The Bride: Amanda
I was born in Hong Kong and moved to Canada with my family when I was young. I grew up in Richmond (a suburb outside Vancouver) and that’s where I still consider home if anyone ever asks. I am the eldest and my younger brother and I are very close to our parents. I moved to Ottawa shortly after graduating from university, and that's where I met Leo!
To help prep for the wedding, I moved to Hong Kong in early 2011. Lately, I've been busy with home renovation…. bet you thought I was going to say wedding planning! They say planning a wedding can be one of the most stressful things you will ever do, but finding the “perfect” tiles in the correct shade with matching wallpaper and complementary furniture that will all fit nicely into a HK sized apartment is no less taxing either! However, I am very fortunate that my future-in-laws have provided us with a lot of help, support and advice in this regard. And thanks to Leo’s hard work, the wedding checklist has shrunk down considerably prior to my arrival in HK. I have no doubt that the wedding will be a marvelous event!
The Groom: Leo
I was born in Hong Kong and grew up in a family of four with very caring parents and a lovely younger sister. I also lived with my grandma during my childhood and she was very important to me.
When I was fourteen, my family moved to Toronto, Canada . As a teenager, my favorite sport is ice hockey and my favorite hockey team is the Toronto Maple Leafs. I like skiing and skating. During my spare time, I like reading and especially enjoy reading about Chinese history.
After finishing my undergrad studies, I took a job in Ottawa and that’s where I met Amanda. When I look back, if I were in Ottawa for only one reason, that reason was to meet Amanda. In 2006, I moved back to Asia and worked in Singapore, Hong Kong and Beijing in the following four years.
I enjoy traveling, but I might have moved around just a bit too much in the past few years. I am looking forward to settling down in Hong Kong and raising a loving family with Amanda here. We still call Canada home and intend to move back there some time in the future.
HOW WE MET ...
Most of you have heard the story of how we met, but for those of you who haven’t, here’s how it all came to be.
Leo and I met during my first year in Ottawa. I was new to the city and had just found a local catholic church where I would go to attend Sunday mass. I didn’t have a car at the time and so fellow parishioners would often invite me to lunch after mass and then give me a ride home afterwards. One Sunday, Leo, who knew the others in the group, strolled over to join us after mass and that was how we were introduced. We all went to lunch that afternoon and I somehow ended up getting a ride from Leo. I remembered hopping into the backseat of his car along with the others and I sat directly behind him. We didn’t speak much that day, but that was the start of many more rides to come.
The first time I saw Amanda was at church during my first year in Ottawa. The church community there wasn't very big and any newcomer was easily noticeable. I was late to the mass that day so I sneaked in the back row and saw this beautiful girl sitting in the row in front of mine and that was Amanda. I was a bit shy to approach her at that time. I was sent on an expatriate assignment to Paris shortly after, and did not have a chance to get to know her.
When I was back in town later that year, there was a farewell lunch for some friends from church who were leaving Ottawa . Both Amanda and I attended the lunch. I took the opportunity to introduce myself and offered to give her a ride home. That ride was the beginning to our life-long journey together.
THE MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT
For my birthday a few years ago, I met up with Leo at his place before heading out for dinner. As I strode into the kitchen to pour myself a glass of water, he exclaimed from behind that I wasn’t allowed to open the fridge. Well, that obviously got me intrigued and I simply had to take a quick peek to satisfy my curiosity……..sitting in the fridge was a homemade tiramisu cake with “Happy Birthday Amanda” written across it! Leo always prides himself as being the better cook between the two of us (which has yet to be objectively tested and proven), but I never thought he would attempt to make a tiramisu for me. Now before any of you start to think "aww .... he's so sweet" I should quickly mention that Leo was really upset that I had ruined the surprise and he gave me the silent treatment for the rest of the night!
Amanda was living in Ottawa after I moved back to Asia in 2006. The physical distance between us made our time together even more precious. In the summer of 2007, I made a trip to Ottawa for two weeks. The travel time door-to-door from Singapore to Ottawa took more than 30 hours, but I was so looking forward to seeing Amanda that I hardly noticed it. When I arrived at Amanda’s apartment, I saw a sign saying “Welcome back Leo”, and a basket full of amenities such as shampoo, toothpaste, shavers, etc (some of them were the ones I left behind in Amanda's place before moving back to Asia), as well as my favorite President's Choice chocolate chip cookies. I was touched. It seemed like nothing has changed. My beloved Amanda is always standing by me and supporting me. She gave me strength to tackle the everyday pressure from the outside world.