I couldn’t have asked for a better proposal planned by my now fiancé. Even though it wasn’t the most elaborate like the ones which I used to dream or read about, it was truly perfect for me. Intimate, yet surrounded by our loved ones. It was definitely one of the happiest days of my life. Thank you so much B for everything, I’m so lucky to have you as my partner for the rest of my life ❤

XOXO,

Daryl

Buying an Engagement Ring Online (Part 3): The Setting

The 3rd part of my Engagement Ring series is going to focus on buying a setting to fit the stone you have purchased. Looking for the perfect setting is probably the most exciting part of ring hunting because the options out there are endless!!

Solitaires are definitely the most common setting (in Singapore at least) for an engagement ring as it shows off the diamond the best. The picture below shows some settings for solitaires. The first 2 are definitely the most common, with the cathedral setting being a little more regal looking.

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Whilst solitaires are really pretty, I think they do not have as much of a wow factor if the diamond is smaller in size. Since I wasn’t going to go for a 1 carat stone (simply because a good quality one would cost a bomb!), I decided to go for a halo instead!

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Halos are smaller stones which surround the center stone. It adds more bling to your ring and also makes the center stone appear larger. Since I’m someone who loves lots of bling & sparkle, halo settings are perfect for me!

For the band part of the setting, I was deciding long & hard between a plain band & a pavé band. Pavé bands make it look as if the whole band is made of tiny diamonds. I was initially afraid that pavé would look too sparkly for work & everyday wear. Thankfully, my sister & Baldwin both agreed that the pavé suits me the most (my nickname is Princess after all haha), & I’ve not regretted my choice. It’s so beautiful!

After scouting the Internet for the perfect setting, I came across an Etsy store called Sundari Gems. It is owned by a lady called Prang who is the designer of the jewellery in the store. Her jewellery style is very dainty and pretty, exactly what I was looking for. What won me over completely was all the stellar 5-star reviews she’s got. Many happy customere were really pleased with her service (as she’s very accommodating & nice), as well as the quality of her jewellery.

Here’s the process of ordering a ring setting from Sundari Gems:

1.  Drop her a message

I told her I would like to customise a ring setting based on a design she had in her store. As most of the centre stones in her store are moissanites, morganites or sapphires, I had to just order the ring setting to fit the diamond I had purchased earlier. I initially asked if I could ship the diamond over to her to set, but she said it would be too risky, so she recommended that we bring it to a local jeweller to set.

2. Prang gives a quote & details on the process

At first, she took really long to reply me so I had to drop her another message to chase her. She then told me she had preemie twins in NICU!! I felt so bad for rushing her. Despite her busy schedule, she still managed to give a very detailed reply on a quote and what to expect in the coming months.

3. Creating the ring

After obtaining the exact measurements for my stone, she took a couple of weeks to create a computer model of the setting, and then sent me the computer renderings. This is where we can give feedback on the design & make last minute requests.

  
She will then print it into a resin mold, to make a silicone mold, which will then be used to make a wax mold & finally that will be used to cast the actual gold ring. (The picture below is not my actual silicone mold, but a picture she sent me to give an example)

4. Prang sends over a ring sizer

This is the ring sizer she sent me! I had fun trying it on to get the perfect size hehe.
5. Prang ships over the completed setting

She sends the parcel over by Fedex International Priority & even takes responsibility for all duties and taxes! I received the parcel so fast, before I even got the message from her that my item was shipped haha. I immediately passed the parcel on to B, so that I would be surprised when he eventually proposed.

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The entire process took slightly less than 6 weeks for me, definitely within the range she had initially told me. She was so helpful & reassuring throughout the whole process, I felt so comfortable making one of the most important purchases of my life from her. Sundari Gems gives a lifetime warranty to all their customers (which is so awesome!!), and she will even replace the small stones if they fall out for free! A GIA certificate was also provided for all the tiny diamonds she used in my ring. The last thing which makes Sundari Gems stand out is that 1% of all proceeds go to charity, which I think is really special. I’d definitely recommend this store to anyone out there searching for a delicate engagement ring!

Part 1 (Research)

Part 2 (The Diamond)

XOXO,

Daryl

Buying an Engagement Ring Online (Part 2): The Diamond

After doing research on the type of diamond I wanted, I browsed through many forums to find out which international online retailer would be the most trustworthy. From what I read, BLUE NILE seems to be the most popular, followed by JAMES ALLEN. Blue Nile apparently has the most stock for diamonds, which sounded win-win at first.

However, what drew me to James Allen eventually was that they capture 360 degree video with 15x zoom for all their diamonds!! So you can see every inclusion the diamond has & know exactly what you are buying. This is super reassuring for someone buying a diamond online. Another plus point is that they offer either a 100% full refund or free exchange of your product, as well as free shipping.

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Once I decided on the diamond which fit the the specs I wanted and the budget, B and I sat down together to order it! WE WERE SO EXCITED.

At the time of our purchase, USD was weak comparatively to SGD so we managed to get a pretty good deal. We accidentally ordered it in the wrong currency at first (would have cost us more), and when we emailed them asking if we could change, they were very quick & efficient in their response. (From my email correspondences with them, they always responded within 24 hours, and were very polite & friendly! Another plus point for them.)

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The package came really fast (about 1 & 1/2 weeks), even quicker than what Fedex Tracking reported! The morning it came, I was about to rush out for an appointment, but I just couldn’t resist opening it first. As you can see, the packaging was very nice & elegant looking.

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Inside the box, besides the red box containing the diamond, there’s also a cloth for you to clean the stone, the GIA certificate & a gem holder for you to inspect the stone up close. Needless to say, I was really impressed.

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Opening up the little red box to see the stone was magical to say the least!

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I just had to hold it in my palm!! So so pretty & sparkly & no visible imperfections at all phew!

As I wanted to be surprised at B’s proposal in the future, I had to pass him the James Allen box for safekeeping & so he could complete the ring in his own time.

Oh yes a funny thing happened when we received the package. Since Fedex didn’t attach a tax invoice with it, we thought we were lucky & managed to evade the good & services tax! We were super gleeful about it haha. But eventually a few weeks later it came & rained on our parade sigh.

That’s it for my post on buying a diamond online! Stay tuned for my next post on choosing a setting (:

Part 1 (Research)

Part 3 (The Setting)

XOXO,
Daryl

Buying an Engagement Ring Online (Part 1): Research

B & I have always been comfortable with discussing marriage since early on in our relationship. I guess it’s because we had that typical, unexplainable “THE ONE” feeling haha. Through our conversations, we came to the conclusion that 2016 would be a good year for us to settle down as we would be financially & emotionally ready. We also agreed that I should have a say in the engagement ring as I would be wearing it for the rest of my life, so it’d better be something that I love! Hence, we began research for the ring in the 2nd half of 2014. I’d like to pen down my research and opinions in hope that it’d be useful to both girls who are getting ready to settle down, as well as guys who are getting ready to propose to their other halves.

I knew from the start that I wanted something more special and unique than what’s offered in jewellery stores in Singapore (most brides-to-be seem to be sporting solitaires), so I decided to go the online route. As I’m not one to really care for brands, by going online, B would be able to save costs too (as these retailers cut out costs of having a brick & mortar store).

So where did I start?

1) STONES

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I realised there were so many options besides the typical Diamond, & this was actually my dream wedding set for awhile (it’s so damn gorgeous!):

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But after heavy research, I realized that though coloured stones are really pretty & cost less that diamonds, they’re not as scratch resistant, durable, and low maintenance. So, a diamond it is!

2) SHAPES

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I generally like round things, so this was a no-brainer for me. Round brilliants are the most classic, timeless diamond shape and are also the most sparkly (& who doesn’t like sparkly right??).

3) The 4 C’s

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Okay, here is where most people get really confused, but I believe the image above is pretty idiot-proof. Here are my comments about the 4 C’s in order of importance (in my opinion):

1. CUT
Cut is extremely important as it directly affects how sparkly the diamond is. I would definitely recommend buying an ideal/excellent cut diamond for maximum light performance. Many people have been commenting how sparkly my diamond is & that’s because it is a GIA certified triple-ex stone (excellent cut, polish & symmetry).

2. COLOUR
I discern colour shades pretty easily, so this was my 2nd priority. I think a D-H coloured stone would be good, as it will not be so easy to tell the shades of D-H apart unless you place them side by side in a row. I eventually found an E colour stone within budget and have been very happy with how white it looks!

3. CARAT
Carat actually refers to the weight of the stone, though you can estimate the size from the weight. The price of a stone typically jumps more at certain popular weights, like 0.75, 1, 1.25, 1.5 carats etc. So it is worth it to go just under those carat weights to get the best value (since the difference in mm is miniscule). Since I was going for a quality diamond, 1 carat would have been out of budget, so I eventually settled for a 0.81 carat stone which I’m really happy with. It’s not too humongous that it looks like costume jewellery, but it still gives decent finger coverage.

4. CLARITY
Clarity refers to how clear the diamond is. Diamonds are imperfect, & nearly all have flaws. They could take place in the form of what experts call feathers, crystals, clouds etc. In my opinion, clarity is not as important, as you would rarely have people staring so closely at your stone. The only person who would do so is probably yourself! However, I would still advise people interested in getting diamonds online to go for a VS2 & above. This means that you can only see inclusions under a 10x magnification after searching for about 10s. If you are going to a store, you might be able to get away with SI diamonds. As you can both look through the microscope & with the naked eye to see if you can notice any inclusions. My diamond is a VS2 & I cannot see any inclusions at all even while looking at it super up close.

4) CERTIFICATION
There are many diamond certifiers in the world, and I think GIA is the most common. Though I’ve heard they may not be the most strict. Always make sure that your diamond comes with a certificate so that you know exactly what you are getting.

From the certificate, you would be able to gain a lot more information about the diamond. For example:

1. FLUORESCENCE

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Fluorescence is the diamond’s ability to emit a blue glow in uv light (e.g. Sunlight). Though I would have preferred to have a zero fluorescence diamond so that the it looks white in all lights, due to budget constraints, my eventual stone has medium blue fluorescence. I’ve learnt to get used to my diamond looking different in all types of lighting & actually feel like it gives the stone a little but more character. So no regrets there (:

2. MEASUREMENTS

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Honestly speaking, I did not know much about this when I purchased my stone. It was only after subsequent research that I realised its importance. Apparently you can use the HCA (Holloway Cut Advisor) Tool, to calculate the potential light return, fire, scintillation & spread of a round diamond. I realised that my stone didn’t do too well using this tool (experts would say a score of 1-2 is considered excellent). Mine was probably in the range of Good only. However, I still like how my stone looks overall, so you could prob play around with this took just to eliminate not so good stones, but take it with a pinch of salt.

I didn’t realise how long this post has become, hope I didn’t bore those of you who bothered to come read my blog! Seems like I have pretty good knowledge of diamonds after all that research haha. Stay tuned to the next few parts to see my reviews on the retailers I went with!

Part 2 (The Diamond)

Part 3 (The Setting)

XOXO,
Daryl