Travel show turned into the event of a lifetime
Nicholas Walton and Maggie Chooi met in 2009 during a coffee break at a travel conference where Nicholas, as travel editor for the media sponsor, was a speaker.
'Nick impressed me with his charming smile and his unique sense of humour. And he looked very smart on the stage,' events planner Maggie recalled.
'I admit I was captivated from the moment I met her and we hit it off right away,' Nicholas said.
The couple wed on April 7 in New Zealand's Auckland Domain park. They will visit Maggie's hometown, Ipoh in Malaysia, next month for a traditional tea ceremony. In September they will hold another celebration, at the exclusive Chalina Estate villa in Bali.
Although they didn't see each other again for two weeks after the conference, Maggie knew Nicholas was thinking about her because he e-mailed her every day.
Their first date was certainly one they won't forget: Nicholas invited Maggie to a pole-dancing competition and told her she could bring some friends. So she took a girlfriend along, not realising that it was actually a date.
'I was rather nervous and launched into an impressively boring lecture about sharks, and tried not to seem too interested in the pole dancers,' he recalled.
After a few more dates, of a more conventional kind, they began to see a future together.
'We quickly realised we had a lot in common and always made each other laugh,' Nicholas said. 'I realised she was pretty special from the very beginning.'
Maggie said: 'I really enjoy the time we spend together. We just have unlimited topics to talk about and Nick inspires me and motivates me in so many ways. Very quickly, I realised that he was not just a lover but a true soulmate I can count on, share with and laugh with.'
On Nicholas' birthday last year the couple flew to Mauritius for a romantic getaway. While lounging in their villa, Nicholas asked Maggie to close her eyes and whispered into her ear: 'Why don't we make our love a full-time thing?' When she opened her eyes, Nicholas was holding a ring that took her breath away.
'He was so shy and nervous - like a little boy. He looked into my eyes and asked me to marry him. I cried like a baby, for probably the first time in our relationship. I was speechless,' she said.
'It was all very romantic and we both got a bit emotional,' he said.
Maggie loves Nicholas' approach to life. 'He is very positive, passionate, ambitious and motivated. His big heart has so much love to give,' she said.
'Maggie teaches me patience, compassion and humility,' he said.