From first-night nervesto a lasting engagement

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 30 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 30 June, 2012, 12:00am


Co-founder of the hottest nightspot in town, creative director of a glossy magazine and international man of mystery, Gordon Lam has never lacked the company of pretty models, but Tais Fortes is that special someone he has decided to spend the rest of his life with.

On their first date five years ago, Gordon already liked her. But his perfect plan to woo Tais didn't quite work out as planned.

He invited her to a Macau casino opening and had earlier arranged for flowers and a revealing Dolce & Gabbana dress to be delivered to her apartment.

But unsuspecting Tais was tied up at work. She was three hours late for the date, so they had to take the helicopter to make it in time.

A solid plan B, except that Gordon is claustrophobic and hates flying.

'The helicopter was especially packed that night. I was so nervous, sweating away and with a girl I like in that tight and very hot dress,' he recalled. 'So I asked her to please hold my hand and she did.'

It was at that moment Gordon fell in love, and after an eventful night, Tais decided to leave her home in Brazil to come to Hong Kong for the man of her life.

'When we kissed for the first time, I knew she's wasn't going to get away from me,' Lam recalls.

Gordon and Tais tied the knot at his dragon-i club in Central on Friday last week, making them the first couple to get married there.

Hundreds of their relatives and A-list friends gathered for the stellar event, including Gilbert Yeung Kei-lung, Bonnie Gokson and Donnie Yen Ji-dan.

The bride wore a Versace gown and shoes from both Jimmy Choo and Roger Vivier during the event, while Gordon dressed in the finest of Roberto Cavalli suits.

To surprise his Brazilian wife, Gordon serenaded her in Portuguese - a language completely foreign to him. He also did a spontaneous duet on stage with his friend, mega songstress Coco Lee.

Gordon had first met Tais in dragon-i almost a decade ago but they didn't hit it off instantly because of the language barrier.

They kept in touch through e-mail and social-networking sites until their first date five years ago, when Tais came back to town.

'I like her not just for her beauty. We share a lot of things even though we were kind of the opposite of each other,' he said. 'She's not a party girl and really kept me on a short leash, which is good. People who don't know me assume that I'm a player, but in fact I'm the most loyal and romantic type.'

Rolling your eyes by now? But you must take his word for it, as he planned a dreamy wedding proposal that was hard for Tais - and her mother - to say no to.

He planned it on Tais' birthday, which was also Valentine's Day and Lunar New Year in 2010.

Back then, Gordon was working on the opening of Busy Suzie Robatayaki Restaurant & Bar in Tsim Sha Tsui, and for months he and Tais hosted dinner parties there almost every day. Tais' birthday was no different so she didn't suspect anything - and certainly not a marriage proposal.

Gordon commissioned a production company to make a two-minute video in which he proposed to Tais and projected the video onto a wall. He took Tais to the balcony for a clear view but blindfolded her before showing the video. When she opened her eyes, she saw the loving messages and Gordon on one knee with a ring, asking her to marry him and make him the luckiest man on the planet.

'She was speechless, took the ring, put it on and didn't say yes or no. Her mother was so moved and was sobbing,' Gordon recalled. 'So I was like, Tais, you have to say yes or else your mum will say yes.'

The best thing about Tais, Gordon said, was her sincerity and confidence.

'I can take her to any event and she can hold herself up, have a conversation with anyone. All my friends genuinely like her.'

Amazing what a fear of flying can lead to.